Contemporary Dining at Idiom

With two years trading under its belt, the Idiom Restaurant & Tasting Centre has fast become a must-visit destination for those seeking a vineyard setting with 180 degree panoramic views of both sea and mountain with spectacular cuisine and a wide range of top wines to match.

Situated near Sir Lowry’s Pass, Idiom is one of the southern-most vineyards in the Stellenbosch appellation with a positioning on the upper slopes of the Helderberg Basin. The elevated vantage point offers a unique coastal perspective of the full profile of the Cape Peninsula across False Bay whilst having the green, windswept vineyards and rugged, fynbos-covered mountainside as a backdrop to this unique Cape Winelands’ destination.

The restaurant space acts as a space from where the beautiful landscape can be observed in its different moods. The interior design is reserved in its almost Scandinavian simplicity, offering a calming, sheltered place to taste Idiom’s superb range of wines and enjoy a leisurely afternoon with friends and family. The dining experience continues to ensure that clients get a wonderful balance of flavours, with visual presentation showcasing the impeccable technique and the young talent being developed in the kitchen.

“Our focus is on contemporary cuisine bringing to life a fusion of our family’s Italian heritage as well as modern flavours and textures of the­ Cape. We have seventeen different grapes varieties from all over the world planted at Idiom, giving us plenty of scope for inspiration”, notes Roberto Bottega, who has headed up the project of developing the signature Idiom Tasting Centre. “Over the last two years, we have been working to establish the identity and desired direction of our Restaurant and Tasting Centre. Our main trading window is lunch, to take advantage of the views. Our primary goal is to create a top class food offering to match the scenery and complement and showcase our Idiom wines. We offer a Contemporary Dining experience, which is a 2- and 3-course seasonal menu, with a recommended wine pairing for each dish. We want customers to have a memorable visit to Idiom.”

“Each Idiom wine has its own unique character and flavour profile and we actively try and express those characters in the culinary offering, often using the colour spectrum as a guide,” adds Bottega. “Our current team in the kitchen, under the leadership of Calum Anderson, has a good understanding of this concept. The cured trout starter paired with Idiom Viognier and the lamb ragu paccheri paired with Idiom Zinfandel are two of my current favourites on our chef’s new menu.”

Guests can also request older vintages from Idiom’s library and enjoy wines at close to cellar door prices – an added benefit compared to dining at other top end establishments.

The owners

The Idiom project is run by the Bottega Family. Family patriarch, Alberto, was born in Italy and immigrated to the Cape in the 1950s. After a successful career upcountry in computer programming, banking and finance, he returned to Cape Town to retire to the Cape Winelands. In 1999 the first vines were planted from scratch on his Da Capo Vineyards farm and the first commercial vintage of Idiom was made in 2004.

Alberto’ son, Roberto, joined Idiom after 12 years of trading financial markets in London and Johannesburg. He has spearheaded the development of the Tasting Centre and manages global sales for Bottega Family Wines. He has developed a passion for Italian wines and is also the co-founder of a specialist wine import and distribution project called Vinotria, which he manages together with Pedro Estrada Belli. Vinotria’s portfolio includes wines from internationally acclaimed wineries such as Donnafugata in Sicily, Ornellaia in Tuscany, and Livio Felluga in Friuli, to name a few.

The Chef

Calum Anderson is an established head chef with 17 years’ experience of working in top-end restaurants, hotels and game lodges in South Africa, England and Australia. He has worked at leading hotels including The Cape Grace and Singita. During his career he has worked under some extremely gifted chefs including Gareth Collins, Giles Thompson, Chris Galvin, Peter Gordan, Bruce Robertson, Charles Le Febvre and Reuben Riffel. As a chef, Anderson has cooked for celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, the British royal family, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Sheikha Al Mayassa of Qatar, Brad Pitt, Andrea Bocelli, Michel Roux Snr, Fran Drescher and William Shatner.

Anderson’s food philosophy is to ensure the integrity of the elements is upheld, that dishes are full of flavour, interesting and unusual.

“Visually, dishes should be natural and beautiful to the eye but not overly complicated as I believe this is my expression of how I see and feel about food.”

