Eating at Grootbos is part of the experience of your visit. Be sure to arrive early enough for lunch on the day of your check-in.
Grootbos’s all inclusive rate includes 3 meals a day, and you are encouraged to arrive early on check in day to make sure that you enjoy the lunch. The lunch menu consists of a buffet starter, a choice of 3 main courses and 1 dessert and is served from 1 to 3pm. You can also choose to have a picnic lunch which would be a great option if you wanted some privacy, or to explore the estate. We had lunch on the Friday, but only from the buffet as we had already eaten earlier in the day. We did not eat lunch on the Saturday before we left, even though we could have. We were far too full from breakfast. Grootbos advertises that they will cater for all dietary requirements and while I was choosing my lunch I was asked exactly what I could eat being sucrose intolerant. I explained that the ginger beer we were given when we arrived was not a good idea as that had far too much sucrose in it. I left the rest up to the chef based on what I had told the staff.
Before supper Dave and I sat at the bar and we were served canapés which consisted of a choice of bread bites with balsamic onions and tzatziki, and olives. We both had a single malt whisky and the barman was able to offer us a wide selection and knew what he was talking about when it came to our choice, both of the whisky and the wine. Dave had a Laphroig (R40) and I had the Dalwhinnie (R60). The alcohol selection is very good and varied and there is an extensive wine list to back it up. The wines are expensive with an average price of R200 for red wines. We chose the Springfontein Pinotage 2007 (R195). This terroir selection wine is from Stanford and has a distinct taste of caramelized banana and has a deep berry on the nose.
After enjoying our pre dinner drinks we made our way to the dining area and sat at one of the lovely large tables. The chairs are comfortable and the background music is audible, but soft enough so that you can talk. The fireplace was on which took the chill off the air. Dinner was a relaxed affair and the service perfect – they waited until we were both finished each course before clearing our plates, and there was an adequate gap between dishes.
The supper menu changes every night according to the staff, and I was told which dishes were high in sugar before I made my choice for the evening meal. Rolls and bread are served with a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that is poured for you and I indulged in one of the soft rolls before dinner. We started with an amuse bouche of white fish tartare which had an interesting texture. Out of the two starters, Dave and I both chose butter poached prawn which was served with a maple glazed apple and bacon. The prawn was cold and the apple hot, and I could not find or taste any bacon on the dish. The hot and sour tom yum soup is served every night at Grootbos and so we both chose that. It had a good prawn bisque flavour and was so nice that I have made this at home since our visit. The palate cleanser was a raspberry and pineapple sorbet which was mild in flavour but really worked in terms of clearing the palate. Dave chose the roast fillet of karan beef as his main course which he claimed to be really good. I had the grilled kingklip which was slightly watery. It was served with a pea and chorizo velouté. The pea flavour was great, but the overcooked dry chorizo did not compliment the dish at all. The tatsoi and truffle salad was perfect even with the addition of raw onions which I normally do not eat. Dave and I both had the fruit tian for dessert. It consisted of a rooibos cake, berry mouse and orange parfait and even though it was very nice, it lacked a punch of flavour. The restaurant accommodated our request for a cheese platter, which we shared after our desserts. This is actually one of the dessert options and it had a fantastic array of local cheeses and a very tasty homemade spicy apple compote. All in all the meal was satisfying, albeit missing a few pinches of salt and the little something that will elevate it to a flavour packed experience.
The continental breakfast is served buffet style and growing the future provides the food. This is one of many social projects that Grootbos is involved in. The hot breakfast selection is excellent. I really like to indulge in breakfast, and so I started my meal with fresh fruit. I then had a bowl of very good muesli and there was a wide variety of ‘add ons’. This part of my breakfast was accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice. I ordered a farm benedict for my hot meal and the poached egg was yolkless and served with an acidic hollandaise sauce, a lovely soft muffin, bacon and Swiss chard. I moved on to croissants with the tastiest fynbos honey. I continued with a smoked salmon trout and a selection of cheeses and tasted the goats milk cheese, camembert, brie and a delicious hard cheese. If you cannot stay for breakfast, they will pack a meal for you to eat on the road!
The food is generous and overall, 3 wonderful meals a day can be expected.
Disclosure: Dave and I were invited to spend one night at Grootbos in exchange for a blog post about their month of love promotion, and a blog post about our visit. We were responsible for the payment of our drinks and any other additional charges. This post is in line with my blogging policy.
I have broken down my experience into three posts. This is the second post.
What I blogged:
- two years ago – Friday’s Food Quiz Number 52