I could not help but be in awe of the beauty of the place, the white washed Cape Dutch architecture, the lush green lawns and the flowering borders, all combined to create a serene and beautiful locale that I was only too happy to spend a few hours at.
Check-in was uncomplicated; actually a pleasure and the staff were warm, friendly and accommodating.
Within minutes I was being shown to my room, and what a room it was. Beautifully appointed, not at all stark, the furnishings were in keeping with the traditional feel and appearance of the hotel and the addition of a bottle of Sylvanvale Rose was just the icing on the cake.
After settling in to my room and with notebook in hand I made way over to the famous Skelligs Pub for a glass of wine and a little pre-dinner relaxation. Again the staff were professional and friendly and really made me feel like I was the most important person there. I also noticed that their behaviour towards me was afforded to every guest who entered.
Though there is a restaurant at Skelligs, I decided to have my dinner at Erinvale’s signature restaurant Seventeen07. It is a slightly more formal restaurant than Skelligs and has a menu all of its own. I was advised however that any item from the Skelligs menu was available at Seventeen07 and vice-versa.
Seventeen07 has an elegance about it but it is far from pretentious, the wonderful staff that work there are friendly and very willing to answer questions and make recommendations on both the wines available and the menu.
To follow the soup I chose the chumukuyu beef and caramelised onion salad. Chumukuyu is Shona for dried meat, but the meat in this dish was far from dry. The thinly sliced sirloin was salt preserved and served with rocket, sweet caramelised pearl onions and dressed with a citrus and honey dressing. It was fantastic, a profusion of flavours that lingered on the taste buds, magical.
Other starters on the menu included a spice route plate with chevin and olive cigar, Indonesian sweet corn fritter and cucumber salad or alternatively candied sweet potato and roasted cashew nuts.
Presented in what I can only describe as a small potjie pot, the aromatic lamb was tender and delicious, definitely one of the best rogan josh dishes I have had in a very long time.
The dessert buffet at Seventeen07 is reason enough to visit in itself. An outrageously glorious selection of mostly South African traditional desserts, choice is almost impossible. I had a little of each dish and on the evening I was there that was no less than eleven different choices. Suffice to say that I was well sated by the time I had finished.
So after an amazing meal I made my way to my room. My bed turned down, a chocolate on my pillow, I was soon sleeping soundly in my comfortable bed dreaming of what breakfast had in store for me when I awoke.
After a very comfortable night’s sleep and an invigorating shower – the shower is very powerful and has a huge dinner plate size head – I made my way over to Seventeen07 for my breakfast.
Breakfast is a wonderful affair at Seventeen07, a large breakfast buffet with bacon, sausages, tomatoes and hash browns as well as cold meats, cheeses and a selection of Danish pastries. At my table I was offered an egg of my choice and though I was tempted by the egg benedict and the scrambled egg and smoked salmon, I decided on a simple omelette with mushrooms and onions.
I have to admit that throughout my breakfast I was a little anxious about the next item on my itinerary, a facial at the Erinvale Spa. I have never been to a spa before let alone have a facial and the thought of having creams and oils spread onto my face kind of worried the claustrophobic in me.
The Spa itself is a real sanctuary of serenity and relaxation, wonderful aromas, subtle lighting and gentle music playing; I could not help but feel a little less anxious the moment I set a foot inside.
Changed into a white towelling robe with matching slippers, I was shown to the relaxation area to fill out the required health forms and await my therapist. The relaxation area has views of the beautiful surrounds and an indoor heated pool as well as several recliners to chill on.
Once in the treatment room and lying on the treatment table, the therapist meticulously talked me through what I could expect from my one hour facial. And yes there were creams and oils and steaming and massaging and it was the most outstanding experience. I really did not realise or even contemplate how good I would feel. It is certainly an experience I would jump at repeating. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I certainly felt good afterwards and I think I looked good afterwards.
The whole experience at Erinvale Hotel and Spa, from the accommodation, to the restaurants, food and service and of course the spa, was exceptional, I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to everyone. Truly a memorable and wonderful place.
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