Prepare to drool! We have put together a shortlist of the top eats, treats and drinks in our city by the sea.
Gin for the Win
Gin aficionados will love the mobile drinks trolley at 101 Meade Restaurant and Bar in George. Happy chefs, Ben and Jeremy Gibbs, invite their guests to sample a range of craft gin inspired cocktails from the cart. “We designed the gin trolley to increase table interaction,” says Ben, “the trolley rolls up and guests are invited to learn about regional gins, smell the botanical ingredients and taste some superb cocktails”. The vintage rolling bar-cart showcases a range of local craft gins distilled in the Garden Route including Harmony Honeybush Gin, Phantom Craft and Black Mountain Karoo Gin. Ben and Jeremy agree that guests love the touch of theatre that the gin trolley brings to the dining tables. Catch Meade’s rolling bar service for an aperitif before the dinner service daily from 5pm. The ‘Lady Lemon Gin Cocktail’ features Black Mountain Karoo Flora Gin with elderflower and rose petal notes, raspberry syrup, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and soda water.
Featured Image: Stock Image
Freshly roasted and ground coffee is at its best when sipped with something delicious on the side. Those serious about their coffee will jump at the pairing experience at Pause Coffee. Energetic baristas host tastings by appointment at the Pause roastery at the Timberlake Organic Village, outside Wilderness. This is a fun and immersive experience, aimed at educating the palette. Pause focuses on serving single origin speciality coffees, brewing the beans manually with a Kalita Wave Dripper. Coffee lovers can sample the fruity Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Adado. Flavours of cherry, plum, milk chocolate and lemon drops roll over the tongue and it carries a sweet aroma of roasted pineapple. The El Salvadorian brew has hints of orange, caramel and fudge. Sip it black with soft cranberry and almond nougat. The Columbian espresso has rich bold flavours of chocolate and red fruit, brought out beautifully with slices of sweet dried naartjie.
Featured Image: Outeniqua Family Market
Without any doubt the best brunch in George can be found on Saturday mornings at the Outeniqua Farmer’s Market. Showcasing the best mouth-watering local produce, as well as a large variety of craft stalls, this market is popular with locals as a weekend hang-out. Live music, acres of parking, a huge kiddies play area and plentiful shaded seating make this a true weekend winner. Sample the crunchy salted fried potato chips on a stick. Giant beef burgers are a brilliant mid-morning hunger buster. Smoothies, iced pineapple juice and yoghurt cups are on offer for health buffs. You’ll find a full farm breakfast with boerewors, bacon, tomato relish and toast. Those with a sweet tooth can choose from a selection of sinful pancakes, muffins, tarts or the totally decadent Belgian chocolate waffles from Wicked Waffles. The queue for warm crunchy churros filled with toffee or chocolate sauce is well worth the wait. Traditional syrupy koeksisters and fresh coffee are a firm favourite. Afrikaans people over a certain age can be seen drooling over warm bowls of the South African heritage dish, melkkos, sprinkled liberally with cinnamon and sugar. Nibble on classic South African staples like homemade buttermilk rusks, vetkoek and biltong. Visitors can stock up on fresh vegetables, artisan bread and free range chicken within a few paces. Chef Johan de Jager from Hetta’s Home Food makes a variety of delicious bruschetta, insane red velvet cake and the absolute star of the farmer’s market; crunchy decadent baked cinnamon rolls, topped with a cloud of whipped cream cheese frosting. Now these are what happiness is made of!
Featured Image: Houtbosch Wines
Houtbosch Wine Pairings
Kevin and Kelly Kieswetter are the bubbly and creative husband and wife team behind George’s boutique winery, Houtbosch Wines. With their vineyards situated a few kilometres away at Waaboomskraal, the trendy tasting room is conveniently located at Redberry Farm, in Geelhoutboom. The King George Tasting Platter is good value for money. It’s filled with local charcuterie, by Italian curing master, Mastro Dario. There’s fresh ciabatta from Food CO bakery, as well as local olives, cheese and pickles. Ask for a trio of their special sauces, the apricot chutney is delicious slathered on cheese. You can sample their five signature wines in the prescribed order, as the friendly hostesses share their tasting notes. Or you can take the shortcut tour and have them all at once. The unwooded Chardonnay is a clear favourite. It pays tribute to the cool, misty foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, where the grapes are grown. The Chardonnay has zesty tones of grapefruit and lime and reveals a delicious creamy butterscotch heart. Their flagship wine, the King George Pinot Noir, is a Platter Award winner. It has subtle flavours of cherry, rooibos and African earth. Wild mushroom and wine or fudge and wine pairings are also available. Beer lovers will enjoy a selection of local craft beers, best savoured with the thick spicy, gooey and moreish Cheese and Beer Dipper. Dunk chunks of toasted bread into the bowl as you slurp on a schooner of beer. Only the very brave, or the very curious will have the courage to try out the Cabernet Sauvignon Milkshake, but this experiment is a revelation! Take a stroll up into the fruit fields to pick a punnet of strawberries, if you can still walk!
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Cook and Dine like Royalty
Adventurous diners can expand their culinary résumé with fun, interactive cooking classes at the Kitchen Queen Food Studio, in Heatherlands, George. Chef Karen is the regal talent behind the culinary school and hosts lessons in her purpose-built cookery academy. The school can accommodate up to 10 students per class. Individual stations are provided, with separate stoves, aprons, ingredients and cookware. Classes are informal, fun and inspirational. Students can select from a list of technical recipes including favourites like classic sushi, Mexican burritos, Spanish tapas homemade pasta and Thai curry. No experience is needed. Karen teaches world-class culinary skills with her own blend of humour and expertise. The experienced chef has a wealth of foodie facts and loves to describe her travel escapades. She brings professional tips, regional facts and uses fresh local and seasonal ingredients. After a memorable evening of cooking, guests are invited to dine together in the lapa.