Needing a well-deserved mid-year break, we took advantage of our eager friends to babysit our 15 week old Ridgeback to stay at the beautiful La Residence in Franschhoek. Having experienced the Royal Portfolio Collection in December, more specifically the Silo Hotel, where we were married, the appeal left us extremely intrigued about their other properties. (Especially since we were so well treated by the staff at the Silo.)
The majestic La Residence Hotel sits beneath the Mont Rochelle mountain in the heart of Franschhoek. It was opened in 2008 by The Royal Portfolio and spans across 30 acres of land, of which 12 are under vine and the balance makes up a working estate; growing vineyards, plums, olive oil, fresh produce and flowers.
As we drove towards the entrance of the hotel, we were welcomed by a handful of staff members waving to us, making us feel like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as we graciously waved back. . We were given a warm welcome including a glass of the estate Cabernet Sauvignon as a porter took our bags off our hands and parked our car.
Upon being given a tour of the estate and shown the amenities on offer, we were shown to our room. We had the luxury of staying in the Huguenot Suite which is themed in remembrance of the first settlers in Franschhoek. The room is decorated in wonderfully soft antique blues and yellows with a deep mustard-gold, king-size four-poster bed and is echoed by a richly-upholstered couch and armchair, while a charming chandelier hangs overhead. The room opens out onto a private balcony which presents you to the views across the vineyards. (Each suite has its own colour scheme and set of design influences)
The rooms come complete with a mini bar consisting of full bottles of Gin, Brandy, Wine, Vodka, mixers, water, Champagne, Tea and a Nespresso machine – and snack collection of sweets, nuts, chocolate, fruits and biscuits – all of which are complimentary and replenished on a daily basis.
Because the cuisine is such an integral part of the experience at La Residence, emphasis is placed on fresh, local ingredients, many of which are grown on the estate. Breakfast is a lavish affair with a buffet of cereals, fruits, cheeses and meats, as well as a decadent hot breakfast menu. Lunch is fresh and flexible and has a delightful meat and cheese platter which we indulged in on the Saturday afternoon after a day of wine tasting at Bastille Festival.
The dining area at La Residence is
known as the Great Hall – draped with dazzling chandeliers, black and white
Victorian tiles and welcoming fireplaces. The dinner experience was one to be
remembered. Upon being welcomed to dinner our menu’s were handed to us,
personalised with our names reflecting on each. To add to the wow factor, a
carefully selected wine list of epic proportions reinforces just how serious
they are. (Our waiter offered to laminate our menus before we left)
Dinner was nothing short of superb and the service from the staff something to be noted.
From the cleaning staff to porters and waiters and GM’s, all were extremely welcoming and talkative with such a zest for life. They all seemed to love their respective jobs and they came across with such passion for what they did and respect for where they worked, it was truly inspiring to see.
Overall, we had the most relaxing and wonderful weekend, which also included a stop at Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne to experience a tasting with winemaker Paul Gerber, a true gentlemen himself and a complete advocate for MCC before heading over to don our white, red and blue at the annual Bastille Festival.
Let’s also just take a moment for the beautifully presented welcome hamper we received which consisted of a bottle of their estate Cab Sav, a cheese and baguette platter, and two beret’s to wear to the Bastille Festival.