Looking for an experience both cultural and culinary in Cape Town? Look no further than the Vineyard Hotel Two by Tenn Hotel Plays. This incredibly unique three course, wine paired meal, and theatrical showcase is a dining experience you won’t soon forget. With five more seatings scheduled for 4, 5, 12, 18, and 19 August, you don’t want to miss out.
We arrived at Vineyard Hotel to welcome drinks of Sutherland’s subtle sauvignon blanc, prepping our taste buds and psyche for the onslaught of senses ahead. Stepping into the sophisticated dining area was like time travel to the first class banquet room of the Titanic. Starters were served almost immediately, and comprised of a delicious combination of rich flaky puff pastry, creamy mushroom sauce, and charred leek. Soon after first course, our gorgeous host, Lady Aria Grey ushered us upstairs where the first of the Tennessee Williams plays awaited.
A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot is the theatrical version of those memes you share with your girlfriends about growing old together. The performance is given by two men standing behind life-sized puppet characters named Bessie and Flora, who were apparently modeled on the ever glamorous Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Crawford. The two sit together at a bar, while the audience bare witness to their conversation, which see-saws between happy reminiscing, and conjuring up of past hurts, with a scattering of girly giggling and appreciation of the surrounding male specimen.
Being that I’m following a mostly plant-based diet I was impressed that Vineyard Hotel does offer a vegetarian main by prior request. My fiance enjoyed the lamb shank with polenta, but I’m convinced my baked vegetable stack was better. Layers of tomato and courgette topped with cheese and served with a generous portion of roast vegetables was right up my alley. Although the sticky glisten of that shank did catch my eye throughout the meal.
The lighthearted comedic first act, was the polar opposite of what proceeded it. The playful purple velvet theatre curtains had disappeared, and in their place stood a haunting scene of wooden beams, giant meat hooks, and transparent plastic sheets. The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. LeMonde follows the story of Mint, a semi-paralysed young man kept “prisoner” in Madame LeMonde’s brothel attic. Mint suffers abuse by the hands of Madame LeMonde’s son, and gets a strange visitor from his schooling past. Without giving too much away, the play is jarring, and contains some disturbing content, while Madame LeMonde proves to be a twisted but accurate metaphor of society in general.
A deliriously sweet dessert was required to cleanse the mind’s palate of what had just been witnessed. But perhaps the presented pecan tart ventured towards the sickly. It wasn’t for my palate but my fellow diners certainly enjoyed it. The accompanying brandy ice cream was eye-rollingy delicious though. I would’ve been happy enough with merely a bowl full of that! We left the Vineyard Hotel with a new appreciation for theatre, and a piqued curiosity for the work of Tennessee Williams. As well as satisfied stomachs, and cheery moods thanks to the generosity of spectacular food and wine.
Tickets include a welcome drink, three course wine paired meal, and the two plays mentioned above. Ticket price is R650 pp, and booking is essential. Contact Vineyard Hotel directly to reserve your spot on +27 (0)21-657 4500 or email@example.com.