Thursday, 21 January 2010

Not another trip!!

Cape Town this time and very good it was too. We left on the last plane out before the snow. Not entirely without incident as we stood on the runway for 2 hours having been de-iced twice . But that was all soon forgotten as we landed in 34 degree temperatures.
The sun remained shining throughout our stay and we were able to have a wonderfully relaxed time, helped no doubt by knowing just how much misery we were missing.
The food was much better this time I thought. I've often been quite critical of food in South Africa feeling it lack real craft and never quite understanding the concept of african time which translates to very long waits for even the simplest of dishes.
This year all was changed. We enjoyed an unprecedented level of food, and wine and the service could only have been described and both professional and joyful.
One wonderful lunch was at The Hidden Valley winery just north of Stellenbosch. We sat in dappled sunlight and ate delicious food , with views almost too beautiful to look at and were almost oblivious to the 46 degree temperature.
A truly special place. Other delicious meals were eaten at Fishermans in Kommetjie where we ate crayfish minutes out of the sea and, of course, the splendid Chapman's Peak hotel.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

Well it's been a hectic time here with 12 for lunch on Christmas day and many more meals eaten during this very long holiday.
Here in London the Christmas/New Year break is nearly two weeks of eating and ,more exhausting, of food shopping! There are so many places you need to visit to buy the ingredients for the perfect meal:the organic bakery, the fresh fish shop, the farmer's market the supermarket and the cheese shop. The miles I must have walked and the bags I carried. But everything was safely gathered in eventually and once the turkey was delivered we could all relax understanding at last that we would not go hungry once the shops closed.
Though quite why one needs so many foods you never eat except at Christmas, I'm not sure.
I have tins of shortbread, German biscuits, mountains of chocolates and pints of cream. All balanced I hope by a couple of kilos of sprouts.

My new kitchen stood well to this test. It was me rather than the kit that was rusty, looking up recipes for the simplest of things.
It all augers well for a happy and fulfilling year of cooking and trying new ideas.