Our next nominee for the 2015 Boschendal Style Award is The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek. This light-filled contemporary farmhouse offers diners a calm yet edgy atmosphere that’s perfect for leisurely lunching in the winelands. Here’s why the restaurant deserves its nomination.
The name “Maison” comes from the French word for “house”. Fitting, as Maison Estate is the family home of Chris Weylandt, the man behind the chain of furniture and homeware stores, Weylandts.
Situated adjacent to the main house against a backdrop of sprawling vineyards, The Kitchen at Maison is the heart of Maison Estate. Under the leadership of acclaimed chef, Arno Janse van Rensburg, this easy-going yet stylish eatery serves an ever-changing array of unpretentious food with an emphasis on freshness, flavour and simple combinations of ingredients to match the unassuming atmosphere.
The Kitchen at Maison was designed to please both the eyes and the tastebuds. Chris Weylandt’s philosophy of humble luxury has inspired everything from the décor to the food.
Acclaimed architects Van der Merwe Miszewski’s inclusion of a spacious veranda and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure a seamless marriage between the interior spaces and the stunning surroundings. The earthy colour palette and natural materials such as raw oak, reclaimed timber and leather emphasise a sense of harmony with nature. Kenneth Cobonpue chairs and light fixtures, as well as a chandelier of recycled bottles designed by Chris himself, add a modern edge to the pleasing and uncluttered space.
With the rolling lawns boasting couches and hanging human nest chairs – strategically placed for a post-meal siesta – Maison is a home away from home.
The menu is small and changes with the seasons, making use of the fruit, vegetables and herbs grown on the farm. Arno’s signature dish is octopus with citrus and black garlic aioli, with pangrattato and fresh herbs.
Does Kitchen at Maison have what it takes to win the 2015 Boschendal Style Award? We’ll find out at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards on 15 November. Stay tuned to see our other nominees.