The Kitchen at Maison
R45, South Africa
Hang out at The Kitchen at Maison, Franschoek Fine dining doesn't have to mean stuffy formality. At least, it doesn't here. We'd been recommended The Kitchen by a friend who had worked with the head chef and the food was sensational – beef hung for 60 days and bone marrow cooked to an exquisite jelly were two of our favourite courses. We ate it out on a verandah, chatting to the folk at the next door table, and looking out onto a lawn where large groups sat at refectory style tables – and a huge dog called Eames roamed freely around, making friends with everyone. The owner of the place, Chris Weylandt, runs a modern furniture design empire, and it shows not just in his dog's moniker but also in the brilliant detail of the decor, and the way he's created a highly chic yet informal space for dining. Oh – and the shiraz from their vineyard is some of the best you'll drink in South Africa.