Five Fabulous Things to do in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is one of the Western Cape’s most beautiful wine-producing valleys. Not only is it famed for its wine estates, restaurants (some of the best in South Africa) and stunning Cape scenery – but it also offers a few select experiences for travellers (and locals) to enjoy.

Here are five fabulous things to do in fair Franschhoek:

#1 Hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram

For the wine lovers among us, this Franschhoek-based experience is a must. In fact, it might just be one of the most fun things you can do in or outside of Cape Town!

This excellent wine-farm-hopping company allows you to choose a specific line (colour coded; there are purple, blue and pink lines- and more besides) that is assigned several wine estates. The best part? You can hop on and hop off at several of your line’s stops!

Depending on when you depart, you can easily cover anything from 4-6 wine farms… Although, having said that, it is fun to spend longer than an hour at some estates – particularly if you wish to dine at a restaurant, enjoy a winelands picnic or simply linger longer at a particular place.

The trams are wonderful – and there is plenty of sightseeing and fun to be had with this incredible hop-on, hop-off wine tour company!

Note: Advance bookings for all extra wine estate restaurants and activities is advised.

Contact: +27 (021) 300 0338, info@winetram.co.za

Website:  winetram.co.za

Address:  Franschhoek Wine Tram, 32 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa.

winetram.co.za
winetram.co.za

#2 Enjoy a Wine Estate Picnic or High Tea Experience

Several of Franschhoek’s most gorgeous wine estates offer some unique and wonderful experiences, especially for foodies.

Aside from the wealth of quality restaurants they offer, you can also expect to find some rarer food-themed wine estate activities to enjoy.

For example, at estates like Le Lude, Antonji Rupert and La Motte, you can experience a delightful winelands high tea.

While other estates such as Boschendal, La Bri, Holden Manz and Mont Rochelle (to name a few) have incredible picnics on offer (available during the spring and summer seasons).

So go on, spoil yourself – and those you love – with a special picnic or high tea in the Franschhoek Wine Valley… We can assure you it will make your trip even more memorable!

Note: Prices vary per estate but advance booking is necessary for both wine farm picnics and high tea experiences.

Contact: +27(0) 21 876 2861, info@franschhoek.org.za

Website: franschhoek.org.za

Address:  Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa.

tamlynamberwanderlust.com
tamlynamberwanderlust.com

#3 Hike in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

The exquisite Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is where outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide head for their fresh country air and all-round nature fix.

Not only is it a sight for sore eyes, given how it is filled with so much natural flora and fauna – but the reserve also forms part of the Boland Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site.

This beautiful nature reserve offers a variety of different hiking trails to enjoy. Distances range from +/- 2 km to +/- 11 km (one way) so there is something for everyone to enjoy – depending on their free time, level of fitness and hiking passion.

Note: Hiking permits are R50 per person. Please also be advised that drones and dogs are not allowed within the reserve.

Contact: +27 (083) 270 7291, mont.rochelle@gmail.com

Website: www.montrochellehiking.co.za

Address:  Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa.

Mont Rochelle via Flickr
Mont Rochelle via Flickr

#4 Explore the Franschhoek Motor Museum

This immaculately maintained museum provides visitors with a rare opportunity to look back on over 100 years’ worth of fascinating and varied motoring history.

Through its incredible collection of motorcycles, vehicles, bicycles and various memorabilia, guests can enjoy viewing the evolution of the automobile.

Better still, you can book online to enjoy both the museum and other L’Ormarins and Antonij Rupert Estates, all in one go! Some things to look forward to include a Antonij Rupert high tea, wine estate tastings and vintage car rides.

Note: Advance online booking is recommended.

Contact: +27 (0)21 874 9002, fmm@fmm.co.za

Website: www.fmm.co.za

Address:  Franschhoek Motor Museum, R45, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa.

www.fmm.co.za
www.fmm.co.za

#5 Set your wheels spinning with Franschhoek Cycles

If you love cycling (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), even at leisure, then this one is especially for you.

Franschhoek Cycles offers both bicycle rentals and exciting guided tours, which allow you to experience the full beauty of Franschhoek on your own terms.

One of their more popular bicycles is the hybrid bicycle, which is perfect for cycling about town and visiting the local wine estates.

For families, children three years and up can also get in on the fun thanks to the dedicated kiddies’ bikes.

