Under the omnipresent shadow of legendary Table Mountain sits The Cape Grace Hotel, quietly oozing old world charm and sophistication. One of the world’s most luxurious and stylish hotels, the boutique Cape Grace boasts enormous individually-styled guest rooms packed with antiques and artefacts, hand-painted fabrics and bowls of breathtaking protea blooms, each offering ridiculously beautiful views of the Mother City.
It is also surprisingly family friendly with everyone from the doorman to the concierge adept at identifying and satisfying the desires of every member of the family. Kids receive a personalised check-in service and a welcome gift bag pack on arrival, along with activity books and children’s robes waiting in-room. Kids can also engage in fun activities including story time in the library and cooking sessions. There’s even a treatment menu for little guests at the spa!
Conveniently located on a private quay between Cape Town’s bustling V&A Waterfront and a dazzling yacht marina, the Cape Grace offers easy access to Cape Town’s best family attractions including the Cape Wheel, as well as shopping and excellent restaurants. But when it comes to dining, any self-respecting glutton will find it hard to surpass that which is available in the hotel’s own Signal Restaurant.
Here we happily indulged in a tasting menu of inventive Cape cuisine carefully paired with a selection of hand-picked wines, surrounded by stories of the Cape’s past as told through its extraordinary murals and exquisite antiquities.
More than just dinner in a pretty room, dining in The Signal Restaurant is a sensory feast from start to finish. At crisp linen clad tables under the glittering golden light of handcrafted crystal chandeliers, we are sent on a sublime gastronomic journey through South Africa.
The innovative menu, created by Executive Chef Malika van Reenen, pays homage to the region’s rich culture with local produce and flavours, accented with European finesse.
The meal starts on a high with saffron-scented shellfish broth with slivers of poached crayfish, mussels and coconut foam. I’m already floating when I get to my starter of succulent soy-glazed quail served with crispy veal sweetbreads and miso butter, one of the most heavenly dishes I’ve tasted in recent memory.
I remain sufficiently grounded that I remember to steal a hefty sample of my companion’s starter, sticky cubes of confit pork belly with seared scallops served on a sweet potato puree topped with apple salsa, ginger and a spiral of perfectly crisp crackling.
A main of bobotie spiced springbok, served with crispy balls of butternut arancini takes us soaring further.
Dessert is a flawless Tonka bean parfait, a clever concoction of toasted caramelized hazelnut chiffon, pineapple and coconut sorbet.
It is also during this meal that the incredibly knowledgeable sommelier introduces me to the considerable delights of Pinotage, uncorking a bottle of Longridge 2014.
South Africa’s signature varietal, Pinotage is one of those ballsy yet quaffable wines that people either love or loathe. For me, it is the former. Indeed, it is love at first sip of the robustly luscious lovely, which I might add goes beautifully with the gamey bobotie spiced springbok.
While dining at the Cape Grace may be a once in a lifetime experience, it will certainly not be forgotten, and my love affair with Pinotage will last a lifetime. In fact, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to order a case.
Signal Restaurant | Cape Grace
W Quay Rd, V & A Waterfront,
Cape Town, South Africa
Ph: +27 21 410 7100
Cape Town with kids – Need to know before you go
When to visit
Cape Town has great weather and is a year-round destination.
English is widely spoken in Cape Town, though there are 11 official languages spoken in South Africa – most commonly Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans.
The Rand (R)
Voltage is 230V and 50Hz. Power outlets are round three pin sockets.
Visa & Passport Requirements
A South African tourist visa is not required for citizens of Australia for a stay up to 90 days. South Africa requires all children entering or leaving the country carry a certified birth certificate and parental consent affidavits if they are travelling with only one parent. All visitors require a passport that is valid for at least six (6) months.
Cape Town is free from malaria and safe for travellers of all age. While there are no essential vaccinations for travellers to South Africa at the time of publication, we advise visiting your family GP at least six weeks before travel for up to date advice on the latest recommendations and necessary immunisations.
In Cape Town, crime is high, but 95% of serious crime occurs in the communities of the Cape Flats area, where it is not advised to travel. Pick pockets can be an issue in the city centre and muggings are known to occur in Table Mountain National Park, so it’s best to visit with a guide and always keep cash and valuables out of sight. It is not recommended to catch public transport or walk after dark, UBERs are the safest option.
Disclosure: Mama Eats World was a guest of Signal Restaurant but all gluttony, wine wankering and views are, as always, my own.