BASALT RESTAURANT – Melrose, Johannesburg

Basalt by Chef James Diack is an intimate fine-dining restaurant located at the boutique Peech Hotel. Here, you’ll enjoy true ‘farm-to-fork’ culinary philosophy where provenance from Chef James’s kitchen is harvested from his family’s farm, Brightside in the Magaliesburg.

Dinner only: Wednesdays to Saturdays.

Bookings via:

BELLY OF THE BEAST, Cape Town, City Centre

One of Cape Town’s most popular culinary experiences. With only 30 seats, Chefs Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart offer a tasting menu that os often updated. As the restaurant’s name suggests, here every part of the beast is used to create adventurous and very more’ish dishes.

Lunch served at 12h30, Tuesday to Saturday:- R650 per person

Dinner served at 18h45, Monday to Saturday:- R850 per person

Bookings via:

BOSJES, Breede Valley

This is a Cape farm visit at its finest and also off the standard Winelands beaten track. Be it a staycation at the refurbished Herehuis accommodation or a day’s roadtrip well spent; BOSJES makes for an ideal exploration.

Known around the the world for it’s iconic Kapel, a veritable masterpiece of architectural design, BOSJES has become a destination for gardeners, conservation enthusiasts, lovers of the outdoors and a place of solitude and spirituality. Two hectares of considered landscape gardens are simply beautiful at any time of the year. Parents and their little ones are in for a treat as they wander trhough the indigenous plantings and come across clever water features and play areas.

There are two restaurant options; the Kombuis with its signature exterior mural offers country lunches whilst the Spens offers all light meals that are great for young families who want a rest-stop inbetween exploring the 2-hectare gardens. The Spens is open Wednesdays to Sundays from  08h30 to 16h00 (last orders taken at 15h00) and the Kombuis serves lunch from 11h30 to 15h30. Advance bookings for the Kombuis are essential through

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Pop into the farm’s Winkel for some clever and carefully considered gift ideas including baked-daily Christmas Cakes laden with cherries and currants and topped with nuts. The farm is open to the public every day during the festive season except December 25th when it will be closed to day visitors.

Bookings via:

CARNE, Cape Town, City Centre and Gardens

Cape Town’s very own Italian maestro of premium meat cuts, Chef Giorgio Nava owns and personally manages two CARNE restaurants and a vendor eatery at the new Time Out Market Cape Town.

The original, CARNE on Keerom, is a seductive subterranean space set within a 17th-Century building in the heart of the old city. Here, you’ll enjoy fine dining with a sprig of Milanese flair. Expect sumptuous cuts, beautiful house-made pastas and a cellar of fine local and Italian estate wines.

CARNE on Kloof is your friendly neighbourhood eatery situated on vibey Kloof Street in Gardens. The menu is similar to the Keerom shop but the ambience is more atuned to casual dining with the family.

CARNE @ Time Out Market Cape Town:

The latest offering from Chef Giorgio and his CARNE collection. You can now enjoy some of his signature dishes at the V&A Waterfront by popping by the recently launched Time Out Market Cape Town.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: order the Il Fondente al Cioccollato dessert at CARNE on Keerom – Giorgio’s original Chocolate Fondante recipe. It takes 20 minutes to prepare but it’s oh so worth it! And, head to Time Out Cape Town on Sundays for your Italian fix, which is when the other two restaurants closed.

CARNE on Keerom is open between Mondays and Saturdays (dinner only) and CARNE on Kloof: lunch on Fridays and Saturdays and dinner between Mondays and Saturdays. Usual trading hours over the festive season.

Bookings at CARNE on Keerom and Kloof Street via:


The culinary home of Chefs Liam Tomlin and Ivor Jones. This year has been particularly significant for the chef duo and their team thanks to receiving a quiver of local and international culinary awards that include the JHP Gourmet Guide – awarded 3 Plates, the Eat Out Woolworths Awards – 3 Stars and La Liste – the international Hidden Gem Award.

The venue has true ‘Beau’ credentials thanks to its vertiginous location at Beau Constantia Wine Estate that shows off the views of terraced vines and the Constantia Valley beyond. Dishes on the 5-course set menu change often making it all the more reason to return this season! Go large and order the “Oysters Beau Constantia” as an extra course and good luck with that idea of avoiding dessert!

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: on the morning of your booking date, call the restaurant at 10am and ask for a table on the terrace!.And, if you don’t have a booking, then give the restaurant a call at 10am and you may just clinch a last-minute table at one of South Africa’s finest restaurants!

Open for lunch and dinner Mondays through to Saturdays and lunch only on Sundays (summer season schedule)

Bookings via

DUSK, Stellenbosch

This is no dwindling light of a restaurant! DUSK is the masterminds of chef duo Darren Badenhorst and Callan Austin. Here, the stiff boundaries of international fine dining are pushed aside and replaced with a pioneering and thought-provoking culinary experience. This extends to the mental health and best employee practice to ensure a healthy and happy environment for all who are associated to this multi-award winning dining destination.

