For some reason I was obsessed about wanting to stay in a vineyard during our time in Franschoek. The romantic thought of being tucked up in our own cozy cottage in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing other than vineyards and the incredible mountain views. This was the plan!
After a little bit of research, I found the ideal place – La Chataigne! Oh my, this was just PERFECT! This family run vineyard has belong to the Parkfelt family for several generations. Originally from Sweden, the family moved to Franschoek in the early 1970’s to set up the vineyard. These days, Julie and her brother Richard maintain the farm, as well as hosting guests in three cottages, all located within the farm.
Their 88-year old mother still lives on site, along with their four rescue dogs – always a bonus for us when dogs are involved! We met an adorable Doberwieler (that’s a mix between a Doberman and a Rottweiler), who despite the mix of breeds, couldn’t have been less terrifying if she tried!
La Chataigne is located just along the Main Road, a few minutes (driving) up from the cluster of shops and restaurants on the high street in town. You’ll have to keep an eye out for the discreet white sign though, as we almost missed it the first time round! If this is your first time visiting the farm, then you’ll need to give the buzzer a press to gain entry through the security gates.
The location was brilliant. Close enough to all the shops, restaurants and amenities, but also close enough to the bigger more famous vineyards, such as La Motte, Rickety Bridge, Leaping Lepoard, and of course, Boschendal.
As we approached the white entry gates, there was something about this place that made me grin from ear to ear. Driving down the pretty pathway, surrounded by lavender plants and orange trees, we made our way to the main house to check in.
There are three cottages available to rent. Kastanje Cottage and Marron Cottage are both two bedroom, two bathroom semi-dettached cottages. We stayed in Chestnut, a stand-alone one bedroom cottage, with nothing surrounding it other than the vineyards and Franschoek’s famous mountain backdrop.
Julie’s sister in law decorated all the three cottages with simple homely touches. The white and grey interiors make you feel right at home, and the small details like the candles, water bottles, and homemade kitchen goods were very thoughtful for guests.
This cottage was without a doubt my favourite place we stayed at during our two-week trip to South Africa. I just can’t even begin.. The self-contained unit included a lounge area, dining table, full kitchen (including oven and hob), a bedroom, and a bathroom with a an epic stone walk through shower!
The rear of the cottage faced into the forest, and had a large braii area, a small table and chairs, and deck chairs. This was a wonderful spot to sit and relax to the sounds of the water from the distant river nestled in the forest behind. My favourite spot at the cottage had to be the front veranda area. Nothing beats sipping your fresh coffee whilst the sun rises over yet another spectacular mountain view.
There is a small, but pretty swimming pool for guests to use. Don’t forget, there are only three rental cottages, so you won’t have many other people to share the space with! Guests are also welcome to walk through the vineyards and explore the grounds.
Another lovely touch was the locally produced goods that were left in the cottage for us. Lemon cordial, a sweet sticky jam, and a bottle of chilled rose wine were left in the fridge for us to use. The wine was free of charge, but the other items came with a small fee.
There’s one real easy option here, and that’s to hire a car and drive the short distance from Cape Town. Allow 45 – 60 minutes to reach Franschoek and enjoy the drive – it’s a beauty of a road trip.
If you are short on time, or perhaps don’t have a rental car, then you can still visit Franschoek on one of the many day trips available. I would strongly recommend you stay there overnight though. Once you arrive, you’ll easily understand why I say that.
La Chataigne is a working farm that produces and sells their own wine locally. The Parkfelts recently sold the land opposite the main farm, which is where their tasting room was located, so unfortunately this wasn’t available at the time of our visit. Our cottage was stocked with wine though! So, whilst we didn’t get to sample a few different wines, we were given an entire bottle instead. Winning!
The Parkfelts are also putting the finishing touches to two brand new luxury cottages! These newer cottages will each have their own swimming pools, flat screen tv’s, and other mod cons. We could see them being built, and they looked fab! Quite frankly I absolutely loved our rustic yet homely feel cottage, but I’d be keen to check out these newer cottages once they are available to book!
Kastanje Cottage and Marron Cottage: The two-bedroom cottages sleep upto four adults, but these can be booked for just two guests at a slightly cheaper rate. The cost at the time of our visit (March 2018) was R1,650 (2-3 people/per night), or R2,000 (4 people/per night).
Chestnut Cottage: The one-bedroom cottage comes at a fixed price of R1,200 per night, per two guests. FYI, for anyone trying to do their maths, this is GBP £70, USD $99, or EUR 80.
Here are an extra few photos of the Chestnut Cottage and the grounds of the farm. I couldn’t recommend La Chataigne any more! Wonderful hosts, beautiful Cottages, and reasonably priced! This is definitely one place I’ll be talking about for a while.