Vivez Bien * Live Well

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Provençal in Franschhoek

You would be forgiven for thinking that this house was in Provence. It is, in fact, on a farm in Franschhoek (Dutch for French Corner), a small town close to Cape Town. French Huguenots settled here in 1688, after fleeing religious persecution in their own country, and the town still boasts a very strong French influence.

I was lucky enough to spend a day at this farm a few years ago.

The farm is owned by an interesting couple, the wife being an Argentinian paediatrician and the husband, a South African, spent some time working for the BBC. They met when he was assigned to cover the Falklands war. Such a romantic story. She has always loved this style of French farmhouse so she decided to create her own piece of Provence here in this corner of South Africa.

She is an excellent cook and runs cooking classes from her kitchen here on the farm which is how I, with a group of girlfriends, came to be here.

We spent the morning learning to cook a magnificent Christmas lunch and then spent the rest of the day on this terrace eating the meal, sipping their homegrown wine and marvelling at the beautiful setting.

Most of the shutters used on the house were sourced in France, and the house was built using local stone.

It has the look and feel of it having been there for centuries.

This fantastic kitchen garden provided many of the fresh ingredients were used for our cooking demonstration that day,

The edging on the beds are actually thin branches bent into shape and "planted" around each bed. I love that idea.

The pencil cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens)
you see in the background are so reminiscent of Provence.

In addition to making wine, the couple also make their own delicious olive oil.

Olive groves, lavender, cypresses, stone walls - it has everything you might find in Provence.

The interior of the house is charming and totally unpretentious.

The kitchen is simply furnished and completely unfitted. The scullery and pantry are through the door you see at the back and french doors leading out to the kitchen garden are on the left.

All the rooms have doors leading out, letting in the wonderful African sunshine.

The dining room/library above and living room below are kept, simple and uncluttered. As all the doors and windows have exterior shutters, no curtains are needed.

The living room is comfortable and inviting. I love that fireplace!

Bedrooms and bathrooms are kept simple, so nothing can detract from the beautiful outlook.

I hope you enjoyed your little "Provencal" escape here in South Africa.

Till next time

Sharon x

Image source: here

Cooking classes : Silvana's Kitchen Telephone +27(0)21 871 1316 


  1. Wow! Wow! Wow! Each photo more stunning than the last. I can't believe that it is a new build. Simply gorgeous Sharon.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a stunning property! I love everything about it. The simplicity is gorgeous. The gardens are my favourite. How wonderful for you to spend time here. It's just beautiful. Leahx

  3. I love that house and property! I want to go cook there! That's me whinning...;)


  4. Sharon,
    What a wonderful experience it must have been to take a cooking class here! I like the simplicity of the interior and the outdoor sitting area is perfect for alfresco dining. Those French shutters are gorgeous and I like the white bedroom decor.. so simple and elegant. Thanks for taking us on a tour!

  5. You'r right ! We feel in France ... C'est un très bel endroit ! Excellente journée :)

  6. Looks like a nice place!

  7. that is a beautiful house, what is it with these light blue shutters that looks so enchanting?

  8. Gosh, yes, this definitely looks like a French house.
    It's beautiful.
    I particularly like the way that the interior has been kept simple, but classical.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Have a lovely day,

  9. E' una casa incantevole!
    ...e tutto il tuo BLOG è incantevole!!!!!!


  10. Seriously? That totally looks like Provence!! The gardens are divine, Sharon. Actually, so is everything. Beautiful house, setting and garden!
    Cheers from DC :-)

  11. The more I see of S. Africa through your blog, the more it makes me want to come back and see more of it!!! Olive oil, wine, cooking classes and eating on that terrace? Incredible. And a garden with those great vines for edging? What wonderful details! Thanks for the lovely tour!

  12. Utterly delightful, Sharon! What a beautiful place to be able to relax and enjoy!
    Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

  13. That is such a beautiful house...
    And they hold cooking lessons too.
    It must be a lovely experience eating what you've learned to cook in such a setting.

  14. Hi Sharon,
    This is so lovely - A beautiful house in a gorgeous landscape.
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  15. What a gorgeous home. I love all the wood work painted blue.

  16. Simple and elegant...lovely tour thanks!