Tag Archives: Glenelly Estate

Rambling Litchi’s best of 2016

Just when you thought I was done for the year, I decided a ‘best of’ compilation post was necessary.

See the list below for some of our favourite things from 2016, all in and around Cape Town obviously, and expect an annual update*. Some categories will remain, others will change. Note that most of these came to mind instantly, but some were dismissed as we experienced them last year, not this year, and others I had to manually search my blog(s) for mentions and reminders – links included if you want to walk down my memory lane again. If there are any categories you feel I’ve left out, let me know! 🙂

Milkshake: There’s no denying milkshake is my favourite treat. This year, I’ve learned that if an establishment goes so far as to title something a ‘Freek shake’ best you believe it. Gibson’s Peppermint Caramel Freek Shake was enormous and I probably should have shared it. Ditto with the Festive Underground Eatery or FUE‘s cocopine shake much earlier this year.

Gibson's peppermint caramel Freek shake.
Gibson’s peppermint caramel Freek shake.

Burger: What goes with milkshake? Burgers, of course. You just can’t go wrong at Jerry’s. The patty is tasty, cooked to perfection on a brioche bun and the side of fries doused in Sriracha is a treat in itself. The bacon, cheese and onion ring-topped buccaneer beef burger at Catch22 also gets a thumbs-up from me.

The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped 'Jerry' burger at Jerry's, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.
The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped ‘Jerry’ burger at Jerry’s, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.

Hike: We’ve done quite a few hikes this year to work off all those burgers and shakes – most recently the Skeleton Gorge version up Table Mountain – but our faves all involved caves. That’s because you want a good view, sense of accomplishment and a body that’s not on the point of collapse once you reach your destination. Wally’s Cave in Lion’s Head was this year’s hidden hideaway gem.

Wally's Cave in Lion's Head
Wally’s Cave, conquered! If you know where to go it’s quite an easy climb up Lion’s Head.

Conference venue: It’s not all about weekend activities though. Conferences are the lifeblood of my worklife. The Artscape Theatre and trusty CTICC are always a good bet for Wi-Fi, tasty snacks and temperature control, but my best was the Vineyard Hotel.

Vineyard Hotel
The distracting view from my seat in the Vineyard Hotel ballroom, where I attended a few conferences this year.

Night away: Living in Cape Town is a little like living in paradise, but everyone needs a break away from their daily routine once in a while. For us, the best version of this was at Majeka House in Stellenbosch. Just over an hour from our front door, the suites are enormous, the spa treatments are heavenly and the food is simply superb.

Majeka House pool
Chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area at Majeka House. I spent a lot of time in the jacuzzi at the far end.

Romantic dinner: You also need to celebrate special occasions as they arise. Maybe just because we went there to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary, maybe because they’re just up the road, but Homespun is at the tippy top of our ‘lovey-dovey locations’. The food, drinks, setting and service are all commendable.

The lamb shank at Homespun.
The lamb shank at Homespun.

Once-in-a-lifetime meal: This category is for those breathtaking meals that cost quite the pretty penny and offer course after course of plates you simply can’t help but take photos – and videos – of. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek was our winner here. Go soon if this is something on your foodie bucket list, as chef Margot Janse is leaving these kitchens early next year.

Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français' Tasting Room.
Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français’ Tasting Room.

Road trip: Whether you’re staying the night or just out for a few hours on the road, there’s nothing like a few empty hours to fulfill your wanderlust. We did so a few times this year, enjoying a few afternoons in the unspoilt beauty of Gordon’s Bay and Langebaan, both around two hours from home.

Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.

Winter special: One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets is that many of its fine dining establishments offer warming meals at pocket-friendly prices in the cold winter months. Some of this year’s best include the half-price chicken curry specials at Inside in Eden on the Bay.

Chicken bunny chow and korma at Inside Lounge, Eden on the Bay
Two of our half-price winter chicken curries of 2016, at Inside Lounge in Eden on the Bay. That’s a bunny chow and a mild korma.

Alcohol tasting: You’re really spoilt for choice if wine is your thing, but those who prefer a more refined tipple are also in for a treat in the Cape. Val du Charron in Wellington does so with beautiful legends behind each wine blend, and many wine farms offer an MCC tasting of their bubbliest bubbly, but it’s the KWV brandy tasting that got Husband’s seal of approval this year.

KWV's ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate' pairing.
KWV’s ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate’ pairing.

Weekend lunch: This list proves it’s not all about the bustling CBD. In fact, on weekends there’s lots of appeal in driving a little off the beaten track to find a new venue where you can spend a few hours eating, drinking and laughing with loved ones. Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch is a beautiful spot for this, with panoramic views of the estate’s 123-hectare vineyards, an adventurous menu and their own wine varietals on The Vine Bistro‘s menu.

View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate
View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate.

Seafood meal: Unless you’re allergic to it, a meal out in Cape Town should include seafood. I passed the baton the Husband on this one, and a few of his favourites were the fettuccinne marina and platter for two at Panama Jacks in the Cape Town harbour.

The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.
The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.

Wild meal: Eating out in South Africa often means eating unusual dishes. The tasting menu at Catharina‘s on Steenberg Estate is an excellent way to do so. Though seasonal, you’re likely to find delicacies like wild boar, crocodile and zebra on offer.

Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina's.
Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina’s.

Eggs benedict: Husband’s weekend breakfast staple, we’ve sampled quite a few this year. The ones we kept going back to were the salmon version from Company’s Garden and the pork-belly bacon benedict at Steenberg’s 1682. Tart Hollandaise, yolk that pours at just the right pace and not-your-average toasted base. Yum!

