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2014 Boschendal Style Award – The winner and finalists

From glamorous interiors and raw industrial-style spaces to dining rooms inspired by nature and the latest environmentally friendly design practices, these five finalists for this year’s Boschendal Style Award are at the cutting edge of design. The winner and runners up were announced at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on Sunday 16 November 2014 at Thunder City. (See the rest of the winners here.)

Winner: Equus Dine at Cavalli

The terrace at Equus dine at Cavalli. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The terrace at Equus dine at Cavalli. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The stylish details

Developed in conjunction with the Green Building Council of South Africa, Equus Dine at Cavalli is the first restaurant to apply for certification under the Green Star SA rating system. Located outside Stellenbosch, the estate features an art gallery, tasting room, banqueting facilities and boutique – ample reasons for its win of the 2014 Boschendal Style Award. Chef Henrico Grobbelaar serves bistro-style lunches and fine-dining dinners, with standouts of poached linefish, venison loin, ponzu salmon skewer, rocky road malva pudding and marshmallow ice cream. Designed by Lauren Smith in collaboration with Bouwer Architects, the contemporary stone, steel and glass architecture is based on sustainable principles. The idea was to bring the indigenous Cape floral kingdom inside, as well as touches of timber, copper and tan leather.

A word from the judges

“Dining in such a beautiful place makes you feel utterly special. From the stylish chairs to the shiny copper finishes, everything you see and touch is quite phenomenal.” – Abigail Donnelly

Finalist: Hemelhuijs

Hemelhuijs. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Hemelhuijs. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The stylish details  
As its name suggests, Cape Town’s constantly evolving Hemelhuijs is a heavenly home for the senses. Owner and chef Jacques Erasmus opened Hemelhuijs in 2010 for the sheer love of food and beauty. Jacques’s indulgent bistro-style food is inspired by childhood favourites, world travels and seasonal ingredients. As with the decor, the menu evolves with each season, but perennial favourites include Szechuan pepper calamari and the open beef burger. As an artist and designer, Jacques is particular about rejuvenating the décor with each season, as well as the food. Past themes have included Delft revivals, vintage botanicals and floral art, and are often accompanied by an entirely new bespoke crockery and linen range.
A word from the judges

“Jacques Erasmus is a genius with anything design orientated. You have to applaud his constant desire to improve, adapt and innovate. He never sits back and rests on his laurels.” – Andy Fenner

Finalist: The Pot Luck Club

The Pot Luck Club interior. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Pot Luck Club interior. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The stylish details  
The Pot Luck Club at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock was conceptualised by chef and owner Luke Dale-Roberts as a space where tapas-style plates of food are shared. The menu is organised according to five tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. Drawing from his extensive travels to South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, Luke’s dishes have punchy global flavours. The look is industrial chic, with architect Greg Scot and designer Nina Sierra responsible for the breathtaking wraparound-glass locale atop a repurposed silo. Luke’s wife, Sandalene, was in charge of the décor, which includes herringbone wooden floors, hand-embroidered Casamento couches, refurbished kitchen chairs from Miyabi (Sandalene’s company), original stone cobblework by sculptor Egon Tania, custom-painted screens by artist Peter Eastman, and a manhole cover cast by Bronze Age, featuring the restaurant’s signature porcine logo.

A word from the judges

“The Pot Luck Club boasts a spectacular setting and interior; it really feels like going to New York for the night. Well, Brooklyn at least – which is perhaps the bigger compliment.” – Kate Wilson

Finalist: Five Hundred

Five Hundred. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Five Hundred. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The stylish details
Multi-award-winning chef David Higgs has redefined the role of the chef as creative director, resulting in the immersive Five Hundred experience at The Saxon. The food and wine become modernist, experimental art under David’s direction. Many greens are sourced
directly from the restaurant’s own rooftop garden. The restaurant is painted entirely black and, against the classic white linen, the food becomes the star of the show. The space was designed in collaboration with interior designer Stephen Falcke and the open kitchen is key to the edgy-but-personal look and feel.

A word from the judges

“It’s posh, grown up and dressed up: super jet-black with details
of shine and gloss.” – Abigail Donnelly

Finalist: The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The stylish details
With not a single detail overlooked, the earthy but artistic interior design of 2014 Restaurant of the Year The Test Kitchen in Woodstock embodies the philosophy of world-renowned chef Luke Dale-Roberts. Luke and head chef Ivor Jones are constantly pushing the boundaries of world-class modern fine dining, with each dish representing a micro universe. Luke worked with his wife and co-owner Sandalene, of Miyabi chair design fame, to create an industrial space with a warm, earthy feeling that gives a sense of theatre and comfort. Sandalene made the copper and skin chairs, tie-dyed grain sacks, lace runners and staff uniforms. Screens and artwork are by Peter Eastman, and pottery and table pieces by John Bauer – both Cape Town-based artists.

A word from the judges

“The space is a delightful mix of neo-Parisian bistro and industrial style, with an open kitchen that has the feeling of an atelier. You’re in the workshop of a culinary master.” – Arnold Tanzer

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