He is assisted at Idiom by talented sous chefs Donovan Christian and Bronwyn Solomon, who also heads up the pastry section.

Explore Italy at Idiom

Besides the contemporary dining offering at Idiom, there are other simpler Italian-inspired options to enjoy. Antipasto platters, with a selection of freshly sliced Italian cold meats such as prosciutto and salami, as well as cheese boards, with Italian and local soft and hard cheeses, are popular choices. The regional Italian pizza menu combines light thin crust bases with carefully chosen toppings using ingredients that transmit the tastes of the different regions of Italy.

“The regional pizzas are the first step to creating a dedicated Italian food offering, which in time, may require its own separate space,” says Bottega. “Regional Italian pastas are also being added to complement the pizzas. We are planning a rotating regional Italian degustation menu in order to showcase the fantastic regional wines we import with appropriate food. Italian wines are designed for food, and we hope to have this concept ready for the end of the year.”

Idiom is one of the leading producers of Italian varietal wines in South Africa, so it makes perfect sense for us to expand and take ownership of the Italian wine space in the country,” continues Bottega. “Visitors can taste Idiom’s locally produced Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Primitivo (Zinfandel) wines at the wine bar or in the restaurant. We supply a number of leading Italian restaurants with both our locally made Idiom and imported Vinotria portfolio of Italian wines. Having access to the imported wines as reference points has been very important. Firstly, we have learnt a tremendous amount about the wines of Italy, and it has allowed us to monitor the progress, quality and style of the Italian varietal wines we produce locally, and to better understand the potential of our Cape terroir,” adds Bottega.

Did you know?

Idiom – currently the VIP Winelands Lunch Choice of local operator, Cape Town Helicopters – is now accessible by helicopter for those who want to take a spectacular trip to the Cape Winelands along the coast. The 4-hour VIP aerial adventure and Winelands Culinary experience departs from the Waterfront and takes in parts of the Cape Peninsula before arriving at Idiom.

http://idiom.co.za/

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Jekyll & Hide’s Take on Travel Trends

Founded in 2003, Jekyll & Hide is a bespoke leather fashion brand based in the seaside town of Cape Town, South Africa. With a dedication to timeless leather craft and design, the Jekyll & Hide team travels far and wide across South America, Asia, Africa and Europe to source the finest leather the world has to offer.

Travelling Mystery Guest recently had the opportunity to chat to Bernard Bultemeier, the founder of Jekyll and Hide, about his opinion on travel trends and what to look forward to from them.

New products have to keep up with the modern techno lifestyle. According to Bernard, laptop bags are the most popular modern techno product.

“As people’s lifestyle changes (working from coffee shops, on-the-go, etc.) the use of functional business and laptop bags has become a big part of our business.”

Jekyll & Hide’s laptop bags are very functional and are created for the modern business person. They have built in padded laptop pockets, RFID protected cell phone- and wallet sleeves and multiple compartments for diaries and iPads. Jekyll & Hide adapts their laptop bags to the size of laptop screens so that one can shop a product that suits your computer perfectly.

According to Bernard, dual-purpose products like the laptop backpack, or the cross-body bag which can carry a tablet will eventually replace conventional handbags. “As our lifestyles change (we commute to work on bikes or on public transport) the need for practical and well-designed products is key. With the increase in cell phone use, people now don’t have a free hand to carry a bag because they’re constantly on the phone. With multipurpose backpacks, you can carry all the essentials while still cycling and using the phone at the same time. Backpacks are also better for your posture (if worn properly). People are becoming conscious of the way they walk and move. Standing desks, yoga and Pilates are all big trends so the more we can do to help with this lifestyle, the better.” 

Leather bag colours change as the seasons and trends do, however, Jekyll & Hide try to keep a traditional feel to their products. They focus on items and colours that are lasting and as coloured leathers are very easy to fake and it’s a lot harder to produce a real-leather looking piece in natural colours, Jekyll and Hide’s traditional colours are a clue of the quality and authenticity of the brand.

Jekyll & Hide’s Oxford travel bags are probably their most iconic and recognisable products. The Oxford range is also their best seller with its classic look that never seems to go out of style.   

