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South Africa Safari

Le Quartier Francais

Cape Winelands, Franschhoek, South Africa

The Auberge Du Quartier Français in its gorgeous Cape Winelands setting of Franschhoek
Return to Map of Winelands          © Le Quartier Francais

View images of Le Quartier Francais: Le Quartier Images

LE QUARTIER FRANCAIS RATES: Le Quartier Francais Rates

Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, South Africa, is renowned for its food, accommodation and scenic settingA little French, a little foreign, a little style they like to call Cape Provencal. Of course, some call it an Auberge, others an exclusive country inn. In any language, Le Quartier Francais is a splash of style in the heart of the historic village of Franschhoek, a quaint corner of the Cape winelands that is forever a little French.

Set behind a delightful Provencal façade lined with a charming rose and lavender border, Le Quartier Francais welcomes visitors from all over the globe who come here to dine in fine style and spend the night in a room with a spectacular view.

A melange of French, Malay and traditional South African dishes, Margot Janses’ menu tempts with a modern twist of the old Cape and the new. The newly refurbished, spacious suites are stylishly furnished with modern fittings, refreshing colours and brilliant handpainted fabrics.

Discerning world travellers who stay in the loft and ground floor suites relax around the large swimming pool in the Victorian courtyard by day. Honeymoon couples retire to the intimacy of the exclusive house suite set in a private garden courtyard with a natural Mediterranean pool.

The highly trained staff are dedicated to spoiling you. Elegance made simple is the art of living around here.

Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Le Quartier Francais is an ideal base from which to explore the Western Cape. Located in the picturesque village of Franschhoek, approximately forty-five minutes out of Cape Town.

Accommodation           For images of Le Quartier Francais, click Le Quartier Images
Accommodation options vary at Le Quartier. In the main Auberge there are fifteen en-suite bedrooms surrounding the central courtyard garden and gated swimming pool. Each spacious room is individually decorated in vibrant colours and Designers guild patterns and offers the comfort of home with delightful daily surprises. There are also two suites, each with their own walled garden, plunge pool and child-friendly loft room. The Four Quarters offer four exclusive suites overlooking a central courtyard (serviced by full time butler). The Cottage offers 2 en-suite bedrooms (1 twin, 1 king), 2 lounges with fireplace and private pool.

The Auberge offers 15 en-suite bedrooms, overlooking the central garden courtyard and heated swimming pool,and 2 suites – each with their own private pool and garden.

Luxury Rooms: Out of the 15 luxury rooms, 6 have king sized beds and 9 have 2 ¾ beds. All of the rooms have fireplaces and large sitting areas.

Suites: The Pool Suite has a king-size bed, 2 bathrooms, its own private garden with private swimming pool and complimentary full bar. The House Suite has 2 ¾ beds, its own private garden with swimming pool and complimentary full bar. Both suites have loft rooms for 2 children up to the age of 12 sharing with their parents.

Four Quarters
Four ultra luxury suites with a pool and private lounge area serviced by a private butler. Dinners and private barbeques can be arranged for clients staying at the Four Quarters. Each of the modern and contemporary suites is over 140sq.m. Next door to the existing hotel.

Each of the four suites offers the following:
• Total floor space of 110 square metres each
• Large bedroom with 2 three quarter beds or extra large kings.
• Bathroom with heated towel rails and floors
• Walk-in cupboard with dressing table
• Spacious lounge
• Air conditioning, under carpet heating, individual fireplaces
• Satellite TV, DVD / CD player
• Wireless internet access
• Complimentary fully stocked mini bar
• Tea / coffee making facilities
• Complimentary transfers within Franschhoek
Upstairs suites offer furnished rooftop balconies.
Downstairs suites offer access to the central swimming pool.

A central lounge opening onto the pool is available all day for:
• Breakfast
• Light lunches and afternoon tea
• Full complimentary bar featuring wines of the valley.
• Butler service

The following are included when served in the privacy of the Four Quarters:
• All drinks from the lounge in the Four Quarters and in room bars
• Breakfast
• Light meal served at the pool from 10 till 4
• Afternoon tea and pre-dinner snacks
• Laundry

A chef can be sent to the Four Quarters to prepare dinner on request.
Children under 14 are only welcome at the Four Quarters on an exclusive use basis.

