First Published 24 February 2014
Summer is a nostalgic time in South Africa: memories of road trips to the beach, salty air, ice cream cones and naturally, braai’s with the family in the sun shine. When I was invited to a celebratory lunch at Die Strandloper, all these memories came rushing back and I just knew that this would be an adventure!
Die Strandloper is a unique dining experience: with the sand beneath your feet, this open air beach restaurant serves delicious seafood (and plenty of it!) right off the grill, and onto your plate. It’s rustic and wild and a bit rough around the edges: but you are guaranteed a warm welcome and as much seafood as you can eat!
You are encouraged to make yourself at home
Located north of Cape Town, outside Langebaan on the West Coast, Die Strandloper (“the beachcomber”, a reference to the indigenous Khoi people of the Cape) is located directly on the beach. You’ll want to give yourself at least 90 minutes for the drive; the R27 is no longer as dangerous as it once was thanks to strict speed enforcement along the entire route. Arriving at Die Strandloper, I immediately felt slightly out of my comfort zone (this was no Fine Dining establishment!), and yet after a warm reception from the staff and friendly greetings from the family I was soon settled in. Perching on benches and eating with our fingers: we were soon all relaxed as the parade of food kicked off. Oven baked garlic bread with delicious salty farm butter was where I started, with a generous helping of garlic mussels. The one thing I did remember from previous childhood visits is that there is a lot of food, 10 course to follow, from mussels, snoek, oven baked bread, fish curry, waterblommetjie bredie, stumpnose, more bread and for the finalé: crayfish! I proceeded conservatively. (An unusual occurence!)
Before I had even got my little paws on that crayfish, I had spied (sniffed out!) these koeksusters and coffee coming up for the final course. I chatted to Jan over at the coffee station, where he showed me his world famous coffee recipe – much to my shock and delight – as he stirred each coffee pot with a charred, blackened stick of charcoal! I’m not going to admit how many syrupy koeksisters I devoured- but they were delicious and a very special treat!
A few survival tips:
- Booking is essential, especially as this is the ideal venue for larger groups.
- Bring your own bottles: Die Strandloper welcomes you to bring your own drinks along with you, although there is a licensed bar just off the beach that has plenty to offer if you run short on provisions. Remember to pack one extra coolerbox filled with ice, and maybe a few large bottles of water.
- Pack a change of clothes and a towel for the beach, and if you’re coming in the evening you’ll definitely need a jacket for after dark.
- This is a family restaurant for all ages; but perhaps the kids and the older ones might appreciate some cutlery, so bring some along with you. You are encouraged to make yourself at home.
- Plan ahead and car pool- not only is this the most efficient way to get home, it’ll also be the safest.
- Remember to settle your bill with cash only (or EFT by prior arrangement).
Bookings and additional information:
www.strandloper.com / 022 772 2490 / 083 227 7195