Golden get­away

Fran­schhoek charms with its hos­pi­tal­ity, wine and de­lec­ta­ble tastes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2013 - ADRIAN RORVIK

AKADEMIE Street Bou­tique Ho­tel and Guest­house is lo­cated on the quiet oak-lined street of Akademie in Fran­schhoek. It’s owned by Arthur and Kather­ine McWil­liam Smith, with daugh­ter Jessie in the man­age­ment mix.

Arthur, a re­spected foodie, is a for­mer mayor of Fran­schhoek and the founder of the famed Le Quartier Fran­cais restau­rant so we knew we were in good hands.

I have never ex­pe­ri­enced such care and con­sid­er­a­tion and at­ten­tion to de­tail. We were placed in one of two guest suites in the main house, both of which were sound­proofed to en­sure guests were not dis­turbed. There was a charged cell­phone next to each bed, with Akademie Street’s num­ber on speed-dial, for guests to take on their out­ings.

Vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing was com­pli­men­tary – pre­mium bub­bly, mini bar, wi- fi, laun­dry, a Ne­spresso ma­chine, and ef­fec­tive air­con. The huge bed, linen and bath­room were top notch. Cur­tains on the in­side, shut­ters on the out­side, a pri­vate con­ser­va­tory, a glass roof which re­tracts dur­ing the day and a beau­ti­ful, re­laxed gar­den were some of the at­trac­tions.

Other ac­com­mo­da­tion in­cluded Oor­tuig­ing, a cot­tage built in the 1860s in the shade of a great white stinkwood, and Ge­laten­heid, a dou­ble-storey build­ing with a wide bal­cony, out­side bath, su­perb moun­tain views, a long swim­ming pool and foun­tain.

We de­cided to take Arthur up on some of his in­sight­ful food and wine rec­om­men­da­tions in the area.

High­lights in­cluded Boeken­hout­skloof, John Plat­ter’s 2012 win­ery of the year. We then vis­ited the less-known but equally com­mend­able Stonybrook, en route to a light lunch at Fu­niki, Kiy­omasu Deon Sen­sei’s quaint lit­tle Ja­panese eatery. We had the best salmon roses and wasabi imag­in­able here.

We kept space though for din­ner at Le Quartier Fran­cais’s Com­mon Room – need­less to say, it was world­class and highly mem­o­rable.

Dur­ing this short Fran­schhoek get­away we were treated like gold and en­joyed some de­lec­ta­ble tastes. It comes highly rec­om­mended.

RE­LAX: The tran­quil dou­ble-storey Ge­laten­heid is truly a home away from home.

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