There is something so delightfully decadent about shopping after hours. Not grocery shopping, but shopping-shopping – exploring clothing boutiques, browsing art galleries, and nipping in and out of artisanal food stores and tempting chocolate shops.
Add a glass or two of chilled bubbly to the experience and, if you’re like me, well, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear and shopping up a storm.
This is the fun that can be had in the quaint village of Franschhoek until 16 December, where stores along Huguenot Road are keeping their doors open till late, and the MCC on ice, as they invite visitors to indulge in some pre-season spending.
Where to go and what to buy
The Bacon Pop-up Bar
18 Huguenot Road
Famed as South Africa’s first all-bacon pop-up shop, a trip to this porky palace is a must. Try the bacon brownie and bacon choc-chip cookies, and give the ice cream a taste too. The T-shirts are super gifts for the manne of the house – since the sizzling delights on offer won’t last very long (if they make it home at all).
Tap & Cork
30 Huguenot Road
Franschhoek’s only liquid deli, the Tap & Cork is a haven of homemade oils, vinegars, reductions, dressings and all manner of containers to hold them in. Select your preferred liquid, choose your container, and you’re set with a super gift that’s been put together by you (well, sort of).
50 Huguenot Road
Ladies, if there’s anywhere to buy a few select clothing items, it’s at Indian Summer. From colourful kurtas (Indian-style cotton tops that reach just past the knee) to white cotton slacks and embroidered tops, this outlet is an experience of texture and colour. Gifts for gals has never been easier – grab a few printed cotton scarves, a must for the Cape Town summer season.
Franschhoek Wine and Clothing
23 Huguenot Road
This French-flag-themed shop is a wine and clothing lover’s dream. On the one half of the property stand shelves of locally sourced wines. Those special wines, ones that the owner thinks are particularly good (in both price and taste), wear a Franschhoek necktie. On the other side of the shop are locally made clothes and accessories – in blue, white and red.
Huguenot Fine chocolate
62 Huguenot Road
For a sweet gift, be sure to visit this boutique Belgian chocolaterie. The store sells homemade truffles – white, milk and dark chocolate shells filled with a variety of nut pralines and toffees – and an array of Belgian chocolate slabs. Hearty chunks of the Belgian slabs – in whichever chocolate variety you prefer – make lovely stocking fillers.
62 Huguenot Road
From antique furniture and silver pillboxes to crystal candelabras, embroidered tablecloths and glass doorknobs, Masquerade is a feast for the eyes. There is so much to look at, and plenty worth investing in. Gifts for those who love all things décor are easy, and you can’t go wrong with a set of Maxwell & Williams glass storage jars.