Fairview is a great place to visit for a family outing. It was founded in 1693 and has developed into a working farm, with the aim of providing sustainable produce. The Goatshed Restaurant is a country-style eatery, serving homemade, fresh, made-from-scratch meals. The big portions and homely feel make their dishes comforting and hearty.
On the farm, you can wonder around and have a look at the goats. The goats have been a part of the farm since 1981 and are free to roam around the iconic Goat Tower (see below right). Around September, the nanny goats give birth to the cutest kids, and they are sometimes brought out for the public to view them. As you can see, this goat we saw was still young (see below left). How cute is it? Your own kids can feed them, which makes for a great experience.
You can taste the produce from the goats in the Wine Tasting venue (see below left). You can do a Cheese Tasting, a Cheese and Wine Tasting (see below right) and a Beryl Back/Master Tasting, which is served in a separate venue.
Cheese Tasting: R20 for a selection of cheeses.
Cheese and Wine Tasting: R40 for 6 wines and a selection of cheeses.
Beryl Back/Master Tasting: R80 for 8 wines, a selection of cheese and olive oil
Although I had the Cheese and Wine Tasting (which was great), I'd definitely recommend the Master Tasting. The tasting room gets so busy on weekends that you feel a bit rushed. I think the Master Tasting, because it is in a separate venue, would be more relaxed and you would be able to really get a feel for the farm and learn a bit more about the interesting story behind the wines. Personally, I'm really keen to go back and try this.
They also have a deli within the main tasting venue where you can buy their cheeses, freshly-baked breads and wine (of course). They also sell other things, like olive oil, homemade jams and chutneys.
I've been to Fairview loads of times, and every time, the Goatshed Restaurant is full. People just enjoy it there. I always have the Cheese Selection. Here, you can select 10 cheeses from their list for R118. It is served with fresh bread and is quite enough for 2 people, and you can always order extra bread. They also do gluten free bread. It's obviously not as good as the 'normal' bread, but it's still tasty.
If you are not a goat's cheese fan, I wouldn't order this, as most of the cheeses are quite 'goaty', although they do include cow's milk cheeses too. I'd recommend their pies instead. The Fairview Farm Pie of the day (see below) costs R118. As you can see, they serve you a generous portion. On the day we went, my Granny wanted the Chicken Pie, but they were out of stock, so she, and my aunt, opted for the Lamb Pie instead. They also do beef and pork pies.
They also cater for vegetarians. My cousin ordered the vegetarian option of the Sandwich of the Day for R 84 (see below left). We didn't know that it was an open sandwich, but it was tasty nonetheless. My husband and I ordered the Chef's Cheese Platter to try something different (see below right). It costs R165 and includes the chef's selection of 5 Fairview cheeses, freshly baked breads, cured meats, homemade dip, chutney and preserves. It was super tasty, but I personally prefer my usual standard 10 cheeses for R118 as I feel it's better value for money, and, I get to choose my own cheeses.
They also offer cakes and desserts. My Granny ordered the Baked Cheesecake with berry compote for R50 (see below). Although tasty, it was not amazing, but it's ideal for those with a sweet tooth (like Granny).
OVERALL RATING (based on a wine farm restaurant): 80%
Food: 80% - The food is homely, tasty and the portions are generous. Although their food is pricey, it is in line with what other, similar wine farms are charging. However, I do find the desserts to be a little over-priced for what you get.
Wine Selection/Price: 80% - The whole Fairview range of wine is available for you to order, which is great. However, as usual, the restaurant charges more for the bottle than it costs to buy in the tasting room next door. (The Sauvignon Blanc was R110, but R80 at the tasting venue). Due to the fact that the restaurant only stocks their own products, you could not order ciders, like Savannah or Hunters.
Service: 75% - We did not have great service. Our waitress could have been more friendly. She did not really seem interested in investing a bit of extra energy in explaining specials to us, and, when she did speak, she spoke so softly that we had to keep asking her to repeat herself. However, the whole booking process was done very professionally. You can book online, or over the phone, and you get a SMS confirming the booking. The day before, you get asked to confirm your booking. When you arrive, they have everything organised and have placed you at a table with a particular table number. Very efficient.
Ambiance: 85% - Although the inside of the restaurant is great, I love sitting outside. They have a patio that is undercover, where we sat, but also an outside area under the vines. It's very peaceful and relaxing. You have views of the garden and the goats (of course). It also smells 'goaty' outside, which sounds weird, but it really contributes to the overall farm feel.
Would I go back? Yes, I definitely want to try the Master Tasting!
Contact: +27 21 863 2450 (Fairview) or +27 21 863 3609 (Goatshed)
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Suider-Paarl, 7646
Side note: You need to book for both the wine tasting (if in a large group) and the restaurant. I'd advise visiting through the week, when it's not as busy.