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Dinner at Liberty’s Restaurant, Doubletree Hilton – Upper Eastside

22 Aug

Comfortable seats at Liberty’s.

 

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending an evening with my family at the Doubletree Hilton, Upper Eastside, Woodstock. Their restaurant, Liberty’s, recently had a seasonal menu change and we were invited to experience the new culinary offerings first hand.

The friendly staff welcomed us at reception with warm chocolate chip cookies and gave us the key to a very spacious Twin Deluxe room on the 4th floor, complete with an extra kids bed for my daughter.

At 18h30 we went downstairs to Liberty’s Restaurant, where we had a fantastic dinner. Below is our experience in pictures. What impressed me a lot was that this restaurant runs seven days a week from 07h00-23h00, also doing room service to the hotel. The staff seemed relaxed and came across as professional, friendly and in charge at all times. They cater for kids too as there are many families staying over, so yes, there is a great kid’s menu complete with crayons and activities.

Our stay at the Doubletree Hilton, Upper Eastside, was seamless. What a delightful way to spend some time in the Mother City – Woodstock is surrounded by beautiful art & furniture shops and the famous Woodmill Market is just around the corner. Table Mountain provides a dramatic backdrop to the hotel entrance and from some of the rooms you can see as far as the harbour.

Everything about our room was great: from the carpets to the bedding, the thoughtful lighting, the privacy and muted sound, the bathroom mirror’s lighting, the lovely soap and shampoo (really nice), and the fabulous shower head that is as wide as a dinner plate.

The breakfast staff were also very friendly and I want to make a special mention of the lady frying the eggs (and the pancakes etc.) at the hot section: her warm smile and welcoming nature was fabulous, even though some of the guests didn’t return the greeting (I hope it just got lost in translation with some of the international guests). She is a complete star!

I can highly recommend a stay-over and dinner at the Doubletree Hilton Upper Eastside & Liberty’s Restaurant. Choose between tapas, wraps, paninis, prego rolls, salads and burgers, or opt for a multi-course meal from the starters and mains options, also including pasta and vegetarian options with many dessert choices. See the dishes that we experienced below.

Our huge comfortable bed and a little bed for my daughter.

View from the bedroom window where you can see the harbour (I couldn’t open the window wide enough, for our safety obviously, so had to take this one right through the glass).

Getting comfortable for dinner at Liberty’s.

The menu at Liberty’s.

Our choice of wine for the evening at Liberty’s.

Chef Warren King was head of the kitchen on the evening that we dined at Liberty’s, while Head Chef Simon Kemp was taking a break.

My daughter’s freshly made chicken strips with chips – her favourite! One comment: I think the spices on the chips were a little too hot for little mouths. Great for adults, though! My husband and I finished them in no time at all.

My starter: Salt, chilli and pepper calamari, ponzu dip, wasabi mayo.

Schalk’s starter: Cajun grilled baby calamari tubes on creamy saffron orzo with feta and chorizo.

My main course: Creamy wild mushroom truffled gnocchi with butternut gremolata, roasted pine nuts, sage and parmesan.

Schalk’s main course: Teriyaki beef fillet with wasabi mayo, crisped kale, roasted baby onion, sweet potato puree and and teriyaki jus. This was a stunning plate of food.

My dessert: Dark and white chocolate fondant, with salted caramel ice cream. Delicious fondant, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the ice cream texture.

Schalk’s dessert: Oreo Delight, miso white choc mousse, crushed Oreo & Oreo truffles. One of the winning dishes of the evening.

The night time view from our room window. The city harbour lights were beautiful.

Just one section of the delightful breakfast buffet – especially because I’m a pastry girl! The churros were deadly – I could eat the whole plate!

 

Hilton Doubletree address: 31 Brickfield Road, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7935, South Africa

Contact: +27-21-4040570

Website: Click here.

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A food and wine showcase at La Petite Ferme

15 Aug

La Petite Ferme Verdict 2015 – one of the wines that was part of the food and wine showcase at La Petite Ferme.

 

Last week I had the privilege of attending a food & wine showcase – the last in their winter series – at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek. We were treated to MCC and canapés at the fireplace before a tutored tasting for red blends with La Petite Ferme winemaker Wikus Pretorius. Then it was time for Executive Chef Sidwell Yarrow and his kitchen team to treat us to a three course food and wine pairing (with choices of starters and mains) with added amuse bouche and pre-dessert course.

