Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate

Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate

I was recently invited to experience One at Cavalli Estates restaurant. Run by executive Chef Michael Deg; One is a celebration of a single fresh hero ingredient from the garden showcased in classic dishes that let the ingredient shine. Created to celebrate Michaels appointment I couldn't wait to experience what he has on offer. 

Our ingredient was Celeriac. I must admit I was a little sceptical as I haven't had many great celeriac dishes. A humble root vegetable that tastes a bit like it’s cousin, the celery. 

The setting in gorgeous with a modern upmarket bistro interior with strong lines in the architecture. The patio has two fire pits, which I imagine would be wonderful in winter and overlooks a vista of magnificent mountains. Since it was a hot summers day it was most welcome to sit close to the waters edge with a light breeze, misting spray and crisp wine. 

It has been a while since I have had such a perfectly paired wine to meal experience. Farai Magwada is the sommelier and hats off to him! Each and every wine was perfectly in sync with the meals I experienced. Of course, this also meant I finished each and every glass of my five-course meal. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday in my opinion. 

The flavour journey began with a celeriac gazpacho that reminded me how much I love simple things such as the flavour pairing of pea and mint. Topped with goats cheese it was, melt in your mouth creamy. Paired with Cavalli's Vendetta, a white blend that is one of their premium flagship wines - it was by far my favourite wine. 

The journey continued through celeriac tartare topped with crisp ginger served with an easy drinking rosé. 

One of my top dishes of the day was the vegetable dumpling in an umami broth. Perfectly paired with Paul Cluver's Gewurtztraminer. Also, a spectacular wine that was matched with an equally spectacular dish. I will dream of those flavours for a while to come! 

The top dish of the day award goes to the Roasted Cauliflower and celeriac pureé. The dish was inspired. Its flavour profile reminded me of a bobotie (a South African curried mince dish) with its saltiness and curry spice but then it was elevated by the macadamia nuts and fried caper berries. Each bite had texture and flavour that was bursting at the seams. 

If you find yourself at the estate make sure to visit the Well Worn exhibition. I worthwhile visit exploring some of the amazing art from great South African Artists and a perfect way to end off a gorgeous afternoon! 

-Melissa 

*this blog post is sponsored by Cavalli estate. All opinions are my own. 

La Colombe

La Colombe
La Colombe
La Colombe
La Colombe

La Colombe garden

La Colombe

West coast oyster, caviar, kalamansi, apple and soy

La Colombe

Tuna ‘La Colombe’

La Colombe

Grilled fillet of line fish, saffron bulgar wheat, squid, chorizo, smoked soubise sauce.

Smoked ox tongue, coriander, ginger, capers, red onion, umami broth, crisp kataiffi. 

La Colombe

Scallop and Pork. Citrus glazed scallop, asian pork belly, cauliflower fondant, smoked cauliflower velouté.

La Colombe

Palate cleanser. Spheres filled with citrus liquid. 

La Colombe

Charmer beef, sweet breads and squash purée, crisp onion rings, port jus.  

La Colombe

Springbok loin, jerusalem artichoke, barley, lavender and bourbon jus.

La Colombe
La Colombe
La Colombe
La Colombe

Three ages of boerenkaas, onion, quince, walnut and cumin

La Colombe

Cherry Blossom. Manjari 64% chocolate crémeux, cherry stracciatella, kirsch,tonta bean almond.

La Colombe

There are moments – believe it or not (for those who know me) where I can be left speechless. They don’t happen often and they sure don’t last long. One of these golden moments happened recently at La Colombe.

If you haven’t heard of La Colombe before, they are situated on the Silvermist Estate in Constantia Nek. The head of the kitchen is the S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year Scot Kirton, a master of flavours and a showman with his food. 

The dining room is minimalist and the service is as sharp as a chef’s knife. I had to wonder if the muted décor was an intentional stroke of genius to ensure nothing detracted from the food.

I had previously tasted Scot’s work at the Chefs Who Share Charity gala and thought that I knew what to expect. Think again Melissa.

On my visit to La Colombe, I decided to experience the full extravaganza. Diving mouth first into the full tasting menu left me well, speechless. 

Each bite was perfection and the progression of flavours was masterfully put together resulting in a crescendo of the senses by the time the last course was cleared.

If I had to choose one word to sum up my experience at La Colombe, it would have to be something like ‘immersion’ – nothing else comes quite as close. 

The price? R 870 pp (without wine) - R 1270 pp (with wine) - R 1680 pp (with Fine & Rare wine)

Booking is essential.

