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New Year’s foodie resolutions for 2013

The clock is ticking towards 2013 at a rapid rate, and with a new year comes resolutions, and of course, ours happen to be food related.

  1. Order something different at your local restaurant
  2. Eat less meat
  3. Buy organic and free range meat, it may be more expensive, so see the resolution above
  4. Try smoking dishes at home
  5. Eat what you’re afraid of (oyster haters we’re looking at you), you never know you might find you quite like it
  6. Support local and private business, the grocers, the cheese makers, the butchers
  7. Aim to eat with people you love, whether it be friends or family at least three times a week
  8. Invest in a good chef’s knife—your cooking skills will improve immediately
  9. Learn about other cooking oils; olive oil is not the be-all and end-all. Try rapeseed, grapeseed, peanut, sesame and coconut
  10. Ditch the cornflakes and eat an exciting breakfast at least once a week
  11. Eat off beautiful crockery, don’t save the good stuff for ‘one day’
  12. Quality above quantity always

What are yours?
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Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Inspiration,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Tea with Judy Bumstead

Judy Bumstead is an artist living in Calitzdorp. ” I came here searching for a greener lifestyle with less concrete and fewer motorcars. The people of the Little Karoo and the natural beauty of the area inspire my work.”

Her current work is on display in is art. Here’s a sneak peek of ‘Tea with Gauguin’.

JBC042  Tea with Gauguin 26x25

Tea with Gauguin

Tea with Gauguin

searching for a greener lifestyle with less concrete and fewer motorcars.
The people of the Little Karoo and the natural beauty of the area inspire my work.
Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Is Art @ Le Quartier Français,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Champagne cocktails with candied edible flowers

For a Christmas cocktail with a difference pop a candied edible flower into a flute and top up with Champagne. The bubbles will stream prettily around the petals, and it makes a nice change from a cherry or a strawberry.

To make the candies it couldn’t be simpler. Either purchase edible flowers – plenty of stores have them these days – or pick your own, just make sure they haven’t been sprayed with pesticide. Try rose petals (good for the Christmasy look), snapdragons, honeysuckle or pansies, simply dunk your choice of flora into a cooled sugar syrup and leave to dry on wax paper.

Top up your glass with one of our favourite Franschhoek or French bubblies.

If you’d rather not go through the effort (you do after all have a turkey/duck/chicken/cow to roast), grab a jar of Wild Hibiscus: pre-made edible hibiscus flowers in syrup.

Hibiscus in champagne

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Cocktails, Franschhoek, French Champagnes, recipes,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Festive French Fizz

On Friday we brought you Festive fizz from Franschhoek, and today we’ll bring you our favourite French Champagnes to toast in Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
See 2013 through rosé tinted glasses – filled with Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier of course! Expect intense fruit forward flavours – ‘plunge into a basket of freshly picked red berries: strawberries, morello cherries, black currants and raspberries.’ http://www.laurentperrierus.com/cuveerose/index.htm
We love famous Champagne house, Taittinger. Our festive choice of bubbly would have to be the classic, Brut Réserve a chardonnay, pinot noir and  pinot meunier blend, the Champagne is everything one should be, elegant yet wickedly creamy. http://www.taittinger.fr/
See in the New Year like a king, or queen, with the Pommery Brut Royal. This Champagne is vivacious with toasty structure, and is redolent of pears and green apple acidity.
And of course, what celebration would be complete without Moët & Chandon? For a Christmas bubbly with a difference try the Moët Ice Impérial, perfect for our Southern Hemisphere Christmas as it’s been created to be enjoyed over ice.

On Friday we brought you Festive fizz from Franschhoek, and today we bring you our favourite festive French Champagnes to toast in Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

See 2013 through rosé tinted glasses – filled with Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier of course! Expect intense fruit forward flavours – ‘plunge into a basket of freshly picked red berries: strawberries, morello cherries, black currants and raspberries.’

We love famous Champagne house, Taittinger. Our festive choice of bubbly would have to be the classic, Brut Réserve a chardonnay, pinot noir and  pinot meunier blend, the Champagne is everything one should be, elegant yet wickedly creamy.

