A Winelands Winter image

A Winelands Winter

Crisp Cape Winelands winters call for leisurely meals in cosy restaurants, afternoons spent wine tasting in wine cellars, surrounded by barrels of aging wine, with crackling fires setting the scene and wrapping up warmly for walks through vineyards, strikingly beautiful in their winter bareness. 

This time-tested combination of good food, good wine, cosy surroundings, and fresh air shared with friends and family is sure to leave you recharged for the months ahead.

We’ve listed a handful of reasons to visit us in winter below, but for real insight into how magical winter truly is in Franschhoek, contact us to discuss a bespoke itinerary or review our social media for guests experiences of this memorable season.

Best known as the food capital of South Africa, Franschhoek stays true to its reputation all year around. In winter especially, visitors can take advantage of winter specials that usually run from May to End of August. These tasting menus as well as a la carte offerings, use the freshest of winter produce all prepared with South African gumption. 

Here are a few of our favourites:
La Petite Colombe: Sister restaurant to world-renowned La Colombe, located at Le Quartier Français. Visitors are ensured to experience the same level of excellence and exquisite cuisine that put La Colombe on the map and that secured a number of awards since inception. Winter dishes range from ‘Malay Tuna, Avocado, Coriander and Slangetjies’ to ‘Valrhona caramelia, banana, lime and malt’ 

Le chêne: Piloted by multiple award-winning chef Darren Badenhorst and housed in the Manor House on the Five-star Premium Leeu Estates. Le chêne has a vista of the dramatic Franschhoek Mountains, which in winter often receive a light dusting of snow, creating a beautiful setting for a fine dining feast. Serving French-inspired dishes made from local produce, honouring Franschhoek’s history with both the name and concept of this unique dining experience. 

Protégé: Protégé is a casual-style eatery at Le Quartier Français under the guidance of celebrity chef Scot Kirton. Visitors looking for an informal eatery now have the perfect venue in Protégé, featuring stylish casual fare. Asian, French and Italian influences can be detected in the cuisine which includes the trendy small plates menu, ideal for sharing on cold winter days. Complete with wood burning fireplace and a central show kitchen to be entertained by the chefs at work, it is an ideal venue to while away blustery winter afternoons.

Wine tasting:
Once known as known as “Le Coin Français” (The French Corner), attributed to the assistance by the French in establishing the wine industry in the Cape. Franschhoek is synonymous for providing the best wines be it white, red or assortment of blends of both. Spoilt for choice with numerous wineries, you will have no trouble planning out your wine tours.

A must on your list:
Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines – The Wine Studio: Named the top performing Winery of the Year for a fourth time by Platter’s South African Wine Guide, the elegant boutique tasting venue boast a fireplace with a sitting area and high stools, offering a diversity of ways to share the wine tasting experiences. Reserve a tasting well in advance and indulge the wine “aficionado” in you with two Wines of the Year, the Granite Syrah 2017, Straw Wine 2018 in the 2020 John Platter Wine Guide. 

“Everywhere you walk, every place you go is full of art, explicit or hidden! If you can see them, you will be the richest art collector and your memory will be the richest art gallery!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan. And Franschhoek is no different, be sure to immerse yourself in the wide variety of galleries extending the display of art through the picturesque backdrop of pristine natural landscape of this quaint village.

A must on your list: 
Everard Read Gallery, Franschhoek: Adjacent to Le Quartier Français, is part of South Africa's oldest and largest group of galleries. Displaying contemporary art and hosting exhibitions all year around that are true to South Africa and the diaspora. 

Outdoor Activity:
For the more active visitors the early morning brisk atmosphere that begs to be taken advantage of by venturing out on the trails that allow for some of the best views of the valley, as well as the chance to explore the flora and fauna sharing their habitats with us.

A must on your list: 
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve: walk within the Franschhoek Mountains with this trail that is part of the UNESCO declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. Be sure to take along your energy supplies and plenty of water, with over 30km of safe, well-maintained hiking trails you are sure to linger a little bit longer. And if you are lucky, see the snow-capped mountains up close and personal.

For visitors looking to spend more than a day in Franschhoek, look no further than Leeu Collection where you will be spoilt for choice with accommodation options that are guaranteed to feel like a home away from home. With rooms, suites, villas and cottages that have underfloor heating and are kept warm with an air conditioning unit or by a fire flickering away in the background, your ideal stay will be tailormade to suit your needs. In-room dining, Nespresso and tea stations are at your fingertips should you wish to sleep in the morning or savour the majestic views from the comfort of your room.

Grande Room, Le Quartier Français

Grande Room, Le Quartier Français

Studio Room, Leeu Estates

Studio Room, Leeu Estates

Mullineux and Leeu Family – The Wine Studio – Leeu Estates

Mullineux and Leeu Family – The Wine Studio – Leeu Estates

With the option of a Winelands getaway, winter blues are a thing of the past! Whether you are planning a day visit or a longer stay, for a truly memorable winter staycation or vacation, Franschhoek should be on your top five places to visit.

For reservations, kindly email us at reservations@leeucollection.com or call +27 (0) 21 492 2222.