Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Long Table Delights

The Long Table Delights
19 February 2013

It is so very easy to get sucked into life.  To get caught up in the day to day grind.  And before long, if you don't keep an eye, you might find that because you got sucked into life, it's sucked your life dry.

It is absolutely essential to do something very special every so often.  Something out of the ordinary. Something frivolous and fun.   Something just for you, because you deserve it too.   What point is there in living otherwise you might ask?
As a bunch of good friends, we used to regularly indulge in stuff just for us.  Something unusual, slightly indulgent, awesome and fabulous.  But as our kids have gotten bigger, it's somehow become more difficult not less.  Weekends away must be planned to not clash with tests and exams and the absolutely huge array of sports our kids indulge in too.

Us girls get together very often.  We do nights at the movies, the odd midweek supper out.  Girls meals at one another's homes, the odd meet-up for coffee or tea, even breakfast too.  The challenge comes in arranging the men (who all happen to be friends) and the kids too.

But you know what?  You have to make these things happen.  Take the initiative.  And thus, two Sundays ago, we decided that it was time to treat us adults and rightly so.  Do we not work hard every day?  Jobs, homes, kids, running around too?

One friend bravely offered her home for all of the kids (about seventeen in total) for the duration of our outing.  Her domestic worker would be there to keep an eye, but our eldest kids are all fourteen and fifteen years old.  Hardly requiring babysitters at all.  Or perhaps now, they actually really do. They have a swimming pool, which whilst we were away would be unsupervised by a swimming-abled adult (I don’t think the domestic worker swims after all), yet the strongest swimmer of the lot, is my eight year old, Cole.

And thus we set off in convoy, some even driving together, for the beautiful Stellenbosch winelands, just kilometres from our homes.  Our final destination?  A magnificent restaurant, simply called The Long Table.  Set in the very heartland of wine country, nestled in the vineyards of Dombeya farm.

The weather could not have been more spectacular.  The view incredible.  We sat at our aptly named long table with the mountains at our feet.  Beautiful big trees, dappled sunlight between the branches and leaves, a slight little breeze.  Perfection personified.

The setting truly is beyond compare.  But the glory did not just stop there.  We were a table of fourteen, with only one young waiter, yet he was brilliant.  I have gone to restaurants with a smaller number of guests, more waiters at our disposal, yet far worse service.  He was competent, friendly, professional, efficient, knowledgeable.  Not a single mistake did he make the whole afternoon.

The Long Table does not come cheap.  About that I cannot lie.  But every single thing about it is complete and utter class.  The atmosphere was relaxed and informal.  Elegant and unmarred by airs and graces.  Unpretentious. 

Our table was in fine form, with lots and lots of laughter.  Everyone relaxed and in high spirits.

The menu is not particularly big.  In fact there selection is rather small.  But every single item on it sounds scrumptious.  And is.  If I had more time, more money and a bigger stomach, I would have thoroughly enjoyed working my way through more courses.

Quite a few of us had starters, obviously everyone had a main and many had desserts too.  Every single one of us, bar none, was blown away by our meal.  Everyone was satisfied and more than happy.  The food was beautifully presented and tasted even better than it looked.

They had but a single draft on tap, but being a wine farm, their selection of wines is impressive to say the least.

I can highly recommend The Long Table to anyone.  It promises to be an enjoyable experience if you indulge.  Our whole afternoon – the food, the venue, the drinks, the weather, the company, the laughs – completely and utterly sublime

I include a link to their website, http://www.longtable.co.za/.  So when you do decide to go, please remember to invite me along too.  I think I’ll have the Pork Belly this time, with the Papaya and Avo salad as a starter, and definitely the Crème Brulee for dessert again.

(Compliments and respect to my friend JP Verster for his awesome pics and his kindness in sharing them with me.  I made a few photographic attempts as well, and will include these too.  Though not brilliant, they do help to capture the mood and the vibe.)   

Yes, we'll definitely be sitting outside - in awe of our view
Perusing the menu
Decisions!  Decisions!
View from JP's side of the table
My Gillie and her Pete
Big Jim and Gail
Loving every minute
Rinette and Karyn laughing at Thea's antics
The lovely Rinette having a good giggle
K-K-K-Karyn (she's a speech therapist)
Karyn holding forth
Everyone just relaxing and enjoying themselves
The fresh Cambodian Prawn Spring Roll starter, served on Miso caramel and ginger and peanut dipping sauce.  Grant ordered this for himself, and I promptly finished half.  Sharing is caring after all.
Prawn Spring Roll starter - quite generous actually, with four spring rolls
This is the Pickled Baby Beets starter, with goats cheese panna cotta, cashew pastry, beetroot jelly and orange accents
The delightful looking Summer Berry Pavlova dessert, with berry sorbet and coulis
The Pecan Nut Praline Cheesecake, which is slated as a signature dish, the best in the winelands
And now sadly JP's pics come to an end, and I give you my "mik-en-druk's"
Rinette and Karyn laughing away
Still giggling
Our view
Close enough to touch
Such a relaxed atmosphere
Our table right under the trees, with the vineyards within touching distance
Breath taking view - we could be in Tuscany from the look of things
JP and Pete (doing who knows what)
Big Jim had the Pork Belly, which looked incredible!
Thea looking dreamy and Garth - they had already had a looong weekend by this stage, with not very much sleep
These two together spell one thing - T-R-O-U-B-L-E
Gail and her John 
Enjoying a good cup of cino
Just chilling
Good friends - good company
A rather long, long table
Lis' and Iv
Everyone listening to JP holding forth - he was particularly entertaining (but then again, he always is)
Grant and Gill got the giggles
Gillie has THE best laugh
And still Grant and Gill continue laughing - they were hysterical
And more laughing
Everyone else laughing too
Truth be told, we laughed at Big Jim's expense - it was very funny though
As in really funny!
The most perfect day
Thank you Long Table, we had a ball.  See you again, hopefully soon.


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  2. My friends own the long table, all my friends work there, your waitor was vince! what are the chances

  3. ILikedMakingCino's1 July 2013 at 20:04

    Aw Vince, I knew it was you before I even got to the pictures. You champion apple you