Magic for Marigold

Situated in a small, sunny courtyard just off Franschhoek’s Main Road, Marigold has been bewitching patrons with its exotic aromas, rich layered flavours and warm interiors in shades of saffron and turmeric since opening night. The charming restaurant, which forms part of the Leeu Collection hospitality portfolio, is run by chef Vanie Padayachee, a Durbanite seasoned in the restaurant industry.

Part of the Le Quartier Franschhoek team at the time of Marigold’s inception, Vanie was the perfect choice for heading up the venture as she had plenty of knowledge about blending and tempering spices, but, she admits, little knowledge of North Indian food. ‘So off to Delhi I went to learn about authentic North Indian cuisine.’

The end result is a classic menu that focuses on small sharing plates – from fragrant curry to succulent tandoori made in the clay oven. ‘You can taste the layers of spice in the food,’ says Vanie, who is adamant that you won’t find a packet of store-bought spice in her kitchen. ‘We only use fresh spices, roasting and grinding them by hand for every dish.’ Craft – and passion – that’s evident in each deliciously complex, fragrant dish.

Read our review of Le Quartier Français here.

Visit Marigold at 9 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek. For more info and to book online visit

Production Martin Jacobs Photographs Greg Cox, supplied