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Lunch at Holden Manz

11 Jul

The Holden Manz estate and vineyards, set amongst the Franschhoek mountains. Picture from holdenmanz.com.

 

Last month I had the pleasure of visiting Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek for the first time. This hidden gem is situated on the beautiful Green Valley Road just out of the hustle and bustle of Franschhoek town. They make superb wine, they offer luxury accommodation, they have a spa and a brilliant restaurant, they offer picnics (when the weather permits) and they also host weddings.

I had the opportunity to walk through their 5 star country house & spa filled with the most incredible contemporary art collection, visit their wine cellar for a tasting with winemaker Thierry Haberer and sit down for a flavour-packed lunch at their restaurant Franschhoek Kitchen with co-ower Gerard Holden himself, prepared by Executive Chef Ricardo le Roux.

Visiting Holden Manz Estate is highly recommended, and I’d like to return soon to taste more of Chef Ricardo’s dishes – it was fantastic. Here is my visit in pictures.

The Holden Manz country house living area.

One of the lounge areas in the Holden Manz country house, complete with piano and roaring fireplace.

One of the fabulous fireplaces inside the Holden Manz country house. Perfect for winter!

The koi pond in the country house courtyard.

The backyard terrace and swimming pool for warmer months.

The wine tasting room and entry to the cellar.

Magnificent view from the wine tasting room.

Wine maker Thierry Haberer telling us more about his wine making process and the new vintages.

Gerard Holden introduces us to Chef Ricardo le Roux.

Baguette with tomato butter and dukkah.

Citrus, salt & mint salad: poached tomatoes, charred courgette, crispy artichokes, rosemary, lemon, salt fried seeds.

Tasting some of the Holden Manz wines with lunch.

Romesco Risotto: prawn, artichoke and mustard croquette, olive tapenade, smoked cauliflower. Served with Holden Manz Visionaire 2013.

6 Hour Braised Beef Cheeks: white bean & samp cassoulet, chorizo crumbs, oxtail bitterballen, pecorino wafer, greens, plum, orange & spice jus.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for dessert, but next time I won’t be in any hurry!

Thank you Tanja Fourie of Grape Stuff Marketing & Communications for the invitation.

Contact Holden Manz:

Tel +27 21 876 2738

info@holdenmanz.com

restaurant@holdenmanz.com

winery@holdenmanz.com

Green Valley Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa

Restaurant Open Hours
Lunch: Noon to 15:00
Dinner: 19:00 to 21:00
Closed: Wednesday Dinner and Thursday Lunch & Dinner (June, July, August)

Take a look at their brand new winter menu:

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A weekend in the Robertson Wine Valley

5 Jul

Breathtaking views from the front stoep at Paul René MCC’s private residence.

 

Last weekend my family and I had the privilege of visiting the Robertson Wine Valley in a delightfully curated itinerary made possible by Hot Oven Marketing and Robertson Wine Valley.

I’ve never really properly visited this valley before, although I’ve been to Wacky Wine a few years before and I’m familiar with some of the wine brands of the region. Our schedule consisted of a wine tasting visit to Springfield Estate, wine blending at Excelsior Wine Estate, wine tasting and platter lunch at Zandvliet’s Kalkveld Lounge, olive and olive oil tasting at Marbrin Farm, and sleepover at Mimosa Lodge and a tasting (and unplanned lunch) at Paul René MCC.

The visit completely exceeded my expectations with the most breathtaking views, quality wines, unpretentious hospitality and delicious food offerings. It is a quieter wine route, with many roads to choose from and so many venues and wineries to visit. The scenery is spectacular and the trip is suitable for families with young children (my daughter is 6 and she loved every second).

I’m going to tell my story through my pictures below, rather than with a lengthy written post. Bottom line: go visit this valley and experience their charming country hospitality for yourself! It is a mere 90 minutes drive from Cape Town and such a worth while trip with so many gems to discover – highly recommended. (Also check out my social posts from the visit with tags #celebraterobertson #countrycharm #countryliving #tastethelifestyle.)

Thank you very much Mira from Hot Oven Marketing and the Robertson Wine Valley for hosting us – we’ll be back soon.

The tasting room & outside seating area at Springfield Winery.

Some whites to look forward to at Springfield’s wine tasting.

