Blanko and Incognito Bring Back the Allure of the Alphen
A homage to heritage in a modern setting, the refurbished Incognito and Blanko at The Alphen Boutique Hotel are excellent reasons to visit Constantia.
The latest in the Kove Collection’s impressive ensemble of restaurants, hotels and bars, The Alphen Hotel in Cape Town’s Constantia has recently seen a gentle refurbishment; a nip and tuck of its prized assets.
Visionaries responsible for a unique hospitality brand that covers well-loved Capetonian establishments, including La Belle, Marly Boutique Hotel, Lily’s and Bilboa, the Kove Collection has imparted new life and luxury into two classic spaces here. Paying homage to a 17th century historical treasure, these are places to indulge in sips, sundowners, tapas and dinner – all at once or in as many visits as you like.
Keeping it on the Lowdown: Incognito
An ambient mix of cool, classic and contemporary, Incognito is housed in a striking steel and glass structure overlooking the estate’s manicured gardens.
Be it fireside in winter or a summer afternoon on the deck, you can enjoy light tapas and a libation that speaks to seasonal, accessible flavours: fried stuffed olives with garlic and Parmesan; mozzarella bocconcini and zesty bresaola; crisp whitebait with lemon, salt and black pepper; and tomato bruschetta.
Well suited to any occasion – from an after-work cocktail to a special celebration – the polished interiors, brilliant service and historic beauty contribute decorously to Incognito’s definitive allure.
A Fresh Canvas: Blanko
In flowing contrast, the four gallery-style rooms that make up Blanko, adjacent to Incognito, offers diners a chance to recline in its all-white setting.
Opt for the beef carpaccio as a recommended antipasti, with wild rocket, grana padana and mozzarella (although the mussels in shallots, fennel, white wine and cream is excellent too).
Salads and vegetarian dishes feature first on the menu, followed by the chef’s specialities: lamb cutlets with oregano, thyme, chilli and baby potatoes; lamb shank braised in red wine and served with polenta; sirloin with pickled walnut salsa verde – all befitting for a chilly winter’s night and a bottle of Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2015.
We, however, had the seafood pasta: linguine with clams, anchovies, prawns, calamari, mussels and white fish in a flavourful pomodoro sauce. It was exceptional.
Boasting a vibrant ‘all-day’ atmosphere, as well as pizzas and a kiddies menu, Blanko caters to families, groups and events. Live jazz on Sundays (from 1pm to 3.30pm, booking essential) in collaboration with Bazinga Parties means your children can enjoy games and activities while you relax over lunch, and there's also a regular Supper Club hosted in the restaurant’s elegant walls.
The beautifully blended menu offering and the tasteful refurbishment both honour the estate’s history while simultaneously adding a noted sense of modernity, and the knowledgable and friendly staff further extend the experience into one of comfort, relaxation and fun.
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