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/acolombe

What to do in Robertson Wine Valley

Robertson Wine Valley

Everyone thinks that Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are the best wine areas in Cape Town. Now don’t get me wrong, they are amazing!!! (#firstworldproblems) but if you happen to want for a new adventure, Robertson is the place for you.
I recently took a shot left and ventured out to the Robertson wine valley. Firstly, can we have a moment for the beautiful drive? If you haven’t done it before, you should. It really is a drive that is breathtaking. If you leave early, the morning light hits the mountains in a way that will make you see them with new eyes!

Once in Robertson there are so many activities and exciting places to stay, that I simply had to share them. The wonderful thing is that a few of them are children friendly and pet friendly so the whole family can join in on the fun!

Rietvallei
Rietvallei

One of my first experiences in Robertson was something a little different. You have all heard of a braai (a South African BBQ) and you have all heard of a fondue. Well, combine the two and you have one awesome lunch spot at Rietvallei Wines.  A family run business filled with a passion for wines to the point that most of them are named after family members! I am all about being a proudly South African girl when it comes to a great braai. The meat was beautiful and the awesome thing is that it all came from local farmers. So one could say, a true farm to table experience. It definitely left me pondering about the point of rather than meat free Monday, we should eat less meat and actually support local free-range farmer. Food for thought. Bookings are essential.

de wetshof
de wetshof
de wetshof
de wetshof
de wetshof
de wetshof

With my stomach full and my thirst for wine not quiet satisfied (I am slightly wine obsessed) I ventured off to a magnificent estate, De Wetshof. I was treated to a walking tour of the estate and a site specific Chardonnay tasting in the vineyards. It was one of the most beautiful wine tastings I have ever had. The splendid cheese and charcuterie platters were delectable and the crisp wine was perfect to wash it all down.  I really enjoyed watching the sunset while sitting between the vineyards that had produced the amazing wine I was drinking! It was something unique and I would definitely book the experience again!

Robertson Wine Valley
Robertson Wine Valley
Robertson Wine Valley
Robertson Wine Valley
Robertson Wine Valley

My first night in the area I stayed at one of my favourite spots. I actually did a blog post on them specifically not too long ago that you can read here. The country lodge is called Jan Harms Gat and it is filled with history and charm.  It is a five star establishment that offers not only their own amazing wine but also a food pairing that is scrumptious and homey.  Waking up in the mist to a farm style breakfast and hot coffee is something I will never get tired of.

What would a trip into wine country be with out bubbles? No not champagne but MCC. A proudly South African Methode Cap Classique and my host, Graham Beck Wines. I was treated to an educational and fascinating side to the widely enjoyed MCC. To see the hours of labour and love that go into every bottle was amazing! It made me realize that next time you want to complain about the price of your wine, you should think about the months of labour and love that go into each bottle! It was mind blowing to see. The tasting session of still wines as well as their prized MCC left me wanting more. I was so impressed with their still wines that I walked away (proudly) with four bottles in hand and slightly tipsy because I wasn’t going to pour it out after each tasting!

graham beck
graham beck
graham beck
graham beck
Robertson Wine Valley

I popped into Springfield Wines for a tasting and I was stunned with their beautiful grounds! A pet friendly spot (which I love) Springfield offers the option to pack your own picnic basket and spend the day basking on their lawn whilst sipping on their five star wines! Not a bad option if you want to get away from the humdrum of the city! The views are incredible and the ambiance is relaxing!

Springfield wine
Springfield wine
Springfield wine

After having my lion’s share of wine I visited the vibey and rustic Olive farm Marbrin. They produce some of South Africa’s top olive oil and walked me through the process of making it. I loved tasting the variants that were earthy and bold but I must admit, it was terribly hard to not get distracted by their cute collie that kept asking for his stick to be thrown. I was brought back to reality when cheese tasting was mentioned. If you know me, I am ALL about the cheese. La Mont cheese had put together a mouth-watering cheese tasting that included fried Halloumi and cream cheese with focaccia. They supply some cheese to Woolworths including their Halloumi. With home made Limoncello (made on the farm) to end off the day it made for a memorable experience.

olive oil
olive oil

Mo & Rose was my lodging for my final nights stay in Robertson. I love this guesthouse and highly recommend it if you are passing by or looking for great four-star accommodation in Robertson. The décor is simplistic with a european flair and the bedrooms have fireplaces, a major plus when the sun goes down, as the area can get very cold in winter. It used to be a cactus nursery in the 1950’s and was bought over by Axil and Mo. She had a vision and transformed the magnificent garden into what it is today. Some of her cacti are 60 years and older! There are gardens tours for in house guest (booking in advance is essential.) The food menu is simple but it is done well and at the end of the day that is what it is all about.  With friendly service and a peaceful atmosphere Mo & Rose ranks as one of my top experiences in Robertson. Even if you were passing by I would stop for a cup of coffee and a walk through the succulents!

mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose
mo & rose

If you haven’t done a wine and chocolate pairing before it is really something you have to try! Robertson Winery does a wonderful one! Bookings are essential, as you don’t want to miss out and be disappointed. I was treated to a tasting in their cellars that are 75 years old! It was a great experience. With locally sourced chocolate that has been perfectly matched to their wines, I really enjoyed the education I received on the nuances of the flavours I was experiencing! I mean chocolate and wine! What’s not to love?

robertson wine
robertson wine
robertson wine
robertson wine

A great lunch spot and my final destination in Robertson was the Van Loveren Wine estate. I opted for a garden tour, as I am a geek for history and nature! I loved learning about the towering trees and soaking up the energy that they give out as you walk the estate. With great wines to match the beauty of the property I settled down for lunch. The food was delicious, hearty and left me content. Not only with lunch and wine but also a wonderful weekend getaway.

robertson wine
robertson wine
van loveren
van loveren
van loveren
van loveren

So next time you want to experience Cape Town's wine culture at its finest, take a drive out to Robertson Wine Valley!

-Melissa

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/what-to-do-in-robertson

Lourensford Harvest Market

Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market
Lourensford Harvest Market

This past weekend I opted for something a little different for Easter weekend. Instead of the usual feast at home and a full on food coma afterwards, I decided to load my family up and take a drive to the much talked about Lourensford Harvest Market.

The market is on every Sunday and this time round was an Easter theme.  They even had an Easter egg hunt for the little ones. With over 70 stalls filled with food, clothing and arts, there is something on the go for everyone! Of course my main focus was food and tasting as many morsels as possible. I always feel at markets committing to one single big meal isn’t the way to go. Either that or my food FOMO really shines! Get there early as the food starts to sell out later on and you will want to get the cream of the crop and of course grab a bottle of wine!

The atmosphere is relaxing and with cold beers and live music I found myself sitting at the table in a mellow mood that I would recommend to anyone.  Puppies are welcome and of course there are enough children to keep them busy!

Lourensford is one of the biggest producing estates in South Africa and has so much to offer! They have coffee roasting, galleries, the market and Mill House restaurant. A must try if you are in the area, bookings essential.  The food is outstanding and I have been lucky enough to eat there on a previous occasion.

So if you are wondering what to do and want to venture out of the noisy city, I recommend taking a drive to this beautiful estate and exploring it with camera or loved one in hand!

-Melissa

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/lourensford-harvest-market

Visiting Vergenoegd Wine Estate

vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate
vergenoegd wine estate

Our wine country here in the Cape is filled with history. The sad thing is that not everyone appreciates it or even honours it. I recently got around to visiting Vergenoegd Wine Estate and I was blown away by the experience and their respect for its history and buildings. The farm is filled with stories and activities for the whole family. But before I get into that, let us talk ducks!

The farm has almost 800 Indian Runner ducks that are let out every morning to graze on the snails and bugs that threaten the vineyards. The ducks are an eco-friendly solution for the farm and to be honest, they are possibly one of the cutest creatures I have ever seen! If you find yourself visiting the estate then I would recommend arriving  before 09:45 to see them go to work in their duck parade. Or catch them at the end of a hard day’s work at 15:30 daily! The sounds and sites of these feathered friends running into the vineyards is a must see! They are also part of the reason why Vergenoegd proudly carries the WWF biodiversity certificate.

The Estate is bustling with activities such as wine, coffee, tea and olive oil blending. I decided to opt for the olive oil blending as it was something different to what I’ve done before and I must admit that I was happy with my choice! Being educated on olive oils and the blends was fascinating! And the best part? I received a labelled bottle of my olive oil blend!

Sitting in the old buildings, I was able to take in the history of the Estate, and I think it is really special that they work so hard to preserve it. There is something to be said for those who honour the past and remember where they come from and I truly got that feeling at Vergenoegd!

The chef, Ryan Shell, has put together a picnic menu of epic proportions. Coming from a background of working with Chris Erasmus (one of my favourite chefs) I knew I was going to be blown away! With freshly baked bread and scrumptious salads, you can’t go wrong! Each picnic basket is accompanied with a fantastic bottle of Runner Duck wine. The white wine is crisp and fresh - the perfect pairing to a summer’s picnic! Booking is essential for all the activities on the farm and Vergenoegd ‘s site is also a hive of information! Give them a visit next time you want to wonder out to wine country! You will not be disappointed!

-Melissa