Franschhoek – the loveliest city in the Winelands
Finally we reached our final stop from our winelands tour – the lovely Franschhoek. At the Leeu House in Franschhoek we spent our last days in South Africa, and I could’t ask for a better last stay. The Leeu House is a boutique hotel with 12 unique rooms, located in the heart of Franschhoek.
Look at the beautiful entrance/lobby. I felt in love with this amazing place from the first minute.
We stayed at the wonderful Classic Room.
I just loved this beautiful Art-Deco Bathroom.
The service at the Leeu House is amazing. They had a “special” – every room has a own mini bar which was filled up every day. But the mini bar was not a normal mini bar. You could find there everything you want, from normal soft drinks, to beer from Namibia and all kind of snacks. But the coolest thing was the wine, which was named after the owner. I think if you have a wine named after you, you made it 😉
This was definitely one of my favorite places at the hotel – the pool 😉
This hotel has a lot of advantages. But two of them are outstanding.
The first is the food. The food is just mind-blowing. It starts with the breakfast, where you can almost order everything you want like for example scrabbled eggs with truffle creme fraiche or a french toast with fresh berries from the garden.
The Leeu House has a joker regarding food – the Tasting room. An award-winning restaurant, located just a few steps away from the hotel and a part of the whole Le Quartier Francais. I will just give you a short view on this, because you’ll find out more about this outstanding restaurant in another review on my blog
The second benefit of the Leeu House is the location. The hotel is just mini steps away from the main road in Franschhoek. Which means that you can discover this cute little village by foot and need no car or taxi. Franschhoek has a lot to offer. It has amazing restaurants, little shops, beautiful galleries and much more. This village is just beautiful. The architecture, the people, everything.
But not only the location of the hotel itself is great, but also the location of Franschhoek in the winelands is perfect as a base for all kind of excursions. You are only 20-30 minutes away from Paarl or Stellenbosch. So you don’t need to change the hotel if you want to visit all the other beautiful villages in the winelands.
I have a special tip for you if you would like to see the wineries in Franschhoek: The Franschhoek Wine Tram. It is a hop-on / hop-off wine tour through Franschhoek. This is the best way to explore the vineyards and the beautiful surroundings. It is a combination of an tram and bus transportation.
There are more than 20 wineries where you can hop off and have a wine-tasting, a delicious lunch or just relax and enjoy the beautiful vineyards. The system is similar to the normal hop-on / hop-off bus tours in all big cities, but just a thousand times more charming and unique – where else can you have a sightseeing/wine tour with an old-fashioned tram ?!? For me it is the best way to see the Franschhoek valley with all his beautiful landscapes and exploring the wineries with all their delicious wines at the same time.
But the best about this hop-on/hop-off tour is, that you don’t have to drive and you can do all the wine-tastings – but you have to keep in mind that every single vinery has their own wine tasting. I know it is a hard job, but somebody has to do it – otherwise I couldn’t report about it 😉
Leeu House has something special. It is not only chic and unique, but what you really feel in this place is the passion for design, the hospitality and the love for South Africa from the owner. I am normally not telling you a lot of the history or origin of a place, but in this case I will make a exception because I just love the story. Mr Analjit Singh visited South Africa and Franschhoek for the first time during the Soccer World Cup in 2010 and felt in love (just the same way I did) from the first second. Because he felt a special connection to Franschhoek, he wanted to build up a unique place – and he found a special place for it, the Klein Dassenberg Farm. And the rest is history 🙂
For me Leeu House and Franschhoek will always have a special place in my heart. If you love food, wine, art and beautiful landscapes, you will love this place the same way I did.
During our stay their newest project “Leeu Estate” was under construction. So unfortunately I didn’t had the chance to visit it. But it opened at the end of June and I am sure that it will be outstanding. I hope to get the chance to visit the Leeu Estate during my next trip to South Africa and Franschhoek.