Franschhoek is a word in Afrikaans; one of the eleven languages spoken in South Africa, which means French Corner. It’s a beautiful old small town in the Western Cape Province, with a lot of French influence.
Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The town centre consists of a main road with restaurants and unique shops.
Due to restrictions placed regarding renovations and new construction, the Cape Dutch architecture in the village is preserved, with roots in medieval Netherlands, Germany, France and Indonesia.
There are a variety of vineyards, from small boutique to large. The landscapes are breath-taking, and thanks to the French heritage, the fine dining offer is large, with more than 40 restaurants to choose from.
There are three ways of visiting vineyards and wine tasting:
1. You can rent a car, have a designated driver, make a selection of vineyards to visit, make reservations for the visits, and enjoy!
1. You may take the Franschhoek Wine Tram. There are six different routes with eight to nine different stops each. Time will allow to do one route per day. Tickets may be purchased online or at the ticket office on the main road in the town centre. The experience is a combination of tram and bus with narration of the history of Frankschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley. Depending on the time you start the tour and how long you stay in each stop, you can visit between four and six vineyards during the day.
1. You may hire a private guide for a full day or half a day. The experienced guides will tell you about Franschhoek history and will answer any questions. They might suggest vineyards that are not on your itinerary nor on the Wine Tram itinerary. Up to you to be adventurous.
Vineyard visits include activities such as wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or a stroll through the vineyards.
There are more than forty restaurants in Franschhoek valley and not enough time to try them all. Below, I recommend the two that I tried and enjoyed the most and two that were highly recommended to me but I did not go.
Haute Cabrière, fantastic food, superb views of Franschhoek at sunset for aperitif, and dinner inside overlooking the maturation cellar. Amazing experience!
Reuben’s, beautiful and modern interiors, fine cuisine and friendly service. The menu has an introduction written by the chef and founder, telling his story in a very humble and sentimental way.
La Petite Colombe and La Petite Ferme were highly recommended to me but I did not have time to try them.
I loved this place so much that I want to go back and stay for longer.