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The Tasting Room won a 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award!

Wonderful travel news! The Tasting Room has been awarded a 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award by Tripadvisor!

TripAdvisor2014-TravelersChoice

The Tasting Room has been named on two lists: as one of the favourite fine dining experiences in South Africa as well as Africa.  Well done to the team!

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Awards, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Neil Jewell on StreetSmart

Not familiar with StreetSmart? The organisation raises funds for street children through participating restaurants.

“StreetSmart has been in operation in Cape Town since June 2005 under the founding patronage of Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The funds raised go to selected and approved organisations that run programmes for the normalisation of street and vulnerable children’s lives. The restaurants in each town raise funds for their own community street children programmes.”

neil jewell

Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine an avid supporter of the cause recently said: “R5 does not buy much, but it can make a big difference! We were one of the very first restaurants to start supporting this charity and why not? If we can help make a difference or better the lives of these kids, then we certainly will try. I believe more restaurants should get involved. It’s a voluntary R5 on each bill (that’s nothing) and the more people that get involved, the more lives we can better.”

Sign your restaurant up here.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant, Franschhoek, Neil Jewell,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Nespresso Chefs Academy

“I drank a lot of coffee…” said Chef Margot Janse of her experience at the Nespresso Chefs Academy held recently in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Chefs were invited from around the globe to take part in coffee tastings and food pairings.

lausanne

One of Margot's snaps of beautiful Lausanne

Margot noted that at the Nespresso HQ they’re constantly tasting and checking that the quality of the coffee is good; and was impressed at how they uplifted employees from all over the company with coffee tasting training . She loved and was fascinated by the green coffee tasting.  Did we mention she drank a lot of coffee?

Margot and the fellow chefs

Margot and the fellow chefs

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Travel,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Nominees: Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards for 2014

We are thrilled, proud and honoured that two restaurants of the Le Quartier Français family have been nominated for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards for 2014!

Both The Tasting Room and Bread & Wine have both been shortlisted for the Top Ten restaurants in South Africa! The award ceremony takes places on 16 November 2014, in Thunder City, Cape Town. Grab tickets here.

A scene from last year's awards

A scene from last year's awards

That’s not all, Chef Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine is also cooking on the night, alongside  David Higgs of Five Hundred, George Jardine of Jordan Restaurant, PJ Vadas formerly of Camphors at Vergelegen, Bertus Basson of Overture, and Vanessa Marx of Dear Me.

We can’t wait for the night. Go team!



  

LQF Waterfont Apartments

We’re very excited to share that the LQF family now includes two self-catering apartments at Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront! Plus, guests staying at the apartments can also make a reservation at The Tasting Room – and not have to worry about the drive home after a wine pairing menu! We’ve partnered with uber! Our guests can use our promo code and uber to-and-from dinner – so you’ll get the best of both worlds; the charm of Franschhoek and a culinary journey, paired with a luxurious  stay in the heart of beautiful Cape Town.

waterfront-image-high-res

For more info on the apartments visit; 201 Carradale and 204 Juliette

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Waterfront Apartments,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Sweet treats in The Living Room

“I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur.” – Make that last one bubbly for us!
Did you know our small plate sharing menu in The Living Room has a host of delicious sweet treats too? That you can enjoy anywhere, from on the outside terrace to the bar, or overlooking the garden.
Stick your spoon into:
Sticky bun ice cream
Granadilla brûlée, coconut sorbet
Chocolate & pear tartlet, hazelnut  custard
Strawberry cheesecake verrine

“I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur.” – Make that last one bubbly for us!

Did you know our small plate sharing menu in The Living Room has a host of delicious sweet treats too? You can enjoy your dessert anywhere, from the outside terrace to the bar, or even overlooking the garden.

dessert

Stick your spoon into:
Sticky bun ice cream
Granadilla brûlée, coconut sorbet
Chocolate & pear tartlet, hazelnut  custard
Strawberry cheesecake verrine

So, next time you’re in Franschhoek, let us show you how sweet we can be.
Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Celebrating 25 years of Le Quartier Français

**** POP*** goes the Môreson bubbly! This October, 2014, we’re celebrating 25 wonderful years of Susan Huxter as the owner of Le Quartier Français! It’s been an incredible journey that spanned into luxurious, unique accommodation and globally lauded cuisine in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, which we’ve watched evolve into a world-class destination!

Thank you to all our guests for all your support through this quarter century – we love making you smile and will continue to do so!

We have the most loyal, enthusiastic team that we’re proud to call LQF family, thank you for all your hard work.

And, to celebrate this milestone, we’ve created a new logo!

LQF logo

Posted by: Le Quartier Français
Posted in: Le Quartier Français,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Spring it’s a G&T thing!

