Places of interest and things to do in Franschhoek
Being a wine producing valley, it should go without saying the farms whichwelcome visitors from far and wide are a top attraction. It’s impossible to pick favourites since each one offers a unique experience, but our local Darielle Robertson advises: “Drinking L’Ormarins bubbles at the Anthonij Rupert manor house, which is now their tasting room, is one of my favourite things – the view is breathtaking and the rolling lawns allow my children to run wild.” 0218749074.
Franschhoek is as famous for its food as it is for its wine, with many estates having their own award-winning restaurants, as well as several in the village itself. Celebrity chef Reuben Riffel recently opened his new one, just off the Main Road (0218763772), and close by is Darren Badenhorst’s new restaurant, Le Coin Français (0741260022). “I love going for long, lazy lunches at Bread & Wine (0218764004), Noble Hill (0218743844) and Terra Del Capo (021 874 9041) antipasti bar,” says Robertson. “My new fave is the Italian evenings at Babylonstoren. The laid-back, cosy atmosphere makes for the perfect setting to enjoy an evening of charcuterie, pasta and pizza.” 0218633852.
Big name retailers like Clicks, Pick n Pay, and Woolies food have a presence in Franschhoek but the village is best known for its boutiques and many art galleries. If you don’t have time to visit all the wine farms, stop in at one of the stores which represent them. Darielle’s uncle, Ludwig Maske, owns La Cotte Wine Shop (0218763775), next to the Protea hotel on the left as you enter town. At Tap & Cork (0218764120) on Huguenot Road, you can buy a pretty glass bottle and have it filled with a flavoured vinegar or oil.
Hiking can be done at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve (0218762861), along Cat Se Pad, says Robertson. “The walk leads into fynbos with proteas, and gives instant access to the mountains surrounding the valley. La Motte also has a fantastic trail and you can always end with cake and tea at their farm shop.” 0218768000.
There are many throughout the year, and the next one is the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival on December 2 and 3. With the iconic Huguenot Monument providing the backdrop, the grand marquee will be oozing style, elegance and sophistication, as visitors mingle with local MCC producers as well as a handful of international brands. Book through Webtickets.