The Marine Hotel, which reopened a month ago, is slowly coming back to life as domestic tourists, especially from Cape Town, come to enjoy not only this iconic establishment’s gracious hospitality, but also the wide open spaces and healthy champagne air of Hermanus.

The grand old lady of Hermanus, The Marine Hotel, enjoys a wonderful position on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay. PHOTO: Supplied

The Marine, along with its sister hotels, The Plettenberg and Cellars-Hohenort, is also well-known for its excellent cuisine. Heading up the kitchen is Tronette Dippenaar, a charming and down-to-earth boeremeisie, albeit one with a sophisticated palate, who has been working for The Collection since 2008, when she was appointed as Chef de Partie at The Marine. After three years, Tronette transferred to The Plettenberg, where she became head chef before moving on to the Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein. She returned to The Marine in 2017 to take over as executive head chef.

Chef Tronette Dippenaar with The Marine’s Friday Special of fish ‘n chips. In the circle is the Sunday Roast, with all the trimmings. PHOTOS: Hedda Mittner

Most businesses in the hospitality industry have had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ – and The Marine is no exception. Deciding to keep the Origins restaurant closed until visitor numbers start picking up, all meals are now served in the beautiful Pavilion dining room, which overlooks Walker Bay on the one side and the swimming pool courtyard on the other. With her charismatic and energetic approach to food and service, Tronette has also streamlined the menu, while ensuring that there is enough variety to satisfy all tastes.

In addition to the main menu, which features all Origins’ signature dishes such as the grilled grass-fed Beef Sirloin, the Walker Bay Fish Curry, Origins Salad and Franschhoek Salmon Trout Poke Bowl, there is a separate Vegan menu and a Vegetarian menu, complete with starters, mains, side dishes and desserts. The wine list offers overwhelmingly local wines, from celebrated producers such as Beaumont, Bouchard Finlayson, Creation, Newton Johnson, Raka and Paul Cluver. And the little ones have not been left out – a special children’s menu offers wholesome child-friendly options of mains, side orders, beverages and desserts.

Now is the ideal time for locals who have not experienced the relaxed elegance of The Marine to pop in for sundowners, high tea, lunch or dinner, or even breakfast. The latter is a joy when it’s a sunny day and you can tuck in al fresco next to the pool. With The Marine’s famous buffet breakfast on hold for the moment, you can pick and choose from the a la carte breakfast menu, which includes deliciously healthy immune-boosting shots and freshly-squeezed fruit juices, a selection of pastries and cereals, and traditional hot breakfasts. Among the specialities you’ll find Eggs Benedict, Eggs Royale, Eggs Florentine… all of which is served daily from 07:00 – 10:30. (And for those who think luxury and quality are unanimous with expense, the prices will come as a pleasant surprise.)

During the month of October, the Friday Special at The Marine is Fish & Chips – an ample portion of decadent craft beer-battered hake and triple-cooked hand-cut potato chips, served with pickled onions and caper aioli. This popular crowd-pleaser can be enjoyed for either lunch or dinner at only R135, every Friday until the end of October.

And what better way is there to spend a Sunday than by indulging in a traditional Sunday Roast dripping with meaty juices and accompanied by plump Yorkshire pudding, crispy roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables – comfort food personified! Make your Sunday special with a long, leisurely meal that will allow you to spend quality time with friends and family. The Sunday Roast is available for either lunch or dinner at a cost of R185 per person.

Bookings are essential. Contact The Marine on 028 313 1000.

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