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1 Vineyard – 1 Place to Stay - 1 Restaurant

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Hill & Dale wine tasting

1 Vineyard - Hill & Dale

During the lockdown, we hosted several Zoom wine and food pairings, although Zoom tastings are not ideal it did mean we could host our customers from North of Scotland to London and once the wine started to flow the chat between screens was lively, to say the least! Another plus was we had several guest speakers from our suppliers in South Africa.

Today we are to meet up with Guy from Hill and Dale, he was one of our guest speakers- he gave us a talk on the Pinotage grape and how it came to be defined as South Africa’s iconic cultivar.

Ancient Cellar at Neethlingshof Winery

We are in for a treat as our tasting is to take place at Neethlingshof winery in their ancient cellar which is now used to store his wines as well as a wonderful tasting room!

Guy, is very knowledgeable and we had a lovely time tasting new vintages in a beautiful place.

Sauvignon Blanc 2006 vintage!

Tasting over we decide to have a quick snack here at the restaurant on-site. The food was very good but the highlight was Guy treated us to a Hill and Dale Sauvignon Blanc - the vintage was 2006. I think you would struggle to say the wine was Sauvignon Blanc - the look was definitely more yellow than a recently bottled wine but the taste was delicious – who says Sauvignon doesn’t age?

We were so lucky to sample this - a big ‘Thank You’ to Guy.

1 Place to Stay - Vredenberg Manor

Tonight we return to one of our favourite places to stay in this area.

Vredenberg Manor is run by Luke and Leon- these two lovely gentlemen make you so welcome - nothing is too much trouble.

The house and cottage are all beautifully decorated -each room hosts comfy beds, and lovely toiletries and they are spotlessly clean.

You have the option here to have an evening meal here in the dining room. Everything is home cooked and beautifully served- a great choice of wines is also on offer. It is so good to have this available here as the Hotel is situated a little way from restaurants – so it’s great to be able to have a top-class meal enjoy a lovely glass of wine and then upstairs to bed!

It is great to see the boys again - we were here in March 2020 when the world was turned upside down. We spent one of our last nights here and the rules were changing by the day. We were unable to go out for food - so at a drop of a hat suddenly there was a BBQ prepared and we had one of our best evenings ever in SA. One of the wonderful things about this evening was the staff at the Hotel joined us – eating, laughing and drinking with us.

The sad news on arrival here was the very jolly staff member who had been here for years died of Covid during the pandemic. She was such a character, always smiling and had looked after us so well during our past visits here - a very kind and compassionate lady.

1 Restaurant - 96 Winery Road

96 Winery Road has been recommended by one of our UK customers, it is very close to Vredenberg Manor where we are staying tonight, so we thought it would be great to visit this restaurant.

In SA they have a great way to book a table called Dineplan - it is very efficient - you are able to request time, how many diners, where you would like to sit etc.

All booked we are really looking forward to our evening.

The evening didn’t start well - we arrived and put on a very small table for two indoors (I had requested outside) - not a problem but a “sorry due to the weather we are not serving outside tonight” would have been nice.

Not a real problem, just a little annoying. Things went downhill from there- the menu was varied and a little different and the food was OK. But the service was bad- food was PLONKED on the table and the first 2 courses came so quickly. Then we were ignored and suddenly we were the only 2 people left in the restaurant. We felt completely unwanted here and in fact, really wished we hadn’t visited 96 Winery Road.

Hopefully, you have read my other blogs about places to eat and I rarely in South Africa find the service not only in restaurants but in shops garages etc unfriendly - in fact, the great service in SA is one of the reasons we enjoy our trips.

Tonight was a great disappointment I hope we were unlucky and just got them on a bad night!


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