The very best restaurants should showcase cuisine that commands a presence, especially when framed against the magnificent backdrop of stellar views. And, for this, Fancourt stands centre-stage. With a host of friendly and experienced support staff, an expansive catering set-up and in-house bakery and butchery, Fancourt chefs can tailor a menu to any conference group, business gathering or incentive and carry an event off with flawless precision.
Nestled in the heart of the Garden Route and at the foot of spectacular Outeniqua mountains is Fancourt Estate. Legendary for its three iconic golf courses, Fancourt is also where a festival of flavours simmer and stir.
As the semigration and international migration to the Southern Cape increases, and as travel restrictions lift and guests on holiday and business flood back to the resort, so has Fancourt expanded its culinary offerings to stimulate and titillate diverse and well-travelled palates.
Executive Chef Desmond Morgan says food focus is now all about sustainability, and above all, because of the recent lockdowns, to source as much as possible from local artisans and farms.
Fancourt has four different dining options which are all tailored towards choice and variation. La Cantina is the Estates matriarch – rooted in traditional Italian fare, the chefs have always embraced strong Italian influences and stayed true to traditional cooking methods, using fine ingredients to hero simple dishes. The buffalo mozzarella is imported directly from Italy. The array of meats and hams are cured at Fancourt’s on-property butchery. “We are using recipes that date back several centuries,” says Chef Des, “this offers our guests a really authentic Italian experience.” Popular on the menu are classics like lasagne made with a homemade ragu and sheets of silken pasta in a rich bechamel sauce, desserts which include home-made gelatos, and the well-known comfort soup, minestrone.
For hotel guests, large events or conferences La Cantina also offers an exceptional full continental spread and English breakfast options that should set the right tone for the day ahead, which could include a round of golf, a trip to the spa or strategizing in Fancourt’s world-class conference facilities.
At the French Bistro, Monet’s, crisp breads and pastries are baked daily in the Fancourt bakery and popular for both breakfast and lunch, where the menu includes favourites like Basque Piperade – a tomato and pepper compote with poached eggs and garlic bread as well as mushrooms foraged from the surrounding forests on home baked toast with truffle oil. With melodic French music in the background, the culinary visit to France while gazing at the mountains is complete.
Fancourt’s vegan and vegetarian options have also increased with fresh and seasonal vegetables now sourced on demand from a farm in Hoekwil. “What this means,” says Chef Des, “is that our dishes are constantly changing to keep in sync with the seasons.” He says international trends are also moving towards lighter dishes with fewer carbs and heavy sauces. Fancourt has also expanded its Halaal offerings.
With more businesspeople travelling with their families, The Poolside Café provides entertainment and a menu for the pre-schoolers at the Kidz Centre and teenagers at the Leisure Centre, with pizzas, sushi and light lunches on offer, while business meetings take place in the conference centre.
As part of the holiday programme in 2020, children were encouraged to grow hydroponic crops. So successful has this been, that the chefs are continuously harvesting fresh lettuce for salads and side-dishes.
The Club Lounge has expanded its menu to include lighter, more snacky meals to accompany a significant cocktail menu and, old favourites like the tasty chicken curry and sambals as well as the vegan wrap are still firm favourites. Unpretentious yet harkening back to nostalgic notes of home-cooking, with a contemporary twist is where those who’ve spent the day around a boardroom table or who’ve played a round of golf choose to unwind.
Adding to Fancourt’s offerings is honey extracted from beehives which have been relocated from various areas in George. Homed in an apiary beneath the eucalyptus trees, this honey is now an addition to a breakfast or cup of tea at The Manor House, at Fancourt – an award wining country boutique hotel.
Coffee is also locally sourced. And barista, Jason Strode, says Sugarbird coffee beans are perfectly roasted to provide the balance and mouthfeel that residents, members, and guests expect from the ultimate cup of coffee. To watch him work at the coffee station is alchemy as he carefully weighs milk to coffee ratios, finished with a flourish of foam art.
Fancourt’s meals are all offered with a broad choice of local and international wines with exclusive vintages, craft spirits and liqueurs, be it to accompany a light lunch or as an after-dinner drink or nightcap. These menus have been carefully chosen to marry well with the dining experience. So, whether it’s a business trip, a conference or function or a memorable trip away with the family, Fancourt’s wide range of fine food is likely to keep everyone well satisfied.