Wholesome food in a wholesome environment
Reuben Riffel is a well-known chef and TV personality. His fine dining restaurant in Franschhoek is offset by this lifestyle cafe set in the Val De Vie residential estate in Paarl. The Yard Lifestyle Centre within Val De Vie offers residents a LIVE / WORK / PLAY centre which encompasses a gym, a cycle centre, an Olympic scale swimming pool designed by Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryk Neethling, tennis courts, a wellness spa ( in progress) and Reuben and Co. Café. The restaurant building is designed to overlook the pool with a broad terrace and a glass front with sliding doors that separates the inside of the restaurant from the terrace. This is designed for a region well known for its seasonal winds and allows the restaurant the option of keeping diners comfortably inside if the wind is blowing whilst still enjoying the natural Mediterranean light of the Cape and the spectacular views of the Wolwehoek mountains. On still Cape days, clients can choose to sit outside or inside and enjoy the weather overlooking swimmers in the sparkling blue pool with the view of the Franschhoek mountains framing their experience.

The 213 seater restaurant had to create differentiated spaces within the 350sqm for the range of clientele throughout the day - from 8 in the morning to 10 at night.

The brief from the client asked for an atmosphere that reflected a wholesome, lifestyle orientated menu with food sourced locally from the Val de Vie gardens and local farmers. The 213 seater restaurant had to create differentiated spaces within the 350sqm for the range of clientele throughout the day - from 8 in the morning to 10 at night. A workbench with loose seating pedestals and power outlets rests alongside the harvest table, which doubles up as a 'grab and go' space at different times of the day. Both of these areas are located in front of a coffee and juice bar and attract patrons working, having meetings or refreshing themselves after exercise. The long café-style frontage attracts breakfast and lunch diners with the taller bar counter in front of the bar attracting shorter visits and cocktail drinkers. Offset and deeper into the space is a more enclosed intimate seating area with greater use of texture, colour and darker finishes which lends itself to evening dining. Central to the space is the lounge area with comfortable couches, a log fire and a screen. Importantly the show kitchen with chalkboard daily specials above, and the open glass display walk-in fridges is visible from all of the spaces and is central to the core proposition of the restaurants commitment to fresh daily produce.

Appointment 2018
Area Val de Vie Estate, Paarl
Developer Val de Vie Developments
Quantity Surveyor NWS
Kitchen Consultant MacBrothers
Principal Contractor Stabilid
Completion 2019
Capacity 350sqm
Seating Capacity 213
Photographer Adam Letch