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.
Internationally renowned wine critics, Jamie Goode and Treve Ring recently visited the Franschhoek Wine Valley where they were given the opportunity to sample some of the area’s finest wines. Regarded as one of South Africa’s formidable wine producing regions, Jamie and Treve also had the pleasure of meeting with the Vignerons who were able to give them deeper insight into some of the varietals the valley has become known for. During their visit, which took place over a few days, they tasted a wide range of wines from the valley. Wines included Semillon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and other niche varietals.
Jamie and Treve, who together write for the industry’s leading website, Wine anorak, thought they knew all that they needed to know about Franschhoek, but left with a sense of renewed knowledge about the valley and its producers.
The visit resulted in an in-depth article of their experience where they share their top wines from the region. To see which wines they ranked as their favourites click on the link below:
We, as well as many of our members in and around the valley, are thrilled by the recent announcement of the further relaxations to the Level 3 regulations. These amendments have allowed the beauty sector to resume work as well as sit-down restaurants and accommodation establishments, amongst others. While we await the details on the T’s and C’s the relevant establishments are getting themselves COVID ready and eagerly await your return to the beautiful Franschhoek.
After much needed rain we’ve been spoilt with some magical Winter days, perfect for a leisurely drive to Franschhoek.
The village is slowly but surely coming back to life and it’s such a beautiful sight to see a few new as well as familiar faces browsing the shops. Apparently we’re in for another cold front this weekend so it might not be the ideal opportunity to venture out, but as our heading implies every cloud has a silver lining and the cold weather will make way for perfect weather again. Perfect for some Franschhoek shopping or a delicious sit-down meal at one of your favourite restaurants again.
Let’s not forget to celebrate International Rosé Day on Friday, 26 July. Although traditionally regarded as a Summer tipple, every day is Rosé day. Regarded as one of the more versatile wine varietals, not only does it pair perfectly with a fresh salad, but also works well when enjoyed with soups and light casseroles. With alcohol sales allowed again we encourage you to stock up on some of your favourite Franschhoek Rosés.
We’re super excited to be sharing news of an exciting collaboration by some of our award-winning chefs. The Franschhoek Culinaire is a group of chefs who are bringing dining and wining to your door to support restaurantsin the valley as well as the Isabelo Charity by Margot Janse. Simply bid on your favourite chef combination and be entertained, at a venue of your choice, for up to 10 people! Each lot consists of three top chefs who, if you’re the winning bidder, will prepare an unforgettable event to be hosted at your own personal venue. You will no doubt be the talk of the town and envy of your friends for weeks.
On 1 June we’ll be moving from Level 4 to Level 3, which is music to our Franschhoekers’ ears, but in particular our winemakers as they resume wine sales. Soon you’ll get to enjoy our Franschhoek wines again – in front of your cosy fireplace or with a hearty winter inspired meal, as the cold weather sets in. Some of our producers are offering unforgettable wine offers to celebrate this news, and we suggest you browse your favourite Franschhoek wine farm’s website to see what they have on offer.
Life is about lessons and there seem to be so many of these we experience on a daily basis, one of these being the unconditional generosity of others. Colin and Annalise Atkins of Le Petit Paris Guest House are just one of the many we have come across. Their generous donation of bedding and clothing (below) will be a welcome relief to so many who need a bit of extra warmth this winter.
Gift someone special with a voucher
Have you heard about our voucher system? It’s the perfect opportunity to gift someone special (or why not yourself) with an unforgettable Franschhoek experience. Franschhoek Wine Valley has teamed up with partners, The Brand Mix to offer visitors the opportunity to purchase online gift vouchers made up of a selection of Franschhoek’s finest offerings and experiences. Don’t delay and head on over to our website today to browse the vouchers on offer.
Purchase a voucher to an overnight stay at Basse Provence at Rickety Bridge Wine Estate
Support the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy
Education has also been put on hold during this time, although many institutions have managed to keep students on track by means on online portals. One of the affected establishments is the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy who were in the process of training 25 local youths from the community in the field of hospitality before lockdown was implemented. These students rely on daily engagement to further their studies, but sadly this has been put on hold as they are unable to attend lessons. In an effort to help these students, the academy wants to help them continue their studies by means of Lobster Ink’s online hospitality training platform. However, this requires data in order to access, which many of the students have in limited supply. In order to help their students the academy has undertaken to cover the cost of the whole online learning curriculum during lockdown, and in doing so focus on practical skills in smaller groups once they are able to do so. However, they need your support to reach their target, and have set up a dedicated page on their website with all of the need-to-know information.
Great news for outdoor enthusiasts
Good news for locals who make use of the Berg River MTB and Hiking Trails is that these routes will soon be undergoing much needed repair work.
