On our recent trip to South Africa, we were looking to unearth some of the country’s finest retreats for a slice of luxury and our first being exactly that. Arriving at the Cape Grace hotel we were met with the stunning backdrop of Table mountain with the clouds rolling majestically over its summit. The hotel is nestled within the harbour of the V & A Waterfront, where an array of elegant yachts take rest for the evening.
On entering the hotel we found ourselves in a beautifully decorated reception area that oozed sophistication. We began the evening with a tour of the hotel and its facilities. First stop was the stunning spa, located on the top floor away from the hustle and bustle. After a day exploring the great outdoors of Cape Town the spa offers the ultimate selection of relaxation treatments for those tired bodies. Word of mouth has it that the Kalahari signature massage will iron out all those aches and pains. Another feature to note, is the state of the art fitness studio, where the most active of guests can start the day with a workout overlooking views of the mountains and waterfront.
The running theme throughout the hotel was nautical, with specialist features including hand painted curtains and a pool area resembling the deck of a ship. Presented within the halls of the hotel was an incredible display of antiques, taking you on a journey through Cape Town’s heritage. We were informed that the majority of these had been generously gifted to the hotel, illustrating it’s popularity with past guests and the local community.
The highlight of our visit however was the fine dining experience at the Signal restaurant. Here we were treated to a 7 course tasting menu and a selection of fine local wines, meticulously selected to compliment each dish.
Seared Duck Liver, Toasted Croissant, Grapefruit & Earl Grey Foam
Grilled Hake, Lemongrass Veloute, Guava, Apple & Lime
Sautéed Prawns, Grilled Pineapple & Curry Emulsion
Strawberry Angostura Sorbet
Braised Rabbit, Truffled Courgettes, Almonds & Parmesan
Roasted Fillet of Beef, Pan-Fried Gnocchi, Roasted Pepper, Aubergine & Basil
Range Blossom Creme Brûlée, Shortcake, Compressed Melon & Exotic Fruit Sorbet
*Wines to compliment each dish sourced from the famous Steenberg region located in the southern region of Cape Town.
Stand out dishes included the delicious Sautéed Prawns and the Grilled Hake. The prawns were meaty and succulent, complimenting the texture of the crisp popadoms, whilst the curry emulsion provided a beautiful accompanying flavour that was accentuated by the sweet notes of the wine pairing.
The Hake followed suit, with beautiful presentation and cooked to perfection, whilst the acidic accents of the Apple & Lime cut through the velouté to form a great flavour pairing that had us releasing sighs of satisfaction from the first bite.
Understandably, with meat having such a large influence on South African cuisine, the fillet of beef was probably the show stopper. This course met every expectation and what’s more, the gorgeous red wine from the local Sternberg region added to the indulgence of this beautiful course. It’s one for all the ages and we could have happily gone for another round of beef and quaffed litres of the local sauce all night!
It’s clear that great care and attention has been applied to the creation of the tasting menu. From the selection of the produce to the detail in presentation, there is an obvious purpose to promote the growth of the South African farming community as well as provide an exquisite tasting experience.
Sitting back and contemplating our experience we recognise the brilliance of old-world service and heritage mixed with modern influences to deliver a rewarding and special experience that will stay with guests, long after they’ve left. Whether it be the stunning vista of Table Mountain or the air of grandeur that the Cape Grace surrounds it’s guests in, it simply is a beautiful slice of Cape Town’s luxury offering and a perfect destination for exploring this beautiful environment.
We The Food Snobs x