Wine 101

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel offers a delicious MCC and a selection of carefully curated local Franschhoek wines under their own label.

Whether you’re the sort of wine enthusiast whose private cellar would make Robert Parker envious, or you simply enjoy a glass with your dinner but couldn’t discern a Pinot Grigio from a Chardonnay, the Franschhoek valley’s selection of wines caters to everyone’s taste. As you drive towards the town you’ll notice that many of the farms still bear their original French names, the word ‘Franschhoek’, of course, meaning ‘French Corner.’ When the Edict of Nantes was revoked by King Louis XIV in 1867, some 200 French citizens fled to the Cape to escape religious persecution.

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Spring Has Sprung!

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.

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Elephant’s Corner

Tourists migrate to the picturesque village of Franschhoek for its breathtaking scenery and world class hospitality, but not many know that this region of the Western Cape is also steeped in some fascinating history. Knowing a little bit of background when visiting this town adds a special nuance to the overall experience, and allows your imagination to take you back to what the area would have looked like in the mid-16th Century.

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Cosy in the Cold

One of Franschhoek’s best-kept secrets is the fact that winter is just as lovely as summer. In fact, better, some might argue. While hot afternoons by the pool and leisurely lunches under the oaks are what most visitors come to enjoy, the Western Cape’s cooler months are cherished by locals for their very special charm. Temperatures can drop and the odd bout of rain might fall, but inclement weather is always followed by a string of the kind of blue-sky, sunshiny days made for walks through scenic vineyards and cosy afternoons tasting wine beside a roaring fire.

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We’ve done it again! 

Akademie Street Announced as World’s Most Romantic Retreat at the 2018 World Boutique Hotel Awards

We are proud to announce that Akademie Street has been as named World’s Most Romantic Retreat for 2018 by the World Boutique Hotel Association. This comes off the back of last year’s award as World’s Best Boutique Hotel.

The 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards  were announced on 8th November 2018 at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, London. The annual ceremony brought together an array of boutique hotel owners, travel and lifestyle press and travel industry influencers from all four corners of the world.

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Valentino graced Zalszupin lounge suite

Valentino devotees will recognise our lounge suite, as it provided the backdrop for a famous New York photo shoot of the revered fashion designer before we purchased it. The clean silhouettes and chic lines of the set are the work of Polish designer Jorge Zalszupin, renowned for his sensually modern pieces. Zalszupin, who moved to Brazil after World War II, was to become one of the most prominent furniture designers in his field during the 1950s. Continue reading “Valentino graced Zalszupin lounge suite”

Oortuiging – a luxurious step back in time

Picturesque and historic Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and Akademie Street is synonymous with the growth of the town from its earliest beginnings. As the town has changed from an early settlement for French Huguenot refugees to an internationally renowned wine, gastronomic and leisure destination, so we have adapted and developed. Continue reading “Oortuiging – a luxurious step back in time”

Patrick Watson weaves his magic in Akademie Street’s Gardens

Indigenous South African plants provide the inspiration for our entire garden scheme. We wanted to create a unique experience for our guests, something true to the Western Cape and designed to thrill and inspire. We have such an intriguing range of natural beauty – from the effervescent, slightly citrus bouquet of pink hibiscus, to the butterfly friendly pincushion, the evergreen sweet pea bush and hardy Cape honeysuckle – that an English rose, or a Canadian maple would have been a disingenuous choice. Continue reading “Patrick Watson weaves his magic in Akademie Street’s Gardens”

Christiaan Barnard’s light still burns brightly …. but at Akademie Street!

When you visit award winning Akademie Street Hotel in Franschhoek make sure you wander inside our Orangerie and linger a while to appreciate our specially commissioned, 3 metre wide painting by a locally celebrated artist. It takes pride of place against the back wall of the Orangerie. One can easily appreciate the shere beauty of the painting, but if you don’t linger long enough you might just miss the most interesting aspect of all. It’s the way the painting is lit! For on the right hand side of the painting sits the very same operating theatre lamp used by Dr Christiaan Barnard in the world’s first ever heart transplant, exactly 50 years ago! Continue reading “Christiaan Barnard’s light still burns brightly …. but at Akademie Street!”

A Day in Table Bay

Widely regarded as the most beautiful city in South Africa, Cape Town is famous for its iconic mountain and foodie culture, offering up a smorgasbord of aesthetic and cultural treats for tourists and locals alike. A mere hour’s drive from Franschhoek, this multicultural destination isn’t one to be overlooked when next you’re in the valley. Continue reading “A Day in Table Bay”

Off to Market

The Cape Winelands are well known for their elegant wine farms, award-winning restaurants and jaw-dropping landscapes. But for the traveller looking to sample a little of everything the winelands have to offer in a single morning, there’s no better destination than one of the region’s ever-popular markets. Continue reading “Off to Market”