Sunday, February 27, 2011
Girls night at the Mount Nelson
Right in the centre of Cape Town sits the Mount Nelson Hotel. Surrounded by a lush rose garden it is over 100 years old and still has that quintessential colonial feel. Capetonians fondly refer to this pink hotel as the 'Nellie' and like to frequent the Planet Champagne Bar where they often get to rub shoulders with celebs.
I count myself lucky to have the opportunity to spend a night at the Nellie. It's a perfect mini holiday with the girls, just two blocks from my own home. We start with the legendary Mount Nelson Afternoon Tea which has been praised by international foodies as one of the best in the world.
The sweeping view of the gardens from the terrace is certainly impressive but it’s the tea menu that demands my undivided attention. With a selection of white, black, yellow, green and red teas from all over the world each one sounds more inviting than the other. We order Japanese Sencha tea, black tea with pink rose petals and blooming Chinese tea flower balls. The latter is a little piece of art; when dropping the flower ball into the boiling water, the tea leaves open up to reveal a flower.
By the time we are satiated with home made Turkish delight, truffles and cheese cake, amongst other sweet and savoury delight, it is time for a walk through the gardens. A summer flower palette is set against age old trees and rolling lawns. Susan and I have a good heart to heart and then head over to the Planet bar for a champagne cocktail or two. Believe it or not, but the biltong cheese straw snacks whets the appetite for dinner.
To make sure we get to enjoy our luxurious hotel rooms, we settle on inroom dining where we are also treated to some complimentary red wine. The Mount Nelson Hotel is slowly revamping their rooms and instead of the Biggie Best pastels look, the update is classic rose patterned neutrals, set off with the swanky sparkle of silver framed mirrors.
For dinner we share a two course feast of Carpaccio, smoked salmon, rib-eye steak, tiger prawns and lamb cutlets. Having been an afternoon of overindulgence Antonia suddenly decides that it would be a good idea to swim it off and we promptly head for a midnight dip in the pool. It's refreshing - pretty cold actually - even on this hot summers night - and quickly gets our metabolism going again.
Once we get back to our rooms, it's already late and we sink into the large beds and a peaceful sleep. At the breakfast buffet we are not quite sure whether we are still dreaming or awake, as the Methode Cap Classique arrives at our table and the melon, Parma ham, poached eggs and pastries keep on coming.
Our mini break ends with a couple of hours on the lounge chairs at the pool outside. Table Mountain and Lion's head peeks from behind our now favourite pink hotel. What a fabulously luxurious girly stay over right in the heart of Cape Town. Thank you Nellie!
Read more about my Mount Nelson experience.