review

Having high tea at The Cellars-Hohenort

Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort

On a sunny afternoon in Cape Town, I managed to find my way to one of my favourite establishments. So much so I have visited all three hotels and dined at all their restaurants and you cannot blame me - home to The Green House and under the watchful eye of Farrel Hirsch the The Liz McGrath Collection The Cellars-Hohenort is in a league of its own and now, you can go and have high tea whilst overlooking the impeccable gardens. A fast way to feel very grand and indulge in decadence.

The high tea runs daily from 15h00 to17h00 at R245 per head including coffee or tea. If you are more than 12 people then the offer moves to a buffet-style high tea. The stands are extensive with the perfect journey from savoury to sweet and each bite offering a unique taste sensation. I must confess that I had to have a mouthful of each unique tart, quiche, brownie or macaron. It couldn't be helped and it was well worth it. The quiche won my heart and I will return for it!

It made the perfect girls date with a bestie and loved every moment of sitting outside in the winter sun taking in the views whilst catching up. After high tea taking a stroll through the gardens is a wonderful attempt at burning off the calories consumed. However, not to feel bad because life is full of indulgences and the high tea experience at Cellars should be one of them!

Bookings are essential.

For more information or bookings, contact:

reservations@collectionmcgrath.com | +27(0)21 794 2137

-Melissa








Visiting Viande at Grande Roche

viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche

Last week I was invited to visit the Grande Roche Hotel. Situated just 40 minutes from Cape Town CBD in the picturesque town of Paarl. Recently acquired by entrepreneurs Hansie and Theresa Britz who have given the grande old dame a breath of fresh air. The hotel was closed for a month, while painters, decorators, designers and landscapers set to work refurbishing the suites, buildings, and public areas. A much-needed love punch for this majestic establishment.

The refreshed look has seen each of the 18 luxurious Terrace Suites completely refurbished. Striking fynbos-inspired wallpapers celebrate the local flora and provide a flash of colour on arrival, while the sash windows, wooden beams, and exposed thatch neatly encapsulate the farm’s Wineland's heritage.

The restaurant housed the previously known Bosmans. Newly reimagined by the legendary mastermind Peter Goffe-Wood (kitchen Cowboys) and interior designer Francois du Plessis, the new space has been modernized with elegance and has a sleek new feel to it. Viande means ‘meat’ in French, and with elegant nose to tale dining. Goffe-Wood and his capable kitchen crew are already hard at work curing, smoking new delicacies, with selected cuts dry-aged on-site in imported German meat-fridges. Brandy will be the star of the brand-new Viande Bar, stylish new addition to the restaurant space. Here cozy couches and a brass bar counter cry out for pre-dinner cocktails and after-dinner digestifs.

We dined on a four-course meal beautifully paired with Under Oak wines. The crispy pork and lamb being the stars of the show. The dessert was decadent and the coffee a perfect pairing with its bitterness to counter the sugar hit of creamy chocolate.

I am excited for the new chapter of the Grande Roche as well as wishing all the best to Goffe-wood and his team at Viande. The future is looking or bright or as some might say - pretty grande!

For more information about Grande Roche Hotel and Viande Restaurant, and to read more about the property’s two-night stay special from 1 September to 31 October 2019; click: https://bit.ly/2PXLit5

-Melissa

Cavalli Estate Winter Menu

cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate
cavalli wine estate

I have a wild obsession with horses and a wild obsession with food. So when the two collide with art and beautiful wine not only do you have one of my favourite places to visit but you experience the excellence that is the ever-stylish Cavalli Wine Estate.

A mere 40 minutes from Cape Town CBD is the scenic property of Cavalli Wine Estate. At only 5 years old, the estate is a mere babe amongst their bigger, well-publicized counterparts, but they have established themselves as a real contender in such a short space of time nevertheless as one of the provinces best (and one that tops my list of Sunday excursions).

The estate is 100 hectares in size and at the heart of it is their flagship restaurant. The decor is contemporary with a strong element of art and design. Not only upstairs in the main dining area but also the magnificent gallery that is a level below. It's no wonder that this amazing estate has received the Eat Out Style Award.

