Easter is available at La Cotte…. in 22 out 31 March (dates 12-19 March are also available)
There won’t be any arguments about who should get the room with the view at La Cotte. Wherever you choose to lay your suitcase, you’ll enjoy its 360-degree views of Franschhoek’s vineyard-studded valley and mountains.
But it’s not until you’re relaxing al fresco on the terraces of either La Cotte House (sleeps 6) or the cottage (sleeps 4), gazing out over your very own lakeside version of one of Monet’s famous ‘Water Lilies’ paintings, that you’ll fully appreciate the true magic of this unique setting.
In prime position, deceptively far from distractions, on one of the oldest Huguenot estates in Franschhoek, (granted in 1694) these houses were built for ultimate privacy. Surrounded by indigenous gardens and natural beauty as far as the eye can see, you’re actually only a short walk from the town hidden away below.
But La Cotte doesn’t just rely on its awe-inspiring setting to take your breath away. Its classic contemporary-Cape vernacular, thatched roofs, lime-washed gables and antique-style French shutters are all part of the enchantment. Inside, a perfect marriage of eclectic colonial and relaxed farmhouse-chic serves up a gorgeously laid-back home from home, with a soupçon of grandeur and more than enough style to help remind you that you’ve journeyed somewhere a little bit special. There are prints and paintings aplenty, showcasing contemporary South African artists including Alice Goldin, Olive Scholnick, Patricia Frazer and Philip Briel, with a carefully curated selection of colonial antique posters and prints thrown in for good measure.
It is one of a kind and for the remainder of the summer season the rates are half-price at R9500 per night (GBP435, USD605, EUR605) to sleep up to 12. Six bedrooms, either all king or three of bedrooms can be split into twins. It comes fully serviced and we can arrange a private chef. More details below. email email@example.com
La Cotte House
Sleeping six, the farm’s 400m2 manor house is the largest of the three properties. Arranged over one floor, its never-ending ceilings, lofty French doors and traditional sash windows ensure that Franschhoek’s panoramas pour in with the sun the moment you open the blinds.
Step over the threshold, and it’s clear this is a home that was designed for entertaining. The vast open-plan living space with oak floorboards flows from the large farmhouse kitchen, past the majestic fireplace in a light-flooded sitting room with large linen-covered sofas, and out to the vine-dappled wrap-around terraces. The Colonial English, French and traditional Cape antiques, combined with an intriguing mix of international and African curios and Persian, Afghan and Turkish rugs and kilims add a distinctly cosmopolitan air.
In the bedrooms, tribal and antique ikat and suzani textiles add splashes of color to the relaxingly neutral sun-bleached palette. But it’s the master bedroom that really steals the show with its elegant modern four-poster, antique chattels, woven-grass flooring and show-home bathroom.
Two of the three en-suite bedrooms can be used as twins or king bedrooms. All the bedrooms and living areas have air-conditioning. Each en-suite bathroom comes with a freestanding bath, supersize shower, double vanity, marble tops, heated towel rail and under-floor heating, while monochrome tiles, antique prints and modern mirrors add an air of elegance.
You’ll find TVs and iPad docking stations in the main sitting rooms and the large, fully equipped kitchen (with scullery, laundry and mud room) has two fridges, three electric Miele ovens, a Miele steamer, ice machine and a Nespresso machine. Add the pizza oven and wood-burning barbeque out on the terrace and you’ve got every cook’s dream home.
Smaller, but perfectly formed, the property’s thatched cottage boasts the same blend of contemporary elegance and Cape Colonial flair, playing host to two expansive, sun-drenched blue and white en-suite (twin or king) bedrooms and no shortage of luxurious accoutrements.
In winter, curl up on the living-room sofa by the wood-burning stove, or relax on one of the built-in day beds on the porch in summer, watching the sun set slowly over the magnificent lake of lilies.
