Thursday, February 11, 2016

This week's MENU - Stellenbosch Festival, Franschhoek Summer Wines, new Jardine restaurant, Chocolate brownies, Roasted beetroot salad, Muscat de Hambourg

A fresh South-easter and a spring tide on Camps Bay beach
 Chocolate Brownies
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We went to two wine festivals in one weekend, and they were very different, we enjoyed both. One huge and for the whole weekend, one much smaller and focused on specific wine and just on one day.  And  it was HOT.
Stellenbosch Wine Festival     We started the weekend on Friday afternoon by checking into our AirBnB in Stellenbosch and then driving to the festival held this year at the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds - we had no idea how vast they are and the signage was not good. Parking was a bit sparse and we parked about as far away as we could possibly get and endured a long hot walk to the festival grounds, which are on the cricket oval, not the rugby stadium as we had expected. But we had a lot of fun when we got there.  Read on.....
Franschhoek's Summer Wines festival     This is held each year on the lawn at Leopards Leap and it is a festival we enjoy because there are lots of umbrellas, lots of shade and places to sit, inside and outside and lots and lots of good white wines from the valley to try. The wines are served at the perfect temperature and they even have good food to keep you content at very reasonable prices. Read on.....
George Jardine opens a new Stellenbosch restaurant     We realised when we left the festival that, other than the food and wine pairings, which were small, we had not eaten any supper, so we headed into Stellenbosch in search of food. And on Andringa Street, just round the corner from Dorp Street, we spotted a new restaurant which was to open on Wednesday, February 10th: George Jardine's new restaurant in town, Jardine. His restaurant on the Jordan wine estate, as many of you will know, has long been one of our favourites. His wife, Louise, had told Lynne about it during the week and said, “do drop in to see what we are doing”. So we did and enjoyed a beer with them and some of their friends, who were also visiting. Read on.....
FOOD FACT: South Africa, this may come as a surprise to some of you but Chocolate Brownies HAVE to have nuts in them. Without them it is simply sticky chocolate cake. And peanuts will not do, ever. Walnuts or pecans are the best. And plenty of them.
This week's  recipe is another salad for cool summer eating: Roasted Beetroot salad with feta and basil
500g baby beetroots - 1 round of feta cheese - 4 peppadews, roughly chopped -  8 fresh basil leaves - - 1 to 2 T extra virgin olive oil -  2 t Balsamic vinegar reduction - sea salt  & freshly ground black pepper
Roast the beetroots whole in a Pyrex dish with a lid and in an inch of water, in the oven or in the microwave, until soft. Allow to cool then  top and tail and  peel them.  The skin should just slough off easily. Slice each one into 4. Dice the feta cheese into 1 cm blocks.  Pour on some olive oil and a few drops of the balsamic reduction to the beetroot, then sprinkle the feta and the peppadews on top, but do not mix. Refrigerate until you need the salad. Just before serving, season with salt and pepper and add the torn basil leaves and then toss quickly and serve.  If you do this before, everything will go red.
Wine of the Week: Muscat de Hambourg from Stellenbosch Hills. Grown in only two vineyards in South Africa, this wine is part of our heritage and must be protected.  Its unctuous, sticky sweetness belies its great sophistication and good sugar/acid balance.  It has the ability to match with almost every dessert it is served with. Stellenbosch Hills also produces a fortified version, La Serena. This is fortified with a 7 year old potstill brandy.
Here is a list of coming events up to and including Valentine’s Day. We will be at the Stellenbosch Festival on Friday and at Franschhoek Summer wines on Saturday and we hope to see many of you.
Saturday, 13th February  Nederburg welcomes The Galileo Open Air Cinema. Begin the afternoon with a relaxed stroll through Nederburg’s manor house and the winery’s lush gardens. Then share an evening underneath the stars with a loved one, or a friend, to a screening of Shakespeare in Love. Pre-order a picnic basket for R500 per couple from The Red Table. It includes delicious fresh salads, cured meats, artisanal cheeses, crackers and bread, grilled tiger prawns, asparagus spears wrapped with Parma ham, tartlets, and finally, decadent chocolate brownies with strawberries, a bottle of Nederburg Première Cuvée Brut as well as still mineral water. Pre-ordered picnic baskets must be pre-paid in full. On the night there will also be stalls offering food, mineral water, soft drinks as well as coffee and tea. Booking is essential. To book tickets for the screening of Shakespeare in Love, starting just after dark on Saturday, 13th February, please contact The Galileo on 071 471 8728 or Go to for more information, or to view ticket options and pricing. Visit for more on the brand.