Micheal Deg is head of the kitchen and producing elegant well thought out dishes with seasonal produce, perfectly balanced that will leave you perfectly satiated. Each dish is brilliant. This winter you can expect a starter of slow-cooked octopus, fermented black garlic aioli, squid ink crisp, and radish served with a Fynbos dressing followed by barley & mushrooms, parmesan custard dish. For mains diners can look forward to a confit duck leg served with orange, red onion marmalade, mustard pommes mousseline and black kale. For dessert, the Tonka bean crème caramel palmier is the perfect ending to this dining experience.

Vegetarian diners are also well taken care of this winter, with a starter of a parsnip, truffle and honey velouté, 65°C free-range egg, mushroom ragout, and crispy enoki served with smoked crème Fraiche. The main a pearl couscous risotto, dressed with red pepper, homemade almond yoghurt, and pickled naartjies served with a kale crisp.

With his zero-waste attitude and seasonal produce grown in their lush gardens, there isn't much not to love about the experience. Sitting in the winter sun and sipping on their 'Filly' Chenin is something I could do full-time thanks to Farai Magwada, Front of House Manager and Sommelier for Cavalli Restaurant. As he says "The ‘Filly’ Chenin Blanc is the ideal all-rounder. “It’s incredibly elegant, and it balances freshness and a richer flavour profile. It’s a wine that caters to a diversity of palates.”

The winter menu is available from 1 May through until the 30th of September 2019 for lunch or dinner at R350 for the 4-course menu, R425 with Cavalli wine pairing and the 4-course vegetarian menu at R300 or R375 paired with Cavalli wine. Bookings are limited to a maximum of 15 guests.

The Cavalli Private Collection of South African Masters is frequently rotated in the portico situated within the main gallery and two memorabilia rooms allocated nearby showcase a remarkable collection of rugby and sporting memorabilia.

So if you find yourself wanting for art, food, and wine then I suggest you find yourself ambling through to this magnificent establishment this winter. You might even find me there!

For more information call 021 855 3218, send an email to info@cavalliestate.com, visit www.cavalliestate.com or make contact via @CavalliEstate #CavalliEstate

-Melissa



Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chiang Mai

Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai
Exploring the Oasis Spa and Resort in Chang Mai

Right, so you find yourself in Chiang Mai Thailand and you are looking for the ultimate place to kick back and relax.

I have found the ultimate paradise. Oasis Spa Baan Saen Doi.

Located just outside of the city center of Chiang Mai with a round trip service this hotel and spa will leave your travel stress behind. Flying into Chiang Mai it's only a short 10-minute taxi ride to the hotel where you can offload and dive straight into relaxation (or the pool).

With one of the top Spa's in Chiang Mai and several branches across Thailand, the Oasis Spa will help you escape your busy lifestyle whether you are relaxing poolside or opting for a traditional hot compress massage.

The hotel has a striking interior with touches of the traditional hill tribe art throughout. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and water features the hotel offers privacy and elegance.

The rooms are large and spacious with a fully fitted mini bar and king-sized bed. (Yes Pease!!) The rooms are airconditioned and (my favourite part) offer a full sized spa bathtub. I couldn't resist having a giant bubble bath the second I arrived. Engulfed in luxury and pampering visiting the spa was high on my to-do list!

The Spa is one of the most professional spas I have ever visited with the most meticulous attention paid to every single detail. To ensure that you have an amazing experience you will be met by one of the staff that will walk you through your menu options whilst you sip on traditional tea. I can highly recommend the hot compress massage. This is a traditional wrap made of a mix of fresh ginger, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and peppermint, with additions such as camphor and a dab of essential oils to suit your needs. Receiving a massage with a hot compress made me feel like my body was surrendering to the relaxation and every bit of tension was being released. Drifting into heaven is an understatement.

Post massage you will be met with fresh fruits and tea to hydrate and nourish the body. If you are feeling adventurous you can take a walk up to the traditional rice fields that are part of the grounds and understand a little more about the rice they harvest or find your way poolside to soak up the final rays of the day.

