FOODSTUFF: Good bistro grub and sea views

I’ve been meaning to mention a recent Hermanus daytime discovery. I can never understand the appeal of going “into town to look around” when away for relaxing time-out with friends. I like to get as many groceries as possible in one shop, and then limit additional trips to the busy centre. I’d rather spend my time cooking, reading or relaxing on lovely beaches and walks. But I was pleasantly surprised during December and January when I found myself near the centre of Hermanus at The Bistro and didn’t mind lingering.

I met owner Tamsin Koen by chance a few months back and she outlined her perfectionist approach to her soon-to-be-opened bistro. Her aim was the best available quality produce and a healthy slant – everything as “pure” as possible so organic or free-range where possible. No preservatives or additives, and food on the menu made the old-fashioned way. It sounded good, but many a novice restaurateur soon downscales once they consider costs and practical limitations.

Well I’m happy to report that at The Bistro these objectives have been achieved. I’ve popped in for tea and cake a couple of times, and happily tucked into homemade baked cheesecake and healthy muffins. The loose leaf tea selection is varied, and served in elegant glass teapots. pure_bistro.jpg

On another occasion I’ve had lunch on the terrace with a gorgeous sea view. The food was enjoyable and the drinks a refreshing change: homemade lemon cordial, Napier beer or delicious Elgin Terre Madre apple cider were options. Edible choices ranged from the quiche du jour, salads, and – our choice - good bread with a tasty charcuterie board selection sourced from Cape Town fleischmeister Steve Jeffrey (see earlier blog entry on his artisanal charcuterie at artisanal charcuterie. We also tried a baguette filled with pesto, tomato and mozzarella cheese produced at Newton Johnson’s dairy in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. My kind of fresh eating.

Nice touches: the food is served on vintage china and old-fashioned prints are fashioned into placemats and aprons. There are interesting décor and homeware trinkets to purchase, as well as delightfully fragrant lotions, soaps and room sprays to acquire. Only down side is you’ll pay almost as much for these as you would for your meal!

The Bistro, Just Pure, Marine Drive, Hermanus. Tel 028 313 0060. Pure