My parents have a copy of a Mel Brigg portrait dating back to 1975 and the building that is now De Companjie, is on that portrait. The building has always been one of my favourites. In 2010 it almost burned down, but the effort they made to keep all the "old bits" intact (like the windowsills and wooden shutters) is amazing. My wife and I went there to celebrate her birthday this week.
I had never been inside before (had a hamburger on the outside 2 years ago) and because I like the building so much from the outside, I was afraid to be disappointed by the inside. Luckily this was not the case. The interior is stylishly decorated, with an eclectic feel, keeping to the theme on the outside. The choice of chairs, photos on the wall, cutlery etc. adds to the atmosphere.
We started off with a Kalahari sunset and Rhino cocktail. Freshly self-baked bread was served with olive oil before dinner. My wife had the calamari starter. For main course we had the De Companjie Hamburger and the farmhouse steak. I ended the evening with frozen chocolate and coconut cup, my wife with a cappuccino. The food and service were great and if you are on honeymoon, want to celebrate something or impress a lady, this restaurant is an excellent choice. They also have a smart gentlemen's bar area if you wanted to have drinks or a cocktail before dinner.
Our waitress for the evening, Agnes, grew up in this specific area of Swellendam. She had very interesting stories of the building and the area's history. Quite a treat.
Reservations are not needed, but the restaurant filled up quickly, so I would advise that you make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
An 80-year old gentleman seated with his wife at the table next to us, asked if my wife and I just got married. I asked why he thought that and he said that I was taking pictures of everything. My wife laughed and said that taking too many pictures was nothing new for me and that was the way she found me almost 10 years ago. The gentleman then offered to pour us some wine and my wife and I accepted. We spent the next hour (refilled the glasses again halfway) sharing stories like old friends. And that friendly, inviting manner is why I fell in love with my wife almost 10 years ago.