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Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Luxurious Experiences this Festive Season

Your quintessential gift guide to sharing luxurious experiences with those with good taste

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | November 13, 2023 | Gift Guide

With just over a month until Christmas day celebrations, we have curated this luxurious Christmas wish list brimming with luxuriously local experiences for those in pursuit of elevating everyday experiences. Giving the gift of an experience is a great idea for those people in our lives who seem to have everything because odds are there are things they have yet to experience.

Welcome to the second edition of the official 2023 House & Garden SA Gift Guide! Throughout November and December, we will showcase our favourite objects and gifts for any kind of person and occasion in your life. Picture guides for foodies, stocking-stuffers, and of course those who seem to have everything (trust us, they definitely don’t).

Share the experience of dining at Fyn, South Africa’s top restaurant

Giving the gift of a meal at one of the best restaurants is in itself a wonderful treat. Delicately balancing the wildness of Africa with Japanese refinement in its seasonally led kaiseki-style menu, FYN’s cuisine is deeply rooted in its locale, which it honours through conscious sourcing of native ingredients from the Western Cape. Suppliers have been selected according to careful criteria, ranging from Abalobi, South Africa’s first community-supported fishery, to the regenerative-principled Meuse Farm for vegetables, Cape Wagyu for free-range, pasture-reared cattle, and responsibly harvested dune spinach, sea lettuce and kelp.

Not only are you giving a luxurious gift of a table at one of the world’s top restaurants, but translates into a message of, “you deserve to eat at one of the finest restaurants in the world”.

“FYN is about balancing authenticity and innovation,” says Peter Tempelhoff, who shares the accolade of the Flor De Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards with his partners, Culinary Director Ashley Moss and Service and Beverage Director Jennifer Hugé.

Enjoy a world-class dinner at Fyn in the heart of Cape Town. Image: supplied.

Afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel

We have all poured a pot of tea in our lives, but how often do we get to experience the art of skilfully tea-pouring in a space dedicated to sharing tea and delicious treats Afternoon tea has always been a celebrated occasion at the Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel. But with the welcome return of Pastry Chef Vicky Gurovich, it has reached a new level of indulgence. Back at the helm of the hotel’s pastry department after an eight-year hiatus, Vicky is on a mission to elevate The Nellie’s legendary afternoon tea to new heights.

As for the tea itself, connoisseurs can choose from over 60 premium loose-leaf and flowering teas, as well as local infusions such as buchu, rooibos, and honeybush. Can’t decide? Opt for the signature Mount Nelson Tea. This sublime blend of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan, and Ceylon has a unique added ingredient: pink rose petals which give the tea a beautiful blush colour that complements the hotel’s iconic pink walls. Coffee lovers are also superbly catered for. The barista, coupled with a fancy San Remo Racer coffee machine, guarantees an impeccable brew from the finest single-origin beans that have been sustainably sourced from Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Afternoon Tea at Cape Town’s Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel. Image: supplied.

Gift a Noble Fragrance with an Architectural nod

Think back to the last time you received the gift of a fragrance for a special occasion and how you felt upon first experiencing the scent. Whether the gift-giver was on the nose with a fragrance that instantly tickled your fancy or it wasn’t quite your style, the memory is there, struck by a scents of place. Since scent is said to be one of the most powerful senses, luxurious scents are a powerful gift to give this season and make a lasting impression on your loved ones, especially if you only see them once a year during the holidays. This season, Louis Vuitton’s Myriad is a fragrance with notes of oud, a wood so precious it’s known as “black gold.”

A scent so profound that it seems to contain all the others. “It’s an exceptional note that has always fascinated me,” explains the Master Perfumer. With its fabulously complex smell and uniquely rich history across cultures and eras, oud offers perfumers a vast territory of inspiration. As a theme, it lends itself to infinite variations. Which is why, all on its own, it comprises an olfactory family unto itself. with packaging made in collaboration with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, Myriad is gift of scent for a true connoisseur.

Louis Vuitton Extrait de parfum Myriad 100ml. Image: supplied.

Olive Oil

Is there anything more indicative of wholesomeness and deliciousness combined than wedges of warm sourdough scooped through bowls of extra virgin olive oil, platters of fresh salads, perhaps a carafe of wine, and the company of friends?

Did you know? The term extra virgin is given to olive oils that are extracted only from the first olive pressing, and without the use of heat as in regular olive oil production. Extra virgin olive oil is naturally healthy, rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats which promote heart health. Its comparatively high smoke point (between 200 and 220°C) means that it can be used to sauté, bake and even deep fry and, contrary to popular belief, it retains many of its beneficial properties even after cooking.

Hemmed into a fertile valley at the gateway of Franschhoek in the Western Cape, Terre Paisible is home to some of the region’s most loved and award-winning Sauvignon blanc wines. Perhaps lesser known, the farm’s trio of Extra Virgin Olive Oils has its own award-winning heritage. Crafted with dedication, their olive oil, much like their wine, is an ode to its source. It is the culmination of an ongoing synergy with nature. The farm’s name, Terre Paisible (peaceful land), was born of its idyllic setting. As the name suggests, their Délicate Huile d’Olive is best suited for use in sautéing, cooking, and baking. With hints of green tomatoes, herbs and artichokes and a mild pepperiness, it’s best suited to grilled seafood, cheesy omelettes, or salad dressings.

Olive oil has also been coined “liquid gold” for its lustrous colour and extraordinary health benefits, giving a luxurious flavour to vitality. Olive oil makes a great gift, especially for the at-home chef who couldn’t cook without it, nor would their counter be complete without a aesthetically-pleasing bottle.

Terre Paisible Délicate Huile d’Olive. Image: supplied.