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A Cape of Goodness

A Cape of Goodness

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Published by Steve Wilson
A week of gourmet dining and luxury accommodation in the Cape - by David Kingsmill-Moore and Steve Wilson
A week of gourmet dining and luxury accommodation in the Cape - by David Kingsmill-Moore and Steve Wilson

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Published by: Steve Wilson on Dec 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 a CapE OfGOOdNEss
GastRONOmERs davId KINGsmILL-mOORE aNd stEvE wILsON sEtOff ON a fOOd aNd wINE tastING CRusadE sO maGNIfICENt that aN austRaLIaN Is fORCEd tO admIt that It’s NOt just IN RuGby that thE sOuth afRICaNs pREvaIL
any years ago I set o rom the UK on a trip aroundSouth Arica and ell in love with the place. Fiteen
 years later and the spotlight o a World Cup prompted
a debate with an Australian epicure. While he
acknowledged the Cape and the Garden Route were
‘okay’, they couldn’t seriously compare to the best
 wine, landscape, fne dining and high-end hostelry on oer in his native‘Stralia’…or Italy or Caliornia, or Spain or France or that matter. While
I took umbrage, he busied himsel researching fights and the very bestthat the Cape has to oer. The die was cast and I had a point to prove.
The Western Cape is peppered with over 300 wine arms and many o 
them oer superb dining. We began with lunch at Buitenverwachting.
 Tables or lunch in this stunning Cape Dutch style manor are very sought ater and a quick scan o the menu indicates why. In a dining
room looking out on vines snaking their way to the east acing slopeso Constantiaberg, approving moans understudied or conversation inthe ace o Cob with black linguine and both white and green asparagus
and springbok with a veal reduction.Enorced decadence decreed that
hours later we arrived at the Constantia Uitsig restaurant. Duly seatedand disarmed by a warm welcome, we urther surrendered ourselves to
the dishes our superb waitress Suzie elt would best showcase the talents
o the che Clayton Bell. They both did us proud. We shared the slowblinking nods o consensus – this was extremely ne dining. The wild
    w    o    r    d    s
   d   a   v   I   d   K   I   N   G   s   m   I   L   L   E  -   m   O   O   R   E   &   L   y   N   d   s   E   y   s   t   E   v   E   N
    I    M    A    G    E    s
   s   t   E   v   E   w   I   L   s   O   N   &   s   u   p   p   L   E   d
“If the Garden Routewere a movie, Charlton Heston would surely have starred with a supporting cast of thousands” 
mushroom ravioli alone should really have been placed aboard NASA’s
deep space probe, Voyager 1. Were aliens to discover it they wouldsurely think twice about obliterating Earth and instead, book a tableor dinner.Daybreak heralded the start o what must be one o the worlds least demanding six-hour drives. Here you nd big sky and vast dramatic landscapes that are apparently, ‘a lot like Queensland’.It’s 100 per cent epic. I the Garden Route were a movie, Charlton
Heston would surely have starred with a supporting cast o thousands.
So striking is the journey, you almost want to go again. This, o 
course, would have to wait because we had arrived at The Alexander.Perched high on the Knysna Heads, this boutique hotel oers three
rooms and three stunning suites all individually styled. Inormal
luxury at its best, simply fx yoursel a drink at the generously stocked‘honesty’ bar and take in the views. When night alls, the good people
o The Alexander have no shortage o dining recommendations. ‘34South’ was the answer to ‘what is the very best restaurant in town?’Authentic quayside dining to be sure and our charismatic waiterLullar steered us in the direction o the cob and the kingklip skewer.For this, we thank him. Over coee, I asked my Ozzie pal or hisinitial impressions and he replied, ‘Yeah. Yeah. Course I didn’t do
Knysna last time.’Hunter Hotels’ breathtaking Tsala Treetops
Lodge and Villas located just outside Plettenberg Bay came next. A range o stunning villas perched on timber legs 40 metres above theorest canopy, there is no shortage o indulgence or luxurious detailhere. Even the views into the valley serve as a kind o stress relieving
brain massage.Hunters’ oers two restaurants and we dined at
Sage, the senior o the pair. This is a amily run operation and thepassion and pride o Inga and her team suggest they are all honorary 
‘Hunters’’. Inside the Lodge it’s warm and woody with several log
fres. Outside we made camp in a large tented lounge looking out over
the grounds. Beside the warm re we digested a rich menu eaturing‘stick’ pork belly and the most incredible ostrich and caramelized gamuse bouche.Ater a morning trip to the world amous sur at
 Jerey’s Bay, the road back presented a white knuckled challenge that
I heartily recommend. Now, hurling yoursel rom a perectly goodbridge, 216 metres into a chasm is counter intuitive I grant you, but
simply afx the mother o all elastic bands to your ankles and you willnot be sorry. Bloukrans Bridge is very simply the highest commercialbungy jump in the Milky Way. The decision is obviously yours but as
they make pains to remind you, ‘ear is temporary, regret i orever’.Itineraries wait or no man so we headed back to the Cape and a nine-
course tasting menu at The Tasting Room in Franschhoek’s ‘Le Quartier
Francais’. As you might expect rom a restaurant that regularly eatures
in ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ reviews, the specially selected wines blended
seamlessly with each imaginative dish. Remarkable ood all served withmodesty and charm by the smiling and knowledgeable Carla. Further-
more, the man rom Brisbane could barely stife his delight.At sunup, with cameras packed we drove the coast road rom Cape Town allthe way round the peninsula to Simons Town passing through Camps
Bay, Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak, including a windy climb up to the
lighthouse at Cape Point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.I you are in the mood or urther elevation we’d highly recommenda 30-minute helicopter ride that takes in the whole o the Cape andincludes antastic views o Table Mountain.
bonbons,nougatandmacaroonsatthetastingroomatleQuartierfrancais,sageathunterscountryhouse,tsalatreetoPresort,tomatoconewithrosemary atthetastingroom

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