A Camps Bay autumn sunset

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They tell us that we can expect rain tonight and tomorrow. The clouds are building, so we live in hope. There is about enough water in our reservoirs to last about 2½ months. The upside of this “Indian Summer” is that we had wonderful warm sunny weather for our activities last weekend. We have the prospect of a wonderful lunch tomorrow and regional wine festivals this week and weekend, Taste of Darling and Elgin Cool Wine & Country Festival. If it rains on those parades we’ll be very happy and so, we are sure, will be the organisers. Click on the links to see the stories of the past week; we think that you’ll enjoy them

We will be travelling in the near future and will be publishing photographs on Instagram as we move along. If you'd like to see the photographs we have posted and, perhaps, follow us, check out our site at https://www.instagram.com/fordjohnduncan/

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or click any of the links above to follow us or the following links, headings, green buttons or photographs to look at a complete story. When you reach the end of a story, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to MENU

We felt like a drive in our new car to explore breakfast somewhere different and Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek got the vote. We also intended to explore the area afterwards. We did book and were reassured by them that the breakfasts, normally served outside, would be served inside should the weather change. We hadn’t been back there since we worked at their market in 2013.....

Sometimes you just have the most perfect day and last Saturday was it. We had booked for lunch for four of us during Restaurant Week at Faber. We had eaten and really enjoyed Chef Eric Bulpitt's food when he was at Newton Johnson and this is his new restaurant. So, when Lynne spotted Faber on the Restaurant Week list, she booked. We haven't been back to Avondale for several years - we try to get around as much as possible, but there is a long list of places we want to visit

Smoking at The Test     This is not going to be a food review. There will be no links or photographs. The Test is a burger and sports bar in Sea Point, lots of TVs with sport on them, a long bar and some tables. We were invited there by friends to meet their parents and had a lovely evening with them. The hamburgers we had were good. Our waiter was pleasant. We all brought along some great wines, happy to pay the corkage. One huge problem for us: the front of the restaurant can be opened to the street, so the effluent from smokers at the tables on the pavement blows straight in to those eating inside. They allow smoking and despite asking them three times to ask patrons to stop, as it was spoiling our meal and smoking in a public place is illegal, they ignored us and actively encouraged it. So we won't be visiting again. Lynne had to use her puffer as the smoke really gets to her asthmatic lungs. And who wants constant cigarette smoke with their food? They should remember that ignorance (in both senses of the word) is no defence in law. We haven't reported them, but undoubtedly someone will

This annual festival was held on the grass at L' Avenir last weekend. It is a chance to taste some Cape Pinotages and lots of biltong. The days are still quite hot, so the wine farms were also encouraged to bring a chilled white or rosé wine so that there would be something for every taste

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This is a classic. So many of us are enjoying it on Eggs Benedict at the moment that we thought that putting the recipe here might help. It is also delicious on asparagus, broccoli, fish etc.

3 egg yolks - 1/2 lemon, juiced - 1 teaspoon cold water - 1/2 teaspoon salt - 1/2 teaspoon white pepper - 125 g salted butter

In a small glass bowl (use one that will fit over a saucepan of hot water), using an electric whisk, mix together the egg yolks, lemon juice, cold water, and pepper till they are a frothy and light mousse, doubled in volume. Have ready a saucepan of barely simmering water. Place the bowl over the saucepan. You can use a double boiler. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the water. Melt the butter and put it into a jug. Gradually whisk a thin stream of the melted the butter into the yolk mixture. Continue whisking over low heat for 8 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Do not let the mixture get too hot or the eggs will scramble. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary. Use immediately or cover with a cloth and keep in a warm place until you need it. Not longer than a couple of hours though or the sauce will spoil

Should the sauce split (the egg and butter begin to separate) add another teaspoon of ice cold water and whisk like crazy. It should come back but might be a bit thinner. Optional flavours to add are (instead of the lemon juice) white wine vinegar or a herb vinegar like tarragon (will make this a Béarnaise sauce); cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard, 1/4 t sugar and even Worcester sauce or Tabasco. However the classic is made without all these and we think is the best

Blender Hollandaise

You can also make a version of this in a blender. It is very easy. Combine all the ingredients except the butter in your blender. Blend for 5 seconds till well mixed. Melt the butter (quick in the microwave) and put it into a jug. Set your blender to a high speed and add the hot melted butter in a long thin stream, it should thicken almost immediately

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This sophisticated rosé, which we tasted at the Pinotage and Biltong festival, really impressed us. From the first mouthful, you get perfumed raspberries and mulberries. It is seductively silky on the palate, the soft juiciness has a background of structural chalky tannin to support it and the wine develops in layers on the tongue. It took us right to the South of France imagining what it might be like with a Salade Niçoise or a rich fish soup. A food wine of note. 2015 is sold out, the new vintage is on the way soon. We also have to mention the special bottle which has the punt moulded to look like a protea

 In MENU Next Week

Graham Beck at La Colombe

Taste of Darling

Elgin Cool Wine & Country


We are planning to use wine barrel staves as the covering of a pergola. If any of our wine maker readers have old barrels which have outlived their original purpose, we’d love to have them. Please let us know

Information about interesting wine, food and related events happening in the Western Cape and, occasionally, in other areas. It is as up to date as the information we have received from the various organisers. Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents. Some of this information comes to us in hugely verbose communiqués which we have to précis to make it easier for you. We will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, however caused.