The relevant trails are the Matoppie Contour, Seesaw and Snake Alley Trails, and this has been possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of Franschhoek Cellar and Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards. Two weeks prior to lockdown the local community trail builders, Golden Leaf, commenced work on one of the routes, but had to stop when lockdown was implemented. As of last week they have been able to resume their work on the related routes.
Music to the ears of so many MTB riders and hikers/walkers who make use of these trails on a regular basis, and perfect timing as from 1 June we’ll be allowed to enjoy the outdoors at any time of the day. A heartfelt thanks to all involved for making this possible.
The Berg River Dam, Franschhoek
Together Franschhoek keeps on making a difference
The cherry on this week’s cake is an update from the amazing work done by all involved with Together Franschhoek. To date they have processed 55 000kg of food, 53 000 hours have been clocked by an amazing team of volunteers, a total of 17 handwashing systems have been set up in and around Franschhoek, and 12 soup kitchens operate around the clock on a daily basis. The generous donations received have helped to feed approximately 1 000 people on a daily basis.
In case you’ve missed hearing about the amazing work done by our chefs and all involved with Together Franschhoek, a recent article published in the Daily Maverick gives an updated overview on how they are making a difference to the lives of others.
Here’s a thought. What will you do first when lockdown ends? Treat yourself to a meal at one of your favourite restaurants? Meet up with friends for coffee? Or embark on an overdue outing to a wine farm?
Whatever you’re looking forward to its about embracing our new normal and adjusting to different experiences. One of these being slow travel. Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Franschhoek – a little piece of heaven tucked between mountain ranges – is the epitome of slow travel.
Before we go any further let’s paint the slow travel picture for you. It’s not about actually travelling slowly, but rather stopping to take the time to each individual experience you embark on. No longer is it about fitting in as much as possible in a short space of time, but rather allowing yourself time to absorb every aspect of your visit.
Slow travelling allows you to appreciate and connect with all that your destination has to offer. From the people to the food as well as any cultural offerings you may find.
While we await news on when it will be safe to venture further than our surrounds,we invite you to dream of and ‘plan’ your next trip to explore Franschhoek slowly later. We miss you and can’t wait to welcome you back to our beautiful valley where you are guaranteed to return home rejuvenated after your slow travel sojourn.
Since it was first launched, the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund, has received an overwhelming response to help restaurants who are really struggling during these uncertain times. ‘In a time where it feels like all change is bad, you get reminded that just by doing something small, by adding value to the community around you, some change is extraordinary,’ says chef David Schneider of Chefs Warehouse at Maison in Franschhoek. David’s restaurant was amongst the first to receive financial support from this fund. Together with others in the Chefs Warehouse group of restaurants, Maison is giving back by preparing food for Margot Janse’s charity, Isabelo, which feeds hundreds of school children on a daily basis. Through the help of Maison and so many others the charity has expanded its reach to feed many more hungry families in the valley.
Charitable donations from far afield. A financial donation received from the Netherlands allowed for local resident Irma Borrias to practice her amazing sewing skills in making these beautiful masks (below), allowing so many more people to stay safe.
Foliage Restaurant Chef Chris Erasmus couldn’t resist trying on these warm winter jackets donated recently by Peacock Blue, which will be distributed to those who need it most to keep a little warmer during the cold days. Peacock Blue provides discerning men of all ages and most sizes with stylish, colourful, comfortable outfits that would take them almost anywhere apart from the boardroom.
A heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who has contributed to the continued efforts of the Together Franschhoek feeding scheme, which provides nourishing food through various distribution points, with the supply of fresh produce and ingredients, the installation of handwashing stations, and ensuring that social distancing measures and guidelines are in place. Just R250 can feed a family in need. To learn more about this amazing feeding scheme follow Together Franschhoek on Facebook for all of the details.
With a loyal Italian fan base,local resident ‘artist extraordinaire’ Pigcasso was recently approached by an Italian art agency to donate a piece of his spectacular artwork. This work of art forms part of a collection to be auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds of all the artworks going towards assisting with the relief efforts in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Franschhoek takes pride of place in Pigcasso’s heart he has a soft spot for Italy and this collaboration was a no brainer for him.
Pigcasso’s painting partner is Jo Lefson (aka his human) and together this duo have taken the art world by storm since the launch of their definitive Abstract Expressionist artwork collection in 2017. An extraordinary partnership together Jo and Pigcasso aim to challenge the status quo, igniting debate on the definition of art while also using their collaborative talent to highlight the detrimental effects of animal agriculture on climate change.
In this ever-changing environment, Together Franschhoek, symbolises the strength in community collaboration that the Franschhoek Valley is known for!
Assisting the community in establishing food distribution points throughout the valley, through the supply of fresh produce and ingredients, the installation of handwashing stations, and ensuring that social distancing measures and guidelines are in place, the Together Franschhoek team led by Ashley Bauer, with the help and guidance of community leaders, NGO’s and other key stakeholders, continuously assesses and re-assesses the needs of our community with food relief remaining a primary focus.
