29 August 2016


We live in Cape Town, we love wine and Franschhoek is full of places we adore. So we decided to escape there for a night, because we can!

For those who share the same sentiments, or are seeking a head start on exploring this vastly admired ‘French quarter’, our narrative is a good place to start!

We stayed at La Cle Des Montagnes - the town’s best kept secret! We were welcomed by charming butlers with bubbles, wine and canapes and were encircled by picturesque vineyards and plum orchards. We slipped straight into country-mode! Home to four bold-and-beautifully decorated villas on a working wine farm, La Cle is the perfect private escape for families or friends!

Being a cold winter’s evening, we could have easily curled up in comfort in front of the alluring fireplace, but we came here to explore! We kicked off the evening with a craft beer tasting at Tuk Tuk - an offbeat bar on the high street, frequented by intriguing locals! From there we skipped over to French Connection for a fillet mignon, a bottle of red and a bit of contrast! A charming, bistro-style restaurant regarded as an institution!

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we popped in to a firm favourite of ours, La Residence, to touch base with Andrew, an old friend and the General Manager. He has recently returned to the valley after years at Royal Malawane - their sister property. He showed us the hotel and impressive villas – all lavishly decorated with a Tuscan-villa-come-Cape farmhouse-architectural combination. Their warm, embracing hospitality and generosity was evident which made it hard to leave! This is a must for the discerning!

Let’s face it, a Winelands trip is not complete without a mandatory, lazy lunch and Babylonstoren was the obvious choice! We were hosted by their team who presented us with a variety of green, yellow and red farm-to-fork salads, picked from their garden, followed by locally caught trout and Karoo lamb for our main course. We didn’t hold off on the sweet treats to end off with! Apart from the Nouvelle Cuisine this property offers far more than a restaurant. They have a hotel, shops, wine-tasting and vegetable gardens that leave you feeling captivated.

Our night in the French Quarter came to an end all too soon but we had a terrific time!


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