Babushkas, samovars and bubbly, to boot!
An intriguing mix of Russian heritage and South African tradition is what sets Hazendal Wine Estate apart, and adds a wonderfully novel dimension to a day in the Winelands. The Russian-born Voloshins, who own the farm, have brought the culture and customs of their birthland to the Cape, judiciously combining them with the overarching Cape Dutch aesthetic so prevalent in this corner of the Winelands.
The estate brims with attractions for young and old, such as Babushka Deli and Wonderdal, a state-of-the-art children’s edutainment centre, but for a true taste of Russian heritage, Hazendal’s Russian Tea Ceremony stands out as an exotic and culturally enriching experience.
Russian Tea Ceremony at Hazendal
The Russian Tea Ceremony harks back to the grandeur of the tsarist era, and represents not just a sophisticated culinary pursuit, but an expression of Russian hospitality.
An opulent space, with hand-painted murals, crystal chandeliers and an exotic aquarium, transports guests to a bygone era. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer full views into a working cellar, with industrial-chic elements planting you firmly in the 21st century.
A wonderful setting for an enriching high tea experience.
Central to this time-honoured ritual is the samovar, an elaborate Russian brewing device used to heat the water. The samovar dates back to the 17th century, when Tsar Peter the Great returned from his travels with a copper kettle he’d discovered in Holland, and asked his craftsmen to replicate it.
Attached to the top of the samovar is a teapot containing zavarka – imported Russian black tea that has been specially sourced for Hazendal by the fine tea merchants TWG. Stopping at no lengths to provide guests with an authentic experience, the tea is served in porcelain created by Dulevo Porcelain Works (one of Russia’s oldest and most famous porcelain producers), famous for its hand-painted designs.
Accompanying the brew is a delicious array of Russian pastries and savoury treats, such as:
- baranki on samovar (crisp tea biscuit on a Russian tea urn)
- oladyi (crumpet with mushroom and herb ragout)
- blinchik (thin crêpe with hummus and sundried tomato)
- cabbage piroshok (fried pastry filled with braised cabbage and potato)
- spinach piroshok (fried pastry filled with vegan cheese and creamed spinach)
- Olivier salad (Russian potato salad)
- vatrushka (sweet cheese tart)
- zephyr (fruit meringue)
- Sharlotka (apple cake)
- Medovik (honey cake)
- pryanik (ginger cookie)
Good to know
- There are vegetarian and gluten-free options, too, as well as a children’s menu, complete with Russian-themed colouring-in pages to keep them entertained.
- For a truly decadent affair, indulge in the Full Kremlin Experience, which includes 15 grams of Beluga caviar served on a traditional Russian blini, and a bottle of Hazendal 23.5 MCC.
- For the month of February, book for four seats and only pay for three!
- For adults with kids in tow, one of the best things about a visit to Hazendal is that you can drop them off at the fully supervised Wonderdal, a state-of-the-art edutainment centre for children between the ages of 5 and 13. Here, they will be endlessly entertained by a host of engaging and educational activities, including an outdoor playground and an array of technology-powered interactive zones.
As they say at Hazendal: “Radostnoye Vremya!” (Have a joyful time!)
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