The Cape Fynbos Tea Ceremony is a South African interpretation of a tea ceremony introducing a selection of the Cape's indigenous teas.
The Cape Floral Kingdom is a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its plant diversity. The heath-like vegetation is known as fynbos, translated from Afrikaans as fine bush.
Featured fynbos heritage teas include favourites such as Honey bush and Rooibos, as well as minty black-currant Buchu, distinctive Cancer bush, aromatic Snow bush, pungent velvet Pelargoniums and the resinous Rhino bush. These are paired with artisanal confectionery.
Guests are invited to experiment with creating personal blends from an array of heritage teas, fresh fynbos and herbs and spices reminiscent of the naval spice route that prompted the establishment of the Company's Garden in 1652.
Accompanying the experience is an artistic interpretation of the fynbos landscape – a kaleidoscopic representation that symbolises the art of quieting the mind by attuning to nature.
The etiquette of the tea ceremony is complemented by mindfully handcrafted tea-ware. Protea teacups and eastern-style teapots are detailed in South African platinum; drawstring teabags are lovingly handmade and nostalgic copper teaspoons add to an unforgettable tête-à-tête.
There is a delight in every detail of this elegant offering, where the everyday act of drinking tea is elevated to the art of contemplation.
Truly nature's ritual.
THE COMPANY’S GARDEN
There could be no more spectacular backdrop for South Africa’s oldest formal garden than the iconic Table Mountain, one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature. Masses of fynbos, including Proteas and Silver Trees cascade down the slopes towards the city, where the Company’s Garden is centrally framed by the urban labyrinth of modern Cape Town.
Remnants of botanical patterning in the Company’s Garden provide traces of the Cape’s historical layering over the past four centuries. The rhythmic arabesque of the original fynbos is to be found near the rose garden. This vegetation was overlaid by the rigid patterning of the Dutch East India Company’s Garden in 1652. The naval fleets of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) were replenished from the seasonal harvests. A contemporary reproduction of this vegetable garden showcases the African-Eastern-European culinary fusion and pharmacopeia.
In the mid-eighteen hundreds the geometric lines of the garden layout were softened by the introduction of sinuous pathways and lawns forming connecting lines typical of the English landscape style and the then British occupation at the Cape. International demand for exotic plant species was high at this time and the Garden cultivated many for export, especially Pelargoniums.
Today the Garden is a public park and contains a collection of architectural and national treasures such as the Houses of Parliament, the National Gallery and Library, the Great and Old Synagogues, Planetarium, South African Museum, the Egyptian Building, Slave Lodge and St. George’s Cathedral, all contributing to the nostalgic ambience of a bygone era.
GUIDED WALKS OF THE GARDEN
By appointment with The Cape Town Heritage Trust 021-426 2157
COMPANY’S GARDEN HERITAGE SHOP
From tea-ware to garden-wear, this is a beautifully curated collection of Company’s Garden souvenirs.
COMPANY’S GARDEN RESTAURANT
Contemporary and child friendly, light meals and traditional South African fare. Adjacent to the Cape Fynbos Tea Ceremony in the Visitors Centre. Open daily 7:00 to 18:00.