Eating Out in ClarensThe Gourmet Shed
Where? Off S1028, Clarens Farm, Clarens, Thabo Mofutsanyana, Free State.
When? Please Enquire
How? Call +27 (0)71 972-7352 or +27 (0)73 279-9542
You do not have far to look, when in Clarens, for country, farmstyle fare. Just a few kilometres outside of the popular holiday town is a converted sandstone barn, known as the Gourmet Shed.
The Gourmet Shed specialises in tapas, deli-style, contemporary and continental food done in a typically South African way. They open mostly on weekends or for bigger functions.
Their selling line is: good food, good company and an out of the ordinary setting (think Maluti mountains and lots of blue sky). Their 'shed' has been converted into a dining setting that by all accounts is also out of the ordinary. They offer a three-course meal with tappas, a braai main course and great desserts. And just to confuse you, they describe it as having lunch the French way, which has less to do with the menu than eating at a table d'hôte – next to one another at a rather long table.
The menu, which constantly changes, has been known to include delicious items like home-made focaccia with trout pâté, guacamole and caramelised onions. Main meals include lamb, beef, salads, handmade breads – all of it authentically local (European influences are merely suggestions). Whilst desserts promise the spectacular like gourmet milk tart with a streusel topping.
The Gourmet Shed grow their own organic vegetables in the gardens and offer free-range eggs for those who want to take some home with them. The team began growing organic vegetables long before the restaurant, supplying local restaurants in Clarens.
In fact the restaurant had humble beginnings on the veranda of Annali's huge, old sandstone farm house, where her magic with food meant she was constantly fully booked. They then restored the old sandstone building on a neighbouring farm so that they could offer their food in a more permanent way.