Beryl is an opera aficionado of note, never letting you forget that she has been to performances “at all the world’s top houses. dear, from Vienna to San Francisco.” One of her greatest moments was seeing Carmen at La Scala, and the following evening attending a Renata Tebaldi recital in the same place. There was no containing her when she saw that the restaurant at Temenos, where we stayed over, was named for the late diva, and that there are many pieces of memorabilia there to remind one of the great lady. Temenos is a spiritual retreat with cottages scattered throughout the peaceful gardens, where you can withdraw and contemplate until you feel the shackles of the world fall away. The restaurant is at its best in summer when you can eat al fresco, either on the front stoep while the hoi polloi of McGregor goes by at its tranquil pace, or out back overlooking the flower-filled garden – both have their own charm. The cooking has no pretensions to fine dining but delivers down-to-earth country-style flavours. We opted for Pasta Carbonara, deliciously creamy with bacon, egg and plenty of Parmesan, and Pasta Caviale, very similar but with smoked salmon – both R95. The Cape Malay curry of the day, which was lamb, was redolent with real Cape flavours and aromas, not too spicy, served with basmati rice, of course, and sambals (R110). Beryl saw nothing unusual about having a bottle of wine with the curry and insisted she was being “true to the spirit of it all, dear.” She is nothing if not flexible. I had the pan-fried chicken breast with pesto and grilled lemon with a salad (R120), totally delicious in its simplicity. Their home-made lemon ice cream is a knockout and we upped the oink factor by having excellent ginger-infused cheesecake before repairing to our cottages for an obligatory siesta. What a delight.
By kind courtesy of Country Life magazine
Restaurant reservations: 023 625 1115 or 023 625 1871