Complimentary olives while you are tasting wine at Springfield Estate.

A fabulous white blend by Springfield suitable for seafood: Miss Lucy.

Tasting the Thunderchild red blend at Springfield Estate – this is a community driven project (read more about it).

The incredibly beautiful pond view at Springfield Winery.

Valki (right) and her “instant” friend, Samantha, at Springfield Estate against their beautifully overgrown tasting room wall.

The tasting and blending room at Excelsior, set over their beautiful dam.

Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to blend our own bottle of wine at Excelsior Winery.

Gondolier – my favourite Merlot at Excelsior Winery. Full of dark cherry flavours. Thank you Andries for presenting the tasting.

Schalk measuring one of the elements of our red blend at Excelsior Winery.

Putting in the cork with a manual corker. I had great fun!

Valki helped with the labeling of our unique blend.

Our very own Excelsior red blend, named by Valki: “Calypso”.

Another incredible view, this time over Excelsior’s dam. Valki was having a great time on the children’s playground too.

The wine tasting and blending venue at Excelsior Winery.

The newly renovated Kalkveld Lounge at Zandvliet Winery.

Inside the Kalkveld Lounge at Zandvliet.

Wine tasting at Zandvliet at their new Kalkveld Lounge.

Charcuterie and cheese platter for two at Kalkveld Lounge, Zandvliet – just what we needed after tasting a lot of wine!

The beautiful old manor house at Zandvliet.

Olive, tapenade and oil tasting at Marbrin Farm.

Home baked bread to taste their freshly pressed oils at Marbrin Farm.

More of the magnificent surrounds – this view from Marbrin Farm.

Mimosa Lodge & Restaurant, set amongst the incredible mountains in the heart of Montagu’s Church Street.

Beautiful old wooden floors at the entrance to Mimosa Lodge.

Spacious room, king size bed with extra single bed for Valki, full bathroom with bath and shower at Mimosa Lodge.

Our spacious room with wooden floors and garden views at Mimosa Lodge.

The lush gardens at Mimosa Lodge, Montagu.

The welcoming pool at Mimosa Lodge – come summer time this is where guests will spend their time!

A quiet corner in the garden of Mimosa Lodge, Montagu.

Dinner begins: Garlic & coriander prawns, aioli, red cabbage salad, sweet chilli drizzle – starter at Mimosa Restaurant.

Lavender & ricotta ravioli, tomato concasse, crispy parsley, pecorino chip, white truffle cream – entrée at Mimosa Restaurant.

Beef sirloin, pommes puree, seasonal veg, green peppercorn sauce – mains at Mimosa Restaurant.

Taking a stroll in Montagu on a crisp winters morning.

A quick visit to The Rambling Rose in Montagu.

We bought freshly baked pasteis de nata at The Rambling Rose in Montagu and they were exquisite!

View of the mountains from the R62 leading through Montagu.

Tasting Paul René Brut and Brut Rosé MCC.

The owners of Paul René even have their own herb & veg garden. I want!

After planning an earlier drive back to Stellenbosch to take care of some business, we were convinced to stay longer for an impromtu lunch prepared by Henk. How can you say no to spending more time with this view and another glass of Paul René MCC?

Henk’s venison, soon to become steak au poivre. The meat comes from his last hunting session.

Venison medallions on their way to becoming steak au poivre in a pan over the fire at the private residence of Paul René MCC. Henk van Niekerk, winemaker and owner, is a very gifted cook! Thank you Henk & Monica for welcoming us into your home like old friends.

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Lunch with Clemengold

28 Jun

The beautiful lunch table, ready for our Clemengold taste adventure.

 

Last week I had the pleasure of joining the Clemengold team for cocktails and lunch at Mantra Café in Bantry Bay. I’m already a fan of the fruit and their gin, so it was a great opportunity to meat the people who make all the magic happen. Look out for the iconic Clemengold sticker on all of their fruit – when you see that, you’ll know your fruit is virtually seedless, juicy, easy to peel, sweet and of the highest quality.

Clemengold is also a versatile fruit to cook with – from sweet baked treats and preserves to zesty sauces, marinades and salads. We were treated to lovely a lovely Clemengold menu by the chef of Mantra Café. I had to leave before dessert was served, but I’m sure their Clemengold cake was magnificent!

