I don't know about you ladies.. but trying to do something special for your hubby on his Birthday, is like hoping you will run into a unicorn. It is never a day before thing, but a year-long planning thing.

This year, I asked for help...I WhatsAppd my cousin Farhana (who is currently quite happy with Nimue btw) and mid conversation told her I had no clue what to do this year...we had gone diving, flying, boating, kayaking, zip lining,  rock climbing, tree topping, heli flips and just about as much as we could do with our kids too... and she gets back to me 2mins later suggesting a stay at the new Halaal boutique hotel in Houghton.

I Had to google it...I figured a stay wasn't practical as we have a Dbn trip coming up this weekend. So I scratched that plan out and decided if we can't stay we should dine..
What spells special more than The first Boutique Hotel with a fully halaal kitchen in Gauteng?...Well... dining at their restaurant?

Booking was essential, so I called up about 3 days in advance hoping we could go on his birthday 10 March. We settled for the day after, which worked out great!

We headed to "10 2nd Avenue" in Houghton..(that's the name!) to make it for a 6pm booking. The kitchen is fully halaal and certified by SANHA!

Check out their Facebook page: 10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate on Facebook

I wasn't too sure about their policies on kids..so I asked, and was told that if I could control them...we are most welcome to bring them along. Which only told me..that if they are uncontrollable that might be a problem..So it was just Zak and I, and the kids were ever happy to go to their grans and Aunt for a bit. Just for the record....we don't do this often...so it was a date!

Here's how our evening turned out...

When we got to the gate, we were about 15mins late due to a taxi collision (common occurence) on the M1, the security guard checked my name on his booking list first,once confirmed, he let us in.
The huge gates opened and a paved road led us past a beautiful garden lawn, to ample, secure  parking space.

Mr. Devin who ensures guests are well taken care of, came out immediately from inside the hotel reception to greet us and lead us to our tables.
He was kind, courteous and funny and showed no hint of sarcasm or snobbery normally associated with high end hotels and restaurants. We felt absolutely comfortable and even toured the hotel before our meals arrived.

The menu is not a large one...it was clearly tailored for the hotel guests, but catered for outside guests as well. Though limited, the selection on the menu was exclusive, and suited to a finer dining experience.

Zakariyya ordered the herb marinated beef fillet with crushed roast potatoes,  caramelised carrot and mushroom sauce.

I ordered the bbq marinated Scotch fillet with cauliflower mash, carrot and brown onion.
This was honestly the best steak I had tasted in ages! My steak was well tenderised and the bbq marinade permeated the meat so well, leaving you savouring each flavourful bite. The veges were done to perfection not limp or raw, just right with a bit of crunch...they way we love them.

Best of all the Birthday Boy agreed...That's a unicorn right there!

We gave our compliments to the humble chef, who also enligtened us on the dessert menu... Who could resist a vanilla and chocolate terrine parfait with kiwi and caramel? Chocolate mouse layered with vanilla cream ice-cream...melt in your mouth indulgence...divine!

Zakariyya went for Malva pudding...he loves the classics...except it wasn't a traditional Malva, dowsed in syrup...but tasted great all the same.

This venue was built in 1932, originally a nursing home, and currently  has airconditioners and a fireplace in each room to cater to guests needs in both Winter and Summer.

The decor is more traditional and contemporary. The new owners clearly wanted to move with the strengths of the architecture and kept alot of the existing fittings.

The steel windowsills lending a vintage touch and the mixture of wood and tiled fireplace bringing in warmth. The lounging areas all have excellent condition comfortable couches and high back chairs in cream to match their elegant, luxurious yet practical feel and look of the hotel. The finishing touches from artwork to vases are very thoughfully curated.

What was amazing to learn was all the plans they have for the future...from hosting weddings, glass dome features in their garden, to having family rooms to adequately cater for kids in their restaurant. They currently book out their many conference rooms for the day but can tailor make a package if you so wish.

This venue would be brilliant for an intimate wedding, bridal or baby showers, exclusive birthday get together,  workshops(if the budget permits it) and gorgeous for photoshoots...You will forget that you are anywhere near the concrete jungle with their beautifully manicured garden, sizzling blue pool and their ethereal fountains.

The staff are kind and friendly, and you'll definitely wish to make repeat stops here after your first visit. All in all I love this little big secret in Houghton called 10 2nd Avenue...❤

Email: tensecond@houghtonestate.com
Tel: +27 11 853 2400 / 483 3037

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