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“Nice place, lovely people”

Willeen's Meals Arts & Craft
Ranked #1 of 3 Restaurants in Arniston
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We only heard about this by reading about it on Trip Advisor, and booked a table for our party of 8 for one of our nights in Arniston. Our hotel concierge was able to make the booking for us and explain how to get to the restaurant. The restaurant is in Willeen’s house, a traditional fisherman’s cottage in Kassiesbaai, the fishing village next to Arniston. A 10-minute walk through the village from the Arniston hotel, the restaurant is in a pretty setting at the end of the row, overlooking the sea. Tables on the lawn are used for serving lunch, and perhaps dinners in the warm weather. The place is quirky and fun, and a slice of life in this traditional village, as the family lives in the house, and the restaurant consists of one room with a few tables, adjacent to the kitchen and family living quarters. The dinner menu is a 3-course meal, with choices for a starter, main, and dessert. The food was good (we started with soup, had fish or traditional “bobotie” for mains, and malva pudding for dessert), and we all enjoyed walking through the fishing village and talking with Diana, the server who told us some of the history of the place. A member of our party got Diana to show him the kitchen and snapped a photo of Diana with Willeen (owner and cook) hard at work (and reluctantly photographed). Willeen’s also has arts and crafts for sale, including lovely little paintings of some of the local fishermen’s houses. A fun evening!

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Thank JLiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 61 of 66 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2013

What a special experience having dinner with Willeen and Diana at their converted home. We were lucky enough to have Kabeljou that had just been caught...it was absolutely delicious. A must when in Arniston!

1  Thank GillyS_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

A big regret of my trip to Arniston was not finding Willeens in Kassiesbaai sooner.

From the Arniston Hotel walk passed the harbour and up the hill, follow the road, it turns to the right and Willeens is the last house in the village overlooking the beach. The view is spectacular, far better than the view at the bar in the Arniston Hotel and only five minutes away from it.

In the evening, just as the sun is setting the shadows on the dunes and light quality is excellent. That and being surrounded by local people, local life and supporting a truly local enterprise makes, for me Willeens a must visit spot.

I only had a drink, having just stumbled upon it but had I known earlier would have had dinner. Don't make the same mistake I did!

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Thank Ian_Wand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Arniston does not have many dining options: the biggest and most obvious is the Arniston Hotel, which offers a wide menu, and where we did eat a few evenings. But another really interesting experience is to eat at Willeen’s, named after a local woman who set up a small restaurant in her cottage---a family-owned and run concern.
Ask any local how to get here: from the hotel and fishing slipway, walk along the dusty roads through the village of Kassiesbaai, the old fishing village with its fisherman’s cottages, to the north end facing the sandy bay, and Willeen’s is basically the last white-washed cottage. There’s a hand-painted sign and the small front yard is festooned with colorful old fishing-net balls and sometimes bright umbrellas.
Walk up the steps into the front room, which houses this simple eatery. It has only a few tables and is rather dark inside but that gives it an interesting atmosphere, as the ceiling is decorated with old fishing nets and fishing-net balls, and along one wall are shelves with local handicrafts, such as knitted items, for sale.
The menu isn’t large, the food is plain, but very good. Some of our party had a type of lamb chop, one had baked fish of the day, one had traditional babotie, and another their signature fish cakes (wonder what the ‘special’ ingredients are?), all served with sweet potatoes and the vegetable of the day. They offer beer and wine and many types of soft drinks.
A couple of young girls from the extended family are the servers, all very sweet and friendly. It’s important to make reservations beforehand as, although it seems an unassuming place, it’s become very popular. We got there early (with our reservation) as we had a 3-year-old in our party and didn’t want to be too late. While we ate, it filled up, and people with no reservations were waiting hopefully outside, in a strong wind that day, at the concrete picnic tables, still hoping to get in.
Pay with cash.
A truly unique place, a way to taste the local customs.

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1  Thank Vivienne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

It is so good, we went back the next day! Quaint, friendly, good food! Go early and sit in the garden, look out over the bay as sun sets!

Thank Pjvmunro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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