le quartier français

The Delancey Street Foundation

This weekend past we had Dr. Mimi Halper Silbert and her team stay at Le Quartier Français (Dr Silbert is, among other things, a master chef and she came to experience The Tasting Room).

Dr Silbert is phenomenal women who, in 1971 with only a thousand dollar loan, decided she wanted to create a place where substance abusers, former felons, the homeless and others who had hit their rock bottom could – through their own efforts – turn their lives around. It is her belief, and the belief of the Delancey Street Foundation (which she founded), that the people who are the problem can become the solution.

Through Dr Silbert’s Delancey Street Foundation Project thousands of American lives have been forever changed and she is here to advise on setting up a similar programme in South Africa.

It is really so inspiring to meet someone who is making such a life changing and sustainable difference in people’s lives.

Dr Silbert checking on one of the Delancey Foundation Projects - a Christmas Tree market.

Dr Silbert checking on one of the Delancey Street Foundation Projects - a Christmas Tree Market.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Community, Inspiration,
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20 Years Ago

Yesterday, 20 years ago, Nelson Mandela from what was then Victor Verster Prison – which happens to be located just 15 minutes from Franschhoek.

It really makes you think: where was I 20 years ago?

Well 20 years ago Le Quartier Français was a restaurant and the Auberge was just a dream. It’s really is amazing what can be accomplished in what seems like the blink of an eye.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Community,
comment-notesComments: 0


Franschhoek Fires

The recent fires we experienced in the Franschhoek Valley (you’ll find pictures here) once again highlighted the amazing support this small town provides.

A number of people chipped in to evacuate farms and homes belonging to people they’d never even met; restaurants prepared and provided meals for the hard working fire fighters and locals once again got involved in the fire-fighting efforts.

In Franshhoek you may not always know your neighbour but, when it counts, they’ll be there to help.

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Mrs. Ndaba’s Meneer Wednesday

Given that it’s Wednesday we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you to Mrs. Ndaba’s Meneer Wednesday.

Last year, while I was at Harvard, a classmate of mine (born is South Africa and living in Canada) liked the idea of Mrs. Ndaba, her children and giving back.

He actually loved the concept so much that he has become our Meneer* Wednesday and he is responsible for the meal Mrs. Ndaba’s children receive every Wednesday throughout 2010.

Mrs Ndabas 2010 Wednesday Meal.

Mrs Ndaba's 2010 Wednesday Meal.

Through their generosity Mr Tuesday and, more recently, Meneer Wednesday make a big difference in a lot of small local Franschhoek lives.

Meneer Wednesday welcome to the Mrs. Ndaba Family!

*Meneer is Afrikaans for Mr.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Community, Mrs Ndaba,
comment-notesComments: 0


Growing the Future Project

I recently got involved with a great project, run by Grootbos Nature Reserve, called Growing the Future.

The Growing the Future project teaches eight local women (per year) everything they need to know about food production. During the course of the year they are trained in the growing of vegetables and fruit, beekeeping and the principles of successful animal husbandry.

My involvement in this project takes the form of being the fairy godmother to a fynbos pig known fondly as The Tart. I assist The Tart, on a monthly basis, by contributing to her feeding expenses (and The Tart is a pig that likes to eat).

The Tart has just turned eight months old and she weighs a very healthy 80 kg

The Tart has just turned eight months old and she weighs a very healthy 80 kg


The Tart is part of the animal husbandry section of the Growing the Future project and she will be introduced to a handsome visiting boar in the next few weeks. If all goes according to plan there will soon be a farrow of piglets.

This farrow will then, when they’ve grown to the right size, be sold to the Grootbos Lodge for the same price they would normally pay (for pork) in a supermarket. The money generated through this sale, and all subsequent sales, is used to sustain the people participating in the Growing the Future project.

If you’re interested in becoming a Fairy Godmother (or Godfather) you can find out more about helping the Growing the Future project here.

Posted by: Linda Coltart
Posted in: Community,
comment-notesComments: 0


Le Quartier Français 2009 Review

It’s been a busy and eventful year at Le Quartier Français.

Our restaurants have continued to do exceptionally well, with The Tasting Room placing 37 in the World Top 50 and Bread & Wine placing in the Eat Out Top 20. Margot has once again showcased her acclaimed cuisine in countries around the world and last month saw the launch of her KLM Business Class menu – which will be served for the next 10 months in KLM Business Class on all flights leaving Amsterdam.

During the course of this year the Le Quartier Français Auberge received a facelift and we added the Grande Rooms and the Petite Garden Suites to our renowned accommodation. We now offer Le Quartier Français guests the Four Quarters Suites, Auberge Suites, Grande Rooms, Petite Garden Suites and Auberge Rooms. The Tasting Room was also redecorated by well-known Dutch set designer, and Margot’s brother, Herbert Janse.

2009 also saw the release of our Culinary Concierge Concept and Programme, which includes the Mrs Ndaba initiative, and we’re proud to say that it has been met with excellent reviews. We’re also proud to say that through our Culinary Concierge Programme our guests, and Mr Tuesday, are making a significant difference in the lives of 67 toddlers.

2009 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone but it has been incredibly rewarding. Enjoy the last few days of your 2009.


Mrs. Ndaba Christmas Video

We have put together a short video of our Instead of Christmas Cards and Gifts Programme.

Posted by: Linda Coltart
Posted in: Community, Mrs Ndaba,


Instead of Christmas Cards and Gifts Programme

At Le Quartier Français we believe that Christmas is a time for love and magic!

We like to share and give to those that need it most, so we have an ‘Instead of Christmas Cards and Gifts Programme’.

This year we adopted a local crèche – ‘Mrs Ndaba and her children‘ – and created Muffin Friday and the Mr Tuesday Feeding Scheme. The ‘Instead of Christmas Cards and Gifts Programme’ has paid for these children to have their first Christmas party filled with nutritional food, laughter, clothes to take home, cupcakes, sweets and a visit from Santa Claus.

Posted by: Linda Coltart
Posted in: Community, Culinary Concierge, Mrs Ndaba,
comment-notesComments: 0


Mrs Ndaba Video

So many people have expressed an interest in the Le Quartier Français Culinary Concierge Mrs. Ndaba programme that we thought we’d put together a video clip of the Friday Muffin Magic.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the fabulous Mrs. Ndaba don’t despair, you can still do some good and – at the same time – feel great by joining us on any Friday morning.

For more information about Mrs. Ndaba and the other Culinary Concierge Menu Items please visit the Le Quartier Français website.

Posted by: Linda Coltart
Posted in: Community, Culinary Concierge, Le Quartier, Le Quartier Français, Mrs Ndaba,
comment-notesComments: 1


Peninsula School Feeding Association

Reuben and I recently spent time sharing some of our our cooking know-how, with the Peninsula School Feeding Association, when we prepared a nutritious and cost-effective meal for 1500 of the students they support.

<i>Image Courtesy of Bettina N (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bframe/)</i>

Image Courtesy of Bettina N (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bframe/)

The Peninsula School Feeding Association is a fantastic Non-Profit Organisation that operates off the premise that – for a country to succeed – education is vital but, they quite rightly believe, that you can’t effectively teach a hungry child. So – to make a lasting difference to the effectiveness of education in the Western Cape – the Peninsula School Feeding Association provides nutritious and cost-light meals to hungry children in primary schools, high schools and and special-needs schools.

Posted by: Margot Janse
Posted in: Community, Food,
comment-notesComments: 0

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