Yesterday Leeu Collection announced two changes to its signature accommodation and spa property Leeu Estates, located on the outskirts of Franschhoek, with the opening of two restaurants on the estate. The hospitality company continues with its concept of inviting top chefs to operate the food and beverage offerings at Leeu Collection properties, as was recently announced at its Lakes District Linthwaite House property in the UK.
Talented Award-winning Chef Darren Badenhorst is to open Le Chêne (The Oak) in the Leeu Estates Manor House on 15 October. The restaurant is to serve French-inspired food, reflecting the French Huguenot history of Franschhoek. Chef Darren very successfully opened Le Coin Français on the Franschhoek main road two years ago, the restaurant name being the French translation of the name of the village. The restaurant was ranked 14th Best in our country by Eat Out in 2018.
In preparation for this story, I contacted Chef Darren, to congratulate him, and asked him if he wanted to add any further details to the media release which I had received from Leeu Collection. He sent me the following statement about his new restaurant at Leeu Estates:
‘French in concept, Franschhoek in heritage and supply. Utilizing estate grown produce and foraged Valley ingredients. A similar style to le coin Francais, but a more “approachable” format, as in not only tasting menus. The estate has so much to offer and I intend to showcase these through cuisine and quality service that our customers at le coin francais have come to appreciate. Where the beautiful glass observatory currently is now was an old oak tree that died years ago, that is where I had the inspiration for the name “le chene” meaning the oak tree. I intend to bring the “outside in” and we are doing a refurbishment and exposing natural woods of the floors and surrounds.
La Petite Colombe will open in a stand-alone space on Leeu Estates in May next year, next door to a new Everard Read Gallery for monumental art, moving across from Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Français on the Franschhoek main road, from where it has operated for the last two years. Its sister restaurant Protégé will remain at La Quartier Français.
‘Food and drink are such an important part of a hotel stay, we have made the decision to welcome top chefs and their restaurants into the Leeu Collection properties, to enhance the guest experience’, says Analjit Singh, founder of Leeu Collection. ‘While we provide the infrastructure and functionality, focusing on lifestyle aspects such as beautifully curated interiors, exquisite landscaped gardens, stunning pieces of art, and immersive Mullineux & Leeu Family Wine tastings, we can allow the experts to cook up a magical storm in our kitchens.’
Leeu Estates, the mountainside country house hotel and boutique winery of Leeu Collection, was recently awarded the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA)’s new 5-Star Premium grading.
Leeu Estates, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 492-2222 www.leeucollection.com Twitter: @LeeuCollection Instagram: @ Leeucollection
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein