Franschhoek is a village in valley surrounded by mountains on three sides, with vineyards down every other back street. The Dutch East India Company gave this valley to a group of around 200 French Huguenots who fled to South Africa to escape persecution in the 17th century.
They made themselves at home, establishing wine estates and giving everything French names. While the French names, food and wine-making traditions live on, the descendents of those original French inhabitants are hard to find today.
One thing that is not hard to find in Franschhoek is a good place to eat. The high street houses a large number of pleasant restaurants, including that of Le Quartier Francais, judged to be the ‘Best in Africa’ – quite an accolade. It’s pretty well the culinary capital of South Africa, with no less than eight of South Africa’s ‘Top 100 Restaurants’. There are also a substantial number of craft shops, cook shops and delicatessens.
Places to stay
There are so many super places to stay in Franschoek. Queen of them all is the award-winning Le Quartier Francais, but for those who want something less ritzy, Akademie Street Guesthouses also has that wow factor at considerably lower cost.
On the outskirts of town, on the way to the Franschhoek Pass, there is La Petite Ferme and Franschhoek Country House. Further still, Cathbert Country Inn – buried deep among the vineyards in a completely rural setting is an old favourite of ours.
There are lots of other lovely places we use and which – La Couronne for one which has reopened and Klein Genot for another.
From Franschhoek, you can head in one of three directions: south-west to Stellenbosch and on to Cape Town; north to the N1 motorway which soon takes you to Worcester and the start of the scenic overland R62 route to Oudtshoorn; or there is a lovely drive out of the valley over a mountain pass to Villiersdorp. From there, you can descend to the N2 and either drive east to Garden Route or south to the sea for some whale-watching at Hermanus.
- See some dramatic views from the top of Table Mountain
- Discover the beautiful lush scenery that is the Garden Route
- See amazing game on safari in a non Malarial private reserve
- Fully tailor made itineraries by first hand experts
- Taste gourmet food and superb wines
- Watch the breaching whales
- Dare to dive with a Great White Shark
- Enjoy twice daily drives in search of big game
Akademie Street Guesthouses is a collection of separate and individual houses in the heart of the Cape Winelands village of Franschhoek.Each house is adjacent to the next, and each has a private pool and garden. They are linked through beautiful, fragrant gardens to the main house, Twyfeling, where breakfast is served on the patio. It is perfectly quiet, apart from the birdsong, yet only a two-min...
Babylonstoren is a beautifully restored Cape Dutch farm, owned and managed by the ex-editor of South Africa’s Elle Decoration, is already creating quite a stir.Situated on the cross roads between Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, the farm is right in the centre of South Africa’s Winelands. The eight-acre fruit and vegetable garden is at the heart of this working farm. It was orig...
Angala Boutique Hotel, formerly Cathbert Country Inn, is situated equidistance between Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, has a wonderful setting in the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountains, surrounded by forests and some of South Africa's finest wine estates. AccommodationThe eight rooms and suites are each named after an indigenous South African flower and individually decorated. They ...
Franschhoek Country House & Villas lie on the outskirts of Franschhoek, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views.The original country house was South Africa’s first perfumery, dating back to 1890 and now houses six standard deluxe rooms. Five more luxury rooms are separate from the main building, set in well-maintained gardens with lavender, fountains and mature trees. Most of the rooms hav...
Le Quartier Francais lies in the heart of South Africa’s Winelands. A Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel with three enticing restaurants, including the award-winning, gastronomic Relais Gourmand, where superb cooking is combined with astounding creativity.Le Quartier Francais, in the wine and foodie heaven of Franschhoek, is a perfect place from which to explore the Winelands and Cape To...
In the heart of Franschhoek village, this exclusive 5-star historic Cape Huguenot residence is only a minute’s walk from the award-winning restaurants, boutique shops and art galleries. The Last Word is both elegant and sophisticated, with a handsome mix of classic and contemporary furnishings. Three of the luxury rooms open onto private patio gardens and the other three have semi private po...
Franschhoek is one of our favourite wine land towns, a must for foodies and wine-lovers.Mount Rochelle, previously La Couronne, has breath-taking views of the valley and is located just outside of town with only 16 rooms and 6 suites spread out over three wings.With long-standing, dedicated staff nothing is too much trouble for this boutique hotel.Rooms boast air conditioning, under-floor heating,...
Avondrood is conveniently located within walking distance of Franschhoek main street.A well maintained historic Victorian Cape-Dutch homestead that has been tastefully renovated, there are six generous rooms, each with distinctive decoration, unique ambience and luxurious modern-day comforts.A contemporary selection of paintings and sculptures decorate the rooms; facilities include king size extra...
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