Province & Region
Undoubtedly the “foodie capital” of South Africa, Franschhoek offers a wonderful mix of Europe and Africa in a scenic valley where elephants once roamed.
History tells us that the French Huguenots arrived in the Cape in the late 1600s (fleeing persecution) and settled in a lush valley that became known as the “French Corner”. The French influence in both food and wine can still be felt today and Franschhoek offers the ideal weekend getaway for visitors to Cape Town.
If gourmet dining is your thing, you don’t need to go much further than down the main drag, where you’ll find a host of fantastic restaurants side by side.
Either that or visit one of the wine estates in the Franschhoek, many of which have their own restaurant on the property. Haute Cabriere, La Motte, Solms Delta and Boschendal are all worth a visit.
However, even if you don’t book a spot at one of the restaurants, just walking down the street is a feast for culinary hounds - you’ll find fantastic chocolate, cheese, coffee and, of course, wine. There are also wonderful galleries, designer decor stores and a range of fun outdoor activities on offer.
Look out for
Tour the Franschhoek Food and Wine Route, which is on offer all year round and includes food-and-wine pairings, olive-oil tastings, Cap Classique tastings, chocolate-making courses and a heap of activities around the food and wine theme.
Consider the Ront en Bont Route, which will give you insight into the local communities. Various tours are on offer, including a Culinary Tour, an Educational Tour and a Freedom Tour.
The Huguenot Monument (1948) at the top of Lamprecht Road was built as a tribute to Huguenot heritage. Another great spot where you can learn about the Huguenots is the Huguenot Museum.
Visit the Museum van de Caab at Solms Delta and the authentic Cape Dutch Manor house at Boschendal, where you can also enjoy picnics in the gardens.
The Motor Museum is a fun option. Here you can view a privately owned collection of gorgeous motor vehicles that span the history of the motor car across the ages.
Outdoor adventures including walks and hikes in the mountains, paragliding, hot-air ballooning and horse-riding trails through the vineyards.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a quaint way to make a day of winetasting, right from the centre of the village. Be sure to book in advance during the high season.
Articles & Blogs
Franschhoek’s Allée Bleue Wine Estate Pops Up a Winter Pizza and Pasta EateryPress Releases 6:46pm 25 Jul
ALLÉE BLEUE WINE ESTATE is warming up Franschhoek this winter with a tasty pizza and pasta offering under the guidance of consultant chef Craig Cormack. Now, deep into the Cape winter, Allée Bleue’s head chef, Ian Laubsher together with Chef Cormack, have drawn inspiration from the valley’s local produce including the estate’s very own array of fresh herbs harvested daily from the estate.
The chefs' back-to-basics approach sees fresh local ingredients being combined to tempt tastebuds with delights including smoked feta, biltong spiced beef, chorizo, Parma ham and Allée Bleue red...
The Foundation Stone From Rickety Bridge Spreads Its WingsPress Releases 10:53am 27 Apr
The Rickety Bridge brand has become synonymous with ever-evolving innovation and creativity, while maintaining the magic and ethos of a 200-year history. Their distinctive Rhône-style blend, the Foundation Stone, was first launched in 2008, and mirrors this trend of novelty and originality, with the 2012 vintage comprising a new blend of six Rhône-style cultivars. These are Syrah, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Tannat and Viognier. Since 2013, this popular blend has been adorned in a new, vividly imaginative label.
Named after the cornerstone of the original ‘rickety bridge’ which...
From Chobe to Haute CabrièreCape Town Tourism 11:55am 15 Jan
From the Chobe River to Franschhoek’s Haute Cabrière
Kate Turkington for Cape Town Tourism
I first met Hildegard von Arnim from the legendary vineyard of Haute Cabrière in Franschhoek, on a houseboat in the middle of the Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana. “You must come and visit us one day,” she said, as we watched elephants bathing and playing.
Now, on a blustery but sunny day, I’m sitting with Hildegard and two friends, sipping Pierre Jourdan bubbly on the Haute Cabrière terrace as purple mountains dissolve in mist on the...
Home of Good Food and WineValda 5:55am 20 Sep
By Winifred Bowman
‘Artisan food is created with love, with attention to detail, not mass produced on factory lines with only quantity in mind rather than quality’
Franschhoek has established itself firmly as South Africa’s Culinary Capital. It combines great food and wine with a small village atmosphere. When we head that way, it is always with a sense of excitement. There are always excellent wines and great food on offer. Will it...
Herb ToursNightjar Travel 12:29pm 11 Jul
New herb tours in the Cape Winelands
Yeah yeah, you’ve done the wine tastings, the cheese tastings, the olive tastings and the chocolate tastings. But when was the last time you did a blind tasting of local herbs? If trying to distinguish between oregano and sage, tatsoi and watercress, parsley and coriander appeal then get down to the Allée Bleue Wine Estate for a guided tour of their herb garden. Although better known for it’s wines and fruit, the Franschhoek estate is one of Western Cape’s biggest herb producers – as you’ll discover on the funky tour of their hydroponic tunnels...
Green House at BabylonstorenNightjar Travel 4:55pm 29 Jun
The Cape winelands are beautiful at any time of year, but at their most picturesque in early winter colours so now’s the perfect time for a leisurely tour. Stopping off at the Green House at Babylonstoren, on the Simondium Road near Klapmuts is a real treat. The informal eaterie won the Boschendal Style Award in association with Visi at the 2012 Eat Out awards and the setting is spectacular, with guests sharing the space with herbs and exotic fruits and vegetables that struggle to survive in the main garden, or eating out under the shade of the surrounding oak trees. Take a...
Angala Boutique HotelNightjar Travel 2:55pm 26 Jun
Angala Boutique Hotel & Guesthouse - http://www.angala.co.za/
We dedicated the last week to exploring the magical kingdom of the Cape Winelands. With more scenery than you'd think possible, and hundreds of things to do, this made for a jam packed week. We started with a trail ride in Tulbagh, and spent our first night near Franschhoek.
Our destination of choice was Angala Boutique Hotel, which is situated behind the Vrede en Lust wine estate, so that you drive through the vineyards and emerge on the slopes of Simonsberg. From this...
BabylonstorenNightjar Travel 7:00am 23 Dec
If you’re looking for something special to do with your kids over the holidays, why not head over to Babylonstoren? For a mere R10pp they can spend the whole day exploring the gardens, hopping through the veggie patch on wooden pavers, float leaf boats down the gravity fed waterways or even pick a deliciously ripe berry for themselves. Simply heaven!
- Shaen Adey
http://babylonstoren.com/garden/ or call + 27 21 863 385
Festival of BubblesNightjar Travel 11:40am 7 Dec
We took our own advice and headed out to Franschhoek’s Festival of Bubbles this weekend... And what a party it was. Most bon vivants embraced the black and white dress code, turning up in larney outfits and hats that would have impressed even at prestigious events like the Durban July.
The bubbly was flowing, there were oysters, chocolates and a host of other spoils and by the end of the day we were dancing on the stage along with the revellers. A great start to the festive season!
- Shaen Adey
Nightjar TravelledNightjar Travel 11:40am 1 Oct
With rain forecast for the Cape last weekend we decided that a culinary tour of the pretty winelands town of Franschhoek might be just the thing to chase away the blues. Contrary to popular belief that all accommodation in the valley is pricey we found good value at Delicious, and, best of all staying at Le Quartier Français’ little sister meant we breakfasted in the Common Room - quite the most lavish spread of fresh fruits, patisseries and hot treats that I have ever enjoyed. Two hours later we rolled out for a few wine tastings before returning to the cozy Common Room to sample...