Monday, December 10, 2012

Dinner at the beautiful La Residence in Franschhoek

The door to my suite at La Residence



In South Africa last month, living a TRAVELIFE, I really enjoyed our stay at the ultra-luxury resort/hotel La Residence in Franschhoek. I'd picked all the hotels, and this was among my choices because of its unique design and over-the-top experience in terms of service.

The hotel itself is beautiful, and their service is impeccable. It makes for a truly wonderful experience amidst some spectactular scenery.

I sat here for a long time, admiring the scenery at sunset

A DINNER TO REMEMBER

I've already written about what a pretty hotel La Residence is. 


on the design and decor of La Residence.


Rooms and lovely environment aside, though, one of the highlights of our stay was the Chef's Table dinner. The hotel's executive chef, Lennard, personally prepared our five-course dinner for the evening.

La Residence at night

As we're both foodies, we'd arranged to have the Chef's Table that night; so we already knew that we would be sitting in close proximity to the kitchen, and having the chef spend the evening with us. But what we were unprepared for was the beautiful table setting that the hotel had arranged.

I remember coming in late and walking through the main hallway lined with tables full of very chic people having dinner -- the rather elderly couple staying in the next room, for example, looked like they'd just stepped out of an Armani ad, when I'd met them in the hallway that afternoon. 




They'd just checked in as well and we'd had a conversation in the hallway about how beautiful our rooms were, and how very different each room was.

Anyway, as we walked down the long dining area, the diners on both sides all watched us proceed to the very end of the room, where there was this little commotion of people making sure everything was in order, and this beautiful table so perfectly laid out and so dramatically lit with candelabras.


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A BEAUTIFUL TABLE FOR TWO

The Chef's Table at La Residence

We sat on a massive table that was set for two, and the decor used on the table was simply beautiful. I'm posting photos here so you have an idea of just how lovely everything was. Please bear in mind, though, that my point-and-shoot camera does not at all do justice to that evening, especially with the dim lighting.

Our sommelier selected a wonderful wine pairing for our dinner

I really enjoyed the food as well. In fact, writing about it now, I can still taste everything I ate -- and I'm so getting hungry.

A DELICIOUS SURPRISE

A beautiful table for two
One of our main courses was pigeon, which we had stuffed and spiced so that it reminded me already of Christmas.

"I don't eat pigeon," I whispered, "what am I going to do?"

They'd asked us if we had any preferences or if there were things we didn't eat, but we'd said we ate everything so there was nothing I could really do regarding the pigeon.

Chef Lennard at work on our dinner

And Chef Lennard was so nice, earnest and eager at his cooking, that I didn't have the heart to tell him about my lack of enthusiasm for pigeon

I couldn't very well leave the entire bird on my plate either, as we'd each gotten one pigeon so beautifully presented on a plate. It would be too obvious.



LOOKING FOR MORE

So I took a forkful of pigeon. Absolutely delicious, and what a surprise was that. I just had to have another forkful, and another forkful. And so on. You get the picture. Before I knew it, the pigeon in front of me was gone and I was looking for some more. 

Unfortunately, the plate next to me had already been empty for the last 30 minutes or so, so I wasn't getting more of a pigeon fix from that side of the table.


SINGING IN THE RAIN...
OR RATHER, TAKING PHOTOS IN THE RAIN


I loved this dish. In fact I'm getting hungry just thinking about it now. And after dinner, we walked around the property taking photos of the hotel in the rain, just for fun. Interestingly, the photos in the rain came out like snowflakes falling everywhere, making for a magical effect.

It rained through the night, but the next morning, it was another perfect day in South Africa.

What a wonderful way to remember a perfect stay at the La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

The beautiful hills of Franschhoek

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