Ink, Art and Gourmet Delights at La Motte
Original Source: Ink, art and gourmet delights at La Motte | Navel-Gazing 101 – Briony Chisholm
On one of those ridiculously perfect sunny-but-cool, Cape Town winter Saturdays with the sky so blue and so clear, we headed out to Franschhoek to see the new exhibition at the La Motte museum and be treated to lunch. And what a treat it was, as always. We were welcomed by Toby Megaw‘s gorgeous Wine Bearer and, newest incumbent, mother and child.
Gorgeous sculptures grace the gardens, then there’s the museum, which, thanks to the art patronage of the Ruperts, always offers visitors the extraordinary. The museum houses not only an eye-wateringly lovely collection of Pierneef’s. In addition, it is currently showing ‘Ink on Paper’, a wonderful and educational exhibition on printing. It includes a number of works by Rembrandt van Rijn and numerous fantastic South African artists (think Skotnes, both father and daughter, Muafangelo, Ntshalintshali and Battiss, to name a few) illustrating the different forms of printmaking. It’s gorgeous.
Curator, Eliz-Marie guided us through the various types of printmaking including intaglio, with 20 van Rijn etchings, relief and planography. Screens in the centre show videos detailing how the methods are practiced. These are currently international videos, but South African versions are being filmed at local studios as we speak and should be showing by next month.
After paying homage to Pierneef in the adjacent gallery space of the museum, we headed to Pierneef à La Motte – with many of his prints on the wall – for lunch. It’s warm and cosy, with a hearty fire inside and huge windows framing the oak-shaded lawns. Perfect for a winter’s day lunch. Luckily art gallerying makes you hungry. The food was amazing. They do 2- or 3-course lunches with/without wine-pairing.
I opted for the roasted wood pigeon with braised endive, wild mustard and Langkloof truffles jus, accompanied by the La Motte Millenium red. Then I had the line fish with black-as-ink (very apt, considering our printmaking viewings) baby potatoes in squid sauce with a beautifully light Chardonnay (I’m not usually a fan of Chardonnay but this was yummy) and then pecan nut pie with ginger custard and nutmeg ice cream.
I did, however, create some artwork on my squid-inked plate, having been suitably inspired by the art, the food and the beautiful scenery:
La Motte is also the poster child for accessibility: sloped pathways from parking into the courtyard and restaurant, down to the museum and up across the bridge to the wine-tasting cellar, accessible toilets (with high enough basins, low enough mirrors, handled taps, grab bars etc.). It’s absolutely brilliant.
Added to that, the wonderful staff at the restaurant didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked for something to make the table a little higher (I’m almost 6-foot so, even sitting, my knees are high). They got coasters to raise the table and I was sitting comfortably within minutes. What an absolute delight.