The Protea Hotel, Hilton is as eye-appealing by night as by day and there is a distinct air of glamour to the smart new hotel Hilton has been graced with. Ample secure parking is a plus. The lofty entrance welcomes visitors inside as though saying 'come in there is lots of room for you at this inn'.
Welcoming staff echo the initial impression as they guide guests to elegantly laid tables with warmth and efficiency. The Wine List is offered promptly and drinks appear just as you are ready to reach out for them.
The decor has been styled in a way to embrace aspects of the original hotel as well as the history of Hilton. A peek into the private dining room emphasizes this fact as its walls have been dedicated to the oldest schools in Hilton. The layout of the restaurant caters comfortably to intimate tables and also large groups.
Friday night is buffet night, which after a stressful week is absolutely wonderful. Who really wants to labour over choosing from a menu on a Friday evening? To simply walk across to a buffet laden with a tempting smorgasbord, to please vegetarians and carnivores alike, whenever your appetite decrees is hugely more relaxing than making yet another decision. This creates a truly relaxing space to ease into the weekend.
The spread will please both carnivores and vegetarians but after the incredibly succulent lamb we tasted any thoughts of giving up meat, other than on 'Meat free Monday' at least, quickly vanished. Highlights amongst our group were the homemade pickled fish, the grilled aubergine with mozzarella, a scrumptious spinach, mushroom and asparagus lasagna and of course the lamb.
A choice of desserts including creme caramel, a pleasingly light and fluffy berry cheesecake, seasonal fruit salad and heavenly caramel ice-cream would have ended our feast perfectly if we had not been lured back by the preserved figs, blue cheese, brie and mature cheddar with crackers for just a teensy final nibble.
The entire gastronomic experience is excellent value for money.
Some may feel the liquor prices are somewhat steep, as they are in line with other major centres around South Africa, perhaps instead we should applaud this policy which may encourage a measure of sobriety and keep our roads safer. The legal limit of around two drinks will not break the bank balance.
Protea Hotel Hilton's impressive new Restaurant serves up this highly commendable buffet each Friday evening and every Sunday for lunch. This already popular and highly convenient dining option for Hilton residents is set to make its mark in the area. Book now before word of our newest culinary treasure reaches Howick and Pietermaritzburg!