Iconic, breathtaking, magnificent and awe-inspiring are only a few words used to describe Cape Town’s (and South Africa’s) landmark mountain — Table Mountain.
Those of you lucky enough to have reached the top will know that standing on the flat-topped mountain feels like standing shoulder to shoulder with the clouds…no words can describe that feeling.
Besides rubbing shoulders with the clouds, you can also absorb views of the city, Robben Island, and overlook the Atlantic seaboard (depending on which direction you are facing).
On Thursday, 3 May 2012, Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille, (bursting with excitement) announced that Table Mountain has been officially named one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
According to an online source: “The New Seven Wonders title has great long-term marketing value for Cape Town and South Africa. The wonder becomes part of school curricula, it becomes a ‘must see’ and ‘bucket list’ item for travellers and explorers,” said De Lille.
A three-year contest to select seven of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders resulted in hundreds of millions of votes being cast via mobile and online platforms from 220 countries worldwide.
Along with Table Mountain, the Amazon forest in South America, Halong Bay in Vietnam, the Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina, Jeju Island in South Korea, Komodo Island in Indonesia and the Puerto Princesa underground river in the Philippines complete the list of Seven Wonders of the World.
Weather hiking up the mountain with a group of friends or taking your family on trip up there with the cableway, exploring Cape Town’s natural wonder should definitely go on your bucket list.
It would seem that Luke Dale Roberts has the Midas touch. First La Colombe, Constantia Uitsig’s famed restaurant; then Test Kitchen, Luke’s first solo attempt; and now, Pot Luck Club, which is both restaurant and gallery, with the husband-and-wife-team Luke and Sandalene at the helm. Each project, each concept has been a roaring success.
Having followed his career for a while with keen interest, the That’s Cape Town team were thrilled when it came time to visit Pot Luck Club. Situated adjacent to the Test Kitchen, separated by screens, but not walls, the two restaurants run side-by-side, with completely separate kitchens and staff. It’s interesting that the Pot Luck space was created so close-by to Luke’s first solo restaurant. It would definitely help it to feed off some of the overflow of some of Test Kitchen’s success, where it is sometimes impossible to book a table less than a month in advance!
The space itself, at Pot Luck Club, is beautiful: with natural, woody tones being brought to life by shape and texture. The oversized ‘chinese lantern’ style light fittings are reflected in similar shaped candle holders on the tables.
On the evening that we visited, the place was full, and lively. It felt like everyone was excited to be there. And the food lived up to every expectation we had of a kitchen under Luke’s guidance. Luke is known to push creative boundaries in the preparation and presentation of meals. His flavour combinations and unusual ingredients add to the whole experience of Pot Luck Club.
We started with the light shaved parsnips, which is really like parsnip crisps. Light and perfect for while we looked through the menu further. The duck spring roll was light and crispy, without the over-oiliness of many a springroll. The crispy pork belly came recommended, and Luke’s accompanying XO sauce should be bottled and sold! I admit to using my finger to mop up the last of it… trying desperately to decipher the alchemy of flavours. The smoked quail was delicious. Something you wouldn’t often get the opportunity to try. And the fillet with truffle cafe au lait sauce stopped all conversation at the table! It sounds like we ate a lot. But the meals are made to share and come in smaller, tapas style servings.
For dessert (we couldn’t say no) we ordered and devoured the Spanish style Churros with chocolate dipping sauce and ginger ice-cream topped with nut-brittle. We didn’t think anything could top what we had already tasted that evening, but the dessert was sublime!
At Pot Luck Club attention to detail in every sensory sphere as created a place where it’s easy to linger. It’s easy to lose yourself in. And, when you eventually have to tear yourself away, it’s a place that has created an unforgettable experience. To Luke – we want more!
Images from the Pot Luck Club website - http://www.thepotluckclub.co.za/
It seems like Markets are hugely popular in Cape Town, and it sometimes feels like there’s a new one opening nearly every week. Being lovers of food and all things fabulous, the That’s Cape Town team diarised the opening of a new market at the Palms Centre in Salt River. We went along half-expecting the same-old… Usual traders; space so cramped you can hardly move, but we were very surprised and happy.
Firstly, the space is fantastic – with traders scattered on different levels across an open courtyard, and loads of room for growth. The water-fountain and jazz saxophonist created the perfect ‘relaxing’ ambience that Saturday mornings should be all about. And then the traders – it was refreshing to not have come across each of them at some-or-other market somewhere else in the city. Unique traders stocking quality products, and with such variety!
Being the brainchild of Isabella Niehaus, one of South Africa’s most well-known stylists, the market produce is a mix of goodies with a distinctly West-Coast feel. Expect fresh mussels, oysters and crayfish; natural fynbos teas; the most beautiful bunches of colourful flowers; a ‘French’ table laden with home-made goods and even a wine producer from Tulbagh!
We really enjoyed our visit, and will be keeping an eye on this new Cape Town treasure to see how it grows. The market is on every second Saturday, from 10am – 3pm. Get there this weekend, 25 February! To find out more, take a look at the Market’s Facebook Page, here.