Take a Bite Out of the Ritz this Summer

The Ritz Hotel Cape Town Food

Sea Point is set to sizzle this summer as The Ritz dishes up decadent brunches, lazy lunches and innovative smart dining at this rejuvenated icon of Cape Town’s glamorous Atlantic Seaboard.

Reopened in December 2017 following a multi-million rand revamp, The Ritz is on track to become one of the Mother City’s culinary hotspots, with a collection of restaurants and bars that will keep both locals and in-house guests happy through summer’s hot days and sultry nights.

Here’s What You Can Expect at The Ritz this Summer

Flowing from the chic interior to a sun-splashed pool deck, CASA Restaurant & Cabanas dishes up delicious all-day dining. The day begins with a generous breakfast buffet and à la carte offering, before shifting into an approachable menu of inventive brasserie classics from 11am.

It’s a relaxed space, both indoors and by the poolside, and we wanted the menu to reflect that,” explains Adrian Cook, Group Executive Chef for The Ritz. “We’ve kept the menu focused and simple, ensuring every dish is packed with flavour.”

It’s a globetrotting cosmopolitan menu. Entrées run from elegantly plated steak tartare – served with a focaccia twist and smoked aioli – to Rock Shrimp tempura with an umami-packed sriracha/soya glaze. Another starter not to be missed is ‘The Ritz’, an eye-catching reinvention of a classic avocado ritz.

In a witty nod to the tropical Martinique wallpaper adorning the walls, ‘The Ritz’ is served in a frozen half-shell pineapple, the pickled radish, pineapple sorbet, and avocado purée neatly balancing the silky Marie Rose sauce and succulent shrimp.

Reinventing the classics is something of a defining philosophy at CASA, says Cook: “We’re taking dishes that everyone is bound to love, and giving them our own Ritz twist.”

A perfect example is the main course of peri-peri chicken. The chicken is cooked sous vide in home-made peri-peri sauce, before being crisped up in a Pira charcoal oven imported from Spain. Other meaty mains taking a turn in the fiery oven include the char-grilled rump with house chimichurri, Karoo lamb ‘lollipops’, and a succulent Wagyu beef burger topped with mature cheddar. Watching your holiday budget? There’s also a free-range beef burger with emmental cheese and crispy bacon to take care of hunger pangs.

The sun-splashed pool deck is sure to be a draw card, with all diners enjoying full access to the sparkling pool and facilities. Whether seated on the terrace or ensconced on a lounger, it’ll certainly be hard to pass up on the inventive range of stone-baked thin-base pizzas, or a platter from the extensive sushi menu. Here the options include everything from classic California rolls and expertly sliced fresh sashimi to innovative rolls of crunchy rock shrimp tempura.

And to drink? Aside from the selection of signature cocktails and local craft spirits, the wine list offers an impressive range of leading local estates, with a variety of wines available by the glass. Fancy something international? Order a bottle of Whispering Angel rosé from acclaimed Côtes de Provence producer Chateau d’Esclans. CASA is also home to a sparkling poolside Champagne Bar, with proudly South African Méthode Cap Classique as well as champagne.

Sundays in Sea Point

While CASA makes a fine destination any day of the week, The Ritz is set to shake up Sundays in Sea Point, with its decadent Sunday Brunch.

From 11am until 5pm each Sunday the marble buffet table will be piled high with platters of sushi, sliders, stone-fired pizza and a selection of classic dishes from the à la carte menu. With the Sunday Brunch buffet priced at R250/R95 for adults/children – and kids under five eating free – it’s an ideal destination for a cool family day out.

We really want to make it accessible for families to join us,” notes Omayya Ismail, Food & Beverage Manager for The Ritz. “We have a separate children’s play area and all diners have access to the hotel pool, so we think it’s the perfect way for parents and their kids to relax on a Sunday.”

Relaxation Swopped for Refinement

High above the pool-deck, however, relaxation has been swopped for refinement.

Perched on the 23rd-floor, Top of The Ritz – the only revolving restaurant in the Western Cape – has long been a destination-restaurant in the Mother City; a place to pop the question and mark milestones. After a dramatic rejuvenation, and with an innovative new menu on offer, the restaurant is set to reclaim its title as one of the most sought-after gourmet destinations Cape Town has to offer.

