The gorgeous French corner of the Cape, Franschhoek, lies in one of the most beautiful wine valleys not only in South Africa, but also the world. You may know of Franschhoek as the culinary capital of South Africa with so many award winning restaurants we are slightly spoiled for choice. However food and wine is not all that Franschhoek has to offer.
You may already have visited this lovely town for on of the many festivals that take place. If you’re here in March make a plan to visit the Franschhoek Oesfees, the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May, the Franschhoek Bastille Day in July or one of my favourites the Cap Classique & Champagne Festival in November. If you’re not visiting for a festival and would like some other ideas of what to do we’ve come up with a few suggestions of things to do when you’re next in Franschhoek …
10 Fabulous Things To Do When Next in Franschhoek…
Why not sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving for the day. This is something for a whole group to enjoy because the bus allows for up to ten persons on the tour. The Wine Bus Tour is a three hour trip that will take you through not only vineyards, but forest and orchards too. The tour begins at the ever popular Rickety Bridge Estate and heads up o Matoppie with a view that will take your breath away. You’ll be provided with drinks and snacks at the top of the mountain before the bus begins its downhill journey home, stopping for more wine tasting on the way.
Address: Rickety Bridge Winery, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
Telephone: +27 (0)21 859-1989
Opening hours: Daily at 09h30 and 14h00. Booking advised.
If you’re looking to meet some of the locals of Franschhoek, as well as a traveller or two, then you should make your way to the Vineyard Brasserie on any Friday night to listen live Jazz while savouring a glass of the regions finest wine. Local jazz band, The Cape Dutch Connection, plays every Friday from 17h30 to 20h30 from November to Easter – this has become a notable event on the Franschhoek calendar. The venue is elegantly cool and is not only the place to visit on a Friday night. The brasserie offers lunch seven days a week as well as dinners on Saturday evenings.
Address: 13 Daniel Hugo Street, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-3420
Opening hours: Friday evening from 17h30 to 20h30 from November until Easter.
Who doesn’t enjoy watching a movie? So why not do it in style at the Screening Room, a private movie house of opulence. Sink into one of the 24 soft fuschia pink leather armchairs or if you’re there with someone special snuggle up in one of the 3 two-seater love couches. What makes this theatre that little bit extra special is that you can watch the drama on screen while sipping on a glass of local wine. The intimate theatre screens anything from the latest movies on the circuit to true classic movies. A wonderful venue to celebrate a special occasion as well … all that’s left for you to do is sit back and enjoy the show.
Address: 16 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-2151
Opening hours: Please enquire.
This is a must do, even if you’re short on time you should make a plan to spare the time for this half an hour programme held regularly at the Huguenot Fine Chocolates. You’ll find out all there is to know about the story of chocolate, which includes a chocolate tasting and a demo of home chocolates are made (enjoy the two-pack of chocolates at home that each guest receives). Located in the Main Street of Franschhoek, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, is a boutique chocolaterie and they offer a host of the finest chocolates. Danver Windvogel and Denver Adonis are the partners in this chocolatey goodness and their range is made from only the best imported Belgain chocolate.
Address: 62 Huguenot Road (Main Rd), Franschhoek, Cape Winelands.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-4096 or +27(0)21 876-4450
Opening hours: 24 hours notice is required. Please phone to book. Groups are welcome.
This one is all for the car lovers, because it’s all about our four wheeled friends. Here is your opportunity to step back in time and look back at more than 100 years of motoring history with a completely unique and exciting collection that ranges from vehicles to motorcycles, memorabilia and bicycles. The collection houses an 1898 Beeston motor tricycle as well as a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar and more than 80 exhibits will be on view at any one time and presented in chronological order.
Address: The Franschhoek Motor Museum, L’Ormarins, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
Telephone: +27 (0)21 874-9000
Opening hours: Closed Mondays. Tuesday to Friday from 10h00 to 16h00 Last admittance. Saturday and Sunday 10h00 to 15h00 Last admittance.
The Artefunto Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery and offers stunning wooden plates ranging from 67cm to 1.25 metres in diameter, with 14 layers of Lacquer and each plate or tile is hand painted. The brainchild behind this gallery is Werner Brand and this has been a life long passion of his. Brand explains that his work is generally created in a series – he has an idea which lends to a variety of materials being experimented with and the wonderful final product created. There are three other Artefunto Galleries in South Africa and the other can be visited in Hazyview in Mpumalanga, Knysna on the Garden Route and Clarens in the Free State. The art is truly magical, something unique and very special.
Address: Franschhoek, Cape Winelands, Western Cape
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-2706
Opening hours: Please enquire.
This is certainly some of my favourite wine and not only will you taste some of the vineyards fabulous offerings but you will also meet some of the fantastic team running the Môreson Wine Tasting. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and you’ll be welcomed in like a long-lost friend into a sociable and friendly wine experience. To add a twist to your tasting you can sample some delectable Chacuterie. Lounge out at the Farm Grocer bar counter and sample a range of Môreson Wines, each of which is individually paired with Neil Jewell’s mouth-watering yummy homemade Chacuterie.
Address: Môreson Farm, Happy Valley Road, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-3055
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 11h00 to 17h00.
If you’re looking to take a break from all the delicious food you’ve been eating and splendid wine you’ve been drinking why not book yourself into a treatment or two at the Le Franschhoek Camelot Spa? Immerse yourself in the spa’s serenity and restore the calm to your soul. You can enjoy signature treatments which combine both scientific approaches with wellness and spa therapy. Relax completely in a flotation pool experience or if you’re there with a partner why not book a deluxe double treatment suite. Once your treatments are complete you can take some time out in the relaxation room and meditation area. A perfect way to spend a day …
Address: Le Franschhoek, Farm Keerweder 1129, Minor Road 16, Franschhoek
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-8900
Opening hours: By appointment.
You will find yourself only two kilometres from the Franschhoek town centre on a historical working fruit and wine farm with magnificent views of both olive and fruit trees. Café BonBon is a must visit and a day out that you should ensure isn’t rushed. If you’re there in the morning you will be feasting on delicious home-cooked food. Alternatively you can spend a leisurely lunch here or make a dinner reservation. The meals are prepared with care, using only the finest local ingredients – think hearty soups and melt-in-your-mouth pasta’s as well as a variety of speciality main dishes. Make sure you save some space for dessert because they have plenty to satisfy even the sweetest tooth!
Address: Excelsior Road , Franschhoek, 7690, Cape Winelands
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 876-3936
Opening hours: Please enquire.
If you like me are a little weary of horses because you’re a complete novice, no need to fear – this is the best way to kick that fear out the door and have a day out like no other. Combine a wine tasting with a horse back ride through the Franschhoek wine valley. The Paradise Stables, as they are so aptly named, offer the horse-riding tours that will have you coming back time and again. If your kids are 12 years or older and experienced riders they are also able to join the tour (sans wine of course). Experienced riders are grouped together so that they can set off on a faster pace, while novices will be gently introduced to the tour with a walk which also allows one to take in the magnificent views.
Address: Paradise Stables, Robertsvlei Road, Franschhoek.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 876-2160
Opening hours: By arrangement only. Daylight hours only.
With so much to do you’ll need to spend more than a few days in the gorgeous town fo Franschhoek, but beware you may just want to stay forever …
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