Inspirational dishes include, the ‘Second-hand Shellfish’ – Pota squid, Prawn barigoule, arerated pomodoro bisque, smoked red pepper and sesame.

2023 awards include a JHP Gourmet Guide – Two Plates Award and a top tier Three Stars at the Eat Out Woolworths Awards.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Chefs Darren and Callan are serving splendid Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus. Hopefully, you can still clinch a table if you don’t dawdle!

Open for dinner: Tuesdays to Sundays.

GALJOEN, Cape Town, City Centre

Owners of Belly of the Beast, Chefs Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart opened GALJOEN earlier this year. Both restaurants that authentically promote sustainable dining are located on Harrington Street in the heart of the city. You’ll only find South African, responsibly caught seafood here, which is delivered each morning and hence, the tasting menu changes daily.

Lunch served at 12h30, Thursday to Saturday:- R650 per person

Dinner served at 18h45, Monday to Saturday:- R850 per person


A signature Winelands destination, Grande Roche epitomises authentic South African hospitality with a splash of understated country elegance.

In recent years, new verve instilled into this iconic Paarl address including the appointment of highly respected Executive Chef and mentor Christiaan Campbell has made the hotel and restaurant a must-visit.

Be it a country chic staycation or a visit for the day to enjoy a beautiful al fresco lunch or tasteful dinner, be sure to add Grande Roche to your list of go-to places.

Open times: always!


Le coin Français by Chef Patron Darren Badenhorst is arguably Franschhoek’s finest restaurant. Opened in 2017, Darren, who is fast becoming a successful seriel restaurateur, Le coin Français is in the heart of Franschhoek and together with his head chef, Miguel de Caries offers a sublime  eight-course menu. This includes a remarkable signature dish of de-shelled langoustine atop a silky velouté of aerated Gruberg cheese and West Coast snoek, alongside wild vineyard shoots garden pea and pancetta risotto.

Bon appétit!

Open: Lunch: Friday to Sunday and Dinner: Tuesdays to Sundays.

MAJEKA HOUSE & SPA, Stellenbosch

A boutique hotel with lashings of design credentials, Majeka House is ideally located within the Stellenbosch valley. Rooms and suites have all been individually decorated, the manicured gardens include no less than four swimming pools and there’s a Spa and hair salon too!

Breakfast and all-day meals are served in the Majeka Kitchen as well as in the Mbar. It all makes for a sublime easy holidaying.


A 2300 hectare predator-free private reserve in the Overberg. Melozhori has in recent years become a local bucket list destination thanks to the opening of two pod-style accommodations as well as one romantic treehouse for two.

Now, the 4-bedroom en-suite Lodge on the reserve has been afforded a comprehensive renovation and refurbishment.  The Lodge offers a signature pool with sunken firepit, luxurious interiors, a gourmet kitchen together with a private chef. This is a veritable dream destination deep in nature and within an easy drive from Cape Town.

MIRAGE, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

This is no shrinking sea anemone! MIRAGE is the largest privately owned day sail catamaran in South African waters and can host up to 130 passengers. Located near the Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront, daily scheduled trips are available (11am, 1pm, 3pm and 7pm).

Book daily scheduled sails via Private charter enquiries via

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Seas the Day! Reserve MIRAGE for a private charter and spend the day on the Atlantic Seaboard enjoying epic vistas, mega fun on the water and fabulous cuisine. Ps. bring your best 100 friends!

NOCTURNE, Stellenbosch

Not even a year old, and Nocturne is considered as one of the finest mixology bars on the continent.

The latest venture by culinary maestros Darren Badenhorst and Callan Austin, Nocturne is an innovative fusion between gastronomy and mixology.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Savour a cognac like an oligarch! You can now order a glass of Louis XIII Cognac, which is served with a Tsar quality snack of Duck Liver and Porcini Mushroom Rocher; a luxurious sphere filled with a sumptuous liver and earthy porcini mousse, cold smoked under a glass dome and served with a stone fruit and Tonka bean palate cleanser to be enjoyed half way through the bite. Priced at R4950 per serving. Go forth and order a dozen!

Plus! Should you be planning to be in the Winelands over New Year’s Eve, then you’re going to want to spend it at Nocturne! It’s going to be lavish with endless Bubbly, fine wines and signature cocktails accompanies by an array of delicious canapés and small plate dishes. The party is from 8pm until 1am. R2500 per person.

Open: Tuesdays to Thursdays: 5pm until late and Fridays to Sundays: Noon until late.

PEECH HOTEL, Melrose, Johannesburg

Arguably the most inspiring place to stay in Johannesburg, the Peech Hotel is located in trendy Melrose and offers stylish Afro-chic accommodation set within lush indigenous gardens.

