To further the culinary pyrotechnics for foodies and wine fans, a trip to the Cape Winelands is a must. Here, wineries, restaurants and small inns and hotels fill the charming towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, bringing a distinctly French flair to the rolling green hills (the French Huguenots planted the original vines here). A great base for explorations, and an ideal complement to chic home setting of Ellerman House, is another elite residential-like spot in the lush Cape Winelands, Leeu House, nestled on Huguenot Road, the main street in the center of quaint Franschhoek.
The newly opened property offers 12 bright and modern rooms, a private dining room and lounge, and a pool and patio, well-suited for relaxing with a late-day glass of wine. A sister property, Leeu Estates, was having a soft opening when we visited in June. Its 17 rooms and suites perched on a hill overlooking vineyards and gardens will surely become a highlight in the area. A sleek three- room spa, wine studio for tastings and a dining room are open to the public. For VIPs, Room No. 6, the Executive Suite, with a deck large enough for a cocktail party and a private plunge pool, is a can’t-miss option.
Both properties are part of Leeu Group, which also includes the award-winning boutique Le Quartier Francais, located just a few doors down from Leeu House.