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.
Sunday, 17 November signified an important day in the culinary calendar as the top South African restaurants were announced at the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards. Attended by the who’s who in the foodie and media fraternities, three Franschhoek eateries secured a spot on this sought-after list of the country’s Top 20. The winning restaurants were chosen by a core panel of anonymous judges.
Already recognised both locally and internationally for their five-star culinary offerings, the Franschhoek restaurants included in the line-up of the country’s Top 20 were the following, in order of rank:
Not only is it the height of awards season for the wine industry, but it is also full steam ahead for restaurants. With the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards around the corner chefs in and around the country are on tender hooks as they await news as to who has secured the top spot.
While we wait with bated breath there have also been a number of other awards – both local and international – bestowed on deserving Franschhoek eateries.
Franschhoek was yet again a popular destination amongst both local and international travellers with the announcement of the 2019 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. Regarded as the world’s largest travel site, which enables travellers to unleash the potential of every trip, tourists from across the globe voted Le Bon Vivant as the 8th best restaurant in Africa, and the 4th best in South Africa.
Le Bon Vivant, Franschhoek
Adding to this already stellar performance was the announcement of South Africa’s 2020 Plated Restaurants and Awarded Chefs as published in the highly anticipated 2020 JHP Gourmet Guide. Most restaurants around the world aspire to a one, two or three-star rating, whereas in South Africa, restaurants aim for one, two or three plates. Three plates being the ultimate accolade. The guide celebrates the uniqueness of South African cuisine, from classic and conservative to daring and different. At the launch, 20 one-plated, 11 two-plated and five three-plated restaurants were awarded.
Foliage and La Petite Colombe were each awarded a two plate status, with Le Coin Français, Chefs Warehouse at Maison and The Werf at Boschendal each receiving a one plate accolade. At the same event the prestigious Haute Performance Awards were awarded to those creating footprints in an industry that is people-centric, which saw Franschhoek’s Reuben Riffel receive the Haute Passion award. The 2020 guide will be available in leading bookstores, Woolworths and participating restaurants from November 2019.
Chef Reuben Riffel
Ending on a high note was the news earlier this month that Le Coin Français chef Callan Austin received the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility as voted for by Food Made Good, the internationally recognized voice on sustainability in food. This accolade secured a position for him as a finalist in the Africa and Middle East region of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Regional Semi-Final. He together with the other three finalists will travel to Milan for the Grand Finale in May 2020.
These latest accolades reaffirm Franschhoek as South Africa’s Culinary Capital, and even more reason to include a visit to one of these fine dining establishments when next visiting the valley.
Leeu Collection has revealed exciting new plans for its Cape Winelands properties that will cement its desire to host only the very best dining experiences (that make the most of local produce and talent) and reinforce Franschhoek’s title as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa.
Leeu Estates; Darren Badenhorst; Le coin Francais signature dessert
The seeds for this concept were sown earlier this year when it was announced that Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan is to take over the restaurant (to be called Henrock) and every other aspect of the Food & Beverage at Leeu’s British property, Linthwaite House in the Lake District, from early October 2019. Now, Leeu Collection has reached agreement with two of the best culinary teams in South Africa to replicate the idea in Franschhoek.
Multiple award-winning chef Darren Badenhorst, already well-known as the Chef Patron of Le coin Français in Franschhoek, will manage the food and beverage offering at Leeu Estates as of 15 October 2019, creating a new restaurant in the Manor House called Le chêne (The Oak) that will serve French-inspired dishes made from local produce. Both the name and concept of this new dining experience acknowledge Franschhoek’s history – French Huguenots settled in the valley in the 17th century, hence its name of Franschhoek which derives from the Dutch for “French corner”.
Then, from the start of May 2020, the award-winning team at La Colombe in Cape Town will move La Petite Colombe (which is currently located at Leeu’s Le Quartier Français) into a larger stand-alone space on Leeu Estates that is set amid beautiful gardens, with glorious river and mountain views. Alongside it will stand a new Everard Read gallery for monumental art, creating a “must-go” destination for food and art aficionados. (La Petite Colombe will be the only Food & Beverage outlet at Leeu Estates not operated by Badenhorst.) Protégé, also operated by the La Colombe team, will remain at Le Quartier Français.
La Petite Colombe; the La Colombe team; La Petite Colombe signature dish
“Food and drink are such an important part of a hotel stay, we have made the decision to welcome top chefs and their restaurants into the Leeu Collection properties, to enhance the guest experience,” says Analjit Singh, founder of Leeu Collection. “While we provide the infrastructure and functionality, focusing on lifestyle aspects such as beautifully curated interiors, exquisite landscaped gardens, stunning pieces of art and immersive Mullineux & Leeu Family Wine tastings, we can allow the experts to cook up a magical storm in our kitchens.”
Leeu Collection offers guests a wide and diverse choice of unforgettable places to stay in the sublimely beautiful Franschhoek valley, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town. The portfolio comprises three unique properties: Leeu Estates, the mountainside country house hotel and boutique winery recently awarded the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA)’s new 5-Star Premium grading, as well as Leeu House, an exclusive boutique hotel in the heart of Franschhoek, and Le Quartier Français, a romantic hotel with two independent villas.
Following an inspirational trip to Japan, John Norris-Rogers, Scot Kirton and James Gaag, the acclaimed chefs of La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, have launched a new Asian inspired 10 course set menu.
Image credit: Andrea van der Spuy
The new menu follows a recent trip of the three chefs to Asia and is greatly influenced by their experiences while travelling.
“Our trip overseas was extremely inspiring and very informative all at the same time. To step out into different places and experience different cuisines is something so important for a chef as it gives you more insight as to what is around you,” comments head chef John.
