Review: Cape Town mini-break at the Cullinan

2012-09-28 10:48

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There's something deliciously decadent about spoiling yourself and taking a mini-break.

Granted, if you live in Cape Town there's a great number of options, but wherever you are, there's a lot to be said for the novelty of a weekend away in your own town. As I discovered, getting away doesn't necessarily mean getting too far away.

Obviously, there are the practical advantages - why spend valuable time driving hundreds of kilometres at today's sky high fuel prices? Making it close by also allows you more money for activities or pampering during your break.

My recent escape was less than five minutes away at the Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel on the Foreshore.

Having driven past the Southern Sun Cullinan almost every day, it was wonderful to finally step inside and see how the classical theme isn't just an exterior facade and it is marked by impressively large columns and understated elegance. The higher rooms boast magnificent views stretching over the city bowl and mountain, or over the harbour and towards the Cape Town Stadium in the distance.

Getting away from your home routine, the joy of jumping into a gigantic bed made with crisp, white linen that you haven't had to wash and make-up yourself comes highly recommended. Add to that the pleasure of overindulging without having to worry about driving home - especially since the main reason for the mini-break was to experience Southern Sun's most recent Food & Dreams Gourmet evening. After five courses each paired with wine, there was no way we were in a fit state to drive home.

The Southern Sun Cullinan. Photo: Supplied

The evenings, which are to become an annual event - are an excellent way to spoil yourself and your partner, be it for an anniversary, special occasion, or just a fun night out – and even better, they offer exceptional value at R250 per head.

This included a glass or two of bubbly (Desiderius Pongracz) on arrival at the Peachtree Restaurant, and then a different Durbanville Hills or Nederberg wine to complement each of the five courses. These started with an exotic Asian vegetable broth followed by a mushroom risotto with a parmesan cheese reduction (although this was a bit too al dente for my taste). Next came the grilled quail as the entree', and then the main course was a herb roasted fillet of beef with potato fondant, truffle raviolis, red wine jus and a broccoli mousse. And if the taste-buds weren't already working overtime, the dessert medley was rich and sweet enough to round off a delicious meal.

An added bonus was having the winemakers on hand to speak about the wines, and an unexpected surprise was to be welcomed by MasterChef SA judge Benny Masekwameng, who is part of the Southern Sun group as their Executive Chef. He introduced the food and even moved around the room signing autographs and chatting to the packed restaurant.

The pool area of the Southern Sun Cullinan. Photo: Supplied

As I said, it was a very good thing we were staying over, as it was such a relief to stumble into the elevator and up to the 14th floor instead of driving home. A comfortable night in the sumptuous queen-sized bed later, we returned to the restaurant to graze on the hotel's impressive breakfast buffet, which seems to cater for every breakfast whim imaginable. I started with the mealie meal pap before finishing off with the made-to-order eggs and traditional slap-up.

By the time we got to checking out I had to loosen my belt buckle a notch, and calculated I'd probably have to walk home to burn off all the calories I'd just consumed. Good thing we didn't travel any further then.
Read more on:    tsogo sun  |  travel south africa

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