IT TAKES TWO…
A birthday happens, an anniversary is earned, and can be considered an accomplishment. For this reason, my man and I have always made an enormous effort to celebrate ours with a two-week break, an annual marriage bosberaad! I am not only grateful to have notched up another anniversary, but also for the fact that we celebrated before yet another blow to the hospitality industry.
WE’VE CLIMBED MOUNTAINS
We have hiked volcanic mountains in Sicily and Reunion, we have renewed vows in an ancient monastery in Greece. The element of surprise comes with the rule that Husband plans and executes the odd years, Wife the even. Last year we were in lockdown, I was in a sling, so I ordered a wonderful take-away dining experience from La Colombe (not prepared to have my food cut up for me in public!). This year, thankfully, was an odd, so I was invited to dine at Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic.
CLOSEST TO THE OCEAN
Our planned romantic dinner elevated with a stayover in one of the sumptuous island suites. Upon arrival host Jonathan took us past all the suites, regaling a tale about each. Sicily, Corsica, Zanzibar, Greece and Seychelles conjured up happy memories. We were delighted to be shown to Robben Island, having never stayed there! A bottle of bubbly and an anniversary gift of chocolate and orange liqueur were tempting. Whilst husband relaxed in the suite with a million-dollar view, I indulged in a massage. We reunited over sunset canapés and cocktails on the private guest deck, drinking in the view, listening to the waves making a crackling sound crashing onto the rocks. Tintswalo Atlantic surely owns the best and closest oceanic views in South Africa?
TAPAS FOR TWO AT CHEFS WAREHOUSE
Dinner at Chefs Warehouse lived up to expectations. Our sterling waiter, Chris, ensured that the adventure began with a welcome bubbly, challah and an accompanying butter flavoured with sumac and pistachios. Sommelier Sam suggested the wine pairing, which is then a welcome addition to their repertoire.
Our first of four waves in the legendary ‘tapas for two’ began. Linefish ceviche with a yuzu coconut broth, lacto-fermented daikon and sweet and savoury pearls was delicate, as was the aged beef sirloin tartare with whipped chestnut and black garlic emulsion and shaved miso-cured egg yolk. It was accompanied by Avondale’s Camissa 2019, this rosé providing the perfect foil for the subtle dish.
Second wave was the confit trout (declared the winner of the evening by my man). It was married with a green mango atchar, heirloom tomato salad and Cape Malay fish-bone butter sauce. I loved the delicate little anemone shell dish that held the fricassee of lango and leek with shrimp XO and Champagne sabayon and the contents, all in complete harmony. It was well paired with Catherine Marshall’s Riesling 2020.
TAKE ME AWAY CARAWAY
Next up? My winning duo – the triumph of a confit carrot with smoked walnut and pumpkin seeds, carrot ricotta, burnt thyme foam, carrot and caraway dressing. The seared tuna with Jerusalem artichokes (adding earthiness to a dish of finesse) with barbecue pine ring mushrooms and smoked cashew nut was sublime, with Idiom’s Viognier 2017 an ideal companion.
There had to be a Chefs Warehouse risotto! This time peas headlined, with lemon-compressed broccoli shavings (a touch of genius) and chargrilled broccoli beurre noisette. This shared the table with two dishes of quail – a glazed quail with celeriac, shaved black Summer truffles and a roasted quail jus.
Chris confidently recommended the lemon pie with thyme and honey ice cream. I shall not disclose details of this dish, the pride of their pastry chef, Jean Green, but allow me to confidently recommend it…Sated to a more than elegant sufficiency, we were presented with an anniversary cake topped with fresh roses. This team had pulled out all the stops to make the memory a vivid and lasting one.
An animated after-dinner catch-up with chef Braam Beyers gave me an opportunity to congratulate him on their accolades, awards and applause that they have been rightfully receiving. Despite staff having to leave to meet the curfew, we never felt hurried, and relished the one-minute, no-wave commute back to Robben Island. After being rocked to sleep by the motion and scent of the sea, enjoying the sweeping views of the Sentinel from the luxurious bath the next morning, and breakfast in bed, we reluctantly took our leave…
LITTLE TOUCHES, BIG HEART
It’s the little touches that make big impact and a stay memorable – every staff member wished us for our anniversary, a printed note with our menu, the bubbles, and even a cake…
If you have a celebration or wish to experience luxury, nature and open spaces, spoil yourself with a night at Tintswalo Atlantic. Treats like a mocktail and massage will make up for no alcohol, and the seven-course dinner prepared by the team that prepared ours, served in your room, will make indelible, edible memories.