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Hotel Restaurants You'd Actually Eat In: Le Franschhoek

March 24, 2011 at 5:01 PM | by | ()

The reputation of hotel restaurants as sad, overpriced affairs is quickly falling away as some talented chefs make the eateries destinations of their own. This week, Katherine Spiers is taking us to some of the best hotel restaurants in the world.

The great "wine countries" of the world—Napa, Loire Valley, etc.—of course have fabulous dining, since nothing goes together so well as drinking and eating. There are lesser known wine-growing areas trying to get in on that game, since tourism dollars increase exponentially when everyone's got a glass of wine in hand.

South Africa's wine country and its product are becoming more popular all the time. As a direct result, its hotels are growing in world-class stature, too: Le Franschhoek, on the French-derived side of the Cape Winelands, is of such class that it wins all kinds of awards, for example.

The monochromatic, modern-meets-rustic hotel has an impressive wine list (obviously) in both its dinner-serving restaurants, Dish and Le Verger. Dish is the formal option, with an emphasis on heavy meats in a somewhat stuffy environment. It's your basic fine-dining.

Le Verger, on the other hand, has earned as many accolades for the design as for the food, which showcases European and Asian influences. The restaurant is set in the hotel's working fruit orchard, and guests can eat in one of the mini greenhouses, which have great views. Altogether, it's cute without being kitschy, and there's the great wine to boot.

Room rates at Le Franschhoek start at $247 a night.

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