Rust & Vrede Restaurant hits the right balance

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 30th, 2010

“More so than in life, restaurants are about balance.”

“Not only in food and wine, but also people. And thus our service is as important. What makes it even more of a challenge is when all this happens on a historic and award winning wine estate.”

They selected the right team and together built from there, to create the finest dining experience at a world-class venue. By the time the doors opened they had selected the purveyors to provide the freshest ingredients and  personally selected the wines to compliment the menu. Their list of French champagnes is second to none.

The original cellar, a National Monument, has been converted and the kitchen is placed “front and centre”, thus creating an ambiance that is relaxed but vibey. They also have a proprietor/winemaker table in a private area between or cellars which can accommodate a maximum of 8 people. They take pride in the fact that time was taken with well known potter, David Walters, to create the crockery, handcrafted Riedel stemware was selected and Laguiole knives purchased, to give you an experience you won’t soon forget.

Rust en Vrede Restaurant was awarded the 74th Best Restaurant in the world at the Annual San Pellegrino Restaurant Awards in 2010.

The whole experience is one of relaxed efficiency which delivers amazing food and wine in a friendly and totally unstuffy atmosphere – just a memorable and great night out. We unreservedly recommend it!

Milnerton Golf Club – a pleasure to the senses | Beaumont House

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 28th, 2010

The Course… Milnerton Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 72 seaside course situated in a leafy suburb just 10 minutes north of the city of Cape Town and 20 minutes from Beaumont House. Surrounded by natural beauty, the course is a pleasure to the senses.

Nestled between the Atlantic ocean and the RietVlei river, this lush links-type course is relatively flat with few trees. But with the sea and the lagoon bordering most holes, and the 7 beautiful water holes waiting to claim the wayward shot, it offers a truly unique golfing experience! Typical of many links-type courses, you will play the first 9 holes out, enjoy a light meal at the halfway house, and then return back to the clubhouse via the second 9.

The Attraction… On most holes, the sound of the waves breaking on the shore just metres away will remain long after your game is over. The spectacular view of Table Mountain from almost every hole is breathtaking, while the nature lovers will be thrilled at the abundance of water birds on the bordering river.

The PGA SA Masters Tournament was played at Milnerton in December 1978 and each year thereafter until 1983. American, Calvin Pete, once called it a “Mickey Mouse Course” after shooting a record 63 to lead after a first day of perfect conditions. The second round saw the Cape Doctor taking exception to his comment – he shot an 83! You have been warned!

The Reward… Once over, the day’s experience will not be complete without a well-deserved drink or two in the 5-star lounge situated just a few paces off the beach. There you will relax in comfort and reflect on your game while soaking in the splendor of the view over the ocean toward the Mother City – with Table Mountain completing a perfect post-card setting.

Best Winelands Picnic Spots | Beaumont House

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 27th, 2010

Suffice to say that a good picnic doesn’t require much more than a patch of grass, a shady tree and a lovely view – and these are not hard to find in the winelands.

Many wine farms invite you to bring your own basket. Increasingly, however, you can pre-order a delicious gourmet picnic – complete with ‘proper’ crockery, cutlery, condiments and coffee to finish – at one of the many wineries that have realised there’s hardly a better way to showcase their wines.

Constantia

Buitenverwachting
Some picnic spots have been going strong for several years – in Constantia, Buitenverwachting (tel 021 794 1012) was among the first to take picnicking to a new level of sophistication at tables beneath oak trees around the beautiful gardens. The savoury platter is laden with things like snoek pâté, cold meats, meatballs and quiche along with salads and cheeses, while the sweet platter includes fruit kebabs, koeksisters and chocolate brandy truffles, all followed by tea or coffee (R120pp).

Groot Constantia
As numbers are limited, it remains a more peaceful and romantic option than nearby Groot Constantia (tel 021 794 1143), where families and tourists descend on the rolling lawns near Simon’s restaurant for delicious country fare (prices not available at the time of going to press).

