Franschhoek offers visitors a wide range of accommodation – from luxury boutique hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts and self-catering establishments. Choose to stay in one of the many establishments located within easy walking distance of the main road, or opt for a more secluded establishment – located on farms in and around the valley – offering you the ultimate winelands experience. Whatever your choice, you will be guaranteed of a blissful night’s rest.
Franschhoek may be South Africa’s Culinary Capital, but you are bound to want to explore further than our award-winning restaurants and wineries. If the options are simply too many for you to decide, contact one of our local tour operators who have distilled what’s available into itineraries for all tastes. For a wine tasting with a difference take a ride on the Franschhoek Wine Tram. For the more energetic there are numerous walking trails in the surrounding mountains – particularly in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. You can also hire a bicycle and explore on your own, or go wine tasting on horseback. Venture out to Val de Vie for some polo or opt for an exciting game of golf at the breathtaking and award-winning Pearl Valley golf course.
As with fine food and outstanding wines, so too fine art needs to be savoured in order to be appreciated. Regarded as SA’s premier food and wine destination, Franschhoek has added art destination to its résumé.
Sample the Valley’s finest artisanal and fresh produce on the Franschhoek Artisan Route. The Franschhoek Artisan Route affords visitors the opportunity to treat their taste buds to some of the finest olives, cheeses, charcuterie, artisanal breads, chocolates or craft beer Franschhoek has to offer.
Franschhoek also boasts many business services that you’d not expect to find in a village such as ours. Graphic designers, photographers, printers, business consultants, estate agents, architects, attorneys and many more are all to be found in our dynamic village.
Franschhoek boasts some of South Africa’s ‘Top 100’ restaurants and has become known as the country’s Culinary Capital, providing visitors with a memorable dining experience. Leading chefs create everything from cutting-edge cuisine to stylish light meals, using only the freshest local produce paired with superb local wines. Franschhoek is also a member of The Délice Network of Good Food Cities of the World. Délice is an international network of likeminded cities engaged in promoting the benefits of culinary excellence and good food. Franschhoek was granted membership to this prestigious network in October 2014, and is the only member in the Southern Hemisphere.
A short wander down the main road in Franschhoek uncovers world-class shops and boutiques for an intimate and relaxed shopping experience. There is truly something for everyone. Whether you are looking for wine, jewellery, designer clothing, artworks, a special gift, collectable books or chocolate you’ll find the best of these and much more along our main street. Many of our wine estates also have superb deli’s serving the best in terms of freshly baked breads, olive and olive oils, charcuterie and much more.
Franschhoek has been the ideal wedding setting for as long as we care to remember. Anyone who has ever been married here will tell you that the beautiful and serene Franschhoek Valley is the perfect place to start off your life long journey together. The romantic scenery adds to a wedding’s ambiance and ensures that your never to be forgotten day is just that more special. With numerous venues to choose from you’re bound to find something that is everything you ever dreamt of and more.
Franschhoek is the epitome of relaxation and is home to a host of premium quality and serene wellness centres, spa’s, health shops and beauty parlours. Restore a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit whilst being rejuvenated in our breathtaking valley.
As you make your way into Franschhoek you will notice that most of the farms still bear their original French names, some complete with a spectacular Cape Dutch homestead, towering oaks and rolling vineyards. You will find an array of cellars, ranging from quaint boutique wineries that cater for those in search of something unique, to the large cellars that offer visitors organised tours and tastings. The fertile Franschhoek Wine Valley is home to some of South Africa’s noble cultivars and classic styles. These range from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, to the full-bodied reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The area also produces some of the country’s extraordinary Méthode Cap Classiques, which can all be enjoyed during a trip along the Franschhoek MCC Route.
“In July 2003 I photographed former President Nelson Mandela for the first time. This was a special commission for the inauguration of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and the sitting took place at The Rhodes Trust in Oxford, England. This was to be the start of my long association with the Foundation and President Mandela. During our session on that summer’s afternoon in Oxford Madiba, upon hearing that I was about to move to Cape Town, said to me
‘You must use your skills to improve the lives of others in South Africa’.