See in the New Year like a king, or queen, with the Pommery Brut Royal. This Champagne is vivacious with toasty structure, and is redolent of pears and green apple acidity.

And of course, what celebration would be complete without Moët & Chandon? For a Christmas bubbly with a difference try the Moët Ice Impérial, perfect for our Southern Hemisphere Christmas as it’s been created to be enjoyed over ice.

moet ice imperial
Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: French Champagnes, Holidays,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Festive Franschhoek Fizz

Festive fizz from Franschhoek
“One glass of champagne and I smile, two and I grin, but three I’m ever so ready to sin.”
We foresee a lot of bubbly in the future! Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, and no celebration is complete without festive fizz.  Here are some of our favourites from the Franschhoek Valley
We love Môreson’s range of bubblies. For New Year’s Eve indulge in the
Môreson One Vintage Méthode Cap Classique 2007. http://www.moreson.co.za/products-page/methode-cap-classique/moreson-one-2007-vintage-methode-cap-classique/
Or grab a magnum of Miss Molly for R145! A steal deal for this delicious MCC, ‘highlights of citrus – specifically lemon and lime – with a hint of pineapple. This is all supported by biscuity and yeasty undertones.’
Morena MCC also has a stellar range of sparkle. http://www.morena-mcc.com/ For something different try the Morena Ancienne Brut it’s made in the traditional way with aged brandy in the dosage.
On the pink side of life, the Graham Beck Brut Rose is all strawberries and cream. http://www.grahambeckwines.co.za/ And the Colmant Cap Classique Brut Chardonnay will wake up the palate before the Christmas feast with its lemony, floral and green apple notes

“One glass of champagne and I smile, two and I grin, but three I’m ever so ready to sin.”

We foresee a lot of bubbly in the future! Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, and no celebration is complete without festive fizz.  Here are some of our favourites from the Franschhoek Valley. We love Môreson’s range of bubblies. For New Year’s Eve indulge in the Môreson One Vintage Méthode Cap Classique 2007, a sensational blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, this elegant sparkler is the toast with the most.

moreson

Or grab a magnum of Miss Molly for R145! A steal deal for this delicious MCC, that has ‘highlights of citrus – specifically lemon and lime – with a hint of pineapple. This is all supported by biscuity and yeasty undertones.’

Morena MCC also has a stellar range of sparkle.  For something different try the Morena Ancienne Brut it’s made in the traditional way with aged brandy in the dosage.

On the pink side of life, the Graham Beck Brut Rose is all strawberries and cream supported by buttery brioche.  And the Colmant Cap Classique Brut Chardonnay will wake up the palate before the Christmas feast with its lemony, floral and green apple notes.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek, Môreson,
comment-notesComments:


  

Culinary comic of great writers

We love this culinary comic by Wendy MacNaughton in The New York Times and we just had to share. What great writers eat when they’re working.

What’s your favourite desk snack?

macnaughton-custom1

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Inspiration,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

What a year!

2012 was a BIG year for us. Not only did we receive a number of awards, but we gave Le Quartier Français a style overhaul.

First up was The Tasting Room. Herbert Janse, Margot’s brother, flew in from Holland and spent an intensive couple of weeks redesigning the restaurant. With a background in set and theatre design he certainly has theatrical flair, and he created a stage worthy of the cuisine.

Our pool area and reception also got some style surgery, we even have a new sign. Head over here to see some of the improvements.

As for the awards, we made it on to Condé Nast Traveller’s coveted GOLD LIST. “The Gold List is truly a global representation of real quality, no matter how far-flung. It’s newsy, too, highlighting impressive newcomers and discerning trends.” For more information and to see the other hotels on the list visit their website: www.cntraveler.com

Plus, in Condé Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Survey 2012 we were rated number 11 for the Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean and 66 overall! h

And we’re in Travel and Leisure’s top 500 best hotels in the world for 2013! View the results here.

