With bags packed and loaded into my car, I headed for some downtime in vineyard territory, to a place where low lying stoney mountains (first clue right there) give way to acres of vines that taper off into a divine 5 star, 24 room hotel with olde worlde charm oozing class, comfort and simple elegance. You may be thinking that I'd escaped to one of the usual out of town spots like fabulous Franschhoek, Stellenbosch or even Greyton, but you'd be wrong. This glorious time was spent a mere 20 minutes away from the Cape Town CBD in Tokai, where you can find a gem of a destination called the Steenberg Farm that comprises the Steenberg Hotel, two restaurants called Bistro1682 and Catharina's, and a first class winery.
Invited by PR Clare Mack of Spill Communications, I had no idea what I was in for as on my previous visits to the estate I'd only been to the Bistro. My bad clearly, as Steenberg in all it's complete glory blew my hair back. Seriously, it way exceeded my expectations. From the minute I arrived at the hotel, I felt at home, welcomed by an amazing team of people at the reception. From the attentive and friendly staff to the beautifully appointed suites, the top notch food, the spa, the surroundings and of course the bubbles and wine, the whole experience was outstanding. In one word, Steenberg is gorgeous.
The weather on our first day was a bit bleak so when rain disrupted our wine tasting in the indigenous garden on the hill above Bistro1682, marketing manager Caroline van Schalkwyk and brand communications officer Chanel, swiftly and effortlessly shifted to plan B, hoisting up the table, glasses, ice buckets and bottles, and led the way to the cellar to continue where we'd left off. That move turned out to be a win as I got to see, for the first time, racked sparkling wine in the remuage and degorgement phase..... the ins and outs of what goes down before that bubbly finds its way into your flute glass. Fascinating facts I tell you, and I have Ms. Sam Linsell to thank for shedding light on it all.
Dinner later at Bistro1682, hosted by the fab Nicolene, the sales and marketing manager (hospitality) was beyond. I left all restraint at the resin chandelier in the restaurant foyer and practically had to be rolled out the restaurant after our feasting session, but who could have resisted the beef tataki, those insanely delish truffled grilled taleggio focaccia, the zucchini fritters in smoked tomato butter, Asian sticky pork with salted Thai caramel, plus plus plus?
And then all that sublime bubbly and wine... I've made no secret of the fact that the Steenberg Nebbiolo is one of my fave wines and it flowed freely on Friyay.....yes, I did indulge, but don't judge me, you would have done the same. Needless to say I slept very well that first night.
The Steenberg Hotel as seen from the gardens...
This to-die-for focaccia...grilled telaggio and hot tomato oil...
Beef tataki with chilli, ginger, coriander soya and lime...
Bistro bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
All pics taken on a Canon 600D by Allison Foat, copyright DIVA PR