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Le Quartier Francais

Le Quartier Francais

Le Quartier Français in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley is a Relais & Châteaux Auberge of enormous character. It is home to two award-winning restaurants besides. Whether you are here to enjoy the cuisine or to spend a few nights, you cannot help but appreciate the outstanding quality of the experience.

The fine dining Tasting Room and the “small plate” Common Room both have menus crafted by Relais Grand Chef Margot Janse (Chef of the Year in 2012). At the Tasting Room, this award-winning chef tantalizes the taste buds of international patrons. This is African inspired cuisine at its best, introducing diners to tastes and flavors combined in such an innovative and delicious ways that all applaud! Diners can choose between al la carte or a set menu of three, five, or eight courses.

Le Quartier Français and Chef Margot Janse have collected many awards for excellence including San Pellegrino Top 50 Best Restaurants (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011), Best Restaurant in Africa and the Middle East (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), and Hotel Magazine USA, Top Ten Restaurants in the World (2008).

The Franschhoek Valley is a beautiful and peaceful hamlet in the Cape Winelands. Hundreds of years ago, persecution in Europe chased thousands of religious minorities from their homeland, and many settled in this region of South Africa. In the 17th century, Protestant Holland has been occupied by Catholic Spain. So when the French Huguenots escaped Catholic France, the Dutch were sympathetic to their plight. Dutch shipping companies sent the Huguenots to the South African Cape and settled them in the Franschhoek area to produce wine.

A Huguenot family by the name of Marais (father Charles, wife Catherine, and their five children) arrived here in 1688. This Charles Marais is the grandfather twelve times removed of the founder of Piper and Heath, Chris Liebenberg! The wine farm Plaisir de Merle (named after their town of origin, Plessis de Marley in France) was established by Charles’ eldest son, Claude, in 1693. It has continued as an award-winning wine producer in the hands of the Marais family to this day.

Le Quartier Français offers a number of accommodation options. The four Quarter Suites are spacious (1,100 square feet) and sumptuously appointed. Each is set around a private courtyard and features full butler service and the ultimate in luxury fittings, fabrics, finishes, and artwork. Each suite has a walk-in dressing room, full complimentary bar, iPod docking station, DVD player, and satellite TV with two extra large plasma screen TVs in the lounge and bedroom.

The Auberge Suites have two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a separate shower, bath, and underfloor heating. A private lounge, full complimentary bar, and coffee machine with all the luxuries of the other suites make them perfect for families. The Petite Garden Suites are around 450 square feet and have large sliding doors that open to a private garden. Luxurious bathrooms have granite counters, walk-in showers, and double basins.

The Grande Rooms are 500 square feet and have oversized windows, large sumptuous beds, and all the amenities one could require. Their bathrooms are contemporary and have spacious walk in showers. The Auberge Rooms are individually styled, have spacious seating areas, and overlook the swimming pool or garden. These are modern and luxurious and feature en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers and bath, air conditioning, and under-floor heating. For the budget conscious traveler, there is additional accommodation at the Delicious Hotel next door.

It is difficult if not impossible to mention all the attractions, activities, and amenities in the village of Franschhoek and the surrounding regions. Wine tours are a particular favorite. Visitors also enjoy shopping, antiquing, fly-fishing, golfing at one of the excellent courses in the area, and horseback riding.

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