A few weekends ago I was invited to enjoy a meal at The Kitchen at Maison near Franschhoek, however, knowing I would most likely enjoying the food and wine on the menu I realised that it wouldn’t be a great idea to drive home so scrambled to find somewhere to stay for the night…
As luck would have it I found a sweet “home from home” option, courtesy of Portfolio, in the form of B&B Maison Chablis, located right in the heart of Franschhoek village. We were given a very warm welcome and shown around the Georgian-style Guest House and private garden before checking into our stylish room.
The afternoon was rather chilly but we didn’t want to miss out on taking advantage of the last few rays of sunshine (and child-free time) so decided to head out on a brisk walk around the village.
Located just two minutes from the main road and historic village centre we found that most of the sweet shops had shut up shop and the charming street cafés and art galleries were all but empty but we did a loop of the lanes around Maison Chablis. At any time of the year Franschhoek delights. And even though spring hadn’t quite arrived we enjoyed meandering the quiet country streets all on our own – past sweet little cottages and down small country lanes to enjoy the fruit trees in blossom.
Finally we found ourselves in need of some warmth in the form of a coffee and hot chocolate at one of the most widely regarded restaurants in the area, Le Quartier Francais, and found it to be buzzing with atmosphere even at 6pm at night.
After working up an appetite it was time to head off the to the restaurant for our dinner at The Kitchen at Maison Wine Estate which is headed up by Arno Janse van Rensburg, a chef with a uniquely creative and personal cooking style, inspired by nature.
Chef Arno believes that to stay creative one needs to be innovative and to constantly set new challenges. As a result no dish is ever repeated after each season’s menu at The Kitchen at Maison. Arno also recently returned from his annual winter holiday overseas with some great new ideas… thus the new themed evenings which The Kitchen are set to host over the next few months where all the menus will be inspired by Arno’s travels…
We were invited to the Danish-themed evening and it certainly was a menu like no other we’ve ever experienced. Our “feast” style starter came beautifully presented on a bread and included cured salmon lax; beef tartar, pickled egg & onion; marinated prawns; pork frikkadella and vinegar pickled fish along with delicious homemade butter, sourdough and rye breads. The main meal was roast pork with crackling, caramelized cabbage and potatoes while desert was a rather unsual rhubarb, pistachio cake, white choc creme and sage which was delightfully different and the perfect pared-down ending to this Scandinavian meal.
The Kitchen lies at the centre of the Maison Wine Estate and the bistro-style restaurant has a wonderful position overlooking sprawling vineyards and the mountains beyond. With a warm, relaxed atmosphere it makes for a great lunch time venue where your party can spill out onto the rolling lawns. Equally it makes for a pleasant evening venue as the restaurant is cosy and intimate. We also experience wonderful service from our very friendly waiter. If you’re looking for a different dining experience where you will be exposed to new flavours and dishes that will excite your tastebuds in a new way, then I recommend you book a table at the next themed evening at The Kitchen.
The Kitchen at Maison Wine Estate
Tel: +21 21 876 2116
Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch from 12:00 – 15:00 and on select evenings.