The gastronomic experience begins in the 22nd floor Champagne Lounge, a seductive space where canapés and bubbly are served with a side order of sparkling city views.

Moving upstairs, it’s an equally opulent setting. Think black velvet bucket chairs, and starched white napery adorning tables decked with imported Philippe Starck lamps and fine stemware. Every table enjoys ever-changing views of the city, as the restaurant rotates through a full 360º every 62 minutes.

While the views are impressive, you’ll be hard-pressed to draw your eyes away from the plate, as Cook and his team of talented chefs take diners on a seven-course ‘Journey of Flavours through Cape Town’.

Each dish pays homage to the culinary traditions and heritage of Cape Town,” explains Cook, who says the new menu – with vegan and vegetarian options for each course, on request – offers a unique blend of innovation and familiarity. “Each dish is inspired by the flavours of the Cape, and some of the dishes that I have enjoyed in my many years of living and cooking in Cape Town. We want the flavours to be true to the original, but we play around with the texture and presentation of every dish.”

The amuse bouche is – of course – a modern take on the classic Avocado Ritz, here presented on marble offcuts upcycled from the hotel’s renovation. Later, a palate cleansing sorbet is fashioned from Cape Gooseberries, while main course options pay homage to the ocean, countryside and wild places surrounding the city.

‘Countryside’ pairs beef sirloin, fondant potato and prego jus in a nod to the city’s ever-popular Portuguese restaurants, while ‘The Karoo’ makes the most of intensely-flavoured Karoo lamb, here mirrored by fynbos-infused croquettes.

‘Ocean View’ is Cook’s interpretation of the humble parcel of fish and chips so popular in the city’s harbourside takeaways. At Top of The Ritz a fillet of local line fish is given added intrigue with potato cigars and kelp crisps; the fronds foraged from local shores before being dehydrated and deep-fried. Only sustainable fish on the SASSI ‘Green’ list will be served at Top of The Ritz.

We love local flavours and what’s so exciting about the new menu at Top of The Ritz is that we get to play with food that is familiar to many diners, but we are presenting it in a new and exciting manner,” adds Cook.

A perfect example of that is the quirky ‘Bread And Butter’ course, which mimics a Masala Steak Gatsby. One of Cape Town’s most popular street foods, here the dish is reinvented with tomato butter, masala steak pâté and cheese spuma.

The Dessert course is equally inventive, with smoked chocolate mousse, white ‘mushroom’ and ‘smoke’ evoking a wintry walk through the forests of Table Mountain.

Wine recommendations are offered for each course, and the flavour journey is mirrored in the bespoke wine list offered at Top of The Ritz, explains Ismail: “The wines are categorised according to the wine-growing regions of the Cape, allowing diners to discover the diverse terroir of the Western Cape vineyards while they explore the flavour inspirations of Cape Town.”

The seven-course ‘Journey of Flavours Through Cape Town’ menu is priced at R850 per person, excluding beverages. Children over the age of twelve are welcome (no children’s menu is available).

There’s certainly no shortage of flavour or inspiration on offer at The Ritz this summer. Whether you’re planning lunch at the poolside or an elegant evening ‘up top’, the talented chefs at The Ritz are certainly turning up the heat in Sea Point this summer.

For restaurant and special event bookings or enquiries email: info@theritzcapetown.co.za or book online at www.theritz.co.za.

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Blissfully Off the Grid at Cabine Du Cap

The beautiful view from Cabine Du Cap

As we make our way off the R62 just outside Montagu, we start a slow and steady accent past rows of vibrant lemon trees of local citrus farms to Cabine Du Cap. We slowly start to feel a sense of letting go as the air becomes sweeter and the hustle and bustle of the local village fades out of sight. A sense of adventure begins to stir within . This is a moment you want to capture.

Nestled in the heart of the Klien Karoo you’ll find the blissful Cabine Du Cap awaiting you for a truly spectacular adventure.

We re greeted by the charming Joseph, Cabine Du Cap’s Onsite Manager, who checks us in and shows us around. One cannot but fall into the allure of this spectacular scenery. Not that far from the realities of day to day living, but far enough that your phone says No Service (there is however a fantastic Wifi connection available).

