Review: Clico Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, Rosebank

Over the past couple of years, Rosebank has undergone a reinvention. While it’s always been artier than the neighbouring Sandton, over the last year or two there’s been a flurry of development resulting in the emergence of edgy architecture, contemporary art galleries and some of the country’s most exciting new restaurants.

At the heart of this development is the new Keyes Art Mile, with the unmissable Trumpet building at the core, flanked by the iconic Everard Reed gallery and Circa. And just a stone’s throw away from this new creative hub is the beautiful five-star Clico Boutique Hotel and Restaurant.

Despite its proximity to all the action, Clico feels tucked away amongst the trees, with a distinctive suburban feel – and is somehow sheltered from the noise and action taking place all around it. The 60-year old Cape Dutch building has been converted from a homestead into a boutique hotel, but retained its intimate, homely appeal in the process. The rooms are spacious and ours opened up onto the quiet lawn and shared swimming pool.

The most striking feature of our room was the generous, free-standing clawfoot bath – set in the open-plan bathroom. All the ingredients for an excellent stay were there – the comfortable king-size beds, great coffee and high-speed WiFi.

But the real highlight was Clico’s exceptional fine dining restaurant where we were under the care of the exceptionally talented sous chef, Terry, and her attentive team. We were treated to the six-course winter tasting menu with wine pairing, which is priced at a very reasonable R750 a head (R600 without wine) making it a very affordable option for a great dining experience. Guests also have the option of ordering individual dishes off the a la carte menu.

The restaurant is small and intimate – with triple-volume ceilings and plush upholstered seating. We were seated right next to the fireplace – which was definitely the place to be on a wintery night – but I imagine in warmer weather, with the fold-away doors opened up, the restaurant will be a particularly wonderful place to spend a mid-summer’s evening.

For me – a non-game eater until about a year ago – the dish of the day was the impala rump tartare, served with orange puree, salsa verde and topped with a fried quail egg which delicately combined both tart and rich flavours. Another highlight was the dark chocolate semifreddo with beetroot and rooibos cake and rosewater pearls – which is saying something considering how full we were after the preceding five courses! The wine pairing was creative and well thought out – with the first course combination of butternut agnolotti and root vegetable chips with the Fable Jackal Bird white blend being particularly well-rounded.

For more information about Clico Boutique Hotel and Clico Restaurant – visit Bookings for Clico Restaurant are essential and can be made by contacting +27 (0)11 252 3300 or emailing