Friday, 10 May 2013

Delaire Graff - an estate in the Cape

Posts from Cape Town



As I am in Cape Town, visiting my sister and friends,  I suggested that we have lunch at the Delaire Graff Estate which is just outside Stellenbosch.  The name Graff - as many of you already know is synonymous with diamonds and magnificent jewelry.    I have often stopped outside the Graff New Bond street store in London and simply gazed at the window displays.  The magnificent jewels and  collections are simply breathtaking and their website is exceptional.  Have a look here - you won't be disappointed!  

It's difficult to believe that Laurence Graff started his career as a jewellery apprentice in London in 1950.   He opened his first two stores in London in 1962 and his expansion today stretches to 37 stores world-wide.  But, for the moment,  let's get back to the Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch!

This estate, set high upon the mountainside,  was founded by Simon van der Stel in 1679!  Laurence Graff acquired the estate in 2003 with the intention of  'transforming it into South Africa's most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination' and after visiting this incredible estate,    I really believe that he might have achieved his intention!  'The personally curated collection has been a lifelong passion of Laurence Graff who continues to discover promising South African artists.    Have a look here for more information on the art collections, the restaurants, state-or-the-art winery, Lodges, Spa and boutiques.

The avenue leading up to Delaire

The views from Delaire are incredible - here two cheetahs by Dylan Lewis sit gazing over the valley

and another

The dramatic entrance 
William Kentridge-inspired curved  tangerine leather banquette

We were lucky arriving on a perfect autumn day and sitting in the soft, dappled light on the deck, looking out at the magnificent mountains I was sure that this could be one of the most unique settings in the world.  The food was exquisite - both in taste and presentation. 

buffalo mozzarella, caramelised cauliflower florets, basil, parmesan broth

poached trout, lemon preserve, toasted almond, spaetzle
fish of the day, fondant potato, beets, taramasalata, smoked tuna, broth

free range beef, braised shin, shimeji mushroom, marrow crumbs, watercress

tastes of vanilla: creme brulee, vanilla yogurt, toffee, blancmange
Apologies for all the food photos but I really want to emphasise how exceptional it was!  Each mouthful was a delicate discovery of flavours, fusing together into utter deliciousness! When the lovely waitress saw me photographing the menu,  she arrived minutes later with a fresh set of pages, signed by the chef!  The service was excellent.  

We took a long stroll after lunch exploring the Lodge and Spa, the pool, and more exceptional views. The photos tell you the rest of the story!

Seating area in the reception area of the Lodge

One of the many water-features

The infinity pool with Table Mountain in the far distance.

More of Dylan Lewis' cheetahs - must be tricky mowing the lawn here!

The complete sensory experience and 
to the many people out there who might be hesitant in planning a trip to Cape Town and South Africa - I hope this post and a couple more coming, will encourage you!

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