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Five reasons to visit the Helderberg

Helderberg is not just a municipal district of Cape with a scenic backdrop to the Winelands and False Bay coastline — it’s so much more.

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By House & Garden South Africa | September 14, 2022 | Travel Leisure

Helderberg is not just a municipal district of Cape with a scenic backdrop to the Winelands and False Bay coastline — it’s so much more. It’s a tough job but someone had to make the hour trip out of town to take in the food, drinks and surroundings of the area.

Café Fleur

A peek into Cafe Fleur, Image: Supplied

Vergelegen Wine Estate recently launched its new restaurant, Café Fleur, which focuses on French cuisine paired with top local and French wines (with an added emphasis on Bordeaux-style wines). An elegant ambience is combined with excellent service in a peaceful setting and on the menu you can expect classics like French onion soup, escargot with Pernod and garlic butter, as well as beef bourguignon. We were told that people come especially for the onion soup and I would have to agree — it’s exquisite! When visiting Café Fleur, make sure to take in the rich heritage of Vergelegen’s beautiful estate, which includes eighteen unique gardens. The floral history of Vergelegen also inspired Café Fleur’s interior. The beauty of these gardens truly reflect the passion of horticulturists Richard Arm and Chris Randlehoff.

Location: ​​Lourensford Rd, Golden Acre, Somerset West, 7130

The Millhouse Kitchen

The Millhouse Kitchen on Lourensford Wine Estate, Image: Riaan Welman/Supplied

Lourensford Wine Estate is self-described as ‘one of the most beautiful wine estates in the world’ and you’ll find it difficult to disagree with that statement when setting foot on the 4000 hectares of fynbos, forest, fruit orchards and vineyards, which rise up to the slope of the Helderberg mountains. On this gorgeous, family-friendly estate you can also find a delicious lunchtime offering thanks to The Millhouse Kitchen’s diverse menu with something on it for everyone. Woodfired pizzas, pastas, a variety of small plates, Saldanha Bay mussels and oysters, seafood and steak are some of the options available. If you’re not sure what to go for, then I highly recommend getting the seafood coconut curry linguini and pairing it with Lourensford’s Dome Chardonnay 2020. You won’t be disappointed!

Location: Lourensford Wine Estate, Helderberg Rural, Cape Town, 7135

Wine pairing at Lourensford

A delightful wine and chocolate pairing, Image: Supplied

After enjoying lunch at The Millhouse Kitchen, walk about twenty metres and make sure to try one of Lourensford’s many wine pairing options for dessert. The Belgian chocolate and wine pairing pairs The Dome Chardonnay with Orange Dark Chocolate, River Garden Classique Merlot with Dark Cherry Chocolate, River Garden Classique Shiraz with Dark Chili Chocolate and their unique Honey Liqueur with Dark Mint Chocolate to wonderful effect. To beat the winter chills, you can also try one of Lourensford’s new cosy Barrel Room Tasting Sessions which takes place in the midst of the barrel maturation cellar.

Location: Lourensford Road, Somerset West, Cape Town, 7130

Lurra Spa

A self-care day out at Lurra Spa

Erinvale Estate’s Lurra Spa offers a range of therapeutic skin care products and treatments in four spacious treatment rooms as well as a steam room and heated whirlpool. The setting is laid-back and tranquil — exactly what you need after a long week, month or year or even a morning on Erinvale’s golf course! Slip out of your clothes and into a robe and get that deep tissue massage you deserve.

Location: 1 Erinvale Ave, Erinvale Golf Estate, Cape Town, 7130


Chef Stefan Bekker at his restaurant, Image: Supplied

Erinvale is also home to Stefan’s, an intimate fine-dining experience in a modern yet comfortable, warm (fireplace included) setting. Chef, Stefan Bekker’s Table d’hôte menu has the option of seven or ten flavoursome courses for dinner that changes with the seasons. Out of the current selection, some personal favourites include the grilled seabass with tiger’s milk, fennel, nori tuile, chilli and citrus, as well as the mushroom consommé, miso eggplant, open nem and the coconut foam, which is a fantastic vegetarian option. These imaginative sample dishes make use of regional and seasonal ingredients and a special mention must be made for the beautiful handmade ceramic plates the restaurant uses.

Location: 1 Erinvale Ave, Erinvale Golf Estate, Cape Town, 7130

Want more information on this region? Visit Heart of Helderberg to plan your next trip.

Words by Patrick Visser