Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter fabulous foodie friends!

I will be away for a few days at the KKNK ( – an Arts Festival up in the Karoo, making friends with ostriches and crazy Afrikaans people.
However, I will be spending the day tomorrow in a very foodie village called Prince Albert. I'm travelling up with a friend, whose dad is the amazing creative food genius behind the famed Prince Albert restaurant and cooking school, African Relish (

Have a good one! See you in April :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winelands High Tea at La Motte

Pierneef a La Motte - the restaurant at La Motte wine estate

This weekend I visited La Motte wine estate to try out their Winelands Tea, which puts a traditional South African/Western Cape twist on high tea.

Pierneef a la Motte interior

We sat outside on the 'stoep' under the acorn trees, enjoying the green scenery. First up we had to choose our cake of the day to accompany the rest of our tea menu. I chose the raspberry cheesecake, while my husband chose the peppermint-crisp mini cake. Once ordered, we chose our respective teas. I opted for French Earl Grey and my husband chose Crème Caramel tea (with actual bits of caramel in the tea bag).

Winelands tea menu

TWG traditional teas

The Winelands Tea spread
 The tea was beautifully presented in hand-crafted crockery, designed and made specifically for La Motte. After enjoying our teas, we tried the House Blend coffee, made by a boutique roasteria in Paarl called Bean in Love.

It was such a lovely afternoon. Guests need to set aside 1 to 2 hours for the tea to make the most of the pleasant setting (check out the art gallery while you're there) and sip quietly on your tea while you listen to the acorns gently bouncing off the bedouin tent above...

Layers of smoked salmon pancake with cream cheese, biltong choux pastry, chocolate truffle, large macaroon and mini raspberry cheesecake

Cost: R125 per person (Sweet wine and Sparkling wine can be ordered at an additional R20 per glass)
Tue to Sun 09:00 – 17:00.
Closed on Christian religious holidays.
For more information, visit:

Monday, March 18, 2013

More House & Garden magazine work

Even though this caterer I interviewed for the March issue of House & Garden magazine is in Durban, she is doing some pretty cool stuff and if you Cape Town people have friends in KZN and the Eastern Cape that are looking for a caterer - well, here she is!

This story may also inspire budding foodies to take the plunge and open their own business :-)

House & Garden March food news pages

This month I features some cool food products from Kloovenburg and Chaloner (both in the Cape), plus a great new coffee spot in Cape Town, Richard Carstens' new menu at Tokara and meet one of my fellow local bloggers and foodie friends, Thuli Gogela, who shares her tips for traditional African cooking :-)

Franschhoek Summer Wines: the wrap-up

The famed sculpture at Leopard's Leap
I discovered some fabulous wines this weekend at the Franschhoek Summer Wines held at Leopard's Leap wine estate. It was great meeting some of the winemakers and, while we were enchanted by the new wineries we discovered, we were also happy to see some of our old favourites, such as Boekenhoutskloof, Haute Cabriere and La Motte.

There were 27 wineries in total. I didn't get to try everything (after all, I had to still walk out of the venue on solid legs in preparation for dinner with the in-laws that evening), but what we did try was fabulous! On offer were whites, roses and bubblies (hence the Summer Wines name). I wasn't in a bubbly-drinking mood, so stuck to wines.

So here are some that really stood out for me:

I'm a big fan of Moreson's Pinotage, and their Chardonnay was superb!

It was the first time I had tried any wine from Glenwood and I loved their Chardonnay - light, but still with body and personality

This is a great wooded Chardonnay - certainly one I will be stocking in the future! A real dinner-time Chardonnay

A very pleasant, easy drinking Chenin/Viognier blend from Grande Provence

A stalwart wine - Haute Cabriere's Chardonnay Pinot Noir has been a go-to wine of mine for years

An excellent 100-per-cent Viognier

This delicious Savignon blanc recently won the Taj Classic Wine Trophy award (along with awards for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay)

It's a rare opportunity to try a wine from 2004, especially a 100-per-cent Semillon. Boekenhoutskloof produces excellent wine in general and this was no exception.

Besides the fact that the Semillon from La Chataigne was delicous, the winemaker hand signs every bottle, signing an average of around 400 bottles a day!

For more information on events taking place in the Franschhoek wine valley, visit

021 876 2861

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ridgeback Winery - Paarl

Ridgeback Wines is situated in Noord Agter Paarl (basically, between Paarl and Wellington), and offers an array of truly excellent wines. I've been there twice now and my husband and I cannot find a single wine that we do not enjoy thoroughly. But, if I had to pick, my absolute favourites are the Viognier and His Master's Choice (85% Shiraz, 15% Mourvèdre).

Incredible Chenin blanc! I could drink this all day!
Cabernet Franc - delicious red!

The lagoon/dam is the background with swans and geese dotted around, makes for a very tranquil setting while sipping wines all afternoon

The Deck Restaurant is open six days a week and situated right next to the wine tasting centre. 
The great thing about this arrangement at Ridegback is that you can do a wine tasting while eating lunch, so you can experience their array of delicious wines with relaxed dishes such as cheese platters, rump steaks, burgers and salads. 

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Sunday
09h30 - 11h30 for teas, coffee, light breakfast and something light
12h00 - 15h00 Lunch


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Franschhoek Summer Wines Festival

Photo courtesy of Leopard's Leap

For those looking for some fun out-and-about activities in the winelands this weekend, be sure to stop in at the Franschoek Summer Wines festival a Leopard's Leap Vineyards.

