One of the best dinners we had in South Africa was at The Big Easy in the charming town of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is located near Cape Town and is a famous wine-growing region.
The restaurant is located in a gorgeous 210 year old Dutch-era house which had formerly belonged to the minister for the town of Stellenbosch. The house was named La Gratitude – frankly I’d be grateful for such a beautiful house too! It’s a mixture of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture and locally known as The Grand Old Lady.
The restoration is beautiful and you really get a sense of how gracious the house is. Many of the original features have been kept such as the sash windows, the stone floors and the fireplaces.
The diners are seated in different rooms which I assume would have been the reception rooms and dining rooms of the old house. Having several tables in different rooms makes each room feel cozy and you don’t realise that it is actually quite a big house.
The library is a cosy lounge area for pre or post dinner drinks.
We were seated in the beautiful conservatory area. The restaurant thoughtfully had air conditioning and heaters installed which kept the temperature just right throughout the evening. The conservatory was open to the small but romantic garden.
The Big Easy is owned by South African golfer Ernie Els and several other investors. The bar area had many photographs devoted to Ernie’s golfing career.
We were told the upstairs of the house is a private members’ area for the owners benefit. Ernie is also interested in wine production. Check out this massive bottle of Ernie Els wine.
And the food? Delicious. I had the fresh fish of the day served over linguine. My husband had venison loin. Needless to say, the wine selection is both extensive and excellent.
There was no children’s menu as such. Assuming your child is not too fussy eater, you will be fine as do things like chicken and beef burgers or fried calamari. We saw several families with children in the restaurant.
As we usually do, we ordered dessert to share amongst the four of us. One was a trio of chocolate while the other was a trio of cake and sorbet specialties of the restaurant. They were delicious!
We thought the service was excellent as well. In fact, it was the best service of our trip. The hostess and the waiters were genuinely friendly and pleasant. Overall, this restaurant was a big hit with us.
The Big Easy is located in the center of historic Stellenbosch on Dorp Street, famous for being South Africa’s second oldest road. Reservations are highly recommended as it is a popular restaurant. The restaurant is open for breakfast, late afternoon tapas and dinner.