Accommodation is über stylish with a nod to local artisanry. There are two swimming pools and two restaurants, one being the signature Basalt restaurant by Chef Diack.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Book the two-bedroom Villa and enjoy a bliss family staycation.

POT LUCK CLUB CAPE TOWN, Woodstock, Cape Town

Set atop the old silo of the Biscuit Mill in design’centric Woodstock, Luke Dale Roberts and his Executive Chef Jason Kosmas have been serving global small plates for over a decade to affiocionados and anti-afficionados!

It’s quite simply THE foodie address to add to your holiday bucket list.

Open for Lunch and Dinner: Mondays to Saturdays. Sundays for Pot Luck’s apex Brunch!

POT LUCK CLUB JOHANNESBURG, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Johannesburg now has its very own Pot Luck Club dining experience! Located in humming Rosebank and with an ambience of edgy industrial chic, expect familiar favourites and exciting new dishes to be ordered as guests please, and enjoyed as a small plate sharing experience for the whole table. It’s an energetic, fun atmosphere with a formidable wine and cocktail list keeps diners well entertained!

Open for Lunch: Tuesdays to Saturdays and Dinner: Mondays to Saturdays. Sunday Brunch.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Open for New Year’s Eve! Only a few tables left! R1750 per person (excluding beverages).


Celebrating twenty-five years of making wine differently in South Africa, Radford Dale combines a keen pursuit of innovation with a healthy respect for tradition. Under the leadership of uber wine maker and viticulturalist Jacques de Klerk, the team produces refined and often elegant wines directed by an ethos that reflects a profound leaning towards the respect of nature.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Stock up on the recently launched Radford Dale Organic range.  Produced from the winery’s farm in Elgin, the maiden vintages of Touchstone Chadonnay ’22, Revelation Semillon ‘ 22, Freedom Pinot Noir ’22 and the Higher Purpose Cabernet Franc ’22 are on shelf nationalwide and also online via:

Ps. if you’re smart, become a Radford Dale Bacchanalian Wine Club Member. You’ll receive awesome discounts and first access to new release wines.

SALON, Woodstock, Cape Town

The latest world-class dining experience by Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen fame. Under the helm of Executive Chef Carla Schulze, diners can expect a multi-course dining journey influenced by the smorgasbord of kitchens where ‘LDR’ has worked.

Open for Lunch: Thursday to Saturday and Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Luke Dale Roberts’s much anticipated cookbook The Test Kitchen is now on the shelves of fine bookstores and @Home stores nationwide. Also available via Takealot and Loot. It makes for a beautiful gift this season for the foodie afficionado. And if you’re quick at the draw, you may just clinch one of the last few tables available this New Year’s Eve.


Part of the Luke Dale Roberts fine stock of dining destinations, the Shortmarket Club is a European-style brasserie serving delicious easy-dining modern European cuisine with distinct Asian influences.

From the décor to the choice of water glasses, Shortmarket Club Johannesburg is the place for a unique and bespoke experience. Diners can expect elements such as rich deep tones, warm lighting, old fashioned touches and accents of leather, brass and fluted glass all artfully staged in a heritage brasserie and smoky cigar lounge type setting.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Open for New Year’s Eve! Only a few tables left! R1750 per person (excluding beverages).


Home of South Africa’s first producer of Cap Classique! Known throughout the land for their delicious Kaaps Vonkel Cap Classique, the Malan Family have been producing wines for three generations. The Stellenbosh terroir holds true throughout wine range, which hold

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: The Malan family have launched Needless to Say, a delicious Rosé still wine, ideal for summer days.

It’s a refreshing blend of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage, which were the first white and red wines to be released by Simonsig. Blending the two varietals tells a beautiful story of the family’s rich winemaking heritage.

And if you’re fortunate, source a bottle of the recently launched Kaapse Vonkel Satin Royale too! Only 1500 bottles have been produced for the maiden release. Purchase online (only three bottles available per customer!)

Needless to Say and the Kaapse Vonkel Satin Royale are available nationwide at fine wine boutiques and also online via Simonsig’s website:


Keen to improve your DIY mixology skills? Impress your guests this holiday season with a significant cocktail by taking a squiz at all the recipes freely available to you via the South African Brandy Foundation’s website.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: The House of Sydney Back has just launched a 25 Year Old Limited Reserve Potstill Brandy. Luxuriously packaged in black, this is the ultimate holiday gift for an afficionado of international-quality potstill brandy. Available via Norman Goodfellows and Makro.

SEASON’S NEED TO KNOW: Follow the SA Brandy Foundation on Facebook – SA Brandy and Instagram – @sa_brandy – this December for beautiful festive season gift ideas ideal for the brandy affionado.

Here’s wishing you and yours a truly happy (and safe) holiday season.

Ian and Lise Manley
Manley Communications and ManleySocial