Leeu Estates is a breathtakingly beautiful wine estate featuring luxuriously appointed spacious rooms and suites in the Franschhoek region of South Africa, otherwise known as the Cape Winelands.
The Dining Room located on Leeu Estates should be a destination in its own right for its sheer power to help you unwind as you indulge in fabulous cuisine, feeling slightly smug as you sip wine and enjoy the mountain views.
Upon arrival (and weather dependent) diners are given the option of dining al fresco where they can sit on white rattan arm chairs sheltered from the sweltering sun by large white sun umbrellas, while gazing at views of sun-dappled vines or they can choose to remain indoors in the elegant dining room with its muted colour palette of taupe chairs complemented by dark wooden tables.
Within the dining room, diners can appreciate the chic décor which has a variety of gorgeous decorative details to cast your eyes upon, such as three large wrought iron chandeliers, which made a striking impact against the ‘Cape Cod chic’ white wooden ceiling panelling. The only punctuation of colour in the dining room was the purple glassware on all of the tables, which added a bit of cheer and the striking, oversized African paintings displayed on the walls.
As we sat in the dining room, taking it all in, we enjoyed the warm breeze from the glass, floor-to-ceiling patio doors, which were thrust open, providing a gentle breeze in the dining room - a welcome respite from the heat (it was 38C the day we visited).
Everything here is pristine from the highly efficient service from the smartly dressed wait staff, who were friendly without being pretentious, to the immaculate décor. There were lovely small touches throughout our dining experience, such as a small stool, which our waiter provided for my handbag upon seating us. Why every restaurant doesn’t provide this for their diners beats me as it’s a simple, yet genius idea.
For our starters, I had the chilled leek and potato soup with a parmesan and truffle croquette - a cool and refreshing treat. My husband opted for the steak tartare served with seeded bread and quinoa, which looked superb and given his plate was clean in about two seconds flat, I can only assume it tasted great as well.
For my mains, I devoured the pea and parmesan risotto, which was exceptionally creamy and had a nice crunch from the fresh peas. My husband went for the king klip with puy lentils and shredded coconut (a local favourite), which looked amazing, but I can’t bring myself to eat eel!
Dessert was a lemon tart with shaved ice lemon sorbet, which was sweet without being too heavy. The chef recommended a beautiful dessert wine to complement our dessert, which provided the perfect balance of sweetness to the tart of the lemon.
After we’d finished our meals, we lamented that we didn’t want to leave and I can imagine that they have a very difficult time indeed convincing their guests to go home.
This is the type of place that’s so calming you immediately throw your plans out the window to relax with a chilled glass of vino in hand gazing out over the vines. Hands down, this is a must-visit restaurant if you’re in the Franschoek region.
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