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.
Leeu Estates now allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the Leeu Collection lifestyle with their exciting Half-Day Experience Package, which includes a guided Garden & Art tour on their 5-Star flagship property, a Signature Wine Tasting at one of the top 100 wineries in the world, The Wine Studio, and a dining experience at the brand new Le chêne, situated in The Manor House.
Leeu Estates Aerial view
Immerse yourself in the unrivalled Leeu Collection lifestyle at our flagship 5-Star Premium property, Leeu Estates, a working wine farm in Franschhoek with panoramic valley, vineyard and mountain views.
Reflective Resonance – Garden and art tours
This exciting half-day experience includes:
A one-hour guided Garden & Art Tour that takes guests through meticulously landscaped gardens with strategically placed sculptures by renowned South African artists.
A Signature Wine Tasting at the elegant Wine Studio, where guests are guided by the knowledgeable team through the finer nuances of the premium wines, hand crafted by Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.
A two- or three-course lunch or dinner in Le chêne. Meaning “The Oak Tree”, Le chêne pays homage to Franschhoek by utilising only the finest local ingredients whilst celebrating the valley’s French heritage in cuisine, theme and concept.
Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines Studio
R835 per person, includes guided Garden & Art Tour, Signature Wine Tasting, two-course lunch/dinner with a glass of wine
R945 per person, includes guided Garden & Art Tour, Signature Wine Tasting, three-course lunch/dinner with a glass of wine
Franschhoek, South Africa, 15 October 2019: Today, award-winning chef and patron of Franschhoek’s ‘Le coin Francais‘, Darren Badenhorst, opens his second establishment in the Cape Winelands village. ‘Le chêne’, meaning ‘The Oak Tree’, is located in the Manor House at Leeu Estates, part of the Leeu Collection, and pays homage to Franschhoek by utilizing only the finest local ingredients whilst celebrating the valley’s heritage through its cuisine, concept and interiors.
Badenhorst already owns Le coin Francais (located in the heart of Franschhoek), which has won multiple awards since opening in October 2017. The all-new, stand-alone restaurant Le chêne will raise the dining experience at Leeu Estates to another level, complementing the stunning interiors, spa and gardens, for which the hotel is already well-known. Badenhorst and his team will also manage every other aspect of the food and beverage offering at Leeu Estates, including in-room dining, breakfast and event catering.
Le Chêne interior
Le chêne will serve French-inspired dishes made from regional 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”. To complement the food and to add an historic touch to Le chêne, Badenhorst has commissioned a stunning 6m long 750 year old yellow wood feature table from Pierre Cronje, along with custom-built chairs that echo the sophisticated elegance associated with both Leeu Estates and Le coin Francais.
18-hour confit Karoo lamb neck, mountain nettle and river cress purée, edamame beans, Brussels sprout and peral onion cups, brûlée butternut spheres, lamb jus gras.
Says Badenhorst, “I am both honoured and excited to be opening my second restaurant in the village I love so much, and I could not wish for a better brand partner. Leeu Collection’s quality standards are second to none and I believe my creative and sophisticated cuisine will fit seamlessly into Leeu Estates, creating a synergy of two world class brands under one roof. I feel privileged to be a part of their culinary journey.”
Says Analjit Singh, founder of Leeu Collection, “Food and drink are such an important part of a hotel stay, we decided to welcome top chefs and their restaurants into the Leeu Collection properties, to enhance the guest experience. 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. We are thrilled that Darren and his team are joining us at Leeu Estates.”
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.
The Franschhoek Wine Valley certainly packs a punch when it comes to tourism service delivery. Not only is the region regarded as one of the country’s leading wine producing areas as well as SA’s Culinary Capital, but tourism is also key in their continued efforts to stay ahead of the game and strive for what they believe in.
The passion and dedication of some of Franschhoek’s members were recently recognized at two leading industry events, reaffirming the valley as one of the country’s leading tourism destinations.
