Yay, weekend! If you’re based in Cape Town, have a full talk of petrol and an empty few days ahead of you, why not follow in our footsteps and explore the wonderful town Franschhoek tucked in the wine-growing valleys of the Western Cape, as we did last weekend. Just 80km or so from the city, you’ll be there in just over an hour if you leave now… tell them I sent you! Start your engines, get set, go!
Of course these pics taken on our cameras didn’t even do the landscape and history-steeped buildings justice.
Click here to click through the galleries I added in my official review, which includes eye-wateringly beautiful pics of Le Quartier Français, its Tasting Room and the surrounds, all owned by the Leeu Collection.
Stop to sightsee on the way in
Before you know it that city bustle falls away and you’re surrounded by tall greenery and satisfyingly flat roads. You can capture stunning shots like this even with your phone camera, through the car windscreen, while moving. Yes.
Take note of moving vehicles, as they’re likely not what you’d expect. This is the wine tram at Rickety Bridge Winery – we stopped and watched in awe as the passengers stood up and changed the direction of the seat backs before the tram set off in the other direction. Very clever as it’s a single track.
So awed were we that we stopped in for a wine-tasting. Here’s proof that I was there. Sadly there’s no longer a ‘rickety bridge’ at the winery.
Husband with some of the lovely bottles he got to sample. R20 gets you six assorted samples.
A little later we simply had to stop the car again when we saw the relaxed setting at Good Food& Co as our tummies were rumbling. Isn’t this just the prettiest plate of pancakes you’ve ever seen? They were even more ‘lekker’ (manageress’ description, not mine) than they look, filled with sliced banana and caramel cream.
Even more delightful? Our drinks were served with a dinky little ‘amuse bouche’ cupcake. Husband is suitably impressed.
Of course you’ll play hide-and-seek while wandering through the shopping district a little further up the road. Yes, that is Husband just peeking out from behind the tree, teehee.
After a little stroll down the street you’ll want to stop and stretch those legs. Leeu Collection’s Tuk Tuk microbrewery is perfectly placed (and priced) to attract those weary strollers, on your way toward the Huguenot Monument side of the street.
Of course you’ll try out the R55 beer sampler of various CBC craft beers at the Tuk Tuk microbrewery. Husband’s favourite was the lager.
Who were we to refuse the friendly waiter who insisted on snapping a shot of the two of us inside the microbrewery? He took great care angling the camera, the lighting and us to get this shot. We had to move three times, I think, for this perfection. 😉
Beers sampled, we soldiered on down the road to take in the beauty of the Huguenot Monument. Undaunted by the locked gate, I simply hopped up onto the boundary wall for this shot, just before sunset.
Sleep over at Le Quartier Français and don’t miss the Tasting Room’s eight course, African-inspired menu
And then it was time to explore our location for the night – LQF or ‘Le Quaf’. Just look at that solar-heated pool. Those mountains in the background. All that dappled sunshine. T’was pure weekend bliss.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I’m partial to purple, so top marks for the plants fitting in with the colour scheme!
The playful garden decorations at the LQF pool.
Our blue door. Bright umbrellas too, just in case. We didn’t need to use them but it was a comforting thought knowing they were there.
The sweet patio set outside our windows.
The bed was deceptively large and the lighting cosy, especially when warmed by the crackling log fire in the room.
In case you thought those pancakes earlier didn’t quite fill me up, Husband was kind enough to brew a cuppa Lavazza coffee (the purple pod, if you must know) in the yellow Le Creuset cups we found waiting for us in our room.
Orange sightseeing cap replaced with red lippy, we were handed complimentary flutes of rose MCC on being seated at the Tasting Room. The bowl of white fluff is actually a black pepper-dish that melts onto the tongue. It was the first of many surprises.
Keen to get started on his eight-course pairing (yes, EIGHT courses, plus many tasty extras), Husband posed with the wire glass poised on our table. Much, much later – three hours later – we toddled back to our rooms for a peaceful, fire-crackly sleep.
Factor in a long, leisurely breakfast in the Living Room
Having already savoured a coffee in our room, I was ready to try the Living Room’s hot chocolate the next morning. It was a wonderful thing, which stayed pipingly hot throughout my meal – and I ate plate after plate of delicious food!
The ‘egg benedict’ on the breakfast menu is just that, a single egg poached, Hollandaised and served on porky heaven. That’s because you’re expected to also fill up on the breakfast buffet. Here’s why…
See the delightful continental breakfast buffet? Each item is carefully curated to add to your overall breakfast feast.
Take the long road home
We recommend taking a slow trip back home after your stay in Franschhoek. The ‘scenic route’ only takes a little longer and will have you stopping to sigh at the lovely photo-worthy bench at the very edge of the Haute Cabriere Wine Estate.
We took a picture from both sides of this frame as couldn’t decide which was the better shot. This ended up as the winner.
The long, windy mountain road almost guarantees you’ll take a handful of shots like this – cheesy grin above postcard-perfect shots of the Franschhoek valley.
There’s a helpful sign at the base of Franschhoek Pass that shows you’re only 740m above sea level. Pilot-minded Husband commented that’s only half the height of Lanseria.
That’s all, folks. I can’t recommend it enough. Thanks for stopping by, check in again next week for my next update. If you missed my overview of what to do in Stellenbosch last month,
click here. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Le Quartier Français and meals at the Tasting Room and the Dining Room were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.