Lynton Hall is in Very Good Taste

16th Sep 2004

We’re living in a time of ‘good taste,’ ‘discerning taste,’ ‘eclectic taste’ and such related ‘taste.’Ê However, when it comes to taste, few are putting their money where their ‘taste’ is but the innovative team at Lynton Hall is not doing anything by half-measures: in fact, the first of their taste soirees took place in August, the subject being: salt! A wine tasting will be held on September 25, the wine being from the Glen Carlou estate, who’s winemaker will be visiting Lynton Hall during this time.
The price of a five-course meal, including the wine served, will be a mere R250 per person - a chance not to be missed - especially when the chef is Richard Carstens.
Already well-known for it’s VERY tasty culinary offerings created by award-winning chef Richard Carstens and his imaginative team at Lynton Hall, the General Manager, Germain Lehodey, ‘s French flair and good taste buds are taking Penningtonians by storm in creating fun tasting evenings with an educational twist.Ê In fact, Agatha Christie would have found this castle and its activities the perfect backdrop for a whodunit….
Do you know how many different salts there are? Do you know when salt first emerged on the table and that you could learn to taste salt the way connoisseurs taste wine? Says Germain: “Tasters at our salt-tasting evening voted Pennington saffron fine salt (produced in the same region that Lynton Hall is situated on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast) 12 out of 20, describing the texture as: ‘very small, almost powdery, yellowish curry colour;’ the taste was described as: ‘saffron flavor, smooth taste… it will increase the use of saffron in raw food.’
Salts from the UK, Australia, Spain, SA, France and Italy were tasted and we covered the history of salt throughout the world. This taste event was so well-received that we will be hosting more of them at Lynton Hall in the very near future, such as water as well as sugar (naturally).” In fact, Germain created a stir some years ago when he was interviewed by press on his knowledge of water - from our taps as well as the bottled varieties.
Germain and his team value the wealth of creative personalities in the region, art forms including painting, needle craft, handicrafts, and, not to be forgotten, creative cooking with this small luxury hotel’s very own Richard Carstens.
Richard is well-known for his wizardry in the kitchen, resulting in Lynton Hall’s restaurant being the ONLY KZN restaurant to be counted in Eat Out’s Top Ten for SA in 2003 and sharing Top Restaurant status with its sister property Hartford House in the KZN MidlandsÊ in last year’s Wine Magazine ratings.
Richard’s tribute to the recent Olympic Games in Athens is a Greek salad - in the form of a piquantly cold soup! The colours are rich and the taste orgasmic! His ability to use local produce and blending it with tastes and flavours of the world, whilst creating delectable, edible Picasso-like masterpieces on a plate, is making for tasty thrills for guests visiting this historical castle.
Lynton Hall offers a myriad of activities and services for the guest with good taste, which include:
+ 9 beautifully decorated suites, each offering views of the sweeping gardens;
+ conference facilities, again with views of the beautiful gardens;
+ golf at the adjoining golf estates;
+ diving - even with sharks!
+ whale and dolphin watching (not forgetting the sardine run)
+ staff with international experience
+ weddings and romantic getaways (the castle tower is ideal for star-gazing lovers);
+ award-winning cuisine
+ history - yes, this is a heritage site
Golfer’s specials include:
5 nights, including dinner and breakfast, as well as 4 green fees to some of the best golf courses in South Africa in Pennington, Umdoni Park being right next door to the property and Selbourne being across the road - at a mere R5000 per person sharing. Shall we take up golf NOW?
Now in its third century and host to Royalty, Prime Ministers, men of letters and captains of business, Lynton Hall was the sanctuary of sugar baron, Sir Frank Reynolds whose yeoman farming family migrated from Devonshire to South Africa in 1852.Ê Graced by the regular visits of Prime Ministers Louis Botha and Jan Smuts as well as Nobel Prize laureate, President F.W. de Klerk, “Lynton ” hosted King George V’s sister, Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone during the Royal tour of 1922.Ê Just two years prior, Sir Frank commissioned the building on the estate’s north-east boundary of Botha House, South Africa’s equivalent of “Chequers” or “Camp David” and entrusted it to the Nation for the use of its Prime Ministers.
During this time, Durban’s “A list” families, as they were somewhat quaintly regarded, were privy to a choice of rare plants imported mainly from Kew by the City’s Botanical Gardens, and today Lynton’s historic acreages are home to one of the finest private collections of exotic specimens in Africa.
Sir Frank’s son Lewis, member of Parliament for South Coast and Private Secretary to General Smuts, founder of the United Nations, was a generous patron of literature and the arts, and the Writer’s cottage was the font of many of the works of Roy Campbell, Edward Rowarth, Noel Langley, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and Sir Laurens van der Post.
Resting at the head of Umdoni Park, the land’s most picturesque golf course, which meanders through pristine coastal forest and throngs of game and birds, this grand property tumbles down to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.Ê
In June 2003 it was counted among US Conde de Nast International Travelers’s “Top 80Ê Hot Hotels” in the world.Ê


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