The thing about Cape Town is that there’s always something new to explore. Well, usually, it’s not new – it’s something that’s been there for ages, but you just haven’t experienced it yet!
I have lived in Cape Town for a gazillion years, but I always discover and explore new things. Yay, Cape Town!
One such place is Constantia Glen in the Constantia Wine Valley, which I recently had the chance to visit.
What is Constantia Glen?
First registered in 1813, this 60-hectare farm on rather tricky terrain struggled to find its purpose. It also struggled to hold onto its owners until, finally, in 1960, it was purchased by the Waibel family – who still own it.
But its true purpose?
That only started to unfold when vines were planted in the 2000s. And then, in 2005, when the first wine was produced at Constantia Glen, this piece of land finally found what it was best at!
To say that wine is the only good thing about Constantia Glen would be an insult to this beautiful and serene estate. It’s also stunningly scenic, tranquil, and gorgeous.
Oh, and it also has a fantastic restaurant with even more amazing food – which is what our I Love Foodies adventure was all about!
The Constantia Glen Restaurant
A cacophony of different dining areas, this restaurant truly is one-size-fits-all.
Want a relaxed outside vibe complete with deck furniture and umbrellas? Well, then the area in front of the restaurant is perfect.
Do you prefer a courtyard feel with a water feature and a mountain view? There’s a place for that.
Or do you want to dine in a glass house with views over rolling vineyards? Yep, that exists too.
And that’s exactly where we went to enjoy lunch.
Arriving At Constantia Glen For Our Lunchtime Experience
We joined Constantia Glen on one of those hot, sunny days scattered throughout the Cape Town winter.
Our table was inside the glass house – literally a roofed terrace-style room with glass windows – with the most mesmerising views.
My day up to that point had been stressful, and I was all kinds of exhausted. But arriving at beautiful Constantia Glen instantly revitalised me, and I relaxed into the magic surrounding me. Bliss!
Constantia Glen’s New Head Chef
Constantia Glen recently appointed a new Head Chef, Johann Roux. As good chefs do, Chef Johann immediately introduced a few of the new goodies and some special winter menu items.
Being the nerd I am, I studied the menu (and the entire website) extensively long before setting foot on the estate. I like looking at what’s on offer so that I can be suitably excited ahead of time.
So what’s on the menu?
The New Constantia Glen Menu
Even though I knew exactly what was on the menu, I still made sure to study it once more when we arrived. After all, things may have changed!
The first part of the menu consists of a few platters (Charcuterie, Biltong & Droewors, Cheese) and assorted Flammkuchen. These are great to order with wine tastings.
By the way, Flammkuchen is like a super thin pizza (minus the tomato and cheese) with assorted toppings like truffle, wild mushrooms, etc.
If you’re looking for regular meals, you’ll find those on the menu too!
There are some salads (Mediterranean, Beetroot) and soups (French Onion, Pumpkin, and more), a good selection of hearty mains (Rindsgulasch, Wild Mushroom Pasta, and a Seared Beef Fillet, to name a few), and several desserts (hello, Crème Brulée).
But First: Wine
All good things start with wine.
My friend Alex, who joined me for the experience, picked a glass of the 2021 Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc (R65/R245).
This unwooded wine is fresh and light with hints of apple. I often find Sauvignon Blanc to be a bit too acidic, but this one was everything but – a beautiful, easy-drinking wine.
I chose a glass of the 2020 Constantia Glen TWO, a blend of 71% Sauvignon Blanc and 29% Sémillon (R95/R360).
This lightly wooded wine has a bit of body and depth whilst keeping an element of lightness – a definite winner in my wine books.
A Bit More About The Constantia Glen Wines
Although many wines are made at Constantia Glen, only four are made with grapes grown on the estate.
The flagship wines are:
- Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc
- Constantia Glen TWO (71% Sauvignon Blanc, 29% Sémillon)
- Constantia Glen THREE (55% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc)
- Constantia Glen FIVE (55% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc).
You can enjoy a tasting of these wines at your table for R110 – which we most certainly did!
The I Love Foodies “Foodies” Review Experience
Now, it’s time to turn to the food.
Starting With Starters
Starters, of course, are always an excellent place to start.
I already knew I wanted the Beetroot Salad – roasted beetroot, goat’s cheese, lettuce, and walnuts served with a honey balsamic reduction (R110).
The salad was huge, beautiful, and delicious. I’m often disappointed with Cape Town salads. Usually, it’s a lot of lettuce and a little sprinkling of the rest. This salad, however, was generous in every way – loads of beetroot, big pieces of walnut, and oodles of goat’s cheese.
Although the salad was so good, I forced myself to stop eating about halfway through and took the rest home. And I’m pleased to say that my leftover salad was just as delicious the next day!
Alex decided to go for the Roasted Pumpkin and Ginger Soup (R95), served with freshly-baked French baguette. Again, Constantia Glen presented a generous portion.
The soup was thick and comforting, the ginger not overpowering. Even a non-ginger fan like me was able to enjoy some. The baguette was also perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. The only thing missing, I’d say, was a bit of butter.
Moving On To Magical Mains
For mains, Alex chose the Trout Rösti – potato rösti with oat-smoaked trout and crème fraiche (R160). A generous portion of trout adorned the rösti. The trout was delicious, but the rösti may just be a tad too crispy.
If a simple “what you see is what you get” sort of meal is your thing, this dish is definitely a winner.
But if you’re looking for more comfort food, I can highly recommend the Slow-Roasted Lamb Shank, served with bone marrow mashed potato, roasted baby vegetables, and red wine jus (R290).
This dish was everything I hoped it would be. Super-soft shank, tasty mashed potatoes – doesn’t bone marrow instantly make good things even better? – and al dente roasted winter veg made me very happy indeed.
Sweet Dessert Endings
My sister Benike has a slight Malva pudding obsession. So whenever I see it on a menu, and she’s not with me, I feel like I should order it.
Constantia Glen has a Malva pudding with Amarula crème anglaise and homemade ice cream (R90), which sounded divine.
However (sorry, Benike), I decided to go with the Chocolate Fondant – baked chocolate dessert topped with a cherry coulis and homemade creme fraiche ice cream (R80).
I hardly ever order dessert, but this one was totally worth it. The chocolate fondant had the most delicious gooey centre. But it was the crème fraiche ice cream that ultimately got me the most excited.
Perfectly tart, this ice cream was out of the world – and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.
Alex had the Amarula Don Pedro (R70).
I often feel like this dessert drink is often forgotten. I literally cannot remember the last time I had one. But the greatest thing about Don Pedros is that they hit that I’m-too-full-for-dessert-but-still-want-something-desserty-and-satisfying spot.
And, according to Alex, it did precisely that!
Final Thoughts On Constantia Glen
Visiting Constantia Glen was as close to a perfect experience as I could have hoped for.
The food was fantastic. The service was excellent. And the views were beautiful.
I loved that this little oasis of an estate made me forget about stress, deadlines, traffic, and all the things usually associated with city living.
I will most definitely be back. Next time, hopefully, I’ll visit for dinner.
A huge thank you to Lauren from Constantia Glen for inviting us to review and our waitress, Taryn, for taking such good care of us.
Contact Constantia Glen
To visit Constantia Glen and experience all the yumminess yourself, we’d recommend making a reservation.
You’ll find all the details below.
Address: Constantia Glen, Constantia Main Road, Constantia, Cape Town 7800
Call: +27 21 795 5639
Article Date: July 2022
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