CELEBRATING ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY, THIS TIME HOMEBOUND
Birthdays come and go, relentlessly, yet a wedding anniversary requires huge effort. When we got married more than three decades ago we decided that my man would organize the anniversary celebrations for the odd years, and I for the even. Since the cuckoos have flown the nest, these memorable ‘marriage bosberaads’ that have improved from the early days of one stolen night away on a Winter special to in recent years, a fortnight on a Mediterranean island. The planning and anticipation starts at one celebration for the next. Our last two years saw us hiking volcanic mountains in Reunion and Sicily, which may have been prophetic? This year, which has felt like anything but even, more like a volcanic eruption, it was my turn to mastermind the activities. Borders, hotels and restaurants closed – challenging but not impossible.
I decided to concentrate on wine, which my other half is passionate about. Babylonstoren’s rosé is one of our favourite ‘deck’ wines for sunset and an easy-drinking lunchtime go-to. Our day started in the wine shop on this vastly impressive estate to replenish our stock for these unseasonal, balmy Winter days. The scented room was next, with a meander through the gardens before heading into the ‘lekker room’ to stock up on nuts and biscotti. It’s here you can grab a coffee for your walkabout in the inspiring gardens. There is so much space that social distancing comes naturally, like everything else on this property.
We then ventured to Tokara, where the deli beckoned. A steamed pork bun with Asian slaw and some delectable deli items formed the foundation of a scrumptious picnic lunch with the barren vines providing a beautiful backdrop.
Back home, whilst toasting many good years with a glass of Taittinger as the sun set, the doorbell rang to announce dinner. The dine-in option from three-plated La Colombe was truly special. It’s the little touches that make a big difference – like a hand-written letter of warm wishes with our names (good sleuthing guys) and accurate number of years of marriage. The first item I took out of the large white box was a little plant, labeled ‘plant me’, adorned with coffee macarons and after-eight chocolates for the last course. I then slowly took everything out and read the detailed instructions. And attention to detail is the name of the game for this dine-in journey.
We kicked off with the sweet potato bread with pork butter, olives and garlic. The ubiquitous tuna La Colombe and umami broth never ceases to delight. A little brioche in a terracotta pot was teamed with the most delectable jar of foie gras and rhubarb. Yellowtail with slangetjies and a Thai coconut broth offered perfect harmony in terms of taste and texture before the Kalamansi palate cleanser. It was now time to haul out a long-awaited bottle of Blaawklippen 2011 Zinfandel, the velvety tones of which matched perfectly with the Karoo lamb course, served with salsa verde, Jerusalem artichokes and a rib jus. Heavenly. It was for this course that the instructions included a line ‘plate in a creative way on your finest plate’. Finding the plate was easy, the actual plating did in no way do justice to the presentation skills of chefs Scot Kirton and James Gaag!
We took our time before savouring the smoked Stanford cheese with quince and oat crackers, and the spoilings of the ‘plant me’ course. We skipped dessert as by then we had dined to elegant sufficiency. Admittedly, at first glance the box looked like the quantities were not generous, but as we progressed through each aspect of this dining experience, we realised that we were wrong.
It may not have been our most treasured year, but the day and crescendo of a La Colombe dinner, one to remember.
At R750 per person and the ease of ordering through Dineplan, this nine-course dine-in epicurean escapade is a must!