The Daydreamer has been busy at the day job and with other exciting projects, but I’m back with the food post I promised you from Terre Blanche!
The food at Terre Blanche was insanely good. On arrival, I discovered nuts and olives and a bottle of wine in my room – a tiny detail but after a day of traveling, a significant detail! It was such a welcome treat that I gobbled half of them before thinking to take a photo! (Luckily, the hotel was generous, so there was plenty left to shoot).
The same day we were treated to lunch in the more informal of the four restaurants at Terre Blanche, Le Gaudina. As soon as we walked in, you felt the sheer size of the room, from the high ceiling to floor space and windows overlooking the terrace. I fell in love with the super trendy black and white striped chairs. The food was yummy – smoked salmon to start, pork with summer veg for main and the most incredible (no joke) creme brulee I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste. It was DIVINE. Creamy and sweet and just the right amount of vanilla… and it was huge… and the topping was crunchy but chewy… perfection. The Terre Blanche secret to The World’s Best Creme Brulee? Honey from their own bees. The hotel has a bee keep in the grounds and it’s the honey from these bees that is used in the kitchens at the hotel. Let me tell you, it’s worth booking a stay at Terre Blanche just to eat their creme brulee every day!
That evening, we ate at La Guadina again but this time we were served foie gras, followed by sea bass on a bed of very rich but very yummy risotto, finished with an apple tart. The pastry was heaven – but then, Terre Blanche has their very own pastry chef, Freddy Monier. The individual layers of pastry were neatly stuffed with sweet apple, expertly dusted with even sweeter icing sugar, topped with a trendy scoop of melting ice cream. Mmm-mmm. Honestly, I wouldn’t normally choose a pastry dessert but I’d gladly have this again!
The next day we spent the morning at the market after a breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries (oh my goodness, I can’t even explain these pastries – I ate 2.5 all to myself, so hopefully that says enough!) and a latte. When we returned to the hotel, we were taken for a light lunch at the poolside restaurant, Le Tousco. Part undercover, part out in the open, Le Tousco had a very chic feel to it. When I saw the lingoustine and bacon salad, I was pleased to see that Terre Blanche did light bites as well as the rich food we’d been served so far. When I’m on holiday I do like to indulge, but it’s good to have lighter options so that you don’t feel terribly guilty!
That evening we ate at the posh restaurant, La Faventia, where famed chef, Yannick Franques personally cooked dinner for us, and the superb waiting staff served us. They were such a good team, it’s hard to explain – almost like a choreographed dance, the way they simultaneously lifted the lid of each dish to reveal every next course. It was a delight to watch them at work – it was evident that they were passionate about the food, and seeing their excitement at how we reacted to each dish made me smile the entire evening.
First, we were served Yannick’s signature dish: Le Mystere d’Loeuf (The Mystery of the Egg). It really was quite a mystery as to how Yannick managed to make one egg two different textures. Coated in a brioche crumble, the egg white was a whisked consistency, while the yolk remained runny. How on earth? It’s only one egg! The egg was served in a Parmesan sauce and, as much as it sounds a bit wacky, the egg and cheese really worked well together. It was a touch too much for me, but certainly excited the taste buds!
Our main was too beautiful to take time away from – I just ate it! John Dory, simply cooked (why mess with John Dory?) with eggplant caviar, coriander carrot and cumin sabayon. It was so nice, that I lived it instead of documenting it. Sorry!
Next we had what was, basically, a cheesecake. Except that there was nothing basic about it. The presentation was exceedingly good – cream and pink in colour, with delicate layers of jelly, meringue, cheese filling and biscuit topped with ice cream, spun sugar and an edible gold leaf. EEEEEEEEEEE! So pretty, so feminine, so simple and yet a piece of artwork which I was sorry to break into with my fork. Not so sorry that I couldn’t bring myself to do it, mind.I can confirm that it tasted as good as it looked.
Overall, my experience with food at Terre Blanche was one of the best I’ve ever had. Anyone who know me knows I like my food (no rude jokes here, thanks!) and as much as I like a steak pie at New Year’s, I also like to eat good food that is planned, well considered and cooked with care and attention to detail. I would rather pay more money for a good meal and eat out less, and yet I wouldn’t say I’m a fountain of food knowledge. I suppose I just appreciate the skill and passion of a trained chef. It’s little wonder that both chefs at Terre Blanche have won prestigious awards. Or that Terre Blanche is their restaurant of choice.
La Gaudina, the one with the creme brulee.
Le Tousco, the poolside restaurant with the light bites.
Le Faventia, the posh one with the two Michelin starred chef.
Les Caroubiers, the clubhouse restaurant with the wonderful views over the golf course. We ate lunch here on the last day and although the food was more relaxed, it was of the same excellent standard of the other restaurants at Terre Blanche.
Yannick Franques, the world-class chef from Paris.
Freddy Monier, the talented pastry chef.