On our previous visit to the Welmoed Wine Farm, we spotted the beginning stages of the trendy Bus Stop Restaurant and vowed to come back. The wooden and thatch restaurant is situated in the middle of a pond on the Welmoed farm - adding to it's rustic charm.
The concept and theme of The Bus Stop Restaurant is really unique - it's centered around a yellow 1980 Bedford Bus (see below), which has been transformed into a bar (how awesome!). Going with the 'bus theme', the restaurant is kitted out with refurbished bus chairs at wooden tables, and the odd higher table and bar counter where you could gather with friends and catch up over a beer or two.
On the day we visited, it was the Good Friday public holiday, so it was super quiet. But I'm sure this place is buzzing usually and I think it would be a particularly cool spot to hang out with friends on those warm afternoons.
Although there are great craft beers on offer, (R30 for 330 ml on tap and R35 for 500 ml on tap), the Stellenbosch Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favourite wines, so I ordered that (see below). It's a fruity, well-balanced wine that is great served cold on those warm, summer days. It costs R75 at the restaurant, which is also what you would pay if you bought it from the tasting room - also situated on the Welmoed farm. I love that the restaurant doesn't push up the wine price, as many other restaurants do, when you can literally buy the wine yourself a few meters away. Because the restaurant is situated on the pond, it is peaceful and relaxing, and you can stare out at the water while you sip your wine (or beer). They also serve soft drinks, iced tea, milkshakes and coffee.
We'd heard that the restaurant serves great burgers, as well as pizzas, so we ordered one of each. Gary ordered the Back Seat burger (see below) for R96. It's served with smoked jalapeño mayo, crispy bacon, white cheddar cheese, fried onions, iceberg lettuce and fresh tomato. He really enjoyed it! (I'd definitely recommend a napkin or two... )
I love the way it was served! Keeping with the whole bus stop theme, your burger is served almost as if it was 'to go' - wrapped up in a sheet of brown paper. Really rustic and charming! Their burgers come with two 100 gram wood-fire grilled, pure-beef patties and are served with hand-cut fries.
Apparently, their most popular burger is the Conductor - served with smoked mozzarella cheese, tomato jam, pickled cucumbers, red onion, chopped rocket and aioli, for R92.
I fancied a pizza when I spotted the wood-fired oven in the open kitchen. I opted for the Ole Pizza (see below) for R105. It's toppings include: chorizo, marinated peppers, red onions, pecorino cheese, and a harrisa tomato base. It was super tasty and the base of the pizza was light and crispy. I also like the fact that the tomato sauce for the base is home-made.
The only shortcoming was the fact that they did not have any gluten free pizza bases available, as I would have liked to order one. It costs R20 extra, but it's always worth it for me (for health reasons - most certainly not by choice). Perhaps it's best to ask for one ahead of time when you make a booking. They also have gluten free buns for the burgers at R10 extra (according to their menu).
We couldn't squeeze in any dessert, which was a pity because they make the most delicious-looking waffles! They give you three options to choose from, but the peanut and maple syrup ice cream sounded the most appealing to me. (I'll have to go back for that some time!)
After your lunch (or before, for that matter), you can head over to Stellenbosch Vineyards for some wine tasting (see below). It costs R30 for a selection of five wines, and the fee is waivered if you purchase any wine. I've heard that the service from the wine-tasting staff is great, but we did not have a very enthusiastic lady. However, as mentioned above, we did visit on the Good Friday holiday, and I can imagine that she was not entirely thrilled to be working on that day.
You don't only have to taste the Stellenbosch Vineyards range, although it is great. You can also taste wines from the following ranges: The Flagship, Credo, Four Secrets, Welmoed, Infiniti, Arniston Bay, Versus and Infusions. (There's more than enough to make you go back for a second time!)
We did the R30 tasting and also tried the Infusions wine as I was super curious to taste it. The infusions blend I picked was the Pomegranate and Rose and it was really tasty (cost: R49 a bottle). Quite sweet, but perfect for a really hot day when you don't want to consume so much alcohol, as it only contains 5.5%. From the Stellenbosch Vineyards range, I liked the Sauvignon Blanc (obviously), and also the Pinotage and the Shiraz (both R90 each).
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at The Bus Stop. The manager was really friendly, as were the staff. Our waitress was attentive and friendly too. I think the whole concept is such a great idea!
Contact: 021 881 3870
Address: Stellenbosch Vineyards on the Welmoed Farm, R310 Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00am - 20:00pm
Star Rating: ****