By Joanne Gibson
This luxury boutique hotel in Paarl is managing to infuse heritage with innovation and elegance with easy approachability.
Physical Address: Plantasie Street, Paarl.
Call 021-863-5100 or visit www.granderoche.com.
Boasting a gracious 18th-century manor house, perfectly manicured gardens, five-star luxury accommodation and one of the best fine-dining experiences in the country, the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl has always epitomised Cape hospitality at its most elegant. But while regulars (mostly from overseas) have always known that this grande dame of the Winelands has a twinkle in her eye, many locals have felt a bit shy to visit – perhaps intimidated by the thought of things like the famous 12-course gourmet dinner at Bosman’s Restaurant, and all the cutlery and currency it implied.
ON THE MENU
The lunchtime special allows South Africans to experience the ‘classic international’ cuisine of Michelintrained executive chef Roland Gorgosilich without having to pay ‘classic international’ prices. The cost is just R120 per person for two courses (or
R210 with wines chosen by sommelier Josephine Gutentoft) and R155 per person for three courses (R290 with wines). This special runs until 30 April. I simply couldn’t manage three courses on a sweltering Paarl day. Next time I’ll choose air conditioning over the gorgeous rose garden, valley and mountain views from the terrace – the point being that there will definitely be a next time. Chef Roland prides himself on infusing classic cuisine with imagination and innovation, and his menus change weekly.
On a cooler day, I might have gone for spiced beef tartare with quail egg and coriander mayonnaise followed by beef fillet stroganoff with spinach spätzle (and crème brûlée to finish me off completely). But on this occasion, I opted for an exquisite salmon trout and sprout creation in a bowl of potatoand- leek soup followed by catch-of-theday hake raised to new levels of flavour and delicacy on a bed of root vegetables. Bosman’s Restaurant offers a bistro menu at lunch and is open to hotel residents for lunch and dinner on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The restaurant is open to all patrons for dinner from Thursday to Sunday.
At Bosman’s, elegance now combines with easy approachability and even the tasting menu (available in the evenings only) has become a far more manageable six courses, including amuse bouche and sorbet (R620 per person excluding wines) with an optional cheese course (R660 per person, excluding wines).