Saturday, 13th February at 18h30 for 19h00   Plaisir de Merle Winemaker’s Table. A culinary feast prepared by well-known chef and restaurateur, Dawid Kriel, paired with wines selected by Cellar Master, Niel Bester, will be served in the cellar. Tickets are available at R595 per person, five course dinner and wine included. Limited spaces are available so call 021 874 1071 or email to be part of this exclusive event.
Saturday 13th February from 10am until 6pm          Rosé Festival at Rickety Bridge Estate. FLOW OF THE DAY: 8.30 until 10am: The day will start at 8.30am with The Rosé Run (5km, 10km or 20km) and The Rosé MTB Ride (20km, 40km or 60km). Entry to these events will include a Festival ticket. Showers will be provided as well as a Rosé Breakfast of Salmon and Egg Bagels. 10am until 4pm: Wine tasting, Rosé-friendly food stalls, pre-booked picnics, Paulina’s Restaurant will be open 4pm until 6pm: Wine tasting closes, wine sales continue, cocktail bar and Paulina’s Restaurant stay open. Guests will be able to enjoy tapas and live music and watch the sunset. Entry costs R120 per ticket for a glass and tastings. From and at the door. Food will be available from Rosé-friendly food stalls. R150 per person for a pre-booked picnic. Paulina’s Restaurant will be open all day. Wine sales: By the glass and by the bottle. Music:  There will be live music throughout the day. For more information please visit and To enter please visit or get your tickets on arrival
Saturday, 13th February  Celebrate the Weekend of Love in style at the Lanzerac Hotel & Spa with an intimate and romantic dinner for two at R420 per person. Included in your special evening is a complimentary welcome drink. Gorgeous views, gourmet food and superb estate wines. The perfect gift for that someone special. Adding extra romance to your evening the Lady Anne Courtyard, reminiscent of a Spanish sidewalk, will be transformed into a Tango Fiesta for the evening, as the sensual Dance of Love captivates you. This passionate walking-embrace symbolizes a close and sensuous connection between partners, and promises to be the highlight of what can only be described as the ultimate romantic evening. Let us treat you to an enchanting evening of delicious Spanish inspired food paired with superb wine, amidst an elegant and relaxing setting. For bookings contact Denise Bezuidenhoudt on
Saturday, 13th February  Valentine’s Dinner at Benguela on Main, 206 Main Road, Somerset West R600 per person. For details, contact or email  Phone: 087 357 0637
Saturday, 13th February at 15h00        Muratie presents The Swingsetters, an evening of music, wine and plenty of fun!  R150 per ticket. Please book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.  For further information contact Jean-Mari Strauss at Muratie on 021 865 2330 or
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day inspired picnic and movie night or brunch at the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate. Whether it’s a candlelight dinner or a sunset picnic, Valentine’s Day is known for these two things. It’s about spending time with that someone special whilst enjoying a glass of chilled MCC. With the dominant colour being red, the L‘Ormarins Brut Rosé 2013 is perfect with its delicate salmon colour. Completing the picture would be spoiling your loved one to a Valentine’s Day inspired picnic and movie night or brunch at the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate. What better way to enjoy this superb MCC from one of SA’s leading producers. For details contact 021 874 9041 or
Sunday, 14th February    The Backsberg Centenary Picnic Concert Series kicks-off on with a performance by The Plastics. Come and enjoy your Sunday afternoon by relaxing on the lawns with a glass of wine whilst listening to some great SA music. Tickets are R120 from and R150 at the gate. Students pay R60 and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. Delicious food and snack boxes will be available on the day. Snack boxes can be pre-ordered at at a cost of R160 for two persons. Gates to Backsberg Estate Cellars open at 15h00.
