This is true destination dining. Book into one of the 10 majestic suites at The Orient Hotel in the Francolin Conservatory where giraffe, zebra and other wildlife live in nature. Be sure to appreciate the attention to detail everywhere, from the gardens and museums to the art and interior of the Belle Epoque-inspired Restaurant Mosaic.
Chef Chantel Dartnall, winner of the inaugural SWISS Culinary Innovation Award and the world’s Best Female Chef in 2017, is deserving of all her accolades, yet is ever-present. Service is professional, engaging and informative – with white gloves. “I have obligations to be a serious chef, to be a celebrity chef is not why I came into the industry. You as a chef have to be true to your own vision, it’s the only way you can get people to follow,” she says.
Discerning diners come from all over the globe to experience Chantel’s botanical cuisine. Every nuance is creatively crafted, from the beautifully worded menus that unveil the inspiration behind each dish, changing with each equinox, to the myriad courses perfectly paired with wines from their seriously superlative cellar.
Her distinctive ‘sea mist’ which delights from its first sight and fragrance, and her tantalising ‘soup du jour’ that reinvented the humble Brussel sprout may re-appear, but new dishes are wildly exciting and applauded. Noble ingredients are presented in an unexpected fashion, and the flora on the estate is evident on each exquisite, often unusual, plate. She is also rediscovering forgotten South African ingredients like sorghum. Whatever Chantel plays with, know that it will be unique as she illustrates that fine dining doesn’t have to be serious – it can be fun too.
“People come to celebrate special occasions, the environment and ambiance have to be special – we need to help them create magic moments.” Chef Chantel Dartnall
Address: Orient Boutique Hotel, Francolin Avenue, Elandsfontein, Pretoria, 0186
Phone: 012 371 2902