There is also something for the adrenaline junkies, as they have mountain bikes (with front suspension) available too… Additionally, Franschhoek Cycles also caters to corporate- and team building-groups.

Gab your helmet – and get those wheels spinning!

Note: Franschhoek Cycles provides a helmet with each rental. And, in addition to their rentals and guided tours, they also offer bicycle sales and repairs.

Contact: +27 (021) 876 4956, info@franschhoekcycles.co.za

Website: bicyclesouth.co.za

Address:  Franschhoek Cycles, Main Road 2, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa.

franschhoekcycles.co.za
franschhoekcycles.co.za

So… what are you waiting for? Head out and enjoy each of these five fantastic Franschhoek experiences… they are so worthwhile!

Top 20 Restaurants in Franschhoek 2017.

Fair Franschhoek is a region popular for many things: majestic mountains, top wine estates and of course, its French-inspired roots – but it’s also home to a selection of great restaurants.

Here are the top 20 restaurants in Franschhoek 2017:

#1 Haute Cabrière Restaurant & Terrace

Photo credit: Everett-John Mariano via Instagram

This iconic restaurant* is famed for its unique setting and breath-taking views, offered by its location against the Franschhoek Mountain. Its soaring arches and primarily summer terrace offer cathedral-like views of Pinot Noir Barrel Maturation Cellar and the valley below.

The seasonal menu features classically prepared dishes with a modern twist, and its cellar master and chefs work to marry good food and wine.

* (From 21 May to 31 August 2017, the restaurant and tasting room will be undergoing renovations.)

Contact: (021) 876 3688

Website: https://www.cabriere.co.za/restaurant

Address: Haute Cabrière, Lambrechts Road, Franschhoek, Cape Town

#2 Le Bon Vivant

At Le Bon Vivant, food is an experience. Chef-patron Pierre Hendriks and his staff invite you to journey with them and savour bold flavours and unique combinations, presented impeccably for your enjoyment.

Inspired by his training in classic French kitchens, Pierre’s recipes – which offer modern interpretations of classic lunch and dinner dishes – aim to surprise, whilst maintaining an exacting standard expected from a restaurant such as Le Bon Vivant.

Contact: (021) 876 2717

Website: http://www.lebonvivant.co.za

Address: 22 Dirkie Uys Street, Franschhoek

#3 Orangerie at Le Lude MCC

Photo credit: Le Lude

Chef Nicolene Barrow has, aside from formal training in Europe, worked at world-famous restaurants like London’s Gavroche Restaurant before her arrival at Le Lude. Now, at Orangerie restaurant, she prepares classical French cuisine, with a contemporary twist.

What’s more, Orangerie’s seasonal menu uses only the Cape’s finest and freshest ingredients, and meals are perfectly paired with Le Lude wonderful Method Cap Classique.

Contact: (021) 100 3464

Website: http://lelude.co.za/the-orangerie-restaurant

Address: Le Lude, Bowling Green Avenue (Lambrechts Road), Franschhoek

#4 Foliage

At Foliage, guests can expect anything from vegetarian dishes to nose-to-tail cooking. This farm and forest to plate-style restaurant is a wonderful experience in every way and comes highly rated by those in the food know.

(On 29 and 30 April, as well as 1 May and 20 August to 6 September 2017, Foliage will be closed.)

Contact: (021) 876 2328

Website: http://www.foliage.co.za

Address: 11 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek

#5 Pierneef a La Motte

Named for the famous South African artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, this restaurant, through its traditional cuisine, creatively reflects the beauty of South Africa, even as it offers a modern take on things.

Its unique food styles and diverse flavours have drawn inspiration from centuries of cooking – and with the talented chef Michelle Theron at the helm, you can be certain of delicious, quality meals in a fresh, natural-looking restaurant.

Contact: (021) 876 8800

Website: http://www.la-motte.com/experience/pierneef/

Address: R45 Main Road, Franschhoek

#6 Greenhouse Restaurant

Hidden away between oak trees, the appropriately named Greenhouse welcomes guests to rest as they enjoy delicious home-baked treats like cake, coffee, tea and fresh garden juices.

Greenhouse at Babylonstoren also offers proper meals, with artisanal breads, handcrafted cheeses and dressed meats, served with a selection of homemade goodies, including herb oils and garden salads.

Note: There is a R10 entry fee for weekdays and R20 (adults) and R10 (children under 12) entry fee for weekends and public holidays at Babylonstoren, which goes towards their local child education trust.