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day Lunch at Benguela on Main, 206 Main Road, Somerset West R600 per person. For details, contact or email  Phone: 087 357 0637
Sunday, 14th February    Celebrate the day of love at Boschendal with live music by romantic duo Palm Strings, who will entertain picnic visitors at the serviced Rhone Classic Picnic area from 12h00 - 15h00. Executive Chef, Christiaan Campbell and his team will add a romantic twist to the picnic baskets, while the full range of Boschendal MCC bubbly will be available to add that extra bit of “l’amour” to your day. Cost: R520 per basket to share. Includes 10% service fee, but excludes beverages. Enjoy a Valentine’s celebration with a difference by joining Food Garden Manager, Megan McCarthy for a Valentine’s themed Food Garden Tour from 10h00-11h30 and stock up on our bio-friendly veggies and herbs for a romantic dining occasion. Cost: R150 per person (Includes water, tour, veggie gift pack and glass of Boschendal MCC). Alternatively you can book a leisurely afternoon at our Werf picnics, The Werf Restaurant for an innovative farm-to-table menu, The Deli and Farm stall for a casual meal or Rhone Homestead for a lavish Cape Buffet. Bookings for the Picnic and Food Garden Tour are essential at or +27 21 870 4274. The restaurants’ bookings can be made on-line at
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine's Day Lunch at Dornier Bodega Restaurant. Head Chef Lee-Anne du Plessis has created a beautiful four course menu for Valentine's Day lunch this February. Three of the dishes featured on the Valentine's Day menu include an array of Oysters served with Lime Salsa, Bloody Mary and Pesto Parmesan, Watermelon Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese salad, and Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna served on a bed of Marinated Angel Hair and Julienne Vegetables. Seating is limited, please ensure to make your booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made by contacting Bodega Restaurant at 021 880 0557 or
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day picnic at Durbanville Hills Wines, only 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre. The first one is for you to stretch out under the olive trees on lush green lawns with a glass of wine and enjoy the contents of a delectable picnic basket for two. The picnic basket, which includes a bottle of Durbanville Hills Merlot Rosé, is available at R350. The baskets will be available between 11h00 and 15h00. Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting the cellar on 021 558 1300 or by sending an email to
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day at Durbanville Hills Restaurant, The Best Restaurant in the Winelands according to the 2015 Restaurant Week South African Awards. Treat your partner to a four-course menu, each course paired with one of the wines in the Durbanville Hills range, for R425 per person. Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting the cellar on 021 558 1300 or by sending an email to
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day at Lanzerac. The Governor’s Hall Restaurant will be clad with a touch of extra romantic finery on the day. Well-known for its Sunday lunches, the restaurant will be serving a Valentine’s inspired menu in celebration of the occasion. Pre-bookings are essential as seating is limited. For bookings contact Denise Bezuidenhoudt on
Sunday, 14th February    The Red Table at Nederburg offers the ideal Valentine’s four-course menu, priced at R650 per couple and offered for lunch and dinner. Start with delicious salmon ceviche, watercress, radish and red onion salsa, followed by bacon-rolled chicken, goat’s cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach and toasted pine nuts.  Then enjoy the main dish of grilled beef fillet, baked parmesan baby potatoes, fine beans, young carrots and bone marrow jus. Seal the deal with caramel, dark and white chocolate tart, pistachio Turkish delight and fruit compote. A deposit of R150 per person is required to confirm your booking for lunch or dinner at The Red Table on 14 February. To book, please call 021 877 5155 or send an email to
Sunday, 14th February    Valentine's Dinner at Catharina's. This Valentine's Day, spoil your loved one with a special menu designed by Chef Garth Almazan for R895 per person. Begin with an Amuse Bouche of Balsamic and Beetroot Jelly with Rose and Beetroot Granite. Then journey through 4 courses of flavourful indulgence with Coffee & Friandise to conclude your evening. We have also designed a Vegetarian Menu for the evening as well as optional wine pairing. View the full menus here. For enquiries, please contact or call 021 713 7178.

4th February 2016
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