Babel, a farm to table restaurant within a working farm in the Wineland region of South Africa, was an unexpected surprise. I went there following the recommendation of the property manager at La Cle des Montagnes, where I was staying in nearby Franschhoek. The experience was as the promotional materials promised, fresh, local, and “an adventure and a rediscovery of the honest essence of things.”
Located within a gated one acre property in Constantia, an upscale leafy suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, The Last Word Constantia, a nine room boutique bed and breakfast, offered an intimate ambiance, service oriented staff, a well appointed room with a view, and a pretty pool and garden setting. It was elegant and understated at the same time.
While I was a guest at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, South Africa I had an opportunity to dine at Bosman’s, the hotel restaurant, named after Hermanus Bosman. In 1717, at the age of 24 he traveled to the Cape on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. While there he became the first owner of the farm where the restaurant is now located. It was an unexpected pleasure.
Tucked behind Dock Road, the main street next to the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town’s most popular attraction-cum-mall, the Queen Victoria was in a coveted location. Although it was across the street from the city’s best known upscale shopping center, the hotel itself never felt crowded. The well maintained boutique hotel with a gourmet restaurant was stylishly decorated and spotless. The staff were friendly and service oriented.
During a recent visit to Franschhoek, South Africa’s most refined food and wine village, I stayed at the beautiful La Galerie, a 183 square meter artsy and elegantly appointed two bedroom house with a private garden and pool and memorable mountain views. La Galerie was one of only three houses within the La Cle de Montagnes estate, a gated plum and vineyard property a few blocks from the village main street.