Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

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CHEF PROFILE - Chris Papayannes

Having realised his passion for the food and beverage industry at a young age, Chris dedicated his time and effort in learning all he could, working alongside some of the best in the business.

Chris’ began his career in front-of-house roles, where he gained valuable experience and knowledge in the wine and speciality beverage areas, also achieving recognition as a creative, young cocktail mixologist.

His burning passion for culinary excellence was ignited during his time at The Restaurant at Newton Johnson, where he took on the position of Restaurant Manager and Sommelier as part of the opening team, working alongside renowned Chef Eric Bulpitt. The Restaurant attained Top 9 national status at the Eat Out Restaurant Awards after the first year of trade.
Chris realised that his true calling was in the kitchen and sought out an opportunity to showcase his passion, leading to a stint at Zevenwacht Wine Estate.

Chris then received an opportunity as Head Chef in running his own kitchen at Chalk & Cork Tapas and Wine Bar in Cape Town’s bustling Kloof Street. His creativity and inspiration took flight with his modern take on contemporary tapas and small plates.
Later on, Chris took on an Executive Chef role with the business, sharing his time with the Devil’s Peak Brewing Company as a Consulting Chef.

The Thatch House Boutique Hotel in Hermanus provided Chris with the opportunity to further explore an experimental side in his cooking with a stronger focus on fine cuisine.

Fast-forward to present, Chris has now taken up role as Head Chef at Hartford House.


“I feel absolutely spoilt by the availability of amazing produce on my doorstep in the Midlands. A simple walk through my garden provides daily inspiration. Hartford House is truly a household name in the South African upmarket dining scene and I have every intention of building on this sterling legacy in taking the Hartford flag to new heights.”