A Grand Cot­tage Stay

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Motoring - Text: Paula Ra­bel­ing Images © Grande Provence

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.

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