Winter’s here, and Franschhoek’s soaring peaks are now sporting that tell-tale dusting of snow so typical of the colder months. And whilst the region is perhaps best known for its summer offerings, there’s an undeniable charm about winter’s chillier climes, when the valley takes on a magical, almost ethereal air. Continue reading “Winter Fun in Franschhoek”
Surrounded by imposing mountain ranges and tucked away in the heart of the winelands, Tulbagh is perhaps the region’s best-kept secret, quietly relishing its status as an undiscovered gem. Continue reading “Tantalising Tulbagh: Exploring Franschhoek’s historic counterpart”
A not-so-sleepy university town surrounded by lush vineyards, mountainous nature reserves and oak-shaded streets, Stellenbosch is best known for its viticulture, culinary clout and thriving student life. Continue reading “Stellar Stellenbosch: Exploring Franschhoek’s sister valley”
It’s hard to define exactly what makes a space special. Is it the building itself? Perhaps it’s the memories you’ve made within its walls? Or perhaps, it’s the knowledge – be it conscious or subconscious – that every inch of a room is bursting with stories. Continue reading “Every seat has a story | Part Two”
Whilst Franschhoek gets most of the acclaim when it comes to South African wine country, it’s far from being a town in isolation. In fact, just a short drive in each direction reveals a variety of other charming villages and towns, each of which boasts its own distinct character. Continue reading “Picture perfect Paarl – Exploring Franschhoek’s Northerly Neighbour”
As the days become shorter, the nights longer, and we wave goodbye to long, lazy, lunches on sun drenched terraces, it can be very tempting to hibernate indoors until summer comes knocking again. Continue reading “Warding off the winter blues: Three of Franschhoek’s Finest Winter Eateries”
They say that everything has a purpose, and a story that goes along with it. At Akademie Street, we’ve built our home on a thousand stories, scouring the globe for the most interesting and unique pieces to form its building blocks. Continue reading “Every seat has a story”
You may have noticed a slight nip in the air, but don’t be fooled – things are heating up in the Franschhoek valley this autumn. Over and above the usual plethora of eateries, wine farms and art galleries available all year round, May brings with it a series of sought-after events guaranteed to delight lovers of food, literature and music. Continue reading “Franschhoek Festivities – Four reasons to visit the valley this May”
Franschhoek has never suffered from a shortage of cultural offerings, its bars, cafés, vineyards and restaurants well acquainted with international acclaim. But even the world’s most well-established hot spots need a face lift from time to time. Continue reading “Franschhoek favourites – four new must-visit places to add to your agenda”
There’s a pinch in the air and tell-tale signs of a season change on the breeze – yep, it’s becoming quite clear that summer is ready to bid us all adieu. But while you might be thinking that a holiday is a dish best served hot, think again! There’s still plenty of sunshine on offer in the Franschhoek Valley, so don’t slip into hibernation mode just yet. Continue reading “Fall in Franschhoek: Five Autumn Activities To Add To Your List”
Franschhoek might be best known for its wine, but it’s safe to say that nobody’s day should start with a crisp glass of Chardonnay, no matter how delicious it might be.
For those looking to make the most of their mornings in the valley, there are plenty of atmospheric, enchanting cafés at which to acquire your caffeine fix, many of which offer up decadent side servings of tarts, cakes and other treats guaranteed to get your morning off to a sweet start.
Winter’s on its way, and as the leaves in the Franschhoek valley slowly start to shift from green to shades of amber, it’s time to wave goodbye to summery cocktails and crisp white wines in favour of heartier, more robust reds. Continue reading “Wining in winter – Franschhoek’s finest reds”
It goes without say that no visit to Franschhoek would be complete without a wine farm pilgrimage or two – after all, the valley is home to no fewer than 50 world-class wineries, all of which come complete with decidedly above-average vistas.
Of course the one downside of wine tasting, particularly for more enthusiastic participants, is getting from Point A to Point B, something that can prove fairly treacherous a few stops into the journey.
Quaint, historic streets and sweeping mountain vistas make Franschhoek an obvious location for couples in search of a romantic break from the big city. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that ambience is all that’s on offer.
While there’s no better place to simply relax and soak up the whimsical surrounds, Franschhoek makes a great spot for a couple’s rendez-vous irrespective of your inclinations, offering up outdoor adventures, spectacular gastronomic experiences and plentiful pampering options.
Continue reading “Franschhoek A Deux – Your Ultimate Romantic Itinerary”
The summer heat might be slowly ebbing away, but there’s still plenty of balmy weather in store for the Franschhoek valley. As the mercury slips to more manageable levels, the great outdoors become even more appealing, with the spectacular surrounds of the winelands offering up the perfect setting for an al fresco picnic.
Thanks to the numerous markets, delis and farm stalls in the region, staging your own gourmet picnic is a fairly easy undertaking, but if you’re looking for an extra special day out, there are a few spectacular spots you simply shouldn’t miss.
Continue reading “Al Fresco Franschhoek – Top Picnic Spots To While Away Summer”
To walk the streets of Franschhoek is to step into another world, one steeped in 329 years of rich Huguenot history. Between the quaint streets and ornate Cape Dutch architecture, it’s quite easy to feel as though you’ve taken a step back in time, to an age where life was peaceful, and the ultimate joys were derived from sipping the perfect wine or spending quality time with loved ones.
While many centuries have passed since the first Huguenots settled Franschhoek, the town’s old world charm and rich heritage remain very much intact, and there are plenty of intriguing artifacts dotted around the valley that beg to be explored.
Continue reading “Exploring Huguenot History – Franschhoek’s Historic Spots Uncovered”
Franschhoek and wine have been synonymous ever since the French Huguenots settled in the valley back in 1688, bringing with them a flair for viticulture that has since seen the formation of one of the most accoladed wine growing regions in the world.
Thanks to its dry and sunny Mediterranean climate, Franschhoek’s grape growing conditions are near perfect, and the valley is home to vast swathes of vines, producing everything from Chenin Blanc to Shiraz.
Franschhoek is a place well known for its culinary attractions, drawing countless visitors to its vineyards and eateries in search of epicurean nirvana. Yet despite the town’s relatively small size, there’s in fact plenty more on offer for those keen to venture off the beaten track.
Known only to locals and regular visitors, Franschhoek’s more offbeat attractions cater to art lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and even petrol heads, with a diverse range of unexpected and well guarded secrets for the intrepid traveller to explore.
Home to some of South Africa’s finest eateries, Franschhoek is widely regarded as the country’s gourmet capital, offering up a wide variety of culinary experiences unmatched elsewhere. From five-star dining to cosy coffee shops and casual bistros, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes in this verdant valley.
But where to start? After all, unless you’ve planned a month-long stay, you’re unlikely to make it to all the town’s most talked about hotspots. Luckily, help is at hand, and we’ve handpicked some of our favourite foodie destinations to help make those all-important gastronomic decisions a little bit easier.
While the culinary attractions of Franschhoek might be what draw the crowds, there’s far more to this beautiful little town than food and wine. Surrounded by some of the most scenic landscapes this side of the equator and blessed with close to 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, Franschhoek is custom-made for the outdoor enthusiast.
Whether you’re an MTB maniac, cycling enthusiast or just an avid wanderer, there’s no better way to get acquainted with Franschhoek than on two wheels. Quiet country roads, spectacular mountain passes and panoramic vistas beckon the adventurer in you to get saddled up and start exploring.