Our Grand Christmas: A Festive Table Celebration With Groot Constantia’s Grand Constance
We asked 4 of our fans to showcase there festive table creations for 2018 and 2019 by adding a dash of Grand Constance. Join visual foodie artist and chef Bianca Davies, photographer and wine & food blogger Dominique Solomon, digital nomad Dominique Heusden and Cape Town photographer Carol Kloppers as they each showcase their festive table creations with Groot Constantia’s award-winning Grand Constance.
“Hosting friends and family brings us all together which is why food is so important to me.” @beeblegum
My festive table is all about setting a mood. I want people to feel completely enveloped in the dining experience. Light is very important for me so I like to keep things dim and use lots of candles. I find this romantic atmosphere very calming and soothing for me as the host and my diners.
My decor style is a very natural one. I like to keep the tones earthy and one can keep the costs down by foraging for pine cones and getting a pile of greenery from your local flower market. I love using greenery like eucalyptus which has a faint mint and honey smell. It adds a little extra ambience to the table.
Whenever I host a large dinner party I serve things family feast style so people can help themselves and things remain casual and comfortable. I make sure the bar is also always fully stocked and set up close to the table as you never want any empty wine glasses on the table! I also like to infuse my table water with herbs, citrus and other fruit. As well as making homemade cordials and ginger beer. I feel hosting a fabulous festive dinner party is all about the little touches that add up. People really appreciate the effort you put into everything from the last sprig of rosemary on a canapé to wrapping the table candles in fresh sage leaves.
There’s very little I love more than hosting friends and family in my home. It brings me immense joy. I like getting my mum involved with setting the table and the husband helps in the kitchen. It brings us all together which is why food is so important to me. As long as we all have a glass of wine in hand we can turn any meal into a festive one.
“The marshmallow texture and taste of the Pavlova pairs so incredibly well because of the hints of marshmallow on the palate and nose of this Grand Dame.” @off_beet_blog
The colour of the iconic Grande Constance reminds me of amber Christmas trifles with dollops of the famed caramel spread and warm twinkly lights that set the tone for festivities galore. To get well into the spirit of the festive season I naturally paired this delicious natural sweet wine with a dessert and even used some of it in the making of it.
To keep it light and seasonal, I made a Pavlova topped with boozy peaches and cranberries, roasted in a mixture of honey, vanilla extract and of course Grande Constance. The marshmallow texture and taste of the Pavlova pairs so incredibly well because of the hints of marshmallow on the palate and nose of this Grand Dame. Topped with chopped pistachios nuts and pansies.
Another delicious pairing idea: use the boozy roasted peaches along with the sticky sweet syrup on a rich cheeseboard to wow guests this festive season. The sweet tart flavours will complement pungent Stilton easily or Brie or better yet bake together with a wheel of Camembert.
Top tip: not sure what pairs well with sweet wines? Rule of thumb: sweet pairs well with sweet, it’s as easy as that. Mince Pies are also a delicious festive accompaniment to serving as is with a glass of Grande Constance of course. It doesn’t get any more Christmassy than this!
“My summery Christmas lunch for 2 reflects our South African heritage – which is a melting pot of different cultures.” @dominiqueinthecity
The festive season in South Africa is one hot affair. There is no snow, no roaring fires, no gluwein and no mistletoe. We South African’s enjoy a summer Christmas and our menu’s should reflect that. Summer time in South Africa offers so many delicious fruits in season! Think strawberries, raspberries, mango’s, and so much more. Once in a while, we like to braai on Christmas Day. We find it just too much to stand in a hot kitchen, roasting a leg of lamb. Take Christmas Lunch outside this year! I like our Christmas lunch to reflect our heritage – which is a melting pot of different cultures.
I believe that less is more when it comes to decorating and entertaining, and would rather focus on the food, wine and conversation. In keeping with the South African theme, this year I will be dressing my table with local flowers like our wonderful proteas and fynbos. Use a plain white table cloth, and use the fynbos and proteas as your centerpiece. Add your dishes alongside them. Use muted colours, like dusty pink, to highlight the beautiful greens from the foliage. I made my own crackers using the paper towel cardboard tube, hid a special gift inside and wrapped them with dusty pink paper. These colours will compliment my dessert!
Christmas lunch, whether you choose a traditional roast or a South African braai, can be heavy, which is why I have chosen a fresh and light Summer Pavlova! Decorate your pavlova with loads of fresh cream, fresh and bright strawberries, raspberries and blue berries. But you can choose any seasonal fruit you like! And most importantly, pair your pavlova with the award-winning Grand Constance.
Grand Constance is the perfect dessert wine to sip while you enjoy your summery pudding.
According to those in the know, Grand Constance is the perfect dessert wine that pairs well with chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and a wide variety of both hard and soft cheese, it is also great with fruit based puddings such as lemon tart, pavlova and fruit topped cheesecakes.
“I love to up-cycle the wooden Grand Constance box by using it to hold cutlery or extra serviettes, creating a rustic, eye catching and functional addition to the table.” @carolkloppers
I love collecting antiques and vintage pieces for my home, so decorating a festive table is no different.
Our Christmas here in South Africa is during the hot summer, so I like to bring in elements of a traditional Christmas by adding warm tones to the table. Candles in red glass pots add delicate warmth while the gold, green vintage items collected from all over the world bring in the festive colours. Unique and playful touches are added throughout the table, like the Father Christmas salt and pepper shakers which have been part of the family for over forty years.
The collection of tinsel, bells and balls have been carefully kept in pristine condition and are perfect additions to add glitz and sparkle to the table while the vintage nativity scene adds height and depth, all adding to the feelings of nostalgia. I also love using hand crafted bead and wire reindeers to add a little African sophistication.
Every detail is placed carefully throughout the table to give each guest a unique perspective of their favourite treasured pieces.
As guests arrive they are served our favorite festive wine – the Grand Constance from our neighboring wine Estate. I love the rustic feel of the wooden box, the old design of the bottle and warm amber tones of the wine which compliment and add to the vintage décor and warmth of the table. I also love to up-cycle the wooden Grand Constance box by using it to hold cutlery or extra serviettes, creating a rustic, eye catching and functional addition to the table.
A family tradition is to toast the chef before slicing the signature roast gammon, glazed with cranberry sauce and caramelized onions. And of course everyone’s favourite desert, a decedent chocolate chestnut fondant. Perfectly complimenting the flavours of the evening the Grand Constance wine is enjoyed with chatter and memories of another GRAND occasion.
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