Thursday, November 21, 2019

Lunch at Tintswalo Atlantic - Out of the ashes a second time

The first time we visited Tintswalo Atlantic, a small, exclusive boutique Beach Lodge in Hout Bay, Lynne did not want to leave; it was so beautiful and so calm. To get there, you go along Chapman's Peak Drive, almost to the toll booth, and then take a right turn. It is almost impossible to see it from the road. It is a place where mermaids come to enchant you. Tintswalo is down a vertiginous road, almost on the beach. Luckily, there is a good secure parking area at the top and guests are fetched by car or golf cart. It has had quite a sad history in that Tintswalo Atlantic has been destroyed three times in its short life. First, by a huge wave during a storm. They recovered and rebuilt. In March 2015, it was destroyed again by a furious and fast mountain fire which swept down and burnt Tintswalo to the ground. They recovered again. Then, last year, an electrical fault in the kitchen caused another devastating fire

But the owners have rebuilt again and it is still a place of luxury and peace, with magnificent sea views across the bay. A place for romantic getaways, weddings, honeymoons, other small celebrations and quiet contemplation in the lap of luxury. See their web site It has just been opened again to the public and we were invited to view it and join them for lunch. There are 10 beautifully styled luxury suites and one 2-bedroom suite, all of which have themes inspired by the world’s best islands. The owners have such grit and determination to continue, and such style. Tintswalo is part of a large property group, some of which are Game Lodges and there is another like this at Boulders near Simonstown
Our hostess, co-owner Lisa Goosen and her mother did the reconstruction and redecoration, starting from scratch again and they have done it very stylishly and tastefully, in very current design mode (we know, our lounge is in two shades of these pale blues!). The different blues throughout echo the different moods of the sea outside.  It was a chilly day and we were given some spicy bruléed red wine (Glühwein), which we warmly welcomed. Or there were non-alcoholic Rock Shandies, which Lisa was drinking
The wrap she was wearing came with a message which must mean a lot to her
and echoes the strength they have shown in resurrecting Tintswalo Atlantic
A little mist on a wet Spring day did not spoil the view
You look out at the Sentinel and Hout Bay Harbour with the sea lapping the rocks just a few feet below
We saw a pair of dolphins enjoying the water - John caught one on camera - and you can see pods of whales passing by
Here you can see how close the water is
The dolphin passes
We were there to experience The Tintswalo Atlantic Where Else in the World Wednesday Lunch (WWW Lunch)
Wednesday is the only day on which Tintswalo is open to the public for lunch
It may be booked in advance and is subject to availability, to a limited number of guests only
Lynne chatting to PRO Janie van der Spuy of Five Star PR in the verandah dining area
The open kitchen
The vinoteque has a very good selection of wines
In summer, these doors fold right back and guests can have breakfast or lunch or dinner on the terrace,
where the roof can be retracted
We take our seats for the lunch
A well presented table setting
The menu for the day
If you wish to experience the Where else in the World Wednesday Lunch, the menu will be similar to this; you need to book
It is a chance for locals to experience Tintswalo
With a maximum of 10 guests per booking, and due to high demand, booking in advance is essential
Head Chef Thando Jaxa explains the menu to us
The canapés would be served first, then we could choose our starter and main course. Dessert would follow
All the courses were very expertly paired with wine chosen by the Maître d', Jabu 
The welcoming drink was Klasiek Cap Classique from Hout Bay Vineyards
Good glasses. The Cap Classique was paired with the Canapés, served at the dining table
Then the three canapés
Briefly fired Courgette and Haloumi cheese kebab, a lamb Satay stick with Tzatziki and long cooked mussels,
rather hard to get out of their shells, in a truly spectacular seafood bisque, made with fennel - 
this needs trade marking and bottling
The crostini soaked up all the magnificent flavours
Many of us ordered the just seared, so fresh, so local tuna, now in season, dressed with an Asian inspired honey and soy glaze
and accompanied by a sweetcorn & mange tout salsa spiced with a little red and green chilli, deemed delicious by all
The wine with it was the Arendsig Blok A15 Chardonnay 2014, an inspired pairing
The other starter, Chicken thigh, on a brown lentil cassoulet, with grilled oyster mushrooms, and a mustard jus
The wine for this course was the Groote Post Pinot Noir; silky, juicy and full of forest floor notes with ripe red cherries
We asked to taste, even though we had the tuna, and Jabu was happy to oblige
This was the herb polenta served with glazed beetroot, a parsnip and parsley mousse and buttered peas
A vegetarian at our table said that it was excellent
Paired with another of our favourite wines, the Avondale Camissa, a blend of Grenache, Muscat de Frontignan and Mourvèdre
Who could not resist the Parmesan and thyme crusted Fillet of beef, served with a crisp potato fondant,
seared baby onions, in season fresh asparagus and a rich coffee jus
The wine was Springfield Work of Time Bordeaux style blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot
A classic; smoky and full fruited, so well crafted and so good with meat dishes and possibly others..... 
Lynne had the Atlantic Yellowtail, well seared and moist in the centre, with a creamy carrot and ginger purée,
chimichurri gnocchi, fresh peas and sautéed fennel
This was paired with the very popular Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir
Lynne asked for a small glass of that and one of the Work of Time and honestly cannot say which went better with the fish;
they made equally good pairings
Yes, we did have room for dessert and it was a very well made Malva pudding
Often not on our list of favourites, because it is often served too dry, but this was perfectly moist and dripping with syrup
Topped with real vanilla ice cream, it made a very good end to a great lunch
Of course we had a dessert wine with it, the Donkiesbaai Hooiwijn, an intense and complex sweet straw wine
from the Piekenierskloof area, made from Chenin Blanc (Residual sugar, 205 gm/l)
Then when we thought we could do no more, some friandise, miniature Banoffee pies
and rich, cocoa covered dark chocolate truffles
and a good double espresso
Tempting as it was to sink into these comfy chairs or even the bed in one of the suites, we had to pass
This is the Zanzibar suite. The bed had a fabulous view of the sea and the bay
So does its en suite bathroom, but it was time to go home
The ladies who lunched, with one of the two gentlemen
L to R PRO Janie van der Spuy, Lynne, our hostess Lisa Goosen, Barbara Lenhard, Kendi (she is a Kenyan model in Cape Town),
George, who is a Franco German photographer and Tamsin Snyman 
They have a departure ceremony. You take a wishing stone ...
... stand by the deck rail and throw the stone over your left shoulder into the sea while making your wish
They asked us please to make sure that we took our wishes with us, which we were happy to do
But we also wish them a peaceful prosperous future; no more dramas or disasters
And we thank them all for a lovely event. Get your booking in soon
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