Franschhoek

Le Pique Nique
At the gateway to the Franschhoek valley, Le Pique Nique at Boschendal (tel 021 870 4272) remains an old favourite, where wicker baskets packed with freshly baked baguettes, snoek pâté and red pepper humus, cold meats, cheeses, coronation chicken and salads can be unpacked onto tables beneath large umbrellas and fragrant pine trees, followed by dessert and filter coffee served at the gazebo (Le Pavillion), one of Boschendal’s famous landmarks and also the name of its most picnic-friendly wine range (R150pp). There’s a vegetarian option too, while children’s fare includes a ham and cheese roll, chicken kebab, fresh fruit, chips, yoghurt, an iced fruit lolly and Jelly Tots (R59).

Allée Bleue
If you love the dramatic Simonsberg setting but want to try something new, nearby Allée Bleue (tel 021 874 1021) also offers an elegant take on country dining, from the starched white drapery to the ice bucket cradling a bottle of wine or two. The menu includes pâtés (snoek and chicken liver for meat-eaters; peach salsa and humus for vegetarians), paprika cream cheese, cold meats (or crumbed aubergine) served with rémoulade and pickles, ciabatta with smoked chicken and mayonnaise (or brie and tomatoes), rocket salad with sundried tomatoes, olives and parmesan, prawn (or avocado) cocktail, Cape cheeses with preserves and biscuits, and vanilla cheesecake with summer fruits (R145pp). Children can play safely, confined by a Cape Dutch garden wall, pausing to snack on finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, mini meatballs, yoghurt, sweets and fruit juice (R80).

Rickety Bridge
In Franschhoek proper, Rickety Bridge (tel 021 876 2129) offers a gourmet picnic at R155pp, and has recently introduced a picnic and wine pairing, where three tasting-size glasses of wines can be sampled against three elements from the basket – such as garden-fresh crudités with Springbok carpaccio, chicken and peppadew kebabs or salmon roulade (R185 to R195 depending on choice of wine flight).

Mont Rochelle
But Mont Rochelle (tel 021 876 2770) really ups the ante with its three sumptuous picnic options to be enjoyed next to the dam (blankets provided) or at tables alongside a boulles court in the garden. The country basket contains cheeses, condiments and Italian cold cuts; sliced smoked Franschhoek trout with lemon and capers; smoked chicken and cottage cheese wraps; and flourless chocolate cake with strawberries (R145pp; R85 for children who also get crisps, chocolate and juice thrown in). You can upgrade to a gourmet basket (most of the above plus some seafood and marinated grilled Provençal vegetables, followed by panna cotta and Champagnesoaked seasonal fruits at R185pp), while the deluxe basket includes tiger prawns with cocktail sauce; oysters with lemon and Tabasco; herb-grilled chicken; and a mouth-watering selection of petit fours and chocolates (R225pp).

Stellenbosch

Spier
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picnicking in Stellenbosch. At Spier (tel 021 809 1153) you can sit around the lake or meander down the banks of the Eerste River with your deli picnic box containing a baguette, Moroccan hummus, snoek pâté (or feta pâté for vegetarians), cold meats and a smoked chicken and peppadew salad (or a veggie quiche and cream cheese, avocado and peppadew wrap), basil mayo potato salad, chunky Greek salad, cheese and biscuits with pineapple preserve and a brownie (R120pp). For children there’s plenty of space to run around, and a box containing ham, cheese and a roll, a chicken drumstick, crisps and a brownie (R45).

Blaauwklippen
For Cape specialities with the occasional German touch, try the ‘picnic barrel platters’ at Blaauwklippen (tel 021 880 8222). In addition to pâtés and cheeses, the standard option includes biltong and droëwors, wienerwurst and rare roast beef, sundried tomato quiche, macadamia-nut bobotie samoosa and baked lemon tart (R140pp or R175pp including a bottle of Landau Red, White or Rosé and a bottle of Aqua- Bella water per two guests). The ‘exclusive’ option also includes delicacies like potted shrimps, fried asparagus and a Thai chicken and vegetable wrap (R170pp or R220pp with wine and water).

Zorgvliet
At Zorgvliet (tel 082 927 0207), you can create your own basket at the deli, or order the ‘Banhoek basket’ comprising sandwich ham and roast beef, blue cheese and cheddar with figs, olives and biscuits, salads, a chicken mayonnaise-fi lled baguette and something sweet (R150pp including water and wine). A special occasion? Upgrade to the Silver Myn basket where the cold meats include parma ham, salami, pancetta and smoked chicken, and the cheeses are blue cheese, camembert and brie (R225 including water and wine). For children there’s a jungle gym and a choice of two R50 picnics, one with a cheddar and ham roll and muffin, the other with a chicken burger and brownie (plus sweets, chips and a ‘squirrel’s beverage’).

