A Grand Cottage Stay
For excellent cuisine and exceptional wine, most South Africans know that Franschhoek is the place to visit, as it flourishes with a myriad of wine estates and restaurants for your gastronomic delight – where many choose to spend more than a day surrounded by the picturesque mountains. One place that stands out as one of the finest properties in the Franschhoek Winelands is Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate.
The history of Grande Provence goes back over 300 years, when Pierre Joubert fled his homeland of France with the Huguenots and arrived in Olifantshoek (“Elephants Corner”, later to be renamed Franschhoek) to start a new life by turning to the fertile soil – a history that reflects within the old-world charm of the Cape Dutch architecture.
An accommodation option at Grande Provence that seamlessly blends the historical significance of the estate with contemporary luxury is The Owner’s Cottage. Including four luxurious bedrooms, a deluxe suite, a conservatory, a lounge, as well as a swimming and spa pool, a stay in this grand cottage is ideal for families and groups of friends.
Walking into the lounge area, a selection of ports is available for an evening of winding down after exploring Franschhoek. The roaring fire is the perfect accompaniment during chilly evenings. Beyond the lounge is the conservatory, with large glass doors opening up to the manicured garden boasting a pool and sun loungers. The décor in the bedrooms is in a palette of neutral hues, with exposed beams or the thatched roof reminding guests of the history of the property.
Beautifully appointed bathrooms are en suite, and the bedroom refreshment area is well-catered to the needs of guests with a Nespresso machine and pods, teas, cookies, and a mini bar. If you pop the cork of one of the Grande Provence wine bottles in your room, this is sure to inspire you to visit the tasting room for a more extensive experience of the Grande Provence vintages.
The Grande Provence wines are awardwinning; most recently, the Amphora 2015 (a handmade wine made naturally from mostly Chenin Blanc grapes using ancient winemaking techniques from the Greeks and Romans) and Sauvignon Blanc 2015 received four and a half stars in John Platter 2017. A wine that can simply not be missed is the first flagship wine of the estate, The Grande Provence 2004, which was launched in October 2007 and has gained top awards and recognition over the years. The Tasting Room is open daily from 10h00 to 19h00 – before dinner, enjoy an early evening wine tasting for inspiration on which bottle to order at the restaurant.
Juxtaposing to the historical grandeur of The Owner’s Cottage, The Restaurant is contemporary elegance all-round with its deep blue-grey, hand-plastered walls, high-backed white leather chairs, and crisp white linen. Considered to be one of the best dining destinations in the country, The Restaurant at Grande Provence has been recognised as an American Express Card Fine Dining Restaurant for a number of years. Fresh, seasonal ingredients dominate the plates at The Restaurant. With the four-course dinner menu reading like a fairy tale for gourmands, with six-hour cured, 30-second seared, and nine-minute cold-smoked local trout for starters, pork crackling encased line fish for mains, and condensed milk teurgoule-style sago pudding with frozen pistachio crème (to name just a few of the options), choosing may prove difficult. There is a Gourmand Dégustation Menu for those that want a taste of more.
The six courses of this menu were designed by renowned Executive Chef, Darren Badenhorst, and includes an extravagant bread course with a welcome canapé, followed by a starter, an intermediate course, palate cleanser, main, and dessert, as well as petits-fours to round off the evening. Adding to this extravagant experience, the courses are paired with four Grande Provence wines, as well as two international wines from the wine list of the sister property of Grande Provence in New Zealand, Huka Lodge.
Adding to the complete package that is Grande Provence is the onsite art gallery. Exhibiting works from both established and up-and-coming South African artists, The Gallery at Grande Provence is a mustvisit for art followers, as well as people who appreciate artistic excellence. Further to this space, the gardens of Grande Provence are dotted with sculptures, making a walk in this estate one of artistic discovery.
Grande Provence is an estate that encompasses everything that makes the Franschhoek Wine Valley distinctive: history, award-wining wines, gastronomic excellence, luxurious accommodation, and showcases of art – all any guest could want from a luxury getaway in Franschhoek.
For more information, please visit www.grandeprovence.co.za.