Tue. Jul 23rd, 2019

Le Quartier Francais: Why we say “oui, oui” to this Franschhoek hotel [review]

The magnificent Franschhoek valley offers world-class wine estates, luxurious hotels and has become known as the culinary capital of South Africa – and for good reason.

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Once again Analjit Singh, one of India’s most successful entrepreneurs who is behind the Leeu Collection, has created an exclusive and elegant getaway right in the heart of Franschhoek – and Le Quartier Francais certainly has that incredible “je ne sais quoi” factor.

Le Quartier Francais after renovations

Earlier this year, this establishment – one of Leeu Collection’s exclusive boutique hotels – underwent one of the most elegant facelifts imaginable, following a huge investment into the property, of around R72 million. This venue is a charming and luxurious boutique hotel centrally located on the village’s main street.

The sophisticated suites and rooms, which are located in exquisite gardens, feature the ultimate in luxury fittings, striking art collections and features with exquisite fabrics and finishes. It offers tranquillity and seclusion, although it’s situated in the heart of Franschhoek. 

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Why choose Le Quartier Francais?

We were fortunate enough to spend the night in the newly refurbed pool suite – a luxurious suite that offers a private walled garden, secluded pool and second bathroom. The private lounge has doors that open onto a patio that overlooks the shared pool area.

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While there is much to do in Franschhoek, we spent the rainy autumn day huddled up in our suite drinking red wine, delivered from the nearby Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines Estate.

While hubby watched the rugby again, of course, I had an icy dip in our private pool (when in Rome or rather, when in Franschhoek and have a private pool suite) – I mean, is skinny dipping even really skinny dipping when you have the pool all to yourself and there is no one to catch you?

Eating at The Protégé Restaurant

Franschhoek, for good reason, is known as the culinary capital of South Africa, and in true French style, our mealtime was sacred. That night we dined and savoured every moment at the Protégé Restaurant – which is a casual-style eatery at Le Quartier Français with a relaxing ambience, under the guidance of Scot Kirton. 

Personally, I am not usually the biggest fan of ‘fine dining’ so I was looking forward to experiencing ‘fine dining’ in an informal eatery.

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Protégé interior

I could not have been more (pleasantly) surprised. If they offered a second sitting and if I perhaps had a second stomach – I would have gone back. In fact, I can’t wait to take ALL my friends and family there.

Scot Kirton has created a uniquely stylish and sophisticated yet casual and comfortable eatery offering only the best cuisine. There is a tantalizing mix of Asian, French and Italian influence meticulously fused together to offer one of the finest ‘non-fine’ dining experiences.

The various meals are beautifully plated on trendy sharing plates and are a feast for the eyes and for the stomach. I love that my husband is a slow eater –  so I could get more than my share of each plate.

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On Sunday morning, we excitedly woke up looking forward to our next meal back at the Protégé restaurant where we were again treated to a smorgasbord of delight: freshly baked bread and pastries, fresh fruit, croissants and muffins. For mains, I had poached eggs with smoked trout and creamy hollandaise sauce.

After breakfast, it was time to unwind. We spent the morning playing human size chess and drinking herbal tea while we watched the rain shower the beautiful gardens with some much-needed rain.

A cut above the rest

The service at both Le Quartier Francais Boutique Hotel and at the Protégé restaurant was outstanding, and what we have been accustomed to at any of the hotels and restaurants that form part of the Leeu Collection.

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Le Quartier / Franschhoek via Facebook

The understated, extraordinary, and unforgettable hospitality of the staff at any of the Leeu Collection estates is unrivalled – anywhere in Franschhoek and in fact the Western Cape.

Each person that you come into contact with offers a friendly smile and a wealth of knowledge about the restaurant, the hotel, the Leeu collection and the wonderful French quarter that we have come to love. The investment in the people who work at the Leeu Collection is evident.

I most certainly left my heart at Le Quartier Francais, and hope to be back soon to retrieve it.

Booking a stay at Le Quartier Francais

For more information on the Leeu Collection and the Estate visit the website – or treat yourself to a luscious, well-deserved break at Franschhoek’s finest. 

  • For more information on Le Quartier Francais, visit the website.
  • And for more information on the Protégé Restaurant, click here.
  • All photos used in this article were supplied by the hotel.

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