Sunday 17th July, Bastille celebration weekend in the beautiful historical little town of Franschhoek. Nestled between magnificent mountainous landscapes, Franschhoek town’s name interprets to “French Corner”. This little gem in the Western Cape was once previously named Olifantshoek, but this is not a history of geography lesson, no, this is a blog about Wine and Food, very good wine and very good food I must add, so scroll down to my links below if you would like to learn a little more about the history of this town called Franschhoek.

Just before reaching Franschhoek town on the R45, there is an entrance way on the right (Market ANTONJI RUPERT) which is also the entrance to the Bellingham Homestead. This is where the afternoons offerings were to reach it’s culinary heights under the wonderful skills of Master Chef Guy Clark.

My wife Jaimi and I met Guy and his lovely wife Marcela some weeks back at another Food and Wine pairing, and really enjoyed sharing quality time and some really interesting stories with this wonderful couple. Guy is a self taught chef and has a true passion for what he loves. He has taken his talent abroad and spoilt the palettes of many a local, and some well known individuals in the cities of New Delhi in India, and Miami, Florida. Guy’s journey back to South Africa, and his home city of Cape Town earlier this year has sparked much interest amongst his fellow contemporaries and foodies alike, all waiting with anticipation to see just what Guy would be “cooking up” for his many followers.

So the invite arrived to attend the very first Bellingham Homestead Food and Wine Pairing, aptly named “The Winter Farm 1693”, and yours truly was there, rubbing shoulders with the wonderful folk of the Bellingham Homestead, a couple of really cool chaps from Cape Town and a feature Writer/Editor from TCB Media. We all took our seats and the afternoons event started…

Set up in The Old Maturation Cellar (built in 1693) on the lawns of the Bellingham Homestead (which is now a museum of beautiful artwork and decor), the twelve seater lunch table was beautifully set, candles lit, heaters were on and I really felt like I was being treated as royalty would have been back in the early part of last century, but with the warmth and sincerity of a close family affair.

Although this was an official invite only, first pairing event, where most of everybody did not know, or had not ever met each other until this day, once the food was plated and wine poured it really felt like a family gathering with hearty chatter, much laughter and good friendships forming at the table.

Well, Chef Guy Clark, all I can is that the food was delicious, which is probably a very understated word to describe just how Mmmmmm yummy & soulful each serving was.

To quote one of Guy’s favourite authors - Prophet Kahlil Gibran

And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,
“Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”

Here is a brief look at each meal we, as a new family, ate together on this wonderful Sunday afternoon.

Amuse Bouche:

Lime pap arepa. Dalewood brie. Garden tomatoes. Maldon. Lemon oil. Wild flowers.

1st Course: Celeriac soup. Fresh truffle. Truffle salt. Truffle oil. Fried celeriac. Baby nasturtiums. Smoked red pepper oil. Nasturtium oil.

2nd Course: Orange & Turmeric ciabatta. Kefir. Strawberries. Green pepper. Wild honey. Charcoal

3rd Course: Rooibos & beetroot lightly smoked / cured highlands Royale trout. Watercress. Bloodorange & black garlic dressing. Radish. Dukkah

4th Course: Wagyu & Kudu meatball. Porcini mousse. Rainbow baby carrots. Red wine jus

5th Course: 70% & 80% cremeux. Blackberry & cocoa crostini. Lemon oil. Black salt.

The wine pairing was designed and presented to us by Guy’s lovely friends, Chef Samantha Nolan, a wonderful chef herself who was side by side with Guy as he prepared each meal for us.

Here is a list of the magnificent Wines we were treated with:

1st course: Bellingham Homestead Chardonnay
2nd course: Bellingham Homestead Sauvignon Blanc
3rd course: Bellingham Rose
4th course: Bellingham Homestead Pinotage
5th course: Bellingham Homestead Shiraz

A second extract from “On Eating and Drinking” by Prophet Kahlil Gibran

And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for the winepress, say in your heart,
“I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,
And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels.”
And in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;
And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.

Some Important Instagram and Twitter Handles:

Instagram: @shieldsterphoto @bansheetwentytwo @packyourcameras @guyclark777
Twitter: @shieldsterphoto @banshee22ct @GuyClarkChef @bellinghamwines

An insight in Chef Guy Clark

Bellingham Homestead

Bellingham Wines

More About Bellingham Wines

History & Geography of Franschhoek Website and so much more information.

Read more about Franschhoek Website and so much more information.

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