Guest Blog, Opulent Destinations, South Africa — May 23, 2017 7:21 AM

Some Temptations One Should Never Resist – De Hoek Appreciates This Truth… | Guest Blog by @r_kambule

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This was my second visit following the most delightful 5 course dinner I had at The Conservatory Restaurant last October – see my blog “A Long Celebration of Life @De Hoek”

I got to stay in the night and confirmed why I fell in love with this elegant country hotel tucked in Magaliesberg on my first visit.

I’m still enchanted by the dreamy driveway leading to the hotel parking, then the dramatic staircase towards the reception area. A river runs through the property… called Magalies River with a charming driveway that I mistook for a guest walk-way the last time. My thought waves again, took me to a part in an old movie scene…

I had the pleasure of staying one of the Classic Suites – which are an epitome of contemporary chic. These wellappointed suites have a welcoming luxurious feel, and are spacious with high ceilings and a small patio where one or two can sit and take in the beautiful surroundings made up of carefully manicured lawns and rose bushes amongst a range of pretty flora!

The deco is uber-stylish with emphasis on comfort, convenience, splashes of necessities such as the Nespresso Machine and the like. I had a cupping session of my own as the in-room crockery is just too exquisite to resist. There are pops of bright reds, soft mohair throws over the bed, tuxedo clad soft toys; beautiful South African art pieces deck the walls. I felt the love in each detail. Then there is the sweet, irresistible temptation sealed in in a jar of marshmallows, a jar of ginger cookies… No guessing what happened there… All my desirables under one roof – what better, suitable treats could I ever ask for on a grey, rainy Gauteng Friday afternoon?

Contentment! After an indulgent bath, I happily plunged myself into the massive and very cosy bed, from where I could see the sprawling and breathtaking views from outside – plus the bridge I so admire!

For Lunch… We had a sumptuous light meal on arrival, where I opted for a ‘share worthy farmer’s platter’ selected from the lunch menu. The chicken liver pate was the star of my platter. I found myself thinking, I could gladly have had the platter by myself… It was a burst of flavours, balanced and smooth texture. Stephanie from Women & Home… with whom I shared the platter agreed that we made the perfect choice. Our gracious hostess saw it fit to order more of the lovely and freshly baked bread so I could finish the pate… ‘Happiness is made of the simplest of things.’

I love how well the different spaces in the hotel have been utilized, like the multifunctional lobby which is also part of the Conservatory Restaurant where some of the most satiating meals are served. This includes the lovely dinner we sat for, courtesy of Robert – Head Chef and Gavin the GM. They both were new on the job and still finding their feet. They are naturals at fine hospitality as ours turned out to be the most joy-filled dining experience with great company to match it – an elegant celebration of life indeed!

Dinner started off with some drinks and snacks at the bar, followed by some mouthwatering canapes – so dainty and appropriately matched the selected wines which were intros to the new wine list! Straight forward, high quality fresh ingredients mostly locally sourced. The one that stood out the most for me was an elegant bottle of Pink Bubbles from the most charming wine village in Franschhoek. She is called Le Lude, stylish, pleasant with a long lingering aftertaste of wild roses, grapefruit, and berries – a uniquely gorgeous drink, Le Lude! I could happily have had La Lude the entire evening but we still had the tough job of experiencing the unique 5 Coursed Dinner – paired with equally fine wines. These had been carefully prepared and selected by Robert and his team… With each course serve, he kept earning some food fanatics as he not only delivered picture perfect food but our sophisticated palates were joyfully satisfied.

For desert, I went for the cheese platter – a delectable composition with different textures and flavours; some soft some appropriately hard, some salty and smooth – then there was the carnation shaved and shaped parmesan cheese… effortless creativity.

Interesting facts – Le Lude “The pioneering approach of Le Lude is underscored by it being the first cellar to produce an Agrafe® (Tirage Liège) Cap Classique, paving the way for a sector of the South African wine industry on the road to greatness.”

Breakfast @ The Conservatory We woke up to a sunny and crisp Magaliesberg morning, add to it delicious and honest food. We sat pretty under the trees spread throughout the gardens for our champagne breakfast, surrounded by fragile herb and flower bushes, fish ponds here and there, ducklings, chickens roaming and merrily co-existing – beautiful, unpretentious settings.

The breakfast menu is quite extensive –  For hot breakfast, I had poached egg with salmon and some steamed spinach with some Hollandaise sauce, then added some dust of black pepper – Prima Choice!

“Wine is synonymous with good taste, fine gastronomy and culture, giving to the connoisseurs the quality of a sophisticated person.” This about accurately sums up our less than 24 hours’ rendezvous @ De Hoek Country Hotel – about an hour or so… drive from Sandton, Joburg!

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Text and Images by Rebecca Kambule / Blogger REMPO Consulting / / Tweeter @r_kambule