Friday, January 10, 2014

The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate 2014

I am super amped for tomorrow's L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate! It's the foodie, festive, fabulous event that kicks off every social calendar in Cape Town...

In building up to tomorrow's big event, I spoke to one of SA's top fashion designer's Malcolm Kluk of KLûK CGDT. 



Here are his top fashion tips for tomorrow:


Me: What fashion trends are super hot right now for men?
Malcolm: Overall the mood is dark, with lots of blues as the underlying palette. Fabrics are varied from denim and wool to lightweight pyjama silks. Floral is a strong print, again in a darker more sinister way and the silhouettes are very mid-century, think Cuba in the 40's and 50's.
In SA we are seeing the hipster movement show it's beard in the mainstream which works in the global scheme too. As well as sporty influences on silhouettes following the ladieswear bowling jackets and trainers.

Me: And women?
Malcolm: Womenswear is more varied. Influences range from the 40s, to sport and tribal with minimal silhouettes with architectural cuts, particularly in sleeves. Grunge is also veering its ugly head. Grey, navy and pink are strong colours with accents of metal and red, white and blue (but not together) Prints continue the tribal theme in geometrics and more animal and floral continues from last season, but the biggest newest look is the Check. Fabric surface interest is also huge with embroideries and tactile fabrics like faux fur. Leather and lightweight make a great juxtaposition.

Me: What shade of blue is the one to go for?
Malcolm: We always love Navy, but with the trend for prints, all blues are fair game. Our least favourite would be airforce or pilot blue.

Me: Hat or hairpiece?
Malcolm: Both! Hats are taking over from fascinators, but hair is such a strong part of identity, pieces are being adopted not only by black women for weaves, but all women as a means of changing their look instantly.

Me: Accessory of the moment for men?
Malcolm: Accessories are minimal. Sandals are the biggest footwear option for smarter event as well as platforms and even a bit of a heel on shoes. sunglasses are dark or tortoiseshell with thick frames, neckerchiefs are showing up all over as well as chunky watches and bracelets.
The newest accessory trend would be SPANX for men (control underwear)

Me: And women?
Malcolm: Womenswear accessories are a little confusing in that they don't stick to a specific era. Sunglasses are big and chunky like men in black and tortoise. The cats eye continues and gold lenses are newest. Bags are probably more forties inspired boxy and medium sized and the framed clutch is still the only choice for evening. Shoes are losing the platform but heels are chunkier and odd heights. The Chelsea is the boot of the season. Stud shoes should be put in storage, instead look for patterns and prints or vibrant colours. Headbands are a new look for headwear. For jewellery the chandelier is losing its light. Charm braces and statement neckwear are more now, also gold jewellery as opposed to white metal.

Me: What will you be wearing?
Malcolm: We'll be taking as much advice from ourselves above as we can.

Me: Top rescue tip for those who accidentally spill wine on their LQP dress?
Malcolm: Plain water is the best to dilute the stain, but ultimately forget about it or go home.

For more information on the event, visit: http://lqp.co.za/
General tickets start at R250.

See you there!



Monday, December 2, 2013

Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival 'The 'Magic of Bubbles' 2013

I've been so busy lately I haven't had a chance to sit-down, breathe and blog. But, a great way to kick-start December is to share my experience of this past weekend's Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival 'The 'Magic of Bubbles', Presented by Mastercard.

I was invited to experience the VIP Gourmet Theatre, which featured amazing cheese and charcuterie as well as a fabulous lunch by Chef de Cuisine Chris Erasmus of La Motte's Pierneef a la Motte restaurant.

The weather was gorgeous and hot with a breeze and the crowds were all dressed beautifully in black & white with 'stripes and dots' - the theme for this year's event. MCC producers participating in this year’s festival include (among others) Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, La Motte, Boschendal, Leopard’s Leap, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Graham Beck Wines, Krone, Simonsig, Steenberg and Villiera. Some of France’s best Champagnes will be represented by brands such as Billecart Salmon, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot.

And so it began...

The VIP Gourmet Theatre at the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival 'The 'Magic of Bubbles', Presented by Mastercard

My Champagne partner in crime for the day - looking dashing in black and white - the theme colour for every Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

Our lunch table at the Gourmet Theatre - with The Food Fox and Neil Pendock in the background

The most incredible cheeses were on offer! Divine goat's milk cheese and creamy blue!

Charcuterie by Bread & Wine chef, Neil Jewell was showcased - love the new wagyu beef salami

Veuve Clicquot winemaker Pierre Casnave

a selection of cheese and charcuterie

A healthy pouring of Veuve Clicquot to pair with the cheese and charcuterie

ME!
Chef Chris Erasmus of La Motte's Pierneef A La Motte restaurant preparing our starter

starter: potato nests, smoke salmon mousse and quails egg

The Food Fox's husband enjoying his starter

Mr fabulosity enjoying his starter and wine

Mr fabulosity enjoying his starter and wine - hmmm delish!

Chris Erasmus explaining and demonstrating how to make the main course (with presenter Colin Moss on the right)

ME (again) sipping more Veuve Clicquot
Main course: Smoked and pickled lamb, sweet corn and vanilla cromesquis, wild barley and watermelon bbq sauce - very rich indeed! Thank goodness the food fox husband was there to help me finish this course!

