By Kirsty Carpenter
Seriously – this local menu had our writer so deliciously stuffed, she curled up on the floor! For a long time! Check it out and weep…
Silence is golden
My ideal way to relax is to spread out on a queen-sized bed, surrounded by fluffy pillows, and watch TV. The reason? At home, I get less than a quarter of the bed. The rest is taken up by a husband and two cats. Admittedly, the cats get the majority share. As soon as I arrived at Clico Boutique Hotel in Rosebank, relax I did. And it was magnificent. My only gripe was that my room was on the ground floor, between the dining area on one side, and the conference area on the other, so it was quite noisy, and you could hear people walking past constantly.
Tip number one: book an upstairs room – bonus: you’ll have a better view of the birds building their nests.
Meal time is me time
My second-favourite thing about staying alone in a hotel, is I get to pig out – and no one will ever know. And where better to pig out than in a fine dining restaurant, known for accommodating different individuals’ dietary requirements and preferences. I, of course, had none, which is why I chose the chef’s five-course tasting menu and wine pairing. And pig out, I did – so much so, that I had to take a break. I kid you not. So much for “tasting” menu – three courses would have been more than enough for me.
Tip number two: if you choose the tasting menu, don’t finish each course – you’ll be too full otherwise.
Imagine this menu, served outside with a Norah Jones album playing in the background: butternut and carrot soup topped with roasted sunflower seeds and balsamic reduction; sesame-seared Scottish salmon with hollandaise-buttered sugar snaps (my favourite dish of the evening); Camembert- and cranberry-stuffed chicken supreme, pommes fondant served with seasonal vegetables and a mustard and Amarula cream; grilled beef, thyme risotto (delicious!), honey-glazed root veggies with a wild mushroom jus (possibly the best jus I’ve tasted); malva pudding with strawberry cream, homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh berries. And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, the sommelier got the wine pairing spot-on. As much as I enjoyed my time alone, my stay would have been just as enjoyable with a friend or partner – it would have been fun to share the tasting menu experience with someone else.
After dinner, I retired to my room, but lay on the floor, too stuffed to get onto the bed. But I couldn’t resist for long. I pulled myself up (food-baby belly included) and created my nest of pillows, as Norah Jones sang me to sleep.