High up on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, Silvermist Wine Estate is a veritable jewel in the Constantia Wine Valley’s crown. And it is here, on this farm, that you’ll find La Colombe, an internationally acclaimed two-decade-old institution that was founded on the historic Constantia Uitsig wine estate (in 1996), having relocated to Silvermist under chef-proprietor Scot Kirton in 2014.
Ever the entrepreneur, Scot has been busily adding to his portfolio of late (Foxcroft up the road in Constantia, La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek which opened late last year, and Protégé which is due to open in November 2018) but La Colombe remains the flagship of his empire.
An iconic eatery that consistently serves up sublime service, a tranquil setting and immaculately conceived and styled plates, it’s consistently busy (with locals and visitors alike).
The staff members all circulate in a seemingly choreographed fashion – different chefs and waiters presenting different courses. The knowledge they display of the food, wine, even the glassware is impressive, and makes for an enriching and personable dining experience.
This has recently been amplified by a rejuvenated interior, courtesy of Bone Design Studio. The new look draws on the fresh spirit of the food, and the tones and textures of the treed surroundings, to create a sophisticated but understated scheme that layers luxurious simplicity with artisanal details and an arboreal palette.
The dove motif (La Colombe means ”dove” in French) is artfully embodied in a large, hand-drawn artwork by Lucie de Moyencourt and a series of white, carved-wood doves by local artisan Lameck Tayengwa.
Gaag is in the details
But beyond the ambience of the space, and intricacy of the menu, there’s a sense of whimsy and playfulness under 27-year-old executive chef James Gaag’s guidance – which makes eating here an event rather than a meal. “I’m delighted to finally realise my dream of running La Colombe,” says James. “I believe food should be delicious and inviting and not overthought, overworked or overcomplicated.”
The charming Tuna La Colombe in its individual tins (now the restaurant’s signature dish), the Flavours from Our Garden sweet finale served on a mossy log with candyfloss trees, or the dry-ice and floral bed for the passionfruit and vodka palate cleansers all create a sense of theatre that’s really memorable – it’s Willy Wonka but for adults, served with an incredibly well-curated wine list.
Good to know
You can choose between the Gourmand and Reduced menus, as well as vegetarian versions of each. Further to those permutations, all come with the option of wine pairing or without, so the restaurant caters to all types of diners.
Gourmand Menu R1 460
Gourmand Menu with wine pairing R2 390
Reduced Menu R1 070
Reduced Menu with wine pairing R1 820
Vegetarian Gourmand Menu R1 170
Vegetarian Gourmand Menu with wine pairing R2 100
Vegetarian Reduced Menu R870
Vegetarian Reduced Menu with wine pairing R1 620
Spring Lunch Special R495
Spring Lunch Special with wine pairing R845
Spring Vegetarian Lunch Special R455
Spring Vegetarian Lunch Special with wine pairing R805
Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 1.30pm; 6:30pm – 8:30pm