Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, revives a piece of culinary history and gourmand tradition at its 120-year old Lord Nelson Restaurant; with the introduction of bold classic dishes and the mid-17th century French art of ‘guéridon’ or tableside service.
Guests are greeted by a soothing soundtrack, courtesy of resident pianist, Henry Dike, before being seated at crisp white linen tables cocooned by elegant wood panelling; where classics such as Beef Wellington are given their final flourishes from wooden handcrafted trolleys and Baked Alaska is flambéed at the table.
Executive Chef, Rudi Liebenberg says, “It is the return to simplicity that I love about our new dining concept. This elegant tableside action is perfectly fitting for the old-world charms of this great room. I hope guests will enjoy the food and atmosphere as much as our staff have enjoyed mastering this wonderful service tradition.”
Chef Rudi’s new menu is bold and brimming with classic choices, such as, Beef Wellington made from pasture-reared beef fillet from Spier’s Farmer Angus, covered with a braised short rib, prosciutto and mushroom duxelle, encased in light puff pastry and other popular dishes – Caesar salad, steak tartare, prawn cocktail and crème brulée.
Entrée of herb-crusted roast rack of Karoo lamb with cauliflower Mornay and main of crown roasted chicken served with chicken thigh tortellini and a trolley laden with unusual cheeses for dessert; all feature on the special tableside menu.
Belmond Mount Nelson’s General Manager, Xavier Lablaude, reminds us that the room dates back to the hotel’s inauguration in 1899, when it was the original dining hall, and where Noel Coward, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Marlene Dietrich would have once soaked up its atmosphere.
Xavier says, “More recently this is the room where in 1994, then-President Nelson Mandela welcomed international leaders for the first World Economic Forum to be held on African soil. You can feel this sense of history when you dine here and its fascinating to imagine the conversations what would have taken place within these walls.”
The elegant, wood-panelled room is adorned with glittering chandeliers, remarkable pressed ceilings depicting the history of the British Empire’s South African colonies and a minstrels’ gallery.
Lablaude adds: “It still has the wooden deckchairs once used by First Class passengers of the Union-Castle shipping lines.”
Adding a leafy allure to the décor are three stunning botanical tapestries of indigenous flowers created by artists of the Keiskamma Trust, from the rural village of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape.
The Lord Nelson Restaurant will be hosting a series of Classical Music Evenings with soprano and pianist Lisa Engelbrecht and mezzo soprano Lindsay Thomson from ‘The Opera Angels’, with a repertoire ranging from opera arias and classic European art songs to Broadway hits and contemporary favourites. The concerts take place on 8, 15, 22 and 29 June and on 27 July there will be a special performance with the Cape Opera Ensemble.
The Lord Nelson Restaurant opens Monday to Saturday for dinner from 18h30.
Please contact Restaurant Reservations on +27 21 483-1948 or