La Residence, Franschhoek
La Residence, Franschhoek South Africa
La Residence, Franschhoek South Africa
La Residence, Franschhoek South Africa
La Residence, Franschhoek South Africa

...The review

La Residence

La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa is a boutique wine estate dovetailed with one of the finest hotels in the Southern Hemisphere. An extraordinary vision blending Versailles grandeur with high ceilings and crystal chandeliers and yet merging seamlessly into the landscape.

One of a kind in the Winelands, newly refreshed and revitalised La Residence offers a truly exquisite experience, set against the backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains. The owner’s touch – Liz Biden – is evident throughout the property: daring colours which should clash but develop in harmony as you stroll through the property reaching palm trees that back onto jagged mountains, a perfect juxtaposition of textures.

“From the moment you arrive through the wrought-iron gates, as the entrance drive sweeps through the grounds, winding between graceful herds of antelope grazing the immaculate lawns to the grand entrance, La Residence imbues a sense of occasion and style.”

Things to do

The Franschhoek valley is the gastronomic heartbeat of South Africa, home to a series of Michelin-starred eateries and surrounded by 50 of the finest wine estates in South Africa. Grapes range from smooth semillons and crisp chardonnays through to deep cabernets and syrah (shiraz) varietals. Wine tasting is easily organised directly through La Residence, and exploring the valley is an easy walk from the front door to the main street of the town where an eclectic mixture of Cape Dutch architecture is home to micro-breweries, fine dining restaurants and buzzy eateries. Out of town, walking trails lead you through vineyards, wildflower meadows and up into the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve to give a birds-eye view across this picturesque valley.

Sleeping

The vast suites are sumptuous in every way, so much more than just bedrooms. With terraces and palatial bathrooms and so many thoughtful touches it can be hard to leave. Morning coffee on one’s balcony terrace sets the tone for the day; La Residence has panoramic views of an amphitheatre of colour with olive trees underplanted with salvia – electric purples fading into sage mottled green; reflecting the seasonal hues of the vertiginous grape vines which cling to the famed valley slopes whilst peacocks strut in their matching plumage. Don’t be suckered into believing the Alice in Wonderland black and white marble chess square floors and peacocks are kitsch. Every vista has been planned and each piece of furniture meticulously sourced.

Food & Drink

The kitchen produces fine dining – fantastical creations drawing inspiration from the local terroir.  The service here is sublime, neither hovering nor absent but the right amount at the right time to refresh your drink, help you plan your day or react quickly to requests. The wine cellar is as expansive as you would expect – drawing from local vintages and further afield with knowledgeable sommeliers to help pair wines to dishes such as kudu, ostrich and seafood platters.

What Stands Out

A fantasy of exquisite attention to detail, vast bedrooms with panoramic views and terraces, popping-candy coloured furniture mixed with antique art and collectibles. This is the art of style without gaudiness. Extreme luxury and comfort in professionally appointed suites with service to match.

Best For

La Residence appeals to couples and travellers who really appreciate the finer aspects of luxury travel. From the extremely high levels of service to the gorgeous suites and landscaped grounds to some of the finest dining and wines in the region, La Residence delivers.  The pool and spa are the perfect escape after the bustle of Cape Town with the estate as a whole feeling like a fantasy oasis of calm.

The Verdict

Whether reclining by the pool, luxuriating in the in-house spa or exploring the vines with the resident sommelier – La Residence embodies all that is fresh and professional about the Winelands with so many homely touches that it strikes just the right chord between impressive and rendering you instantly at ease. Let us curate you next South African itinerary to include this sparkling gem.

Ben Oxley-Brown

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Ben’s profile
Ben Oxley-Brown

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