I don’t think I’ve ever used the term ‘gorgeous’ so liberally, so continuously and so consecutively – but there really is only one word to describe the latest offering at Steenberg, which is why it is called exactly that. Gorgeous by Graham Beck is an intimate ‘Champagne’-styled bar offering the full range of Cap Classiques by Graham Beck along with canapés to match. It is situated adjacent to the estate’s fine dining restaurant, Catharina’s, but don’t expect to find any indication of the old – this section of the building has been transformed into a cocoon straight out of a trendy décor catalogue.
Opt to sit at the bar for a vertical tasting (non-vintage, vintage and Rosé flights are on offer) or chill in one of the booths with some Cuvée Clive, sold by the bottle (R500) or by the flute (R100).
It is a gorgeous offering indeed, and, apart from adjacent Catharina’s, with sexy Bistro 1682 literally just down the road as well, Steenberg’s food-and-wine experience now becomes a tough game to match.
In terms of focus, Gorgeous occupies the space as ‘in-betweener’: for those wanting an aperitif before, after or in-between lunch and / or dinner at one of the restaurants or for those who merely want to satisfy their craving for oysters and fine wine. (Although don’t forego the other canapés on offer.)
The downside to this is that the opening of Gorgeous accompanies the imminent closing of the tasting room at Graham Beck, Franschhoek – one of the sleekest run in the winelands.
Bubble-hacks like me encountering a double whammy of SA’s finest bubbly brands on one property will turn a blind eye to this reality for now. To while away an afternoon going from one delectable scene to the next is just genuinely marvellous. Clearly there is some clever thinking going on behind the scenes – as this just might be the best stop in Constantia at present.