Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Week's MENU - Saronsberg vertical, Queen Mary 2, Biltong & Pinotage, Bartolomeus Klip, Pea & ham soup

Bartholomeus Klip has a breeding herd of disease free Cape buffalo
In this week’s MENU:
* Bartholomeus Klip Pea and Mint Soup
* Learn about wine and cooking
We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit.
To get the whole story with photographs, please click on “Read on.....” at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the related blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
We are sending you a short (not very) and sweet (very) MENU this week as we know lots of you will be away for the long weekend. And we are really busy right up until Friday and won’t have time to do this any other day than today, Tuesday. It has been an exciting and rather luxurious week for us, full of contrasts and a lot of fun
Saronsberg go Full Circle     Once a year, Saronsberg raid their vinoteque and produce a vertical tasting of one of their wines for the wine media. Last year it was their Shiraz, this year it was their Rhône Blend, Full Circle, which is their top red flagship wine. It was a most excellent and very interesting tasting. It is so educational to see how the blend matures with time and to pick out the really good years and learn why they were so good from the winemaker, Dewald Heyns. He has been with Saronsberg for all these years and the 2004 was the first wine he produced for them.
It was held at the Cape Grace Hotel. We tasted impressive vintages, starting with the current one and working back: 2013,12,11,10,09,08,07/06,05 & 2004. This was then followed by lunch in the restaurant accompanied by some of these wines. Do you ever go to eat at this hotel? You should. Read on
Dinner on Queen Mary 2      Last year, we were absolutely delighted to be invited on board by Cunard for lunch. This year, we were invited to have dinner in the celebrity Chef Todd English’s restaurant. We joined a small group of people and had a drink in one of the pubs on the ship and were then taken on a tour of the ship which is huge and very luxurious. Then it was time for drinks on the deck, to watch the sunset and, finally, to enjoy a really good silver service dinner. Read On
Pinotage and Biltong Festival at L’Avenir     This was the first time this festival had been held and, because it was such a huge success, selling out the 600 tickets allocated and in fact more than 200 more, they will definitely be repeating it. The good news for those of you up country is that they will to take it to Johannesburg soon. All the Biltong was provided by Joubert and Monte and on payment of your entry fee of R150 you received a good wine glass (to keep), a book of 12 vouchers for small tasting portions of the different flavours of biltong and a small bamboo container in which to put the biltong. There was a good selection of excellent pinotages to taste, although we missed some of our favourites. You could buy a cheese and paté box from L’Avenir or Joubert & Monty had braais going and you could have a boerewors roll for R30, a chicken prego roll for R40 or the full tutti: a Rump steak platter for R70. We had a ball. Read on
Bartholomeus Klip for a quiet overnight stay     We met Lesley Gillett of Bartholomeus Klip at the recent Groenberg Festival and they went on to our mailing list. We were delighted when they invited us to come and stay and write about Bartholomeus Klip. We spent Sunday early evening, the night and Monday morning there and it is a lovely place to completely relax and chill out. Everything you need is provided in this small country house on a farm in the Swartland. It also has its own private nature reserve and game drives come as part of the cost, as do all meals. The only extra is wine. It reminded Lynne very much of English country house weekends and certainly is attracting lots of British and other nationalities, who return more than once to be spoiled. Read On
This week’s recipe     We had a lovely light pea soup at Bartholmeus Klip and thought you might like their recipe from Chef Louise Gillett, which they very kindly sent to us today. I am pretty sure that when peas are out of season, you can use small frozen peas or petit pois.
Knob of butter - 1 tablespoon olive oil - 2 fat shallots, chopped - 1 stem celery, finely chopped - 600ml vegetable or chicken stock - 400g fresh peas (1 kg in pods) - Salt and freshly ground pepper - ½ 20g pack mint, leaves only roughly chopped - 4 tablespoons crème fraîche, thick double cream or low-fat yoghurt, to serve
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and celery, season, cover and sweat very gently, without colouring for 15 minutes or until completely soft.
Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer, then add peas, remove from the heat & add the chopped mint and purée. Push through a sieve if you want a very smooth finish. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve in small bowls, hot or chilled. Garnish with a swirl of cream or yoghurt, a sprig of mint and lots of black pepper, accompanied by a few curls of Melba toast.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
The Hurst Campus, an accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, has a variety of courses. See the details here
In addition to his Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here
Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia
Nicolette van Niekerk runs baking courses at La Petite Patisserie in Montague Gardens
George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here

22nd April 2015
Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our online shop for details and prices.
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Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian and standard or Dutch-flavoured Afrikaans.
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Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.

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