Gin has been experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity, with a smattering of craft distilleries opening and bringing their unique takes on the spirit to market. Being South African, Autograph is carefully distilled using blended botanicals and fynbos (part of what makes the Western Cape the smallest floral kingdom in the world).
If you contact Autograph, they will be happy to arrange a bespoke tasting for you, with your own mixologist and private table. This is a great way to become acquainted with their style, flavour and ethos.
It also helps that the venue is stunning, the gin fabulous and the servers are all incredibly knowledgeable and passionate.
All in all it’s an experience and an education, well worth the beautiful drive!
We love chocolate, i mean, really, really love chocolate, just a little bit more than we love wine, so it’s vastly convenient for us to go to Lourensford to indulge in fine wines and finer Belgian chocolate in beautiful pairings.
In the heart of the picturesque Helderberg mountains, Lourensford Wine Estate is a bustle of activities you can make a day of, hot tip, have some coffee, it’s fantastic.
The chocolate pairings are as follows:
A limited release chardonnay with orange dark chocolate
A Lourensford estate merlot with dark cherry chocolate
A Lourensford estate shiraz with dark chili chocolate
A unique Lourensford honey liqueur with dark mint chocolate
The experience is sublime and amazing, the way the flavours swirl and complement one another is testimony to the amount of thought and care that has gone into the selection process.
The terroir of Waterkloof is the closest thing to Provence you will get in the western Cape, absolutely beautiful! Waterkloof pride themselves on their natural farming processes and biodynamic vineyard practices.
In the tasting room, through the tall glass walls you can observe both the working cellar and the farm below, with artwork by well-known South African artists framed by raw concrete columns.
The tasting experience begins with a rich and smooth Chardonnay followed by a stunning Chenin Blanc paired with a fruit and cheese platter. After that, personal favourites included The Circle of Life White (Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc blend) and the False Bay Rosé which is a gentle and elegant drop!
The morsels and the wines are fantastic, definitely worth coming back for a full meal, especially considering that many of the wines available here are not available in stores.
“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria”
- David Auerbach
This week we will be looking at things that go together, and things that need to be tasted and experienced. Yes! We’re going on a high-end booze cruise to indulge in delicious beverages and decadent snacks.
The Riverine Rabbit is an experiment in conscious dining, purely locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients cooked in a charcoal Josper oven. Head Chef/Patron Ash Heeger trained under Chef Luke Dale Roberts at La Colombe and then at The Test Kitchen, her path in food is on fire, definitely a chef to keep an eye on.
They do a full vegetarian as well as a pescetarian menu, so every taste is accommodated. Off the full tasting menu you will experience amazing dishes paired cleverly with great wines.
Try everything, but specifically we enjoyed the dressed oyster with buttermilk, citrus and fennel paired with a bubbly Klein Constantia MCC Brut. Also the honey-cured beef served with tapioca, egg yolk, soy and alliums with a Lismore Chardonnay, outstanding.
The ideas and dishes keep pouring out of this kitchen, beautiful and delicious, highly recommended.
Following the ongoing success of the celebrated La Mouette Restaurant, Upper Bloem in Green Point offers a unique spin of bringing the terroir experience to an urban setting.
Renowned chef Henry Vigar oversees both eateries, but Upper Bloem specifically is under the expert care of chef Andre Hill, a rising (some would say, already established) star in the Cape Town culinary scene.
The set dinner menu is a series of nine course of Cape inspired tapas, heavily drawing influences and ingredients from the nearby harbour and mountains.
These include delicacies such as Ostrich ‘bunny chow’ dumplings with shallot crumbs and buffalo fromage blanc. Mauritian sea bass in a Malaysian fish curry with pickled cucumber and a roti crisp. Slow-cooked lamb shank in a delectable Asian Rendang sauce.
Round it all off with a beautifully themed buttermilk semifreddo ginger bread sandwich with white chocolate sand.
When Peter Tempelhoff, Ashley Moss and Jennifer Hugé put their heads together and launched Fyn (Afrikaans “Fine”, as in, fine dining) they did so with one objective in mind, to create a stellar feast for the senses and back it with fluid service and a highly knowledgeable floor staff.
They really do tick all the boxes, visually stunning, impeccably delicious and just the right amount of attentiveness for a great experience.
The menu has a distinctively eastern slant with French style table service, it is essentially an extensive tasting menu.
Starters include Daikon maki, fresh, braised, 3 year pickled, salted cherry blossom and smoked mayonnaise. Crispy chewy rice, aged soy sauce, wasabi furikake, white fish and dashi aioli, prawn samosas and spiced chicken.
Amongst the mains you will find delights such as Scallop and egg custard with braised kelp. Also, quail, glazed eel, parsnip, tea aged pear and oyster mushrooms.
For dessert you should try the Madagascan chocolate, salted Japanese plum with fennel, it’s out of this world!
There is a very real chance that after the craziness of the Christmas to New Years weeks, you may need a little time to tune out and tune in.
Whatever your beliefs or spiritual inclinations, there is definitely a universal truth to be gained in reflection and self-care.
High Hopes offers individual personalised wellness retreats or themed retreats. The individual personalised wellness retreat programme is put together by you and Ange, allowing you to give your input and answer a range of questions regarding your general well-being and needs. You can structure the retreat to be from two nights to three weeks long.
Think daily massage, reiki balancing, aroma steam therapy and kinesiology. All meals are fresh, plant-based and delicious, freshly-sourced and super healthy.
Pick and choose the treatments, accommodation and time frame that suits you best and allow yourself to be “reset” for the New Year.
A key element to the spirit of this time of year is that of charity. Spare a thought (and your wallets) to the amazing and tireless work done by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).
They keep our beaches and inland seas safe, constantly patrolling and working in conjunction with the SA coast guard. Mostly they rely on a volunteer force and donations to keep their gear up to scratch and in running order.
This is where you come in, there are a number of ways in which you could get involved and really make a difference! All the info is on the website, but to give you an idea, you could:
Become a Partner by taking a membership, a family membership or signing up to be a corporate sponsor
Sponsor a pink lifebuoy to be deployed at high risk areas
Sponsor a boat!
Any way you cut it, their work is essential, entirely beneficial and very much deserving of our appreciation and attention.