Located in one of the first grand residences in Stellenbosch, which dates back to 1713 and is now a hotel, Helena’s is a stylish retreat from the busy street. The dinner menu includes starters such as gin-cured Franschhoek trout with tonic jelly and pickled fennel; duck liver pâté with pistachios; a meze platter of charcuterie and cheeses; and risotto with wild mushrooms from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Grana Padano and truffle oil.
Mains offer beef fillet with potatoes cooked in lamb fat, baby carrots, roasted cauliflower purée and bone marrow; rack and shoulder of Karoo lamb with charred brinjal, fine beans, pearl couscous, chakalaka and yoghurt; smoked locally sourced pork loin with rooibos-infused potato purée, braised pearl onions, crispy fried Brussels sprout leaves and tender roasted candied golden beetroot. Portions are generous, so choose carefully!
There is also a linefish of the day served with tomato-and-olive relish, baby spinach and pea purée, and a seafood “ensemble” of West Coast rock lobster, prawns, linefish, mussels and calamari. Desserts are traditional and comforting and include “Japie se Gunsteling” – a citrus sponge pudding with home-made granadilla ice cream; bruléed sago pudding with stewed fruit; vanilla ice cream with toasted walnuts, all topped with moskonfyt; pavlova with lemon curd and granadilla; New York-style cheesecake; dark chocolate fondant with mint ice cream and raspberries; or a platter of local artisanal cheeses with preserves and home-made biscuits.
Wines and MCC by the glass and bottle, beers and soft drinks.
Unobtrusively attentive, friendly and professional.
Stylish and understated. Sit inside the main dining room under the antique yellowwood ceiling, or in the glass-walled conservatory overlooking the pool.
Stay overnight at the hotel to complete the experience.