Gourmet Food & Wine

Just like everything else in the Rainbow Nation, South Africa’s gourmet scene is thrilling, impossibly diverse and world-class.

The place for palates to start, as so often, is Cape Town. Specifically at The Test Kitchen; for the fifth year running, Luke Dale-Roberts’ venue was crowned South Africa’s best at last year’s Restaurant Awards. Its 21-course tasting menu is as much art as gastronomy.

Cape Town boasts many other great restaurants – especially around the foodie hubs of Sea Point and Bree Street – while Camps Bay is the place for fresh seafood.

Just north are the Winelands, whose main town Franschhoek has been labelled ‘South Africa’s gourmet capital’. Three of those Restaurant Awards’ Top 10 are located here, including the Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais. Heston-esque chef Margot Janse plays with traditional African fare, turning chakalaka, a traditional tomato relish, into straws, and converting bread loaves to resemble sardine cans.

The tipple is predictably sumptuous, too, with those world-famous Cabernet Sauvignons here in spectacular, affordable abundance.

You can also fine-dine while on safari. The most discerning stomachs are directed to Singita Sabi Sands for home-grown produce and locally-sourced game, or to Kwandwe, where Quintin Van Rensburg wizards up acclaimed African/French à-la-carte options.