Come for breakfast . . . and stay for lunch
OUR Intle experience began the moment we drove through the gate to be instantly greeted by a herd of impala and three curious zebras.
Thankfully, as a novice to the game reserve experience, none of these animals were on the menu during our two-night stay, although with many overseas visitors drawn to Intle, game is on the menu, but is sourced from other lodges.
Intle is the kind of place where the food is of such a high standard that people come for breakfast and stay for lunch, drawn in by the incredible beauty of the area, not to mention guaranteed game sightings.
Casual diners will be delighted to know that the restaurant is open to the general public, but prior bookings are essential as tables fill up fast.
There is also a recommended dress code of shirts for the men in the evening, a nice touch in a T-shirt crazy world.
All meals we enjoyed at Intle were luxurious affairs, from the atmosphere in the gorgeous dining room to the de- licious food.
On our first night, we were spoilt with a four-course meal starting with a moreish carrot and ginger soup.
This unlikely pairing was a match made in heaven, the two flavours complemented each other perfectly and an aftertaste of ginger lingered on the tongue.
This was followed by a Greek salad, which proved to be the ideal palate cleanser, leading to the main of the highest quality Angus fillet steak, cooked according to preference, and to absolute perfection.
The small side of pureed potato and crispy vegetables rounded it all off perfectly.
On this occasion, tummies contentedly full, we skipped dessert.
On our second day, we went down to breakfast and were lucky enough to enjoy our meal with a view of three giraffes in the not too far distance, which made our breakfast of bacon, egg and fried tomato that much better.
The following evening start- ed with deep-fried camembert and fresh cranberry sauce, a personal favourite, and a delicious meal.
The main on this occasion was sundried tomato and homemade pasta, with succulent chicken a bonus that made the whole dish simply incredible.
Chef Tracy Roelofsen outdid herself with this meal and explained the process of making your own pasta – making it sound really easy.
We attempted to cajole a recipe out of her, but her cooking process is a personal one and operates on a pinch of this, a pinch of that, so it is not an exact science.
For dessert there was a choice between brandy butter pudding or a cheese platter.
I had the former with homemade ice cream which I polished off as if the previous courses had not existed.
Rounding the meal off, we were served granadilla and vodka shooters.
As chef Tracy said, one is smooth enough to have over ice cream, two or more and you risk landing up on the floor!
ABSOLUTE DELIGHT: A delicious starter of deep-fried camembert served with fresh cranberry sauce. Right, tender Angus steak cooked to perfection