H|H Visual Diary

Luke Dale Roberts at the Saxon

Can we please note the little Oscar’esque door handles

I remember my first experience at The Saxon, I could have been no older than 20 when i laid pool side at The Sax sipping perfectly made cocktails and lounging almost spread eagle by the pool as if myself and bestie Dane had actually just dropped R8000.00 on a Luxury suite. We wish!

A friend of ours had, then, been employed as a pastry chef and that my friends, was probably the only reason they let us dodgy Durbanites through the 3 metered fortress type gates with an escort to the pool side venue, Full MIB style.

Oh I remember, it was 2009-i was 19 and it was Justin Bieber’s first South African appearance and depending on how well you know me, you’ll be privy to the fact that I had a mild obsession with the “Somebody to love singer”

Justin, yes, we’re on first name basis had just checked out the day we arrived, amidst the tears of excitement I BEGGED the staff to show me his room, to no avail I was forced to drown my tears with a frozen tequila smoothie-it was before 12h00 I think, after noon it’s known to most as a margarita.

Anyway the reason I post, Luke Dale Roberts, yes our hottest #22 restaurant mastermind in the world has done a collaboration with David’s Higg’s protégé Head Chef Candice Philip to create Luke Dale Roberts x Saxon, in The City of Gold.

What was set to be a “pop up” by LDR which was to cease in March has now been cemented as a permanent offering at The Saxon with interiors done but the celebrity chef’s wife Sandalene Dale-Roberts. Sadalene is also the creative direction behind LDR new eatry The Short Market club that recently opened in CT

Demurely tucked away on the first floor of the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, the restaurant is an exercise in warm, unaffected simplicity – elegantly appointed tables sit around a large open kitchen, a clear signal that the priority is where it should be: the food. Interior designer Sandalene Dale-Roberts went for a refined aesthetic: ‘I tried to create an Orient-Express feel of opulence,’ says Sandalene. ‘With wood-panelled walls, blue tones and lots of brass touches, it reflects the grandeur that is fitting for a Joburg setting,’ she explains.

If anyone has just over R1000.00 spare and is happy to have me as their dinner guest at the glorious Saxon, you know where to find me! Please dont, force me to drown my tears in another smoothie, just take me with you okay?

Dont get the fuss, have a look see below:



Are you jealous and almost crying yet?



I handpicked the suppliers making the crockery and show pieces. I’ve brought a little bit of the Test Kitchen into the space here in terms of the edginess. And I’m very excited to be working closely with the head chef, Candice Philip, who’s been here for the last couple of years. I’m adding my knowledge and skill and technique, but what’s important to me is that I work very closely with the team so that they feel it’s their own.

-Luke Dale Roberts


At their core, the concepts are simple, the flavours aren’t overloaded and don’t get in the way of each other, and the wine pairings are clever – choose between local and international wine partners or a non-alcoholic option with an Yswara tea pairing. Tasting menus like this often get accused of being more style than substance, but Luke’s created a menu where each course is like the best version of that thing you could only possibly imagine. We’d say ‘better late than never’ but our mouths are too full.

– Jonothan Hall | H&L

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So two tequila smoothies then?


The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa | 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Johannesburg | 011-292-6000

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