An event held on a school sports field generally holds promise of little more than a ponderous brass band and a tombola manned by an Enthusiastic Father. But Camps Bay High School is no ordinary venue. And the event was, well… the restaurant equivalent to winning a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory.
Taste of Cape Town quite simply blew me away. And not just because I’m an Augustus Gloop. Anyone would love it if they like their food. And their wine. And a fantastic atmosphere out in the open with a bit of music and a sea breeze and a glorious view over mountains and ocean.
Sixteen of Cape Town’s top restaurants (including Aubergine, Jardine, Bread & Wine, Le Quartier Francais, Reuben’s and Salt) were offering mouth-watering sample dishes of their cuisine. The choice was overwhelming. Just reading the various menus had my salivary glands kicking into overdrive. But for someone who is often afflicted by order envy, what a joy to have a chance to sample so much! Perhaps given the copious amounts of wine I managed to “taste” the individual dishes might be a bit of a blur in my memory but even now, a few weeks later, I go weak at the memory of Jardine’s West Coast Crayfish, Smoked Tomato and Basil Risotto.
And what an evening. Even the stands were delicious. It was like being at an interiors expo, and drunk on food (and yes, a little wine) I bumped my way past salsa dancers and swing bands, towering orchids and huge vases of lilies. I even met a model who had been hired just to sit and look beautiful in the entrance to one tent. Seating ranged from decadent sofas on Turkish rugs through to fresh al fresco cafes and laid back smoky bars. But I couldn’t sit still… instead, grinning, I stumbled around with my fork poised for the next dish.
What a great start to the gourmet season in Cape Town. We’ve since had the Table of Peace & Unity on Table Mountain and now look forward to the Good Food & Wine Show and Restaurant Week . Some of the days are still hot enough to melt socks, but the evenings are getting decidedly cooler and many restaurants are already rolling out their winter menus. Aah, May… month of cool nights and log fires, plenty of wine and gourmet food. Lots and lots of food. Tempted?