Living the Grand Life – Grande Provence

Grande Provence is a heritage wine estate located in the gorgeous Franschhoek Valley. Surrounded by rolling mountains, it is on the Franschhoek Tram wine route and the perfect way to see an estate like this. A humble sign at the entrance on the main street does not prepare you for the incredible beauty that this wine farm has to offer. Driving into the estate the road is lined with vineyards as far as the eye can see.

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Having a green finger is very common in this area. Sprawling land means that it needs a fair amount of care, yet sometimes it looks completely unpretentious and organic. Perfect is a huge statement to make, as perfect means there is nothing that could be changed. Yet everyone has a different version of their ideal, or their perfect…this is pretty close to what I consider perfect.

Walking through the gardens it is easy to see why people flock to this location during summer and even in the heart of winter, which Im sure you would not have guested from the pictures I took on the day I spent at the estate. The lawns are usually filled with families enjoying a day out in the Winelands, couples enjoying a glass or two of the incredible wines on offer or art enthusiasts admiring the frequently changing sculptures that stand tall in the gardens.

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Of course I was very interested in the food, Grande Provence has a reputation in and around the valley of brilliantly thought through flavours by Executive Chef Darren Badenhorst. A gorgeous wintry morning in the Cape allowed us to be seated outside under Gods umbrellas as the leaves where changing colour and the air crisp and fresh. See why Im finding it quite hard to not call this the perfect day out.

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The menu is an ever changing seasonal forecast of the very best that this region has to offer. Darren has taken it upon himself to locally source and this responsible way of thinking and eating has him foraging for herbs and mushrooms weekly for us to enjoy in various ways.

On the menu today…I was completely spoilt for choice! It is very hard to find a menu that caters equally to the carnivores as it does to the herbivores, but I think I have found it. There is no generic stuffed mushrooms or pasta bakes on this menu for the vegetarians…which I am sure you are happy to hear.

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BREAD COURSE:

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CHEFS TREAT:

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STARTERS:

(On the left) – Butter poached and BBQ lobster, XO Quinoa sea sand, kombu pickled courgette, ponzu infused cucumber and dill gel, sweet miron gribeche

(On the right) – Millionaires Bacon and Eggs – 62 degree hens with sous vide pork belly, aerated hollandaise, wild mushrooms and winter truffle

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MAIN COURSE:

(On the left) – 12 Hour sous vide Beef Cheek, smoked pommes, foraged mushrooms, confit pearl onions, wagyu jus

(On the right) – Farmed cob, aerated coconut laksa, baby leeks, black garlic and smoked Mozambican crab butter, charred baby fennel bulb with citrus green tea vinaigrette

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There was no space for dessert after that incredibly decadent meal, however there is always place for wine. Grande Provence has won multiple awards for their wines and it is definitely best enjoyed paired with one of the menu items.

If you would like to browse more about the wines then click on the link and feel free to browse their website: http://www.grandeprovence.co.za/the-estate/our-wines/our-wines/grande-provence-wines/

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The wine shop and Tasting Room at Grande Provence provides the perfect canvas showcasing the various wine ranges at their best. The passion and enthusiasm from the wine making team is felt as you enter the front door as the staff are beaming and very helpful. Their knowledge of the wines is impeccable and you are made to feel very welcome.

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The eye for detail in the various parts of this estate is astounding! From sculptures and statues that adorn the garden, to the famous art gallery, to the manor house and jewelry store, this is definitely a creatives ideal meeting place for a glass or three of wine over conversation and a stroll around the grounds. You could pop in as this is a place that would definitely suit a quick coffee but dont torcher yourself by not staying and having the full experience.

TASTING ROOM TRADING HOURS:

Summer: 10h00 – 19h00 daily

Winter: 10h00 – 18h00 daily

Cellar Tours on Weekdays at 11h00 and 15h00, except during harvest at R30.00 pp

Tapas Menu Available 16h00 – 17h30.

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Grande Provence also has a wine of the month club which allows you to buy selected wines at amazing prices. They also rotate the various wines which allows you to build up quite a collection before you know it.

They have a few wine tasting options to choose from at extremely affordable prices. So have you booked yet?? If not you can book by clicking on this link: http://www.grandeprovence.co.za/the-estate/our-wines/tastings,-tours-and-wine-blending/

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Walking over to the Restaurant, a chic industrial interior has been carefully though out in keeping with the French Huguenot as well as marrying that with the ever changing modern look of the art gallery etc.

The restaurant is open 7 days a week and it is recommended that you book to avoid disappointment. Cool and refreshing in the summer, the restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy seasonal classics with the perfect view of the garden and courtyard. Cozy and warm in the winter, it offers a homely place to enjoy a blazing fire as you enjoy one of Chef Darren’s comforting classics. I recommend anything that he has cooked for 12 hours…low and slow is the perfect style for Winter.

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Jonkershuis is just one more gem on this gorgeous estate. Need a venue to host a private dinner or event? This is definitely the most beautiful location no matter what the occasion.

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The interior is a mix of the classic French touches mixed with Traditional South African woods. The chandelier made from recycled Angel Tears Bottles adorns the room as it sparkles and the light reflects off every surface. The use of leather textures, materials that warm the room, different light sources and the beautiful exposed ceilings are all part of the feeling projected at the Grande Provence Estate.

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If all of that hasn’t been enough for you or you have been walking around the estate with your glass in hand, I suggest popping into the wonderfully inspirational Art Gallery. Grande Provence exudes  art and culture and what better way than to show case it in all its glory. Its incredibly beautiful interior transported me to a quaint spot in the middle of Brooklyn New York City.

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I am not an Art curator by any means but I still spent a fair amount of time looking and pondering each piece..that is what I love about Art.

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ART GALLERY TRADING HOURS:

Monday – Sunday: 10h00 – 18h00 at R30.00 pp

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If you are thinking of leaving Grande Provence with a souvenir but one of the art pieces seem like a bit of a stretch, then make your way over to the jewelry store. Across the court yard it boasts beautiful Proudly South African pieces that will be sure to highlight your travels or adorn the entrance way your of your condo…I think it would look great there!

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After a long day, I have been fed, watered (or wined but that didn’t have quite the same ring to it,) cultured and shopped till I dropped, now it is time for a nap…making our way over to the Owners Cottage. Located on the other side of 47 acres of vineyards, it is sure to create the perfect ambiance, peace and quiet. Continuing with the gorgeous and elegant interior design it is very easy to feel at home here…before walking out onto the picturesque outdoor pool area and upstairs Jacuzzi.

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The cottage has a total of four luxurious rooms that has all the amenities you could want while on a romantic weekend, a family getaway,  a girls trip or a spa weekend. The cottage can host a maximum of 10 people at a bed and breakfast option. The spacious lounge offers a great meeting spot for the whole family to relax together in the evening while playing board games as the children have canon ball competitions out at the pool.

If you are trying to relax yet still find your self burning to check your emails, WiFi is available for your convenience. All guests staying at the Owners Cottage are invited to enjoy a complimentary wine tasting, a cellar tour and a guided walk through The Gallery and The Sculpture Garden.

You can check the rates at the following address: http://www.grandeprovence.co.za/the-estate/the-owners-cottage/

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What are you doing this coming weekend? That’s right, experiencing the gorgeous Grande Provence, because nothing is grander than Grande Provence.

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