In September delegates from around the country came together for the annual Wine & Food Tourism Conference in Stellenbosch, which was also the venue for the inaugural Wine & Food Tourism Conference Awards. The awards, which took place on the closing date of the conference, honoured nine of SA’s top wine and food tourism service providers. The winners (aka honourees) were selected from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, the Overberg, the West Coast and Karoo, and included a mix of well-established favourites and hidden gems. The deserving recipients were selected for having created outstanding and positively memorable tourist experiences, and in doing so were an inspirations to others in the industry.
The awards consisted of three categories, and in each of these categories the best of three contenders were acknowledged as honoureers. Leeu Collection was named as one of the honourees in the Service Excellence category, with La Motte securing a position as one of three in The Authentic South African Experience category.
La Motte Harvest Experience
Prior to the Wine & Food Tourism Conference the winners of this year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards were announced a special gala event on 13 September. Regarded as South Africa’s premier Travel and Tourism Awards, its aim is to recognise and reward tourism players and businesses who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world-class product and service, and whose delivery grows the country’s global destination competitiveness. Franschhoek shone at these awards with Ashbourne House announced as the winner in the Best 4 Star Guest House in the Western Cape for 2019.
Regarded as one of South Africa’s leading wine producing regions as well as the country’s premier culinary destination, the Franschhoek Wine Valley has every reason to raise a glass to a stellar year. Earning top accolades has once again placed this picture perfect valley at the top of visitors’ minds.
Herewith a sampling of this year’s highlights:
La Motte Wine Estate was recognised as the Cape Winelands District Municipality Wine Tourism Destination of the Year.
For the 2nd year running, Petit & Grande Plaisir Self-Catering Cottages was named as one of the winners in the 2018 Western Cape Lilizela Tourism Awards.
At the 2018 Novare SA Terroir Awards Dieu Donné Vineyards was recognised as the Top Shiraz producer for its 2016 Shiraz;
La Bri earned a well-deserved Platinum for its Syrah 2014 at the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine Awards;
Well known British wine authority, Tim Atkin MW only had rave reviews for the Franschhoek Vignerons in his 2018 South African Wine Review, which saw the likes of Chamonix, Black Elephant Vintners, Bellingham, Anthonij Rupert Wyne and others scoring an impressive 90+ points for wines in their respective ranges;
Colmant came out tops at the 2018 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, with their Brut Chardonnay NV being named the Best Blanc de Blancs at this prestigious industry event ;
The launch of the much anticipated 2019 Platter’s Wine Guide was met with great excitement, especially by Mullineux Wines, Allée Bleue, Colmant, Rickety Bridge and Plaisir de Merle receiving 5-star ratings for their wines. Plaisir de Merle was awarded the Bordeaux Style Red Blend of the Year Award for its Signature Blend 2012, with Rickety Bridge announced as Semillon of the Year for its Road to Santiago 2016. Mullineux Wines not only received the award for Straw Wine of the Year for its Straw Wine 2017, but also walked away with the title of Chardonnay of the Year for its Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016. Furthermore, this was the 2nd consecutive year that Colmant was awarded the sought after 5-star rating in the Méthode Cap Classique category;
On the international front Boschendal was awarded Gold as well as the Trophy for Best South African Chardonnay at the 2018 International Wine Challenge for its Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016;
At this year’s Rosé Rocks competition Holden Manz, DGB Bellingham and Boschendal each received Double Gold for their Rosé wines entered;
At the 2018 Top 100 Wines of South Africa, La Motte and La Bri each secured a spot on this coveted list for their respective wines.
With fine dining playing a pivotal role in what makes Franschhoek a truly memorable experience, our chefs and restaurants were once again honoured at South Africa’s top culinary awards ceremony. Franschhoek restaurants have been winners in the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Top 20 Restaurant Awards for many years, on a consistent basis, and 2018 is no exception. This year La Petite Colombe, Le Coin Français, ChefsWarehouse at Maison and Foliage were included on the list of Top 20 restaurants to dine at in South Africa. The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal was this year’s recipient of the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award. 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.
Marigold Restaurant, headed up by highly acclaimed chef Vanie Padayachee, was acknowledged as a Platinum Class Winner at the 2018 Fine Dining SAWI Awards.