Our Tanqueray G&T special in The Living Room has proved to be so popular; we’re going to run it in October too!
Perfect for a catch up with a friend, a fun business date, or even some quiet couple time. Our spring special includes: a Grazing Board served with two G&Ts for R150.
The Grazing Board is a showcase of Neil Jewell’s chacuterie and sourdough as well as local cheese, along with our chef’s favourite bite of the day, which can be anything from bitterballen to terrine.
Now, we won’t pour you any ordinary G&T either. Served with clear, globe ice, we use premium Tanqueray Gin and Fitch & Leedes Tonic in specially crafted Tanqueray glasses.
Spring, it’s a G&T thing.

Our Tanqueray G&T special in The Living Room has proved to be so popular; we’re going to run it in October too!

G&T special

‘Perfect for a catch up with a friend, a fun business date, or even some quiet couple time. Our spring special includes: a Grazing Board served with two G&Ts for R150.’

grazing board

The Grazing Board is a showcase of Neil Jewell’s chacuterie and sourdough as well as local cheese, along with our chef’s favourite bite of the day, which can be anything from bitterballen to terrine.

gin 3

Now, we won’t pour you any ordinary G&T either. Served with clear, globe ice, we use premium Tanqueray Gin and Fitch & Leedes Tonic in specially crafted Tanqueray glasses.

Spring, it’s a G&T thing.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

West Coast oysters in The Living Room

The waters of Saldanha Bay are rich in nutrients, a fact demonstrated by the abundant sea life which includes; cormorants, seals, and penguins.

oysters

The reason for this is a term called ‘upwelling’ and it is when the Benguela current passes the Cape peninsula pushing off surface water and carrying it into the cold, deep waters of the bay. This creates nutrient rich plankton for the oysters to feed on, and it’s what gives the West Coast oysters their characteristic sweet flavour.

Come and try a plate of these beauties in The Living Room—with, of course, a bottle of Môreson bubbly.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Ingredients, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

“My door is always open”

Aphiwe Nkonyane went from being a trainee in The Tasting Room, to graduating at Hurst yesterday where he received the top marks for his practical. Now? The world! We chat to him about his journey; and also what it’s like to have Chef Margot Janse as his mentor.
What does it mean to you to be graduating from Hurst today?
I am passionate about what I am doing, and it’s also one of the top schools in SA, in terms of good quality education that they provide. It means I’m ready to take on the best with an internationally recognised diploma behind my name and continue my journey through the culinary world.
Can you tell us a bit about the journey to obtain the bursary?
When I was young I started working part time and shadowing in the local kitchen during school holidays. In Grade 8 I had to do a project for school about ‘food gourmand’ and contacted a friend of mine whom is part of the Kusasa Project, he advised that I should contact Chef Margot, which I did. We spent an hour together going through the questions for the project and she offered that I should come and spend a day in The Tasting Room’s kitchen to get the feeling and a better understanding of how things work. I did this and I was amazed how everything operated as I didn’t know the full behind the scenes operation; after that I was hooked!
When I was 19 I signed a trainee contract with The Tasting Room, after 8 months the kitchen team suggested that I visit the Hurst Campus to see if I would like to study through there, which I did, but I was stuck as to how I would get a bursary. I then went to see Doug the Co-Founder of Kusasa and he suggested a face-to-face chat (Doug always taught us that to be taken seriously – eye contact is essential) with Chef Margot because of her role in the industry and charities. I met with Chef and told her that I wanted to go study so that I have a qualification that will help me in the future and she called Rebecca, the owner of Hurst Campus, to discuss what could be done. I then went back to Hurst and submitted an essay about myself, my goals and why I had chosen Hurst Campus; having worked with Karen van Wyngaard, Chris Erasmus and Margot Janse (both Karen and Chris have studied through Hurst TCTA) it gave me the advantage and feel of the school.
After an interview process they promised to call if I had received the bursary, 3 days before the school June intake started they called me and told me I got the bursary.
I was happy! I didn’t want to take any time off school after matric; I was pushing myself to get a bursary and was so pleased and happy that things were going my way.
When I told my mom she was very happy but nervous because there were fees involved for accommodation – I told her I would make a plan, which with Margot and Susan’s assistance and determination we did.
This taught me that “In life you must turn up for your own good and if you want something you must work hard and show love and care about what you want to achieve in life”.
What’s it like to be mentored by someone like Margot Janse?
“My door is always open – anytime” is one of the first things she told me. I asked myself “do they need me? Or do I need to prove myself by doing what other people don’t think they can do at my age?”
She taught me the basics, but I was hungry to learn and wanted to do all the tricky stuff – she taught me though, that you should always master the basics.
She was always open with me in terms of how I must in turn be open and communicate as this is vital in the kitchen. This took me a long time to be more myself and have confidence because I was the only young man in the kitchen and I’m fairly quiet!
After doing research and speaking to industry friends about Margot and Le Quartier Français – I knew it was the right place.
Margot taught me to do things with love and care – with this recipe you won’t go wrong in life; and for this lesson I will forever be grateful to Margot.
Any special or funny memories from your time at Hurst you’d like to share?
A top memory is being the only one who got the consommé right on our first attempt in class – I knew at this point I had learnt from the best and was so happy I had not forgotten the basics that I had learnt at the beginning of my career.
One of my worst memories was when we had to remove the skin from a side of fish – I did mine and even went on to help my colleagues; however when I served the fish to my lecturer he found that the skin was not removed and I got marked down! I couldn’t believe it and that taught me I must check everything I do to make sure it is done perfectly. I felt like I had dropped my standards and this was not what I had learned during my time with Chef Margot.
Now what? What are your plans after graduation and how do you see them coming true?
For now I just want to learn, learn and learn. I also want to travel and explore the different types of cuisine – England and Spain are top of my list.
I want to keep learning for the next few years and when I am in my mid-twenties have a clearer idea of if I want to specialise in Fine Dining or Bistro style cuisine and then look into opening my own place.
By staying true to myself and then being willing to learn as the days go by, being loyal to myself and those who have invested in me, by doing everything I do with love and care – that is how I plan to accomplish my goals.

