Picture this if you will dear reader. Its a rainy, rainy Saturday morning and the wind is HOWLING!!. I have the log fire blazing away and Paul is about to return from his Massage Training Course.
We have accepted an invitation from Zelda Oelosfe-Cornthwaite the General Manager of Hospitality at Laborie, to spend the weekend with them and “we really should go” but……..come on now Guys you’re going to love it, its showtime !!
Well boys and girls, we are soooo very glad we went. Laborie is a beautiful Estate nestling in the hills of the Paarl valley and was originally founded in the late sixteen hundreds….Its even older than I am !!
The Manor House is charming, retaining all the original features of the ‘homestead’ whilst offering the modern amentities one would expect from a four star Hotel and restaurant.
We were warmly greeted by Martell Smith (Zeldas assistant), with a cheery smile and an equally cheery glass of sherry , rude not to really !!. I must say that the staff at Laborie are such a happy, helpful group of Ladies that its an absolute pleasure to be in their company.
Our accomodation was beautifully appointed with all the mod cons one could expect including and electric blanket (que luquo guapiton !). The soft furnishing were stylish and luxurious whilst the bathroom included both shower and bath of a good size. I say this because often, even in top of the range hotels and guest houses, the bathroom facilities leave a lot to be desired.
After a sherry induced siesta we showered and headed for the Harvest restaurant I had read so much about. The Chef, Matthew Gordon has quite a reputation in Cape Town and we were, understandably, eager to experience his culinary creations !!
I have to say we were not disappointed at all, such a varied and enticing menu would be hard to find fault with. Matthew realy is a clever and creative Man.
Unfortunately for us Matthew was not working at his ‘bench’ that evening but we had the pleasure of meeting his delightful Sous Chef Shirene, she also added her own twist on things, O.K. O.K. …lets start eating now its really getting to that time !!
We began with a stunning selection of starters, deep fried asparagus with beetroot and apple salsa (we have never seen that before, TICK !!), Crayfish Samosas with lightly smoked Salmon mini fish cake balls..TICK !! and smoked Quail with pistachio galantine and duck liver parfait …AWESOME… TICK !!
At this point I should tell you that despite the complimentary Sherry (yes more , and your point ??) we decided upon Labories flagship Shiraz, Jean Taillefert which is undoubtably the finest Shiraz I have ever tasted……..and I’ve tasted some, believe me !!
I digress………for our main courses we had free range duck with caramelised naartjies in a Van der Hum sauce (a local liquer for the ininitiated here amongst us) with a side order of Posh frites,with smoked salt and Parmesan. Free range Karoo lamb rump with a parsley crust and roasted baby veggies, both beautifully cooked and tasty.
Now you would think that after theses delicious treats we would be hard pushed to find a ‘little corner’ for dessert, give me time I’m working on it Chef !!
Our delightful waitron ‘persuaded’ us to try a glass of the Pineau de Laborie to get the taste buds tingling,(they were already, trust me)…….but, its rude not to really. This ceation transports you immediately to the Middle East, raisins,spices,warmth…….Paul said it was like sipping Turkish Delight, and it certainly was. whats a girl to do ?? …….so we did TAH DAH !!
Our stunning desserts were Creme brulee with a chocolate chip rusk also the home made Raspberry Parfait with Autumn berries and that is right up my street, rapberries, blackcurrants,Cape gooseberries etc. que luquo, all this accompanied by the afore mentioned Pineau de Laborie, just heavenly trust me.
Exit stage left and time for bed methinks, is it still raining ?? who cares anyway we have the trusty Laborie umberella and a warm glow !!
The next morning (not too early) we walked across to the Manor House for MORE FOOD !!! whats going on here, por favor.
We both decided on the the full English (patriotic to the last Tony) and what a delight that was too. The housekeeper,Sonja, is second generation Housekeeper as her Mum did it for years and it was a given that Sonja would follow in Mums footsteps, well Sonjas Mum, you taught her well.
We needed a little walk after breakfast, I think about ten miles might have done it but……it was raining cats and dogs, so we made it to the wine tasting room for a spit and swallow (sorry Anel) or that was the plan at least……WHATS A GIRL TO DO ???
Thank you so much everyone at Laborie for making our stay so memorable………… we will return…TRUST ME !!! XX
P.S. PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT FB AND TWITTER FOR PICS, THE WORDPRESS SYSTEM STILL BEATS ME !!