The places we eat at: Foodbarn Restaurant

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The name Franck Dangereux is synonymous with fine French cuisine – he put La Colombe on the fine dining map and when he opened his own restaurant called Foodbarn, things could only get better!  More relaxed, open spaces also gave him room for demo evenings and exclusive food and wine pairing events.

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Foodbarn…relaxed and informal

 We do not visit Foodbarn often enough – the trek to Noordhoek should not be an issue but the great wine list options always cause a state of near euphoria even before we have looked at the menu!  Our recent visit was no exception:  Right off the bat we could order the hard-to-get-hold-of Mooiplaas single vineyard Houmoed Chenin Blanc (2013 vintage a steal at R216).  A glass of Silverthorn The Green Man Brut MCC will only set you back R59 and the Raats Original Chenin Blanc R56.  There is a wide selection that even includes some foreign producers.

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The places we eat at: Babel at Babylonstoren

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We are late visitors to Babel at Babylonstoren; we have seen so many glowing reports about the beautiful gardens and gorgeous food  for the past year.  A visit by The Navigator’s sister from the Free State was the perfect excuse to finally go see what the fuss is all about.

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You do get greeted with a R10 per person admission fee to the farm – feels a bit cheeky, but then again, the place is simply breathtakingly beautiful.  Feels a bit tourist-trappy at times (especially the gift shop) but then again, this is a business and they have to make money, right? More

The 2015 Swartland Revolution

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Know how & when to buy your tickets – now you have no excuse…

 

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Chardonnay weekend: The Conclusion

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Day 4 of our Chardonnay weekend dawned with the cold front looming on the horizon.  We started with a gin & tonic (just for some variety in our lives) and kept a local Grenache and a Margaux in reserve just in case the rain and cold hit Paternoster.

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Uva Mira entertained us with 2 super premium wines (their 2013 Chardonnay and The Single Tree) – both were delightful, yet clearly too young as the acidity (especially of The Single Tree) is almost eye-watering.  The Glen Carlou Quartz Stone was a study in restraint and balance – we quaffed the whole bottle without even thinking of opening another…then we went the whole hog: Sampling the Paserene, made by Martin Smith, the award winning Groot Constantia and JH Meyer’s Chardonnay. More

Chardonnay weekend: Day 3

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Day 3 saw us suffering from a slight wine/chardonnay overload (if such a thing is possible) but that did not stop us starting festivities with another excellent example of the grape: Graham Beck Brut Zero.  One of the few MCC’s we really enjoy, even though it comes with a bigger price tag (R280).

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Chardonnay weekend: Day 2

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Day 2 of our Chardonnay weekend in Paternoster dawned with no trace of the inclement weather predicted by the weather wizards.  Clear, crisp late mornings are ideal for Chardonnay.

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Chardonnay weekend: Day 1

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We use any excuse to taste wine. This long weekend is no exception.  The Chardonnay category is very well represented in South Africa: From  the easy-drinking-competes-with-Sauvignon-Blanc -style to the over-the-top super premium offerings.  We decided to set our sights on the more premium range of Chardonnay – and what a choice did we have!

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The wines we drink: Lismore Syrah 2014

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We visit Greyton regularly but have never made it up to Lismore; partly because anecdotal evidence suggested that our small car would not “make” it up the road.  Note to all owners of small vehicles: It will easily make the drive up the road.  Let me tell you: It is totally worth it.

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The wines we drink: L’Avenir Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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A cosy Friday winter evening at a wine farm in Stellenbosch was just what we needed after the miserable winter weather that hit Cape Town last week.  The folks at L’Avenir invited us for a 4-course meal prepared by the fabulous Matt Manning of One Ingredient paired with their wines.  Think lush lawns, crackling fireplace, warm hospitality, decent wine and elegant food; oh and a very comfortable bed.

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The places we eat (and drink) at: Tjing Tjing Torii

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A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred (as per Wikipedia).

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The renaming of The White Room at Dear Me to Tjing Tjing Torii is apt, as it introduces you to adulthood: The service is attentive (there’s always a sommelier on duty), the wine list and food are exceptional, your surroundings are elegant and even the music and lighting is just so.  You are so comfortable, it’s not too loud, no brash noises, no cigarette smoke polluting the air. More

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