The Cottage
Le Quartier Francais have added a more private option to the family: The Cottage.
Situated across the road from the award winning hotel and restaurant at Le Quartier Francais, The Cottage offers the opportunity for guests to experience and explore Franschhoek on a more intimate level. All of this, while still enjoying famous Le Quartier hospitality.

• 2 en-suite bedrooms, 1 twin bedded and 1 king
• 2 lounges with fireplaces
• Fully equipped open plan kitchen and dining area
• All rooms open up onto a walled garden and private swimming pool
• Laundry room with washing machine and drier
• Guests toilet
• TVs – DSTV
• Complimentary Wi-Fi
• Complimentary Pinehurst wines on arrival
• Newspaper, milk, fresh juice and pastries delivered every morning!

Guest Facilities
• Swimming pool – is enclosed securely so children can’t enter the pool area unattended.
• Library in reception with comfortable seating area is available to guests.
• Private massage and aromatherapy as well as various bath menus are on offer for the guests and can be enjoyed in the comfort of their rooms.
• Picnic lunches, gift shop.
• The Treatment Room, offering Decleor treatments for guests.


The Tasting Room
Replacing the concept of traditional à la carte dining, ‘The Tasting Room’ at Le Quartier Français explores the exhilarating world of Tasting Menus. Masterfully created by Margot Janse, menus offer 4 and 6 course menus and tasting portions of up to eight beguiling courses with the option of appropriate wine pairing. Open evenings only. Bookings essential (NB credit card details are needed to make a reservation).

Here, café society mingles with the famous on the street side terrace, bar and restaurant. Vibrant food from South Africa’s Top Chef and a wine list that extends with award winning wines to Franschhoek creations ensures casual dining with a local edge. iCi takes care of lunch, casual dinners and anything in between from an illy cappuccino to a strawberry daiquiri. Open seven days a week from noon until 10pm.

Bread and Wine
Situated on the Moreson Wine farm on the outskirts of the village but still in the picturesque valley of Franschhoek. Offering superb country style lunches amidst vineyards and lemon groves this is an exceptionally popular spot in the Valley. An ideal venue for weddings.

Chef Margot Janse takes Chef of the Year 2002
Chef Margot Janse of Le Quartier Francais added yet another string to her impressive bow of culinary achievements when she was awarded Chef of the Year at the EAT OUT Restaurant Awards held in Cape Town recently.

The first ever recipient of this special new award, Chef Margot was lauded by Eat Out editor Lannice Snyman as a ‘mega-talented chef heading a meticulous kitchen at the seductive Cape Winelands restaurant Le Quartier Francais.’

Le Quartier Francais also received the most sought-after accolade in the restaurant industry - The Editor’s Top Ten - for the sixth time, while Margot Janse was included in this Top Ten selection for the fourth year running.

In addition Le Quartier Francais also received its first star in the newly introduced Eat Out Star Ratings, an honour given to only 50 restaurants countrywide. This praise for the team of Le Quartier Français follows shortly on the heels of the acclaimed British publication, Restaurant, rating it as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

Is it the signature double-baked beetroot and rocket soufflé, the olive oil poached salmon trout cleverly paired with its smoked version in a fritter with cucumber and seaweed or the classic caramalised lemon tart? According to Lannice Snyman, she has been following Margot’s culinary journey for many years. “Margot never ceases to surprise me. Her food is layered with textures and flavours and only the best and freshest ingredients will do. She knows when to break the boundaries and when to stay safe. For this she is respected not only by diners who keep on coming back for more, but also her peers.”

South Africa ’s leading chef always dreamt of becoming an actress. When she did not make it to the Amsterdam Theatre School she was advised to “go see the world”. And that she did by coming to the Southern Tip of Africa, at the age of 23. Here she learnt a new art which would bring her international recognition in the years to come. For the spirited and ego-less Margot the secret lies in boundless love for what she does. “It is not about achievements, but the joy of making a living by doing what I love best. I am happy to go to work, arriving in my kitchen with a smile on my face. I work with a fantastic team headed by Linda Coltart, our general manager, and I have wonderful suppliers. My work allows me to express myself and offers the best of all – to be appreciated.”

Margot loves working with local ingredients for their freshness and variety. “Franschhoek has amazing produce. I love it when women from the village arrive at my doorstep with a colander full of black figs, berries or nettles. My food style is about being creative. I never stop thinking about food. Certain things are logical. Before starting anything you must know what you want to achieve. This applies to food as well. I know in my head what a dish will taste like - call it culinary logic if you like.”