Once Joseph had handed us our walkie talkie and said “See you in the morning”, one gets the sense that you are on your own, in the best way possible. One begins to explore  the neat little trinkets and style with which Sam and William Mellor has set up the cabin. Sam, has given a lot of thought to the small details, so that if you need something you can be sure it’s there.

The beautiful view from Cabine Du CapThe picturesque view from our cabin looking out over the Fynbos.

At Cabine Du Cap you do nothing but relax, find a mountain to scale, or simply float in the plunge pool. You are completely surrounded by nature, and a short radio wave away from Joseph if you need anything.  There is a choice of sitting on the deck outside, or sitting inside for when the wind blows, either way you are well catered for.  Down a short path you will find the lovely plunge pool, neatly nestled into the fauna, with comfy sofas that are perfect for having evening drinks. A golden hour gin and tonic has never tasted so good.

Well used board games and painting tools lie scattered in a large box.  There’s also a well equipped kitchen to cook to your hearts content, and two braai areas to choose from. Multiple seating areas to find quiet time or indulge in afternoon reading, soaking up the sun, and of course, binoculars to test your bird watching skills. There is dramatic scenery wherever you look. Time seems to stand still.

The beautiful scenery at Cabine Du CapTime stands still at Cabine Du Cap as you look out over the beautiful scenery

The settings are picturesque and sunsets spectacular, and once night falls the stillness of the earth stands in reverence to a clear,  starlit sky.

Cabine Du Cap Outdoor Area

We also got treated to wonderful production, although I’m not sure that all guests get so lucky!

We spotted two Klipspringer in the fynbos near our

We spotted two small Klipspringer (Small Antelope) right next to us in the Fynbos. They skipped off. Image credit Wikimedia.

As you lounge your way through the day, swimming, hiking, reading, playing board games or bird watching you settle in for the sounds of nature as the night sets in. Its dark here ..You light up the house with a fire, candles, and kerosene lamps, setting the mood as you further indulge yourself in the wonder of the Klein Karoo.

After braaing, drinking and lapping it all up we all slowly slide into a gentle sleep, soaking up the fire as it burnt itself out.

Summer evening at Cabine Du Cap

We settled in for the evening, listening to the sounds of nature.

As if the little Klipspringers knew we were city slickers, not quite used to being off grid, they woke us up around 4am, feeding in the fynbos next to the cabin. Nothing like the sound of little antelope hooves rustling around the Fynbos in the black of the night to get the juices in us city folk going. 

You awake to the stillness of windless day, and the soft warmth of morning sun . The day would then begin with having  a (short) shower outside in the fresh open air, little luxuries like Africology botanical products are at your disposal. For the more adventurous, a bath stands on the open deck at the front to languish in under the open sky . We smell something delicious cooking and open the cabin to see the warm and friendly face of Joseph, happily making breakfast on the braai outside.

Cabine Du Cap's wonderful staff member Joseph making breakfast on the braai outside.We woke up to the smells of a fantastic breakfast being cooked for us on the braai by the always-friendly, Joseph.

Cabine du Cap has thought of it all. If you’re looking to get off the beaten track, find quiet, time to relax and be with nature, Cabine Du Cap provides a unique experience and are taking the art of experience to a luxurious new level of enjoyment.  

What a wonderful two days we had. Thank you Cabine Du Cap for creating this space.

Prepare for avid bird watching at Cabine Du Cap

For bookings or more information visit www.cabineducap.com.

CREDITS:
Contributor: Simon Minitzer @siflyhi
Creative Direction: Lindi Hingston and Liza Wecshta
Images: Simon Minitzer @siflyhi
Location: Cabine Du Cap @cabineducap

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The Ultimate Safari Experience at Sir Richard Branson’s Ulusaba

“The African Bush – just the thought of it conjures up some fascinating images of breath-taking wilderness, sunrise safaris and a retreat far away from the city. Here your imagination becomes reality. I hope someday we’ll be able to share this with you.” — Sir Richard Branson
Ulusaba is Sir Richard Branson’s Private Safari Game Reserve located in the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa. Ulusaba is known for the quality of its safari experience, with some of the most experienced Rangers and Trackers in the country. 
Ulusaba means “place of little fear”. That’s because the koppie where Rock Lodge sits provided the ancient Shangaan warriors with the perfect lookout point. Spend time at Rock Lodge and you’ll be flying with the eagles, or take a walk on the wild side back down to earth at Safari Lodge. In 2016, Ulusaba was voted number 1 amongst all top resorts and safari camps in Africa by Condé Nast Traveler readers.

