Melon Rouge is just outside of Magalies and I suspect that with exception of a few city fans, it's a little known gem. This is a true bohemian country place – a bit eccentric, a bit rustic, and bit farmy, with a touch of the unexpected. Allow me to explain, Melon Rouge is essentially a country restaurant serving great food, but…. it’s also an art gallery, antique store, a crafty home store, and 2nd hand bookshop.
The setting is gorgeous, the rustic buildings lie secluded by mountain on two sides and a vast “forest” of large Wild Olive trees, which in themselves are exquisite and certainly do their part in contributing to the ambience. The décor is most definitely bohemian and the watrons are kitted out in black and french style red berets.
You can choose to sit outdoors on the rather large patio, basking in the sunshine; you can take to the garden, or alternatively, you can sit indoors in the main restaurant area where the tables and chairs are all refurbished vintage. In fact, you feel like you are at a friends country home having lunch, with the roosters waltzing around the grounds, and kiddies enjoying themselves in the sandpit. The smells of the delicious freshly prepared food waft from the kitchen (warning: sitting indoors could make you ravenously hungry!!), and the music, which varies from French, to Cuban, including the occassional salsa! to African and more – wonderful world music which with each song transports you somewhere else in the world…
When the food arrives, you are taken aback by the size of the portions – in fact it was at this point that I felt, I could be visiting a friend “op die plaas” (on the farm), as the food truly reminds me of traditonal farm food - rich and wholesome!
Melon Rouge is not a Magalies Manor type of "posh" or “polished” place, and it's not trying to be, it's far simpler, more enjoyable and above all a lot more relaxing! In fact the sign at the entrance says it all, really, " Kick off Your Shoes"!
I’ll certainly be stopping by when next in the area - anyone want to join me?
For those who are interested, Melon Rouge is on the Seekoeihoek Road, near the Bekker Schools (off the Hekpoort Road). The contact no. is 079 680 6050.