Clemengold fruit is available in Woolworths countrywide. Get a box full of sunshine today.

A refreshing Clemengold Gin cocktail on arrival. I absolutely love their gin!

Peeling and tasting the fresh Clemegold fruit.

Marius du Plessis (CEO), Charlene Nieuwoudt (Communications Manager), Piet Pretorius (Client Relations) and Cobus Joubert (ClemenGold Gin project manager) – the friendly Clemengold team each told us more about the fruit, where the hybrid comes from, where it is grown, where it gets exported to, the making of their gin, etc.

Cobus Joubert showcases his product: Clemengold Gin.

A starter of Norwegian salmon with a Clemengold dressing.

Clemengold five ways – showing the versatility of the fruit in cooking.

Something fresh and something distilled to take home. The most beautiful packaging!

Thank you to Charlene Nieuwoudt and the Clemengold team for your hospitality.

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Tasting unfiltered olive oil (and lunch) at Tokara

8 Jun

Tokara’s filtered premium extra virgin olive oil, an award-winning product that most of us know and love.

Visiting Tokara is a must on the Stellenbosch to-do list, whether you’re an out-of-towner or a local-for-life. This landmark winery, restaurant, deli and olive oil producer is one of my favourite destinations in my home town – one that we visit regularly and one that keep evolving to bring some us award winning wines, food and oils every year.

This week I had the privilege of visiting Tokara for a special tasting of their unfiltered oils, straight off the press. Unfiltered oils are preferred in top olive oil producing European countries like Italy, but in the South African market people still prefer a clear, filtered product. To tell the truth, I would seek out and buy unfiltered extra virgin olive oil if it was available on shelves. So I might try to twist the arm of Tokara’s olive farmer to sell me some of their milky, peppery gold.

We tasted three varietals, including a soft and mild mission, a new hybrid called FS17 with a walnutty undertone and a very peppery coratina that will take your breath away (literally). Afterwards we had a delicious lunch, prepared by Tokara chef Richard Carstens and Tokara Deli head chef Edwina van Niekerk, accompanied by Tokara’s award winning wines.

Here is my visit in pictures. Do take the time to visit Tokara and Tokara Deli for a wine tasting, some olive oil shopping, or anything from breakfast to dinner.

Autumn becomes Winter at the entrance to Tokara Deli. This is olive harvest season.

Tokara GM Karl Lambour welcoming guests to their unfiltered olive oil tasting.

Gert van Dyk, olive farmer and oil producer at Tokara’s Olive Shed.

We get to take a tour inside the olive production plant at Tokara.

Ulfiltered liquid gold.

The table in the private dining room at Tokara Deli, next to the olive oil production plant.

These little blue glasses are international olive oil tasting glasses – round so that you can warm them in your hands, blue so that colour won’t affect your tasting perception.

Our lunch menu.

Tokara sauvignon blanc to start with.

Freshly baked bread and parmigiano to go with our unfiltered olive oil.

Roasted beetroot & gorgonzola salad with orange, pear, winter greens, nuts, thyme & orange dressing.

Tokara grenache 2012 to go with our main courses.

My choice of main course: mushroom risotto with spinach, leeks, parmesan and mascarpone.

Orange & polenta cake with orange ice cream and candied oranges.

Renowned Tokara chef Richard Carstens telling us more about his team’s choices for our lunch menu.

Tokara Deli head chef Edwina van Niekerk.

Freshly baked bread sticks, unfiltered Tokara olive oil, salt and recipes to take home!

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Introducing HAUS by Hertex

7 Jun

Serving spoons, dessert spoons and teaspoons by HAUS – in matt black, matt chocolate, old gold and matt anthracite. Forks, knives and other serving cutlery also available.

 

There’s a fabulous new range of homeware on the scene. It is called HAUS by Hertex – the popular upholstery textile supplier that also offer a range of rugs, wall coverings, drapery and cushions.

The new HAUS range contains a selection of flatware (contemporary stainless steel cutlery in gold, anthracite, chocolate and matt black), French Riviera napery (timeless French-inspired table cloths and napkins), Marma boards (marble serving plates and boards), protea-print tablecloths and sea-to-sand salad bowls and serving platters made from mangowood and boldly printed enamel. I’m told that next in line is a range of gorgeous stoneware dinner plates and bowls, so watch this space.

