About the Grape Escape Café

John Appelman

John has been Chef/Owner of The Grape Escape Café since 2009. Already well known in the area as a leading, multi-Award winning Chef, he had an award-winning and successful fine dining restaurant and catering business for over 25 years.

John and his team have catered hundreds of weddings and corporate functions in and around the Nelson area – they include weddings ranging from casual and laid back, to the most formal of occasions. Marquee wedding receptions on beaches, in vineyards, in  orchard settings and on back country aeroplane runways- John and his team have catered anywhere it is possible to set up and serve a fabulous meal. He has also catered functions in most of the available venues around Nelson, and is familiar with all the facilities available at these venues.

His latest venture into The Grape Escape Café has been and is an exciting and welcome additional daytime dining choice to the Nelson area. After a brief break of 2 years, John sharpened up his knives, gathered together a new team of talented and enthusiastic staff, and resumed doing what he did so well for so many years – satisfying the discerning appetites of Nelson locals and visitors alike.

The Grape Escape Café provides a wonderful venue to showcase John’s justly famous cuisine, and in which to base his function and wedding catering service.

The Café itself is in a lovely country garden setting where guests can dine under the apple trees among the roses and perennial borders, or inside in the sheltered, covered deck, or by the log fire in winter. So many choices – and ideal for families as well. Children can play in the playground or look at our cute little lop ear bunnies in their hutches set on the lawns, or watch the miniature replica Dutch windmill turning in the breeze. Mum and Dad can enjoy a local wine or beer with their lunch, while we have a children’s menu for the littlies. Parking is easy with a large car park behind the café, and there are also other shops to browse in in the Complex itself.

With a great location and delicious food, the Grape Escape Café is the perfect venue for Brunch, Lunch, or Coffee and Cake any time.

The Grape Escape - Westpac Business Awards Winner 2010 The Grape Escape Cafe - Wild Tomato 2011 Best Cafe