With guests seated at a special long table, the team of La Petite Ferme pulled out all the stops to guide us through their carefully curated event complete with thematic centre pieces for each course. The service was impeccable and I enjoyed every minute of this luxurious food and wine showcase.

Keep an eye out for more seasonal food and wine events coming up at La Petite Ferme (the last series was priced at R750/person) or visit them for their a la carte restaurant offering with wine, open every day. Here is my recent experience in pictures:

Morena NV Catherine Brut MCC on arrival at La Petite Ferme, in front of a cosy fireplace.

The fire place in the lounge at La Petite Ferme.

The last of the canapés being served before our tasting.

Red blends tutored tasting.

La Petite Ferme winemaker Wikus Pretorius.

Domaine Magellan 2013 from France, being tasted by Schalk.

The food and wine showcase menu for the evening.

Fig and blue cheese plaited rolls.

Bread board at La Petite Ferme.

Amuse bouche: pork shank croquette.

Starter (option 1): Ocean trout gravlax, apple & celeriac remoulade ,yuzu pearls, coral tuille. Paired with La Petite Ferme Viognier 2017.

Starter (option 2): Fire and Ice, spicy yellow fin tuna, cucumber and daikon relish, sea lettuce, ponzo dressing, wasabi foam. Paired with La Petite Ferme Viognier 2017.

Chef Sidwell Yarrow talks us through his dishes for the showcase.

Mains (option 1): Rooibos tea smoked springbok, sweet potato mash, rooibos gel, thyme flowers, jus. Paired with La Petite Ferme Verdict 2015. This was my dish of the night – impeccable.

Mains (option 2): Braised black angus beef short rib, truffle mash, sous-vide baby beets, crispy garlic flakes. Paired with La Petite Ferme Verdict 2015.

Pre-dessert: “Hertzoggie”

Dessert: A Study of Papaya, bruleed banana, caramelized white chocolate, passion fruit. Paired with La Petite Ferme Merlot Rosé 2017.

The kitchen team receives a well-deserved ovasion for their food showcase.

Contact La Petite Ferme:

Telephone: +27 (0) 21 876 3016
Franschhoek Pass Road
PO Box 683
Franschhoek
7690
South Africa
Restaurant reservations
reception@lapetiteferme.co.za
+27 (0) 21 876 3016
Accommodation reservations
accommodation@lapetiteferme.co.za
Tel: +27 (0) 21 876 3016

Lunch at Love Thy Neighbour

3 Aug

An unpretentious space at Love Thy Neighbour.

 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of having lunch at Love Thy Neighbour in Cape Town – the recently refurbished and rebranded space where And Union used to be. The setting is 110 Bree Street, a very central location that has been frequented by Cape Town locals for years.

I’ve always had a deep affinity for Mediterranean food. Having traveled in Greece a few years ago, I was excited to see what these guys had up their sleeves. We arrived for lunch at 12h30 while the venue was still quiet (just the way I like it). The interior was modern with beautiful stone walls and striking mini tiles on the floors. What followed was a lunch that I absolutely loved and will never forget – indulging in some of my favourite dishes prepared faultlessly by the kitchen team and the griller outside.

Here is my experience in pictures. Be sure to visit Love Thy Neighbour soon – it’s an inviting space with fabulous (and affordable) food, friendly service and a killer playlist.

110 Bree Street, Cape Town.

Friendly waiters at Love Thy Neighbour.

Food specials at Love Thy Neighbour.

The bar at Love They Neighbour.

Green walls and comfortable seats at Love Thy Neighbour’s inside area.

I just LOVED the little floor tiles at Love Thy Neighbour.

Crisp glasses of sauvignon blanc.

A seasonal menu at Love Thy Neighbour.

Saganaki, fried halloumi, pickled kumquat, walnut, basil. The crunchy nuts and soft cheese was a winning combo.

Calamari, harissa, za’atar, aioli. Meltingly soft with a fluffy coating.

Fried aubergine, whipped feta, date molasses, sesame, mint. This simple dish was my favourite of the day and I’ll be back for more very soon!

