Flames and View — Johannesburg, South Africa
Looking past the arid African landscape, formidable concrete motorways, impossibly high walls and general grime of the city at street level, Johannesburg is a surprisingly green metropolis, with over 2,000 parks scattered across the highveld terrain.
All the more reason then, to visit the new Four Seasons Hotel. Perched at the top of a ridge in the affluent Westcliff neighbourhood, the property overlooks the city’s famed green canopy with sweeping views of the northern suburbs, punctuated by the brutal concrete Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in the distance, which dominates the skyline.
A hit with both visitors and locals alike, the best spot to soak up the vistas is at the hotel’s two restaurants; head to Flames for a casual nibble where meat and fish are traditionally cooked over a braai or for a special occasion, the aptly named Views does not disappoint. Designed by London-based outfit, Blacksheep, understated, luxe interiors enhance the cityscape outside, while chef Dirk Gieselmann turns out perfectly constructed dishes from sea bass and caviar with potatoes and beetroot to succulent oxtail and asparagus.
We suggest whiling away a sunny Sunday on the terrace with a glass of champagne, followed by a late lunch and dessert on the outdoor sofas.