I’m a little unsure how to start this post, if I’m being completely honest. Do I start the few months before we actually arrived at five hundred (yes, all lower case) – all of the excitement and build-up to the dinner? Or do I start on the night?
Actually, let me start by saying that this was one of the greatest nights of my life. And I have had some incredible nights in my life…
Arriving at The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa is a firm favourite of mine. The winding driveway, the feeling of luxury as someone opens the car door for you. Being greeted by name. It’s all a little surreal. Nicki, Dave, Murray, Jo and I made our way through the hotel to the lift that takes you right up to 500, literally squealing with excitement, like little girls.
You walk into the restaurant reception area and are taken through the bar to the main restaurant that looks onto the kitchen pass. We were lead past all of this and escorted into a private room (Chef’s Table – which is also the wine cellar) – much to my surprise. Chef’s Table may as well be a table IN the kitchen, it’s that close to the action. Spoilt with spa vouchers and flowers from the team at The Saxon to celebrate The Counter’s third birthday, I was already in my element.
David, Lloyd (the ridiculously divine sommelier) and team surrounded us like a swarm of eager little bees – wine was poured and warnings were given by David to his team never to let my wine glass empty. Good job, guys. Bloody great job, actually, remembering my headache the following morning. Before our first course was brought out, we were privileged enough to taste two new desserts that the chefs had been working on. Minds already blow, the courses came in accompanied by a chef to explain everything on the plate to us. Lloyd kept us guessing with each wine he poured and was really a highlight of the evening.
Six courses later we were stuffed. The wine glasses just kept getting bigger (possibly not though – too much wine causes hallucination apparently) and our laughter got louder and louder. Thank God we were in a private room. (Although – apologies to the chefs for perhaps being a little bit of a distraction.)
While every course was phenomenal, big shout out to: The bread and butter (smoked butter – I mean!), the skate wing course that smelt just like fishpaste (which was heavenly for all of us), the black rice under the rabbit, potato croquettes and the crisp koeksusters. RIDICULOUS.
Dinner at five hundred does not come cheap (we ended up paying around R2000 each) but it is completely worth every cent. I would pay double that – the experience is just mind blowing.
Another massive thank you to Candice, Lloyd, David, Memory and the entire team at five hundred for an unforgettable evening! See you in October for my birthday…
P.S – Thanks to Jo Jo for the Cadbury’s Creme Eggs that Murray and I wolfed down with coffee. Really classy end to the night!