Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cathbert Country Inn near Franschhoek

I recently joined a group of young professionals from Cape Town and Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands.
Cathbert Country Inn has for some time been one of the favourite destinations for travellers seeking a great destination, warm reception, fine food and surrounded by dams and mountain views in all directions.
Here you can loose yourself for a few days and revitalise body, mind and soul.

The brief from the group was fine wine and dining, quiet and secluded accomodation, easy and quick access to top wineries (Cathbert is sandwiched between Rupert & Rothschild, Plaisir de Merle and Vrede & Lust) challenging walks and mountain bike routes.
The host couple, Lynn & Aubrey Blignaut, went out their way to ensure that this group will never forget their experience in the winelands.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Couple from Germany with their two lovely grand-daughters

Lunching at the beautiful Delaire Graff Wine Estate just outside Stellenbosch. A huge investment made here   by the London based owner Laurence Graff, the stunning boutique hotel also just opening its doors.

             The wonderful views across to Franschhoek and the Groot Drakenstein mountain.

Never to early to teach the young ones the art of toasting and responsible art of enjoying wine, only water in the little one's glass!

The Cape Winelands at their very best.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Champagne Tasting in Constantia

 I was recently invited by the International Food and Wine Society of Cape Town to attend one of their sought after tastings-what a day it was!

 The first flight:
2004 Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, 2003 Drappier Exception Canicule and a 2002 Colin Cuvee Grand Cru.
 My personal favourite was the last wine of the tasting from a great vintage in Champagne
-1995 Jacquesson Grand Vin Signature.

 A sensational line up of vintage champagnes from 1995 to 2004 presented by the master himself-Allan Mullins and accompanied by his charming wife Therese
Henry, Allan, Jane and Mike tasting, sniffing, swirling, observing, listening and making notes
The venue was great, the weather superb, the people generous and the champagne-well tres, tres bon!
The team in the kitchen served a meal to be remembered.
Italian Courgette and Basil Soup with Grissini Sticks,
 Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Mango served on a bed of Taglirine
and for desert Lemon tart with home made Gelato.

The wines that accompanied the lunch was a Springfontein Estate White of Sopiensklip 2009 and a Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2004.

Recent Gourmet Clients from Henley, UK

I recently hosted four MBA students from Henley who came out for the first time to South Africa and worked on various research projects. Importantly though, they wanted to experience the best wine and food the Cape has to offer.

Here Ana, Ian, Simon & Karim are preparing for a long day in Africa!

The first lunch stop was at Overture, the award-winning restaurant on the magnificent Hidden Valley Estate.

Here owner and chef Bertus Basson and his skilled and energetic team privided a food and wine experience which will be remembered for years to come.

The view from our table on that beautiful day!

At some stage during the two days we ended up at the Food Barn in Noordhoek. We had travelled through the charming suburb of Hout Bay, tasted wines at some boutique wineries in the valley, traversed Chapmans Peak and as you can see prepared for a mega-tasting.

Frank Dangereux, owner and chef here at the Food Barn is a legend. He put La Colombe on the international food map and then continued his quest to serve the best at his now very established eatery in Noordhoek. We arrived at 1 o'clock and left at 4!!

The majestic Cape Point and the penguins at Boulders in Simonstown was a fitting way to end the day.