A festive feast with ocean views at Bites Beach Café

Our passion project – the Bites Beach Café – is tucked into the De Hoop Nature Reserve, an expansive, wild, protected area in the Western Cape near Cape Agulhas. Over the years, the reserve has become popular among nature lovers and birders, hikers and strollers, cyclists and whale watchers. Bites is quite the new kid on the block, having opened its doors in February 2023. We’ve housed it in a remote, historic, thatched fisherman’s cottage called “Koppie Alleen”, on the rocks overlooking the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by fynbos and stark white dunes, arriving here feels like you’ve found the last outpost of civilisation… Dining with a view -  Bites Beach Café’s prime position offers front-row seats to the ocean on the wide wooden deck, shaded by umbrellas, with the sound of crashing waves and the cries of seagulls in the background. The water here is an impossible deep shade of blue – you have to see it for yourself! If you prefer sitting inside, our café is light and breezy, with the French doors thrown open to maximise the 180-degree views. Marine-inspired décor, including intriguing light fittings, wooden furniture and neutral tones, combine to create an uncluttered, welcoming space. Our head chef, Pieter Brown, has curated a casual, light lunch menu of salads, fresh fish, wood-fired pizzas, burgers and desserts. His passion for his craft shines through in every dish, and his team are just as inspired. Bongi Ndabeni and Elisabeth Mokgadi run the Bites kitchen and they love engaging with our guests.  You are sure to hear from our team about our “Plastic for Coffee” initiative launched in September – doing your bit for the beaches by collecting a bag of rubbish gets you a free coffee! Day visitors are welcome at our café for lunch or drinks between 10:00-16:00 (kitchen closes at 15:00), but in the evenings, it’s reserved exclusively for our accommodation guests. You, too, can extend your experience in the reserve by staying over at one of our two luxury off-grid properties on-site. Each has been designed to provide an eco-friendly, immersive beach holiday – Morukuru Beach Lodge can be booked per room and offers five spacious bedrooms, while Morukuru Ocean House is our four-bedroom, exclusive-use accommodation, perfect for families and small groups. A Christmas spread with a view -  If you’re heading our way and not sure what to do for Christmas lunch, take a sho’t left to Bites Beach Café because on 25 December, we’ll be firing up our open gas grills for a special Christmas Day braai. It’s all about celebrating in our typical South African way with a fun, party atmosphere on the deck. We have two slots for bookings on the day and can accommodate 40 people at each. Expect a mouthwatering spread with mains such as harissa-spiced pork neck, and garlic and rosemary leg of lamb. Sides are potjie-style – Parmesan baby potatoes and Cape Malay vegetables with lentils – and we suggest saving room for dessert. The malva pudding and our signature passion fruit and ginger cheesecake are sure to tempt you! To book for our Christmas Day function, please email bites@morukuru.com or WhatsApp your reservation to 082 651 2114. Whether you’re visiting us for the day or here to immerse yourself in this pristine sanctuary for a little longer, popping into our café promises to recharge your spirits. Wholesome food, sweeping sea views, and a unique, isolated location inside the De Hoop Nature Reserve makes Bites Beach Café the perfect place to escape the crowds and feast with family and friends as another year comes to an end. We look forward to welcoming you!