Eggs benedict with Steenberg's 1682 pork-belly bacon.
Eggs benedict with Steenberg’s 1682 pork-belly bacon. Yes.

Dessert: Sometimes you don’t want a full meal. Sometimes it’s just your sweet tooth looking for satisfaction. I seem to have a mouth full of sweet teeth as I’ve had a jaw-dropping amount of desserts this year. My best have been the caramel bar at Majeka House’s Makaron, and the winter chocolate fondant and the summer raspberry ice cream sandwich at Grande Provence’s The Restaurant. Beautifully plated, these are the type of sweet treat you swirl around in your mouth with your eyes closed, and follow with a sip of strong coffee to enhance those flavours.

The Restaurant at Grande Provence's 'berry ice cream sandwich'.
The Restaurant at Grande Provence’s ‘berry ice cream sandwich’.

Speaking of…

Coffee: My bloodstream is coffee. I’m not fully functional before at least a cuppa or two, so the weekend hasn’t officially started before I’ve had a caffeine-filled cappuccino or latte. My favourites this year include the cappuccino at Village Place Cafe, with a shot of toffee syrup, and the regular cap at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Cappuccino at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos
I’d expect nothing less than a heart swirled into the foam of my strong cappuccino when breakfasting at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Over and out, folks! Here’s to sampling the very best of 2017, watch this space…

*All photos my own. Disclaimer: Some of these were experienced free-of-charge as I reviewed them for work, but most came from our own pockets. No payment was considered for this ‘best of’ list as it’s all based on personal preference.

Woodbridge Island walks and lunching at Glenelly Estate’s Vine Bistro

We’ve had a wonderfully sunny week, with lots of time spent outdoors…

Saturday, 10 December 2016: Summer lunch review at Glenelly Estate

Breakfast at Cafe Lacomia
We started last weekend with a quick, shared breakfast at the closest Cafe Lacomia as we had a busy, food-filled day ahead. I love that I get two mini biscuits with the cappuccino there, and the Bulls Eye breakfast is just the right size for sharing. Plus, you’re encouraged to eat cupcakes (not that I did)…
Glenelly Estate
Glenelly Estate, our lunch spot for the day on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, has some of the prettiest vineyards and views.
Glenelly Estate
Nestled at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains, this is a truly lovely spot.
Glenelly Estate
The vine-covered pathway.
Glenelly Estate bistro food
The food at Glenelly’s the Vine Bistro! Heavens, it was good. You can see Husband’s cold red soup starter featuring octopus tentacles and chorizo, as well as his lemon-chive hake mains on the left, then my pork trotter starter and blueberry duck mains in the middle, and a bottle of the Glenelly Estate Chardonnay on the right. Click through to my official review for more words on these!
Dessert at Glenelly Estate
Dessert is served… Top left is my ‘warm melting biscuit’ with poached pears and yoghurt chantilly, bottom left is Husband’s creme caramel, and on the right, my cappuccino.
Glenelly Estate
Tummies purring contentedly, we walked around the rest of the grounds. This is the view of the vineyards from the upstairs tasting room.
Glenelly Estate tasting room
More of the upstairs tasting room’s view. Such a picture-perfect spot.
Pig shower at Mountain View Piggery
On the way home we passed a sign for Mountain View Piggery in Paarl and obviously had to turn in to have a look. The piggies were rather large and clean – not a surprise when we saw just how much the guy on the bottom was enjoying his shower.
Dogs on couches
That evening involved lots of relaxing things. Here we are with the doggies in the lounge.

Sunday, 11 December 2016: Lagoon Beach breakfast, Woodbridge Island walk

Breakfast at Brasserie, Lagoon Beach
On Sunday morning we headed to The Brasserie in the Lagoon Beach Hotel for breakfast. The buffet option was quite pricy so we were happy to order from the a la carte menu. Here is my cappuccino and Husband’s breakfast Cola.
Breakfast at Lagoon Beach Hotel Brasserie
But what did we eat, I hear you ask? Husband opted for the salmony benedict you see on the left, while I went for the grilled banana-filled pancakes topped with strawberries and cream. Delicious!
Palm trees and Table Mountain at Woodbridge Island
Next on the agenda was a beach walk to Woodbridge Island and back. We love these palm trees outside Woodbridge.
Woodbridge Island walk
We stopped a few times along the way to admire the view. Can just see the Woodbridge lighthouse in this shot.
Lagoon Beach shipwreck
We stopped to examine the ‘wreck’ at Lagoon Beach – Husband says it’s actually from a movie set.
Milkshake at Bread & Butter
Sunday afternoons are for milkshakes. Husband went for a Frankies’ Cinnamon Cola while I tried Bread & Butter’s ‘salted caramel’ shake. That’s a chewing-gum ball on top.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016: Pink sunsets and doggy TLC

Pink clouds
Pink-streaked clouds like these are my favourite.
couch
The doggies got lots of TLC when their grandparents visited for dins that eve! Bassie’s expression on the right, while getting ear rubs from her grandpa, is very funny.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016: Rogue One screening at iMax

Star Wars Rogue One iMax at Cape Gate
On Wednesday, we headed off the the Cape Gate iMax after a long day of work to watch the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One. We were surrounded by Star Wars heavies but fit right in as we’d worn Star Wars gear all day and even read the pre-movie book Catalyst so knew most of the characters on screen.

That’s all, folks! There’s lots of excitement in the air as we’ll finally be on holiday at the end of this week, and Father Christmas is coming (along with brother-in-law, Spec) 🙂

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Glenelly Estate were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.