This past weekend was Father’s Day, and this week the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity award week in full, so it’s been a super busy time, as you’ll see from the snaps below.
We went car crazy with the dads and took in not just one car museum but two, visiting the Wijnland Auto Museum before our appointment at the Franschhoek Motor Museum, followed by lunch in Franschhoek town itself…
Friday, 15 June 2018: A work farewell
Friday was a dear colleague’s last day working with us so we went for an early team dins. See some of the snacks in office, my latte and shared slice of cheesecake at Derry’s on Carlyle in Vredehoek, and a group shot.
Saturday, 16 June 2018: News Cafe and Moyo eats and treats
It was a ‘News Cafe breakfast special’ kind of Saturday, see my early-bird English and cappuccino, as well as Husband’s flat white and bacon eggs benedict.
It was very wintery weather so we decided on the Moyo pulled-lamb linguine for an early dins. I had a vanilla latte, Husband had a Castle draught and we also splurged on a set of the Chief of Greatness ‘communal shooters’ – Skyy infusions vanilla vodka, roasted hazelnut extracts and Cape Velvet chocolate liqueur.
Sunday, 17 June 2018: Father’s Day at the Franschhoek Motor Museum and Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery
Bertie boy waiting for his dad to open his eyes so he could welcome him to Father’s Day with a big lick.
Oh, my heart! Little Miss Bass having a Father’s Day snuggle with her dad.
For Sunday breakfast, we stopped in at Village Place Cafe. See Husband’s eggy mince-on-toast, my berry-banana banting flapjacks and large caramel cappuccino – also the sweet mini cakes we spied, will have to go with enough belly-room for one next time!
The sun shone through the streaky clouds, making for the prettiest Sunday roadtrip sky.
Our first stop in convoy was the Wijnland Auto Museum in Paarl, on the way to Franschhoek. We saw it all, from the delightfully old…
To the very new! Not sure which road is wide-enough to accommodate this rocket-car, it’s quite something.
Ahh, Franschhoek! It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the country, especially in winter when they skies are grey, mountains blue and grass finally green from the much-needed rains.
We got to the Franshhoek Motor Museum bang on time, boarded the tram from the parking lot and were ready to take in even more motor vehicles in the greenest surrounds.
The Franschhoek Motor Museum’s entry area features this bright, Chapman’s Peak-inspired artwork.
Wine and art go well together, clearly. Some of the goods for sale in the Franschhoek Motor Museum’s main hall.
We were told at reception to make the ‘Food truck hall’ our first stop, and we’re nothing if not good at following orders. See the queue for Terbodore coffee, a bowl of truffle-mayo fries and more.
Next, we paused to watch a few cars go around the track. Some real beauts.
Several cars were whizzed around the track at a leisurely pace, but the big halls are the main attraction. Just took at these old beauties!
Each vehicle on display at the Franschhoek Motor Museum is worth a second look.
A quaint, glass-cased collection of model cars.
By then there was more then one rumbling tum, so we high-tailed it to Tuk-tuk Microbrewery in the heart of Franschhoek for some grub.
Tucking into Tuk-tuk food. See the bowl of salty chips we shared, two of the ‘dogs’ on special – a Mexican and a chorizo, as well as my chicken chimichangas and the fish tostado.
We also strolled along the main street and stopped in at Leeu House right beside Tuk-Tuk for the dads to take photos next to Madiba and Gandhi. Plus, chocolates!
Precious doglets under a blanket on their Granny’s couch, much later that evening.
Wednesday, 20 June 2018: Family dins at Bossa with Gords
Cannes Lions is one of the busiest, most stressful work weeks of the year, so I was fortified by headphones, coffee, and Kit-Kats that magically appeared on my desk. 😉
How beautiful! The dam at Mellish Welbeloond reflected the sunset sky when we drove past on Wednesday evening for family dinner at Bossa in Burgundy Estate.
This is what (some of us) came for – Stone-baked base pizza, burgers, beer and shakes. Yum!
Happy snaps of the family in eating mode. Gords was clearly down from Joburg for a visit, too.
See my mochaccino, as well as assorted burgers and pizzas. We finished everything between us, not a jot needed to be taken home in a doggy bag.
Gords’ view of the table. My happy Cape Town family! ❤
That’s all folks! Hope you have a restful, relaxing weekend ahead 🙂
This past weekend we had the opportunity to do a little pre-10th anniversary celebrating at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. I narrowed down the hundreds of photos we took to the following few, and hope they give you the sense that this was one of our most relaxing, fun and luxurious weekends yet…
Saturday, 12 August 2017: Wine-tasting at Mullineux and Leeu, Tex-Mex dinner at Tuk-Tuk, Leeu House Madiba selfies
Destination: Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, just 80km from Cape Town. Temperature: Cool, drizzly and wintery. Expectation levels: All-time high.