My favourite course: DESSERT! Not a usual choice for me as I love savoury over sweet anyday! I do love berries though, and this sorbet was delish! The tart was a wood-roasted pumpkin and ginger flower pot, hence my love for it!

Out into the field we went, tasting the bubblies on offer at the stands. Here, Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose - my first choice of the afternoon

Fancy little MASTERCARD card with credits for Champagne and MCC tastings. Each card contained 10 tastings... we went through three after our lunch. Good Work I'd say!

Loved the Claudia 2008 Brut to the left!

The range of bubbleis from Domaine des Deux

De Wetshof Estate bubbly: De Wetshof Estate Methode Cap Classique Pinot Noir Brut 2008

Loving the new Groote Post labels - the Aurelia (private label produced by the winemaker is delish! And that Brut Rose is the new Old Man's Sparkle)
Maison's maiden bubbly is a superb: fresh crisp green apple bouquet with a dry style-mineral yeasty flavour.

tasting manager and sommelier at the Maison estate Alice Mfundisi - she always gets me into trouble... "bottom's up!"

Love the packaging of this bubbly box: holds 5 bottles of GM&AHRens Cap Classique

Tasting of the boutique bubbly: GM&AHRens Cap Classique

Chabivin's MCCs.... and this was the last that I could taste...
... although Mr Fabulosity rushed back to Haute Cabriere to grab a glassful before for the shuttle ride home to Cape Town!

For more information on the Bubbly fest, visit:
http://franschhoek.org.za/

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wine Tasting in the 'Burbs: Beau Constantia, Constantia Glen and Groot Constantia

the view from Beau Constantia

We recently spent an afternoon visiting the Constantia Wine Valley to do some wine tasting of course.
Our first stop was Beau Constantia. It was my first time visiting the winery and I was very impressed.

They have the most gorgeous views overlooking the Constantia vineyards and the city of cape Town beyond. I also love their labels! The Pas de Nom white (R75) has a really cool illustration of a beard and mustache. A great bottle to give to your hipster friends sporting the same ginger beards in real life.

They offer food and wine pairings - lovely looking canapes - and two types of tastings. One offers the basic wines in the Pas de Nom range - 3 of them for R20 - and the other tasting features 2 extra wines (The Beau Constantia range) for R50.

Pas de Nom white wine

Beau Constantia range

Beau Constantia

Wine tasting at Beau Constantia
For more information, visit http://www.beauconstantia.com/

The Beau Constantia tasting room is open daily from 10am to 4;30pm. 021 794 8632

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Next we went to Constantia Glen, literally down the road from Beau Constantia. I've been to Constantia Glen a couple of times, but we were taking some oversees visitors and it is great to revisit a wine farm to try new vintages. I love the 2012 Constantia Two white blend.


They also offer some platters for snacking on and a lovely seating area for summer sipping.

For more information, visit: http://www.constantiaglen.com/constantia-glen-wine-contact.htm

The tasting room is open until 5pm during the week and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Groot Constantia

Our third and final stop was Groot Constantia. I haven't been to this tasting room in a while. I used to go years ago, when I first moved to Cape Town, but now I normally go through to the restaurants directly. The tasting room is quite big and the wine informants are very friendly and, well, informative!
We had a great time!!

I do love their shiraz (no surprises) hashtagshirazlover (R894 per case of 6)

I also love their 2012 Chardonnay. It's wooded, full bodied and delicious - another great white wine for summer. (R930 per case of 6)


Groot Constantia tasting room

Groot Constantia tasting room

For more information, please visit: http://www.grootconstantia.co.za/
At only R30 per person all the wines may be tasted and bought.
The Groot Constantia tasting room is open daily, until 5pm.

Hartenberg Estate - Where Shiraz Lovers Meet


Hartenberg Estate

I've been a fan of the Hartenberg Stork Shiraz for years and the go-to (affordable) Cab Sauv Shiraz blend. But I wasn't that familiar with their other wines.

I was lucky enough to visit the farm for the first time the other day and do a vertical tasting of their Gravel Hill.

A bit of background:
The Gravel Hill Shiraz is the estate's ultra-premium Shiraz. It's harvested from a single block only.
Before even becoming commercially available, accolades for the Gravel Hill already included earning the highest price for any Shiraz at the 2007 CWG Auction (average R580 per bottle) and the second highest price for any wine at the auction ever. It is also the longest running wine at the CWG Auction.

Hartenberg Estate wine tasting room food on offer

Hartenberg Estate wine tasting

Hartenberg Estate wine tasting

Hartenberg Estate wine tasting of the Gravel Hill Shiraz
But more importantly, it is delicious!

My vertical tasting ran from 2005 to the 2009 vintages. I loved the 2005 and 2006 the best!
The 2009 is not yet available for sale.
Wine lovers can buy the 2008 vintage, of which only 550 bottles were made - seriously limited edition stuff! Perfect for wine collectors. 

The farm also offers amazing olives and snacks as well as a cellar tour for those who book.
It's really interesting to take the tour for the history of the estate. The door is one of the oldest existing in the Cape and has a giant Key to match.

Hartenberg Estate

Hartenberg Estate old cellar door

ancient key for the Hartenberg Estate old cellar door

The winery is open from 7 days a week, closing at 3pm on the weekends.

For more information, visit 021 865 2541.
Or visit: http://www.hartenbergestate.com/

#shirazlover