This past weekend we were in Franschhoek as you’ll see from the snaps below – it was so difficult to trim them down to these favourites!
If you’re heading that way, we definitely recommend stopping in at the Wijnland Auto Museum and Butterfly World, and explore the lovely lemony Franschhoek Country House (FCH) and Monneaux…
Wednesday, 16 May 2018: Sunset dins at Doodles on the beachfront
We had a sneaky mid-week dinner out at Doodles and were in awe at the sunset, as seen from various angles.
Friday, 18 May 2018: Meltwater #BizBreakfast at Park Inn Radisson
I rarely get to attend events with colleagues, so it was a treat to spend part of last Friday morning with one of my favourite coworkers. Once we’d gone up 10 floors by lift at the Park Inn Radisson we stepped onto the balcony to admire the view, and what a view it was!
More of the balcony views, also the delicious breakfast snacks and the excellent presentation itself on social storytelling – click here for my full overview if you missed it on Bizcommunity.
We had time for a quick post-event catch-up session with industry friends before heading back to the office.
Saturday, 19 May 2018: Stop at Wijnland Auto Museum, stay at Franschhoek Country House, dine at Monneaux
A sweet moment with Bertie boy before we started all our weekend activities. Love that dog!
First stop – collect parents to drop off at the airport. Once they’d checked in for their flight to Joburg, we had time for a quick breakfast at the Wimpy with views of the runway. See various coffees and the flapjacks with cream and fruit salad.
Next, tim for our weekend away, and what’s a road trip without snacks? It was a cold, grey day so hot drinks were in order. This is a mochaccino and British ‘chocky bickies’ from when we dropped off the doglets at their GrannyGrampa for the night.
We stopped in at the Wijnland Auto Museum (not the main Franschhoek Motor museum you’re thinking of). It’s filled with rusted relics and shiny new vehicles alike. Bonus: You don’t need to make an appointment ahead of time!
The grounded airplane was the main attraction for Husband – he’d seen it from the main road outside and we had to do a capital U-turn to go back and find the entrance. See how he climbed all the way through into the cockpit – you’re allowed to do so.
Autumnal scenes on the road into Franschhoek town.
You’re bound to see the wine tram when you’re in and around Franschhoek. We saw various versions of it in various locations on our way into town and even waved at the happy travelers from the pool later that evening. It’s still on our Franschhoek bucket list!
It was the weekend of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) so there were book-lovers around every drizzly corner and queues at all the eateries and markets, we felt quite lucky to be staying slightly out of the main hustle and bustle of town. Will tackle the FLF another time!
Franschhoek Country House holds all the lemons and French country charm you could ever want. It’s like a painting.
It’s hard to miss Franschhoek Country House from the Huguenot Main Road, just look for lemon with touches of turquoise and you’re there! There are lemons everywhere you look, from the trees to bowls in every room – even the restaurant powder room – it’s really a delicious sight.
The space we stayed in was just gorgeous. Look at those old-school high ceilings, the plentiful fruit bowl, and even the candlesticks next to the not-to-be-used bath tub.
The doorbell chimed and we were presented with the most wonderful welcome plate of food fresh from Monneaux, along with flutes of bubbly to ease into ‘weekend away’ mode. It certainly did the trick!
Fountains fountains everywhere. Note Husband examining them far off in the distance.
Despite the chill in the air we braved the cold pool, as that makes the slightly heated pool seem a little warmer than it is. Also see the poolside table with the most delicious lemonade, garnished with mint leaves and cucumber slices. So yum!
We’d been told it was ‘happy hour’ on selected beverages until 5pm – add in pretzels and salty peanuts, also the Royal Wedding on TV and we were there like bears.
Sunset over the mountain from various angles, made even more delicious with a cup of coffee and rusk from our room.
M is for Monneaux! The on-site restaurant is definitely worth a visit, whether you’re staying at Franschhoek Country House or further up the road. See here the baked camembert salad, the spicy mussels and the lamb on gnocchi. All the words coming to my full review on Bizcommunity!
Cheers to dinner at Monneaux! Our table was strewn with white rose petals – we’d seen them being plucked while enjoying our swim earlier that evening. Also see the smoked octopus in dashi stock from the Petit Assiette menu, and the linefish mains topped with a prawn.
Don’t mind if I do take a sip or two… just some of the lovely wines we sampled while dining at Monneaux, all from the Franschhoek valley.
Dessert! See the sorbets with meringue discs; chef’s creme caramel with flecks of vanilla; a delicious cappuccino; the apple tart tatin with blue cheese compote; and the end-of-meal dense chocolate truffles.
The little nighttime luxuries at Franschhoek Country House are so sweet. These range from the ‘I need some me time’ message on the door hanger to a tiny chocolate left on the pillow with the next day’s weather forecast; and slippers left at the turned-down bed. Of course, we also lit the fire and spent a while in front of its warmth – though there’s also underfloor heating, so you may well find yourself sitting on the floor (out of choice)!
This is the selection of ‘gownie shots’ I have to work with. Not easy to come by as gowns are only available by special request from reception, and by the time we took the snaps Husband was done with posing nicely and smiling on demand. Lol!
Sunday, 20 May 2018: FCH breakfast buffet; visit the animals at Butterfly World
Taking in that ‘just been rained on’ view with a quick coffee brewed in the room before heading down for breakfast.
What a breakfast spread! See various cold meats and cheeses, freshly cut fruits, yoghurts, and cereals – I couldn’t resist a scoop of the bright pink Strawberry Pops!
From the hot breakfast menu, we opted for filter coffee and the waffle with bananas, bacon and berries (me); and glasses of juice with the eggs benedict, topped with both spinach and folded ham (husband). Also, look at the tiny bite-size croissant!
