Despite the dramatic electrical storm that surprised the Cape up over the weekend, temperatures in the region have steadily been climbing. A drive through the winelands now reveals a landscape in the throes of spring, a profusion of blossoms adorning the area’s fruit trees and pale, green buds unfurling at every turn. While there is no wrong time to visit the scenic town of Franschhoek, and every season has its own charms, the moderate months of September, October and November are particularly delightful. It’s sunny but not scorching, and the odd, delicious downpour lends a pleasing freshness to the green surrounds.
While winter can be very cold and summer, very hot, the in-between months create just about the perfect conditions for a restful break at Akademie Street Hotel. Feeling sticky after a long day’s wine-tasting? Dip into your own private, beautifully cool pool and then stretch out on one of the comfortable poolside loungers, close your eyes and let the world slip away. Afternoon turning chilly? The only thing for it is to fire up your own (again, totally private) hot-tub which is stacked with wood and kindling for your convenience and ready to be lit and enjoyed.
A very smart idea is to fire up the tub just before you head out for your evening meal. By the time you come back, the temperature will be perfect. Pour yourself a whiskey (all drinks are complimentary), lean back into the warm, welcoming water and look up at a ceiling of stars. It’s the perfect way to unwind before bedtime. Akademie Street Hotel is just off the main road, making it centrally located but also extremely quiet and peaceful. While you won’t hear a sound from your bedroom (other than the music coming from a conveniently placed speaker which pairs effortlessly with your phone), a short walk will take you to some of the most popular and sought-after restaurants. No need to take your car along, which is ideal if you’d like to enjoy a few glasses of wine over dinner.
Each room in the hotel has its own (again, stacked and ready to be lit) fireplace which is a delicious luxury if the region is undergoing a brief cold spell. Watching warm flames flicker from the comfort of your bed is one of life’s simple luxuries, and to be savoured. And when the only thing you have to worry about is whether, after a long and restful night’s sleep, to opt for the tasty Eggs Benedict or the Full English breakfast, well… you’ve done something right in your life.