Grande Provence in Franschhoek is the perfect weekend getaway
It's not easy venturing into the Franschhoek winelands in the heart of winter, but it is rewarding.
The closer we got to the Huguenot-founded village – with Cape Town tucked away in the rear view mirror – it was hard to ignore the blanket of snow on the mountain.
It was even chillier than I thought it would be but the final destination was going to be worth it – an overnight stay at The Owner’s Cottage at Grande Provence.
I’ve been to the heritage wine estate on a few occasions, had lunch and departed without knowing there were cottages.
I was slightly surprised to discover that The Owners Cottage was a little higgledy-piggledy building to the side of the main restaurant and gallery.
It’s popular with local and international guests. If it’s good enough for the British royal family and Jude Law, it’s good enough for me.
There are five suites at the cottage, each named after a varietal.
There’s the Merlot, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet rooms and the honeymoon suite called the Angel Room (named after Angel Tears, a Grande Provence wine).
The rooms are modern but with their roots firmly in their heritage.
The two on the second floor are my favourite – they have the distinct aroma of the thatched roof which might be a negative for some guests but I found it charming and relaxing.
The Shiraz room was the perfect winter retreat, with all the mod cons you could ask for, including wi-fi.
I wasn’t interested in the small screen or any of the tech, I was anxious to get to the newly opened bistro and do a wine tasting.
When I came in from the cold and took my seat I forgot all about the wine.
For longer than I thought, I was people-watching, I found myself watching the visitors pile into and out of the Franschhoek tram.
Grande Provence is the last stop on the six vineyard tour, so the effect of the wine on visitors is quite obvious and it’s worth a giggle or two.
Overall this is the perfect escape for a weekend, close enough to Cape Town, but far enough to be called a getaway.