The Eat Out top 10 award goes to Rust & Vrede | Beaumont House

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

The scintillating Eat Out Restaurant Awards ceremony was held at the Westin Grand in Cape Town on Sunday, 28 November. It was an evening of eager expectation as Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly and Talia Sanhewe announced the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants and the winners of the coveted Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year titles for 2010. And the winners are…

David Higgs
Rust en Vrede
Annandale Road, Rust en Vrede Estate, Stellenbosch

David Higgs
Rust en Vrede

Of the remaining nine “winners”, six of them are located in the Western Cape within a maximum of an hour’s drive from Beaumont House, as is the winner, Rust & Vrede.

They are …

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek
Jordan Restaurant, Stellenbosch
Bosman’s Restaurant, Paarl
DW Eleven-13, Johannesburg
Terroir, Stellenbosch
Aubergine, Cape Town
Roots, Johannesburg
Overture, Stellenbosch
Hartford House, KZN

Celebration of Chardonnay delivers “refinement”

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 29th, 2010

South Africa’s top seven Chardonnay’s scrummed down with three Burgundian stunners at the De Wetshof Estate in Robertson last week for the bi-annual Celebration of Chardonnay.


The brainchild of De Wetshof proprietor Danie de Wet, the inaugural Celebration of Chardonnay was held in 2006 to create a generic platform on which South African Chardonnays can feature, as well as the commitment and efforts of local winemakers tussling with this Burgundian grape be recognised and honoured.

As per usual, this year’s list of South Africa’s top Chardonnays was chosen by a panel of local judges and experts under the auspices of Dave Hughes. In addition to the line-up were three wines chosen for the occasion by the Chevaliers du Tastevin in Burgundy of which Danie is a member.

“By putting three French wines in the mix the idea was not to have a beauty contest to see who has the longest legs and the prettiest hair,” says De Wet. “Being an inclusive event honouring Chardonnay in general, the idea was to portray the myriad elegant interpretations the grape lends itself to. The success of the previous two Celebrations of Chardonnay urged as to broaden our horizons, so to speak. And the first choice for selecting a foreign flavour fell on Burgundy, the grape’s ancestral home.”

The 10 wines poured for tasting thus consisted of: The judges South African choices, being Ataraxia Chardonnay 2008, Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2009, Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2009, Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009, Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2009, De Wetshof Estate Bateleur Unfiltered 2006 and Chamonix Reserve Chardonnay 2009. The French numbers were Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Gru 2006, Puligny Montrachet 1 er Cru Clos de La Mouchere 2007 and Meursault Les Perrieres Premier Cru 2007.

The Chamonix, Ataraxia and Nine Yards all feature on the Beaumont House Private Cellar Selection.

Recalling the event, I can describe the wines in one word, thanks to Jean-Charles de la Mornière, proprietor of Domaine Bonneau du Martray in Burgundy: Refinement.

During his address on his own wine, Jean-Charles singled out refinement as the essence of Chardonnay’s character. And the South Africa wines all showed this characteristic, which may not have been the case 10 years ago. At this tasting, there were no signs of over-eager oaking in any of the seven wines. Acids and oak structure created a firm backbone on which the fruit, floral and mineral flavours could position themselves. And there was a beautiful diversity.

The Missionvale was enveloped in maritime, white mussel shell cloak. Hamilton Russell showed a bracing freshness and a whack of grilled nuts. Chamonix and De Wetshof had the power of minerality, while Paul Cluver and Ataraxia had delectable dabs of spice.

Jordan Nine Yards was, as usual, a big, uncompromising wine with a sensual deliciousness that staggered many in the audience. A beaut.

On the local wines Jean-Charles commented: “I am shocked, surprised and delighted” by the quality of the wines.

“South Africa’s winemakers have shown that they understand the Chardonnay grape’s most famous feature, namely the ability to be transparent and in its wines to express the uniqueness of the natural environment where it grows. Your winemakers not only understand this, but they understand it very well.”

Coming from someone whom Norman Remington recognises as “a rock star” of Burgundian wine, these were words to cherish for South Africa’s Chardonnay makers.

