‘where sublime botanical cuisine, wine and art unite’
Driving through the imposing gateway of the Orient Hotel into the tranquil Francolin Conservatory is the start of your unforgettable epicurean adventure.
Award-winning, highly respected and talented chef Chantel Dartnall creates four menus that are launched with each equinox. As an eloquent and talented scribe, she pens her inspiration for guests to savour between courses, in beautiful printed menus. “The spring menu is like a teenage girl dancing through a field of flowers, or little lamb, light on its feet. The autumn menu is earthy, I see the colour brown, it’s the soil menu, establishing my roots. Summer is more sophisticated, confident and elegant, like Scarlet O’Hara,” explains Chantel. In winter it’s robust in flavour, yet elevated with plating precision and her delicate, feminine touch.
After pre-dinner drinks and canapés you’ll be led into the Belle-Epoque-style dining room for the start of a spectacular experimental journey. A cascade of flavours and textures will follow, and with each, your heart is likely to skip a beat. Dishes are inspired by nature and Chantel’s travels. Her pigeon dish was conjured up during a trip to Italy when she was watching the pigeons on the piazza. The colours of orange and green captured her imagination, and to express the moment, she transferred the image into a dish in which the pigeon is married with root vegetables. In the ‘Elements of Nature’ autumn menu there are creations like ‘Mont Blanc’, an artful yet earthy dish of ethical, responsibly sourced and crafted local foie gras, with compressed leek and citrus confit. ‘By the Great Oak’ is a hearty dish for Chantel, known for her delicate plating. The ‘Cynara’ is a glorious combination of quail with artichoke and lavender.
Each dish is perfectly wedded with a wine that does it justice, chosen with care and consideration from a private cellar overflowing with the best of local and international wines. There is a sommelier’s pairing, a connoisseur’s, an enthusiast’s plus a non-alcoholic pairing.
Start or finish with a walk either in the gardens or in the art and sculpture galleries. Linger, make every moment count at the perfect example of destination dining, well worthy of a flight – from anywhere in the world.
“I became a chef because I love feeding people and nourishing them. I care about who and what I serve.” Chef Chantel Dartnall
Address: Orient Boutique Hotel, Francolin Avenue, Elandsfontein, Pretoria, 0186
Contact: 012 371 2902