Aphiwe Nkonyane went from being a trainee in The Tasting Room, to graduating at Hurst yesterday where he received the top marks for his practical and a prize of a Kitchen Aid! Now? The world! We chat to him about his journey; and also what it’s like to have Chef Margot Janse as his mentor.

aphiwe and margot

What does it mean to you to be graduating from Hurst today?
I am passionate about what I am doing, and it’s also one of the top schools in SA, in terms of good quality education that they provide. It means I’m ready to take on the best with an internationally recognised diploma behind my name and continue my journey through the culinary world.

Can you tell us a bit about the journey to obtain the bursary?
When I was young I started working part time and shadowing in the local kitchen during school holidays. In Grade 8 I had to do a project for school about ‘food gourmand’ and contacted a friend of mine whom is part of the Kusasa Project, he advised that I should contact Chef Margot, which I did. We spent an hour together going through the questions for the project and she offered that I should come and spend a day in The Tasting Room’s kitchen to get the feeling and a better understanding of how things work. I did this and I was amazed how everything operated as I didn’t know the full behind the scenes operation; after that I was hooked!

When I was 19 I signed a trainee contract with The Tasting Room, after 8 months the kitchen team suggested that I visit the Hurst Campus to see if I would like to study through there, which I did, but I was stuck as to how I would get a bursary. I then went to see Doug the Co-Founder of Kusasa and he suggested a face-to-face chat (Doug always taught us that to be taken seriously – eye contact is essential) with Chef Margot because of her role in the industry and charities. I met with Chef and told her that I wanted to go study so that I have a qualification that will help me in the future and she called Rebecca, the owner of Hurst Campus, to discuss what could be done. I then went back to Hurst and submitted an essay about myself, my goals and why I had chosen Hurst Campus; having worked with Karen van Wyngaard, Chris Erasmus and Margot Janse (both Karen and Chris have studied through Hurst TCTA) it gave me the advantage and feel of the school.

After an interview process they promised to call if I had received the bursary, 3 days before the school June intake started they called me and told me I got the bursary.

I was happy! I didn’t want to take any time off school after matric; I was pushing myself to get a bursary and was so pleased and happy that things were going my way.

When I told my mom she was very happy but nervous because there were fees involved for accommodation – I told her I would make a plan, which with Margot and Susan’s assistance and determination we did.

This taught me that “In life you must turn up for your own good and if you want something you must work hard and show love and care about what you want to achieve in life”.

What’s it like to be mentored by someone like Margot Janse?
“My door is always open – anytime” is one of the first things she told me. I asked myself “do they need me? Or do I need to prove myself by doing what other people don’t think they can do at my age?”

She taught me the basics, but I was hungry to learn and wanted to do all the tricky stuff – she taught me though, that you should always master the basics.

She was always open with me in terms of how I must in turn be open and communicate as this is vital in the kitchen. This took me a long time to be more myself and have confidence because I was the only young man in the kitchen and I’m fairly quiet!

After doing research and speaking to industry friends about Margot and Le Quartier Français – I knew it was the right place.

Margot taught me to do things with love and care – with this recipe you won’t go wrong in life; and for this lesson I will forever be grateful to Margot.

Now what? What are your plans after graduation and how do you see them coming true?
For now I just want to learn, learn and learn. I also want to travel and explore the different types of cuisine – England and Spain are top of my list.

I want to keep learning for the next few years and when I am in my mid-twenties have a clearer idea of if I want to specialise in Fine Dining or Bistro style cuisine and then look into opening my own place.

By staying true to myself and then being willing to learn as the days go by, being loyal to myself and those who have invested in me, by doing everything I do with love and care – that is how I plan to accomplish my goals.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


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