Contact: (021) 863 3852

Website: https://www.babylonstoren.com/experience/restaurants/greenhouse

Address: R45, Simondium, 7670

 #7 Ryan’s Kitchen

With an impressive career spent in Michelin schools around the globe, chef Ryan Smith was adamant that his own restaurant in Ryan’s Kitchen would only offer modern South Africa cuisine, driven by local and indigenous ingredients.

This unique space – which has a Chef’s Table’s kind of feel to it – offers an interactive kitchen and table concept. With limited seating inside (and out, if the weather’s good), attentive service is a guarantee.

Aside from their signature ‘Taste of Africa’ menu, Ryan’s Kitchen offers a smaller tasting menu. Note: Booking is advised.

Contact: (021) 876 4598

Website: http://www.ryanskitchen.co.za/

Address: 1, Place Vendome, Huguenot Road, Franschhoek

#8 Monnaeux Restaurant

Photo credit: Monnaeux Restaurant

Offering fine wine and contemporary cuisine, this acclaimed restaurant – located at the original site of Franschhoek’s first perfumery, which dates back to 1890 – is a classically Cape culinary affair.

Enjoy lunch out on the fountain terrace, or dine in style inside the elegant, yet soothing Manor House dining room. They also have a comfy bar lounge and great award-winning wines to make your visit truly memorable.

Contact: (021) 876 3386

Website: http://www.monneaux.co.za

Address: Huguenot (Main) Road, Franschhoek

#9 Restaurant at Le Petite Ferme

The restaurant at La Petite Ferme offers a unique culinary experience, brought to you by Neethling du Toit and Tanya Rousseau.

Only the freshest and best local ingredients are used, as the restaurant prides itself on serving high quality, delicious meals, aimed at satisfying every kind of customer.

The bistro, known as ‘The Delicatess’, also offers a lovely selections of globally inspired tapas.

Contact: (021) 876 3016

Website: http://www.lapetiteferme.co.za

Address: La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek Pass Road, Franschhoek

#10 The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal

Photo credit: Boschendal Wine Estate

Boschendal’s restaurants offer an array of authentic food experiences, with a focus on flavourful, nourishing farm-to-table food.

Under the careful guidance of executive chef, Christiaan Campbell, the Boschendal staff whip up mouth-watering meals… and this much is especially true of their flagship restaurant:  The Werf.

Located in the original, revamped Manor House cellar, The Werf offers contemporary dining and the freshest, finest farm-to-table cuisine, like fermented breads, brisket and lovely desserts. Note: Bookings are essential.

Contact: (021) 870 4206

Website: http://www.boschendal.com

Address: Pineal Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek

 #11 Allora

Allora Ristorante Classico is shaped around the idea of a traditional Italian village, with the restaurant’s focal points being the centrally based fountain and distinctive wood-fired ovens.

The menu offers artistically arranged meals, including seafood, poultry, meat, home-made pasta and thin-based Neapolitan pizza, as well as vegetarian options.

This casual, yet classy restaurant offers fine dining and a refined atmosphere, without feeling pretentious.

Contact: (021) 876 4375/6

Website: http://www.allora.co.za

Address: 32 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek Square, Franschhoek

 #12 ROCA Restaurant

Photo credit: Dieu Donne Vineyards

ROCA Restaurant, found on Dieu Donne Vineyards, serves delicious and exciting Mediterranean meals.

Their emphasis is on fresh, high quality local ingredients and respectful, yet unfussy food treatment and preparation.

It is also a great venue for functions, including events and weddings.

Contact: (021) 876 3384

Website: Uitkyk Street, Franschhoek

Address: www.rocarestaurant.co.za

#13 Cafe des Arts

Known as the spot where Franschhoek locals meet, this restaurant offers neither haute cuisine, nor fine dining. Instead, Café des Arts is a simple and rustic restaurant, with a relaxed atmosphere, where good food takes precedence over all else.

Their daily chalkboard menu – which changes according to availability, season and the chef’s mood – consists of ten or more items, with a meat, poultry, vegetable and fish dish always available on any given day.

Contact: (021) 876 2952

Website: http://www.cafedesarts.co.za

Address: 7 Reservoir Street West (behind FNB), Franschhoek

#14 Tuk Tuk Microbrewery

In early 2016, Leeu Collection and Cape Brewing Company (or CBC) – which is owned by Fairview’s Charles Back, Andy Kung and Swedish brewer Hendrik Dunge – joined forces to bring Franschhoek its first microbrewery.