“We are thrilled and terribly proud,” says Susan Huxter, owner of Le Quartier Francais. “The awards are the result of a dedicated team doing what they all love. They believe in change and innovation, but also take responsibility. Most of all, they are successful because they respect their profession and have fun at it.”

Le Quartier on culinary A-list (May 2002)
Le Quartier Francais Restaurant has also been named one of the World's 50 Best Restaurants in authoritative ratings published by Restaurant, a leading food magazine published in London.

Winning a highly-prized place, Le Quartier Francais was the only South African restaurant to make the top 50 list that includes the world's most renowned restaurants from New York and Paris to Hong Kong and Sydney.

A panel of top chefs, restaurateurs and gourmet writers were asked to find "the greatest places to eat in the world - serving simply the best food in the world".

Bread & Wine Restaurant on Môreson Wine Farm
The grapevine is singing about the inspired new menu at Bread & Wine on Môreson Wine Farm in Franschhoek. A regional showcase for the freshest seasonal fare, the enchanted restaurant in the lemon orchard has come of age as the home of a new genre of Cape country cuisine. Creating light gourmet cuisine from the finest locally sourced ingredients; it offers visitors from around the world a taste of the winelands on a plate.

Reflecting the global return to cuisine du terroir, the innovative menu tempts palates with the delectable aromas and flavours of home-baked breads, sublime soups, country terrines, imaginative salads and highly original dishes.

Breaking away from the traditional formula of set courses, Bread & Wine encourages guests to take a more informal approach to dining. Why restrict yourself to starters and mains? A refreshingly different menu invites you to explore a range of tastes and textures by sharing a selection of affordable dishes. The menu offers unbeatable value for fine country cuisine.

Served at country tables with pastel chairs scattered around the courtyard, the al fresco setting has the charming ambience of a Monet painting. Visitors linger over lunch in the country, savouring Môreson's fine wines grown in the vineyards, served by the glass or bottle. Signature dishes like shrimp cake with tomato salsa, clay-baked asparagus with red pesto and balsamic jelly and pan-fried wild mushrooms with marrow butter are bound to whet an appetite for more. One of the most popular dishes offers a delicious combination of home-smoked salmon served with warm potato and avocado salad.

Newly renovated for the season, Bread & Wine has a chic new look with an enclosed terrace that is the ideal venue for a grand country wedding or special functions. Featuring a dance-floor, the elegant 100-seater dining room has a high ceiling draped in provençal fabrics and giant picture windows that afford an outlook of mountains and vineyards as far as the eye can see. The indoor area leads onto the al fresco courtyard shaded by trellised vines and lemon trees. Designer menus are tailor-made for weddings and special events.

Chefs Neil and Christina Jewell, partners in the kitchen and at home, joined Bread & Wine in 1999 after working in the celebrated British kitchens of Conrad International, The Avenue and Stephen Bull in London – Time Out's top Modern European Restaurant. The popular anti-pasta platter showcases the specialist meats cured in Neil’s own charcuterie - the cardamom salami, home-cured hams, red-wine cured meats and farm-smoked salmon. He 's famous throughout the Franschhoek Valley for his spicy Toulouse sausage - and plans to lead sausage-making classes at Bread & Wine in 2003.

Christina Jewell, the renowned baker and manager, makes the scrumptious foccacia, ciabatta, sour dough and beetroot breads served at Bread & Wine with savoury dips and oils. She also holds popular monthly bread-baking classes on Saturday mornings for the novice bakers who come back to learn how to make their own gourmet breads - filled with kitchen dried tomatoes, feta and green garlic.

At Bread & Wine, they're looking forward to the next big event of the season on the annual calendar - the blessing of the harvest events at Môreson Wine Farm in early February. These events attract hundreds of visitors who celebrate the first fruits of the new vintage at a foot-stomping party where they press the grapes the old way - underfoot.

Getaways at Le Quartier Francais
So, life in the fast track is hectic. You seriously need time out. Yet the weekend arrives before you've even had time to organise a rendezvous in the country where you can chill out. There's no need to despair. Whether you're looking for a little romance, a quiet spot to go fly-fishing or the soothing aroma of lavender and roses, there is a place for you.