For travellers in search of adventure, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve offers the ultimate safari experience. Located in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Reserve which borders Kruger National Park. During twice daily game drives you will have the opportunity to spot the legendary Big Five guided by expert rangers, traversing an area of 13,500 hectares. 
Ulusaba has 21 rooms and suites spread over two lodges: Rock Lodge, including the beautiful Cliff Lodge, and Safari Lodge. Rock Lodge has the best view in the Sabi Sand. Perched high on the summit of a koppie, with panoramic views over miles of bush, grab a pair of binoculars to see what you can spot. Within Rock Lodge is Cliff Lodge a two bedroom suite, perfect for some added privacy. Both Rock and Cliff Lodge are ideal for families with children of all ages.
Cliff Lodge 1 is a luxurious two bedroom suite with a spacious lounge with fireplace, separate kitchen and bar and also features a mini spa, gym and an outdoor deck with a large pool.
Cliff Lodge has some of the most spectacular views
Safari Lodge is built along the banks of the dry Mabrak riverbed and some of the rooms are built ‘tree house’ style and you really get the feeling of being in the heart of life in the bush. Your room will provide fascinating views of the animals as they stroll past on their way to the nearby watering hole.
Rock Lodge rooms are all south facing with views over the vast landscape each from their own private balcony. Rooms are spacious and offer en-suite bathrooms with spectacular views.
Pool with a view! Take in the views while having a dip or spend your time lazing on a sun lounger.

A Typical Day at Ulusaba

We thought we would give you a little taster as to what you can expect on a typical day at Ulusaba! You can do as little or as much as you like, it’s completely up to you:
5AM Rise and shine
The early morning game drive sets off at 5.30AM, but before you depart enjoy a range of early morning teas, coffees and refreshments served on the main terrace.
5.30AM Off you go
Depart on the morning game drive in an open 4 x 4 safari vehicle, stopping for refreshments in the heart of the South African bush.
9AM Breakfast time
Retreat back to the lodge for breakfast with your Ranger. 
10AM It wouldn’t be a holiday if you didn’t have a bit of R&R
Enjoy any of the spa treatments in the Aroma Boma spa or for those seeking more adventure you can get up close and personal with the animals during a walking safari (don’t worry an armed Ranger and Tracker will be with you at all times!).
1.30PM It’s lunch time
Lunch is served often on one of the sundecks.
4PM Afternoon tea
Before heading off on the evening game drive enjoy afternoon tea served on the patio.
4.30PM Game on
It’s time to depart for the evening game drive. Search for those elusive nocturnal animals after sundowner drinks served in the bush. Next it’s onto Ulusaba’s Bush observatory where one of their game rangers will give you the chance for some stargazing in the South African bush.
8PM Dinner is served!
Enjoy dinner at the Lodge or in the heart of the bush, under the African skies around a blazing log fire. Enjoy the tribal dancers and singers for a truly authentic African experience.

What’s the weather like?

The landscape changes with every season, so each visit will give you a different perspective on the
African Bush. In spring and summer (October to April) the temperature averages 34°C. The days are glorious, the vegetation lush and the nights pleasantly warm. During autumn and winter (May to September) the days are moderately warm and sunny with an average temperature of 26°C, while the nights are cool and crisp.

Make a reservation

If you’d like to plan a stay at Ulusaba the best thing to do is give them a call! Their friendly staff can answer any questions you still have and advise on availability for the time of year you’d like to stay.
South Africa – Sales and Reservations
0800 056 343 (SA toll-free)
+27 (0)11 325 4405
UK Sales and Reservations
The Metro Building, 1 Butterwick, London
W6 8DL United Kingdom
0800 716 919 (UK toll-free)
+44 (0) 208 600 0430
USA Regional Sales office (New York)
65 Bleecker Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY
10012, United States of America
877 577 8777 (USA toll-free)
+(1) 212 994 3070
To make a reservation online visit  www.virginlimitededition.com/en/ulusaba. Please note online reservations at Ulusaba are only possible when booking for stays 30 days and beyond. For stays arriving within 30 days please contact the Ulusaba team on +27 (0) 11 325 4405 or email enquiries@virginlimitededition.co.za