Jasmine-scented breezes, majestic mountain views and expansive African skies.
With the arrival of summer at the Mount Nelson Hotel, we invite you to enjoy languid days in our lush gardens and amazing new outdoor dining options.
On December 10, our legendary pink retreat is reopening its doors, allowing guests to once again kick back, relax and enjoy the open-air pleasures of our leafy garden estate.
Renowned Chef Rudi Liebenberg has curated a range of tempting al fresco experiences, from picnics and afternoon teas to sparkling moments on the Planet Bar terrace.
New for this season we’re introducing a novel culinary service: gourmet picnics by the pool or in the shade of our timeless trees. Choose to lounge by the heated swimming pool, soaking up the vistas, or have your basket laid out in a sheltered spot in the garden. Delve into the wicker hamper to discover light finger food delicacies, Winelands cheeses, artisanal Bosman, Spier and Jewell’s charcuterie served with homemade atjars, pickles and tapenades, and much more. Chef Rudi, who believes in sourcing tasty regional produce as ethically as possible, suggests you add some sparkle with a local Cap Classique, or why not splash out with a vintage Champagne?
Artful afternoon teas
Afternoon Tea has always made iconic moments at the Mount Nelson. Imagine the scene: debonair, fedora’d Henry Dike plays the grand piano as a silver tiered stand, glittering with sweet gems, is brought to your table. The spread showcases local and global classics, including traditional melktert with Cape Malay cinnamon and cardamom, baked cheesecake with white chocolate and tangy berry tartelettes.
And that’s just the start. Baskets of warm, freshly baked scones and traditional koesisters sprinkled with coconut beckon you to indulge, while savoury options include the hotel’s famous mushroom empanadas, cauliflower and onion pakoras, Farmer Angus beef frikkadels, and delicate finger sandwiches with enticing fillings such as smoked Franschhoek trout. Going green? Treat your taste buds to Chef Rudi’s imaginative plantbased menus.
As for the brew itself, we offer an unparalleled selection of premium leaf and flowering teas from all over the world, as well as healthy local infusions. Make sure to try our signature Mount Nelson Tea, an exquisite blend with pink rose petals, or opt for the earthy, yet delicate orange and spice rooibos from the Cederberg.
Linger in the conservatory or outside on the terrace until the shadows start to lengthen. It’ll soon be time for a sundowner…
Al fresco dining on the Terrace
Eating outdoors is a particular pleasure of summer, and our picturesque terrace is perfect for sampling the daily surprises on Chef Rudi’s chalkboard. Cape Wild Foods, plant-based and slow food dishes feature prominently on his three-course lunch and dinner menus.
We dare you to resist dandelion malfatti (sourced from the hotel garden), our perennially popular
Malay and Indian chicken curry, and chewy-crispy pizzas made with slow fermented dough.
The Sky’s the Limit at the Planet Bar
The Planet Bar menu has been newly curated so that you can drink, dine and toast any moment of the day. A light bite menu features brinjal biltong, General Tso’s cauliflower and mini puri balls with ceviche, as well as dishes such as Madras roasted lamb rib and a deliciously old-fashioned ice-cream sandwich. All of which keeps you rooted to this little piece of heaven on earth until the stars – and the cocktails – come out.
After hours of balmy sunshine and mind-blowing foodie experiences, nothing tops the day off more perfectly than a night in one of our sought-after Garden Cottage Suites. Cocoon yourself in a private hideaway in this row of eight historic terraced cottages. Relish the blooming garden and trellised verandah, as well as discreet, private access to the hotel’s second swimming pool. After a blissful night’s rest, you’ll be raring to do it all again.
Note: for every Afternoon Tea ordered, R10 will be donated to Soupathon, a local soup kitchen that feeds close to 50,000 hungry people every week. The Mount Nelson has been supporting Soupathon since it was launched just after the nationwide lockdown began on 27 March 2020.