This time of the year is always a difficult one for my family, especially my Dad. He lost my Mom on his birthday, and I clearly remember him saying that his birthday will never ever be the same. I made a conscious decision that we will celebrate his day and also celebrate my Mom’s memory every year. My Mom loved the outdoors and enjoyed exploring new wine estates with my Dad when she was alive. Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards would have taken her breath away, just as it did mine.
Driving through the Franschoek Valley I was once again reminded by the beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes one just needs to slow down and take everything in. We were greeted at the gates by a lovely lady in uniform, that already made us feel welcome. What stood out the most was the scenic views and the luscious lawns that awaited us as soon as we turned in. Our family was welcomed by the friendly staff at reception and taken to our table. We were surrounded by glass doors from the ceiling down to the doors. Natural light filled the room, and I loved how spacious the seating was as well. One of the things I always struggle with is navigating through a restaurant with a pram. Not at Leopard’s leap.
Leopard’s Leap was conceptualised at the turn of the century by winemaker and businessman Hein Koegelenberg. Following its formidable success as a wine producer during the first decade, a decision was made in 2011 to broaden the horizons and, at the same time, create a home where visitors can get close to the values of the Leopard’s Leap brand and experience the Leopard’s Leap identity and principal passions – wine, food, conservation and literature.
Hudson spotted the play area first, kicked off his shoes and off he went. His Dad went with him, because he wants to do all the things the big kids do. The joy on his face running bare feet on the grass was priceless
We ate at the Rotisserie Restaurant. First you dish your salad and your sides. Weigh your plate and then choose your meat. My dad does not eat meat, thus ordered some fish from the menu. We also ordered a wood fired pizza for Hudson.
In our food offering, the focus is on relaxing, family-orientated enjoyment, exciting and occasionally experimental, exposing our visitors to interesting ways of exploring our wines in a culinary context – uncomplicated and slanted towards fresh and seasonal food.
A most popular attraction is our Rotisserie-style restaurant, with every detail taken care of by Chef Pieter de Jager. The tempting offering includes a variety of tender, juicy meats from a state-of-the-art Rotisol spit, complemented by a selection of side dishes from our Harvest Table that features seasonal salads and roasted vegetables sourced from the biologic vegetable and herb garden on the farm. An array of farm-baked breads, pastries, cakes and take-home meals is also available. Dessert consists of individual portions of delights such as cake lollies, mini cheese-cakes and baby meringues, to make an occasion of late afternoon coffee.
As an extension of the food offering, a variety of innovating wine cocktails is served – delightful as adventurous dessert alternatives or simply for sipping on the veranda, watching sunset over the vineyards.
We ended up buying a few bottles of wine to take home, and will definitely make a booking for my birthday in two weeks time.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Leopard’s Leap, and all thoughts and words are my own.