Fairview’s Goatshed Restaurant in Paarl is a rustic restaurant surrounded by Western Cape’s majestic mountains. The drive there from Cape Town was a treat on its own, filled with laughter, watching the sunset from the car and enjoying the picturesque beauty around us. As we walked in, we saw Fairviews’ iconic tower, and as we walked in at night we honestly thought that they had placed goat statues around the perimeter of the tower. When we looked a little closer we realised that these were live goats walking up and down the tower! As we were approaching the restaurant we smelt a beautiful flowery aroma in the air, and that set the tone for the evening. So with a broad smile on our faces we entered the restaurant.

The Goatshed hosted their annual themed food and wine dinners, which kicked off with an Italian feast. The restaurant had a warm and cozy environment that lifted my mood after a very long day at work. And as per Italian tradition, the food kept coming, course after course. We had a three course meal, seven starters (!), a main course and a course of dessert.

The starters were paired with a crisp Fairview Pinot Grigio 2017 and it  included an incredibly well made squid dish that had the right combination of lemon and chili. Goat Cheese was served with bread, and from my experience, goat cheese usually has a rather strong and overwhelming taste. But, upon tasting the goat cheese at the Goatshed it was clear to me that they have good experience making goat cheese (I guess they are called the Goatshed after all). The cheese was perfectly balanced, not too rich and tasted just right. I have heard that Fegato d’anatra (duck liver) paté is a delicacy in Italy, and although my friend enjoyed it, I didn’t quite enjoy it. This was mainly because I have never tasted duck liver paté before.

The main course (secondi) was served with a red wine, Fairview Homtini, which I struggled to put down. This was my personal favourite wine from that night, admittedly because of the eye catching designs and labels. Which, as a photographer is irresistible. The Homtini went exceptionally well with the Risotto Milanese & Gremolata. I have been practicing mindful eating recently, and this main course was one where one would become naturally mindful as they ate it. Yes it was that good. Tiramisu was the last course, and it was served as dessert (Dolce) and paired with a Sweet Red wine.

Overall, I enjoyed the drive there, I loved the friendly waiters and managers, the food was incredible and I left there feeling very happy and satisfied. I highly recommend the Italian Feast, and there is another one running in September. They also host Cape Malay, Moroccan and Greek dinners, and you can find the schedule online.