On the menu at Maison

By Luxury Travel Editors

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Franschhoek is steeped in understated sophistication and a culturescape of art galleries, boutiques, gift shops and eateries, just an hour outside of Cape Town. That being said, any Capetonian will agree that the challenge with Franschhoek is knowing where to stay with such a vast serving of Airbnbs, bed and breakfasts, premium hotels, and wine farm estates. If you’re short of ideas and are looking for an all-round experience, here we unpack the world-class six-course tasting menu of ‘Maison’, a property created by interior design powerhouses Chris and Kim Weylandt.

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…the intelligence of curation, the foresight to deliver something that is impossible to forget.

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To start: Franschhoek

Without any doubt, Franschhoek has to be acknowledged for setting the tone, selected this year as one of Time Magazine’s ‘50 Great Places’ on our planet – that’s no mean feat, a rave review from a prominent critic.

Agreed, Franschhoek has it all – history, unparalleled scenery, mountains, trails – but that has also been preserved. The quaint characteristics of the main high street that runs through the village have been carefully maintained and augmented by the owner Analjit Singh of Leeu Collection, an international collection of boutique hotels, who have invested significantly in the area.

Without a doubt, the standout of Franschhoek is not one thing but them all. And a property like Maison delivers on these layers of experience meeting Franschhoek’s promise entirely.

Four Course Tapas & Architecture

Such is the design, the entrance sets the tone. Unpacking our bags, the building surrounds you in a U-shape. Unmistakably, the view takes centre stage, beaming its panoramic majesty through the front door. Just keep walking straight through the house to the pool and down into the wine farm – a straight line takes you from one end of the property to the other, maybe a half kilometre away.

The house is modern, as one might expect from designer-retailers that are known for an abundance of space. This proposition is about scale and generosity. The voluminous barn that houses the open plan lounge, dining room and kitchen scullery stretches high into the sky, with double-volume sliding glass doors stealing the lion’s share of your attention. Open out onto a generous deck without an outdoor lounge, outdoor dining, and the 25-meter lap pool that spills into acres of vines. The 180-degree view offers a panorama that leaves you standing still.

Interior Design

The main bedroom is like a modern apartment in itself, easily placed in Bantry Bay or Clifton, and an unexpected and pleasant surprise for the wine region. But, as the automated rolling shutters slide back in front of the king-size bed, you are gifted by the phenomenal vines stretching out in front of you. It’s quite a moment. Behind the bed there’s a double desk, and a cosy lounge and fireplace with an open plan en-suite, double showers, and a sunken bath with adjacent plunge pool.

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There are three bedrooms down the opposing wing, branching off from a modern, narrow, and minimal corridor which in itself is a statement. The three additional bedrooms, similar in size and layout, offer ample accommodation and roll out via large doors onto the lawn and paddock where the horses pasture

The spaces – high, narrow, open or expansive, perform something very deliberate. Weylandt’s passion for interesting art, sculpture and furniture means that the gallery-like atmosphere ask you to consider the unique selections he has made over time. With the bronze statue in the dining room, the chandeliers, and the interesting African and contemporary art, I couldn’t work out whether I enjoyed the property during the day or night. The sun comes up over the mountain and floods towards the house, bathing it in golden sunlight, and in the evening, the soft crackling of many fireplaces and candles wrap around you as you unwind.

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Food & Wine

Next door you’ll find Maison at Chef’s Warehouse where you can try the various Maison wines (I highly recommend the Chenin Blanc). Equally the culinary brilliance of chef <require name here> ensures the cuisine is sublime, the atmosphere is earthy, warm and cosy, and a working kitchen brings animation and theatre to the experience. This partnership between the house and the restaurant is something you will find hard to repeat. A perfect pairing. You’ll find the menu here. https://www.chefswarehouse.co.za/maison-menu

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The Farm

The horses, vineyards, birdsong, chickens and even the portly pig at Chefs Warehouse are a genuine treat, not to be taken for granted. These moments added dimension, especially for the teens and pre-teens and walking from the house of this size to a restaurant of this quality – through a side gate – is a luxury. So much so, we strolled across to have coffee with our porky friend and his acompanying chickens. Just because we could. The stretch of lawn, aged silver 16-seater outdoor dining tables under the trees, gazing at the vineyards, implores you to check out for a Sunday with your friends inhaling the best Cape Town has to offer. I suggest that wholeheartedly.

To end: Dessert

As breathtaking as it may be, and as important as location and scenery and cuisine are, sharing the property with friends or extended family is worthwhile. The expansive home truly enjoys the company of visitors, preparing food, and settling into the many indoor and outdoor seating areas. The multiple fireplaces burnt hot to offer energy and warmth, setting a scene, and the walk-in fridge, scullery and pantry are there to play host in preparation and hide away any mess thereafter.

In any menu, it is not solely the diversity of dishes that make the meal or even the depth of flavour, it’s how it all comes together as a memory – courses carefully chosen and curated to compliment each other. Maison is more than the owners’ amazing eye for furniture and art, it’s more than Maison at Chef’s Warehouse, the architecture and generosity, it’s the way each ingredient compliments the next, the intelligence of curation, the foresight to deliver something that is impossible to forget. 

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To find out more about Maison Franschhoek, click here.

Story by LuxuryTravelEditor.com. View @luxurytraveleditors here.

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