I’m jealous of people who come to Cape Town and get to experience it as a holiday destination. While I realize this is completely irrational as I get to live here, that escapism and feeling of “difference” when you come to CT is just so damn great. I never feel that around here, it’s just, home. When I was invited to go and spend a night at Tintswalo Atlantic out in Hout Bay, I thought it would be no different.
Boy, was I wrong.
Tintswalo Atlantic built by the Corbett family, is an eco-friendly, sustainable hotel in the Table Mountain National Park and Heritage site. Completely hidden from view, it’s nestled between mountain and sea just off of Chapman’s Peak.
From the second I arrived I was in awe. Not because of over the top, pompous extravagance, but because of the understated perfection and attention to detail at every turn.
Each of the 10 suites and the double presidential suite, look out over the sea, complete with private balcony for a spot of whale watching. In the main area is an open plan kitchen (just my style as I love to watch people cook), an inside and al fresco dining area, a large deck, heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, lounge and bar.
From the wishing stones that they write your name on, which you throw over the main deck into the sea; to unique themed bedrooms and magnificent bathrooms (my bathroom was bigger than my room and bathroom at home); a beautifully-conceived and even more beautifully executed menu from the 5-star kitchen – it was 24 hours of happiness.
So, let’s look at some food. (photos aren’t so great this time. I blame darkness and alcohol)
Zucchini and truffle soup
Served with a dash of cream – a delish, light start to the meal. It tasted like more.
Citrus braised lamb shank pie, with a pistachio crusted lollipop, mushroom veloute, and pomegranate jus.
Does that not just sound magical? In my opinion, YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG WITH PIE! The very slight citrus flavour cut through the richness of what could have been a very heavy starter. The pastry was deliciously flakey, the nutty “lollipop” was tender and perfectly seasoned, the mushroom sauce gave a little creaminess, and the pomegranate the final sharp, fresh kick to wake it all up!
Gorgonzola crusted beef fillet with sweet potato puree, savoury leeks, braised baby brinjal and cranberry jus.
This could not have been better (maybe if there was more and I could eat it every day). The perfect winter’s main course, the steak was simple, cooked to perfection, with a divine, pungent crust. The homely sides complemented one another beautifully, and the jus added just enough sweetness to the mix.
Soft chilli chocolate cake, with pine-nut brittle, mango puree, orange chips and Amarula mousse.
When I first looked at the menu, I decided I would have the more fresh and fruity dessert. But when we got to dessert choosing time, the wine told me that chocolate had to happen. And I am glad it did! I really don’t like chilli chocolate, but it was so mild I couldn’t even taste it. All I could taste was a decadent, moist chocolate cake. The pine-nut brittle gave divine texture, the fruity elements added, well, fruitniness to balance out the chocolate, and the mousse gave the fragrance that only Amarula drinkers know.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! BREAKFAST!
Even after eating a mountain of food the night before, I woke up to a three course breakfast. Homemade granola with yogurt and fruit, followed by a selection of cheeses, cold meats, smoked salmon and pastries, then a stunning rye topped with creamy mushrooms, rocket, poached eggs and roasted baby tomatoes (the others had bacon on theirs too). Talk about a good start to the day.
Tintswalo Atlantic is an absolute dream. It is the kinda place that once you’ve visited, other hotels don’t quite measure up. While it’s not quite in my price range to stay there they are having a Winter Warmer Special as explained below. They also allow in day visitors to visit the restaurant – but you need to book in advance. While going there for the day may make me sad that I can’t sleep over, I’m DEFINITELY going back for a lunch, so I can sit back, relax and bask in the beauty of Tintswalo.
Tintswalo Atlantic winter warmer experience
The Tintwalo winter warmer retreat from March until August 31, includes accommodation, dinner and breakfast, complimentary bubbly on arrival, all tea, coffee and juices, a 30-minute spa treatment, transfers to and from the hotel, as well as walks around the Table Mountain Reserve.
For reservations and enquiries please contact Dumi by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 011 3008700.
For more photos, clickity click —> here