December and January are the ultimate holiday months for most travellers, there are some festive destinations that those seeking the finer things in life simply shouldn’t miss. We’re talking some of the world’s most lauded epicurean establishments, an iconic champagne beacon and the secret gardens of globally renowned artists right here in South Africa. Here’s some festive inspiration to ring in your holidays in style this season…

Moët & Chandon Golden Tree

Moët & Chandon recently opened the festive season with the reveal of the Moët & Chandon Golden Tree on Sandton’s Nelson Mandela Square. This is a time of year associated with togetherness and generosity; the very characteristics for which Moët & Chandon is known, and there is no better way to usher it in than by visiting this golden beacon of festive joy. Bedecked with gilded baubles on the outside, guests stepping inside will be dazzled by a chandelier crafted from 1 400 Moët & Chandon bottles, suspended over a champagne cork floor. Invite family and friends to enjoy festive Moët & Chandon Golden Tree champagne offers at the restaurants on Nelson Mandela Square until the 27thof December. And if you’re still looking for the perfect gift, why not personalise your champagne purchase at the Moët & Chandon pop-up store until December 23rd, from 12pm until 6pm. The Golden Tree will shine its light over Sandton until 3 January 2022.

FYN

There’s fine dining – and then there’s FYN. This stunning Cape Town restaurant has recently been recognised as one of the best in the world, ranking 92nd on the World’s 50 Best restaurants™ 50-100 list – a hard-won and highly coveted achievement. Awarded by a panel of more than 1 000 experts each eatery is rated according to a rigorous assessment and voting process. FYN’s accomplishment can be attributed not only to the passion of the team at the helm – including renowned chef Peter Tempelhoff, culinary director Ashely Moss and service and beverage director Jennifer Hugé – but also to their unique concept. Blurring the edges between dining room and kitchen to create a truly spectacular theatre of food. Melding South Africa’s singular appeal with the principles of Japanese cooking, expect a dining sensation like no other – the sweet potato tataki is a case in point, garnished with edamame, avocado, koshu ponzu and pickles. 

Dylan Lewis Studio and Sculpture Garden

At this time of year, the Cape turns into a wonderland. And there is nowhere that encapsulates the spirit of that wonder more than a garden. Artist Dylan Lewis’s garden, in particular, is a land of magic and mystery, emerging under his guidance as a seven-hectare sculpture that has given rise to an outdoor art gallery, with nature itself becoming part of every artwork as the garden grows, flourishes, dies back and is rebirthed. Email reservations@dylanart.co.za to book your visit.

beyond

Having already wowed the world with FYN, Peter Tempelhoff and his team (this time including head chef Julia du Toit) have created another venue that pays unabashed tribute to the glories of flavour. At beyond, situated at beautiful Buitenverwachting, the focus is squarely on the ingredients which come together to create every dish. As befits a restaurant rooted in a place with a centuries’ old heritage, there is a deep respect for the traditions of simplicity and provenance, allowing each dish to speak for itself, while the gorgeous design creates a decidedly modern-day appeal. Our top choice? Try out the six-course tasting experience with wine pairing at beyond – the best of the best.

Norval Foundation 

If this is a time of year to celebrate beauty, there is no better place to do so than at Norval Foundation, one of the country’s most revered art venues. Always thought-provoking, the gallery salutes South African and African artists alike, with current exhibitions providing a showcase for Irma Stern, Athi-Patra Ruga and Jackson Hlungwane. A visit to the sculpture garden is an absolute must, where works blend against the background of the Cape lowlands. Visit norvalfoundation.

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