I recently snuck out of Cape Town for a lovely wintery weekend away to the Winelands and a stay at The Grande Roche in Paarl. This grand dame of a hotel underwent a renovation a few years ago and I hadn’t been in a while. May is a stunning time to visit. The leaves are a riot of autumnal colour and still clinging to the vines.
I stayed in one of the Vineyard suites which weaves around a small vineyard on the property. Each suite has a little stoep so you can gaze over the Paarl Valley and the Groot Drakenstein Mountains in the distance. Nestled under the Paarl Rock behind the hotel, this is a great base to explore the surrounding Winelands area. Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek are within easy reach.
The room was spacious and luxurious with a separate bathroom and lounge area with a TV & mini bar. It’s a very tranquil setting.
This was also an opportunity to taste the dishes of chef Kevin Grobler in The Restaurant at Grande Roche. His food ethos focused on sourcing the best available, sustainable, and local ingredients. He runs his kitchen with a zero-waste strategy, making sure everything gets used in some way. They serve breakfast, lunch, high tea, and dinner. Special wine dinners are planned throughout the year and you can see what is coming up here.
- Duck Rillette, Brioche, Date Chutney, Homemade Ricotta.
- Lightly Cooked Crayfish Carpaccio, Fermented Citrus and Dill Dressing, Puffed Rice, Toasted Nori.
The mains were delicious and robust with generous side portions of perfectly cooked green vegetables and Jerusalem artichokes.
- Duck, Burnt Cabbage Purée, Charred Cabbage, Marinated Carrots, Duck, and Black Garlic Jus.
- Roasted Pork, Burnt Apple and Miso Gel, Edamame, and Apple Slaw, Pork, and Apple Cider Jus were both standout dishes with every element cooked to perfection.
Breakfast is served back in the restaurant or in your room if you prefer. There is a small buffet with juices, fresh fruit, and pastries with cooked items chosen off a menu. I loved sitting outside on the verandah on a sunny autumn day.
A few more pics from my stay:
I stayed as a guest at the Grande Roche
The Grande Roche Hotel:
1 Plantasie St, Paarl, 7646, South Africa
+27 (0)21 863 510
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