Best of South Africa on a plate and in a glass, was our experience of wining and dining on Rovos Rail, the most luxurious rail travel in all of Africa. Wining and dining on the train is a magnificent meandering for the palate. And for international guests, it’s an enchanting ‘first and best date’ with some of South Africa’s most classic signature dishes, its finest cheeses and its premium wines – all prepared, paired and presented with the chef’s own special twist. We’d love to give you a small taster of the food-and-wine experience on board Rovos Rail.
The Dining Experience on Rovos Rail
The chef paid us a personal visit soon after we’d settled into our luxurious cabin on the train. One of us is a vegetarian, and he came by just to let us know that he had this in mind and would have a deliciously wonderful vegetarian menu available – which he most certainly did!
Dinners on Rovos Rail are veritable occasions in a beautiful Victorian dining car with a warm, romantic ambience. Guests dress for dinner on the train – such a rare and special ritual nowadays, which adds enormously to the celebratory “feel” of each dinner event. The tables are beautifully dressed too, in crisp white linen without a crease, and with gleaming silver and crystal at the ready for the perfect clink-clink.
Our last night on the train was more special than ever; it was Rovos Rail’s own special version of a “Captain’s Dinner”, with a spectacular menu and an air of celebration. Wine, sparkling wine and port glasses were topped up with flair by a charming tux-clad steward-connoisseur who made sure that pairings happened seamlessly and optimal beverage levels maintained. It certainly was an evening to remember, the food and wine as memorable as the atmosphere of celebration.
All our dinners included extraordinarily delectable cheese plates, such as duo of Huguenot and Amabutho cheddar cheeses served with a sundried tomato, chilli and black pepper savoury jam, fresh grapes, almonds and a warm baguette, and paired with Allesverloren Port. Mmm.
Ingredients are fresh and wholesome – who would ever guess that the Rovos Rail kitchen is confined to a rail coach.
Sunday lunch coincided with our journey through the vine-combed Hex River Valley in its late-autumn splendour. Successions of pristine vineyards in shades of green, red and orange paraded before the window at our table – a stunning, ever-changing view to accompany a grand finale lunch. Dessert was a truly South African sweet-tooth affair of melktert served with fresh fruit coulis and a syrup-coated koeksister, paired with Amarula on ice.
Book a Rovos Rail Trip
Mail us to book your trip on Rovos Rail, or call +27 21 797-7122. We’d love to tell you about our experiences on the train, and book yours. It’s a magnificent experience, both for international visitors and local travellers.