All the products are available directly from Hertex’s showrooms countrywide (yes, you can now buy directly from the showrooms) at competitive prices. You’ll see many of the items featured in my upcoming food styling as I am very privileged to collaborate with Hertex in plating and styling with these items for at least the next year, and of course in using their beautiful range when I cook and entertain in my home!

This range is so very versatile – contemporary yet timeless. Like the rest of Hertex’s product ranges, the HAUS range is of the highest international quality and it is exciting to see how European trends will reach our shores quicker with such an expert buying and merchandising team. Well done Hertex! I cannot wait to see what’s next.

Find your nearest Hertex showroom and pay them a visit to view the HAUS range.

French Riviera napery, Sea to Sand bowls and flatware in black and gold.

Protea table cloth and French Riviera napkins.

Sea to Sand serving bowls and salad servers with French Riviera napkins. I love the Mediterranean look of the enamel print on these bowls.

The HAUS collection has a timeless yet contemporary feel.

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Review: Lunch at Longridge Wine Estate

22 May

Longridge against the Helderberg mountains (picture from www.longridge.co.za)

There are many wine farms in and around Stellenbosch – more than 300 to be exact. Many of them make and serve world class wines. Many of them have great restaurants – some better than others. And then a good few have access to the brilliant views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards and even iconic Table Mountain in the background. Longridge Wine Estate is one of the destinations that have all of the above.

Situated in the Stellenbosch region on the slopes of the Helderberg mountain range, the farm was first registered in 1841 and underwent a few name changes before finally being called Longridge in 1992, when commercial wine production first started. Today, biodynamic viticultural methods are utilised to the fullest in their vineyards, where they strive to produce excellent quality wines while minimalising the impact they have on the environment. Their vines, herbs and vegetables are free from artificial pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers. The farm is also home to cattle that are free to wander the farm and provide manure that can later be used as compost.

I was invited to experience a food and wine extravaganza last week at Longridge, curated by their culinary consultant Marilou Marais in association with winemaker Jasper Raats and head chef Maritz Jacobs. I was in awe of the brilliance of this lunch – a contemporary yet unpretentious display of simple, seasonal ingredients in the most delicious way, pairing to a tee with Longridge’s world class wines (I will visit soon for a full tasting). The hospitality and generosity of the Longridge team seeps into the atmosphere, and I felt so genuinely at home.

Here is my experience in pictures:

A view from the restaurant towards the stoep, wine tasting area and vegetable gardens.

The vegetable garden area.

Longridge Vintage Reserve Brut 2009 on arrival, served with delicious canapés of fresh oysters, chicken skin “crackers” and truffled mushroom arancini.

Chef Maritz Jacobs, Marilou Marais (culinary consultant) and Jasper Raats (winemaker) of Longridge.

The restaurant interior at Longridge.

Our lunch menu.

Bread board.

First course: broccoli and romanesco, parmesan custard & baby spinach salad. Served with Driefontein Sauvignon Blanc 2015.

Second course: fragrant winter squash soup, poached trout & vadouvan spice. Served with Longridge Organic Chardonnay 2015.

Second course: baby potatoes, kaiins, coffee and mushrooms. Served with Die Plek Cinsaut 2015.

Fourth course: Farmer Angus thick flank, bone marrow drusted fillet, horseradish cream & Jerusalem artichoke. Served with Longridge Ekliptika 2013.

Dessert: caramelised Granny Smith apple dauphinoise with homemade Madagascan vanilla ice cream. Served with Longridge Edelgoud 2011.

Chef Maritz Jacobs and his star pastry chef, having a laugh with guests.

Thank you to Longridge Wine Estate for hosting me at this memorable lunch. Thank you also to Carina Diedericks-Hugo of Mabalel Communications for the invitation and for your part in creating this top event.

THE WINE SHOP:

Tastings Monday to Saturday, 10am to 16:30
Wine sales Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Closed Sunday, 1 January, Good Friday and Christmas Day.

THE RESTAURANT:

The menu changes regularly, and can be viewed here.

R225 for two courses, R295 for three courses.

Tuesdays Open for dinner only.
Wednesday to Saturday Lunch  and dinner.
Sundays Open for lunch only.
Closed Mondays, Good Friday, Christmas Day.

