If I didn’t tell you, would you even know it was there?! I certainly didn’t. Hidden away between the breathtaking mountains of Paarl and Franschhoek, Angala Boutique Hotel is a stunning retreat that offers peace, tranquillity and luxury in the Cape Winelands.
Myself and Bae were invited to an overnight stay to experience the Angala hospitality as well as to enjoy a preview of the Angala Supper Club Series, a unique dining experience hosted by some of our very best local chefs that will be taking place throughout 2022.
Firstly, the serenity of Angala leaves you truly floored. The facilities include a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, ozonated pool and eco pool, so there is no shortage of pampering and TLC to be explored. The eco pool was quite an experience, swimming amongst a living ecosystem of plants that left you refreshed in natural clean water and free of chemicals.
There are 10 rooms in total (6 Deluxe and 4 Luxury) and a 2 sleeper Garden Cottage. All room grades include a complimentary mini-bar along with the standard hotel amenities (tea & coffee, Wi-Fi, etc.) and in-room yoga mats. Our room was very spacious with a huge double sink bathroom, outside shower and veranda looking out across some of the Winelands best landscape!
If you haven’t already gathered from the past few paragraphs, Angala is a space where you kick back and surrender.
Now, onto the Supper Club Series. Throughout 2022, 8 chefs (partnered with 8 wine labels) will take turns to create a dining event to remember.
The preview event that we attended was divided between 3 of the chefs that will feature, each overseeing one of the three courses for the evening. Arabella Parkinson (Eat to Thrive) launched the evening with a starter that she described as “a walk around the garden”, a wholesome rainbow burst of colour on a plate. The crudité garden consisted of tamari carrots, pickled daikon, kale shards and spa peas on a bed of beetroot purée and served with a puffed cracker. It was an absolute explosion of flavour and confirmed that good, simple, fresh ingredients can blow minds if we know what to do with them. A sensory experience on a plate!
Longridge Wine Estate, one of the beverage partners of the evening, expertly paired the dish with two wines, The Emily and a 2018 Chardonnay, which went down exceptionally well.
The main course was in the exquisite hands of Aliya Ferguson (Aliya’s Vibrant Life), a chef that focuses on Persian cuisine. Fragrant and packed with flavour is how Aliya describes her food, and having now experienced it, there is honestly no better way to describe it.
We were served a Fesenjaan, a North Iranian stew traditionally made with pomegranate, walnuts and chicken but was veganised for the plant-based diners in attendance with Aubergine. It was served with tahdig rice (an incredibly delicious and challenging-to-perfect cooked rice dish) and Shirazi salad. It’s a struggle to articulate just how stunning it was.
Experience her food at least once in your life if you can.
Arendsig Wines from the Robertson Valley paired the food with 2021 Pinot Noir and a 2020 Shiraz.
As some of you may know, I’m a Theatre Kid above anything else, and the dessert was, without doubt, a piece of theatre!
From the moment Santi Louzan, the mastermind behind Chefs Table Cape Town asked us to step outside and stand around a long empty table covered with nothing more than plastic table cloth, he had us eating (almost) out of the palm of his hands.
Before our very eyes, he started creating The Pollocks. A spoon was taken to 3 different jars of green, blue and pink “liquid” and was splashed and flicked across the table cloth. It was like watching a grown man lose the plot and behave like a 3-year-old at kindergarten, and it was glorious. But it didn’t stop there.
Along the side of the table, individual portions of ingredients such as biscuit crumb, berries and ice cream were added, and a blowtorch and a marshmallow completed the tablecloth masterpiece. We were then given a spoon, got down on our haunches and ate directly from the table! It felt naughty, rebellious and wholly unsophisticated, and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!
It was paired with Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Brandy.
It was a fantastic way to end an outstanding evening.
The first of these dining events that will take place on 12th March with Santi Louzan and Sugarbird Distillery will be an immersive 7-course surprise menu at R4 900 per person sharing inclusive of accommodation, dining experience, drinks and breakfast.
This experience is quite clearly a premium spoil. An anniversary, a birthday. Would I go back again? Hell, yes?! Would I be able to afford to? Unlikely.
A huge thank you to Mira at Hot Oven Marketing for inviting us, to Jared from Jaredincpt.com for his excellent MC skills throughout the evening (as well as all the photos on this blog post) and, of course, to Angala Hotel. Their staff are some of the best!