Quench Your Thirst and Satiate Your Hunger in Style
Twenty minutes but light-years away from downtown Cape Town, Constantia offers and idyllic taste of wine country that obviates the need to venture east to the more extensive wine lands near Paarl.
Day trippers will regret not having reserved a stay at Cellars-Hohenort, a historical country hotel nestled against the forested eastern slopes of Table Mountain and housed in the 18th-century cellars of the former Cape governor’s wine estate and triple-gabled manor house. Guests find a stylish rural retreat here, surrounded by orchards, vineyards, and beautifully landscaped gardens of roses, petunias, and caladiums. Although the ambience is understated and relaxed, everything is first class, and a dinner at The Cellars, the hotel’s noted restaurant, may well be one of your most memorable in South Africa. Drawing on French and English inspiration, the young chef utilizes the Cape’s bounty of fresh seafood, game, and produce.
Another excellent destination for epicures in Constantia is Buitenverwachting. The tongue-twisting name of this well-known wine-producing estate and its eponymous restaurant is Old Dutch for “beyond expectations” – but who thought to have such high expectations for antelope, ostrich, and springbok?
Excellent Italian or French cuisine may be had elsewhere in the country, but if you want to be wonderfully reminded that you are in South Africa – where the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet, where the karoo lamb is redolent of the herbs and grasses on which it feeds, and where the African rock lobster is justly famous – then come to Buitenverwachting.
Window-side seats look out over acres of vineyards, towering oak trees, and the crags of the Constantiaberg mountains. If you arrive earlier in the day for a wine tasting, buy one of the restaurant’s picnic hampers and have a glorious lunch on the estate’s gorgeous lawns.