What an amazing escape in the city (I love staycations) at Emperors Palace. I was recently treated to a night’s stay at the beautiful 5 star D’Oreale Grande Hotel, complete with dinner at Aurelia’s restaurant as well.

The building is decorated in an opulent Roman inspired theme. Alcoves, pillars and ornate artwork abound, and the service is friendly and efficient.

Check in went really smoothly, and I had had the unfortunate experience of being stung by a wasp as I parked my car – literally 5 minutes after checking in to my room, the medics had arrived – complete with wheelchair and oxygen tank – not that I needed it, and a simple antihistamine did the trick.

Headed down to the pool to join a few other members of the group for a cocktail before getting ready for Chef Justin Jonah’s degustation menu – which was nothing short of superb.

We started with an Amuse Bouche which comprised of a grilled pineapple sliver with a ginger rum sheet and was paired with a delicious Paul Cluver Close Encounter Riesling.
We then moved on to a selection of small plates – Salad caprese served with a tomato terrine, boncconcini and a parmesan brulee served with smoke in a glass, followed by a tasty Franschoek Salmon Consomme, complete with salmon roe and micro greens, which when the consomme was added literally came to life in the bowl.
Entree’s of roasted pumpkin with a lankbaken blue cheese followed, and then a  palate cleanser of a tequila lime jelly shot which was powerful and tasty.
The Cobblers Hill – roast Namibian lamb rump, paired with thyme cumin butter and a variety of puree and an orange sweet potato fondant paired excellently with the Springfield Work of Time were a fantastic combination.
By this time I was so full – but there is always room for dessert and the Study of Milk tart was so beautifully plated I didn’t even want to eat it ( but of course I did) was the perfect combination of a classic milk tart served with bourbon vanilla, lavender ganache and cinnamon sponge – my fave dish of the evening.
An amazing cheeseboard followed – the deep fried camembert was sublime and chef’s pistachio brittle with figs added to the experience perfectly.
Last but not least a gorgeous plate of macaroons and turkish delight was served and by then I was ready for bed – what an amazing experience.
Breakfast the following morning was also an incredible experience – everything from fresh fruits and yoghurts to sushi and a warm buffet – I selected to sit on the balcony and enjoyed the view of the pool and the busy hum of the restaurant.
If you do ever get the chance to dine at Aurelia’s I would certainly recommend it, and the degustation menu was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Out of this world.
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