Places to enjoy in the new year
From a luxury spa in Franschhoek, to a delightful Linden gin den, to a cutting-edge shared office space — check out these top spots
Businessman Analjit Singh dabbles internationally in healthcare, insurance and property. In Franschhoek, his interests are of the luxury kind.
Leeu Estates is Singh’s boutique hotel, winery and wellness spa, located amid vineyards and landscaped gardens, just outside the town. The spa’s treatments are all high-end organic and inspired by African rituals. And the three treatment rooms (yes, this is an elite affair) look onto ponds and mountains.
It’s all very holistic and guests are offered everything they could possibly need, or desire. Besides massages and facials, this includes a hair and nail salon, his and hers changing and steam rooms, and two pools (a plunge pool and 15m infinity pool with jaw-dropping valley views).
A cordial experience
Remember when gin was the middle-market stuff your overwrought aunt knocked back at family functions? Things have changed. These days, you’re practically a nobody if you don’t have a chichi drinks trolley adorned with an array of fancy gins and tonics. It’s no surprise, then, that the juniper berry-flavoured drink has sparked a bevy of niche bars. Tonic in Joburg’s Linden is the latest. The drinks joint adjoins bistro A La Bouffe, and owners Dennis and Caitlin Human are very hands-on. Tonic was born of the gin stand they ran at the Linden Market, so they know a good G&T when they see one.
A pale pink and grey palette and plenty of plants form the backdrop to an impressive array of local and international brands, accompanied by an extensive list of tonics. Sample these wares as G&Ts or in cocktails, which we highly recommend. They come decorated with edible flowers and dried fruit and are served in dainty glassware.
The syrups are homemade, and the flavour combinations are inspired. There’s also a menu of small tapas-style dishes with a distinctly Middle Eastern influence (kibbeh, flatbreads, chickpeas) to snack on while testing out the potent booze on offer.
The co-working space
If you think shared working spaces (a big international trend) are low-rent, utilitarian places populated by newly graduated graphic designers and tech start-ups, you clearly haven’t been to The Business Exchange’s new Sandton branch.
We’d wager, in fact, that this Rivonia Road outfit will make your office look like a 1980s government building by comparison. The operation offers fully serviced and kitted-out shared office spaces and its tenants are predominantly in the creative and corporate SME fields.
The Business Exchange’s CEO, David Seinker, enlisted HK Studio (the studio arm of Anatomy Design by Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse) to create the exceptionally trendy interiors and artist Kim Lieberman curates the art on display.