Ordinarily, the idea of spending a night in the stable wouldn’t appeal to too many people. However, at the Grande Roche hotel in Paarl you can expect nothing but luxury.
Historical and exquisite
The exquisitely appointed hotel is situated in the midst of a working wine farm, with its rooms now filling the old farm buildings. Grande Roche has made wonderful use of the historical structures, including the stable that is now a private garden suite with its own enclosed patio, and the old slave quarters that have been converted into duplex suites with gorgeous views over the exquisite gardens and nearby Paarl Rock. The thatched-roof accommodation is charming, elegant and spacious. The allure of nearby wine routes may be strong, but even for that it is difficult to budge from the comfort guests are afforded.
The hotel also houses the superb Bosman’s restaurant, where the cuisine is fresh and inspiring. Beside the ample fireplace and beneath shimmering candelabras, guests are treated to the kind of service that one expects from a restaurant that has been named one of the top 10 in South Africa and one of the top 100 in the world. The menu is not extensive, but it is precise and the flavours are beautifully matched, such as the Franschhoek salmon trout starter with balsamic vinegar flavoured beets, avocado crème and granny smith apple; or the chocolate fondant dessert that comes with caramelised cashew nuts and lemongrass-orange flavoured vanilla ice cream.
The Wine Bible
What truly sets Bosman’s apart, however, is its wine list. It arrives at the table the size of an old family bible, and it is no surprise to hear it has been named as one of the best in the world. It is extensive, refreshing and full of unusual and exciting vintages. It is proudly managed by sommelier Jacques Mbuyi, who himself comes with a great story. His first experience of wine was drinking box wine with coke in Kinshasa in the DRC, and he is now studying to be a Cape Wine Master.
Like everything about Grande Roche, his attention to detail is exceptional and guests can only go away knowing that they have experienced something special.
Grande Roche sits at the foot of Paarl Rock, which is the second largest granite outcrop in the world.
Grand Roche Hotel
021 863 5100
Words: Hunter Jackson |Images: Supplied