Jean-Charles’s own wine, the Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne 2006 was itself a masterpiece. Poured from magnum after double decanting, the wine was graceful and fresh with the brooding, cascading sensorial overload of Chardonnay from extreme low pH soils.

Clos de La Mouchere was a little tight and austere, but then Puligny Montrachet is a recognised late starter. The Les Perrieres poured at the tasting had more fresh, floral and steeliness than one would expect from a Meursault, even such a relatively youthful 2007 item. But, having been opened for a few hours, I went back for a second tasting. A subtle creaminess had started to develop along with a drop of confection. How wonderful this wine is going to be in five years’ time.

Remington Norman, the other guest-speaker joined Jean-Charles in opening a few minds to the nature of terroir. “South Africa is far too young a wine country to really start talking of terroir,” he said. “Terroir is not just about climate, soil, slope and aspect. It is about how the vines have through generations adapted to their environment and reacted to the vineyard practises in that environment.”

Having said that, although South Africa may suffer from premature terroir obsession, the Chardonnay brush-strokes are quickly creating a masterly canvas.

What’s happening in Cape Town | Beaumont House

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

Here is a list of forthcoming events happening in and around Cape Town over the next 2-3 months. There’s no doubt it’s a great place to be – and it’s sunny and hot hot hot!!!


Franschhoek Champagne Festival
3-5 December

Kirstenbosch Sunday Summer Concerts begin
5 December

Duran Duran in concert at the new Cape Town Stadium
11/12 December

Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch – great for families of all ages
16-19 December

South Africa vs India cricket test at Newlands
2-6 January

L’Omarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth
2-6 January

South Africa vs India one day cricket match at Newlands
18 January

J&B Met horse racing Festival – the place to see and be seen!
29 January

U2 in Concert1
8 February

Hands-on-wine-Harvest at Robertson
25-27 February

Cuvee Restaurant at Simonsig is stylish and eclectic

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

This unique restaurant serves food and wine lovers in a stylish milieu with an element of surprise, apparent from the eclectic décor as well as in the locally inspired menu.

As the pioneers of South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique, (sparkling wine made in the classic French Champagne tradition) great inspiration lies in the name of the restaurant. In wine terms, including French Champagne, cuvée refers to the best grape juice selected for producing the finest wine in the cellar.

Cuvee is the place for an unsurpassed food and wine experience with a touch of nostalgia!

The menu celebrates a comfortable melange of traditional food from the winelands, inspired by the seasons. Dishes are prepared or paired with an array of Simonsig’s finest red, white and sparkling wines. The menu changes on a regular basis to make use of the abundant fresh produce unique to each season and where possible – grown on the estate itself.

This tranquil winelands restaurant serves up a new style of honest food, made with the freshest ingredients and presents culinary flair with a conscience. Cuvée tries to stock its pantry with as many locally produced products as possible to support surrounding communities.

Guests can enjoy an array of dishes – from a fine selection of fromage on the oak tree dappled terrace to a daily tasting of four morsels paired with a Simonsig Méthode Cap Classique. A visit to the adjacent Simonsig tasting room for a wide range of wines on taste is a must.

Royal Cape Golf Course is in a beautiful setting

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

With lovely views of Table Mountain from most holes this championship course offers a beautiful setting that will make your visit here truly memorable.

Royal Cape Golf Club is a true championship course having hosted the South African Open no less than ten times and the SA Amateur Championships eight times. The most recent SA Open held here was in 1996 and was won by Ernie Els.

The Course today
Extensive work was done on the greens in 2000 to bring them up to the USGA standards and the course today is a fine test of golf and worthy of its championship rating. Essentially it is a very flat parkland course, well maintained and a pleasure to play with lovely views of the surrounding mountains. But don’t be deceived by its apparent easiness. The fairways are narrow, demanding extreme accuracy off the tee, wayward shots can be heavily penalized amongst the trees and the greens are well bunkered.

