le quartier français

relais & chateaux

Letter from a guest

We received this wonderful letter from a guest who enjoyed  their experience with us.

“We recently stayed with you October 22 to 25 and thought we would tell you about our visit.  It was wonderful from beginning to end. Our room was very well set up and taken care of by the lovely staff.  Breakfast had every option one could seek and cheerful presentation of the same each morning. We loved our dinner in The Tasting Room. It was fun and unusual.

a work by Frank Ross

But the best thing you did for us was to arrange two guided tours.  The one of Franschhoek village with Siegfried Schafer was wonderful. He was full of knowledge about the places we looked at and about the history of the town, which he clearly loves.  The second was an art tour with Ivan Le Kay and an artist, Kirvin Cupido.  They were fun to be with as well as able to let us meet several artists in their studio-homes. We not only saw their work, but we learned about their art and their lives.  Just a wonderful day.  We ended up buying a work by Frank Ross in a township style and a landscape by Kirvin. You helped us by allowing us to put the price on our bill to you in order to pay him with credit. The painting just arrived today, and we couldn’t be happier with it. We would encourage you to support this new art touring that they are beginning.  It adds so much to a trip to engage with the people whose work you are viewing and get their perspective on their own art. Thank you again very much.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Art, Franschhoek, Le Quartier Français,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Our fly new ride

We’re channeling the chic streets of Italy with our fly new ride. And… we’re doing our bit for the planet too. Our team is kept so busy zooming around Franschhoek running errands, we decided it would be more econimical and greener to get transport that’s lighter on fuel and road space.

Don’t forget to wave when you see us flying past!

scooter

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


  

In a good light

We’re constantly evolving at LQF—from our décor, to our food and service. We enjoy shining the light on all aspects of our destination to make the experience as magical as possible for our guests.

_MG_2906

We’ve recently installed three new special orb lights, to add extra colour and light texture to our pool area and garden path just outside The Living Room.

new lights

And… in true LQF style—we can change the colour of the light. Blue is our favourite at the moment!

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Decor, Franschhoek, Le Quartier Français,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Travel & Leisure’s World Best Awards 2015 – Voting!

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

20 years! The time before our digital age was so encompassing. And fittingly, The 2015 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards survey will be conducted online from now until to March 2, 2015 at tlworldsbest.com.

Have you enjoyed the experience at Le Quartier Français? Then, please show your support by voting for us. Thank you in advance!

-images-WorldsBestAwards_SURVEY_LOGO

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


  

White roses, white roses

Our garden is positively bursting with beautiful blooms of all hues, creed and size. But we thought we’d pay a special homage to the white roses, which are in full flush at the moment.

rose 1

Fat, creamy, with a velvet scent. They paint the morning air with sweetness, and in evening, as the sun dips down, the scent becomes deeper, more mysterious.

rose 2

The white rose is said to represent: ‘Purity, Innocence, Sympathy & Spirituality’. A peek into Reader’s Digest reveals that ‘early tradition used white roses as a symbol for true love, an association which would later become the hallmark of the red rose. Also known as the bridal rose, the white rose is a traditional wedding flower. In this sense, white represents unity, virtue, and the pureness of a new love.’

rose 3

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


  

Condé Nast Traveller’s Best Hotels in Africa: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

More amazing travel news! We’ve been named as one of the Best Hotels in Africa: Readers’ Choice Awards 2014 by Condé Nast Traveller!

4 quarters

Condé Nast Traveller wrote: “This “gem of a place with superb food” garners a perfect score for its location in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley. The privately owned auberge is “small and intimate, with beautiful secluded gardens.” “Book far, far in advance to indulge in the world-famous” South African-inspired menu at the Tasting Room. “Fine rooms” range from Four Quarter Suites set around a private courtyard, to Grande Rooms with heated bathroom floors, to Auberge Suites with walled gardens and private pools. “Superb staff couldn’t be more helpful.”

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Awards, Le Quartier Français,
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


  

“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


  

Getting to know the LQF family: Margot Janse

Over the next couple of months we’ll be interviewing members of our team, to not only show them off, but to gain insight into all the special details that make up Le Quartier Français.
First up, is our Executive Chef, the one-and-only, Margot Janse.
What’s your nickname?
You’d have to ask the team… Not sure I want to know [winks].
What’s your favourite thing about working at LQF?
The fact that it is a constant evolution.
Your favourite piece of décor?
I love the hanging fish light in The Tasting Room
Describe yourself in three words?
Determined,  compassionate and a tad sarcastic
Tell us a Franschhoek secret?
One of my favourite things to do is to enjoy sunset on the pass with a glass of bubbly in-hand. To remind ourselves how fortunate we are.
What is a must-have dish from The Living Room?
My Mama’s Meatballs
What is a must-have cocktail?
The sour fig caipirinha

Over the next couple of months we’ll be interviewing members of our team, to not only show them off, but also to gain insight into all the special details that make up Le Quartier Français.

First up, is our Executive Chef, the one-and-only, Margot Janse.

margot 1

What’s your nickname?
You’d have to ask the team… Not sure I want to know [winks].

What’s your favourite thing about working at LQF?
The fact that it is a constant evolution.

Your favourite piece of décor?
I love the hanging fish light in The Tasting Room.

Describe yourself in three words?
Determined,  compassionate and a tad sarcastic

Tell us a Franschhoek secret?
One of my favourite things to do is to enjoy sunset on the pass with a glass of bubbly in-hand. To remind ourselves how fortunate we are.

What is a must-have dish from The Living Room?
My Mama’s Meatballs

What is a must-have cocktail?
The sour fig caipirinha

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


  

Virtuoso Travel Week 2014

Virtuoso Travel Week 2014 took place in Las Vegas and saw 4,420 people attend from 92 countries: and our Susan Huxter was one of them.

LV4

The annual travel event is one of the biggest networking programmes in the industry. Travel agents, hoteliers, experts, media and more came out to talk, mingle and promote their destinations.

LV

We caught up Susan to find out more about her trip.

How was your flight up – we hear you tried out business class, anything to report?
I did happen to go first class Emirates! It’s the way travel should be; from the service to the caviar to the comfort, as well as the shower on-board! We were allowed five minutes per shower, I thought it would be a bit strange  if there was any turbulence! The treatment continues on arrival too: with  an airport bus that had leather armchairs to the first class lounge in Dubai—all very special. I feel spoilt for life!

What travel insights have you brought home?
Travel from the USA is booming: people want experiences—and not just hotels. They are excited by new destinations and South Africa is right up there on the to-do list.

The strangest thing you saw in Vegas?
So many things… The brides at the slot machines in their white dresses, Elvis impersonators, and every vehicle you can imagine has been made into a stretch limo…

LV3

What was the highlight of the trip?
The Cirque du Soleil show featuring Michael Jackson music—it’s incredible, the most amazing special effects, dancing and acrobatics.

And did you get to try Gordon Ramsay’s burger restaurant?
Great burgers, lots of beers on tap, décor not so great…

Anything else you’d like to add?
It was exhausting, exhilarating and intriguing. If aliens landed in Las Vegas they would be so scared and horrified at the sights, sounds and people—I think they would take off again immediately!

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


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