Having heard rave reviews from family and friends re Die Strandloper, translated means The Beachwalker, this sounded like a place we definitely wanted to visit. The open air Strandloper is located 125 kms up the west coast from Cape Town on the water's edge of the Langebaan Lagoon. The West Coast people are down to earth, the food is totally unpretentious and the surroundings beautifully unspoilt.
We had a party of seventeen and so had two tables booked (pre-booking is absolutely essential) within close proximity of each other. The first thing one notices and feels is the sandy beach underfoot, always a great excuse for me to remove my shoes, and to enjoy the sand between my toes. I usually remove my shoes when dining out, but here it's a pre-requisite.
Looking up at Die Strandloper from the beach - Image: Elaine de Wet
Die Strandloper is BYO (bring your own) so everybody arrived with cooler bags (eskies) containing all the liquid essentials to get the party started. There is also an on-site bar available, but it appears that most diners choose to bring their own.
Seating and alternative seating in boats - Images: Elaine de Wet
Lunch commences at 12.00pm with the first course being served at 12.30pm - the whole dining experience is self-service and no cutlery is made available. Guests use mussel shells in lieu of cutlery, but you can use a clean mussel shell for every course. The staff informed me that millions wash up on the shore every day.
Meals are served in individual courses extending over a three to four hour period with the central focus being an open braai (barbecue) area. In between courses guests stroll around, chat and explore the rocky outcrops with seagulls soaring overhead.
One needs to get up and walk/rock clamber as the ten course meal would surely take its toll if one just sits!
Bokkoms - this is a whole, salted and dried mullet, a West Coast of South Africa delicacy. Once having had your Bokkom served up, local ladies debone and peel off the skin of the fish for you - all these extra tidbits are greatly enjoyed by the local seagull population;
Mixed Seafood curry;
Braaied (barbecued) snoek with potatoes - Image: Elaine de Wet
All this divine food is enjoyed to the accompaniment of live traditional guitar music - the guitarist, Donny, strolls around and serenades the diners at each and every table. If you're looking for something a little different, Die Strandloper is a superb venue to celebrate important events such as beach weddings, birthdays or anniversaries.
Die Strandloper is not open every day of the week, but is usually open for lunch and dinner on weekends - with only the two sittings. During the week they are open on Wednesdays for lunch only. To book a unique laid-back dining experience at Die Strandloper please click here.
Working off some of the food - Image: Elaine de Wet
Blue skies, sandy beaches and all the seafood you can eat! This was truly a memorable experience, enjoying South African cuisine in a laid-back, rustic and stunningly unspoilt location on the water's edge of Langebaan Lagoon.