At first, we thought that the brand was named after the 1886 detective novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. We now found out that the brand actually has nothing to do with the novel. “Some people remember the name, Jekyll and Hide, but can’t pinpoint where from, so there’s often an existing connection with new customers but they don’t really know why. The word hide comes from the leather hides we use and Jekyll just had a nice ring to it and was nice and different from all the Italian style names that launched into the market at the time.”

Jekyll & Hide tries to bring a bit of colour and design into the lining of their bags instead of the actual outer design. Funky colours and patterns are seen when one opens a bag or purse which is always a welcoming surprise. They aren’t necessarily bringing in local South African designs (as it’s a global brand) but they do bring in trending patterns like the Aztec look of the Ndbele range. Jekyll & Hide tries not to box the products into a tourist category, though, so they just use very subtle pops of local or trending elements. 

Jekyll & Hide is now also expanding into other fabrics. They’re creating a canvas backpack for example that still has a lot of leather elements in, but they’re starting to mix materials. They also have a travel bag with poly carbon elements.

“We try and create products that are light and make life easier, which means being open to other developments and materials. We’ll always bring through the luxury leather elements of the brand, but we’re no longer focused on 100% leather items.”

There’s Magic in Bubbly

Love, romance, milestones, anniversaries, great achievements, deals signed and sealed – these all have one thing in common: It calls for bubbly! The effervescent bubbles magically create a joyful feeling of celebration and special moments.

There is always an occasion for some bubbly or a delicious cocktail. Even if it’s simply to reward yourself after a long day or to indulge your craving for your favourite bottle of Champagne in a gorgeous venue designed for magic and Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa‘s MUSE Champagne Room offers the ideal setting for celebration.

The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa has added a brand new MUSE Champagne Room, in collaboration with French Champagne House, Perrier-Jouët. The Champagne Room and adjoining Courtyard is a combination of elegance and contemporary chic, utilising nature as source of inspiration.

The adjoining courtyard is ideal for late afternoon sundowners, offering an eclectic range of designer cocktails, as well as a signature Casse-Croûte menu. This unique space goes beyond the sipping of champagne and draws you into an atmosphere that contributes to a fabulous event or a decadent do.

The MUSE Champagne Room is where Joburg’s hottest movers and shakers share their bubbles during a perfect date, anniversary, special occasion or friend’s night out.

“Only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason for drinking champagne.” – Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright and novelist

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.

www.grandeprovence.co.za

‘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

Stap in Magoebaskloof

Magoebaskloof is een van Suid-Afrika se mooiste dele en tog is daar min mense wat werklik weet wat dit het om te bied. ‘n Onlangse staproete het my liefde vir die area opnuut weer laat blom.

Die Magoebaskloof Staproete is ‘n sirkelroete van 60 km wat oor 5 dae gestap kan word. Inheemse woude, bergstrome en plantasies maak van die roete een vir die boeke. Jy kan ook kies hoe ver jy wil stap, met opsies van 2-dag roetes tot 5-dag roetes.

Wat kan jy hier sien?

Die huilklip, ‘n natuurlike rots wat soos ‘n gong klink wanneer dit met ‘n ander klip gekap word, is een van die bekende en gunsteling besienswaardighede op die roete. Net so is die dierespesies wat jy op die roete kan gewaar, baie indrukwekkend. Van samango ape, bosbokke en bosvarke tot ‘n wye verskeidenheid voëlspesies – veral in die Grootbosch Woud. Kyk ook uit vir die hoogste geplante boom ter wêreld.

Wenke:

  • Maak seker dat jy die Dokolewa poele en die Waterval Hut by jou roete insluit. Dit is twee van die mooiste dele van die roete en jy sal spyt wees as jy dit mis.
  • Die 2-dag roete is ideaal vir ‘n familie wat graag die woud wil verken. Die 5-dag roete is meer gevorderd en jy moet redelik fiks wees om hom aan te pak.