It’s all warm smiles at Leeu Estates, and nothing is too big an ask for the staff. Every single member of the ‘Leeu pride’ was as pleasant and helpful as can be. So much so that I was presented with a cappuccino and we were taken on a quick refresher tour of the property before even reaching our room. We were almost tempted to spend all weekend in the cosy reading room with fully stocked bookshelf, board games, cheerfully blazing fire and inviting chess board.
This pool, perfectly reflecting the cloudy sky, must be just the thing in Summer. Imagine taking a quick dip then relaxing on a lounger while the sun licks away those water droplets.
We also stopped in at the technogym and rivalled the gym bunny sculptures in our activity. Well, not quite…
We barely had time to get acquainted with our amazing suite before it was time to be golf-carted up to the Mullineux and Leeu wine studio on the property for a wine tasting. It’s a warm, bright space with crackling fireplace and wall of glass that make a winter wine tasting all the more pleasurable, with excellent storytellers to explain the origins of each varietal, and when we examined our room a little more closely we noticed two dinky bottles of wine waiting to welcome us – cheers!
The art-loving Leeu Collection’s Mr Singh’s presence is strong in the wine studio too, with this impressive giraffe at the entry as recently added as a week before our visit. I dare you not to take a height-comparison photo next to it, like we did.
Husband in his wine-tasting element.
Winter is a wonderful year to visit the Cape winelands. Just look at the way the grey sky brings out the rich greens of those very well trimmed hedges on the walk back to Leeu Estates through the Bokkie Garden.
Sentried rows of lovely greenery in the bokkie garden between the main Manor House and the Mullineux and Leeu Wine Studio.
This sculpture is titled ‘Reflective Resonance’. Husband couldn’t resist kicking off his shoes and mimicking the pose.
Clouds. Mountains. Lavender. Breath-taking.
We made the most of our stay by changing into swim gear and then braving the icy temperature to leap into the steam room, and once suitably heated up made a swift dash into the very slightly heated pool with view out towards the Franschhoek Mountains. Refreshing, to say the least!
It’s only when I took the plunge (literally) and fully immersed myself in the pool that I noticed the rainbow right outside.
I love a room with a view, but a bath with a view? That’s the ultimate. We’ll have to return once the water restrictions have lifted to actually have a soak in that tub and sigh over the view.
Husband did try out the shower though, and had a wonderful gown-whisky-balcony moment in the break between swimming and dins.
One of the best balconies we’ve had the pleasure of relaxing from. Just look at that view!
We enjoyed that outside view so much that we barely snapped any pics of the inside of our suite, alas. See the bed and lounge on top, and the main lounge below where we spent a few minutes before dinner time.
Before we knew it, the complimentary Leeu Collection shuttle was ready to take us 2km into Franschhoek town for dinner at Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. It was well-lit, warm and completely buzzing when we got there at 7pm, so we were pleasantly surprised that service was super speedy.
Instead of the standard wine tasting you can do a beer tasting at the Microbrewery, either of CBC’s brews (my bru) or of Tuk Tuk’s own brand of ales. Food-wise, everything is tasty Tex-Mex – note my impressively plated cheesy nachos with side of pulled beef, Husband’s manageable burger and fries and see how the photo of all the liquid on our table was photographed.
For dessert, the churros with rich, warmly dripping dipping sauce are a must.
We had time for a quick after-dark stroll down the street to pose at the Madiba statue at Leeu House and greet the scary rabbit we remembered from our previous stay at Le Quartier Francais before the shuttle arrived to ferry us back to Leeu Estates for the night
Back in our room, Husband took full advantage of the underfloor heating, was impressed by the remote-controlled fireplace, and took in the pretty lights from the balcony before I noticed the cleaning fairies had left us a pre-anniversary surprise of tasty bedtime treats that we savoured right away and a bottle of MCC (which we brought home to crack open on our real anniversary).
Sunday, 13 August 2017: Breakfast at Leeu Estates
We were dressed and down in the restaurant for breakfast by 8am, in time to watch the sun rise through the adjacent glassed-in Conservatory.
Breakfast the next morning was another delicious experience. Just look at the buffet spread, Husband’s masala omelette and my blueberry flapjacks, all lit by the morning sun once it popped its sleepy head over the mountains.
Other sculptures to look out for if you visit Leeu Estates. They add a delightfully quirky touch to the stay.
That’s all, folks! It was over in a flash, but the memories are something we will savour for a very long time. Keep your eyes peeled for my official review on Biz.
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Leeu Estates and Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery were part of our review package. Click through for a reminder of our previous stays at Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Francais and Leeu House.
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.