On the slopes of the Dassenberg mountains in Franschhoek, at the heart of the South African winelands, Leeu Estates is a luxurious, 19th-century Cape Dutch manor house updated with everything you’d expect in a modern luxury hideaway.
Besides the breathtaking landscape, the other things that we loved about Leeu Estates were its stunning artwork, beautifully landscaped gardens and the tree-lined river winding through it. The property is isolated and serene – maximising on escapism – yet just a short shuttle ride from the thrills of Cape Town.
We stayed in one of the manor house’s six vast suites, which featured a spectacular marble bathroom, rain showers and a view of the gardens. There are also two rooms above the spa and six private cottages.
In a region already renowned for its food, the dining experience here is utterly outstanding. The estates’ restaurant, Le Chêne, serves incredible French-inspired dishes made with local produce, created by multiple-award-winning celebrity chef Darren Badenhorst (at time of press). The seven-course tasting menu was one of the highlights of our trip – oysters, springbok tartare and 18-hour confit Karoo lamb neck, all with delicious wine pairings, served in the glass observatory with sweeping views of the gardens and mountains. This is proper event dining.
If wine is a priority (and why in God’s name would you be here, if it weren’t?) the property’s Wine Studio offers a tutored wine-tasting experience in elegant surroundings that will leave you feeling knowledgeable, sophisticated and nicely drunk.
|Perfect for||Fly into||Right on time|
|The Sophisticate||CPT||GMT +2|
|While you’re Out There|
|If you want more imbibing into the story of South African wine, then look no further than a tour with Katie Barratt aka the ‘Wine Fairy’, who brilliantly combines ‘wine speak’ with a sense of humour and an element of fun to run her tours and tell tales of global wine travel.|
Photography courtesy of Leeu Collection