De Hoop Nature Reserve, east of Cape Town

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De Hoop Nature Reserve, east of Cape Town

Known more for some of the best land-based whale watching than food, this weekend of indulgent Culinary Creativity  at De Hoop Nature Reserve  (22-24 July 2011) seemed tempting.

de-hoop-restaurant-small-4When a food expert declares that “Chocolate and wine are essential in all food plans”, can anybody resist?

The De Hoop collection has taken Chef Tracey Younghusband at her word and together with Creation wines has turned the weekend of   22 to 24 July 2011 into what promises to be a unique and memorable culinary experience for guests, at a cost of R2750 per person.  This includes all accommodation in Melkkamer, meals, cooking classes, bird walk, Creation Wine Tasting, but excludes drinks.

The weekend will offer guests  a unique outdoor experience in De Hoop reserve and doses of shared laughter, good wine,  full stomachs and a new set of kitchen skills.


It’s not all decadence though – Tracey puts a strong focus on nutrition and what goes into food and its preparation.  She likes takes traditional flavouring techniques and cooking and adds her own alternatives, which she hopes will have participants rushing out to prepare effortless and innovative dinner parties once they return home.

The weekend starts with afternoon tea which will be followed in the evening by one of Tracey’s delicious meals as part of a food and wine pairing session, using the wide collection of produce from Creation wines.

A guided bird walk along the De Hoop reserve vlei follows a continental breakfast on Saturday morning.  Mid-morning, the culinary challenges begin, with a cook-off style class in which guests will learn how to create interesting and unusual lunch parties.

As the sun goes down over the vlei, guests will prepare and consume interesting cocktails before the dinner party class.  As someone who has cooked in lavish country estates and in small galleys on ocean yachts, for private dinner parties and international VIP’s, Tracey is well placed to pass on a myriad of useful tips about advance food preparation and the innovative use of local, available ingredients.

Sunday morning doesn’t bring a lie-in, as tempting as it might be in the cosy but sumptuous accommodation.  Guests will have a hands-on class in preparing and hosting a simple yet creative and interesting brunch.

de-hoop-spring-flowers-opstal-areaIn between all the culinary challenges, the de Hoop reserve offers its guests beautiful surroundings, walks in nature, spectacular coastal scenery and at this time of the year, a good chance of enjoying the annual visit of Southern Right whales and seeing them at play in the waves.

Creation wines come from a perfectly situated terroir, in the Hemel en Aarde valley of the Western Cape and their young team produces a wide range of innovative viticultural indulgences.

Bookings can be made through Samantha Hughes at or by contacting Nini Stephens on 082 921 3908


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