A country-style inn that features all the charms of an out-of-town destination, this may be a bit of a drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria to the Magaliesburg Cradle of Humankind area, but there is much to do in the area and a good place to forget the bustle of the city.
Chef Vincent Bals is the master in charge of the kitchen. At night they offer a standard dinner eight course menu, but he is equally adept at serving perfectly delicious fish and chips for lunch, accompanied by delicious home crafted tartare sauce. The set menu may include introduction plates such as langoustine with squid ink tagliatelle, chilli Hollandaise, squid heads, radish, asparagus, basil pesto béchamel and herb crumble. Also a pan-fried sea bass with smoked red pepper puree, chorizo, squid ink tuile, red quinoa, roast vine tomatoes, black olive tapenade, sumac and smoked paprika foam. Black cherry sorbet to clear the palate, followed by a beef ravioli, a gremolata lamb loin, ostrich fillet and finally a tonka bean panna cotta.
The wine list kicks off with a very informative guide off the different drinking vintages in South Africa- ‘keep’, ‘drink soon’ etc. There are a few interesting international wines such as Van Volxem Schiefer Riesling 2011, but also interesting SA wines such as Griffin Range Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc, Domaines de Dieux Pinot Noir and Tierhoek Straw Wine.
Even though early morning phone calls may lead to a level of frustration, service levels are generally high here - from the very efficient yet very competent and friendly security guard at the gate to a competent barista who produced a delicious mid-morning cappuccino.
The buildings and interior, however, is slightly generic and leaves one feeling slightly unsure if it is just a mid-level resort hotel. The gardens with many water features and ponds are well maintained and the various dining spaces allows for many varied events.
A great venue on the doorstep of Johannesburg that is suitable for many types of celebrations. Their dining and event rooms are large and they could accommodate a fair number of people for small weddings etc., or just a low-key weekend breakaway.
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