Julian’s Restaurant, Ceramics and Art Gallery: A Special Find in Small-town South Africa
Bredasdorp was founded in 1838 by Michiel van Breda, the first mayor of Cape Town, and regarded by many as the father of the merino sheep industry of South Africa. It was South Africa’s first incorporated “dorp” or town and today is still the center of the dairy, wool, canola farming industries and indigenous fynbos cultivation in the area.
It’s not a large town, but has all the basic facilities and shopping opportunities, plus two lovely old churches and the famous Shipwreck Museum.
So, in a way, Julian’s is rather a surprise here. It’s a large complex, with art gallery and craft shop of local artists, plus a large restaurant/café. The restaurant is divided into two parts, separated by an open courtyard with a pond and a huge tree with bright yellow weaver birds. One side has tables and chairs and is designated the non-smoking section. The other side has mainly big stuffed couches, but also a few tables and chairs, and is the smoking area (many local South Africans still smoke).
The owner of our B&B in Arniston told us about Julian’s and we’re very glad he did, as it’s not an a main road and not much advertised. But local people obviously know about it, as it got rather crowded the one day we were there for lunch. We went to Julian’s twice, once for afternoon tea and once for lunch. Both were memorable meals, in a lovely setting and with excellent friendly service. For tea time, which was quiet, we opted for the big stuffed couches and ordered tea and coffee, plus one slice each of the day’s special cakes: chocolate cake, lemon meringue pie, and carrot cake—absolutely enormous slices, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
The lunch menu is pretty varied, with soups, salads, sandwiches, and meat dishes if you want. Everything is freshly prepared with local ingredients, so service was a little slow, but in that setting it really didn’t matter, and the taste was superb. Prices are very reasonable too. Dinner is also served and there’s an extensive bar menu, but we didn’t go there at night.
We did also buy a few pretty curio knick-knacks in the store.
In our opinion, one of the best small-town restaurants we’ve found in South Africa.
Julian’s Restaurant, Ceramics and Art Gallery,
22 All Saints Street, Bredasdorp
+27 (0)28 425 1201, email@example.com