The food is traditional and with beautiful flavours and a spice level that creates a perfect bite of Thai cuisine. I might have wanted to squirrel away the green curry and the spring rolls that accompanied it for a midnight snack attack.

In hindsight, I blame this notion on the euphoria of eating spicy food. The staff is attentive and nothing is too much effort.

Whether you stay poolside, adventure into town or simply melt into massages this establishment truly has something special to offer and I highly recommend that if you find yourself in Chiang Mai that you find your way there.

Did you know that there is a Thailand Tourism office located in Johannesburg? Don’t think only beaches (Phuket), as there is so much more to Thailand. So if you need info or digital brochures etc, be sure to contact them or better still follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

I would also like to give a big thank you to Singapore Airlines for flying me to this dream destination.

-Melissa

Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Take a deep breath in, now let it out. Repeat. Do you feel that?

A momentary grounding.

Now picture white beach sand, crystal clear blue waters, tall shady palm trees, mind-blowing food.

You've just imagined Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands.

A place to feel connected and grounded. A place where you can exhale.

Hands down one of my favourite destinations in Thailand; this resort is truly magnificent. Not only because it is surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery but because the resort is aware of their responsibility towards the environment and making their establishment one of sustainability. Zeavola does everything they can to look after the majestic nature that surrounds them.

Getting there is half the adventure and a flight into Phuket, a taxi to the harbour and a gorgeous boat ride later you will find yourself stepping onto the beautiful beaches with waves lapping the shores of the island.

Arriving at sunset, the golden light illuminated the limestone cliff faces and rocky outcrops that surround and make up the Phi Phi islands.

Taking in the bright pink skies is a memory that will stay with me forever.

The resort is really something special. Firstly it is a barefoot resort - yes you read correctly. This resort encourages you to get your toes sandy and feel the earth beneath you. Every time you enter a facility there is the opportunity to rinse your feet off in cleverly placed foot baths.

The resort recycles their water (which is pretty impressive considering they are on a tiny island in the Andaman sea)

They omit all single-use plastics and promote being eco-conscious in all that they (or the guests) do.

A green resort? Be still my beating heart.

The rooms are tucked away and surrounded by lush tropical plants and give a feeling of absolute privacy. You might find yourself harboring a sneaky suspicion that you have the only room on the island. They are constructed from glass panels and space is filled with natural light. With an outdoor shower and lounge area, I felt as if I could live there forever!

The resort offers additional options of rooms situated higher up on the hill, perched on stilts overlooking the canopy. The honeymoon suite sports a beautiful white marble pool while for the more minimal tastes, a beach facing room might be just the thing.

There is certainly something to satisfy every occasion and desire.

If you have a wedding request, this is the hotel for you.

The resort also proudly caters to the LGTBQ community by offering same-sex marriages.

The only thing enticing enough to get me to leave my comfortable room? Diving. As an avid diver, I opted to take myself on an adventure. Joined by a private Dive Master we took a boat trip out into the marine reserve. Whilst we were heading out seahorses were mentioned and I was sold.

From sea horses to lions mane jellyfish I was in heaven! If diving isn't your thing then you can also take a private boat ride out to the marine park for the day and go snorkeling with baby black tip sharks or simply swim in the tropical waters and bask in the sun. With a gorgeous pool, you can stay in or even make your way to their sublime spa for a treatment of your choice. I lost myself in the music that is a traditional massage.

Making my way back to the resort I was met with staff that is ready to help with anything, cue cocktail in hand and of course someone to escort me to lunch!

Wow. The food was simply incredible and eating on the beach with a gentle sea breeze in my hair, heaven. I realized after the food that Zeavola was fast crawling its way into one of my favourite destinations out there.

This five-star resort is beyond the standard five stars you expect to experience with that rating. With every detail thought out and every taste catered for, Zeavola was exceptional.

Did you know that there is a Thailand Tourism office located in Johannesburg? Don’t think only beaches (Phuket), as there is so much more to Thailand. So if you need info or digital brochures etc, be sure to contact them or better still follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

I would also like to give a special thanks to Singapore Airlines for flying me in style all the way to this dream destination!

-Melissa