After our initial stint in Cape Town it was time for Mr S and I to jump into our hire car and head to the Cape Winelands for a couple of days. The Winelands are a beautiful region, located around a 40 minute drive East of Cape Town and encompassing several small towns. The scenery was some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, beautiful green valleys, rolling hills and vast imposing mountains.
The plan was to stop en route to our hotel and have lunch at the Delaire Graff estate, an utterly gorgeous hotel and winery overlooking the valley of Stellenbosch.
The Delaire Graff restaurant has a gorgeous al fresco location with a relaxed a comfortable feel.
But you won’t be focussing on the interior too much because you won’t be able to take your eyes off this incredible view.
Our table was right at the edge of the terrace and quite honestly I think this is one of the best restaurant views I’ve ever seen.
The estate also has its own vineyards and a selection of award-winning wines. Now, I have to admit I’m no wine expert, but I’m learning and the Delaire Graff website tells me that it is a combination of ‘Mountain and maritime’ that gives Stellenbosch a very unique terroir and the cool Atlantic sea breeze gives a rich intensity to the grape. It certainly was a beautifully crisp Sauv Blanc, and I regret not buying a case now.
Of course, Mr S was driving so he could only have one glass… and this is why he’s my ideal travel companion…I can sit back and enjoy the wine while he drives 😉
Michael Deg is the Head Chef at Delaire Graff Restaurant and he has created a menu of bistro classics using local, seasonal ingredients.
Mr S chose braised Karoo lamb belly with merquez frikkadel (a traditional Afrikaner meatball dish), cous cous, date puree and cumin hung yogurt. It was beautifully presented, rich and filling, definitely a good choice if you’re hungry!
My tomato gazpacho with tiger prawns and confit cherry tomatoes was like summer in a bowl, with a beautiful light spice, perfectly complimented by the wine.
Mr S went robust and meaty again for main course, choosing slow cooked beef short rib with oxtail ragout, parsnips and herb mash.
A pile of puy lentils made the perfect bed for my sea bass which had a beautifully flakey texture accompanied by the crisp fish cakes and a light foam.
Green Gastronomy is the philosophy at the Delaire Graff Estate and fruit, vegetables and herbs are all picked from the Estate’s own greenhouse and garden and delivered straight to the kitchen.
Aside from the incredible view, the absolute highlight of our lunch was the desserts.
Passion fruit and chocolate with coconut sorbet, earl grey mousse and olive oil sponge.
Tonka bean parfait with mango, honey stones and tarragon frozen yogurt. These clever flavour combinations were just incredible, and definitely the best desserts that we had while in South Africa.
After enjoying our incredible food we were taken on a tour of the gorgeous place. The Estate was opened in 2009 by Laurence Graff, founder of Graff diamonds.
The London-born philanthropist is a leader in the diamond industry and a devoted collector of modern art.
Many of the pieces in his collection can be viewed as you explore the estate including this one in the main entrance (right-hand side). The first piece of art that inspired Graff’s passion, Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl.
Fine sculptures decorate the beautifully modern walkways of the estate and there is much to admire as you explore the place.
We were led into a golf buggy for a drive around the lush gardens of the estate.
I wish my photos could do justice to those verdant gardens and rolling hills. I’ve often wished that a photograph could truly capture a feeling: that warm sun kissing your skin, the contented feeling of good food and wine and the glorious blend of it all combined with scenery that words can’t even describe.
As well as incorporating 350 indigenous plants, the garden is alive with water features and more stunning works of art and sculptures.
As well as the all-important grape vines, greenhouse and bio-dynamic gardens.
Up hill from the restaurant and more privately tucked away is the main hotel area which includes luxury lodges, a spa and Indochine, a restaurant serving Asian inspired cuisine.
And this stunning main pool, where you can lay out and enjoy some of Delaire’s gorgeous wine while soaking up the sun and gazing on the view.
Afterwards we were driven back down to the public area where our guide took us to the Wine Lounge and suggested a short wine tasting.
Not wanting to leave, we sat on the terrace, savouring some delicious wines, that were as perfect as this incredible place.
Delaire Graff Estate
Our lunch at the Delaire Graff Estate was complimentary