One of my favourite places close to Cape Town and where I lived for a short year, is Franschhoek! A small town nestled about 45-minute drive from Cape Town city and is known as the food Capital of the Western Cape.
The town’s original name was Olifantshoek (meaning ‘elephant corner’), a reference to the large herds of elephants that used to migrate into this sheltered valley. It later became Franschhoek (or ‘French corner’) after 176 French Huguenot refugees were settled here back in 1688 by the Dutch East India Company. The town has retained its name as well as the French atmosphere throughout.
I started my drive through the Helderberg Mountain, which is one of many picturesque ways to access Franschhoek. It is an incredible drive with stretches of winding road, offering specular views of the mountain range and all the award winning wine farms.
As you enter Franschhoek, large oak trees frame the road and you feel transported into a French country village. Continuing all the way down to the Huguenot Memorial Monument at the T-junction, quaint shops, boutique hotels and award winning restaurants line the main drag.
Lauren in FranschhoekThe beauty of
The beauty of Franshhoek is that although there are many activities, festivals and wine farms to explore, there is nothing wrong with spending your days lounging around sipping on delicious wine and enjoying the views from your villa or hotel.
Festivals to note:
Bastille Day – July – Bring your reds, blues and white and join the town and its visitor’s for delicious food and delectable wine.
Cap Classique and Champagne Festival – end of November – Celebrate the beauty of bubbly with different themes each year. This is the highlight of the year’s festive calendar.
All that being said, you need to experience the town first hand to feel it’s true magic 🙂