The Vineyard Hotel
The Vineyard Hotel in leafy Claremont in the suburbs of Cape Town is well worth a visit if you are visiting Cape Town, or indeed if you live in Cape Town and have not been there.
Your visit to The Vineyard and its beautiful gardens should really begin with a stroll down to the river to have a look at the vineyard which the hotel and Winery partners have planted on the banks of the Liesbeek River, reviving the earlier times on the property which two hundred years ago was known as Wingerd when bought by Colonial Secretary Captain Andrew Barnard and his wife Lady Anne.
Sauvignon Blanc grapes from The Vineyard’s vineyard
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay grapes have been planted there and the Hotel has a library of some 5 years of wines made from these grapes by their Winery Partners.
Monday complimentary wine tastings in The Garden Lounge
In keeping with its image as a wine oriented hotel, The Vineyard offers complimentary wine tastings every Monday evening in The Garden Lounge where representatives of wine producers offer tastings of their wines. Regular Wine Festivals and Wine Dinners take place with the Festival of Bubbles taking place on 12th March and the Pinot Noir Festival on 9th April. The first wine dinner is on 8th April when wines of the Hemel and Aarde are celebrated, this is followed on 28th April when the Hotel’s Five Wine Partners will have their wines on offer.
The Long Café
There are good places to eat in the Hotel. I often go to the Long Café for a business meeting. Lady Anne Barnard, the founder of The Vineyard, noted in one of her famous diary entries of 1798 that “The family had drank a dish of coffee with which they begin their day”. So, it is an extension of the former hospitality for which the Hotel has become well known. All the beans, used for their distinctive coffees, are sourced from individually selected, sustainably-managed estates by the Quaffee group. These are freshly roasted and blended on site at the Quaffee Roastery, adjacent to the Long Café. Freshly-roasted ‘single origin’ coffee beans as well as the unique Vineyard Blend can be purchased at the roastery. Excellent in house baked produce and light meals are available.
The Splash Café
The Splash Café which looks out over the swimming pool and the eastern slopes of Table Mountain offers lunch options from 12h00 to 16h30, which include pesto pasta with feta, artichokes and roasted peppers, grilled line fish, grass-fed dry-aged beef hamburger, 6-inch beef hot dogs with caramelised onion, pickles and mustard, and a selection of salads. There are also open bagels, sandwiches and delicious puddings.
Exotic fruit smoothies, double delicious milkshakes, classic sundowner cocktails and a stunning selection of Cape sparkling, white and red wines all feature on the extensive Beverage Menu, which also includes a variety of barista coffees.
From 17h00 to 22h00 the café becomes a burger bar which offers beef, lamb, chicken or vegetarian patties and add your favourite toppings. Cheese and charcuterie platters and summer salads are on offer as well as some dazzling desserts.
The Garden Lounge & Patio
The Garden Lounge and Patio, a place I love to visit at Lunch time. Stunning menu of light meals from salads and wraps to burgers and seafood dishes. The Snack Menu, served from 15h00 to 18h00, offers a choice of platters, sliders and quick eats from hake goujons and pork ribs to samosas and spring rolls. Both menus offer delicious desserts. For the little ones, there is a special menu with all the favourites and some treats. Lady Anne Barnard’s Afternoon Tea is served from 15h30 – 17h30 daily where a selection of cakes, pastries and savoury bites.
The Square Restaurant
The Square offers a fabulous breakfast, lunch – light and easy dishes – and dinner – classic, local and contemporary fare and seasonal, themed menus from Executive Chef, Carl van Rooyen, and is the venue where the Wine Dinners take place. Fun too is that there is a resident Sushi Chef and also a children’s menu.
Well known permanent guest
All sorts of other activities are offered to guests, amongst them, a guided garden tour and afternoon tea, the Angsana Spa, the Health and Fitness Centre and a circular jogging route. During the mid summer season, children’s activities such as treasure hunts to find the Vineyard Hotels famous tortoises.
A Banksia in full flower in The Vineyard’s Garden
A visit to The Vineyard is a special thing – if you have not been there, go!
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The Vineyard Hotel