When I arrived with my partner on a blisteringly hot Friday afternoon, the hotel’s slick and sophisticated lobby, which also has a lovely bar, made for a welcoming space to chill in as I waited for check-in time.
When we got up to our rooms, we were met with a beautifully personalised and romantic set-up. First, fixed on our door was a pair of pink, fluffy handcuffs - a bit on the raunchy side. Inside, there was a bottle of sparkling wine set in a bucket of ice on the table and a trail of rose petals on the floor leading to the bed. On the bed were more rose petals laid out in a big heart shape - and a blindfold.
After we took a few pics of the lovely decor touches, we put our bags down and went down to the restaurant for lunch.
The Fire & Ice’s restaurant is beautifully arranged. The inside is elegant and well-spaced and on the outside, where we sat, there’s an enchanting pool deck with a big swimming pool.
The lunch menu is extensive. Under the starters and salads section, there are interesting options like the Mushroom Cloud, which is roasted Portobello soaked in hot balsamic rosemary jam, filled with a creamy blue cheese reduction and biltong slivers, and the Duck and Dive, which is Shanghai mixed-spice duck breast carpaccio on a bed of rocket with grilled coconut, mango and wasabi oil drops.
There’s also a wide selection of gourmet burgers, sliders, vegetarian dishes and African dishes such as chisa nyama (a mixed grill of sirloin steak, lamb chop, liver, sausage and chicken) and umsila wenkomo (oxtail simmered for hours in a butter bean and marrow sauce).
We went with the chisa nyama. I loved the presentation and how tender and delicious each cut was.
We spent a couple of hours chatting and enjoying the ambiance before retreating to our room for a siesta.
The hotel’s black and white theme with splashes of red is chic and sophisticated, which matches the general feel of the precinct. There are mirrors and chandeliers all around the building - 460 globes in the chandeliers alone.
For dinner, we both went with the steak. We were disappointed to find that it was bland and tasteless. My dessert of vanilla ice cream wasn’t much better.
The Fire & Ice is known for its extensive milkshake bar, which has a total of 37 flavours. Apart from their regular shakes, there’s a section called “grown-up” milkshakes, which is a selection of alcohol-infused shakes.
One particular shake caught my eye - Tequila Mocking Bird. It was amazing! I loved how, although I could taste the tequila, it was well disguised in the creamy, thick vanilla flavour.
This hotel is ideal for an experience with your significant other.
The precinct has several other dining experiences, including the excellent Moyo, in case you want to try something different, and there’s an array of retail options in and around Melrose.
If you haven’t found something interesting to try out for Valentine’s Day, this might be it.