Franschhoek’s biggest event takes place next weekend, the Bastille Festival being celebrated on 13 and 14 July, showcasing the food and wine highlights of the valley, and promises to be great fun. This year the 20th anniversary of the Franschhoek Bastille Festival will be celebrated.
The town will be decked out in red, white and blue, and a large marquee in the centre of town, just off the main road, between the church and the town hall, will be the focus of the Festival. Wines of the following Franschhoek wine estates will be available to taste: Akkerdal, Alleé Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Boschendal, Babylonstoren, Boekenhoutskloof, Dieu Donnè, Glenwood, Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Holden Manz, La Bri, La Chataigne, La Motte, La Petite Ferme, Leopard’s Leap, Maison Estate, Morena – Franschhoek Pass Winery, Môreson, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothchild Vignerons, Solms Delta, and Vrede en Lust.
Entrance to a VIP section of the marquee costs R550, and French wines will be available for taste too (booked out for Saturday already). Food will be available in the Marquee from the following restaurants:
- Alleé Bleue – Baguettes smoked chicken bed of herbs lamb
- Allora – Schwamas, pitas, soup, spring rolls
- Anthonij Rupert Wines – Bistecca Fiorentina – to be shared – platter style
- Backsberg – Lamb ciabatta
- Deluxe Coffee Works – Coffee
- Haute Cabrière – Mussels with choice of sauces and hand cut chips
- Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz – Pork belly sandwich and milk tart cones
- L’Ermitage – Crepes, savoury & macaroons
- Le Franschhoek Hotel – Samoosas & Macaroons
- The Kitchen at Maison – Biltong chorizo saucison
- Cosecha Restaurant at Noble Hill – Lamb Burger
- Reuben’s Restaurant – Braised beef bourgignon, aligot potato & creamy chicken & prawn curry, poppadum and homemade chutney
- Paulina’s at Rickety Bridge – mushroom gnocchi & seafood bisque
- Roca Restaurant – ribeye rolls
- Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms Delta – Calamari & prawns
- Wild Peacock – Oysters
- Franschhoek Hospice – Pancakes
Festival goers wear the French colours, and berets are the order of the day, available for sale at the Festival. The marquee has limited capacity, and is closed once the maximum number of guests is reached, very likely on Saturday.
The main road of Franschhoek is transformed into a market on the pavements, with food, beer, chocolates, cheeses, breads, fruit, and vegetables for sale outside the shops and restaurants.
There will also be a parade of floats representing the Franschhoek wine farms, the local Minstrel band will march through the village, the largest and longest running Boules competition of its kind will be held, there will be The Waiters’ Race, as well as the popular Porcupine Ridge barrel-rolling contest. A farmers’ market outside the Church Hall, craft market stalls, a Bastille Market in the Town Hall, musicians, and children’s activities form part of the Festival.
Two sporting events have been planned to co-incide with the Bastille Festival. On Saturday morning the Bastille Trail Run over 12 km, 22 km, and 35 km takes place, while on Sunday morning the Bastille MTB Classic is cycled over 10 km, 28 km, and 42 km.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage