Picnic at Grande Provence this Easter

I went to Grande Provence once with my then travel writing teacher and continuous mentor, Carrie Hampton (otherwise known as the SafariTart). The rainy weather probably added to the charm of the place and I remember having one of the best dinners ever. It’s been a few years since then, but I can definitely recommend this lovely place.

Enjoy a relaxed family picnic this Easter Sunday, with an Easter egg hunt for the kids, a wide variety of delicious country-style eats and fabulous wines at Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate in Franschhoek.

In addition to picnic baskets filled to the brim, you can opt for a selection of lighter foods and enjoy the soothing sounds of a classical ensemble in beautifully landscaped gardens. Think bubbly and oysters from the oyster bar, filled paninis, home-made ice teas and lemonade, a heavenly Angels Tears wine and nougat pairings, artisanal coffee and fresh produce stands. The art in the Sculpture Garden under the majestic oaks is also something to behold.

Besides the traditional Easter egg hunt, children will be entertained with lawn games such as croquet, giant Jenga, face painting and a hot chocolate fountain. Let the kids have fun while you sit back and savour a glass or two of Grande Provence‘s wines and elegant Méthode Cap Classique – with oysters of course!

The picnic starts at 10h00 and ends at 16h00 on Easter Sunday, 1 April 2018. Entry is free, but bookings for the Easter Picnic Baskets (R500 per couple and R150 per child), need to be made ahead of time. Contact 021 876 8600 or email reservations@grandeprovence.co.za.


Take advantage of their Heartland dinner, bed and breakfast offer, which also starts on the 1st of April and stay a while.

Available from April until the end of September, tailor-made Heartland packages at both The Owner’s Cottage and La Provençale offer wonderful winter value. The Owner’s Cottage exudes period grandeur and contemporary luxury for the ultimate escape. It’s a private cottage that comprises of four rooms, a deluxe suite, lounge and conservatory leading out to the soothing pool area set in a country garden. At La Provençale exclusive use guests are accommodated in style with two en suite bedrooms, separated by a shared lounge leading onto a relaxing outdoor terrace and pool. Surrounded by lush vines and breath-taking views, this is the quintessential private getaway for families or close friends.

Tucked away in the Franschhoek heartland of South African wine country, Grande Provence is a unique destination with a myriad of exceptional experiences including award winning wines, modern South African cuisine by Executive Chef, Guy Bennett, at The Restaurant and an eclectic collection of contemporary South African art at The Gallery. Grande Provence is one of the jewels of The Huka Retreats, a collection of exclusive, internationally acclaimed properties offering the ultimate in understated luxury in unmatched locations in New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa to the world’s most discerning travellers.



Gabriëlskloof – ‘n Syrah Towerspel

Gabriëlskloof Landgoed in die Overberg skyn in Juliemaand die kollig op ’n indrukwekkende portefeulje unieke Syrah-wyne in sy nuut omskepte Landskapskelder. Die rare vertoongeleentheid, wat ’n plattelandse middagete langs ‘n kaggelvuur insluit, sal op Saterdag, 28 Julie, plaasvind.

Che Syrah, Syrah, ’n speling op Que Sera, Sera (wat moet wees, sal wees) verwys na die natuur se onvoorspelbaarheid en die min beheer wat daar oor die wingerde en die terroir-gehalte wat in elke Gabriëlskloof Syrah vasgevang is, is. Die gesegde, Que Sera, Sera, het in die 1950s met ‘n Doris Day-liedjie bekend geraak.

Gabriëlskloof is net buite Botrivier geleë – ’n streek wat van die land se beste Syrah-wyn produseer. Die grootste deel van die landgoed lê onder Syrah aanplantings, wat die inspirasie agter Gabriëlskloof se twee Landscape Syrahs, wat die diversiteit van die terroir uitlig, was.

28 Julie se Che Syrah, Syrah sal ’n intieme kykie na Gabriëlskloof se Syrah evolusie – van beide stilistiese- en terroir perspektiewe, asook van die ouskool-dae van die Swartrivier Shiraz tot die ontluiking van die Landscape Syrahs bied. Die geleentheid bring hulde aan uitstekende wyne wat ’n totale en verrassende ommeswaai in styl ervaar het: van dig en eikehout-gedrewe, tot verfyn en terroir-gedrewe.

“Dit gaan oor ons reis om die beste plekke en die beste klone op die plaas te vind en watter kombinasie van hierdie twee die beste wyn sal lewer,” sê Gabriëlskloof se wingerdboukundige en algemene bestuurder, Barry Anderson. “Dit wentel om die leerproses van hoe om met die land te boer; om na balans tussen die groei en die vrug te kyk; en oor die verfyning wat ons uiteindelik na die beste wyne vir ons Landscape-reeks gelei het.”

Tydens die Che Syrah, Syrah geleentheid sal gaste om 11:00 met ’n wynproe van die ouer wyne verwelkom word, waartydens ’n paar internasionale skatte en ook van Gabriëlskloof se vorige-, huidige- en toekomstige aanbiedinge waardeer kan word. Dit sal ook eerstehandse insigte tydens ’n wandeling deur die Landskapskelder insluit. Die toer sal deur die eienaar, Bernard Heyns, keldermeester, Peter-Allan Finlayson, en die wynmaker, Donovan Ackermann, gelei word. Daarna sal gaste ‘n heilsame fees, wat deur Gabriëlskloof Restaurant se sjef, Frans Groenewald, voorberei word kan geniet. Dit gaan natuurlik ook met Syrah in menigte vorms en geure gepaard. Tussen die watertand keuses van tuisgemaakte soppe en heerlike nageregte, sal die ster van die dag ’n heerlike lamsbredie, getrou aan sy Overbergse wortels, wees.


Kaartjies is van Juniemaand af teen R450 per persoon beskikbaar en sluit die Syrah-proe in die Landskapskelder en die wintersmiddagete met gepaardgaande wyne in. Besoek Gabriëlskloof se webwerf of kontak 028 284 9865 / info@gabrielskloof.co.za vir meer besonderhede.

The Test Kitchen to ‘wow’ diners with a pop-up restaurant in Mauritius

Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius is excited about their new culinary partnership with The Test Kitchen, an internationally acclaimed fine dining destination based in Cape Town. Set to further cement the resort’s position as Mauritius’ leading dining hotspot, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa will host The Test Kitchen for six weeks – from 12 April to 26 May 2018 – at the Republik Beach Club & Grill.

Guests will be invited to experience a unique culinary journey curated by The Test Kitchen’s award-winning Chef-Patron, Luke Dale Roberts, during the partnership. Synonymous with the finest, most creative and innovative food in Africa, Roberts will be bringing outstanding gourmet experiences to the shores of Shangri-La’s Le Tousserok Resort & Spa with a tapas menu and a five course menu, of which two variations will be available at different dates. The menus will reflect his journey around the world and will be specially curated to showcase Mauritian spices and flavours at their best. The pristine white beaches of Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa will provide a stunning backdrop for this once in a lifetime experience, which will see Roberts and his stellar team of 17 share their expert techniques and passion for flavour alongside the resort’s chefs. To further heighten this gourmet experience, guests will also be treated to tableside cocktail blending.

Described as a “world class dining destination that is worthy of a flight” by the prestigious JHP Gourmet Guide and awarded both “Best Restaurant in Africa” as well as “22nd Best Restaurant in the World” in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in 2016, The Test Kitchen definitely has an international appeal. Diners from across the globe travel to South Africa to experience Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’s unique and innovative culinary journey of 21 courses, presented on a Food Map. This April, for the first time, the restaurant is taking its gastronomic adventure to new heights, by launching its first ever international outpost, The Test Kitchen Mauritius, at Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa. The special collaboration will give food lovers the chance to sample The Test Kitchen’s famed cuisine in paradise – the shores of this iconic Mauritian property.

Opened by award-winning Chef Luke Dale Roberts in 2010, The Test Kitchen consists of a Dark Room and a Light Room, both only open for dinner. Dining at this restaurant is a true culinary journey, commencing in The Dark Room with a snack menu paired with curated cocktails, followed by a 5-course gourmet menu in The Light Room. It is within The Dark Room that guests are presented with a Food Map on a parchment scroll informing them of the culinary treasures they are about to taste, followed by the arrival of the first of five Dark Room dishes. The Light Room is an airier and more formal room with a menu that reflects Chef Luke Dale Roberts’s journey around the world. Signature dishes include the Peruvian ceviche, harking back to the months Roberts spent travelling through South America, as well as a Billionaire’s Shortbread as a nod to the chef’s love of Scotland. To echo The Test Kitchen’s Dark Room and Light Room, guests will start their evening at the Republik Bar area to enjoy the tapas menu with cocktails as associated with the Dark Room. They will then continue their gastronomic journey at the beachfront restaurant, for a five-course gourmet menu in tribute to the iconic restaurant’s Light Room.

In addition to Republik Beach Club & Grill, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa is also home to six other trendy restaurants and bars with cutting-edge dining concepts, vibrant atmospheres and artistic collaborations. The hotel also boasts two swimming pools, an 18-hole par 72 championship golf course, a kids’ club and CHI, The Spa focusing on indigenous and holistic wellness. The resort features Ilot Mangénie, a private island exclusively accessible to resort’s guests, as well as three iconic beach villas which come replete with dedicated teams of staff.

The Test Kitchen Mauritius experience is priced at MUR 3500 (about R 1250) per person, including the Dark Room’s snack menu of four dishes, served tapas style, and the Light Room’s five-course gourmet menu.

For more information and reservations: Tel: 0800 028 3337, sltr@shangri-la.com.  


‘La Rive’ Luxury Villa opens in Franschhoek

The quintessential luxury Cape winelands villa, La Rive Franschhoek, has opened for exclusive-use bookings. Tucked away in sprawling private gardens on 2,5 acres of land, the traditional, privately owned Cape manor house offers privacy and security, yet is located in the heart of Franschhoek, within walking distance of the village’s restaurants and attractions.

Designed with deep verandas and a covered terrace with several lounge and dining areas set around a magnificent swimming pool, La Rive provides a warm and welcome home to families or groups of friends travelling together. Its bespoke, elegant interiors are a marriage of colonial English and traditional Cape Dutch heritage within a contemporary colour palette showcasing collection pieces by artists from across the globe and an alchemy of classic and artistic influences throughout the villa.

La Rive Villa can accommodate up to 12 guests in six luxurious suites with private bathrooms. The Manor House includes the spacious master bedroom suite, as well as two loft rooms, one accommodating up to three guests which are ideal for children sharing. In addition, three private garden cottages are individually decorated and each offer a double bedroom with a patio.

The epitome of comfort and unsurpassed quality, the generous living area within the Manor House boasts a high thatched ceiling and doors opening out onto the gardens and the protected pool terrace. An indoor wood-burning fireplace heats up the open plan living area on cosy winter evenings, while in summer, tranquil, shady verandas lend itself perfectly to relaxed dining and entertaining. Other special features include a grand piano, a TV room with flat screen TV and premium TV channels, as well as a fully equipped integrated kitchen staffed by a professional chef, leading to poolside barbeque areas and a pizza oven.

Forming part of the La Rive portfolio that is managed by luxury villa expert Alexis Gillis, seasonal rates range between R42 000 and R58 000 per night – inclusive of full breakfast and all beverages (excludes French champagne), a butler service and WiFi.

Photo credit: Hamish Niven Photography

The Palace’s Plume Re-imagined

The re-imagining of The Palace’s chic-classic restaurant is now complete. Influenced by the social, café culture of South Africa’s famous cosmopolitan restaurant hubs with the emphasis on the experience, Plume’s new menu invites the exploration of diverse textures and indigenous flavours paired with exciting, proudly South African wines. Created by an award-winning sommelier, Marie Manyoha, and Executive Sous Chef, Robin Brophy, guests experience a tantalising six stage meal – a journey enticing all of the senses. The wines offered for pairing with each stage have been carefully picked by Manyoha to compliment the explosion of textures, flavours and aromas of the food.

The Palace’s F&B Manager, Brandon Govender, says: “We are delighted to introduce the re-imagined Plume, where dining is an experience for the senses, a place to entice your eager palate and indulge your inquisitive mind.”

The Plume Textures menu is a set experience, starting with an Amuse Bouche, fittingly called “Camps Bay Holiday”, comprising beetroot and cream cheese espume, ethically sourced caviar on Mother of Pearl, seawater gel, tomato soil and flavour scallops. For starters there is “Textures Corn Salad”, a delightful surprise consisting of panna cotta dust that has been gellified, popped and grilled.

