The Splendid Secret Of Stanford

Stanford in the Overberg is not only the secret valley where some of South Africa’s best Pinotage and Chenin blanc is made but also where visitors can enjoy the culinary treats of the country’s most awarded chefs.

Stanford's best kept secret

Stanford’s best kept secret

Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Restaurant & Spa

Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Restaurant & Spa is a popular guest farm in the Klein River valley, 10km outside Stanford village, owned by Reinder and Elsabe Nauta. There are 5 self-catering cottages and 10 large en-suite rooms. All accommodation is built around a central werf (yard) to give guests the feeling of a small village whilst allowing each guest unit the privacy of its own stoep and garden. The cottages, decorated in warm colors, are designed with the utmost comfort in mind. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the Manor Restaurant overlooking the Klein River mountains and horse paddocks. In summer the fans keep guests cool on the restaurant’s wide open stoep (porch) and in winter a cozy fireplace invites guests to linger longer with a glass of red wine.

The perfect spot to rest your head after a long day of activities and good food and wine

The perfect spot to rest your head after a long day of activities and good food and wine

An eclectic mix of modern and rustic elements adorn the cottages

An eclectic mix of modern and rustic elements adorn the cottage interiors

The Farm

The farm offers a variety of hiking and mountain biking routes which can be ended with an exhilarating swim in the large farm dam. It is also a bird-lovers’ paradise, and for those enjoying a treat: the on-site spa (with wood-fired sauna- & steam-shower facilities) offers the perfect way to truly relax during your visit. Another great spa destination awaits along the South African Garden Route, read all about it here.

The trails offer amazing views along your walk or cycling path

The trails offer amazing views while you walk or cycle

A refreshing dip awaits in the warm summer months

A refreshing dip awaits in the warm summer months

The Wines

A wide variety of award-winning wines are featured on the wine list including, superb Cap Classique from wineries like Villiera. 

Amongst the white wines are the Alheit Cartology 2020 and Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2020 Chenin blanc; the La Vierge Redemption 2020, Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale, Southern Right 2020 Sauvignon blanc and the Creation Viognier 2020. The Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2019 offers a good example of the exquisite Pinot Noirs that the Hemel-en-Aarde valley has to offer. Shop all these South African wines here.

Sip these superb wines while enjoying the gorgeous views

Sip these superb wines while enjoying the gorgeous views

Raka Wine Farm

The guest farm’s neighboring wine farm, Raka, is well represented on the wine list with choices from sparkling wine to white wine and a big selection of reds including the Raka Quinary 2018.

The wines were named after Raka, Piet Dreyer, the owner’s beloved fishing boat. Piet has plied the seas of the southern shores in search of the finest catch for more than 30 years. The same passion has found home at Raka, where the Dreyer family now pursue the earth’s bounty for the creation of fine wines. Shop Raka wines here.

Raka wine farm

The vineyards at Raka wine farm

A Word From The Raka Winemaker

Josef Dreyer says the Raka Quinary received a Double Gold in the Top 100 SA Wines and 4 stars in the John Platter Wine Guide 2021. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec has blackberries, spicy plum hints and cedar against a cigar box background. The wine is well balanced with mouth filling fruit, elegant oak flavors and silky tannins and is the perfect pairing to hearty meat dishes such as the lamb shank.

Award winning wines can be found at this exceptional winery

Award winning wines can be found at this exceptional winery

Why You Will Love Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Restaurant & Spa

Chef Janine van der Nest is a master of adding interesting flavors to old favorites and together with owner Elsabe and charming manager Sarah Dix, whose palate is well developed to help with the best wine suggestion to complement your meal; here any meal is a feast.

The perfect setting for a great meal with fine wine

The perfect setting for a great meal with fine wine

Why We Love Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Restaurant & Spa

The restaurant and accommodation are carefully curated spaces with some of South Africa’s most well-known artists and mid-century furniture sourced from various trips by the owners – and the recently added art gallery (run by Barbara Lindop from Intethe Gallery in Hermanus) is a perfect extension of what the guest farm already offers.

The Perfect Pairing

Chef Janine’s lamb shank with a tamarind glaze and green risotto is an excellent pairing with the Raka Quinary.

Lamb Shank

A true South African dish with a twist: Lamb shank with a tamarind glaze and green risotto

Ingredients for the green risotto

For the green purée

50g baby spinach

50g fresh parsley

50g brocolli

Extra chopped mint and basil

1/4 lemon

75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

Method

To make the green purée, bring a pan of water to the boil and blanche spinach for 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Put in a blender or food processor with the parsley, broccoli and olive oil and plenty of seasoning, then blend until smooth.

Add to the risotto just before serving. Stir in a tablespoon of basil and mint at the end and a squeeze of lemon.

Ingredients for the lamb shank:

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds

½ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Method

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature one month. Rub all over lamb shanks and brown on all sides to seal.

Then prepare a tray with roughly cut veg with 2 Red Onions, 2 carrots, half a head of garlic, 6 thyme sprigs, 4 rosemary sprigs, 3 celery ribs and 1 liter organic chicken stock.

Place lamb shanks inside veg and stock mix, cover with foil and gently slow roast @ 160 ° for about 2 and a half hours until tender.

Tamarind glaze

Sweet Chili Sauce (200 gr)

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon tamarind

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced or grated

1 inch knob of ginger, minced or grated

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

juice of 1 lime

Method

Bring all ingredients to a boil and spoon over lamb and grill for 8-10 minutes until sticky.

Whether you want an adventure or to relax, here they have it all

Whether you want an adventure or to relax, here they have it all

Get more details about the Stanford Valley Guest Farm, Restaurant & Spa here. You can buy South African wines here and follow Sip & Read to discover more incredible wine destinations around the world.

BY Maryke Roberts | February 3, 2022

Maryke Roberts Maryke is an award-winning, Cape Winelands based journalist who has been writing about local and international wine and travel for over three decades. When she's home, her days are almost exclusively concluded with a walk on the beach and a glass of South African fine wine or spirits.

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