My mom from Port Elizabeth came to visit us for a week and naturally we had to find interesting restaurants to make her visit as pleasant as possible.
Early Friday morning Deon googled to find a restaurant with a fireplace. The name, Oude Wellington Restaurant, came up with good reviews.
So, off we went to experience a new adventure. As we were a little early, we drove around in Wellington until I spotted an interesting notice board. Of course it was all about shoes, and we just had to stop and investigate Redemption, Fine Handcrafted Leather. I could not resist the beautiful leather ware and walked out of the quaint shop with a pair of purple leather flats which I just adore.
A brick paved road led us to the restaurant and guesthouse which were built in 1795. A sheep dog welcomed us with a loud voice. I have, for a long time, longed to visit a peaceful, rustic, old worldly farm like this. This was the perfect place.
One of our favourite restaurants in Riebeeck Kasteel was Bar Bar Black Sheep, but it closed down a while ago. We were very surprised to see the Bar Bar Black Sheep sign outside the restaurant. The owner later explained to us that the chef, her husband, came home to run the Oude Wellington Restaurant.
On enterering the restaurant, Susanna Tecklenburg, welcomed us to her quaint restaurant. The restaurant is situated in a Cape Dutch Style Barn on the foot of the Bainskloof Pass. We were seated in a very interesting dining room next to an inviting fire burning in the fireplace. Susanna was very informative and showed us the Brandy Distillery where potstill brandy and grappa are distilled.
The interior of the restaurant is old wordly, Cape Dutch style, picturesque and charming. If you like romantic dinners, this is the restaurant for you. I could imagine an evening meal in this dining room – it could be quite special. The service was excellent and we were even served by the chef himself.
Oude Wellington was first known as Onverwacht, which means “unexpected”. The scenery is indeed unexpected – beautiful mountains and valleys meet the eye when you enter the Wamakers Valley, which means the valley of the wagon builders. The valley was later renamed Wellington. The farm was first allocated to Johannes Jacobus van der Merwe, an immigrant from Holland, in 1782. It was bought by a new owner in 1995 and he restored it to a beautiful farm which today produces wine and brandy. To experience more of this farm, it would be a treat to stay over in the guest house.
But back to the restaurant, it was time to order. Interesting dishes to order on the menu are Ox Tongue with Mushroom and Gherkin sauce; Biltong Crusted Venison or Bitterballen, which is a Dutch dish. Pulled beef are rolled into balls and then deep fried. My mom decided on the Cassoulet, a casserole which originated in the South of France, containing meat (pork) and white beans. Deon ordered Pork Fillet with a Dijon Mustard Sauce. My choice for a cold Friday was an Aromatic Cape Malay Chicken Curry, Basmati Rice and Sambals.
Dessert was Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream with Belgian Chocolate Sauce and Espresso.
What a hidden gem this restaurant is. When we eventually had to go home, our host showed us the outside area which would be wonderful to experience in summer. Best of all, suddenly I saw my favourite animal right in front of me while the host was showing us around – Alpaca. I took a few photographs of the inquisitive animals and decided that this was indeed a very special Friday.