This bespoke restaurant and microbrewery offers tasting menus paired with their great brews. Their food is primarily Mexican, with the likes of nachos and tapas on offer.

Contact: (021) 492 2207

Website: http://tuktukbrew.com

Address: 14 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek

 #15 The French Connection Bistro

This charming bistro-style restaurant is both welcoming and unpretentious in nature. Here, chef-patron, Matthew Gordon, offers a simple, yet delicious menu for all palates to enjoy.

With a concentration on fresh ingredients, you can enjoy a range of salads for lunch –including smoked chicken breast, with roasted beetroot, hummus and garlic yoghurt dressing – or pitas, and more substantial meals, like veal schnitzel. For dinner, tuck into crispy roast duck or fresh mussels.

Contact: (021) 876 4056

Website: http://www.frenchconnection.co.za

Address: 48 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek

 #16 Good Food & co

Good Food and co is a deli, which specialises in choicely cut meats, hand-crafted cheeses, artisanal charcuterie and grab-and-go meals too, owned by the go-getting Gauteng duo, Joey Stiglingh and Emmarentia Klassen.

The deli offers gluten-free bakes, whilst the premises itself offers banting-friendly products, A-grade meats, hand-made cheeses and free range meats from sources like Ryan Boon and others.

They also make platters for function and offer a restaurant menu, which includes salads, breakfast, burgers and fish, as well as a takeaway menu and ‘Doorstep Menu’, which allows you to order food for the week and have the meals delivered to your home.

There’s a great kids’ play area, making Good Food and co very child-friendly too.

Contact: (021) 876 3556

Website: https://www.goodfoodfranschhoek.com

Address: 13 Main road, Place Vendome Lifestyle Centre, Franschhoek

#17 Reuben’s Restaurant and Bar

Owned by famous South African chef, Reuben Riffel, Reuben’s Restaurant and Bar believes that food doesn’t need to be fancy to be delicious. Here, passion for creating uncomplicated cuisine and providing guests with a laid-back restaurant space prevails.

The menu offers firm favourites – as well as daily specials, which take advantage of the market’s freshest ingredients – with a great wine list to match.

Contact: (021) 876 3772

Website: www.reubens.co.za

Address: Uitkyk St, Chamonix Wine estate, Franschhoek

#18 Village Grill & Butcher

Photo credit: Village Grill & Butcher

This is the place for outstanding steaks, fresh take-home meats and great family-friendly dining.

Enjoy a cosy dinner indoors, a relaxed garden lunch or a sundowner on the veranda and don’t forget to visit the butcher’s counter.

They are also available for private functions and offer regular Winemaker’s Dinners and Wine Painting Workshops.

Contact: (021) 876 2344

Website: http://villagegrill.co.za

Address: Main Road, Franschhoek

#19 Lust Bistro & Bakery

Lust Bistro & Bakery – found on Vrede en Lust Wine Estate – will entice and tantalise you with its wonderful freshly baked artisan breads and other great food, offered up by patron chef and baker, Jean Pierre Smith.

Serving breakfast and late lunches, Lust Bistro & Bakery offers something for everyone to enjoy devouring, be it cakes fresh from the oven or mouth-watering chicken and beef dishes. Everything is fresh and tasty, without being pretentious.

On Sundays, you can also enjoy slow-cooked roasts, but for these Sunday Buffet lunches, booking is essential.

Contact: (021) 874 1456

Website: http://www.lustbistro.com/

Address: Vrede en Lust Wine Estate, Intersection of the Klapmuts Road and the R45, Franschhoek

 #20 Cafe BonBon at La Petite Dauphine

At Café BonBon, guests can presently expect light, healthy summer salads and some new additions to the existing menu.

Now, the menu more strongly embraces seasonal ingredients and means to showcase the region’s great produce.

The setting of this popular Franschhoek eatery is the delightful La Petite Dauphine, so you’re promised both good food and a pretty place to eat it at.

Contact: (021) 876 3936

Website: http://www.lapetite.co.za

Address: La Petite Dauphine, Excelsior Road, Franschhoek

 These and many other wonderful restaurants belong entirely to the Franschhoek Valley and make it even more of a special place to visit… and when you do, tuck in and be sure to enjoy every bite!