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Bistro Cileiro & Hoekwil Open Gardens

Tucked away on the 7 Passes Road you’ll find one of the Garden Route’s most unique restaurants. Those who enter through the doors of Bistro Ciliero, will be forgiven for thinking they have travelled back in time into a medieval banquet hall, where both the hospitality and the food is all about mindful living.

Julio and Susan bought the overgrown and neglected property in 2000 while they still lived in Cape Town and finally made the move permanent in 2011. After a visit to his mom, Julio arrived home and asked Susan whether she would like to open a restaurant and welcome guests into their house. With only a moment’s hesitation, the help of friend and experienced restauranteur, Willem Smith, and much passion, they opened their doors to the public in 2013. In 2014 their son, the younger Julio, joined the team after qualifying and working in Europe as a French chef.

As a home-based restaurant, it was important for the Agrella family to run the restaurant on their own terms. From time to time Susan, with her passion for tea, hosts exquisite tea parties. They have hosted weddings, birthdays and special events. During the summer, balmy Friday evenings offer a menu of pizzas, burgers and quesadillas but, without a doubt, the main reason to head to Bistro Ciliero is their Sunday lunches!

With seasonal ingredients from their own farm, or sourced locally, this team offers slow food at its best. While you’ll be able to enjoy the abundant harvest-table on the first Sunday of every month, the rest of the month brings an ever changing menu where the contents of your plate relies entirely on what nature provides abundantly. Farm food with a twist that will bring you back for more, Bistro Ciliero does not have a liquor license and charges no corkage.

Even though the restaurant is situated 20km from the N2, it is booked weeks, if not months in advance. You can reach Bistro Ciliero by taking the road to Hoekwil from the N2. Drive for almost 19 km, turning right onto the 7 Passes Road, and you will find them on your right.

During weekend of 15 and 16 October 2016, during the Hoekwil Open Gardens weekend, Bistro Ciliero will not be serving their Sunday lunch. This weekend they will open their garden to the public, host stalls with local artist and artisans and will be serving those delicious Friday night pizzas, homemade ice cream and other light snacks from the restaurant.

This is the fourth year that the residents of Hoekwil will be opening their gardens to the public. Known as Eden’s Garden Hamlet, Hoekwil’s spectacular location, the size of the properties as well as the surrounding beauty of the area visitors should not expect manicured town gardens. Here garden and nature becomes one and many an avid gardener have seen their garden turn into bushbuck breakfast or a playground for porcupines.

With the popularity of the event growing year by year, this year a showcase of local music, arts and crafts can be enjoyed in the various gardens. The ever popular tea garden will be serving scrumptious cakes, while Skotteljons and the Hoekwil Country Café and Deli in the village will offer interesting and delicious light lunches and teas.

The gardens are open from 09:00 to 16:00 and tickets cost R40 per person, valid for both days. Maps and information can be obtained from the Open Gardens Kiosk at Hoekwil Post Office.

For more information about the Hoekwil Open Gardens contact Jenny on 082 497 3741 or Magda on 082 561 4784.
You can contact Bistro Ciliero on 044 850 1026

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Read more about them on TripAdvisor


Pictures: Supplied

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