Franschhoek charms with its hospitality, wine and delectable tastes
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.