Wat om te pak:

  • ‘n Hoed is ‘n moet
  • Oordentelike stapskoene – Ek het my hi-tecs van Cape Union Mart gedra en hulle het perfek gewerk.
  • Dik kouse
  • ‘n Waterdigte baadjie – Dit raak soms mistig en mag selfs reën.
  • Ekstra klere.
  • Kos
  • ‘n Gasstofie met genoeg gas, vuurhoutjies en ‘n potjie waarin jy water kan kook.
  • Plastiekborde, bamboo eetgerei, eko-vriendelike papierservette en ‘n beker.
  • Die nodigste items vir noodhulp – Verbande, pleisters, Detol, ens.
  • Voorgeskrewe medikasie, maar ook medisyne vir allergieë, hoofpyn en naarheid.
  • ‘n Multifunksionele instrument, soos ‘n Leatherman van Awesome Tools.
  • Sonbrandroom en ‘n sonbril. Hoewel die meeste van die roete onder digte woude is, is daar wel dele waar die son jou kop warm sal brand.
  • Slaapsak en kussing.
  • Water
  • ‘n Koplig – Trappers het ‘n wye verskeidenheid waaruit jy kan kies.
  • ‘n Pak kaarte – soms kom ‘n mens vroeër by die slaapplek aan en dan wil ‘n mens bietjie speletjies speel en ontspan.
  • Indien jy kontaklense dra, kyk uit vir Dischem se oulike reispakkies met kleiner botteltjies kontaklens skoonmaakmiddel. Ek gebruik altyd die Bausch & Lomb Boston Multi-Action Solution, wat ‘n spesiale vlugpakkie is. Dit sluit selfs ‘n Zip-Lock sakkie in, wat handig te pas sal kom. Dischem het ook baie oulike ander reis items soos kleiner botteltjies sjampoe, stortseep, handeroom en meer.
  • ‘n Buff is altyd ‘n goeie item om byderhand te hê. Soms is die oggende maar nog koel. Kies jou gunsteling buff op Adventure Inc.
  • Gemaklike plakkies of sagte skoene vir wanneer jy jou stapskoene uittrek. Gewone inglip plakkies soos Cotton On se thongs, sal die ding doen.
  • ‘n Rol toiletpapier
  • ‘n Swartsak of twee
  • Jou kamera. Verkieslik iets wat lig is om te dra. ‘n GoPro is ideaal – probeer bietjie die GoPro HERO Black 5.
  • ‘n Handoek en ‘n lappie wat vinnig kan droog word.
  • ‘n Kaart van die roete
  • Twee planne van die roete – een wat jy by ‘n vriend los en ‘n ander wat jy in jou motor los.
  • Insekweerder

Vir meer inligting oor die Magoebaskloof staproete, kontak: ecotour@klf.co.za of 013 754 2724

Geskryf deur: Renate Engelbrecht

Foto krediet: Alicia Maree

TMG’s top 5 travel boots!

Travelling can be hard on your feet, especially considering the activities some tourists are interested in. Travelling Mystery Guest has done some online window shopping and we have chosen our top 5 favourite and fashionable boots for men and women! They are available from Poetry, Old Khaki, Cape Union Mart, Due South and Outdoor Warehouse.

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  1. Women

Caitlyn boots

Caitlyn Boots , Poetry R1499

Rare earth dana boots

Rare earth Dana Boots , Poetry R1399

Rare earth kath boot

Rare earth Kath Boots , Poetry R999

Caterpillar irenea boot

Caterpillar Irenea Boots ,  Poetry R1499

Caterpillar Lillian leather boot

Caterpillar Lillian Leather Ankle Boot , Due South R1999

2. Men

Caterpillar oatman boots

Caterpillar Oatman Boots , Cape Union Mart R1499

Caterpillar grayson

Caterpillar Grayson Boots , Outdoor Warehouse R1850

Arthur jack corbin boots

Arthur Jack Corbin Shoe , Cape Union Mart R1399

Arthur jack ronan boots

Arthur Jack Ronan Boots , Old Khaki R1399

Hi tech Men's altitude V Waterproof boot

Hi-tec Men’s Altitude V Waterproof Boots , Outdoor Warehouse R1895

Written by: Alicia Redelinghuys