Food with a view: our top 10 foodie hideaways
When we think about all of the lovely luscious things we’ll be doing on that eagerly anticipated long weekend away, it’s the cooking and the consuming that always reigns supreme and takes the cake on the activity list. It doesn’t matter if you’re into all things culinary or not, the undisputed heart of the home – the kitchen and its table – is where the magic happens and everlasting memories are created. It’s the engine room of the evening’s party and the slow morning’s catch-up. It’s the central hub that rules the roost and gathers all of our favourite people together throughout the day for some cooking, eating, sipping, sampling and, quite simply, enjoying each others’ company. The kitchen is usually regarded as the single most vital room in a house, and it says a lot about who we are.
That’s why it’s so wonderful to whisk one’s self away for a weekend and throw caution from creativity in someone else’s apron. From planning the meals to devouring them, it all becomes a divine delectable affair in an entirely new and exciting space, but with the same old lovable faces.
Some kitchens might be minimalist with precision-engineered, utilitarian spaces. Some might be classically catering to the home sweet home mantra from its country-kitchen tops. Some might be modern where the cook becomes a scientist and the hob becomes a lab. Some simply take us outside, embracing the forces of nature and sensuous open spaces. While others keep us cosy in hidden dining nooks with comfy benches and banquettes. It doesn’t really matter what cutting edge appliances are on the shelves, or French pots hanging from the pot rack. It’s all about what’s on the menu, and the love and banter going on around that surreptitiously season the meals.
We’ve dished up some our favourite kitchens that lend their beautiful, functional and fully-equipped cooking spaces for a foodie’s fling of family feasts and frolics. It’s now down to deciding who’s Sous in the zoo. We all know who’s Chef.
Here are our fabulous hideaways with some fancy pots and pans, and a view to go with it…
Once you’ve cooked up a storm in the state-of-the-art country kitchen with its sunny Lacanche stove and French Copper pots, or tossed a Napoli into the pizza oven, having sliced and diced some fresh basil on the solid French oak James Mudge-designed kitchen island, you’ll dine al fresco at the long table adorned with Sarah Ord earthenware and look out to the Klein Karoo mountain ranges.
For those idyllic escapes into the beautiful countryside, life on this farm hideaway tantalises the tastebuds on every sensory level. Chickens roam the gardens, laying eggs amongst the pansies and the peonies. The classical, country kitchen is adorned with antique furnishings, crockery, hand-painted wall tiles by Michael Chandler and a Lacanche stove. Its dreamy, shady verandah is the perfect spot to spend long evenings and lazy afternoons.
With the kitchen being the pivotal point of this Plettenberg Bay hideaway – that’s all about family entertainment, open spaces and magnificent, vast views of the lagoon – it’s clear all of the fun happens in the hub of the home and flows out onto the deck, around the mammoth dining tables and onto the plates.
The warm ocean breeze of the North Coast in KwaZulu-Natal wafts through the open doors, over and around the long, wooden dining table and into the open plan kitchen. Looking out to the waves of the Indian Ocean as you gently stir the puttanesca and shave the parmesan, sporadically sipping and singing along to your holiday tunes makes you forget you ever lived anywhere else.
This breathtakingly bold and beautiful stone hideaway in Hermanus offers ample space to cook and dine outside or inside, around the boma, in the colossal open plan kitchen, over the braai, on the deck and in the courtyard, under the stars. The flow of the open spaces allows the chatter and laughter to permeate wherever one might be hanging out.
Synergy Tree House
Tucked away amongst the branches of the gnarled trees, overlooking Scarborough’s magnificently long stretch of beach, this hideaway’s fully-equipped Smeg applianced kitchen sits centre stage and opens out onto the deck where endless evenings are spent at the table savouring the food, the company and the endless view.
Take your culinary skills to the wild at this hideaway in Dinokeng, Gauteng where cooking in the bush couldn’t get any more romantic. A massive, open-plan thatched kitchen, with adjacent boma welcomes the wildlife in, adding to the unique experience. The wonderful House manager, Khumbulani ‘Sabelo’ Dhladhla, is known for his fantastic pizza that he bakes in the outdoor oven.
The Blue Anchor
What a wonderful way to watch the Southern Right whales of Hermanus breaching and spouting in the bay beneath the kitchen counter of this idyllic seaside hideaway! The spaces are cleverly designed to keep the view of the ocean in frame from every angle, whilst preparing and enjoying a feast from any of the many dining spaces.
Hidden amongst the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, this magnificent hideaway, holds its farmhouse kitchen in the heart of the home, around the fireplace where all gather at the long antique table and sunken wicker chairs. The pièce de résistance of the property is positioned outside, at the hefty long dining table and adjacent braai, that looks out to the dramatic private wilderness.
The kitchen at Jonkmanshof is inevitably fabulous – being co-owned, as it is, by Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs fame. There are two houses, each has two suites which can be booked separately or one can take a whole house. There are various options for dinner – guests can take full advantage of the gorgeous kitchen and self-cater, they can pre-arrange a three-course meal, or, with a little more notice, they can have Jacques himself come to cook for them – pure indulgence!