Not so long ago Elzaan and I spent 2 nights at the incredible La Residence in Franschhoek, in case you missed it you can check out the WMBW Travels review.
I was long overdue a lunch with my friend Mr Fabiani since our last meet up at the Silo Hotel so I invited him to come and join me for some wine dining – Thats when you have more wine than you should with an exquisite meal. You can read all about our thoughts on breaking fashion rules over on his blog here.
I started my review of La Residence stating that the experience can be put down to 4 words “views, opulence, service and wine” and lunch is no different. The service once again taking centre stage as the staff ran around happy to accommodate us wherever we felt like eating – even if it was in the middle of the doorway so we could sit inside all while enjoying the winter sun.
Our glasses were quickly filled up with our wine of choice. I was on my second glass of one of my all time favorite Savignon Blancs while Mr Fabiani decided to give the locally made Rosé a chance on my recommendation of breaking a couple of rules every now and then – See, South Africans have a bad stigma with Rosé wines, it come from a history of sickly sweet pink wines that were generally found in the hands of teenage girls. Luckily, this is no longer the case and the La Residence Rosemary Jane (named after one of the owners daughters) is the perfect wine for some day drinking.
I don’t have to go into how easy it is to enjoy a relaxing lunch in such incredible surroundings, but I will. I briefly mentioned how ornately opulent the dining hall at La Residence was in my previous review, but when one of the hotel peacocks strolls in and doesn’t seem out of place in it’s surrounding you know the hotels beauty is worth mentioning more than once.
The service on the cherry cake was however Executive chef Lennard Marais coming out to find out what we “felt like” for lunch. He offered up a few suggestions, one of which was the locally caught salmon Trout to be served with Seasonal vegetables on a bed of butternut puree. Mr Fabiani didn’t hesitate for a moment and quickly ordered the Salmon Trout. Having just come off a hotel breakfast myself I was up for something much lighter. Chef Lennard recommended the salad and I decided to give it a go.
Our appreciation of the beauty around us quickly turned to the beauty on our plates when the food arrived. My salad was almost too perfect to eat – an ornate construction of garden leaves, cucumber ribbons and thinly sliced cumquats surrounded by baby tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella bocconcini from a local farm. It tasted even better than it looked and was a true testament to Chef Lennards emphasis on only using the freshest local ingredients.
The Salmon, served with asparagus spears and lightly roasted tomatoes looked just as good and I had a moment of order envy when it arrived to be honest! : )
With neither of us being big dessert eaters Chef Lennard recommended we try a little bit of everything and put together a mini dessert tasting menu for us. I mean, look at it!! Seriously, it’s the picture just above! It was incredible, a combination of salted caramel ice cream , macadamia nut brownies and a coconut cream passion fruit Panna Cotta! I’de like to say that each was as delicious as the other but I’m afraid I cant. Wait, don’t get me wrong, everything was delicious, but the Panna Cotta, well, the Panna Cotta was just incredible!!
In the end a relatively simple and fresh lunch was turned into a fine dining experience by one simple thing, incredible service. I keep mentioning Chef Lennard because his attentiveness was just outstanding making sure that we enjoyed the lunch we felt like and not just what was on the menu.
If you’re looking for a lunch that bring a little something special out in the wine lands, I would definitely make a stop at La Residence, maybe even treat yourself and stay the night : )
You can contact La Residence on +27 021 876 4100 or mail them firstname.lastname@example.org
I you want to look the part on your visit, you can shop my Fabiani look here:
Suit available here
Shirt available here
Pocket square available here
Shoes available here
Okay. Stay fancy.