La Residence, Cape Winelands

La Residence is in a class of its own. A Tuscan-style villa at the heart of a private 30-acre working farm complete with vineyards, plum orchards, and fragrant manicured gardens in the beautiful Franschhoek valley, La Residence offers a luxurious home away from home with panoramic views and fine dining. An hour’s drive from Cape Town, the hotel lies two kilometres from Franschhoek town centre.

 

Accommodation at La Residence consists of eleven luxuriously appointed, individually decorated suites, with ornate antiques, plush Persian carpets and an eclectic mix of artworks. Large bedrooms and palatial bathrooms open onto generous-sized sunny balconies and verandahs leading into the garden, which offer the perfect place to relax and admire the views of sunlit vineyards and the majestic mountains that surround the Franschhoek Valley. Decorated in bright and warm oranges and yellow, the summery Honeysuckle Suite, has a mahogany four-poster, king-size bed and vivid South African art. The light and airy Frangipani Suite is decorated in stylish white marble and gold, with a built-in king-sized bed on a heated marble plinth and a mirrored bathroom, referred to as the Versailles Bathroom.

 

The staff are really wonderful here, very professional and with a superb attention to detail. Dining at La Residence is fantastic: more akin to dining in a private house and with a hostess who has thought of every comfort. There are no set times for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, simple and beautifully presented food is prepared on demand at any time of day. I think this makes a holiday much more relaxing and it’s also discreet, as only guests can dine here.

 

The restaurant sources traditional venison, local fish and free-range poultry and harvests seasonal ingredients such as fruits, salad leaves, vegetables and herbs from the estate’s bountiful gardens. Hand crafted cheeses such as Chevin, Boeren Kaas, superb local Gruyere, drunken Pecorino and creamy Blue Cheeses are served with home-made preserves and breads baked on the premises. The most delicious and interesting wines are chosen by a clever sommelier to compliment the menu. Guests are encouraged to put forward their food preferences, allergies and dietary requirements so that special meals can be prepared.

You can unwind in the villa’s infinity pool or enjoy golf, trout fishing, quad-biking, helicopter trips, paragliding, hot-air ballooning or a horseback tour of the surrounding wine farms. A more sedate excursion is a horse-drawn carriage ride through the local village and vineyards.

 

Susie suggests:

  • Eat out at one of the award-winning restaurants in Franschhoek village, but make sure you book in advance, particularly during high season.
  • Enjoy a beauty treatment or massage from a highly qualified therapist, in your room or on your private balcony in fine weather.
  • Make an appointment to for a private cheese or wine tastings at one of the surrounding estates.
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