There is a sanctuary in the Cape winelands where you will be pampered beyond your wildest dreams. A renowned guesthouse, restaurant and retreat, the luxurious Auberge in Franschhoek will plan your whole weekend - then leave you in complete privacy to romance the weekend away. All you have to do is bring the right partner along.

If you simply want time out, Le Quartier Francais will tempt you to book a "veg out" weekend that leaves the two of you alone on luxurious linen with your favourite movies in front of a romantic fireplace. (The sweet dreams are on the house.)

For guests who need to get a little more active to unwind, Le Quartier Francais also now offers fly-fishing weekends. If you want to cast a rod in the idyllic setting of Dewdale trout farm in Franschhoek while your partner takes forty winks on the riverbank, they'll organise that too. If you come back to Le Quartier Français with a tall tale about the one that got away, they'll even serve you fish and chips at the bar to cheer you up.

At Le Quartier Francais, the dedicated staff will go to the ends of the earth to make sure your great getaway in the country is simply perfect this weekend. If you need a break with a touch of class, take a look at our four innovative weekend packages - and pick exactly what you're looking for. A veg out or fly-fishing weekend. It's all up to you. They'll do the rest.

Môreson Wine Farm - Môreson’s quality wine will take you on a journey of the senses and an unforgetable experience.
Bordeaux Street Art Gallery - Suppliers of divine artworks and gifts
Butterfly World – Thousands of species
Animal Zone - New and exciting concept of interaction with rare, exotic species
Wine Estate Visits - Bellingham, Cabriére Estate, Landau du Val and Môreson are just a few of the 20 wine estates in the surrounding area that offer wine sales and tasting , cellar and vineyard tours.
Cycle Hire – Inquiries at Reception
Franschhoek Mountain Trail – Scenic walks
Franschhoek Museum – Learn about Hranschhoek's historical background. Open everyday between 9h00 - 16h00
Golf – A choice of 4 golf courses within a 45km Radius – contact Reception for more information.
Health and Skincare Clinic – Pamper yourself
Kei Carpets – Beautiful hand–made carpets
Mont Rochelle Equestrian Centre – Trail riding and cellar tours on horseback
Over 20 local restaurants to choose from ranging Cape Provincial Cuisine to Bistro’s, Coffee Shops, Deli’s and family restaurants
Tennis Club - Inquiries at Reception
Trout fishing on Dewdale - For lovers of outdoors, with hiking and mountain biking trails, tackle shop and picnic hampers
Wine and Cheese Farm – Fairview
Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm
The Vonds Snake Centre – Fascinating collection of crawling reptiles
Winelands Ballooning – Balloon flights over the vineyards
Wine Route Ostrich Farm – Tours, bushman crafts and restaurant

The origins of Le Quartier Francais are steeped in the history of the Cape Winelands, the original buildings were labourers’ cottages which were upgraded and used as different forms of accommodation until Michael and Cheryl Trull opened the first restaurant on this site; known as “1688”, it was a simple country restaurant. Adre and Arthur MacWilliam Smith took it over in 1984, they changed the name to Le Quartier Francais and put it on the map with its outstanding cuisine.

Susan Huxter bought the already popular restaurant in 1989 and extended the scope considerably by building the Auberge, which opened in 1991 with a total of 14 rooms. Later Susan converted her house into the luxury suites with their own private pools. The project architect, Tom Darlington, designed an intimate, cloistered Cape Victorian setting for the Auberge Du Quartier Francais.

Set in tranquil surroundings, the reception, lounge, library and 15 double rooms plus the Pool Suite and a House Suite are set against the mystic backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains and overlook a central landscaped garden with a natural pool.

The private courtyard, with its “broekie lace” and old fashioned street lamps recreates the charm of a village square in a bygone era. Le Quartier Francais offers something for everyone.

The main restaurant offers diners innovative Cape Provencal cuisine in a beautiful setting. The Bar and streetside Terrace offers light meals throughout the day and a variety of drinks. It is the place to go to relax in a stunning setting and be assured of good food, wonderful local wines and warm friendly service.

In December 2000, Le Quartier Francais became a member of Relais et Châteaux.

Top           Return to Map of Winelands

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For tourist information and activities in the Winelands, click More Winelands
For tourist information and activities in the Western Cape, click More Western Cape
For further information about South Africa, click More South Africa

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