Hartenberg
Long known for its unpretentious hospitality, Hartenberg (tel 021 865 2541) now offers a country picnic hamper packed to the brim with cheeses, snoek pâté, cold meats and chicken, a homemade country terrine, roasted vegetables, crudités, pickles, seasonal fruit and dessert (R120pp including coffee… and wine!). Enjoy it on the lawns, or take it with you along the estate’s popular wetland walk.

Warwick
For even more action, head to Warwick – now the first estate in Stellenbosch to open 365 days of the year (tel 021 884 3144). Here picnicking reaches new heights – literally, if you go on a ‘Big 5 Wine Safari’ (a guided 4×4 tour through the vineyards for R50pp, free for children under 12).

You can sit on ‘The Lawns’ spilling out onto the dam, where you can relax under umbrellas on scatter cushions and bean bags while being served by your own picnic butler, in ‘The Forest Courtyard’ which is a gravelled area with tables and chairs adjacent to the water feature and a jungle gym, or in ‘The Pods’, designer-rustic wooden shelters flanking the dam. Served in ‘zero-carbon-footprint’ packaging, acclaimed chef Bruce Robertson’s menus change regularly but the promise is “to satisfy the most discerning palate and most sophisticated gourmand” (R299 for two, R49 for the kiddies’ picnic).

Somerset West

Vergelegen
There’s still something extra special about Vergelegen (tel 021 847 1346), where picnics prepared in the Lady Phillips Restaurant are served in the ancient camphorwood forest, planted circa 1700. The setting and silver service transport you to a bygone era, with hors d’oeuvres, the main course and dessert served in sequence on handcrafted pottery platters.

This year’s menu had not been finalised at the time of going to press, but the price will be R150pp – and while Vergelegen might not seem the most kiddieorientated spot (it is strictly verboten to pick flowers or climb the giant camphor trees – and rightly so), it has recently introduced a treasure hunt (R75 for children aged three to 10).

Most picnics are weather permitting and need to be booked between 24 hours and two days in advance. Unless otherwise stated, prices exclude entrance fees where relevant, beverages and gratuities. BYO is generally not permitted – the whole point of a winelands picnic, after all, is to enjoy the wine grown in the vineyards around you. Heaven!

WHAT TO DRINK
Whatever you choose to drink outdoors on a warm, sunny day should be refreshing – the citrus fruit and minerality of a crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc or an unwooded Chenin Blanc; the fresh melon and strawberry flavours of a dry but fruity Rosé; the relative lightness of a Pinot Noir (note that even red wine should be served chilled); the effervescence of a Méthode Cap Classique (there’s nothing like bubbles to raise a picnic to another level altogether).

Avoid oak (the only wood in your basket should be the cheeseboard and a few toothpicks) and don’t go for anything too complex: all subtlety will be lost in the fresh air and sunshine. But the wine also shouldn’t be inferior to anything you would normally drink at home…

Plenty of water and soft drinks

Whisky Live Festival in Cape Town | Beaumont House

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 26th, 2010

 

November will be, without doubt, whisky month as it sees the annual FNB Whisky Live Festival return for its eighth year to Cape Town for its showcase of whiskies from around the world.

The festival, which remains the largest and most exciting whisky show of its kind in the world, will run at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from Wednesday, 3 November to Friday, 5 November.

Showcasing more than 180 local and international whiskies, a host of new releases to the South African market, and a range of luxury lifestyle products, the festival continues to highlight how important South Africa is as a whisky destination and a rapidly-growing market for the spirit worldwide.

Each ticket includes entry into the Tasting Hall, a copy of the 2011 edition of the Whisky Handbook, a tasting glass as well as 12 whisky tasting coupons for the evening, a bottle of Valpre water, and discounted food and Picardi Rebel vouchers.

Open 6 – 10pm daily. No persons under the age of 18. 15 minutes from Beaumont House.

Rossouw Restaurant Guide on the Web now live

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 25th, 2010

First the book and now the new Rossouw Restaurants website live ………….

