The Crème De La Crème of Lux­ury

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents - Text: Julie Gra­ham Images © Leeu Es­tates

The im­pres­sive Leeu Col­lec­tion in Fran­schhoek com­prises a large part of this pic­turesque vil­lage in the winelands. Leeu Es­tates, Leeu House, Le Quartier Français, Mullineux & Leeu Fam­ily Wines, Marigold Restau­rant, and Tuk­tuk Mi­cro­brew­ery are all part of this re­mark­able brand.

The flag­ship prop­erty of the Leeu Col­lec­tion, Leeu Es­tates, was not only named the lead­ing Wine Coun­try Ho­tel 2017 in South Africa at the World Travel Awards Africa, but also ap­peared on Condé Nast Trav­eller’s Hot List as well as Travel + Leisure’s It List this year.

This ex­clu­sive bou­tique ho­tel and win­ery is an el­e­gant hide­away, sit­u­ated among lush, land­scaped gar­dens dot­ted with mag­nif­i­cent sculp­tures by some of the best artists in the coun­try, and sprawl­ing fyn­bos and vine­yards. With the strik­ing Dassen­berg as a back­drop, this prop­erty ticks all the boxes and more with lux­u­ri­ous ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions, top-class gourmet cui­sine, a world-class spa, award-win­ning win­ery, and views to die for. It is the crème de la crème of so­phis­ti­ca­tion, ex­clu­siv­ity, and class with a re­laxed, warm, and invit­ing at­mos­phere.

The 19th cen­tury, lov­ingly re­stored Manor House lies at the heart of the 100-hectare farm, and con­sists of six lux­u­ri­ously ap­pointed rooms and suites. The rooms and suites are spa­cious and light with a calm­ing colour pal­ette, cre­at­ing a tran­quil hide­away. Walls are dec­o­rated with beau­ti­fully cu­rated art­works and the dé­cor in the rooms con­sist of be­spoke fur­ni­ture pieces, wool-and-sisal car­pets, and lush tex­tured linen. Each room has an en suite bath­room com­plete with mar­ble counter tops, rain show­ers, heated towel rails, and un­der­floor heat­ing. All the ameni­ties one would come to ex­pect from five-star lux­ury are in­cluded, such as high-def­i­ni­tion tele­vi­sions, su­perb cof­fee and tea mak­ing fa­cil­i­ties, a mini-bar, lav­ish robes and slip­pers, and fast Wi-fi ac­cess. The lux­u­ri­ous Manor House also has a liv­ing room, din­ing room, and read­ing room filled with books. The art­works that dot the spa­ces were care­fully cu­rated to en­hance the over­all so­phis­ti­cated at­mos­phere.

Two ad­di­tional rooms for guests lie ad­ja­cent to the Manor House, and four are lo­cated in spa­cious cot­tages on the grounds sur­rounded by pomegranate and plum or­chards, oak trees, and vine­yards.

Long, leisurely meals are en­cour­aged at The Din­ing Room at Leeu Es­tates, where group ex­ec­u­tive chef, Oliver Cat­ter­mole, and his team pre­pares de­li­cious, in­no­vate cui­sine. Hav­ing worked in some of the finest es­tab­lish­ments around the world, the dishes cre­ated by Chef Oliver are high­lighted by vi­brant in­ter­na­tional flavours us­ing only the finest lo­callysourced or­ganic and eth­i­cally-farmed in­gre­di­ents. For starters, tuck into the roasted as­para­gus served with Stel­len­bosch goat’s cheese, egg yolk jam, and smoked panko with bonito flakes. For mains, the Ka­roo lamb skil­pad­jie with edamame, ba­con, ar­ti­chokes, peas, and lamb gravy is a deca­dent op­tion. For dessert, the le­mon tart with sumac and gar­den mint pro­vides a per­fect end to a per­fect meal.

All-day din­ing can also be en­joyed al fresco on the ter­race or in the sunny Din­ing Room – a beau­ti­ful space that opens up onto the man­i­cured gar­dens. Here, the renowned break­fast buf­fet is served ev­ery morn­ing from 07h00 to 11h00 and of­fers home­made gra­nola and pas­tries, sea­sonal fruit, freshly squeezed veg­etable and fruit juices, and a range of in­fused teas. Hot break­fasts are also avail­able made us­ing de­li­cious or­ganic eggs, and pas­ture-reared pork in the form of ba­con and sausages, all sourced lo­cally from farms in Stel­len­bosch and Fran­schhoek. Din­ing at Leeu Es­tates is an ab­so­lute treat and is an en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence on its own.

Not only do guests get to in­dulge in ut­most lux­ury in all forms at Leeu Es­tates, but they also get to ex­pe­ri­ence what life is like on a work­ing wine farm. Head to the Wine Stu­dio for a truly im­mer­sive wine ex­pe­ri­ence run by the Mullineux & Leeu team. This bou­tique tast­ing stu­dio al­lows guests to sam­ple some of the best wine in the coun­try: the hand­crafted pre­mium Mullineux & Leeu Fam­ily Wines. This part­ner­ship be­tween Leeu and the tal­ented hus­band and wife team, Chris and An­drea Mullineux, has been an ex­cep­tion­ally suc­cess­ful one. While grapes for the Mullineux and Kloof Street wines are sourced ex­clu­sively from vine­yards in the Swart­land, Leeu Es­tates is also home to a num­ber of newer vine­yards. Vine­yards are planted to va­ri­eties that are a true ex­pres­sion of the soils and con­di­tions of the area, and the wines are sub­se­quently award-win­ning.

Set amongst the vine­yards, tall glass doors lead into the serene foyer that welcomes you to Leeu Spa. Flooded with nat­u­ral light and fea­tur­ing el­e­gant yet min­i­mal­ist dé­cor with wood and stone fin­ishes, this world-class well­ness sanc­tu­ary pro­vides guests with a range of au­then­tic, holis­tic treat­ments in­spired by the rich her­itage and tra­di­tions of Africa. Treat­ments are sep­a­rated into the cat­e­gories: I Am Con­nected, I Am Grounded, I Am Ma­jes­tic, I Am Mind­ful, I Am Re­silient, I Am Vir­tu­ous, and I Am Beau­ti­ful. Each cat­e­gory pro­vides guests with a range of be­spoke treat­ments that will ease their bod­ies, in­spire their minds, and leave them feel­ing re­laxed and re­ju­ve­nated. A state-of-the-art gym is also sit­u­ated in Leeu Spa with sprawl­ing views of the moun­tains and man­i­cured gar­dens.

When founder of the Leeu Col­lec­tion, Analjit Singh, first en­coun­tered Fran­schhoek, he was com­pletely spell­bound by the nat­u­ral beauty of the val­ley. Re­plac­ing the “busi­ness of life” with the “plea­sures of life”, Singh has cre­ated a sanc­tu­ary like no other – one that epit­o­mises this plea­sure and en­ables oth­ers to ex­pe­ri­ence it in the most im­mer­sive, mem­o­rable way.

For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit www.leeu­col­lec­tion.com.

The flag­ship prop­erty of the Leeu Col­lec­tion, Leeu Es­tates, was not only named the lead­ing Wine Coun­try Ho­tel 2017 in South Africa at the World Travel Awards Africa, but also ap­peared on Condé Nast Trav­eller’s Hot List as well as Travel + Leisure’s It List this year.

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