If you'd like us to publish news about an event, please send us the basic details: What, where, when, price. If we have to cut it down to the size which we'll publish, it may take us too long to fit it into our very busy programme

Coming Events:

Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents.

Friday, 28 April  Five Wine Partners Dinner. The five prestigious estates that help the Vineyard Hotel produce its own-label, limited-volume wines. Diners are encouraged to book soon to avoid disappointment. The cost to attend the Five Wine Partners Dinner is R450 per person.  To book, please contact eat@vineyard.co.za or call 021 657 4500

Wednesday, 26th April – Monday, 1st May Taste of Darling Enjoy music, food, beer, wine, arts, crafts and more! www.tasteofdarling.co.za Enquiries to  taste@tasteofdarling.co.za +27 22 492 3361

Saturday, 29 and Sunday, 30 April, from 10h00 until 17h00 daily Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival. Early bird entry tickets to the festival cost R140 per person (over 18's) and can be bought online from www.webtickets.co.za and includes your tasting glass, festival programme, access to participating farms, live entertainment and wine tasting of a selection of three (3) wines of your choice at any of the participating wine estates

Sunday, 30 April Groote Post March Country Market For further information on the Groote Post Country Market, contact Eldré Strydom: 022 451 2202 or eldre@iloveyzer.co.za www.facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket  www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za Or follow on Twitter:       @GPCountryMarket

Saturday, 6th May Wade Bales “Meet The Makers” Festival - a selection of the finest artisanal producers the Cape has to offer (from wines to chocolate, craft beer to Charcuterie), meet the makers, hear their stories, sample and buy their goods too. Please note that space is limited and only pre-sold tickets (R150pp) will be available. Children under 12 enter free. Your ticket gets you a complimentary glass for unlimited tastings, together with a surprise gift and producer samplings. Book yours soon through Quicket or call us on 021 794 2151 for more info.

Saturday, 6th and Sunday, 7th May Riebeek Valley Olive Festival. R80 for adults (under 18 free) gets you a free glass of wine and entrance to all 7 venues Tickets from www.webtickets.co.za Enquiries: admin@riebeekvalleyolivefestival.co.za

Thursday, 11th May  Tasting at Caroline's Fine Wine Cellar, Cape Town. Discover BEAUJOLAIS and CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE.   R350 p/p. To book please click here or e-mail Lyzette on carowine@mweb.co.za

Tuesday, 16 to Wednesday, 17 May from 17h00 – 21h00 Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival at Summer Place, 69 Melville Road, Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Tickets from www.webtickets.co.za (R200 online at Webtickets & R220 at the door): booking now. For further details contact Juliet Cullinan on juliet@julietcullinan.co.za    

Friday, 19th to Sunday 21st May The Franschhoek Literary Festival. Programme for the festival is available at www.flf.co.za. Tickets will be available on www.webtickets.co.za from Saturday, 18 March 2017

Thursday, 25th May Tasting at Caroline's Fine Wine Cellar, Cape Town.   BRUWER RAATS top end Chenin Blanc and Cabernet R150 p/p. To book please click here or e-mail Lyzette on carowine@mweb.co.za

Saturday, 27 May Shiraz & Charcuterie at Anthonij Rupert Wyne in Franschhoek on (12pm to 5pm). Pre-booking is essential as tickets are limited. Your tickets, which cost R220 per person, include entry as well as tastings of the wines on show. Book directly via www.webtickets.co.za.

It has information about interesting wine, food and related events happening in the Westerm Cape and, occasionally, in other areas. It is as up to date as the information we have received from the various organisers. Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents. Some of this information comes to us in hugely verbose communiqués which we have to précis to make it easier for you. We will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, however caused.

It you'd like us to publish news about an event, please send us the BASIC details: What, where, when, price. If we have to cut it down to the size we'll publish, it may take us too long to fit in to our very busy programme

We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wineCathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here

The Hurst Campusan accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, has a variety of courses. See the details here

In addition to his Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here

Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here

Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia

We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit. 

18th April 2017

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