The new Rossouw’s Restaurants website is now live. As with the previous site, you can browse the Journal updates of his dining adventures… but in addition the new site integrates all the official reviews from the printed guide with the website – live and fully searchable. Plus, there is an exciting new feature that allows you to post reviews and score restaurants that you visit. A simple, quick (and free!) registration process will unlock all this new functionality and information.

Win a Case of Chocolate Block with your Review!

Every month, there’s a case of the wildly popular Chocolate Block wine up for grabs. All you need to do is write the best reader restaurant review…his advice is to jump in early, as the field is still wide open! It’s really simple to do, go here to get started!

Eating in London and Italy

He recently went on a safari to the north for some comparative dining in London and Italy. It won’t surprise many of you that there were quite a few good meals on the trip – but what surprised him was the relative value on offer. Fine four-course lunches for forty pounds and great bistro meals for ten. He also got to eat at the famed Fat Duck, you can read what he thought by visiting the site. Suffice to say he thought it was a very memorable experience indeed, often more theatre than food in approach, but also with enough real food, not only foam and jelly!

In Italy the attention to regional and seasonal is not a marketing ploy but simply how they’ve always done it. It is difficult to eat poorly in Tuscany and Liguria and arguably the best meal of the whole trip was at Modena’s Osteria Franchescana – the review will soon be on the website’s Journal.

The Riebeek Valley has a distinctive touch of the Mediterranean

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 24th, 2010

Welcome to the Riebeek Valley which incorporates the towns and areas of Riebeek West, Riebeek Kasteel, Riebeeksrivier and Hermon. Nestling on the slopes of its own mountain, the dramatic Kasteelberg, the surrounds are wheatlands, vineyards and olive groves, which create a distinctive touch of the Mediterranean in Africa. Only an hour from Cape Town, you will love the rural atmoshere of these quaint villages with a wide range of choice in accommodation, places to eat and drink, opportunities to do a bit of retail therapy or taste the delicious local wine, olives and other products. Plan to visit the Olive Festival in May, Shiraz and Art Weekend in October or the annual MedFest in March – celebrating the wine, olives, food and culture of the area. This is all within an hour of cape Town and Beaumont House.

Here are just a few of the things you can do during your day out:

Peach blossoms Riebeeksrivier road scenic drives hike up Kasteelberg      
The vineyards in autumn is a sight to behold, as is the blossoms of peach and other decidious fruit trees in spring. Wine and olive tastings are available Walk, drive or bike on scenic dirt roads like the Riebeeksrivier road Hike up Kasteelberg and enjoy 360° views over the Swartland and towards Table Mountain in the distance    

The Riebeek valley is just one of many day trips you can take to more fully explore and enjoy what the Cape has to offer.

Caveau at the Mill for good food and wine | Beaumont House

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 22nd, 2010

Caveau at the Mill Wine Bar

The hosts’ philosophy behind Caveau is that they want their guests to drink quality wines all the time and to assist with this, they have brought down the mark-up on the more expensive wines.

After selecting good wines for their character as much as their quality, Caveau’s wine list presents these wines in categories of mood and context, not simply based on variety. With light-hearted categories such as “Time out wines” or “Rich and robust”, you can choose a wine for winding down, revving up or according to different styles of food.

Unique and practical, the list allows guests to enjoy some of the finest selections from the Cape wine route while also encouraging new wines. This approachable format fits with Caveau’s philosophy that at the end of the day, wine is made to be enjoyed, not to confuse people.

After sweeping up the romantic antique cellars in the famous Heritage Square building in mid 2003 to open the first Caveau, a restaurant that has achieved huge success, the three food and wine ‘passionistas’, spread their wings and opened Caveau at The Mill in early 2007. Situated inside the national landmark of Josephine Mill in Newlands, Cape Town, Caveau at The Mill is a restaurant, bar and function venue set in exquisite surroundings in the southern suburbs, less than 10 minutes drive from Beaumont House. If you are looking for good food, wine and ambience in a more relaxed environment, then we can fully recommend Caveau at the Mill.

Springfield Estate is a vibrant, family-run wine farm | Beaumont House

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 21st, 2010

Set in the heart of the mountain-ringed Robertson Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, Springfield Estate is a vibrant, family-run wine farm.

It is owned by the Bruwer family, fourth-generation wine farmers and ninth-generation descendants of the Bruères, French Huguenots who came to South Africa from the Loire in 1688 with bundles of vines under their arms.