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(review) New small plates menu at Makaron Restaurant

17 May

Small plates at Makaron Restaurant, Majeka House, Stellenbosch. (Photograph supplied by Manley Communications)

MAKARON RESTAURANT is confirming its reputation as one of the most exciting dining destinations in the Winelands with an exciting new ‘small plates’ menu from Head Chef Lucas Carstens.

Situated in the stylish Majeka House & Spa in Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch, this luxury small hotel has recently earned yet another award, being named the Best Design Hotel in Africa & the Middle East at the international Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2017.

This winter, Chef Carstens is heating things up with an innovative menu of tapas-style dining where the idea of flexibility and social eating gets preference.

The small plates offering begins with an amuse bouche of leaves from the Majeka vegetable gardens, tossed in rooibos vinegar and served alongside korrelkonfyt, sourdough and butter. From there you can choose from 18 small plate dishes on the menu, varying from vegetarian to meaty to sweet and everything inbetween. Fermenting and curing play key roles in bringing out umami flavour, with the team making kombucha, malt vinegars, cured duck breast, pickled figs and ginger beer.

I had the privilege of experiencing a taste of the small plates menu earlier this week. Makaron remains one of my favourite restaurants in Stellenbosch. Their new small plates offering is highly recommended and their wine pairings were, as always, exquisite. Here is my experience in pictures:

Our media table at Makaron Restaurant, where I had the privilege of tasting many of the small plates on the new menu.

Chef Lucas Carstens tells us more about his new small plates menu.

Majeka garden leaves & rooibos (compliments of the kitchen).

Bread board with spiced butter dip (compliments of the kitchen).

“Mielie pap” croquette & Sheba (compliments of the kitchen).

Heirloom tomato, white balsamic, house ricotta, gazpacho granita.

House made duck breast ham, baby figs, cos lettuce.

Cured trout, beetroot-apple kraut, milk kefir dressing.

Charred cauliflower, cabbage, sweet corn, parmesan.

Beef tartare poke bowl, avocado, sesame bar – one of my favourite dishes of the day.

Kingklip, black garlic, eggplant, ash baked carrot, black rice.

Baby marrow risotto, cured egg shavings, raw mushroom, truffle.

Springbok rump, beetroot, cabbage.

Dark chocolate, almond milk ice cream, home brewed ginger beer.

Passion fruit, buchu meringue, coconut, spekboom.

“Melktert” ice cream sandwich.

Makaron Restaurant is open daily for dinner (closed on Wednesdays during winter between May and September), from 18h30 – 20h30. Diners can choose four/five/six courses from the ’small plates’ menu for R450/R565/R675 respectively. An optional wine pairing is also available, at a cost of R770/R940/R1100 for both food and wine.

Take advantage of the special winter promotion available at Majeka House & Spa where you will pay only R1420 per person sharing a night inclusive of breakfast and dinner at Makaron, available from Sunday to Thursday, May to end of August 2017. 

Majeka House & Spa and Makaron Restaurant are situated at 26-32 Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch. For bookings call 021 880 1549 or email reservations@majekahouse.co.za. For more information visit www.majekahouse.co.za

Thank you to Makaron Restaurant and Manley Communications for hosting me.

WIN this hamper with the Fairtrade Challenge

17 May

You can win this incredible hamper from Fairtrade SA.

In celebration of the #WorldFairtradeChallenge that took place this weekend I am giving away this fabulous Fairtrade goodie hamper to one lucky winner!

To enter this give-away, name one official South African Fairtrade product, along with the hashtag #fairtradeSA.

Leave your answer in the comments section below. (Winner via random draw to be announced on Tuesday 23 May 2017.)

One of the Fairtrade wines that we enjoyed over the weekend – a Merlot from Place in the Sun.

Over the past weekend, participants from all around the world celebrated Fairtrade labelled brands as we honour the commitment they have made to a fairer trading economy and the development of many hard-working farmers and workers in South Africa and the rest of the globe.

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade. It is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers improved terms of trade, which allows them to improve their lives on their terms. For consumers, Fairtrade is a powerful way to reduce poverty through every day shopping.

The Fairtrade system is one of the largest and most diverse global movements with thousands of relationships in more than 90 countries. Fairtrade takes a holistic approach to sustainability focusing on improving economic, social and environmental conditions for the long-term.

