19 July, 2019 | Almost three decades after opening as a luxury country hotel, and three centuries since the farm was first granted to an ambitious young farmer, Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl has reopened with new owners, a new restaurant and a refreshed look across its luxury suites.
Entrepreneurs Hansie and Theresa Britz, both born and raised in Paarl, acquired the property in early 2019 and immediately set about rejuvenating this icon of the winelands. The hotel was closed for a month, while painters, decorators, designers and landscapers set to work refurbishing the suites, buildings and public areas.
The refreshed look has seen each of the 18 luxurious Terrace Suites completely refurbished. Striking fynbos-inspired wallpapers celebrate the local flora and provide a flash of colour on arrival, while the sash windows, wooden beams, and exposed thatch neatly encapsulate the farm’s winelands heritage.
The hotel’s reimagined restaurant, Viande’ is the brainchild of Pete Goffe-Wood. Taking over the space formerly known as Bosman’s, Goffe-Wood and interior designer Francois du Plessis have completely reimagined the interiors, adding a sleek modern feel to the new restaurant while acknowledging the heritage of the building.
Viande means ‘meat’ in French, and it’s a perfect title for this meat-focused restaurant offering contemporary nose-to-tail dining. Goffe-Wood and his capable kitchen crew are already hard at work curing, smoking new delicacies, with selected cuts dry-aged on site in imported German meat-fridges. Brandy will be the star of the brand-new Viande Bar, a stylish new addition to the restaurant space. Here cosy couches and a brass bar counter cry out for pre-dinner cocktails and after-dinner digestifs.
And while the revamped property looks forward to welcoming locals and travellers again, the upgrades are only just beginning. Further renovations are underway for the Studio Suites, and future projects include upgrades to the top-tier Stable Suite, and the development of a luxury spa facility. It’s been three hundred years in the making, but Grande Roche Hotel is just getting started.