There is also plenty of water on the course, notably at the corner of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and also the 14th, 15th and 16th. The 4th and 15th are beautiful par-3′s, the 15th in particular requiring a finely judged shot over the water which encroaches right up to the edge of the green. The most difficult holes are the par-4 3rd, at 435m the longest two-shotter on the course, and the par-4 14th, a dog-leg right played into the teeth of the prevailing south-easter and with water guarding the right front and side of the green.

The Club facilities include a formal bar, a ladies bar, verandah and lounge; they also have a “Halfway House” and Lunch facilities.

The course is less than 15 minutes from Beaumont House.

Ataraxia’s Chardonnay is a Classic | Beaumont House

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2010


Chardonnay is a grape variety that Kevin Grant has been romanced by for more than 20 years, and the love affair deepens with each passing vintage! “To my mind Chardonnay is the complete white grape variety. Although it demands respect, attention to detail, a comprehensive understanding of the terroir and an intuitive flair, the wine gives of itself so completely when you get everything right that it’s hard not to be totally in awed by it. It makes the consummate white wine.”

“Life without Chardonnay is like not being able to breathe! The style Ataraxia pursues has as its foundation the expression of place in a wine of profound balance, elegance, finesse and texture – all of which are hallmarks of the great and classic wines of the World.”

“Ataraxia is at the forefront of South Africa’s strong showing in our list of top New World Chardonnays. Perfectly delineated lime-flint notes, finely judged oak; persistent and profound. Drink until 2019″ were the words used by Decanter Magazine in September 2009.

The Ataraxia Chadonnay 2007 is on Beaumont House’s private cellar selection.

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are great on a Sunday afternoon

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

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Cape Town. The concert venue is within the botanical gardens with concerts every Sunday, running from December to March.

The Kirstenbosch Concerts have a special feel to them mainly due to the breathtaking setting. Part of the charm also lies in the warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere, with concert goers picnicking on the soft grass banks that slope downwards towards the stage. An excellent way to enjoy the concert is to pack a delicious picnic basket, some chilled wine, bring along friends and family and find a spot on the Kirstenbosch slopes. The concerts are very popular so get there early to ensure you get a good spot. While waiting for the concert to begin take in the beautiful surroundings of the world famous garden. Kirstenbosch is 5 minutes from Beaumont House.

Concert Times:
Gates open at 16h00. Concerts are held between 17h30 and 19h00 and go ahead irrespective of the weather. Refunds are not issued

Dates and Performers:
21 November 2010 Just Jinjer
28 November 2010 TKZee with Khuli Chana
5 December 2010 Mango Groove
12 December 2010 Freshlyground
26 December 2010 Civil Twilight
2 January 2011 Prime Circle
9 January 2011 The Parlotones
16 January 2011 Jack Parow, Heuwels Fantasties and Francois van Coke
23 January 2011 Farryl Purkiss,Dan Patlansky, Inge Beckman
30 January 2011 Lira with (tbc)
6 February 2011 Isochronus and Kidofdoom
13 February 2011 Zebra & Giraffe
20 February 2011 Jesse Clegg
27 February 2011 Loyiso with Chad Saaiman
6 March 2011 Goldfish
13 March 2011 Jamali
20 March 2011 RJ Benjamin with (tbc)
27 March 2011 The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra
3 April 2011 aKING

The Penguins at Boulders Beach are great to watch

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

Platter’s Wine Guide announces its 5* wines for 2011

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

Platter’s South African Wine Guide announced the results of its 2011 guide on Tuesday 16 November. The guide includes reviews and ratings of more than 800 producers and brands, including 58 newcomers, and well over 6 000 locally grown wines. In the 2011 edition 58 wines received five-stars. Of the five-star awarded wines, the red and white which receive the most votes from the judging panel are named Platter’s Wine of the Year. This time the Red Wine of the Year is De Trafford Shiraz 2008, whilst the White Wine of The Year is Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009. Nederburg was awarded Winery of the Year, with the winery’s white blend Lyric 2010 was crowned Superquaffer of the Year.

