Rivendell Estate

10 Visitor Photos +

R43, Botrivier 7200, South Africa


5.0 rating based on 1 rating
1 Review

Write A Review

Overall Rating

Very Good

Rating Summary

5.0 rating based on 1 rating
4.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
  1. Expert Review

    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Oct 2014 · Dana Sanchez

    When you dine at a South African wine estate, chances are you'll get mountain views and a vineyard setting along with...

    When you dine at a South African wine estate, chances are you’ll get mountain views and a vineyard setting along with great food.

    The Rivendell wine estate has so much going for it. Before you even get to the food, you get to enjoy the cool Walker Bay climate, the views of the Kogelberg mountains, and it’s on the Whale Route, close to the sea and to the Bot River lagoon.

    The restaurant name means elven outpost, as in Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings.”

    Rivendell owners Heimo and Maria Thalhammerfell in love with the area, where wine has been made since the 1880s, according to the Rivendell website.

    Chef Thomas Sinn and local Chef Westler Collins prepared my meal. Originally from Austria, Sinn learned to cook in Vienna and Germany before moving to South Africa in 1988. He ran other successful fine dining restaurants in South Africa and owns some of his own.

    While I perused the menu, I sipped on a glass of Spookfontein merlot — I chose it for its name, which means ghost town — made at a farm in the nearby Valley of Heaven and Earth.

    The duck liver parfait starter came with preserved fig, onion marmalade, and fresh rocket (arugula) from the Rivendell herb garden. The balsamic had a lavender garnish “that we grow here too,” manager Christopher Hakime told us.

    “We foraged for mushrooms yesterday in the forest,” Hakime continued. “Unfortunately it’s not the right time of year for porcini. But we found some sheep sorrel for garnishing. It gives a beautiful flavor.”

    Hakime’s comments had the effect of making everything taste even fresher.

    Hakime recommended the salmon trout, caught locally in the Nuwe Jaar (New Year) River. “We call them, they catch it and it’s incredibly fresh,” he said. But the proof was in the eating, and what he said was true. Just knowing the fish had been caught just for me that day in a nearby river made it more scrumptious. That, and the fact that it came with wasabi mash and wok-fried greens.

    We also ordered the rack of Karoo lamb, which arrived succulent and slightly rare — just the way I like it.

    Located on the way from Cape Town to Hermanus, Rivendell is in full view from the street if you know when to look up, but it’s easily passed. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I saw a lot of online reviews in praise of breakfast, but those diners would not have been able to try the amazing dessert medley.

    The medley was a sample platter of crème brûlée, mousse, berry coulis, a variety of sorbets made fresh from scratch, and dark chocolate fondant.

    In the interest of fairness and balance, I should mention that this restaurant also serves burgers — “one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted ( and I’ve tasted a lot),” one online reviewer wrote.

    Another said, “We have driven past this place so many times, either heading to Hermanus and Gansbaai or returning.”

    It’s worth finding Rivendell and giving it the attention it deserves — that of a destination.


Community Reviews

Hide Reviews -
No reviews Sorted By

or REGISTER and write your review!