Secret Season: Food & Wine Experiences

10 July
Secret Season

Enjoy the finest dining experiences while tasting an array of local award-winning wines…

The Secret Season is now in full swing. The skies are painted in dusky hues, the waters teeming with the frolicking Marine Big 5, the fields alive with the splendour of the endemic fauna and flora, the gardens are in full bloom and the weather is crisp and clear. We’ve enticed four of your senses thus far, even your sense of adventure. But now it is time to indulge the most delectable of senses, as we take you on a culinary journey at Grootbos.

In the previous Secret Season journeys, we’ve gone foraging for mussels on the coastline and harvested honey in the fields, but now it is time to sit back in the comfort of our Lodge and let your palate do some indulging. The taste journey starts every morning as you head to the Lodge to enjoy breakfast in the restaurant or outside deck. Here you are met with a full spread breakfast buffet consisting of fresh fruit and fruit juice, a selection of cereals, freshly baked breads and pastries, local cheese and cold meats. You can also choose from the breakfast menu which holds options like our bonafide Eggs Benedict, flapjacks with streaky bacon and maple syrup, omelettes with filling of your choice, french toast with berry and honey compote, banana and streaky bacon as well as freshly brewed filter coffee and hot chocolate. And that’s only breakfast!

Returning from your morning activities, you can sit down to a delicious lunch complemented by the beautiful views stretching across the Reserve to Walker Bay. This 3-course meal can include delectable dishes like beef stroganoff, juicy burgers, beef sandwiches, battered linefish and crisp salads with fresh greens and micro herbs from the Siyakhula farm. Each meal is of course made from the freshest ingredients either grown on the Reserve or sourced from the local farmers and fishermen. The still and sparkling water which accompanies every meal is sourced from an aquifer on the Reserve and bottled at Siyakhula by the students of the Growing the Future project.

With the day slipping into night, we welcome you to dine with us in the restaurant. The 6-course journey includes delightful entrees, light fruity sorbets, mouth-watering mains and divine desserts. We do warn you though, with a selection of rich, creamy soups, fragrant falafels, seared trout salads, succulent seafood, flavourful fillets and a dessert menu too sweet to mention, it might be hard deciding on just one favourite. On top of that, the menu is reinvented each day to ensure guests get to experience as much of the Grootbos Menus as possible. And of course, what meal is complete without the rich nuances of your favourite wine. Browse through our selection of award-winning South African wines and feel free to ask our Sommelier to suggest the perfect wine to complement your selected meal.

Those looking for something a bit more intimate can choose to do a food and wine pairing with our Sommelier in the boma or wine cellar. Enjoy a delicious meal under the canopy of an ancient Milkwood forest as you watch the fires crackle and stars shine up above. Alternatively, book your table in the cellar and feast amongst the prized wine collection of Grootbos. All hosted by our knowledgeable Sommelier, this is a wine and dine experience like few others. Guests who are interested in learning more about the wines from the area can also request a wine tour. Here you can spend the day visiting the nearby wine estates of Stanford, Hermanus and Cape Agulhas, and learn all there is to know about South African cultivars from our Sommelier.

The menus at Grootbos is something we take great pride in. Each dish is created by our chefs and made from ingredients from the farm or sourced from local producers. This also means that the menus change with the seasons as new fruits and veggies become available. The kitchens also make their own mayonnaise, chutney and olive oil. Every meal is freshly prepared and simple, yet beautifully presented. As our one chef commented, “It’s honest food.

As a little sneak peek of what you can expect, we asked our Sommelier Kathryn to share 5 of her favourites from the Grootbos Cellar. Here are her top choices:

Origin: Darling Hills
The Wine: Enticingly floral on the nose with notes of grapefruit and pineapple and aromatic spice. The palate shows generous acidity carrying the wine to a long, refined finish.
Paired With: 5 Spice Seared Duck Breast (Chargrilled pearl onion, chilli marinated bok choy with butternut and cashew nut purée)
Origin: Stellenbosch - Hell’s Heights
The Wine: Beautifully grafted from Cabernet Franc grapes. This vineyard is specifically managed for rosé production, a strategy that is evident in the structure and complexity.
Paired With: Patagonian Squid (Marinated in beetroot served with squid ink aioli, octopus carpaccio, pickled beetroot and micro herb salad)

Origin: Cape Agulhas - Elim
The Wine: An elegant Syrah with complexity and power, yet very well polished. The finish is savoury and lengthy adding refinement to the drinking experience.
Paired With: Duo of Pork (Roast Parisian potatoes, honey glazed baby carrots, carrot and cardamom purée with orange jus)

Origin: Walker Bay
The Wine: Named after the famed conqueror Hannibal, this is an intriguing blend of both Italian and French varieties.  Lush fruit mingle with spice and leather notes on the notes. The palate is full, yet not too overpowering.
Paired With: Sous Vide Lamb Shoulder (Saffron and caper couscous, marinated vegetables, olive tapenade and braised spring onion)
Origin: Calitzdorp
The Wine: Savoury notes of roast almond, crushed oats and hints of orange blossom unfurl on the nose while the palate adds hints of spice. The finish is characteristically dry and lengthy
Paired With: Caramelia Crémeux (Smoked pear butter, poached pears, spiced caramel popcorn and sesame tuille)

This is the Secret Season at Grootbos.

Remember to keep an eye out for the next journey of the Secret Season at Grootbos: Horse Riding & Mountain Biking

10 July
Secret Season
Enjoy the warmth of our hospitality

Grootbos Foundation and global recognition

Grootbos is a world leader in sustainable tourism and has been awarded some of the highest international accolades possible, making us one of only a handful of lodges to achieve this.

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Grootbos invites you to experience our country's most precious floral biome and marine wilderness like never before. Enjoy unique guided experiences while being treated to five-star luxury at our lodges and villas.

Our Secret Season special offers South African residents an exclusive discounted rate and additional benefits. 

What's new at Grootbos - New Garden Lodge and Florilegium

The last year has been a busy one at Grootbos. We rebuilt our beloved Garden Lodge entirely and re-opened it in April 2022. We also officially launched the Grootbos Florilegium - Africa's first contemporary florilegium - which is a collection of botanical illustrations created by local and international artists, depicting the charismatic plants found on our reserve and the surrounding regions.

Click below to learn more about these exciting developments.

See New Garden Lodge See Florilegium