Service is attentive and relaxed. The décor of the renovated dining space blends comfort and Old-Cape, bright country elegance and aesthetic. Artworks by Scats Esterhuyse grace the walls and delicate botanical prints mirror the vineyard palette beyond the spacious terrace. The table tops, bar counters and wooden planter boxes are crafted from stone pines that were felled when a fire swept Avondale a decade ago. From the dining room, tables spill onto the shaded terrace with its impressive views across the vines to distant Table Mountain.
‘I’ve always believed that chefs are craftsmen. We work with our hands, using produce from the land,’ says chef Eric Bulpitt, explaining the meaning behind Faber, the Latin word for artisan, or craftsman. His anticipated new restaurant opens this summer, Faber, on Avondale wine estate outside Paarl. Faber pays tribute to the craftsmanship in both the kitchen and the Avondale cellar.
With a shared commitment to sustainability and dedication to their craft, Bulpitt and Avondale proprietor Johnathan Grieve clicked the moment they met in early 2016. ‘It’s been our goal to open a restaurant on Avondale for over 10 years, but we never found the right chef,’ explains Grieve, ‘when we met Eric we knew we’d found the perfect partner.’
Avondale embraces groundbreaking biodynamic and organic farming practices to produce wines that reflect the terroir. The same can be said of the cuisine on Bulpitt’s new menu. Bulpitt says a reflection of seasonality forms the foundations of the menu and this approach is found in a dish that may be the simplest on the menu. ‘It’s a salad of seasonal herbs and vegetables, everything that we can harvest from the fields or pick from the vegetable garden. Whatever’s in season on the day, we’ll bring that onto the plate and tell its story.’
The organic and biodynamic food garden produces fresh vegetables and herbs for the restaurant, while stone fruits and citrus from the orchards change with the seasons. Eggs are harvested from the eco-friendly egg-mobile housing Avondale’s free range chickens, and the farm will provide a steady march of broiler chickens and pasture-reared organic beef.
Bulpitt’s pasture-reared beef sirloin served with spring garlic roasted whole and garnished with bitter mustard leaves is superb. The fresh fish from Cape waters: line-caught yellowtail is cured in umami-packed kombu and plated with amasi and compressed apples infused with local lemon verbena.
Avondale on Lustigan Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl; open for lunch from Wednesday to Sununday 12h-15h and for dinner from Friday to Saturday 19h-21h.
For bookings and more information tel: 021 202 1219; email: firstname.lastname@example.org