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Geuwels and Food Stories

By Kit Heathcock

Bertus Basson, his new restaurant Geuwels at Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate, and how stories bring flavours into focus.

It’s not just the food. What I love about food writing of course includes tasting fabulous dishes, but it’s also the adventure of discovering new places, and of meeting and chatting to chefs, finding out their stories. Good food is good food, but knowing the story behind it connects you with it at another level, making a good experience into one you’ll remember long after you’ve digested that meal and moved onto the next. There’s often a lightbulb moment, when the flavours and story fuse into something more than a beautiful plate of food.

Geuwels Restaurant at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate - Kit Heathcock
Photograph by Patrick Heathcock
Geuwels Restaurant at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate - Kit Heathcock
Photograph by Patrick Heathcock
Geuwels Restaurant at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate - Jaffles
Photograph by Kit Heathcock

So I love it when chefs have time to chat and I get a deeper understanding of the inspiration behind their menus. Bertus Basson is always great to talk to, and he sat with us as we tasted our way through the lunch menu at Geuwels, his newest restaurant at Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate.

The whole story is in my article for Daily Maverick TGIFood and in the tradition of DM is a nice long read. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, feet up on the sofa and maybe a snack to hand so you don’t get too hungry reading about it all!

For the short version - suffice it to say that Geuwels is well worth a visit. Go for breakfast - duck eggs from the famous Vergenoegd runner ducks and a lot lot more - and stay on for lunch from the informal sharing plate menu. We loved all the dishes we tasted – Chalmar beef sirloin with smoked tongue and mushrooms, pap chips and aioli, impala bobotie tartare, fresh asparagus with poached duck egg and crispy fried onions - but I keep coming back to one craving that demands a return visit – the humble but totally gorgeous jaffle.

From the DM article -

We’re now deep in contemplation of one of the best jaffles I’ve ever tasted – it’s nostalgia in a bite, crispy beef, fat-buttered outside, sandwiching a succulent beef tamatiebredie with a touch of sweet chutney warmth, and sprinkled with grated Dalewood Huguenot cheese.

Talking about the Geuwels menu, Bertus says, ”It’s simple stuff, but stuff that inspires us. You can’t beat the flavour and texture of a roosterkoek, bread and fire, simple but delicious. I love the Bovril biltong combination. I suppose it is in its own way slightly complex, but it’s showing people who we are, not trying to be something different. Food after the pandemic, I believe, needs to become more authentic. For a long time our industry has been about the fluff – caviar, foie gras – but we don’t have enough jaffles!“

You’ll soon be hearing more about the food offerings at Vergenoegd from Bertus and his head chef Drikus Brink, as Geuwels is just the start of their food plans for the newly restored historic wine estate. A more formal restaurant at a newly restored historic barn is planned for early next year. And for private events you can hire the original kitchen of the manor house, which is given over to wine tasting, and enjoy a customised menu cooked over fire on the original kitchen hearth. Farm food at the heart of the inspiration.

Where And When

Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate,
1 Vergenoegd Road, Faure,
(Just off the R310 and N2)
021 202 4373



Open Wednesday to Sunday 08h00-15h30

Daily Maverick TGIFood Article

My original article for Daily Maverick TGIFood:


We visited Geuwels as guests of the restaurant. There was no obligation to write a positive view - I retain full editorial control and all views expressed are my own.

Geuwels Restaurant at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate - Food
Photographs by Patrick Heathcock