The Social Reverie Table in Observatory is a quaint little spot where hungry guests come together to enjoy great food paired with the perfect drink, while chatting with strangers. The long table style eatery consists of fine dining dishes paired with some gintastic drinks curated by Cape Town distillery Hope on Hopkins.

A tantalising cocktail of gin, lemon syrup and fizz was served upon arrival, as guests gathered in the dining area to socialise.

The very talented Chef Julia Hattingh welcomed guests warmly and the table bread was served. The first course of  strawberry, radish, avocado salad, topped with edible flowers tasted as mouth-wateringly fresh as it looked. Served alongside a strawberry and gin cocktail, this starter was spring played out in a dish. Guests chatted loudly over their gin cocktails and wiped-clean plates.

The first course was easy on the eyes and the palate.

Second course stepped into a richer and spicier terrain, with gemsbok steak, toasted almonds and two deep fried chilli bites. The Cape Malay flavours powered through in this dish, pairing perfectly with a cinnamon, negroni and gin cocktail.

Three cocktails in and the room was bustling with giggling guests ready for the next course. No one was prepared for the punch our fourth gin cocktail packed. A neat shot of Hope on Hopkins gin, with a naartjie slice or 2 and the cocktail is served. The fresh and potent kick of the neat gin was complimented by it’s pairing of a sensationally seared piece of line fish and buttery asparagus.

A palate cleansing salad followed. Gorgonzola, fennel, rose water soaked caviar and bite size bits of grapefruit made for a fresh break before dessert. The cocktail paired with course 4 took us all by surprise. Hope on Hopkins decided to shake things up with a party starter (although the party was already in full swing) – tequila.

Although not officially tequila, since it’s not made in Mexico, the distillery produced a Western Cape variation made with 100% South African organic agave and named it ‘Esperanza’, meaning ‘hope’ in Spanish. Served neat on ice with a slice of lemon and intended to be sipped slow, the South African tequila went down smoothly.

Last but not least was the final course of dessert. Along with an outstanding sweet treat of lemon cream, biscuit and soft whipped cream, the gin wowed with their brand new invention. A gin and tonic ice-pop with a berry infusion was paired with dessert. This was a great way to end a lovely evening and a nod to the beginning of summer.

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