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Graze cafe StanfordIf you ever take a trip to Stanford, do yourself a favour and have dinner and breakfast at Graze Slow Food Cafe. We do this everytime we visit Stanford – creatures of habit we are. They are open for dinner on a Friday and Saturday they offer breakfast and lunch. They also do a “farmers market” vibe on a Wednesday morning. You’ll need to book for dinner, because it’s a quaint little eatery and spaces are limited. Call Tabby on 076 243 1930 to enquire about opening hours as it may change. Also, you can follow them on twitter.

The friendly down-to-earth owners, Tabby (the chef) and Alex (runs the front of house) are an awesome power couple that work symbiotically together.  It almost feels like you are visiting a friend’s house when you dine there, so warm, relaxed and welcoming. In my opinion, this is THE place to dine when you are in Stanford.

grazeWe visited Stanford for the weekend recently and arrived for dinner at Graze slow food cafe the Friday evening . I couldn’t wait to see what was on their menu. These guys are all about sustainability, seasonality, foraging and they even grow quite a bit of produce on their own private farm. Think rabbit, duck eggs, wild mushrooms, figs, chickens etc. Foodie heaven! They are a celebration of good wholesome locally grown food without being all hipster about it.

menu grazeThey usually have about 3 starter, main and dessert options.  Tabby served what was available to her during that week or day even! Love it! To be honest, I can’t remember what all was on the menu that night, the red wine was flowing and my brain turned to jelly. LOL. And excuse the photos 😉

risotto
For starters, I had a wild mushroom risotto. The amount of flavour Tabby managed to get in this risotto is incredible. It was perfectly al dente –  just how I like it and she pours extra delicious sauce over it.  Somehow it wasn’t very heavy like risottos usually are. A nice take on risotto, I think.

graze mussels
J had the mussels cooked in white wine and once again an amazing stock. These mussels were so fresh and plump and tasted of the ocean. We mopped up the sauce with the their delicious homemade sourdough bread. Happiness is!

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We thoroughly enjoyed local wine, Springfontein terrior pinotage. It’s delicious with anything.

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I had a traditionally done coq au vin.  Free range cockrell cooked for hours in red wine. Gosh, it was so mouthwateringly tender, the texture almost reminded me of tender slow cooked lamb.  And my goodness was my portion huge! Served on creamy polenta and roasted carrots.  A must try!

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J had grass fed beef fillet stuffed with creamed cheese and spinach and I think mushrooms. On a bed of mash and roasted veggies. A man’s meal! He devoured it!

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For dessert, I opted for chocolate bread and butter pud. Perfection. Everything I imagined and more.

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J went for pear crumble with homemade vanilla ice cream. Buttery and delish.

I rate our dinner experience:
Food: 8.5/10
Atmosphere: 10/10
Service: 8/10 busy dinner service but Alex and Tabby very attentive

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Tabby and Alex in action. Busy bees.

And now to share a few pics of breakfast which we had the following morning 🙂

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In the morning, the eatery is transformed into a light and breezy breakfast spot.

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Graze also sells some awesome farm produce: fresh honey, preserves, olive oil, duck eggs, fresh mushrooms and and and…

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And freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries made with real butter and stone ground flour.
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Now the breakfast…
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I had the Graze benedict. Homemade sweet potato hash browns topped with crispy bacon, soft poached egg and hollandaise. I highly recommend this.

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J had the full Graze with poached eggs. Everything was beautifully seasoned. All eaten with sourdough bread, butter and homemade jam.

So we left with happy hearts and full bellies and had a little walk about on Stanford main road. Tables are put out in front of shops selling fresh veggies, baked goodies, pates, you name it and then I came across a “junk” yard sale and found myself some awesome props. I was in heaven.

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We stocked up(unnecessarily so)  with honey, olive oil, bread, pastries, charcuterie, vegetables and more and paid Springfontein wine farm a quick visit too – we needed to stock up on that Terrior Pinotage. Gaawd!

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Well fed and stocked up, we missioned back to our accommodation at Stanford River Lodge.  And so we sat gazing at the flooded river a few feet away, wineglass in hand until the sun set. And then my pyromaniac husband lit the braai and fireplace…happy days, a perfect weekend.

We love Stanford with it’s slow pace and untouched country charm. It’s the perfect place for R&R.  If I could move there now I would. I almost didn’t want to write this because it feels like our little gem we want to keep for ourselves! Alas, we need to give credit where it’s due.

Well done to Alex and Tabby for the great success of Graze. We support you all the way!

*Graze image courtesy of Graham Beverly

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