You’ll find Wi-Fi and air-conditioning throughout, a TV in the main living area, a hairdryer in each bedroom and luxury products in the bathrooms. With its own refrigerator and tea and coffee station there’s no need to feel feel reliant on the main house – you can interact as little or as much as you like.
The Pool House
Doubling as either pool house or an additional guest cottage, this one bedroom (twin or king) comes complete with sauna, shower-room, toilet and facilities including a fridge and a tea and coffee making station.
Kick back with a novel on the king-size day bed on the large verandah or relax poolside enjoying the epic view of the property’s cypress trees and Franschhoek’s mountains.
Go native and cook up a traditional braai complete with South African boerewors (sausage) with biltong (dried meat) to start, just like the locals. Or if you’d rather leave the cooking to someone else, you can take advantage of our excellent in-house chef.
But with South Africa’s premier gourmet destination on your doorstep, it would be a crime not to get out and enjoy what Franschhoek is famous for – you’ll find some of the country’s finest dining and wine-tasting within walking distance.
Book ahead for the world-class tasting menu at Le Quartier Français’s Tasting Room, linger over a lunch to remember (and views to match) at La Petite Ferme, try the locally foraged fodder at Foliage or join the locals for some informal family fare at Café des Arts.
Dive in early morning or float the afternoon away in Maison La Cotte’s stunning 12mx6m heated pool. Just steps from the house, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of the property’s olive grove and mountains beyond, this is the perfect place to cool down or spend quality family time.
Back in the main house you’ll find all sorts of entertainment to keep you amused –Wi-Fi throughout and a TV and iPad docking station in the main living area (and an additional TV in the cottage). The daily maid service, including laundry and ironing, means you don’t have to lift a finger. There’s even a chef available on request.
Home to one of the few surviving Cape Dutch Water Mills, the farm was also the birthplace of one of the oldest Oak trees in the region. It was this very tree that gave up its acorns in 1920 to be planted in honor of the Battle of Delville Wood in France – and the reason La Cotte got its acorn logo.
While most of Franschhoek’s first-time visitors come to sample the area’s world famous wines, there are no end of other activities that keep guests coming back time and time again. For vineyard tours, Franschhoek’s wine tram leaves from the centre of town and is a great way to visit some of the region’s best wine farms without having to drive. Hiking, cycling or horseback riding are also available (on or off the wine trail). There’s fly-fishing a few minutes drive from Franschhoek and six golf clubs less than an hour away.
If you’re looking to add a little culture to your trip, there are plenty of museums and galleries to visit in the area including the Franschhoek motor museum, which has one of the largest collections of vintage cars in the Southern Hemisphere. The Huguenot museum will give you an overview of the region’s history and early settlers while Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens offers insight into the local flora and fauna.
For an aerial view, take a scenic helicopter ride over the wine lands. Or if you’re looking for a little pampering, visit one of the world-class spas including L’ermitage, The Treatment Room at Le Quartier Français, or for a real treat let us arrange for a masseuse to visit you in-room at La Cotte.
Keeping the children entertained couldn’t be easier with a wealth of options in the area including riding lessons, Butterfly World or the car museum. Children can’t fail to love the half-hour chocolate-making demonstration at Franschhoek’s Huguenot chocolate store.
At home, children naturally alternate between pool time and playing in the bunk room where a big screen TV, array of games and pool table will have them occupied for hours. Cots can be sourced on request.
Stay in Franschhoek a minimum of five nights to experience it at its best.
Make dinner and lunch reservations as far ahead as you can. Some of the most popular places are booked up two months in advance.
With temperate year-round weather, sunscreen is advisable at all times – if you come between December and March it’s a must.
Don’t forget to bring sensible shoes for walking and hiking and your glad rags for Franschhoek’s dressier dinner destinations.
When arriving in Franschhoek village from Cape Town, take a left turn on Uitkyk Street. Maison La Cotte is around 1km up Uitkyk Street on the right hand side. You will be given a gate code to enter.
Bookings are subject to a two-night minimum through firstname.lastname@example.org