• Hotels, there is something so exclusive about them. Particularly the sophisticated ones. They look so intimidatingly glamorous and are filled with important looking people on business trips or visitors with fancy cameras ready to explore the city. This is why I’ve always felt like hotel restaurants are off limits unless you’re staying in them or have booked an event.

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    This silly misconception has denied me many pleasures the hotel dining world has to offer, but fortunately, my eyes were opened by Liberty’s Restaurant at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Woodstock. Executive Chef Simon Kemp, has launched a new fine dining menu at the restaurant and everyone (guest or not) is welcome to try it.

    Before I even got to the restaurant, I felt fancy. DoubleTree by Hilton is an international hotel chain, that has over 450 hotels and resorts all over the world. It is also located in Woodstock and is associated with Upper Eastside, which made me feel as if I were in an episode of Gossip Girl (minus New York) getting ready for a night of indulgence. This feeling was amplified by the absolute stunning décor of the intimate restaurant, the wonderful live music playing in the background and the triumph of crossing that exclusive hotel threshold.

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    All of this was perfectly tied together by the food; oh the food! Chef Simon perfected his menu by testing it throughout last year, through Liberty’s Restaurant’s weekly specials. He set out to create food with exceptional flavour that is lighter and fresher, and boy has he achieved it. I was fortunate enough to sample 10 dishes on his menu from appetisers to desserts (I’m still wondering how I managed to walk out of there) and was blown away. Each dish was exquisitely presented, full of interesting flavours and absolutely delicious. The amount of care that went into making the menu is evident in the food. I’m salivating just thinking about those dishes.

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    Highlights for me were the strawberry Caprese salad with pesto and olive oil-dressed bocconcini, the creamy calamari, sticky ribs, risotto, flourless dark chocolate nemesis and a Ganduja chocolate pot that gave every single person a foodgasm! These dishes stood out for me, as they as are more particular to my tastes (I like chocolate, can you tell?), but honestly, all of the food was incredible. I even enjoyed the peri peri duck livers, something I would not normally choose on my own.

    The vibe is great, the food is incredible and who knows? Dining in a hotel like DoubleTree means rubbing shoulders with those fancy hotel guests, and could lead to great connections, be it for business or pleasure!

    OF NOTE
    When Monday – Sunday 7 am – 11 pm
    Where Inside DoubleTree by Hilton, Upper Eastside, 31 Brickfield Road, Woodstock
    Cost Priced on menu
    Contact +27 21 404 0570, [email protected]

    Photography courtesy 

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