A celebration of simplicity, the new menu aims to strip back whatever is unnecessary on a dish, whilst at the same time, ensuring that maximum flavour is delivered.
Even though the new menu is Asian inspired, it is still very much seeped in South African heritage and you can expect ingredients such as smoked snoek, pickled fish and Cape Malay spices served amongst traditional Asian ingredients such as katsuobushi (dried, fermented and smoked tuna), chawanmushi, (a Japanese egg custard dish) and the chefs take on ramen.
Image credit: Andrea van der Spuy
Diners will also be treated to a sake cocktail, inspired by the tradition of starting a Japanese meal with sake, in the Zen garden on arrival.
The 10 course set menu costs R1450 with an addition of R990 if the wine pairing is included.
The full ‘Chefs Experience’ lunch menu is R795 with an addition of R695 if the wine pairing is included.
The spring special will run from the 01 September – 30 November 2019. It will be R495 and with an addition of R395 if the wine pairing is included.
Talented, young Cape Town chef, John Norris-Rogers, is the Head Chef at one of La Colombe’s latest restaurant ventures which opened August 2017 in Franschhoek – La Petite Colombe.
90’s child, born in Pretoria, and having lived in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal,
John Norris-Rogers decided to make Cape Town his home after he completed school
and chose to study at the International Hotel School. It wasn’t long before he
realized that he wanted to focus more on a specific style of cooking, so he
applied to study at the Silwood School of Cookery, graduating after
completing a coveted year-long internship at the award-winning La
Colombe, under the mentorship of chefs Scot Kirton and James Gaag.
continued to hone his skills at La Colombe after completing his studies, and
then left to explore the food world at Source Food Concepts. He also had
a stint as a private chef at a ski resort in the French Alps, before returning
to La Colombe as Sous Chef alongside current Executive Chef, James Gaag, in May
April 2017, John was fortunate enough to travel to Oslo, Norway to take part in
a month long internship at the 3 star Michelin Restaurant Maaemo under
Chef Esben Holmboe Bang. “This proved to be incredibly inspiring as I could see
a different culture of food, that being Nordic cuisine, as well as the
discipline involved in working in a rigorous environment such as this,” says
as long as he can remember, he wanted to be a chef, and he has always been
drawn to cooking and the industry. Despite being warned by many about the
exhausting hours, incredibly hard work and self-sacrifice involved, he pursued
his dream with the support of his family. To ensure he knew what he was letting
himself in for, John spent many school holidays in kitchens trying to gain as
much of an idea of the industry as he could, learning as much as his eyes and
ears could take in. “I think it was at this point that I knew it was most
certainly what I wanted to do. This is the one decision in my life I was most
sure of!” comments John.
been fortunate enough to work under La Colombe chefs Scot Kirton and James
Gaag, has afforded John the opportunity to work at the very top of the
industry. He believes that there is something incredibly special about creating
something beautiful, or expressing oneself through food. “Seeing guests,
friends and family enjoy the fruits of your labour is very satisfying. Putting
all your effort into the food you are preparing, and taking pride in what you
serve is something that drives me,” comments John.
asked what his passion and vision for the cooking industry is, he says, “I love
the fact that the industry is constantly evolving – especially at a fine dining
level. There is always a chef somewhere in the world doing something unique and
special at any given time. This keeps everyone on their toes and keeps everyone
pushing the boundaries and making new discoveries in the cooking world. It’s incredibly
exciting! The world of food is so dynamic. I hope to never lose sight of how
important and refreshing it is to keep discovering new foods, trends, flavours,
cultures, techniques, and thereby inspiring creativity!”
admits that he also has a great appreciation for the classics and going back to
what he learnt as the fundamentals of cooking. A believer in great produce, he
loves coming across a food item that is of the most superior quality, and he
loves the fact that many suppliers take as much pride in their produce as chefs
do in their food.
closing, John says, “My vision for the future is to never stop learning and
discovering, without ever losing the importance of flavour.”
After months of waiting the big day finally arrived as the winners of the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards were announced. Of the 30 nominees a list of South Africa’s Top 20 were selected, which saw four Franschhoek eateries securing a spot on this sought after list. The winning restaurants were chosen by a core panel of anonymous judges and convened by Margot Janse.
La Petite Colombe
Already recognised both locally and internationally for their five-star culinary offerings, the Franschhoek chefs and restaurants to be announced as the Top 20 winners were the following, in order of rank:
The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal, with Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell at the helm, was this year’s recipient of the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award. According to the judges the restaurant was truly deserving of this award as Chef Christiaan is a prime example of a chef and farm working with nature to regenerate and restore.
The Boschendal Werf Garden
In addition Chris Erasmus of Foliage was one of two recipients to be awarded this year’s Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef, which is voted for by the chefs of the 30 nominated restaurants. This year for the first time there was a tie, and Chris shared the award with Ivor Jones of Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia.
Chris Erasmus – Foliage
The awards were announced at a gala ceremony which took place at GrandWest in Cape Town on Sunday, 18 November, and attended by the who’s who of the restaurant and media fraternities.
In Franschhoek we are not only passionate about wine, but we’re also fanatical about food. Over the years the valley has become avidly known as the Culinary Capital of South Africa and the area is home to some of the best fine dining establishments in the country. We are proud once again to have five nominated restaurants from the Franschhoek Valley listed amongst the 30 nominees in the highly anticipated annual Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
The Franschhoek nominated chefs and restaurants are as follows:
We’re extremely proud of these restaurants, and look forward to the big announcement of the Top 20 restaurants, which will be revealed at the gala awards ceremony on 18 November at GrandWest. From this list this Top 10 list will also be announced.