After our Food and Wine Pairing at Neethlingshof, we popped in at Vredenheim. My sister and her husband got married here in October last year, but I'd never been to the restaurant before, so I was keen to give it a try. (And to go wine tasting, of course.)
The restaurant we visited at Vredenheim is called Hudson's (see below). They have another restaurant called Barrique, which serves traditional South African dishes. It also seems quite nice, but we were keen to sit outside at Hudson's as it was such a stunning day.
We started off with some wine tasting (see photos below), which is the room to the right when you enter the building. You can taste 5 wines for a very reasonable price of R25. We were served by Samantha, who was very efficient and knowledgeable. I opted to taste the Sauvignon Blanc, the M'Lord Chardonnay, the Rosé (which was off-dry), the Merlot and the Gracious Lady (which is a blend of Cabernet 80%, Shiraz 15% and Merlot 5%). I particularly enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc and the Gracious Lady.
After our wine tasting, we popped in to the Hudson's Restaurant next door. They are open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and have a very varied menu. You can choose to order anything from a range of salads, light lunches, gourmet sandwiches, steaks and burgers.
We opted for the Hudson's Gourmet Burger for R90 (see below left). It's served with mustard mayo, dill pickle, secret relish and chips. It wasn't amazing, but it was tasty and the chips were great. We also ordered the Mexican Plate for R65 (see below right). It is a plate of nachos, served with guacamole, sour cream, tomato salad and cheese. It was really tasty and I loved the tomato salad.
The whole Vredenheim venue is really pretty (see below). You can also order a picnic and sit on the grass, under the trees and overlooking the dam. Their picnics cost R200 per person and it includes: cold meats, stuffed eggs, jars of salad, cous cous, hummus, home-baked bread, cheeses, biscuits, chutney, fresh fruit and a chocolate or red velvet trifle.
We then visited the Big Cat Park. It costs R65 for adults, R35 for pensioners and R40 for children. You can choose to wander around yourself and look at the animals from the viewing decks behind the enclosure fences, or, you can opt for a guided tour at no extra cost. I'm still a bit uneasy about keeping wild animals in cages, but Vredenheim utilizes the Cat Park as a sanctuary for the animals where us humans can view them, and also learn about them. They do not use them for breeding. At the time we went, the cats seemed to be having their afternoon nap (see below). I assume that it would be really great to view the cats at feeding time.
I do not feel that I can give this venue an accurate overall rating percentage, as our experience involved wine tasting, lunch and the cat park. (My rating scale addresses categories such as food, wine, service and ambiance - which is impossible to assess in this situation, as each experience was different). However, I can say that the wine tasting experience was the most enjoyable. Good service, good price and some good wines. The service at the restaurant was not as good, but the food was tasty and the setting was beautiful, being situated in the garden.
Contact: +27 21 881 3878
Address: R310 Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch, 7600