An outstanding lamb belly souvlaki, cherry tomato, cucumber, pickled red onion, tahina sauce, tzatziki.

From the fire: sardines in vine leaves, skordalia, ladolemono. I ate all 3 sardines with my hands and licked my fingers – delicious.

For dessert: Loukoumades – Cypriot doughnuts, hazelnut, chocolate. It has a soft centre and chewey exterior almost like a French canele. Outstanding! I want more…

Grilling peppers outside – most of their meat is also grilled here and you can taste the smoke and fire. This guy sure knows what he is doing.

Love Thy Neighbour on Facebook:

“We’re all about good Mediterranean style food, wine, beer, music and being good to people. Fresh, clean, free range. Wholesome and locally sourced. As organic as possible. 110 Bree Street. (021) 4222770”

Hours: Tuesday 12h30-23h00, Wednesday – Saturday, 12h00 – 23h30

See the winter menu here.

Pricing: Meze: R32-65, Mains: R70-R85, Sides: R35-R50, Dessert: R45

Pickling and fermenting your own vegetables with Poetry Stores

1 Aug

A Wintry antipasti spread. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

I’ve heard so much about the health benefits of fermented vegetables. It activates the right elements for a healthy gut and will add longevity and “feel-good” to your life. Vladia Cobrdova wrote a book as Wellness Ambassador for the Australian whole food brand About Life, where her focus is all about raw food recipes, whole food, activated, pickled and fermented food, and general goodness.

She has also inspired me not to forget about entertaining antipasto-style during Winter, where you can add many flavourful pickles and fermented veg to your board, as well as raw pestos and other delicious items. Pickling vegetables is also a great way of minimizing waste and saving up stock for a “rainy day” – a delicious, lasting treat from your own cupboard.

Serve the pickles with an array of delightful charcuterie, cheeses and wholesome rye crackers. Check out my •notes for substitutes on some of the exotic ingredients.

Find Vladia’s book A Whole New Way to Eat at Poetry Stores, along with Poetry’s new range of beautiful marble and wood serving boards – perfect for serving antipasti.

Beautiful bright pink pickled cabbage. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

Pickled veg (makes about 2 1/2 cups)
Rating: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw

(Recipe by Vladia Cobrdova from her book A Whole New Way To Eat.)

100 g purple cabbage, shredded
100 g white cabbage, shredded
1 kale leaf, thinly sliced, stalk discarded (about 1 cup)
30 g goji berries
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl with 375 ml water and combine well. Transfer to a large jar or airtight container and press the cabbage down firmly to compact. If necessary, add a little extra water to cover the cabbage, ensuring it is submerged in liquid. Seal and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.

Chinese cabbage makes the best ingredient for pickled kimchi. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

Pickled Kimchi (makes 3 1/2 cups)

(Recipe by Vladia Cobrdova from her book A Whole New Way To Eat.)

3 cups sliced Chinese cabbage (wong bok)
1 small kale leaf, thinly sliced, stalks removed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup Peruvian ground cherries (Inca berries)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pinch dried chilli flakes

Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl with 375 ml water and combine well. Transfer to a large jar and press the contents down tightly. If necessary, add a little extra water to cover the vegetables, ensuring they are submerged completely. Seal and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.

*My notes: I couldn’t find inca berries in any of the supermarkets or health shops in Stellenbosch, so I left it out completely. You can substitute the raw sugar for palm sugar or white sugar.

Cream mint pesto with spinach, cashews and parmesan.

 

Creamy Mint Pesto: (makes 1 cup)

(Recipe by Vladia Cobrdova from her book A Whole New Way To Eat.)

135 g baby spinach leaves
30 g mint leaves
10 g Italian parsley leaves
80 g raw cashews
80 g pine nuts
50 g grated parmesan cheese
60 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 1/2 limes
60 ml kefir

Put all the ingredients in a blender with 2 tablespoons of water and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a small airtight container, level the top, then pour a shallow layer of extra virgin olive oil over the prevent it from oxidising. The pesto will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve as a dip, dressing or pasta sauce; use it on fish or with meat.

*My notes: Pine nuts can be quite expensive – substitute with more cashews if you want. Kefir is a fermented milk drink – substitute with Greek yoghurt if you cannot find it.

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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