The five-star wines for 2011 are:

Cabernet Sauvignon
• Boekenhoutskloof 2008
• Delaire Graff Reserve 2008
• Kanonkop 2007
• Klein Constantia 2008
• Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007
• Le Riche CWG Auction Reserve 2007

• Neil Ellis Vineyard Selections 2008

Pinot Noir
• Meerlust 2008
• Newton Johnson Domaine 2009

• Beyerskloof Diesel 2008

• Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2008
• De Trafford 2008 (Red Wine of the Year)
• Eagles’ Nest 2008
• Haskell Pillars 2008
• Rijk’s Private Cellar 2005
• Saxenburg Select Limited Release 2006

• Shannon Mount Bullet 2008

Red Blends
• Ernie Els Signature 2007
• Graham Beck Ad Honorem 2007
• Hartenberg The Mackenzie Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2007
• Nederburg Ingenuity Red 2007
• Reyneke Reserve Red 2008
• Spier Frans K. Smit 2006
• Vergelegen Red 2005

• Groot Constantia Gouverneurs 2009
• Julien Schaal 2009
• Mulderbosch 2008
• Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2008

Chenin Blanc
• Botanica 2009
• StellenRust ‘45’ Barrel Fermented 2009

Grenache Blanc
• The Foundry 2009

Sauvignon Blanc
• Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2010
• Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009
• Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009
• The Berrio 2009
• Zevenwacht 360° 2009

White Blends
• Cape Point Isliedh 2009
• Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2009
• Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2009
• Nederburg Ingenuity White 2009
• Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Private Bin D253 2009
• Rall White 2009
• Sadie Family Palladius 2009
• Steenberg Magna Carta 2009
• Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2009
• Strandveld Adamastor 2009
• Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2009

Méthode Cap Classique
• Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008
• Villiera Monro Brut 2005

Dessert Wine, Unfortified
• Fairview La Beryl Blanc 2009
• Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009 (White Wine of the Year)
• Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006
• Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2009
• Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2009

• Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2008
• De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008
• De Krans Cape Tawny NV
• JP Bredell Cape Vintage Reserve 2007

A Tavola has fabulous food and a laid-back atmosphere

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

Chef Giancarlo Pironi opened A Tavola in December 2009, having previously operated Johannesburg’s popular Assaggi restaurant with his mom, Luciana Righi. With more than enough experience when it comes to authentic Italian cuisine, Giancarlo has created a laid-back environment where guests can take pleasure in fabulous food. “You’ll enjoy relaxed café tables both inside and outside, great staff and a constant buzz from the open-plan kitchen,” Giancarlo explains.

A Tavola’s menu changes regularly, always featuring classic dishes as well as a selection of specials. Starters range from light and simple green salads or Parma ham, mozzarella and tomato bruschetta to more substantial dishes such as Parmigiana melanzane – the ultimate Italian bake made with layers of cheese, thinly sliced aubergines and Napolitana sauce.

For mains there are excellent meat and fish dishes as well as perfectly cooked pasta. Veal is a speciality: if you’re looking for something healthy, try the flattened, grilled veal, which comes with lemon and Parmesan and an optional helping of spinach. For those not fussed about a little indulgence every now and then, the dessert menu includes gelato, panettone and tiramisu, or you could just sit back with a great cup of coffee or ice-cold limoncello.

ON THE MENU Poletto al forno, which is oven-roasted baby chicken cooked in rosemary and garlic, served with crispy potato wedges, grilled tomato and zucchini chips. Giancarlo recommends ordering extra zucchini chips as they’re delicious. For a warming winter meal, he suggests lasagne, involtini di vitello, which is rolled veal stuffed with Fontina cheese, prosciutto and sage leaves, and the tagliatelle polpettine: fresh pasta with a tomato-based sauce, meatballs and peas.

Vibey, expertly-cooked Italian food and, in my opinion, by far the best pasta in town. At last, Capetonians living on the southern side of Table Mountain and guests of Beaumont House have a sublime new local restaurant to enjoy, and there’s the added bonus of a deli section, with an assortment of fresh breads, imported Italian cheeses, cold meats, pastas and sauces.


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Address: Beaumont House
3a Primrose Avenue
Upper Claremont
Cape Town, 7708
South Africa