Have a look at the website www.fairtradechallenge.org/za and show your support by buying #faitradeSA!

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(review) Lunch and dinner at Stellenbosch Kitchen

16 May

The entrance to Stellenbosch Kitchen on Andringa Street, early evening.

This year, I’ll be celebrating my 40th year in Stellenbosch. A year ago we made a move from the outskirts of town to the beautiful bustling historical centre. While we gave up a chunk of living space (in size) in the process, we gained the incredible European-like lifestyle of locking up our apartment and walking a short distance to the best coffee shops and restaurants the Winelands has to offer.

Dorp Street and Church Street is where it’s at: the centre of my beautiful town when it comes to tourism, social hotspots, food and wine. Right in the middle of it all is Stellenbosch Hotel and its recently renovated restaurant Stellenbosch Kitchen – pretty much back to back with its sister-hotel Coopmanhuijs Hotel & Spa featuring Helena’s Restaurant. I recently had the opportunity to visit Stellenbosch Kitchen for dinner and lunch respectively, and would love to share my experiences with you.

The landmark veranda of Stellenbosch Kitchen on Andringa Street, early evening, just before the arrival of dinner guests.

Stellenbosch Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in town, built on Simon van der Stel’s property (a grant) between 1692 and 1701. It has since been restored in 1987 and declared a national monument. After the refurbishment in 2016, the name Jan Cats Restaurant was replaced by Stellenbosch Kitchen, featuring an eclectic yet contemporary spin on the existing historical eatery.

The space that is now called Stellenbosch Kitchen has forever been a local hotspot to both students, the mid-town working crowd and the wealthy. Their bistro-style fare has been a favourite for decades, being enjoyed on the tree-rich veranda that envelopes their landmark corner on Dorp and Andringa streets.

Here are my lunch and dinner experiences in pictures.

One of the massive old oak trees that surround Stellenbosch Hotel.

Our 18h00 arrival at Stellenbosch Kitchen meets a neatly prepped restaurant space.

Chef at work – the service hatch at Stellenbosch Kitchen.

Bread board with red wine butter and hummus. All bread baked in-house.

The dinner menu at Stellenbosch Kitchen. This menu changes seasonally.

An exceptional wine list is one of the attractions at Stellenbosch Kitchen. Here we’re enjoying Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs Shiraz.

Potato gnocchi, butternut, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, goat’s milk feta, basil pesto. Beautifully cooked gnocchi with a mixture of very punchy ingredients.

Pan-seared line fish, fennel velouté, prawn barley risotto, grilled prawn, red pepper fondue. Perfectly cooked line fish, and I really enjoyed the texture of the barley risotto.

Ale-battered hake, hand-cut potato chips, sauce tartare, charred lemon, mushy peas. A stunning dish, yet so simple. Perfect tartare, fluffy hake, super crunchy chips – what more do you want?

Fondant of black cherry and Valrhona chocolate, Bulgarian yoghurt ice cream. Excellent texture and an interesting spin on the classic fondant – maybe a little too bitter and sour for my personal preference. Beautiful plating and delicious ice cream.

Our second visit was an early lunch at 11h30 – also much better lighting by day for my camera!

A buttery yellow glass of Jordan Chardonnay for me.

Roasted rack of Karoo Lamb, carrot purée, spiced pear chutney, polenta, fine beans. This dish is from the dinner menu, but was made for us on special request over lunch. It is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and well worth ordering (for dinner).

Osso bucco with risotto milanese. This dish certainly won’t win any prizes for plating, but it is hearty and moorish and hits all the right spots for comforting winter fare.

Apple and almond tart, vanilla bean ice cream, ginger crumble, crème anglaise – definitely my favourite dessert on the menu. They should serve this delicious pastry for breakfast too!

Coconut panna cotta, compressed pineapple, mango caviar, passion fruit mushrooms.

Stellenbosch Kitchen is well worth a regular visit, whether for a mid-week lunch, a lazy weekend dinner, or a special occasion with friends from abroad.

Thank you to the staff and management of Stellenbosch Kitchen for hosting us. We’ll certainly be back for more.

Make your booking:

Tel: +27 (0)21 883-2893
Address: Corner of Dorp & Andringa Streets, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa

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(review) Chef’s Table at The Twelve Apostles

20 Apr

The view to the right from the Leopard Bar at The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.

