Wondering where to eat, drink and stay in the Cape over the next few weeks as the holiday season is upon us. Here are some top recommendations.
BOCCA, Bree Street
Discover a taste of urban Italian cuisine at new-look BOCCA. Since opening the doors in 2014, BOCCA has cemented itself as one of the hottest eateries on Bree Street, Cape Town’s gourmet boulevard. Now, with new owners – not to mention a revamped menu and refreshed décor – BOCCA is buzzing with a new Italian-inspired energy. Guido and Adnana Brambilla bring decades of experience in international hospitality to the Mother City. Before taking the keys to BOCCA the pair were based in Bermuda; Guido as Executive Chef for a major international hotel, while Adnana was in charge of sales and marketing for a collection of respected restaurants.
After a month of renovation the new-look restaurant is ready to introduce Capetonians and tourists to a new style of urban Italian cuisine, tapping into a global trend of upscale eateries offering a refined yet relaxed dining experience. I had a meal there recently and absolutely loved it!
Salsify at the Roundhouse, Camps Bay
Africa’s most lauded Chef Luke Dale Roberts has adopted the city’s cherished Roundhouse Restaurant. Collaborating with Ryan Cole, previously head chef of The Test Kitchen, the recently opened Salsify at the Roundhouse brings, at last, fine dining to Camps Bay. Long something of a local secret – a place I’d meet friends at for sundowners or a delicious pizza after a Lion’s Head hike – The Roundhouse is engulfed by the folds of the Table Mountain National Park and sheltered by towering oaks and whispering stone pines. True that it isn’t fair for Capetonians to keep this special spot to ourselves.
While Salsify offers innovative fine dining over lunch and dinner, The Lawns at The Roundhouse is a more relaxed all-day affair, with an array of outdoor spaces that take full advantage of this dramatic mountainside location. Sheltered from the wind, views are out across the Atlantic Ocean and the mountain peaks known as the Twelve Apostles, while high above cable cars whisk tourists to the top of Cape Town’s iconic mountain. Though the revamp of The Lawns has transformed this exceptional location, it’s been done with careful respect for the surrounding environment.
For bookings call 021 438 4347; or send a mail to email@example.com #thelawns
Rock star restaurant duo Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison’s new exciting approach to pared down, no nonsense, food market-esque, dinner-only dining is set to shift Cape Town’s cuisine scene! With in-your-face graffiti designs feeding the atmosphere by artist, Louis de Villers aka Skullboy, there’s no doubt The Commissary will be the edgy hotspot this festive season.
As if The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club aren’t enough to keep Luke Dale Roberts and his highly competent crew on their toes, the opening of another cutting-edge eatery is sure to set both local and international food wires alight. The Commissary opened its doors on November 1st and is described by Wesley “as a basic provisions store which you’ll find in the army, hospitals and prisons – and while they definitely won’t be serving prison fare, we’re taking things back to basics in a big way with our new dining venture”. The restaurant concept is indeed an exciting one and there is no doubt it will get foodies talking. “I’ve had the idea in my head for a while – a space where people can come and enjoy seriously approachable, affordable food with big, unapologetic flavours”.
The Commissary will be under the same roof as its sibling inner-city eatery but will be reached by an otherwise nondescript street level entrance. For more info call 021 422 2902 or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org #thecommissary
Indochine Restaurant at Delaire Graff Estate, Franschhoek
Indochine offers Asian-inspired cuisine in an evocative, fine dining food theatre, where delicate flavours come alive and each dish is synonymous with vitality, wellness and healthy living. Discover Asian tapas introduced by Chef Virgil Kahn into an art form, or experience a tea ceremony – everything is served to create an all-sensory dining experience. Spend the festive season in the Winelands and dine under the stunning Swallows in Flight art installation, sculpted by Lionel Smit and Andre Stead, where over 1000 swallows become part of the incredible views that stretch across to Table Mountain.
Delaire Graff Spa, Franschhoek
Having undergone a rejuvenating treatment of its own, the Delaire Graff Spa has launched a bespoke wellness menu and revitalised facilities. Elevated against the majestic Botmaskop Mountain, surrounded by breath-taking vineyards, exquisite art and endless beauty, the Afro-Asian inspired spa is a tranquil sanctuary where the journey to total wellbeing begins.
For bookings call 021 885 8160 or visit http://www.delaire.co.za #delairegraffspa #delairegraff
Read my post – A Day at the Delaire Graff Spa.
Abalone House & Spa, Paternoster
The Cape West Coast with its bracing ocean, windswept beaches, endless views and dramatic sunsets is the perfect summer destination. Summer days through to the evenings finds the picture-perfect fishing village of Paternoster transforming into a landscape of breath-taking beauty. The Abalone House & Pool Villas, one and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town, is the ideal place to celebrate the arrival of this summer season with their wonderful spa offerings and sterling accommodation.
For bookings call 022 752 2044; send an email to email@example.com; or visit http://www.southofafrica.co.za/properties/abalone-house/ #abalonehouse
Read the post of my visit to Abalone House & Spa, Paternoster.
BOSJES, Breede River
At the foot of the Waaihoek Mountain, situated in the beautiful Breede Valley, lies the perfect hideaway, BOSJES. Rich in history and natural splendour, visitors to Bosjes will find the journey worthwhile, if only to see the Chapel, an architectural masterpiece, and to enjoy the landscaped Chapel gardens. Hiking, and game- and bird-watching draw nature lovers to this working farm, where their new range of fine wines complement the local olive oil, and masses of flowers are cultivated in the surrounding fields. Mouth-watering meals and home treats spoil guests in the family friendly bistro and tea garden, while luxury accommodation ensures peaceful sleep.
Watch the video of my visit at BOSJES Chapel, Tee Tuin & Kombuis.
** This was produced in collaboration with Manley Communications, who keep me in the know and who have invited me to try many of these places in the last year. Contact them for more information at www.manley-communications.com. Pics supplied.