Food pilgrims herald Jan’s return to Franschhoek for Season 2.
Food pilgrims, take note! ’Tis almost the season to book for JAN at La Motte, a gastronomic adventure sans pareil from Michelin-starred SA-born wonderchef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.
To experience his seasonal tasting menu and wine pairing is to surrender yourself into the hands of a culinary magician. Jan Hendrik’s sublime pop-up restaurant in the Winelands will once again open its portals from 1 September 2023 to the end of April 2024.
Savour the setting
The journey begins at La Motte Manor House. After welcome drinks (and perhaps a peek at the Pierneef paintings) guests are transported to the historical Veepos cottage in the lavender fields… and another world.
The exterior is humble, the interior fantastical: a candlelit 18-seat communal dining table straight out of Babette’s Feast is set against a “kaas en konfyt” cornucopia that looks like a Van Dyck still life. Look but don’t touch. Yet. There are many delights to savour before the generous cheese course.
The magic is in the detail
Eschewing the traditional, the table is set for magic. Your napkin is a souffle of lavender-scented linen, the cutlery (changing with each course) subliminally choreographs your enjoyment of each artfully curated morsel. We start with a silver teaspoon, a small knife and a crystal goblet of 2022 Vin de Joie Rose.
The bread course (we were served a biltong lamington, braaibroodjie macaron, bobotie jaffle choux, witblits en olywe) showcases the culinary wizardry that has earned Jan Hendrik’s restaurant in Nice its coveted Michelin star, yet could only have been conjured by a son of South African soil.
“I remember always seeing this little house in the middle of the Franschhoek Valley lavender fields at La Motte and wondering why it was not a super-exclusive little eatery,” says Jan Hendrik who regards this venture as a tribute to his early years in the industry. “My years in the Winelands formed such a big part of my culinary and design training that I have always wanted to come back for more. I guess it’s like drinking a good wine. Once you’ve
had a taste, you want to keep on savouring it.”
Superlatives do not suffice to describe the food: eight courses that delight, surprise and range from delicate and divinely plated to lavish and abundant. Each dish tells a story. The “garage pie”, exquisitely served in an eggshell, evokes memories of travels on dusty roads. The “kook kos” centrepiece – large platters of melt-in-the-mouth lamb – might have been served up by a coterie of grandmothers at a family feast. The tuile doily topping the naartjie meringue is so fragile; it could have been crafted by angels.
JAN raises the bar of fine dining, while at the same time keeping it intimate and unpretentious. Season 1 of JAN Franschhoek was sensational and we can’t wait for Season 2. The experience is set to be another sensory adventure in story-telling cuisine, well worth the pilgrimage to Franschhoek.
Cost R2 850
Dates 1 September 2023 – 30 April 2024 (booking opens on 1 August)
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 7pm
Please note The experience kicks off at La Motte’s Manor House 30 minutes before moving on to the Veepos cottage for your lunch or dinner.
Contact 021 876 9115, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it La Motte Wine Estate, Franschhoek
Book through DinePlan
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