Babylonstoren secured 11th position on the prestigious 2018 Conde Nast Traveller list, while according to the World’s Best Boutique Hotels for 2018, Akademie Street Boutique Hotel was voted as the World’s Most Romantic Retreat;
For the second year running, World Travel Awards named Leeu Estates,the Leeu Collection’s flagship property as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel.
In November Môreson’s Clayton Reabow was announced as the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in the Chardonnay category for his Môreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017. Clayton is no stranger to this competition, winning the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year Award in 2009.
Ending the year off on a truly high note, up-and-coming young wine writer Llewellyn Lambert, general manager of the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel,clinched the coveted Veritas Young Wine Writer title for 2018.
‘It has been a bumper year for us, and we’re extremely proud of our members, who strive to keep Franschhoek the preferred destination for local and foreign tourists. Franschhoek is priceless!’ says Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO Reinher Behrens.
Over the years the Franschhoek Wine Valley has established itself as one of the country’s premier art destinations with its numerous art galleries and resident artists. Home to 23 galleries visitors can choose to leisurely browse those 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, which include Grande Provence and La Motte. Garden and art tours at Leeu Estate add an extra touch to your cultural outing.
Reflective Resonance – Garden & Art Tours at Leeu Estates, Franschhoek
With so many galleries to choose from can be daunting, but by means of an easy to read map, available from the Tourism Offices or download via www.franschhoek.org.za, visitors have the opportunity of tailor making their art experience when visiting Franschhoek. The map is an easy reference guide to what has become known as the Franschhoek Art Route.
During the months of October and November art enthusiasts are in for a treat when art galleries in and around the valley take centre stage as the annual Art Franschhoek ‘opens its doors’ to the public. This takes place from Saturday, 27 October to Sunday, 25 November, and the aim of Art Franschhoek is to promote fine art in the valley in the same way its other strengths have been defined, namely food and wine. This is the perfect excuse to visit Franschhoek and experience the Art Route’s extraordinary offerings.
“Common Objective” by Bruce Little to be displayed at Franschhoek Cellar during Art Franschhoek
To celebrate the start of Art Franschhoek some of the participating galleries will be hosting special events during the weekend of 27 and 28 October. One of the highlights during the weekend includes a special wheel throwing demonstration by well-renowned ceramicist, David Walters. Not to be missed during this weekend is the exquisite exhibition entitled ‘Whispers from the Lily Pond’, which will be opened with a performance by artist, Shany van den Berg at Everard Read Gallery. For something slightly different, ODA Gallery will be hosting the exhibition ‘3 Countries, 3 Rooms, 3 Artists’, featuring the works of Thonton Kabeya, Gerald Chukwuma and Samson Mnisi.
By Shany van den Berg, on display at Everard Read Gallery, Franschhoek
As art needs to be truly appreciated and not rushed, turn your visit into a weekend of discovery. Book into one of the village’s luxurious B&B’s, guest houses or boutique hotels, and discover all that Franschhoek has to offer. Not only allowing you to appreciate art in its entirety, but also Franschhoek’s stellar wine farms and internationally renowned restaurants. Not forgetting world-class shops and boutiques, all of which are guaranteed to complete what promises to be a memorable Art Franschhoek visit.
Franschhoek, the world-renowned and picturesque food and wine capital of South Africa, is abuzz with the news that Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Français boutique hotel has closed the Garden Room and Bar which will re-open as an exciting new casual-style eatery under the guidance of previous Eat Out Chef of the Year, La Colombe’s Scot Kirton.
The refurbishment is due to be completed by late October 2018.
Scot is proud to be part of the process of recognising young talented chefs and giving them the opportunity to put themselves on the map. In keeping with this, the restaurant will aptly be named Protégé.
Stephen Raaff will head the kitchen team with Rebecca Warner overseeing the front-of-house. Stephen has been part of the La Colombe group since 2013 and has been involved at both La Colombe and Foxcroft restaurants in Constantia, working closely with both Scot and Glen Williams, Chef proprietor of Foxcroft.
