“There’s no pleasure on earth that’s worth sacrificing for the sake of an extra five years in the geriatric ward of the Sunset Old People’s Home, Weston-Super-Mare” – John Mortimer 1923-2009 ‘Rumpole’s Last Case’ (1987)
I make no apology for loving to explore the finer things in life if they catch my curiosity in full swim. We didn’t do ‘fine’ things way back when, those antics were for the ‘posh’, which life’s experience has told me is not really true, as some of the most ‘un-posh’ people have tumbled un-deodorised as hell into the smartest of places, backpacks and razors in toe!
De Hoek Country Hotel, Magaliesburg, South Africa, is what makes your heart beat a little faster when your senses are driven into overdrive by the sheer beauty and refinement of the hotel and its surrounds. Grand. Peaceful. Still.
It was a Sunday lunch set menu. We had no idea of what to expect, but the whole garden setting made us sit upright like hungry vervets who had been trained to hold the cutlery correctly.
Woooaahhhh! We both thought. The freshness and originality made this dish a winner.
One of the reasons I love fine dining is that the portions are small, enabling me to have three courses without rolling onto the floor looking like a not yet quite deflated parachute… and then came desert.
Lemon curd, merangue, seasonal berries and tuile was the choice which put the greatest of smiles upon my face.
With just a jump to the right, the dark chocolate, mint, dulce de leche, coconut streusel landed dead centre and placed for a jaw dropping feast deluxe.
A walk afterwards around this fine and grand residence, was full of eye treats, from loungers by the long Koi pond, the pool, the art, flowers and the greenery of the gardens. A special place is De Hoek Country Hotel. It is an experience. Life is about experiencing, and I am living mine to fullest.
If you are looking for me, you will find me practicing my beak down, horizontal flapping, so I may return to this wonderment.
“Serenely full, the epicure would say,
Fate cannot harm me, I have dined today”
Sydney Smith 1771-1845 – Lady Holland Memoir (1855)