Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Radisson Blu, Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

A night to remember
We had great delight in telling people we were going to drinks, dinner and to spend the night at a 5 star hotel right on the ocean - just 5 Km from our home! We were invited to the Radisson Blu, which is next to the V&A Waterfront, last Saturday for the night, followed by breakfast and we really enjoyed the very comfortable stay with lots of food and wine
What is your expectation from a five star establishment? Let's face it, for most of us it is an infrequent luxury as the costs are geared more to overseas visitors than to locals. We like a bit of luxury and a bit of spoiling, we think that what they should offer is an experience, unobtrusive and understated care and attention and catering to your every whim, before you have thought of it. Relaxing is the key, even if you are staying there on business, as this is your retreat. Well trained staff are essential, so are the added on wish list things like a great restaurant, good views, a Spa, a gym, of course a pool, great outdoor space and also good indoor relaxing space should the weather turn on you. A business centre, if you can’t get away from it. And of course a large room with a view, a huge bed, commodious private bathroom and great linen. (we loathe bathrooms in the room). So the Radisson did very well
Driving up to the entrance. We love the blue and white colours, it reminded us of Greece. We always wonder why so many of us paint our houses dark battleship grey and colours which absorb heat rather than reflecting it
Our 'Business Class" room on the 4th floor was spacious with lots of place to relax and sit as well as sleep
Our sensational balcony with superb views and the wonderful sound of the sea breaking on the rocks below
The bright bathroom has both a spacious shower ...
... and a bath; and it was the first hotel bathroom that we have encountered in a long time which was designed with women in mind. The lighting over the mirrors was perfect, so that one’s face was not shadowed, making one look ill and drawn. There was also a good shaving/makeup mirror for detailed work!
They had left us a lovely platter of fresh fruit, chocolates and chocolate dipped strawberries, a bottle of Iona Sauvignon Blanc and a small present of cheese knives, all much appreciated
We checked in at 4 pm and spent a long time out on the balcony, enjoying glasses of the Iona Sauvignon Blanc, one of the best SA produces
Lots of guests were using the pool and the sun beds
A brave swimmer. The temperature was about 21⁰C - warm for Scandinavians, rather chilly for locals
One of the tourist boats going past and, in the background, we thought we were watching a sea rescue and a boat tow. It turns out that it was a film shoot for a film about Jacques Cousteau! The cameras appear to be on the small boat on between "Calypso" and the small tug. "Calypso" is actually a retired SA Navy minesweeper
Lovely watching the birds fly in to take over the swimming pool as the evening drew on
Black backed gulls having a swim and a wash ...
... and a bit of a barney
The mini bar prices. We have to confess that we never touch the mini bar
Looking down at the Atrium. The hotel has quite a nautical theme
Drinks had been arranged for us on the terrace at 6.30pm
The pool area, now deserted by humans, but still the preserve of the gulls
Guests and outside visitors had come for the views and sundowners
The terrace filling up
There is a small yacht harbour right next to the hotel
A view of the hotel from the mole. It is perhaps the best sited 5 star hotel in Cape Town, being right on the water
The view from our table. Note that each table has a heater above on the umbrella pole, in case the evening turns a bit chilly. Ours was working
Our drinks. Lynne says you can always tell if the barman is worth his salt if he can make a good Dry Martini. And John likes a good craft beer
Lighting up time
Restaurant Manager Victor Wulana was extremely urbane, welcoming and friendly
Our waiter for the evening, Michael Dryding, was lovely. He is Cape Town born and bred and has been with the hotel for many years. He kept us very well served, informed and very amused. A treasure, as staff like Victor and Michael make people want to return again and again and they give a very good impression of our country. His name is a wonderful play on his personality. Possibly originally Dryden, Dryding in the local vernacular means dry thing. And that is the style of his humour
Time for dinner. On Friday and Saturday they have a buffet dinner for a very reasonable R295 per person, given the choice of food available. Other nights you eat in Tobago Restaurant with an a la carte menu
Lots of great salad options
on both sides of the table
And some very good sea food options. Lynne opted to have these as her starter
The hot dishes are served from the bains marie. A seafood and meat paella
Mussels in a cream sauce
Sliced sirloin of beef
Lamb with gravy and couscous
And lots of different accompaniments. Those chillies were HOT, said John, and he can take heat. We just had a plate of starters and some of the hot food from the bain maries with salad. We enjoyed a bottle of Warwick First Lady Chardonnay with our meal. It is very good value for a buffet
The cheese table
There is a huge dessert section
Largely untouched, everyone was dieting that evening
John was tempted by the mince pies and the cheesecake
Lynne had one of the crèmes brulée but, sadly, it had coffee in it and she hates coffee flavoured anything. Except good coffee in a cup
There is also a plancha grill on the terrace and you can have food cooked to order. Tonight it was squid, meat kebabs ...
or spicy calamari, and various fish fillets
One last sit on our balcony, enjoying the night time lights before retiring
After a very comfortable night lulled to sleep by the sound of the sea, the day dawned bright and clear with an off shore wind. The bed was extremely comfortable and the linen crisp. We should have asked for a top sheet as well as, with the air conditioning, the duvet was a bit hot
Time to eat again. There is a large selection of breakfast cereals, fruit and yoghurt and nuts and cold cuts, cheeses and breads and pastries. They need to add some double thick yoghurt for the Banting brigade, we don't eat low fat, high sugar yoghurt any more. We had some fruit, John some muesli and some good black coffee. The buffet breakfast is open to the public and costs R220 per person.
Lynne trying to make up her mind. On the extreme right, the bain maries are now filled with bacon, scrambled egg, tomatoes, French toast, sausages and other ingredients for that perfect cooked breakfast
Ah, found the meat and the smoked salmon. And behind Lynne is a window where you can order you eggs cooked any way you like. Michael our waiter the previous night had told us to have the Eggs Benedict, so Lynne ordered one with Smoked Salmon
Lots of wicked options too
Continental style
Cereals, dried fruits, yoghurts and Bircher Muesli
The perfect Eggs Benedict on an English muffin, topped with a proper poached egg with a runny yolk - we tested it, and a marvellous thick hollandaise sauce. Delicious
John chose a croissant with smoked salmon and some cheese
and then had a cheese and bacon omelette. The black coffee never stopped coming and Lynne's slice of toast and marmalade was a great ending to a lovely breakfast
Thank you Radisson, for taking such good care of us. And especially for finding Lynne's wedding ring, which she left on her bedside table. Again. Apparently leaving something behind is a sign that you want to return
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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