I have often thought about those words – never have they felt more appropriate than now”
Curator & Co-Founder: EBONY/CURATED
There are over 150 Hotels, Guesthouses and B&Bs in Franschhoek` There are roughly 50 Wineries in Franschhoek There are over 70 Restaurants and Cafés There are over 25 Galleries and 70 Shops in Franschhoek
Franschhoek has a special place in many of your hearts – it is one of the premier destinations in South Africa and survives on local and international visitors. Our businesses are staffed almost exclusively from the local community who have enjoyed increased employment and empowerment over the past 10 to 20 years whilst Franschhoek grew.
Little did we realise that when we opened our business in this picturesque village 13 years ago that the local community would be facing such a catastrophic season in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The current lockdown and lack of visitors has had an immediate and devastating impact on employment and this has in turn fuelled a major humanitarian crisis in Groendal and surrounding areas where most of Franschhoek’s workforce lives. Many families are now reliant on donations and food parcels which are being cooked and prepared by some of SA’s top chefs – Margot Janse, Chris Erasmus, Darren Badenhorst, Liam Tomlin and many others have all opened their hearts and their kitchens to help feed the hungry.
This team is doing a tremendous job and local residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in their support by donating funds, produce, time, skills and assistance as far as possible under extremely difficult lockdown circumstances.
But they need more…
In order to help raise funds for this cause, our curator and co-founder, Marc Stanes, is donating one of the above-mentioned photographs of former President Nelson Mandela to be sold on silent auction. Other prints from this series hang in many public institutions including The Parliament of South Africa, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and The University of Cape Town.
This print is unique, image size is 60 x 60cm and will be signed and framed with museum glass and shipped FOC to any international or local destination. All proceeds will go directly to Isabelo, the charity set up by Margot Janse a number of years ago to help feed the community. Isabelo is now solely focusing on the COVID-19 Crisis.
The print has a reserve of R40,000 – we hope to raise significantly more.
To place your bid, kindly send an email to email@example.com before Thursday, 30th April at 5pm. This will be a silent auction; the highest bid will win. We will publish the final result but we will not update individual bidders during the process.
With the changing of the seasons the warmer weather is a welcome relief. Perfect for exploring one of South Africa’s premier lifestyle destinations, namely the Franschhoek Wine Valley. Home to award-winning wines, internationally acclaimed restaurants, exquisite art as well as an array of cultural and outdoor offerings. This October make the most of your visit as it coincides with Art Franschhoek, Franschhoek Open Gardens and the Classic Music Festival.
Abe Opperman Gallery, Franschhoek
Over the past 10 years research has shown that Franschhoek attracts many high-end visitors to the Cape, many of whom include art loving tourists. This has allowed the industry to adapt locally with a number of serious galleries in Franschhoek, such as EBONY/CURATED and Everard Read, to showcase world-class exhibitions on a regular basis. Ultimately this led to the establishment of Art Franschhoek. In recent years art has become relevant and sought-after, and as such so has the art attraction in Franschhoek, which is home to 16 galleries. The demand for fine art has in turn lifted Franschhoek’s aspirational presence so much more. Furthermore, Art Franschhoek helps to highlight the diversity of the galleries in and around Franschhoek, offering both the connoisseur as well as the amateur exquisite artworks to view in a non-sterile space.
From 25 to 27 October visitors to Franschhoek will be treated to a weekend of art appreciation as galleries ‘open their doors’ for the 4th annual Art Franschhoek. The weekend is dedicated to showcasing some of their spectacular works of arts and exhibitions.
Andrea Desmond-Smith is described as a mytho-poetic artist who combines elements of myth and fantasy with a deeply felt concern with the destruction of our planet. The themes that permeate her work are metamorphosis, resurrection and the four elements of Western alchemy: water, earth, fire and air. Her work is in public and private collections in South Africa and in Europe. View her exquisite works at the Blue Lion Gallery At Artemis
Cave Woman, by Andrea Desmond-Smith
Art in The Yard was born from a number of serendipitous moments and meetings of artists and space. The objective of the gallery is to give focus to contemporary artists with fresh ideas, whilst still holding true to skilled craftsmanship. Art is selected from upcoming, and established, local, and international artists.
Art in The Yard
Following the success of their Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries, renowned artist Abe Opperman has opened his third space in the heart of Franschhoek at 11 Huguenot street. The latest gallery provides art enthusiasts with an alternative cultural context as well as showcasing more of Abe Opperman’s original works.
