When Cape Town’s fashionable set head out for a day in the country, they stop at Peregrine in Grabouw for a spot of lunch and drinks.
This farm store and café is part of a growing number of similar type joints in and around wine country, the Overberg region and the Garden Route.
It has a rustic appeal and a pleasantly relaxed vibe, but is decidedly upscale, with $5 jars of jam and artisanal sweets on offer in the store, and “casual gourmet” food, coffees and fine wine in the restaurant.
Comprising simple wood tables, metal chairs, and a marquee-style menu over the kitchen, Peregrine offers hearty meat pies, burgers, sandwiches and salads, plus fresh-pressed juices, milkshakes and more. The emphasis is on fresh, seasonal produce, with origin coffees hailing from family-owned farms in Africa and South America, and wines that come from local vineyards in the adjacent Elgin Valley. The home-made biltong is a popular item, as well as the house varietal of cider.
My chicken sandwich on a sesame roll was cooked to perfection, and was accompanied by a heaping serving of sautéed onions, tomato and lettuce. I washed it down with fresh pressed apple juice (no additives or preservatives) which was a vision of cloudy deliciousness. My companions’ meat pies and toasties were gooey, meaty and hearty, with kudos all around. (The meat pies come in chicken, springbok, pepper steak, steak and kidney, and spanakopita variations.)
You can’t beat the prices here – we paid only R350 (US$32) for six people. And you may just encounter a minor celebrity or two – the day we went we saw comedian Barry Hilton at an adjacent table.
After you eat don’t forget to wander round the premises and check out the nursery and gardens. And of course buy something in the farm store, which offers goods from a variety of local producers, who make everything from honey to chocolate, to preserves to pastries.