 The farm itself is picturesque. A tree-lined dirt road meanders up to the cellar complex which is flanked by a dam, complete with a small sailing boat and magnificent views of the mountain range of McGregor and the Langeberg mountains behind Robertson. A large number of Springbok, descendants of a herd brought down from Namibia 50 years ago, thrive on the The lime-rich soil on the estate ranges from extremely rocky to clay, with sandy soil next to the Breede River where vineyards are protected against floods by low dikes. The climate in this area can be harsh and extreme. The southeaster blows the ocean air in from the Atlantic over 100 km away and this produces variable summer temperatures of around 30 ºC during the day to 15 ºC and below at night. The lower lying vines, such as those in the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards, are prone to frost during the growing period and a low annual rainfall of around 200 mm means that controlled irrigation is essential to relieve grape stress. These conditions are ideal for keeping alive natural yeasts present on the grapes, and to ensure an abundance of organic material in the vineyards.

The present owners of Springfield, brother-and-sister team Abrie and Jeanette Bruwer, are just as dynamic and enthusiastic as their ancestors and are prepared to take risks to do what they love best – making wine. Assisted by a team of dedicated workers, many of whom have been with the Bruwers for decades, winemaker and viticulturist Abrie keeps a watchful eye on the vineyards and the wines. Jeanette co-ordinates the marketing of the estate wines, and spends a great deal of time travelling to promote Springfield both locally and abroad. Back on the estate she is involved hands-on in everything from preparing the soil for new plantings, to driving the fork-lift truck, if necessary. Together Abrie and Jeanette bring a personal touch to the estate, while at the same time enjoying complete control over how things are done.

Springfield’s Special Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc and the Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon are featured at Beaumont House.

The real magic of Springfield lies in the bottles of hand-crafted wine it produces, true gems of tradition, which offer both quality and individuality in keeping with the estate’s motto: from the grape to the bottle with care and passion.estate, habitually escaping into the vineyards to sample the fresh berries.Springfield’s wines are found on the wine lists of most top hotels and restaurants and are available in the trade at leading bottle stores and wine merchants. Current export markets include the UK (bibendum-wine), Channel Islands, Canada, Sweden, Botswana, Namibia, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Conde Nast 2010 awards rate Cape Town in 13th place

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 20th, 2010

Conde Nast Traveller awards place South Africa and Cape Town as destinations of choice.

As far as countries are concerned, Turkey is the favourite holiday destination. When asked to score it (with ‘a percentage of satisfaction’ figure on 10 criteria), you gave it top marks for range of accommodation (86.48) and that increasingly important component of any holiday: value for money (87.20). This year, Italy (88.93) and Spain (85.73) got your votes for food/restaurants, closely followed by South Africa (84.48), coming in at 9th place overall.

The readers singled out New York as being the most user-friendly overseas city (90.31) and also the most lively (a rousing 92.95 for nightlife/entertainment). Paris and Rome achieved almost identical top scores for food/restaurants (88.47; 88.50) and they decided that Hong Kong deserved 88.89 for cleanliness. Barcelona came up trumps for range of accommodation (92.90) and Istanbul got the thumbs up for people/hospitality (88.79). But romantic Venice is the favourite foreign city: it only dropped below 85 on two criteria and gained top marks for aesthetics/architecture (a near picture-perfect 99.41) and culture (87.62). Cape Town came 13th with a score of 83.03

Robertson Wine on the River Festival | Beaumont house

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on October 18th, 2010

Now five years old, the Robertson Wine on the River Festival took take place this year on 15 – 17 October 2010.

 

This idyllic open-air wine festival takes place annually on the banks of the Breede River at the Goudmyn Farm between Robertson and Bonnievale.

Just image a setting with the river flowing by, vineyards all around, beautiful hills and shading poplar trees. Add to that live music, plenty of wines to taste, picnics and other local produce – and you’ve got yourself a spring festival not to be missed!

The wine find of the day turned out to be a slightly sweet Voignier from Arendsig wine estate – a perfect pairing for cheese!

Diarise next year’s date: 14 – 16 October 2011.

 

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Tel: +27 21 761 5540
Fax: +27 21 761 5541
Mobile: +27 82 499 1527
Email: gill@beaumonthouse.co.za
Address: Beaumont House
3a Primrose Avenue
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Cape Town, 7708
South Africa