Grande Roche Hotel Paarl - Day 1

This time of the year is always busy for us. It is our anniversary and my birthday all within the space of 2 weeks (as well as our relationship anniversary - yes I am one of those that still keep track of the day I met my wonderful husband!).

To celebrate we decided to go to a new restaurant. We always go to the Mount Nelson Hotel as it is were we got married. But we tried our hand at something new. The Grande Roche lies in the heart of Paarl's beautiful CBD. Meaning it isn't far from home while still not being so near that you worry about home. We striked it a bit lucky here: the Grande Roche is not for the faint of heart budget-wise (no 5 star hotel is ever cheap...) but I purchased a coupon on Groupon (South African site) for a nice discount.

Meaning we would get to spend 1 night with breakfast included. However they had to do urgent renovations and requested us to postpone our night and in exchange we got a whole package! Two nights stay, a lunch package, breakfasst included. We therefore only had to pay for our dinners!

The rooms (or should I say suite!) were spacious. I was a bit hesitant with all the tiles (it is the middle of winter and doesn't look too cosy) but they have under floor heating making it divine! Very modern in setting with a separate TV lounge and a huge bathroom.

We were also treated with a small bottle of wine on our arrival and some home-baked cookies. This kind of set the mood for our whole weekend!

We had reservations at the very grand (excuse the pun) restaurant called Bosman's. A fine dining restaurant that did not disappoint. We had very high expectations as this was the reason we were in Paarl in the fisrt place...

The people are really spectacular. Because it was our anniversary we got a table laden with rose petals everywhere. A bit embarrassing but just too cute. And it smelled wonderful.

What surprised us the most however, was the "wine list". Yes, that 75 page book is the wine list! I know South Africa is world renowned for its wines but that is just ridiculous! We checked out all the wines (including some international labels) and decided to start with a glass of champagne and go for a red wine with the meals. They do have someone to assist just with the wine selection.

I judge a restaurant based on the bread basket. If you do not put any love or attention into the start of the meal, then there is just no hope for the rest! And I absolutely loved the pretzel rolls. I could eat about 200 of those in a minute! The bread were baked fresh and warm with 4 different selections. I had a hard time not going nuts on the bread because I had to keep space for our meals.

Oh wow the meals. I really enjoyed the food. Let me take you through our selection of the Menu (It changes constantly though so this will take you to the most recent version).

Hubby started off with sauerkraut soup flavoured with juniper berries and bay leaves, blood dumpling ravioli and compressed apple. It was served with a small piece of pork belly too.


Whenever I see pork belly, I have to try it and I am so glad I did. I had the oven roasted pork belly with potato-majoram broth, slow braised baby onions and thyme.

Hubby went wild...with his main course that is. He had sous vide poached Springbok Loin with parsnip creme, onions, and dumplings. He actually said he thinks this was the best Springbok he has ever had (even implying it was better than my main meal!).

I stayed with the red meat (I had a bit of a steak craving) and tried the oven roasted Chalmar Sirloin with apple-onion puree, confit potatoes, fried mushrooms and thyme jus. I really loved those crispy potatoes!

We shared a Valhora Chocolate Fondant served with orange salad, caramelised cashew nuts and lemongrass-orange flavoured vanilla ice cream. And just to end off the evening I received another dessert plate, this time for my birthday, with homemade chocolates and goodies on it!

When we returned to our room we also had a turn down service that left us with another bottle of bubbly and bubble bath! I love this place!

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