Taking a slow stroll back to our room. Note Husband is in long pants and covered shoes during the day here, a rare sighting that tells you it was pretty darn chilly.
Once we’d checked out, we couldn’t resist this road that whispered, “Follow me…”
We made what we thought would be a quick detour to see the Butterfly World tropical garden, but there’s so much more than that on the grounds that we stayed a good two hours. See Husband enjoying a plate of curry and rice while it drizzled.
There’s lots of lush greenery and birdies flitting around along with the butterflies. Also, many interesting take-away trinkets to look at.
We braved the rain (there are clear umbrellas to collect before stepping outside) and you can just see the butterflies drying out.
While the butterflies were lovely, they flitted around so fast we couldn’t take any pics. There are so many sweet rescued animals all around though that before you realise it, you’ve spent hours wandering around in awe at nature.
Look at the little critters! Some were friendly, some were shy, all were precious. We have a video of the birdie scratching it’s way over Husband’s arm and then leaping scarily at my shiny phone.
That’s all, folks! Hope you have a relaxing weekend. Cheers!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Franschhoek Country House and Monneaux were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
This past week took an age to get through. Perhaps because we’re finally in February and January’s always the longest month, what with transitioning back into ‘work mode’ after the end-of-year break.
Here’s what we’ve been up to since my last update…
Friday, 26 January 2018: Meltwater webinar presentation
Look at me, looking nervous/excited/relieved with Philippa Dods, Meltwater’s amazing marketing coordinator for India, Middle East & Africa last Friday, after a successful PR webinar presentation. No need for FOMO if you missed it, just click on this link to the recording so you can catch-up!
Saturday, 27 January 2018: Sweet treats at Sweet Loaf, brotherly dins at Catch22
We started our weekend at Wimpy in Bayside as we had a few weekend admin chores to do while there. And surprise, soon after we ordered my parents also ended up there for breakfast! I enjoyed my regular Wimpy coffee and toasted cheese on a stick. Husband had the streaky bacon breakfast with extra cheesegriller (as did Dad), while Mum went for the avo-toast. A good start to the day!
We also did some motorbike-gear pricing at Sable Square and stopped at Sweet Loaf for a quick treat – everything sells for R11, whether you want a cappuccino, can of Cola, mini-cake load or palm-size pie.
Aww! Little Miss Bassie was such a happy girl when we popped in at her grandparents’ house that evening for some tech assistance.
Bertie was also eager to share his affection with his dad. Big licks!
Spec was spending the night with us so after a quick unpack at our house we headed off to Catch22 for dins. See Husband enjoying his glass of red top-left, my gingerbread latte top-right, Spec with his Amstel bottom-left, and Husband and me in front of the tropical paradise painting outside bottom-right. T’was so bright, we needed to wear sunnies.
And the food? Oh boy was it good! See group photo top-left, full table of food bottom-left, that day’s specials in the middle my buccaneer beef burger topped with bacon and cheese top-right and Husband’s baby kingklip with veg bottom-right. Spec went for the linefish with calamari special. All delicious!
Later that evening we walked down the beach to see the kite-surfing competition in action – it was suitably windy!
Sunday, 28 January 2018: Husband’s family birthday lunch at Bossa
The little ones were happy to pose with me on the couch as my coffee was in a doggy-patterned mug so they felt right at home. As they should, as they were at home. Teehee.
For the first time in many years, we all live in the same city so could do a combined birthday lunch for Husband. See the eisbein with roast veg with parents shared top-left, the pizza me and father-in-law ate top-right, dad’s strong flat white bottom-left (and he had a Black Label draught before that, so his placemat was accurate), with a full family shot bottom right.
Once we’d had time to digest lunch, we stopped off at Husband’s favourite sea-swimming hole for his weekly dunk.
We stopped in at Table Bay Mall for a spot of birthday shopping and a treat in the form of Milky Lane ice creams, mmm! Husband’s is plain vanilla with caramel topping and assorted syrups, mine is the berry-meringue whizzer.
Monday, 29 January 2018: Husband’s 38th birthday
Here’s the first batch of ‘kisses with the birthday hat’ photos. The doggies were keen to join in but seemed shy once we started taking the pics.
These are our attempts while sitting on the couch. If i was licking Bertie’s head in the bottom-left pic (I’m not, I’m blowing Husband a kiss but Bertie angled himself in such a way that it looks like Bass is licking my hand, I’m licking Bertie’s head and he’s licking his dad’s chin.) Crying with laughter!
Tuesday, 30 January 2018: Office donuts and owlie mugs
When clients cancel Tuesday meetings and send through apology donuts (from Dunking Donuts, else they’d be ‘doughnuts’), we share. Also, meet my new hipster owl office mug – disinterested deer has bitten the dust.
T’was also the day I did a video interview in the Barclays Rise space in the Woodstock Exchange. I’ll share the link to that interview next week. For now, see the interesting surrounds.
Wednesday, 31 January 2018: Waffles on a stick at the Big Bay Summer Market
It’s been a while since the last ‘I love Big Bay’ food and craft market, usually held at the Big Bay Lifesaving Club at Eden on the Bay on the last Wednesday of every month. It was a very windy day so we didn’t stay very long.
Various shots of me with my waffle on a stick, also see my potato wedges topped with paprika and parmesan top-left. Yum!
Look at the choices! All were fresh and chocolate-y but I went for the ‘Astronaut’, as it was covered in mini-Astros and looked like an edible Christmas tree. Yum.
Thursday, 1 February 2018: #NespressoOnIce pop-up shop at work
The NespressoOnIce truck is conducting a road trip across the country and stopped in at our office on Thursday afternoon. We were thrilled to try a few of the iced coffee options as it was a very hot day.
That’s all, folks! Have a relaxing weekend 🙂