A 300-year-old family-run wine farm gives life to nature’s child
Claim to fame: Ground-breaking, biodynamic and organic farming practices playing out on bespoke plates
Reason to go: The brand new open kitchen, allowing diners to look on as country magic is created
To look out for: Sustainable, fresh, line-caught yellowtail from Cape waters
If your winery’s ideology is spelled Terra Est Vita, or “Soil is life”, as is the case at Avondale, it’s only natural that you would pour your eco-minded heart into establishing a restaurant that plucks things out of the earth, slips them into evening wear and presents them on bespoke china, like celebrities walking the red carpet at an awards ceremony.
Avondale’s owner, Jonathan Grieve, spent ten years searching for the right chef and plotting the perfect restaurant for his winery. Then he met Eric Bulpitt, the proverbial, final piece of the puzzle. Faber, born in late 2016, is the fruit of their commitment to sustainability and shared dedication to the craft of nurturing the soil and harvesting its life. The two work hand in hand, telling the tale of Avondale through the food and wine experience at Faber. This progressive chef’s creations are inspired by the seasons, the land and the best local ingredients. Daily seasonal produce dictates the menu and is brought to your plate to tell a story of its origins. From fresh herbs, vegetables, citrus and stone fruits, to pasture-reared organic beef, free-range eggs and possibly the happiest chickens that ever roamed this land, everything is within arm’s reach of this creative kitchen. Bulpitt’s dishes reflect simplicity, not simple food. Salads are prepared with Black Angus pastrami, parsley, egg yolk puree with homemade mustard and sourdough toast. Karoo free-range beef marries magically with glazed bone marrow, mushroom soy and oyster powder. A clean, crisp end to a meal pays respect to the humble watermelon, created carpaccio-style, lemon verbena infused, and rounded off with watermelon sorbet, consommé, jellies and basil.
You’ll find Faber on the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein mountains on the outskirts of Paarl. The restaurant is housed in an old Cape–style space, newly revamped by interior designer Annie Dower, with a bright, modern country aesthetic. Handcrafted, bespoke crockery pairs with high-end crystal stemware from Schott Zwiesel, elegantly showing off the wine list of terroir-driven tipples from Avondale. Local artworks grace the walls and delicate botanical prints mirror the vineyard palette beyond the spacious terrace.
While the kitchen is responsible for putting out world-class food, which is precise, deliberate and ever-evolving, equal emphasis is placed on the front-of-house service team under the gracious guidance of General Manager Celeste Bulpitt. With a nod to global trends for a more formal dining experience, service remains relaxed yet polished, and the staff is proud to share the story of both Avondale and Faber.