The first main course is olive poached salmon served with balsamic jelly, salmon confit, pea puree and crisp sweet potato scales. This provides an uplifting prelude to the second main course of succulent ribeye log, potato puree, rainbow root vegetables and Turkish delights.

The invigorating meander of tastes and textures continues with decadent strawberry, mango and salted chocolate, before culminating with port and cheese.

Plume is open on weekends 19h30 for the textures experience, with one sitting per evening starting strictly at 20h00. The first main course is served at 20h30 and the second main course is served at 21h30. The cost is R1250 per person and includes the whole sumptuous food journey.

Venturing to Plume for dinner is also an opportunity to dress accordingly for the experience and to escape your parental duties for one evening. The dress code is smart / elegant and no jeans, sneakers or flip flops are permitted and no children under the age of 12 are allowed.

The reopening of Plume is part of the reinvention of Sun City’s culinary landscape. With over 30 restaurants, Sun City caters to all tastes and has something for everyone. While family restaurant brands are on offer, Sun City has now created several signature restaurants. Among the new or refurbished signature restaurants are the Bocado at the Cascades, Legends at Soho and The Brew Monkey at the Valley of Waves.

For more information about Sun City and all the changes, visit #NewSunCity connect with them on Facebook SunCitySA or follow them on Twitter @SunCityResortSA and Instagram @SunCityResortSA.

Steenberg Merlot for Cooler Climates

Winter is slowly, but surely, creeping up on us. One thing that excites me most about the cooler climate of winter, is red wine. Even better when it’s next to a cozy fireplace!

Steenberg‘s Merlot, with its concentrated berries, savoury notes of dried fynbos, lavender and fresh rosemary might be the ideal fireside comforter on chilly autumn or winter days. Crafted from vines on the cool Steenberg foothills, the fresh and vibrant 2015 vintage is richly rewarding with a mouthful of plum, dark chocolate and black olives.

Winemaker, JD Pretorius, says:

“With the change of seasons from summer into autumn, our food preferences change in turn to warmer, flavoursome and richer dishes. Our Steenberg Merlot is rich in generosity and warmth with a rounded texture which makes it a fantastic food-friendly wine.”

It is made for the long haul, with tannins and acidity in perfect balance and it has the potential to age beautifully for up to 15 years.

The wine is a slam dunk with red meat and Chef Kerry Kilpin of Steenberg’s popular Bistro Sixteen82 recommends a delicious grilled sirloin, drizzled with a whisky and black pepper jus and a green pea and tomato salsa. Get the recipe here…

Visit www.steenbergfarm.com or follow #LiveSteenberg on Twitter (@SteenbergWines) and Facebook (facebook.com/steenbergestate) for more information.

Recipe: Grilled Sirloin, Whisky and Black Pepper Jus, Green Pea and Tomato Salsa


Grilled Sirloin, Whisky and Black Pepper Jus, Green Pea and Tomato Salsa

Serves 2

2 x 220g sirloin steaks

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

50g wild rocket


Green Pea and Tomato Salsa

80g cooked peas

80g cherry tomatoes quartered

5g chopped parsley

10ml olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice

½ red onion chopped

Combine all the ingredients for the salsa and season with salt and pepper.


Black Pepper Jus

½ red onion chopped

4 button mushrooms chopped

Canola oil

250ml beef stock

250ml cream

3ml crushed black pepper

60ml whisky

Sauté the onion and mushroom with a little oil until nice and brown, deglaze with the whisky and bring to the boil. Add the black pepper and stock and reduce by half.  Add the cream and reduce by half.

Blend with a stick blender and season with salt. Taste and, depending how strong you like your black pepper, add more if necessary.

Season the sirloins with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Pre-heat your pan until nice and hot.  Pan fry your steaks to desired cooking degree. Allow your steak to rest for 2 minutes before slicing.

Slice the sirloin in half, place on a bed of rocket, top with the green pea and tomato salsa and drizzle the black pepper jus on the plate.

Serve with a glass of delicious Steenberg Merlot.









Recipe by Chef Kerry Kilpin from Bistro Sixteen82