franschhoek

Staying at Holden Manz wine estate

Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
IMG_2665.jpg
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
IMG_2676.jpg
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate
Staying at Holden Manz wine estate

Just over an hours drive out of Cape Town tucked away at the foot of the Franschhoek mountains you will find the peaceful and beautiful Holden Manz. A small estate with vineyards that surround you. The estate might be small but you won't run out of activities and you are sure to leave relaxed and longing for more. 

The guest house is eclectic and decorated with an impressive art collection that you could get totally lost in. I have yet to see such an extensive variety in a personal collection. With many local artists, I found myself with wine in hand meandering from one piece to the next. 

The rooms are spacious and have an old charm to them. With king size beds and fluffy duvets getting up in the morning wasn't particularly easy! I could have slept in for days. The bathrooms are spacious with double basins and of course a huge tempting bath that I couldn't enjoy with the drought! 

With a perfect nights sleep in the bag, you could make your way to the spa and get engulfed in the ultimate luxury. The spa offers all treatments and prides themselves on supporting amazing natural local brands. I tried out the full body massage as I always do and it was so much of yes! Be sure to book if you visit!  

Post bliss visit the restaurant where the art takes shape in the gorgeous plates from the kitchen. Each plate has been well thought out and the food is almost too pretty to eat! Almost. If you find yourself there then the duck didn't disappoint and neither did their wines. My favourite? The Chenin Blanc of course! 

After lunch, I made my way down to the river and enjoyed a walk around the estate. With towering trees and surrounding mountains, you can't help but exhale. Which is never a bad thing. Breathing in the fresh country air can only be food for the soul! 

The staff are always on hand with a friendly smile and will attend to any of your needs. If you feel like exploring, the main town of Franschhoek is five minutes away. Strolling through the village is always fun if you want to venture out. Be sure to try the beer and wine tasting as well as any of the amazing restaurants. If not you will always have a home away from home at Holden Manz. 

-Melissa 

 

 

Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek

Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
IMG_3939.jpg
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek
Feasting at Reuben's Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek

I recently visited one of Franschhoek’s newly launched gems that boasts clean lines, chic interior, and food that offers a familiar yet elevated flavour journey that only Reuben Riffel can take you on – meet Reuben’s restaurant and bar, Franschhoek. 

Situated in the heart of the town, this gorgeous space is roughly 40 minutes drive from Cape Town CBD and well worth the trip. Passing gorgeous wine estates and cherry blossoms (at least this time of year) along the way, an added bonus.

The space is ethereal with bright natural light filling the restaurant from the simple bold black center barred windows. The entrance is grand yet understated with a gorgeous marble floor that bounces the light and creates a feeling of space and simplicity. Perfectly chosen artwork gives the space a finishing touch. 
I fell in love with the interiors instantly. 
The restaurant accommodates for long summer lunches outside on the patio or you can make your way inside on a colder day.  There are impeccable design choices at every turn and I must say, even the restrooms impressed me with their unique black basin and gorgeous floral wallpaper. 

The food was described by Reuben as simply “Food I like to eat” with fresh local produce taking front row and center. Each course was a taste explosion and every mouthful was perfect. I couldn’t help but fall in love with every plate, not only for the food but also for the artistry that encompassed every presentation. Simplicity is key and Reuben has taken classical flavours and reimagined them. I enjoyed a glass of crisp Chenin and ended the afternoon off with decadent chocolate fondant and the perfect coffee. 

If you are undecided about the local wines on offer, try the tea and brandy cocktail to start. It will put you in the perfect frame of mind when it comes time to order your pairing partner in crime.

Reuben’s latest offering in Franschhoek, I believe, is not only a result of the natural evolution of his footprint in the valley but an inspired, considered rebirth. 

-Melissa

La Petite Ferme

La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme
La Petite Ferme

La Petite Ferme is a wine farm situated on the hills of Franschhoek, upon the Oliphants Pass and Middagkrans Mountains with splendid views over looking the valley. This establishment is something special.
Its story even more so - like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Le Petit Ferme is a modern day institution and Franschhoek would hardly seem complete without this bastion of present day permanence. 

The modern farm was bought in 1974 and in 1984 a 40-seat restaurant was built. The farm previously ran as a plum farm and when the plum farm closed down the owners John and Carol Dendy-Young re-hired all the original staff to help run the restaurant.

After experiencing a tragic fire in 1996, the restaurant was brought back to life with the help of the staff and community… Instead of donning the usual aprons, they put on gumboots and rebuilt this beautiful establishment from the ground up.

The restaurant is bright and beautifully decorated. Adorned with the original fireplace in the main seating section, the new interior honours both the old and the new, salvaging what survived the fire and embracing it with fresh décor. Outside the lawns roll down into the Franschhoek valley and the views are simply spectacular. Walking around the estate, while sipping on perfect glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc, I watched an elderly couple; sitting quietly on a bench taking in their surroundings. A place that encourages the appreciation of peace and calm really is a place worth visiting.

The property has luxury accommodation and will make even the wariest of travelers feel welcome and well rested. With large bedrooms with spectacular views I could picture myself in the stand-alone bath with bubbles in hand over looking the valley.

We were treated to a special, old versus new tasting to launch the new menu at the restaurant. The food brims with flavour and is the perfect option for a long summers lunch. My must try was the trout which was served with a citrus hollandaise sauce. Who knew that hollandaise needed citrus? A revelation! Hardly one to be forgotten - A very real concern for me now is how to ask chefs at other restaurants to up their hollandaise game without getting thrown out.

Paired with the La Petite Ferme Sauvignon Blanc, I was in heaven!

The maestro in the kitchen, Neethling du Toit has struck the perfect balance between the much-loved old menus, retaining certain inalienable elements to pay homage to the past, but with an ever-mindful eye to the future.

To know where you are going you can never forget where you have come from.  

If you find yourself in the area or travelling up the Franschhoek pass then this estate is a spot that you simply have to try.
It might feel a little strangely familiar, like a home away from home, but that’s ok.
You could stay on for a few days and lose yourself in La Petite Ferme.