This mammoth operation is made possible through the team of volunteers from local businesses and residents, the wonderful NPO’s and the generosity and support of people like you!
Under the guidance of Foliage Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Chris Erasmus, and Isabelo’s Margot Janse, a group of Franschhoek chefs, are ensuring that no hungry mouth goes unfed in the Franschhoek Valley.
Although there have been some very generous contributions since the unit was launched, they do rely on continued support. Just R250 will go a long way in sustaining this operation.
Franco headed by Rian Coetzee, the Isabelo Feeding Scheme, headed by Margot Janse and the Lions Ladies Club Franschhoek, headed by Lodine Maske, have offered their fundraising facilities to assist in this regard.
Franschhoek chefs helping everyone eat out.Pictured here are Amy Phillips, Nicolene Barrow and Gordon Logan, who under the direction of master chef Chris Erasmus of Foilage, are hard at work prepping meals.
In response to the national lockdown announced by the South African Government and in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Information Office will be closed from 25 March until 16 April 2020.
We will, however, remain fully operational with staff working remotely from their homes. You are more than welcome to contact us via one of the following numbers or email during this time, should you have any queries or need any assistance:
Please be assured that we are in daily contact with relevant authorities and key role players. This includes the likes of Wesgro, Cape Town Tourism, Cape Winelands District Municipality and SA Tourism, amongst others. As the situation unfolds, we will do our best to keep you updated via our dedicated COVID-19 page on the Franschhoek Wine Valley website here: www.franschhoek.org.za/coronavirus.
Please make use of one of the following numbers for official COVID-19 advice, updates and queries:
• National Hotline – 0800 029 999
• WhatsApp – 0600 123 456
• Provincial Hotline – 021 9284102
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this unprecedented event in our community, our country and around the world. As the destination marketing organisation of the beautiful Franschhoek Wine Valley we will also be taking this opportunity to work behind the scenes to ensure that we are ready to welcome everyone with open arms and warm smiles once we have pulled through this difficult time. We will remain active on social media to share with you the many stunning scenes around the valley and while we will not be promoting travel to Franschhoek at this stage we invite you to start dreaming with us about spending some blissful Franschhoek moments with us in the future!
Franschhoek Wine Valley has created a special page on their website with the latest news on COVID-19, which is in accordance to the president’s statement issued recently. The information, which is of relevance to members, residents and travellers to Franschhoek, includes updates on travel bans, festivals, and tips on what we can do to curb the spread of the virus.
In addition, some of the valley’s hospitality establishments have temporarily closed their doors to the public in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. Visitors to Franschhoek are urged to make contact with relevant establishments ahead of time to find out if they are open during this time. Franschhoek businesses that are in operation have implemented additional precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of their customers and staff.
‘During this time of uncertainty we want to remind people to remain calm. Instead of cancelling your planned trip to Franschhoek we ask that you postpone your visit. We can assure you that your visit will be worth the wait,’ says Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO, Reinher Behrens.
The Franschhoek Wine Valley tourism office remains open to tourists seven days a week, and visitors are also more than welcome to engage with the team via the alternate communication channels, which are as follows:
TripAdvisor, regarded as the world’s largest travel site, has just released their list of the Top 25 Emerging Worldwide Destinations, with Franschhoek securing 15th position. This list forms part of TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for 2020. Internationally renowned as a leading wine and culinary region, the Franschhoek Wine Valley is the only South African destination mentioned.
Franschhoek Wine Valley – image by Alfred Thorpe
According to TripAdvisor the list is all about what’s next for smart travellers who are seeking off-the-radar destinations and still have people talking about for the foreseeable future. Joining Franschhoek on this prestigious list are the likes of Kaliningrad (Russia), Naoussa (Greece), Monopoli (Italy) and Antwerp (Belgium), amongst others.
This latest accolade reaffirms Franschhoek’s position as a preferred destination amongst both local and international travellers. In 2019 Franschhoek was also listed as one of the Top 30 Millennial Travel Destinations by travel-planning site müvTravel’s followers. A short drive from Cape Town, a visit to Franschhoek makes for the ultimate winelands escape whilst exploring the Western Cape.
Franschhoek Huguenot Monument, photo by Chris Taylor
TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travellers, with 859 million reviews and opinions covering 8.6 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions, and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 463 million average monthly unique visitors in 49 markets worldwide and 28 languages.
The Travelmag.com has recently released a list of the most charming towns in South Africa. This list has been put together based on the advice of more than 100 writers, travel bloggers, photographers and other professionals who have spent time in the country. All destinations with populations of less than 500,000 were considered.
Franschhoek, with their centuries-old vineyards and striking architecture was also added on this list. Other towns listed include, Graaf-Reinett, Hogsback, Paternoster, and Sutherland amongst others.