Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

The dishes at Greenhouse are dazzling, exhilarating and unexpected. The ingredients are a mix of local, exotic and exciting. While elaborate, the dishes always remain focused on working together harmoniously.

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

I was lucky enough to be invited to experience Greenhouse and experience is a very fitting word. You feel immersed into a different world from the moment you step into the bar. We enjoyed supremely delicious and unusual cocktails before heading into the dining room. My personal favourite was the Kombucha-cha cocktail made with our own local Copeland Rum and of course a delicious dose of kombucha. It was refreshing and got the palate all excited for what was to come next!

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Head Chef Farrel Hirsch has developed a skillful and refined menu that delights around every corner. And if you hurry and get yourself there soon they have an exciting à la carte lunch special at R550 per person.

Here’s a look at our incredible dining experience:

Trio of whipped butter & grated blue rock salt

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee
lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Wagyu tartare

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Confit duck bao, spring onion, ginger mayo & kimchi

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Trout mi-cuit, dill mayo, liquorice teriyaki, pickled kohlrabi, fish crackling & furikake

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

XO pork, quail’s egg nest, eryngii, ponzu, dashi & pork crackling

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee
lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Cape octopus, asparagus, sour fig, ink yuzu sauce & coral tuile

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Braai bokkie, sweetbreads, carrot & cashew puree, pap, morogo & jus

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Local cape fish & prawn, wild rice risotto, pea puree & garlic sake sauce

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee
lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

PB & J parfait, peanut butter brittle with a glass of milk

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee
lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

Petit fours – white chocolate, orange and rose truffle

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee
lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

The wine pairings were spot on and utterly delicious. A particular favourite was the Julien Schaal Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay. An elegant, complex and well balanced wine with glorious hints of white peach on the nose.

Another firm favourite was The Blacksmith ‘Hell Yeah’ Pinotage 2018. What a wine. Incredibly well balanced fruit and acidity with firm tannin and a fresh juicy finish.

Thank you to all the highly skilled staff at Greenhouse for making our lunch such a memorable food journey. We will be back soon!

lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee
lunch at Greenhouse | The Secret Life of Bee

*I was invited as a guest of Greenhouse and the husband paid his way 😉

lunch at la petite colombe in Franschhoek

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Last week Friday I had the pleasure of experiencing the winter special menu at La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek. The food was exquisite. The attention to detail on every dish was inspiring. This was hands down my favourite fine dining experience in the country so far. Every single course was a celebration of its ingredients and it was evident that a lot of love and care went into each element. The winter menu is exceptionally good value for money and runs until 31 August so if you haven’t been I suggest you get yourself there with a touch of speed.

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

We were also fortunate enough to be treated to the wine pairing along with the winter menu. Andrew, the sommelier, was outstanding and the wine choices were flawless. They complimented each dish beautifully, some were old favourites while others I had never experienced before. The Saxenberg ‘Limited Release’ Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon 2011 (Stellenbosch) was a particularly delightful white blend that I am still dreaming about today.

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

It is almost impossible to pick my favourite dish. The tortellini of prawn, quail, curried hake velouté, cauliflower and coriander was as good as it gets. The textures and flavours sang together. The tiny little angel hair like wisps of fried sweet potato were a revelation. They were so good we asked one of the chefs how to make them!

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Another highlight for me was the “meet the chefs” which is a R70 supplement and you get to head to the kitchen (glass of wine in hand of course) and enjoy a surprise course right next to the pass. Ours was a play on eggs & soldiers. The soldier was toasted brioche with a foie gras filling. Let’s just say I could have eaten one hundred of those fine morsels. It was sublime!

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Another major ‘ooooh’ moment was after dessert when we received our La Petite Colombe Treasures. That little nugget of gold was something else. It was full of creamy chocolate ganache, nuts and popping candy! We were all utterly charmed and it left you with a feeling of delight and playfulness. 

Here’s a look at the utter perfection we were lucky enough to experience:

Caraway sourdough, home churned butter, sesame and roasted yeast

Môreson Solitaire Blanc de Blancs (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Poached oyster, pernod, grapefruit, verjuice, dill, apple, celery

Colmant Brut Chardonnay 2006-2013 (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

or

Yellowfin tuna, aubergine, miso, kalamansi, avocado

Mullineux ‘Old vines’ 2016 (Swartland)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Tortellini of prawn, quail, curried hake velouté, cauliflower, coriander

Saxenberg ‘Limited Release’ 2011 (Stellenbosch)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

“Meet the chefs”

Eggs & Soldiers

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Palate Cleanser

Blood orange sorbet

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

 

Linefish, soubise, smoked mussel, squid, endive, chorizo, creamed leeks

Rickety Bridge ‘Paulina’s Reserve’ Semillion 2015 (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

or

Seared duck breast, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke, rhubarb & lavender

Haut Espoir Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Foxenberg goat’s cheese, goats milk caramel, kouign amann, guava, tamarind

Vonderling ‘Sweet Carolyn’ 2007 (Voor-Paardeberg)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

or

Valrhona Itakuja crémeux, pineapple, mango, macadamia, passionfruit, lemongrass

Thelema ‘Late Harvest’ Semillon 2014 (Stellenbosch)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

La Petite Colombe Treasures

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

It was an absolute delight eating chef, John Norris Rogers‘s carefully constructed menu. It’s not often that I leave a restaurant and immediately start thinking of when I can go back! Take advantage of this amazing winter special menu and allow your taste buds to be treated to some of the finest food in the land. The service is flawless, the setting is beautiful and it really is an all round wonderful experience.

Winter Menu:

R395 / with wine pairing R795
There is also an entire vegetarian menu so veggies there is a whole lot of deliciousness for you too.

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Thank you to the La Petite Colombe team!