Eat Out Winner_Chef of the Year_Margot Janse

Then came the cherry on top, Margot Janse was crowned chef of the year at the annual Eat Out Awards,  dubbed ‘the foodie Oscars of South Africa’. Plus, the Tasting Room claimed the number two spot in Eat Out’s Top Ten Restaurants.

Not a bad haul!

Margot also featured in two cookbooks this year, Taking it Easy, and Something About Mushrooms.

We want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who supports us, and especially to our team, from the kitchens to the hotel. Your creativity, drive and enthusiasm ensures our guests a consistently magic experience. Thank you.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Awards, Le Quartier Français, Uncategorized,
comment-notesComments:


  

Our Season Exhibition at is-Art

is-art, our contemporary art gallery, has opened its Season Exhibition with colourful and innovative works from all over South Africa. The exhibition will run until 4 February 2013. The gallery is open from 10am-5pm daily. Pop in for a browse then head over to The Common Room for lunch. For more info on the gallery visit their Facebook page.

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Some of the works on display

2012-12-12 13.15.31

2012-12-12 13.10.52

2012-12-12 13.49.52

Head over to our Facebook page to see more

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Is Art, Le Quartier Français, The Common Room,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

Something About Mushrooms

Nouvelle Mushrooms is South Africa’s largest producer and supplier of exotic mushrooms – and we use their fabulous fungi in our restaurant kitchens. They’ve recently put together a cookbook, Something About Mushrooms, and it features 14 award winning chefs who all use Nouvelle Mushrooms as their supplier.

The book includes a recipe from our own award winning chef, Margot Janse, and will be available to purchase on their website soon: http:www.nouvelle.za.net

Something About Mushrooms
Nouvelle Mushrooms is South Africa’s largest producer and supplier of exotic mushrooms – and we use their fabulous fungi in our restaurant kitchens. They’ve recently put together a cookbook, Something About Mushrooms, and it features14 award winning chefs who all use Nouvelle Mushrooms as their supplier.
The book includes a recipe from our own award winning chef, Margot Janse, and will be available to purchase on their website soon: http://www.nouvelle.za.net/
Why did the Mushroom get invited to all the parties?
…. Because he’s a fungi…

something about mushrooms

Why did the mushroom get invited to all the parties? …. Because he’s a fungi…

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Cookbooks, Margot Janse,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Mobile apps to enhance ‘food porn’

It used to be that apps were appetisers in the restaurant game, these days the term is also applied to mobile food photography apps diners use to share their ‘food porn’. Instagram and Hipstamatic are not the only food friendly devices out there, the folks over at FineDiningLovers.com did an interesting article on the best apps to use for this purpose. Here’s our top three.
Filterstorm
Photoshop for an iPhone this app is the whole deal it features even more tools than Adobe’s PS Express. ‘Use it to simulate a narrow depth of field which can make a photo of a plated meal look more appealing, use it as your preferred colour balance app, or even crop if you didn’t get the most pleasing composition to begin with.’
Incredibooth
Use this app to make a photostrip, and tell a story about your food experience.
Over
This one’s for the real foodie, add text to your images, in the forms of notes, details, epiphanies, a great way to record big food moments.

It used to be that apps were appetisers in the restaurant game, these days the term is also applied to mobile food photography apps diners use to share their ‘food porn’. Instagram and Hipstamatic are not the only food friendly devices out there, the folks over at FineDiningLovers.com did an interesting article on the best apps to use for this purpose. Here’s our top three.

Filterstorm
Basically Photoshop for an iPhone this app is the whole deal, it features even more tools than Adobe’s PS Express. ‘Use it to simulate a narrow depth of field which can make a photo of a plated meal look more appealing, use it as your preferred colour balance app, or even crop if you didn’t get the most pleasing composition to begin with.’

Incredibooth
Use this app to make a photostrip, and tell a story about your food experience.

Over
This one’s for the real foodie, add text to your images, in the forms of notes, details, epiphanies, it’s a great way to record big food moments.

iphone photo

* Photo is from Vanity Fair’s food porn column - definitely worth a look!

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Fine Dining Lovers, Food, Food porn, Inspiration,
comment-notesComments: 0


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