I had eaten at Kingston Farm twice before on earlier visits; this time round, I booked to stay for 5 nights with a friend for the Grahamstown Festival in early July 2017. We had a lovely, spacious, 2-bedroom self-catering apartment with pleasant views of the surrounding appaloosa farm (a kind of horse, I learned). The kitchen is well-equipped and tea and good coffee, biscuits and fresh milk are supplied. It was a really delightful experience. The furniture is all cottage farm style, the genuine article - nothing fake about KF. The main bedroom is huge, and half of it doubles as an old-fashioned voorkamer with big comfortable armchairs. Heaters and electric blankets; good shower and hot water; excellent linen (changed, we noticed, halfway through our stay) and beautiful surrounds - everything needed for a lovely holiday. The cost, at R500 per night for 2 pax without meals, is nothing short of theft.
Best of all were Carla's fine meals. I have reviewed one before, and we were not disappointed this time. Unfortunately we could only have one dinner, one lunch and one breakfast. Dinner at the fireside consisted of a beautiful, subtle pea soup with three dainty walnut bruschette and basil oil, followed by an entrée of three delicious prawn rissoles with slivers of pickled leeks and baby greens, a main course of the most tender lamb en croute (in pastry), done rare, with tiny asparagus spears and a cauliflower puree, and a homemade, intense chocolate brownie with cream to end off. Truly awesome and a steal for R350 pp. Our lunch (to whom we invited two friends and which was eaten in the delightful sunny dining room overlooking the huge front garden/meadow and driveway) was similarly fantastic: a rich gruyere (I think) mousse, a divine chicken breast roulade (and a giant mushroom variation for the one vegetarian) with lovely veggies, and a baked pudding (with apples and berries I think) for dessert. R250 pp, once again, very reasonable. Thelema wines at reasonable prices. Breakfast (@ R100 pp) was more conventional but as fresh and delicious as ever you could wish. No question but that this is the finest restaurant in the Eastern Cape, and well deserving of its award for a place within the 100 in the country. Even more so, now that the chef-patron, Carla, is off to Europe to study under a famous Michelin-starred chef. It is at the top of my list for sure. Both owners, Carla, and Fred, a breeder of appaloosas (and part-time waiter according to his own joke), are so friendly, welcoming, unpretentious and down to earth that you imagine that you have lived on KF all your life. We should only be so lucky! Make the effort to visit KF; it is a place in a million and cannot be faulted in any way whatsoever.
The farm is about 30 mins from Grahamstown, close to Bathurst (where another fantastic restaurant is to be found called Lara's Eatery on the Green: see separate review) and Port Alfred, admittedly on a rather bumpy, narrow and twisting (but tarred)road. It was, however, a refreshing relief to escape from the hectic Grahamstown buzz in the evenings, and if you drive carefully and competently there will be no problem. There is a lot to see in the area, and some lovely drives and walks.
Thanks to Carla and Fred for such a wonderful time. We cannot wait to return.
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