The purpose of the event is to showcase some of the Valley’s top summer wines.  Participating wineries include the likes of La Bri, Morena, Colmant, Môreson, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Bellingham, Noble Hill, Leopard's Leap, La Motte, Solms-Delta, Haute Cabriere, Grande Provence, Cape Chamonix and Boekenhoutskloof. Wine lovers will have the opportunity to browse at their leisure or engage with the winemakers.
Deli-style foods from the Harvest Table, prepared by the chefs in the Leopard’s Leap Kitchen will be availbale for purchase during the afternoon, plus there will be ice cream from the Ice Cream Bar.


Festival times: 12pm to 5pm
Theme: ‘elegantly white’.
Tickets: R180 per person

Tickets can be purchased directly from and booking is essential as tickets are limited to 500 people only.

Click here to find out more:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

95 Keerom - the best Italian food in Cape Town

95 Keerom

I was invited to a launch recently at 95 Keerom (famed and award-winning Italian chef, Giorgio Nava's restaurant).

He has been awarded again and again for making the best authentic Italian food outside of Italy in the world... and it was great to revisit the restuarant to taste some of his signature dishes.

The last time I was at 95 Keerom, I ate the carpaccio and the steak tartare (clearly I was having a carnivorous craving). They were both amazing, rich and of utmost high quality.

The menu for the launch event consisted of the following dishes: beef carpaccio, zucchini risotto and ostrich medallions with polenta and sauteed mushrooms. Everything was so well put together, with great flavour intensity, all paired beautifully with a new range of wines from the Fairtrade farm, Bosman Family Vineyards (from the Wellington region), called: De Bos Handpicked Vineyards.

95 Keerom is a classic Italian stalwart and a must for anyone visiting Cape Town.

Il Carpaccio “95”
beef carpaccio drizzled with homemade mayonnaise sauce topped with fresh rocket and shaved parmesan - paired excellently with the De Bos Walker Bay Pinot Noir

Zucchini risotto - a great combination with the De Bos Walker Bay Chardonnay

Ostrich medallions with polenta and mushrooms - the ostrich worked so well with the De Bos Walker Bay Merlot
021 422 0765

Bosman Family Vineyards:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Under Oaks Winery - Paarl

On our recent wine trip to the Paarl region, one of the venues we stopped in at was Under Oaks. It is a boutique winery with an awesome pizzeria attached (often fully booked). The venue is child-friendly and casual with great Italian hospitality.

wine tasting is free in the small Under Oaks tasting room

They make a good shiraz as well as a host of other reds, such as cab/syrah blend and an excellent pinotage

The small tasting room has a blackboard listing the 3 or 4 wines available for tasting on the day. But the best part is the 'Bargain Barrel'. You'll often find a good deal on some of the older stock. For example, when we were there the other day, they had bottles of their award-winning chardonnay for only R40 per bottle. YUM!

They also make a great Cabernet Savignon and a excellent Chenin Blanc. It's definitely worth a visit!
Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11am-4pm.
Contact Sue 021 869 8045

Cool Craft

While at the Constantia Craft Beer Project, I stumbled upon some cool beers and ciders and where to get your home-brewing kits from.

Arriving at the Craft Beer project

Double Owl brown ale from Wild Clover Brewery

I loved tasting beers from the Wild Clover Brewery, which is based in the winelands. For more info, visit
Their brown ale and Black Dog Porter

my drinking partner *love*

Wild Clover beers on tap - the Blind Mole and Fish Eagle are two other fantastic beers by the same brewery

Budding beer makers can get beer-making products from The Beer Lab

Visit The Beer Lab for all your beer-making products, ingredients and equipment.Basic Brew Kits are from about R750.

Anvil Ale from Dullstroom is a great product if you can get your hands on it...

The Devil's Peak beers are incredible!
 Also from the Cape, try Devil's Peak Brewing Company's beers. The Silvertree Sasion is amazing and so is the Woodhead amber ale.

Windermere Cider

Everson's Cider

Hand-crafted ciders are becoming more and more popular. Try Everson's Cider or Windermere's Cider
for some local options, both based in and around Grabouw.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Drizzle and Dip – Kloovenburg's delicious NEW olive oils

Newly launched from Kloovenburg Vineyards wine and olive estate out in the stunning area of Riebeek Kasteel (AKA good Shiraz country – and Kloovenburg make a mighty-fine one), these three olive oils will make a fine addition to your pantry cupboard.

I've just poured the Oreganum, Basil & Black Pepper Dipping Olive Oil over my salad and it has brought it alive! At only R44 a bottle, they're a steal!
Lemon Infused Dipping Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Infused Oil & Lemon

Serving suggestions – Use as a salad dressing. Use when grilling fish or white meat. Marinating Chicken breast (add some thyme and paprika)

Chilli & Garlic Dipping Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Infused Oil, Chilli & Garlic

Serving suggestions – Drizzle over oven-baked potato, pasta or pizza. A dip for fresh bread. Stir-fry prawns.

Oreganum, Basil & Black Pepper Dipping Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Infused Oil, Oreganum & Black Pepper

Serving suggestions – Use when grilling meat. Drizzle over potato wedges. Stir fry vegetables.