We arrived at dusk and the view from the lush green lawns in front of the Manor House veranda which extends across the vineyards all the way to the sunset pink mountains on the other side of the valley was just beautiful. I took Photogirl along as my date and by the time we stood underneath the impressive chandeliers in the lounge of this Great Dame of Paarl, I think we were both relieved that our kiddos had not tagged along. I also wanted to remarkably improve my English, but that was probably just the feel of Old English Colonialism whispering in my ear.
Food and Wine pairings are regular and popular events in food circles. For those passionate about food and wine, the opportunity to taste new vintages and appreciate them once they have been well paired with different foods is always an evening well spent.The Grande Roche Hotel has created an evening called “Bubbles and Braai” which celebrates both imported and local Cape Bubblies by pairing them with the most South African of traditions, the braai. Executive Chef, Roland Gorgosilich and his team prepared a full and varied braai buffet on the terrace next to the pool deck of the Grande Roche.We could choose from a large variety of braaied proteins including; grilled sardines, lamb cutlets, hanger steak, kebabs, whole beef roasts and pork ribs.Serving at the grill was a young and determined foreign chef who referred to the aforementioned pork ribs as “Ribs of the swine”, and of course Photogirl and I found that endlessly amusing.Also on the buffet were freshly baked breads, salads, side dishes and sauces which made for full and rather daunting plates. Because I have clearly lived in Paarl for far too long, I did of course leave room for my hot off the coals braai broodjie. …
Also on the buffet were freshly baked breads, salads, side dishes and sauces which made for full and rather daunting plates. Because I have clearly lived in Paarl for far too long, I did of course leave room for my hot off the coals braai broodjie. …
In Ireland, Prosecco had stolen our hearts and quite understandibly Photogirl and I made every effort to locate the promised Prosecco within the first hour of arriving at “Bubbles and Braai”. The superb wine making skills of Bottega, the Italian producer of Prosecco and one of the labels which formed part of the Grande Roche Bubbly Route did not disappoint. There were two other bubblies for tasting; the first came from Domaine des Dieux boutique winery in the Hemel-en-Aarde region, which offered a pink and a white MCC; and the second, was female winemaker Melissa Nelsen’s delightful Genevieve MCC which she showcased along with her own perfume (talented lady).
Singer Cat Simoni entertained guests with anecdotes from her travels and a varied musical set which stretched all the way from Barbara Streisand to Miriam Makeba. Cat’s sweet voice; the attentive and friendly staff of the Grand Roche Hotel and the gloriously warm Boland evening certainly set a charming backdrop to the “Bubbles and Braai” event.Another highlight of the evening for me personally was meeting the so very lovely established and experienced food writer, Jane-Anne Hobbs of the blog “Scrumptious”. (Jane-Anne attended with her charming husband Phillip.) Jane-Anne published her cookbook Scrumptious Food for Family and Friends in July 2012. Jane-Anne is both on the speakers panel and leading a hands on workshop at the upcoming South African Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba, and I am so looking forward to connecting with her again.
The Grande Roche Hotel also provided a photo booth for their guests to create a take home memory of the “Bubbles and Braai” evening. Photogirl and I were not about to pass up this fine fun; and as you can see it was a hoot!
On the first weekend of February, I was invited by the Grande Roche Hotel which is right here in my own hometown of Paarl to attend their February Bubbles and Braai evening. I am always excited to attend events that are local and relevant to my community, but even if I wasn’t, the invitation said Bubbles and so naturally,I said “Yes”.The Grande Roche Hotel has a heritage dating back to 1715, and the hotel is nestled up against the bottom of Paarl Mountain on the site of the historic De Nieuwe Plantatie farm. Although the hotel and the grounds have been impeccably maintained there certainly remains a majestic feel of old worldliness about the Grande Roche.
The next “Bubbles and Braai” event is scheduled for the 1st March 2014. The wines for this upcoming evening will include Rickety Bridge, Villiera and Silverthorn Wines.The entertainment will be provided by the band ‘THE MIX’.Contact the hotel directly for “Bubbles and Braai” ticket costs and reservations: 021 863 5100Thank you to our host Beryl Eichenberger from Hippo Communications for the “Grande Invitation”.