Two weeks ago I have the pleasure of attending the first degustation dinner at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa – a new and exclusive “secret menu” chef’s table experience that will be available once a month for a limited number of people all sharing a long table adjacent to the Azure restaurant kitchen.

Chef Christo Pretorius ready for action.

Chef Christo Pretorius and head sommelier Gregory Mutambe welcomed us at 18h30 in their restaurant, against an awe inspiring backdrop of ocean, mountains and sunset. The award-winning Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is part of the family-run Red Carnation Hotel Collection and is situated on Cape Town’s most scenic Victoria Road in Camps Bay. Poised above the Atlantic Ocean, the 5-star boutique hotel is flanked by the majestic Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site, and the Twelve Apostles mountain range. The hotel offers 70 guest rooms, with unique features that include a holistic spa, private cinema, and breathtaking views from the legendary Azure Restaurant and The Leopard Bar.

A quick pic with award winning sommelier Gregory Mutambe, before the start of our dinner.

The sunset view from the Leopard Bar at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.

For the chef’s table dinner, you can enjoy a surprise six course degustation menu designed by chef Christo Pretorius – a menu that will change with every occasion. Starting on the 5th of May 2017, the hotel will be hosting these dinners on the first Friday of every month.
The recommended wine pairings with each course, featuring an exclusive selection hand-picked by acclaimed sommelier Greg Mutambe, is one of the highlights of the experience. Chef Christo and Greg will be on hand to guide you through the menu and the wines, but a screen with some footage of the action in the kitchen is a welcome addition (their kitchen space do not allow the chef’s table to actually be inside the kitchen).

Azure Restaurant reception area.

The interior of Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa (picture supplied by The Twelve Apostles)

Take a look at my experience at The Twelve Apostles’s first degustation dinner in photographs. I shared the table with a few other digital media guests and their partners, as well as the GM Michael Nel and PR host Joanne Hayes from Tumbleweed Communications. I can honestly say that this dinner was one of the most welcoming, enjoyable, relaxing, luxurious experiences of my life. The unsurpassed views, the incredibly professional and friendly staff, the thoughtful interior, the absolute attention to detail, the magnificent selection of wines expertly paired with the food, the faultless service and of course the selection of scrumptious and inventive dishes from the kitchen – it was a unique all-round experience of the highest quality, one that I would certainly remember for a lifetime.

Amuse-bouche: 60 °c Saldanha Bay Oyster – oyster mayo | miso caramel | compressed cucumber ǀ passionfruit | wild rice puffs

First course: Chicken and Ham Terrine – pickled shitake mushrooms ǀ tarragon mayo ǀ honey mustard emulsion ǀ baby micro salad ǀ compressed granny smith ǀ cured egg yolk

Second course: Roast Cauliflower – cauliflower crème ǀ pickled sultanas ǀ Malay spice dressing ǀ onion dhaltjies ǀ aged parmesan

Third course: Citrus Cured Salmon – molasses curd ǀ hazelnuts ǀ pickled beetroot ǀ stem ginger ǀ fennel fronds

Fourth course: Loin of Venison – venison osso buco ǀ parmesan gnocchi ǀ roast butternut puree ǀ squash custard ǀ confit baby leeks ǀ seed crumble ǀ maple and coffee jus

Fifth course: Boerenkaas Biscuit – pickled plum ǀ plum gel ǀ watercress ǀ toasted macadamia mousse

Sixth course: Valrhona Manjari – crémeux ǀ macerated berries ǀ gingerbread ǀ vanilla meringue ǀ dulcey crème

Mignardises, served with coffee and tea.

This degustation dinner experience is limited to 6-12 guests per event and comes with a price tag of R2150/person for six courses (includes wine, water and gratuity). With 10 days notice, they can do this Chef’s Table on any date (other than advertised) for private bookings. The experience is certainly not for the budget conscious, but fits perfectly in line with The Twelve Apostles’s high end / luxury offerings. Do browse their website for other services, including spa packages, romantic getaways and even an option where kids stay free. And did you know they were pet friendly?

Contact The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa for your reservation:

Telephone: +27 21 4379000
Email: reservations1@12apostles.co.za
Address: Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
GPS Coordinates: 33º58’59.37” S ,  18º21’31.43” E

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