Franschhoek is hands down, one of the most gorgeous towns in South Africa. A town that is comprised of exquisite natural beauty, delicious wines, quaint boutiques, historical charm and welcoming local folks is truly a gem in my eyes. Sorry to say, but Napa Valley doesn’t quite compare to this rare African beauty.
Our 4 nights were spent at “Le Franschoek Hotel and Spa (http://www.lefranschhoek.co.za) – one of the many gorgeous and historically charming hotels in Franschhoek. The layout and design of the hotel itself is beautiful-thatched roof combined with a clean, contemporary decorated interior (in love already!) not to mention the the floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the lush gardens and outdoor pool. The biggest delight for me though was the bath tub in our room and no, we didn’t pay extra for a fancy room! Every evening I would eagerly anticipate my bathroom ritual – drawing the bath water,http://www.frenchconnection.co.za/ the bathroom lights off, opening the skylight/window above the bath and lying in the hot tub of water gazing out at the star studded sky and enjoying the cool breeze and sounds of nature that flowed in through the window. A HEAVENLY combination!
The main street is lined with absolutely divine restaurants and coffee shops and gorgeous little boutiques. A few of the boutiques have a lovely selection of handmade soaps, pillow sprays, colognes, scented candles etc which are all very reasonably price and of high quality. If you are looking for curios, there is no short supply of those either! I bought the cutest little porcupine quill pen, embellished with ostrich feathers on top from one of the curio shops. It fits in perfectly with the decor on my desk in my office and makes quite the statement piece. Havn’t seen anything like it anywhere else:)
Our most delicious meal in Franschhoek was at a highly recommended french restaurant called “The French Connection Bistro” (http://www.frenchconnection.co.za/). A reservation is required for dinner, as this place fills up very quickly. I had the mussels, which were divine and my man had the fillet (medium-well done) which he couldn’t stop raving about!! An A* meal which you shouldn’t miss out on if you are in Franschhoek.
Now, on to the wineries!!!! There is an awesome wine tram (http://winetram.co.za/) which picks you up from the main street in Franschhoek and allows you to hop on and off at any of the wine farms along it’s path. I personally would recommend taking the “Red” line tour which stops at 2 of my favorite and most exquisite wineries “Mont Rochelle” and “Grand Provence”. However, you really can’t go wrong with these wine tours – every winery is simply gorgeous and has the most breathtaking scenery, views and delectable selection of food and wine. One downer for us during this trip to Franschhoek was not knowing/realizing that the majority of the wineries fine dining restaurants are closed mid week So, if you are looking to enjoy some fine dining at the vineyards in the evenings or lunch time, remember to keep that in mind : Thursday – Sunday only;)