The welcoming drink was served, as always, outside the art gallery,
situated a short walk from the main dining room.
The dinner was being hosted by Cederberg, so the first taste was of a
Cederberg Merlot Shiraz 2015
The evening was a cold one, but not cold enough
to deter people from having a glass or two before going into dinner.
Fire and water.
There were several fires on the go, both outside and inside the dining room.
The water features provided a calming background murmur
to the pre-dinner chatting of the guests.
Before dinner, I always enjoy wandering around the property.
Usually it is the art gallery that claims my interest,
this time I only paid it a quick visit and then looked for something new.
You never know what you might discover!
Like this toilet roll holder in the bathroom next to the gallery.
At 1036m Cederberg is the highest wine estate in the Western Cape
The Cederberg host for this dinner was Pieter du Toit.
He had a lot to say about the location of the vineyard and the surrounding area,
but not too much actual information about the wines that the diners were about to enjoy.
Just a thought...
If the guests were to be asked their opinion on the wines they were tasting,
it would make for a more engaging evening.
They would then feel that they were being included rather than spoken to.
Chef Patron of Bellgables Country Restaurant, Errol Gobey.
In a relaxed mood while awaiting the arrival of the guests and
before the (controlled) chaos in the kitchen begins.
The next time I saw Errol was at the end of the dinner service.
Theatre of food...
This is what this property is renowned for.
The over-the-top table decorations, glassware, and cutlery.
Being here is not only about what you will be eating or drinking,
but also the visual stimulation.
Once again, the venue has been totally re-arranged since my last visit.
I have been eating here for the past 2 years
and I cannot remember having the same décor at consecutive meals.
Baked Tomato soup...
Oven baked tomato & leek with a swirl of cream and garlic croutons.
Paired with a Cederberg Sustainable Rose, 2016.
"Hello, my name is David and I am a "soup-aholic".
There I have said it.
I can enjoy a good bowl of soup no matter what the season.
And as such I was enchanted by the texture of this,
the first course of the evening.
If I am permitted to use the theatre analogy,
then this was the opening act.
As such, the dish set the tone for the evening
The garlic was subtle, which is how it should be and
the croutons added a crunch to the overall taste experience.
Between courses I was able to take a closer look at some of the tables.
No matter what sort of day you have has prior to getting to Bellgables,
the quirkiness of the table settings will put a smile on your face
and is almost guaranteed to reduce stress instantaneously.
Thai Satay Chicken.
Served with a Cederberg Bukettraube 2016
Skewers of chicken with a peanut butter and lemon grass dipping sauce.
I could have stopped with this dish...but I did not.
The chicken was tasty, the accompaniments were crisp and fresh.
And the sauce, sublime.
No two corners of the dining room are the same.
I got to the venue early so that I could wander without interfering with the diners.
Every table offered something interesting and unique.
Accompanied by a Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.
Cubed beef, olives & Danish feta in a Ranchero sauce.
Wrapped in a crepe that was topped with grilled Pecorino cheese.
This was a BIG YUM (can a food reviewer use such an expression?)
The wrap contained the right mix of beef and feta,
and the Ranchero sauce did not have too much of a bite.
And the grilled Pecorino cheese was literally the cherry-on-top.
It was served with garden vegetables that were cooked to perfection.
This was the view from the table I was seated at.
Placed as I was in the corner,
it afforded me an opportunity to people watch between courses.
What better way to end a fine dining experience...
Cederberg Brut 2012 and
Baked pear pudding...
Sponge pudding with a vanilla-butter and brandy sauce.
A wonderfully warm dessert to send diners on their way home.
Often these dishes can be overpoweringly sweet,
but here the mix was perfectly balanced and left me with no after taste
that sugary dishes can.
New entertainment for the evening.
On violin and vocals, the internationally recognized performer and teacher Danielle Klimiene.
Her violin is over 275 years old as was made by Johannes Tir in Austria
Backing her up on vocals and guitar was Mikhail Sakharov, who has a M.Sc( Phys)!
Together this duo performed songs that were a complement to the evening,
rather than a distraction from it.
A final cappuccino before tackling the 23km's back home.
Another glorious evening at Bellgables came to an end.
Many thanks to the superb staff...
especially the Amazing Grace who looked after
all my dining requirements.
To find out more about this wonderful fine dining restaurant
and when the next wine pairing will be,
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They may not be copied from this Blog posting used individually
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