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A tantalising food and wine experience is celebrated at this historic venue

The Manor House at Spier has been recently restored to welcome a new food and wine experience led by Michelin star chef Phil Carmichael

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By Yashna Balwanth | February 10, 2023 | Travel Leisure

Right at the very heart of Spier Wine Farm is the Manor House - A grand dame with a gable dating back to 1822. Over the last few months, she’s been beautifully restored to host small, intimate food and wine experiences. As you feast on the finest food and wine, sit among some of South Africa's most renowned contemporary art pieces from the Spier collection, and marvel at the exquisite juxtaposition of old and new.

The Manor House during golden hour offers lush greenery and the perfect afternoon sunlight, Photograph Supplied

Chef Phil Carmichael presents the first series of dinners, every Friday night in March. Presiding over an open hearth kitchen, he will be serving up five course feasts artfully paired with Spier’s flagship wines – representing the very pinnacle of the artistry and craft of Spier’s winemaking. Chef Phil served as executive chef of the EDITION Hotel London from 2013 to 2021, and has extensive experience working in Michelin-starred kitchens. As executive chef of MAZE Prague, he garnered a Michelin star within the first year of the restaurant’s opening.

Michelin star Chef Phil Carmichael heads up the kitchen at Manor House, Photograph Supplied

“Chef Phil is a natural choice to lead the food offering in this reinvigorated space,” says Mariota Enthoven — Spier’s family owner. “He really connected with our regenerative approach to farming on this land. He’s super excited about getting back to the basics – cooking with ingredients that are farmed with care, and in good soil. This makes him completely aligned with Spier’s food philosophy.” Chef Phil explains: “In my kitchen there are no gimmicks or fussiness: we let exceptional ingredients speak for themselves through minimal intervention and simple, timeless cooking techniques. We use flame, smoke and embers to cook dishes. More than just a technique, fire is a key ingredient.”

From grass-fed beef to exquisite seasonal vegetables, the ingredients he uses are sourced from Spier’s pastures and gardens. Fermentation (resulting in kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and other fermented deliciousness) and nose-to-tail use of meat both reduces waste and ensures a broad and exciting spectrum of flavour and texture.

The heirloom tomato salad being dressed with a fresh vinaigrette, Photograph Supplied

“The Manor House will be a space in which conversations around food security and sustainability can take centre stage,” says Mariota. “We’re serving up a unique sense of place, using each meal we make as an opportunity to tell stories about the food revolution Spier is proud to be a part of: stories about our regenerative farming, organically grown food garden, organic vineyards and carefully crafted wines.” Utmost thought has been given to the way food and wine work in harmony in this space. Spier’s Cellar Master Johan Jordaan and expert sommelier, Georgio Meletiou have been intimately involved in the curating of The Manor House’s wine pairings. This ensures that the fullest expression of terroir is achieved, telling a story through each mouthful.

In addition to two elegant dining rooms, the Manor House is also home to the Drawing Room – a wonderful space for pre- and post -dinner drinks and snacks. And, in between courses, diners are offered a sanctuary for contemplation and private talk in the Voorkamer (also known as the Contemplation Room) where Wim Botha’s striking Mieliepap Pietà is on display. This is just one of many extraordinary contemporary South African artworks by some of the country’s most talented creatives that can be found throughout the historic venue – a space where old and new meets to enthralling effect. Each of these thought-provoking pieces offer moments of surprise, delight – and even provocation – throughout your meal.

The artwork Mieliepap Pietà by Wim Botha is on display at the Manor House, Photograph Supplied

Visit for a line-up of upcoming events and details for booking.