There’s an oasis in Elandsfontein and it’s called The Orient. It’s a beautiful estate that will make you forget that you’re just outside Centurion and the hundreds of malls that occupy Johannesburg. It’s a place that transports you to another world, Colonial India and Asia to be exact. While at The Orient, or at Restaurant Mosaic, you will forget that you’re in South Africa. The service, decor, food and rooms are exquisitely otherworldly. I stayed at The Orient in May this year with the hubby and I’m sorry it took this long for me to share my experience.
The hotel is owned by mother-daughter extraordinaire Mari and Chantal Dartnall and they are dressed with many awards. Chantal has won Chef of the Year and their restaurant has been featured in countless publications. After spending the evening there I can tell why. It’s the detail and pure dedication these ladies have to providing an exceptional service that makes it so special.
The hotel room we stayed in was decorated in antiques and featured a door that didn’t have a traditional lock, it being South Africa we insisted that we chain it up every time we left the room. Also, the door was hundreds of years old. The bathroom was not quite separated from the room but it was set in somewhat of an alcove of the room. Please note that there is no TV in the room. Instead, the room is stocked with literary classics, which I thought was a fantastic touch. Our room also had a short outdoor passage that led onto a small Romeo and Juliet style balcony with a table we could use to just enjoy the welcome drinks and sounds of nature. We took a shower and headed to the lobby for drinks and canape’s before dinner.
Dinner at the Orient was exquisite. We had the full Grande tasting with the non-alcoholic pairing (yes!) which was great. Please do mention in advance to the chef if you have dietary restrictions because they are very accommodating but they will need advance warning. The non-alcoholic pairing was not just Appletiser, it was well-paired creations that matched every single course. If you had the chocolate dessert, you got a small chocolate ‘milkshake’ and with the beetroot course came a ginger beetroot and ginger lemonade. I was blown away. And not just by the pairing, we left the restaurant stuffed. After ten courses plus aperitif, tea and petit fours there is no other choice.
There is wi-fi on the property, but it is spotty. Rather abandon your phone and get lost in this other reality. Roam the grounds and spot the zebra and bok before indulging in a late lunch. That would be a day well-spent.