Mont Rochelle is actually a hotel owned by Sir Richard Branson! The company, Virgin Limited Edition, owns quite an impressive selection of hotels that all look so wonderful. (You can check them out HERE, but be warned - you will experience a massive urge to travel!)
Mont Rochelle is one such stunning venue that proudly houses 26 bedrooms and suites, as well as two restaurants - the Miko one we visited, and the Country Kitchen. It's the ideal spot to visit for a romantic getaway, or you could even rent out the Manor House for larger groups of people.
On the day we visited, the weather was quite miserable, but you can still get a feel for the beauty of this place. As you arrive, you can see the hotel from the road.
We had a quick wander around before the rain came back. Here's the back of the hotel and the reception area where you can sit outside.
They have beautiful gardens if you'd like to have a stroll about...
They also have a stunning pool area for the hotel guests! If the weather was warmer, I may have been tempted to relax on one of those sun loungers 🙂
The Miko restaurant is above the pool area with big, glass windows that let in lots of light.
As you walk into the restaurant, there's a sort of inside-outside section that looks so relaxing. There are heaters for the cold and fans for the summer. I liked that it was so bright and I think that it would be a lovely spot to have a drink or two before dinner.
The inside is just as remarkable. There was a cosy fire burning and the staff were welcoming. The tables were arranged in such a way that you can all have a good view of the beautiful Franschhoek mountains.
(Side note: We took photos before the people came 🙂 We like to go a bit earlier so that we can have the place to ourselves to snap some shots before other guests get annoyed!)
Although you can see so much more than what is shown in this photo, you can at least get an idea of how pretty the view is.
As I mentioned, they have a fireplace in the restaurant (they actually have two) which keeps it really warm inside, despite the high ceilings. The décor is really modern too!
After we were seated, we ordered some wine (of course). We decided on Mont Rochelle's Sauvignon Blanc because we felt like something fresh to start our lunch with. It's a zesty, fruity wine with tropical flavours of litchi, pineapple and passion fruit. It was really good and I would recommend it as a light summer wine to drink next to the pool, even though it is quite complex.
Our waiter then brought this great plate of breads to the table! I enjoyed the bread with tomato and feta cheese inside - super delicious! The spreads were a homemade mayonnaise-type spread (which I loved) and a banana and avo spread (which The Husband enjoyed). (I am of the unpopular opinion that bananas are gross!)
We then had some time to check out the menu and decide on our courses. They have a special Sunday Lunch menu which costs R375 per person. It does not include drinks, but you do get a choice of what you would like to order from the three courses. Also, as you will see, you are definitely getting good value for money...
After we placed our orders, we were surprised with this truly yum chef's plate! It's like an Amuse Bouche, but bigger! (It probably has a fancy name.) It contained a cold tomato-like soup with onions and really, really delicious prawns on top! In fact, if that was my main course, I would be very happy! 🙂 The prawns were spicy and cooked perfectly.
As if that wasn't impressive enough, have a look at the rest of the food 🙂 The Husband decided on the Double baked Smoked Snoek Soufflé (see below). It was served with a smoked tomato fondue, orange segments and a rocket salad. The Husband really enjoyed it and especially liked the addition of the added freshness the orange and rocket brought.
I opted for the Curried Butternut and Cinnamon Soup (see below). It was served with fresh bread and a coriander oil. It was delicious! The curried flavour was mild, with a stronger cinnamon flavour. I liked the coriander oil too - it cut through the strong flavours of the soup.
For the main course, The Husband chose the Roast Honey and Thyme Baby Chicken (see below)! We were laughing so much, because we didn't expect a WHOLE chicken! 🙂 Okay, it was a small one, but still! 🙂 The chicken (the whole one) was served with a salsa verde, bread sauce and a cranberry chutney. Everything was delicious! The chicken (yes, the whole one) was cooked perfectly. Even the center parts weren't too dry, like one might expect. I particularly liked the salsa verde too!
I had been considering ordering the chicken too, but can you imagine if I did? Two whole chickens! 🙂 (Ok, I'll stop now). I opted for the Roast Pork Belly (see below). It was served with crackling, sweet potato crisps, apple and sage compote and caramelised onion gravy. It was also delicious. The pork was cooked nicely and I loved the onion gravy and the sweet potato crisps.
As if that is not enough food, we also received a plate of roast potatoes and veggies that come with your meal! The carrots, in particular, were tasty and buttery. Unfortunately, we could not really make a noticeable dent in the bowl as we were so full up (from the chicken)! But, they give you a cool takeaway box, so you can eat your Sunday lunch for Monday work lunch - which would improve your Monday a whole lot!
Then came the dessert! 🙂 As you can imagine, we were quite full, but, there is always space for some dessert. The Husband did NOT finish his whole chicken, but he still found room for the South African Sago Pudding (see below). It was served with a cinnamon crumble and fynbos honey biscuits. I'm not a sago pudding fan, but the cinnamon crumble made it very enjoyable. The Husband loved it and ate it all! (I know, can you even believe it?)
I would not have managed such a dessert, so I chose the Trio of Sorberts (see below). I was so glad I picked that because they were really great! There was a passion fruit one (which I always enjoy), a strawberry one and a stone fruit one (which was quite unique - and also delicious).
THEN, we tasted a few more of Mont Rochelle's wines. Before my visit, I did not know that they made wine. I was clearly missing out! Although their wines are a bit pricey for the average South African, they are quite high quality, and so you could certainly buy yourself a bottle to keep for a special occasion.
We tried their Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Although I think all three were good, I particularly enjoyed their Syrah. I'm becoming quite a fan of the spiciness that a Shiraz typically displays and so I enjoyed the peppery and spicy flavours, along with the black fruits. It also had a hint of meatiness, but it was still quite light. It would pair perfectly with a steak, but you could also just enjoy a glass as is in front of the fire.
It was then, unfortunately, time for us to be on our way.
We had a truly, amazing experience and the service was really great. (I know they were expecting us, but it was evident that the tables around us also received the same, warm service).
Thank you so much to the staff at Miko for hosting us! And thanks to Virgin Limited Edition for having us over! We thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot wait to visit again...maybe in summer when we can lounge about around the pool 🙂
We even got a hello from Blom (Flower), the cat...
You can visit for the Sunday Lunch too, but you can also eat off their a la carte menu. They are open the whole week, during the following times:
Breakfast: 7am – 10:30am
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm
Dinner: 7pm – 9:30pm
They also have a Spa!
Contact: +27 21 876 2770
Address: Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Star Rating: *****
Note: We were invited to visit Mont Rochelle for their Sunday Lunch and therefore everything was complimentary. This review is thus based solely on this experience.
P.S. Virgin Limited Edition is currently running an AMAZING competition! You could win a 3 night stay at their Moroccan venue, called Kasbah Tamadot! (That venue looks incredible! You can check it out HERE.) To enter, all you have to do is tag your travel pics on Instagram with #VLEtravels and follow Virgin Limited Edition. You can find out more about the competition HERE. It ends at the end of September!