Top international awards for Constantia establishments

La Colombe in Constantia has been ranked the 13th best fine-dining restaurant in the world.

Lockdown has mauled the country’s tourism industry, but it hasn’t stopped a Constantia restaurant and two of the suburb’s wineries winning prestigious global accolades.

In the last week, La Colombe restaurant and Cellars-Hohenort and Steenberg wineries have all received international awards.

La Colombe, at Constantia Nek, was named 13th best fine-dining restaurant in the world in the annual Travellers’ Choice awards.

The restaurant was chosen – not by a panel of judges – but by the public, through positive reviews generated online on TripAdvisor.

Mayor Dan Plato congratulated the restaurant, saying: “This award is further proof of Cape Town’s appeal to visitors and locals as it is based on scores of ratings received over a 12-month period. It is not the first time that this restaurant has been mentioned at the Travellers’ Choice awards, and we would like to congratulate La Colombe head chef Scot Kirton and his talented team for doing our city proud.”

Mr Plato said the award proved Cape Town could “compete with the best fine-dining restaurants in the world”.

James Gaag, La Colombe’s executive chef, said presentation, attention to detail and the restaurant’s efforts to offer an experience rather than just a meal made it stand out.

The award is a silver lining at a time when the restaurant and hospitality industries are struggling to find their feet again following months of Covid-19 restrictions that made dining out an impossibility.

“The staff was very happy about the win,” Mr Gaag said. “Our only hope is that we’ll recover and come back stronger than before. People are slowly starting to come out to the restaurants now, and we are also hopeful that we’ll start to see our tourists come back soon.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday October 6, leading travel publication, Condé Nast Traveler, announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards which recognise The world’s best hotels, resorts, spas and cruises ranked by travellers. The Cellars-Hohenort, a hotel in Constantia, was ranked 15th in the top 30 hotels in Africa.

More than 715 000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe.

“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, the American editor of Condé Nast Traveler.

“The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next,” he said.

The 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November 2020 publication of the magazine’s American and UK editions.

“We’re thrilled to have been recognised in this way,” said CEO of the Cellars-Hohenort Jacqui Elliot.

“Now that we have opened our doors to travellers post lockdown, we look forward to hosting our guests at these bucket-list destinations and providing the luxury service and superlative accommodation standards they have come to know and expect from us,” she said.

Steenberg Wineries vintage MCC, Lady R, also brought home a gold medal from the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London last week, scoring 95/100.

The wine was selected by a judging panel consisting of buyers, producers, sommeliers and wine commentators from across the globe.

This is the second international accolade for the 2015 vintage wine after UK wine commentator and Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, awarded the Cap Classique 93 points pronouncing it a “very smart bubbly” in his South Africa 2020 Special Report (“Cheers to SA’s top winemaking stars,” Constantiaberg Bulletin, September 17 2020).

“The Lady R is a representation of the stunning natural acidity and ageability of the 2015 harvest season, in combination with careful time on the lees that adds texture and mouthfeel, all in beautiful harmony,” said cellarmaster Elunda Basson.