EBONY/CURATED Bordeaux House is one of three gallery spaces in Franschhoek and Cape Town, which showcases classic and contemporary fine art combined with exclusive, local design. EBONY collaborates with some of the finest creators in Africa to create dynamic and engaging spaces. Exclusive design stands alongside classic and contemporary fine art in their two Franschhoek galleries; the resulting atmosphere is one that simultaneously exudes energy and elegance. Sourcing both classic and contemporary South African and African works by some of the most recognised and collectable artists, their fine art collection is both engaging and vibrant. Often collaborating with other pre-eminent galleries, EBONY/CURATED is continually on the lookout for new and exciting talent from across the continent.
EBONY/CURATED Bordeaux House
Everard Read Franschhoek is in partnership with the Leeu Collection and is part of the Everard Read group who, founded in 1913, are the oldest dealers in South Africa with other galleries in Johannesburg, Cape Town and London. The custom designed space is in a heritage building next to Le Quartier Français and shares a beautiful sculpture garden with the kitchen garden of La Petit Colombe restaurant, situated next door. The gallery shows the finest of South Africa’s contemporary artists in a variety of media and the knowledgeable staff are happy to arrange a tour of Leeu Collection’s incomparable sculpture gardens and the art in its public spaces.
Everard Read Gallery – Angela Banks
Sharing a passion for the preservation of art and culture best describes the historic La Motte Museum, which not only offers displays depicting aspects of the Rupert family, but also features the history of La Motte and its magnificently renovated buildings, with a brief review of Cape Dutch architecture. The museum is the permanent host to the heritage collection of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, as well as a the venue for other rotating exhibitions.
Land Rewoven – La Motte Museum
The Gallery at Grande Provence, showcases works by leading and emerging South African artists, which includes an extensive selection of artworks. These range from paintings, drawings, original prints, sculpture, ceramics to photography and traditional beadwork, which are available to view at the estate’s world-renown gallery.
The Gallery at Grande Provence
This is a mere glimpse of what you can expect to find at this year’s Art Franschhoek. A detailed programme is available on the official website, www.franschhoekart.co.za.
What makes this annual event so unique is that you can choose to leisurely browse the galleries situated along the village’s main road, and within comfortable walking distance from each other. Alternatively choose to view the artworks on display at some of the wine farms and turn your art appreciation weekend into one that combines with food and wine.
A highlight of this year’s weekend will be an exhibition entitled ‘Masterpieces from Franschhoek Private Collections’. A unique once off display of exquisite artworks on loan from private owners for this weekend. These include never before seen works by the likes of William Kentridge, Alexis Preller, Dumile Feni, Robert Hodgins, Maud Sumner, to name but a few. Viewings of these rare gems will be on view to the public at EBONY/CURATED’s Bordeaux House Gallery. Further details on this unique exhibition are available on the website.
Not only will visitors be treated to exquisite artworks during this weekend, but with Franschhoek being in full bloom during this time, the valley’s gardens are also spectacular sights to behold. Garden fanatics and nature lovers will be able to view some of the valley’s breath-taking gardens at the annual Franschhoek Open Gardens Festival. Gardens range from small village gardens to beautiful large farm gardens. This year there are 10 gardens on show. Added attractions include the ‘Garden in a Pot’ competition as well as teas and wine tastings at some of the participating gardens. Tickets cost R200 per person to view all of the gardens on show and are valid for the entire weekend, and can be purchased from La Motte Wine Estate or the NG Church Hall in Franschhoek.
Franschhoek Open Gardens
What promises to be a weekend of cultural highlights, the Classic Music Festival over the same dates, will feature three concerts in the NG Church. Starting the line-up is music by Mozart and Debussy for four hands at one piano with Mark Nixon and Christopher Duigan on 25 October. The recently formed Prins Trio of Annien Shaw (violin) David Pinoit (cello) with Megan-Geoffrey Prins (piano) will treat you to Ravel’s dazzling Trio and Beethoven’s Ghost Trio on Saturday, 26 October. Concluding the musical celebration on Sunday, 27 October will be Junnan Sun (clarinet) who is joined by Christopher Duigan (piano) in a re-imagined version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto K. 622. Tickets for the three NG Church concerts are R150 each and can be booked online at via www.webtickets.co.za.