Being named the best boutique hotel in Johannesburg is no easy feat, but if you’ve ever set foot inside AtholPlace Hotel, you’ll know exactly why it received this accolade.
Originally, AtholPlace was a house owned by interior designer and owner of La Grange Interiors, Sumari Krige, who saw its potential to be turned into a boutique hotel. She made this dream a reality, and then later sold the property to a hotel group.
It was in 2013 that Ed and Anka Zeeman, owners of the Morukuru Family group, took over the property and turned it into the success that it is today. A series of renovations ensued over a period of two years, as well as the addition of the exclusive-use AtholPlace Villa, adjacent to the hotel, and in March 2015 they officially re-launched the property.
On 19 January 2017, we visited AtholPlace Hotel for an evening of fine dining. Michelin Star Chef Quentin Joplet from France and Willie Malherbe (resident executive chef at AtholPlace) put their chef’s hats together to present us with a spectacular 7-course menu. The stunning gardens, fairy lights, a hilarious mime and French-inspired décor set the stage for what would be a wonderfully beautiful evening! It’s hard to imagine that we were right in the middle of the ever-so-busy Sandton, and not really seated outside of a lovely French café in the south of France.
The menu was a fusion of both French and South African cuisine, starting with foie gras terrine with pineapple chutney and mango mousse paired with a beautiful Besserat Brut Rose Champagne. Next on the menu, it was South Africa’s time to shine and we indulged in paneer palak stuffed baby squid with butter curry, paired with my personal favourite, La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2016. Our third course was a dreamy, melt-in-your mouth crayfish thermidor, paired with La Motte Chardonnay 2015 – a match made in heaven. Roasted seabass, scallops, and pea salsa with semi-dried tomato followed for our fourth course. The star of the show was beef Rossini, potato and baby vegetables, paired with a silky La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2014. The sliced black truffle on a perfectly fried piece of steak was exactly what all of my foodie dreams are made of! This course was soon followed with a platter of brie, mascarpone and truffle, preparing our palates for the grand finale, dessert!
Dessert was a beautiful display of tarte citron, choux praline, berry pavlova and milk tart, paired with La Motte straw wine, the perfect complement to a lovely evening.
The boutique hotel has nine rooms, five of which are superior suites and four that are deluxe suites, better suited to families. All rooms are beautifully furnished and comfortable; offering complimentary Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, coffee and tea facilities, satellite TV, under-floor heating and complimentary Africology toiletries in the bathrooms.
Written by Imka Webb