Having lived in Centurion for a good couple of years already, it took me an embarassingly long time to discover Hemingway’s Restaurant and Wine Cellar at Leriba Lodge. I started to pay attention when a good friend mentioned that they usually drive all the way from Fourways to celebrate special occassions in my neck of the woods…. Hmmmm… Then there must be something worth going back for not so?
So we decided on one random Sunday to pop in and see what the fuss it about. Well, that was quite a while ago – and we keep going back. As you can figure out from the name, the decor is very classic, with snippets of info about the renowned Ernest Hemingway, a real tribute to this legend. The food is amazing, the atmosphere is a comfortable mix between stylish, but not snobbish – and it is a beautiful venue! Sometimes it is hard to believe that you’re smack bang in the middle of Centurion. There are two restaurants on site – Hemingway’s and Chapters.
We really enjoy both restaurants – Chapters is great for breakfast, and a lazy afternoon sipping wine with friends under the veranda, and Hemingway’s has got a very charming and welcoming bar area as well – we often just pop in to plonk down on the comfy couch in front of the fireplace while relaxing with a drink or two!
This establishment also hosts regular functions and exciting wine and food events – I highlighted a few in this post on www.boozyfoodie.co.za: Events coming up at Leriba Hotel in April and May! And we have attended a number of events – from performances by the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, to their well know Bubbly Affairs, to attending a few of their regular wine pairing dinners! What can I say, we just can’t stay away 🙂
We were also fortunate enough to win a night’s accommodation in one for their luxury executive suites (they often run competitions on their Facebook page, go and check it out) – and it really fabulous! We decided to use this opportunity to pair this with a wine dinner – and give Uber a rest for the evening!
One of my favourite treats at Hemingways must be the glorious cheese and fruit platters served before the wine dinners. Served outside on the big patio it just works perfectly well to ease you into the evening. What more can you ask for – a relaxed ambience to ease you into the evening. I must always remind myself to pace myself, because you know – dinner is waiting! Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t (fresh figs! gorgonzola! freshly baked goodies!) – and that is what we call balance.
Just look at that, scrumptious! This was served with Doolhof’s Sauvignon Blanc. A great start!
We also chose to attend the wine dinner with Doolhof wines – one of our favourite wineries. Most people know that their Malbec and Cabernet Franc is top notch.
So, with my other half dragging me away from the cheese platter we went inside to take our seat at the dinner table. As always. quality tableware, classic lines and style. And a pianist providing soothing background music. Ah, bliss! I am ready!
And then, the most beautiful dishes comes out of the kitchen – all perfectly paired.
Seared tuna steak with lemon, papaya and grapefuit salad with a lovely unwooded Chardonnay, duo of smoked springbok with blackberry cherry and mint jus with Doolhof’s awardwinning Malbec, dark chocolate marquise serviced with read wine and balsamic glazed strawberry bravely paird with the Cab Franc. It looks beautiful, doesn’t it?
The staff is always very friendly and effecient, so that defintiely adds to the experience.
And you would think that, after all that deliciousness in one go we will need some time to recover the next morning, but we were out and about early – taking a stroll on the beautiful grounds and heading for a decandent breakfast at Chapters.
The buffet breakfast is a real treat – from a wide variety of freshly baked pastries to some more cheese (see why I love this place so much!), to fresh fruit and hot breakfast items prepared on the braai – there is something for even the pickiest eater. And sitting on the veranda, listening to the birds and taking in the beautiful scenery, this is the way every day should start don’t you think??
We had to the opportunity to chat to the owner, Peet du Preez, on a few occasions and his passion and dedication to providing guests with a stylish and memorable experience is very clear. And being named one of Centurion’s most influential and inspiring citizens recently is a testament to the fact that he is doing it the right way.
Another stunning visit and we’re already looking forward to the next one! Do check out their Facebook page and see what they’ve got to offer – go to one of the events and I can guarantee you, you will be back for more! https://www.facebook.com/LeribaHotel/ And it makes for a very special staycation as well!
We would also like to thank Leriba/Hemingways for hosting us at the Doolhof Wine Dinner!