For many, the appeal of teatime begins when we are still working with plastic food, our best friends are the kids next door and our first tooth has yet to break its way loose. With each year that passes, our yearning for that peaceful exploration never seems to leave us… the fantasy and excitement of a picnic is ever-present. So why not include it in your luxury holiday?
A 20-minute drive from the city centre will take you into the heart of the Constantia Valley and the historic Cellars-Hohenort Hotel – a delightful country-style hotel and member of the Relais & Chateaux luxury group.
This dream location is the Conservatory Restaurant, one of the Cape’s loveliest spots to enjoy an indulgent high tea at any time of the year. In winter, while away the afternoon in the elegant indoor lounge in front of a fire; in spring and early autumn, choose to sit in the light and airy glassed-in rooms; and in summer, relax on the sunny terrace where the 300-year-old oak tree and umbrellas will offer reprieve from the heat while you enjoy the vistas of the beautiful grounds and the back of Table Mountain.
The Low Carb High Tea is a nod to the local low-carb-celebrity-expert Tim Noakes, with the menu offering lighter (but still flavourful) items than those found at traditional English afternoon tea. Elegantly served on a three-tiered cake stand, offerings are indulgent, while using healthier substitutes such as fruit, seed and grains, sugar-free dark chocolate, beetroot and carrots.
The top tier contains crispy prawn Vietnamese rice-paper rolls with a dipping sauce, healthy broccoli, red pepper and goat’s cheese tartlets, and grass-fed beef-and-peppadew sosaties.
The centre contains the sweet treats – perfectly crafted bitesize dark-chocolate-and-beetroot cupcakes, fresh fruit sugar-free pavlovas, home-made seed and grain bars, and tiny scones with sugar-free strawberry jam and whipped cream cheese. The pièce de résistance is a delicious yoghurt and honey panna cotta served in a small glass jar topped with strawberry jelly and sliced strawberries.
The bottom tier contains a choice of three open sandwiches. Coronation chicken on a small health slice, rare roast beef with red onion and horseradish cream, and the equally tempting smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives on a squid-ink ciabatta – all light but satisfying.
An array of classic and herbal teas, single-origin coffees, hot chocolate and iced tea or coffee complete the beverage menu. The 5-star service is attentive without being obtrusive as you would expect from an elegant five-star establishment. We recommend treating yourself to a glass or two of Graham Beck rosé brut bubbly from the Martini bar for a perfect ending to a sublime afternoon.
Oh yes, and don’t leave without a walk through the avenue of centuries-old camphor trees!
The original review was written by Jackie Lange for TIG.
- The Insider Guide -