Rebecca started working with Scot in 2009 in the kitchen of the River Café at Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate. A few years later she made the switch to front-of-house at La Colombe and has never looked back.
Scot is planning an experience that is both casual, comfortable and very much one that the locals can call ‘home’. His philosophy and approach to food lies in the fusion of Asian and French cuisine and the pursuit of excellence and perfection on each plate, resulting in numerous local and international awards.
The menu will be based on an à la carte offering where guests are free to select as many or as few courses as they desire. Stephen will be working with local suppliers to keep the menu as fresh and as seasonal as possible.
“The opening of Protégé excites me,” says Kirton. “It’s all about the freshest local produce used in the simplest of ways – it’s comfort food I cook at home. I could not be prouder of having Stephen lead the team. He has given me so much over the years and now it’s time for me to help him achieve his dreams.”
The restaurant space has been designed around the central show kitchen with al fresco dining planned at both ends of the restaurant. Interior design will be under the careful watch of Rotem Shachar and Megan Bond.
“Food and beverage in the hotel and hospitality sphere has evolved to the point where hotel guests must be offered a unique and top-class dining experience and choice as part of their overall guest experience. Protégé will complete the Le Quartier Français transformation that has been ongoing for the past year,” says Analjit Singh, founder of the Leeu Collection.
Protégé will be open for breakfast from 7am-10am, for lunch from 12:00 pm-2:30 pm and for dinner from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm. Hotel guests at Le Quartier Français will enjoy breakfast as part of their room rate.
Make Mom feel extra special during the month of May by treating her to an unforgettable Franschhoek experience. Although Sunday, 13 May is officially Mother’s Day Franschhoek is open to Moms throughout this celebratory month with an array of delightful treats.
Make the most of Mom’s experience and tailor make the perfect itinerary to spoil her. When entering the Franschhoek Wine Valley you can’t help but immediately feel relaxed which sets the scene for the rest of your experience. This is also an indication of what Mom needs – pampering, relaxation and decadent treats. Babylonstoren and Leeu Estate Spa transport you to a world of tranquillity with their range of world-class spa treatments. During the month of May Babylonstoren will pamper you from Head to Toe with this Mother’s Day inspired treatment. Enjoy 90 minutes of pure relaxation which includes a body wrap and luxuriating foot treatment. For that something special treat Mom to their Hammam treatment.
With magical views of the Valley Leeu Estate Spa is the ultimate in five-star treatment. From the minute you enter their premises to when you leave you’re made to feel extra special. Complement your experience with a leisurely lunch or High Tea in the comfort of the hotel which is situated adjacent to the spa. The added extra is that Franschhoek is home to a wide selection of spa facilities, allowing you to find the perfect spa treatment for Mom.
The hop-on hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram will keep everyone enthralled as you discover the true essence of the region. Vineyards, scenery, warm hospitality, delicious cuisine and superb wines. If Mom is a thrill seeker then Scoottours will appeal to her outdoor spirit.
For something slightly different join Babylonstoren gardners for a fascinating workshop about herbal teas and other refreshing drinks made from herbs and season flowers grown in their magnificent garden. Or attend one of their insightful workshops on how to use natural pesticides. Both these once-off workshops take place at Babylonstoren during the month of May.
Allow Mom to indulge in a bit of retail therapy as the Main Road in Franschhoek uncovers a plethora of fantastic shops. These range from speciality food and home shops, to splendid art galleries. And the best part is that they are all within walking distance. The perfect excuse to walk off an indulgent lunch, or work up an appetite for an early dinner.
With all of these amazing experiences why not turn a day out into an overnight or weekend experience? Choose from a selection of quaint bed and breakfasts to five-star boutique hotels to make Mom’s experience extra special. For the wow factor why not rent a private villa at La Cotte, Mont Rochelle or La Clé des Montagnes for the whole family?
This is just a sampler of what you can experience in one of the country’s favourite destinations. For more information on what to see and do in Franschhoek visit www.franschhoek.org.za.