De-licious Delaire.

10/03/2011

So THIS is Cape Town, a truly remarkable city right at the bottom of the world. Looking out over the expanse of blue South Atlantic ocean with the unfathomable mass of Table Mountain at your back, the realisation strikes that there is nothing standing between you and South America, far far away to the west. Upon disembarking from the comfy Virgin Atlantic flight which swept over the vast expanses of sub-Saharan Africa beneath us,  a glance at the Arrivals board showed a later 3pm landing expected from Antarctica. I like this place already for its adventurous spirit and I haven’t even left the airport.

I keep forgetting that this blog is not about travel… But bear with me. For this post isn’t about Cape Town at large, rather an exceptional place outside the city which everyone should come to at least once to experience an all-encompassing, delightful, beautiful and soulful dining experience which when I think back about how divine it was, the whole afternoon seems like a dream.

The Delaire Graff Estate might sound familiar, and if it does that might be because the owner is Lawrence Graff, the famous diamond dealer who has bought and sold many of the world’s largest and most precious large stones. The diamond business clearly pays well, for he has created an utterly magical winery estate an hour from  Cape Town using my favourite uber-designer to realise the vision, David Collins.

Collins has surpassed himself in the creation of a series of spaces which link seamlessly to the natural beauty of the mountains and valley which surround you.  The interiors are, at the risk of sounding breathlessly hyperbolic, sublime. The main dining room opens onto a terrace which is perfectly orientated to take in the glorious surroundings, and appointed with elegantly comfortable furniture. An hour here feels like ten minutes for each turn of the head brings the eye to rest upon another, lovelier, more engaging object, artwork, fabric or landscape, so much so that it is almost hypnotic.

Lunch here lasted for hours in an almost semi-conscious wave of deliciousness. For those interested in such things I started with a carpaccio of tuna, followed by South Africa’s signature fish, Kingclip. I finished with a pistachio nougat served with rose geranium ice cream.

There is something about this place which defies description. It helped that the assembled lunch party was vivacious and fun, but if there is a God for all things beautiful, delicious and exceptional then I think I just found out where he lives.

Delaire Graff Estate
Helshoogte Pass
Stellenbosch
South Africa
www.delaire.co.za

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One Response to “De-licious Delaire.”

  1. Lady J Says:

    You sure are getting around! I’m hoping to travel to South Africa later in the year so I look forward to further recommendations.


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