By Naushad Khan
The Cape West Coast is fast becoming the destination of choice for many Capetonians, as there are so many places to visit a mere hour or two from the city centre. One such favourite is the small fishing town of Paternoster.
It is a truly special place and as you drive into the town, you are just drawn into a very different way of life. In some ways this is what our society could be – residents living side by side, rich and poor. I am sure they have their fair share of ills, but as a visitor you cannot help but soaking up the slow paced, if at times traffic congested little town for its stunning beauty.
I was lucky enough to be a guest of Abalone House. I have stayed here before and must admit that it was fabulous then, and is just as fabulous now. In fact, I can add a few more “fabulousses” (or whatever the plural is for “fabulous”) to the mix as they now have a Spa, as well as a restaurant by celebrated SA chef Rueben Riffel.
The boutique hotel does not skimp on luxury – not in the accommodation department, and certainly not in the services department. The owners have created a special retreat for guests to come and be pampered. You experience this from the time you step into their cosy welcome/reception room. The staff members are friendly and ever willing to go the extra mile for their guests.
Our room was on the upper floor and it had the best view of the ocean from our private patio, the perfect spot to enjoy a cosy private high tea or a sunset cocktail. We had all the comforts that you would expect from a top-end hotel that included a mini bar, free WiFi and super comfortable linen. I always judge an establishment by the quality of their linen and the bed. It matters to me.
For some reason I have not eaten at any of the Reuben’s restaurants until this visit. So this came with very high expectations and I wanted to try something different from his menu. Lamb shoulder has been appearing on more menus recently and I decided to try their slow cooked lamb shoulder.
This was just meltingly amazing. The lamb was so tender, moist and delicious. I have since cooked and eaten more lamb shoulder than ever before. The only way to get this amount of flavour locked into dish is by being thorough and patient. The chef ticked all the boxes for this one.
I purposely left out my starter and dessert, as I really wanted nothing to distract from the splendour of the lamb shoulder. The way they do it at Reubens at Abalone House and Spa it really deserves centre stage – no side acts required.
Lookout for some cool deals for couples that include a stay over, Spa treatment and dinner at Reubens – all definitely worth the trip.
As for Paternoster, we left after breakfast with a promise in our hearts that we will be back, soon.
* For more information, visit www.abalonehouse.co.za.