Franschhoek means ‘French Corner’ and got it’s from the French Huguenot Settlers who first called it home in 1688. This little town with its winelands, mountain ranges, farmlands and rivers is perfectly positioned not far from Cape Town and falls within the Stellenbosch municipality. There are a couple of things no one can visit Franschhoek without experiencing…
There is a darn good reason why Franschhoek has been named the gourmet capital of South Africa. Award-winning restaurants and star chefs can be found in this little town and this is where magic happens. Prepare to dig deep into you pockets and be amazed with culinary delights from restaurants such as Le Quartier Francais’ 5 or 8 course wonders or Rueben’s Restaurant owned by SA’s premier Chef. Countless number of wine estates has world-class restaurants which deserve as much attention as their wine.
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If you’re a lover of wine and haven’t heard about the offerings in this stunning valley, it begs the question of where you’ve been hiding. Franschhoek is one of the best wine-producing areas in the Cape Winelands producing fine cultivars such as Merlot, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sangiovese and Semillon amongst others. Take the day to visit various wine estates and enjoy wine tastings which often have pairings with artisan cheeses, biltong and chocolate.
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Sleep on a working Farm
Franschhoek should be explored over a few days and for that you will need a place to stay. Many five-star boutique hotels and guest houses are nestled between the mountains here. Many of them are amongst the oldest buildings in the Western Cape but with modern furnishings and all the latest additions to ensure your stay is completely comfortable. You can also choose to stay in a cottage, inn or lodge on working farms such as Babylonstoren, Simondium or Allee Bleue where you can picnic, cycle and sometimes help with the grape picking.
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Speaking from experience, there really couldn’t be a better location to say I do. So many wine estates offer wedding services and give you the option of holding your ceremony alongside the vineyards, next to a river or in a garden. It tends to be quite pricey, but if you look around you can find somewhat reasonable options. You can be sure that your wedding photos capturing the magic of your day will be in the most picturesque setting.
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Visit a spa
As you’ve noticed Franschhoek has made quite a name for itself in the luxury market so it makes total sense that you can find excellent day spas in the area. Enjoy a couple’s massage, doctor fish spa therapy, grape masks, pinotage body oil massages and more. Not only is the treatment guaranteed to soak away your tension, but the views of the mountains, valleys and gardens will add to the experience tenfold.
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