Join the Gourmet Guide, Jenny Handley, on her journeys of flavour, home and away. From SA’s plated fine-dining restaurants to local new spots, and from markets to Michelin-starred restaurants in all corners of the globe.

TRYN – a restaurant with legacy and new life

It was with a glass of Steenberg’s prestige cuvee, 1682 Brut Chardonnay MCC, that we toasted the new-look restaurant Tryn named after Catharina Ras, who founded the estate in 1682. Losing three of her five husbands to mishaps in the wild, her feisty spirit is still lauded, and alive in the bold tones of the …
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Ye olde pub lunch

My man loves fine dining, but, when push comes to shove, may say ‘yay’ to pub grub over refined fare, with the chance to let his (non-existent) hair down. Every so often he takes me out for lunch or dinner, insisting that it is not work, nor a review, and I am not allowed to …
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A family affair, in memory of Margaret

Let’s celebrate all women this week, perhaps with a pink gin? When my son mentioned that his micro-brewery and nano-distillery were making small, bespoke ranges of flavoured gin for chefs and restaurants, my ears pricked up. I remember how impressed I was when I saw a house brand of gin at La Colombe last year… …
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Restaurant Mosaic – a memorable collaboration of botanical cuisine, wine and art

I felt my pulse diminish as we drove through the glistening gateway of the Orient Hotel and the Francolin Conservatory, but as I started thinking about the epicurean adventure that awaited, it quickened. Mari Dartnall’s welcome is one of the highlights of returning to this property. She showed us to our room, Constantinople, which oozes …
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A heartful of feast and family

SAXON HOTEL, VILLAS & SPA You can check out, but you may never (want to) leave… Checking into the award-winning Saxon Hotel is like being reunited with friends. GM George Cohen and PR Manager Johan Vos ensure that every aspect of a sojourn in this urban sanctuary is sublime. They both practise ‘MBWA’ (management by walking …
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Bonjour gourmands

Sunday is Bastille Day, the national day of France called la Fête nationale, celebrated every year on 14 July. Closer to home we see many gourmands and oenophiles (and others!) flocking to the Franschhoek Valley. I shall simply close my eyes and reminisce about three epicurean experiences I recently enjoyed in Huguenot Road, the main …
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Three-plated La Colombe

Head chef James Gaag is a chef who is creative, playful, thoughtful and inspirational. With chef proprietor Scot Kirton they have secured three-plated La Colombe at number 114 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, but watch this space… They have crafted a chef’s menu that is unparalleled.  It’s a series of crescendos from the first …
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Two-plated Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia

Twice in a week to breathe in the glorious greenery and views of Constantia, what a privilege. My first treat was lunch at two-plated Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia. A fleeting hello to a very busy co-owner and chef Liam Tomlin, who has recently partnered with Neil Jewell to open Jewell’s on the Spice Route, …
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South Africa celebrates top chefs and their accolades

We join all South Africans in proudly congratulating Luke Dale Roberts and his team of The Test Kitchen on being deservedly placed at number 44 in the illustrious World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, plus being named as the best restaurant in Africa. Last week La Colombe, also in Cape Town, was placed at 114. We are …
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Rust en Vrede

I’m not sure that waking up, in eager anticipation of dinner that night, is normal? Chef Fabio Daniel at Rust en Vrede made every moment of my day worthwhile. Over a glass of Champagne we chatted about his menu and inspiration. The amuse bouche of Italian sausage served hamburger-style, alongside a carrot macaron was enjoyed …
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