Well this isn’t quite Greg’s table, but this week I have decided to give it up for a Suid Agter Paarl Road hidden gem, Giuseppe on the Bel Air Country Estate. Here you will find a collection of wine farms all strung out like a string of stones on a Duchess’ throat. The Taal Monument points its finger accusingly at the serene blue sky while the Paarl Rock overlooks it all.
Giuseppe has a cottage at Bel Air which is like a slice of Italy transported to Africa, crammed with memories of a life well lived, pictures on the wall all over the place, charming and relaxing. When the weather is good one can have lunch on the covered space outside or one can start there and move inside to go on to a feast of note all made by hand by this chef extraordinaire. You choose your guests—10 at a time- you choose the menu from what Giuseppe offers you and he is more than amenable to special dietary requests. . You take your own wine – wow, I can actually say that now!—and a great time is guaranteed. Don’t take my word for it—check out the raves on TripAdvisor. Starters could be things like gnocchi with fresh tomato and basil sauce, so far away from those rubbery things you get in the super market you will think you have never had it before, lasagne with roasted aubergine and gorgonzola, or risotto with butternut and saffron. Mains might be porchetta filled with figs, apricots and sage, leg of lamb filled with pistachio nuts and red pepper, or slow roasted osso buco gremolata. Finish off with triple chocolate tart with warm egg custard, caramelized apples and pears in butter pastry, or lemon and blueberry cassata. Antipasti, homemade ciabatta and bottomless espresso go a long way to make it just like an Italian Mama’s feast. This labour of love costs R440 per person, and makes a perfect place to celebrate, especially now we are emerging sloth-like from a kind of dream state. Get out, live a little, let your belt out just a notch or two and take a deep breath into the future. This is the perfect place to start.
GIUSEPPE PHONE 084 976 5939