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Stately, ancient trees; rolling, soft green hills, everything you could want from a hidden oasis of natural beauty… and, of course, cheese and wine! Eagles’ Nest is a great hotspot for Capetonians of all ages to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Venue: Constantia Main Rd, Constantia, Cape Town
Contact: 021 794 4095 | email@example.com
Trading hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-4:30pm
Taking a walk down from the parking lot to Eagles’ Nest was the first hint of the “cool”, detached atmosphere that was to follow. Winding between trees that grew as high as the eyes could see, you really feel like you are off to a secret destination; somewhere exclusive – even if the path is probably no more than 100m long. Once you get inside, the quaint, half-modern, half-Cape Dutch architecture presents as the classic wine farm aesthetic that we’re so used to as Capetonians… with one exception.
Beyond the restaurant itself, which is barely more than the kitchens, a few small patios and a quad, is an embarrassment of riches by way of forestry and all kinds of natural beauty. Dozens of children playing sports on the grass banks, splashing around in the stream that runs through the middle of everything, and small, secluded tables for groups to enjoy their experience with plenty of space to breath it all in. Eagle’s Nest lacks the uppity atmosphere of your typical wine farm. You don’t feel afraid to be knocking something over, getting in someone’s way or doing anything that’s considered unbecoming of a wine “connoisseur“. The family atmosphere makes you feel at ease, almost as if this is your actual home.
Then you’re approached by the staff that reinforce this homely feeling with a laid back attitude that isn’t lazy. Quite the opposite. We had arrived early and our waiter offered to take our orders, yet seamlessly withdrew while we explained that we were waiting on our friends to arrive. He was certainly not intrusive and the food and drink portion of the experience felt almost secondary the entire time.
That is not to say that the cheese and wine was any less impressive than the setting.
Quite the opposite, actually. A very reasonable R85 wine tasting menu of two whites and two reds (I wish I could remember their names) is testament to Eagles’ Nests winemakers and I have to say that the Merlot was my favourite of the bunch, but that I could easily have brought home a bottle of each. Our waiter was exceptional at timing the intervals between each tasting and the cheese and biltong complemented the vin de table perfectly. A series of hard and fresh cheeses didn’t quite fill us up, but lined our stomachs to the perfect effect throughout the day.
Other than the setting, the service and the selections, our group of friends was able to enjoy a genuine social experience that was not clouded by the awesome setting itself. We didn’t feel confined to be on our best behaviour and the fact that we were sat pretty much in the middle of everything, between the tables on the grass banks and the indoor area. So, not only were we able to drink good wine and bare witness to a special slice of nature , but conversation flowed and we didn’t leave feeling much poorer for it either.
For those Sundays (or whichever day you please) when you just want to get away from home and relax for the day, look no further than Eagles’ Nest. It’s not your typical wine farm, it’s not a particularly long drive and it’s very much affordable.
Essential Millennial rating: 4 out of 5 avocados