Franschhoek's La Clé Country Lodge is an elegant escape in wine country
When a country lodge in the Western Cape winelands is designed by Hemelhuijs' Jacques Erasmus, magic happens. In the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, located on a working wine farm, La Clé Country Lodge blends country charm with modern luxury in a completely unfussy way, inviting guests to treat the space as their home. With five double en suite bedrooms, light and bright interiors, a communal dining area, two courtyards and a pool overlooking expansive vineyards that beg to be explored (not to mention a tennis court, putt-and-chip lawn and a helipad), you'd be forgiven for being reluctant to explore the rest of Franschhoek.
The lodge is managed by Melanie and Scott Shepherd – two highly experienced chefs with a passion for warm hospitality. Essential to any home, food is at the centre of the experience. The culinary philosophy of the lodge is founded on the understanding that food brings people together from all over the world to share a connection. As such, guests dine together around the eight-seater table, where breakfast is provided daily, and dinner is served on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.The poolside lounge is reminiscent of a Moroccan riad, although in this instance, with vineyard views. It's a space you could imagine spending all day relaxing in: cup of coffee in the morning, a book in the afternoon and a glass of Chardonnay at sunset. That is, of course, if you're not out exploring one of the many surrounding wine farms, or dining at some of the country's top restaurants. For water-starved Capetonians the pool might, at first, seem like a mirage. But this welcome oasis is real – and heated at that. The lodge has access to leiwater (mountain run-off water) that runs through the property and is dammed for use in the pool and the rest of the lodge. Regardless, guests are informed about the current drought in person upon check-in, buckets are left in showers and towels are hung up for reuse instead of replaced.
La Clé Country Lodge is an extension of the sophisticated villa offering of La Clé des Montagnes. The lodge perfectly complements the four existing private villas with the superb styling and attention to detail expected of La Clé. Focusing on tailored experiences through astute concierge services and personal attention to guests’ needs, La Clé des Montagnes and the new La Clé Country Lodge are sure to become an icon for exceptional stays in the Franschhoek wine valley.To book or find out more, visit classic-portfolio.com.