When I visit Franschhoek, I love to revisit the shops in the village, and am always on the lookout to see what is new. A surprise discovery was the new Café Roca in the village, a hidden gem tucked away behind an art gallery, formerly the home of the now defunct Melissa’s. I loved it so much, that I went back on three consecutive days, Continue reading →
Franschhoek is celebrating the best of its white wines, Rosés, and MCCs at Franschhoek Summer Wines, to be held at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards tomorrow (Saturday 6 February) from 12h00 – 17h00. Continue reading →
Today is a day of announcements of property sales in Franschhoek, it would appear. This morning we announced that we have sold our Whale Cottage Franschhoek. Now it has been announced that Mr Aniljit Singh of The Leeu Collection has added Le Quartier Français to his property portfolio in Franschhoek, taking over from 1 September. It is a surprise for many that the hotel and restaurant property has been sold, if not a relief for many Franschhoekers!
Mr Singh fell in love with Franschhoek in 2010, when he visited Cape Town to attend the World Cup soccer. Last year he bought the Dieu Donné, Von Ortloff, and Dassenberg properties, creating a 21-bedroom 5-star luxury Boutique Continue reading →
The Franschhoek Bastille Festival is one of the most popular events held in this French Huguenot village, and this weekend (11 and 12 July) Franschhoek will be decked in red, white, and blue to celebrate its French roots. Even a mini Eiffel Tower is to bring Paris to Franschhoek this year!
The Franschhoek Bastille Festival Marquee will be set up next to the Franschhoek Huguenot Monument, with parking nearby. A number of Franschhoek restaurants will offer their cuisine, and Chef Marcus Continue reading →
‘Franschhoek Uncorked‘ has taken some time to take off, having been plagued by poor weather in the initial years. It has become a fun event on the Franschhoek events calendar, and now the seventh annual event attracts wine lovers to the village come rain or shine. This coming weekend (27 and 28 September) 21 wine estates will be attracting visitors to their farms, to show them how unique each of them is.
Each wine estate will offer tastings of their wines, included in the R120 fee for the weekend, foods for sale, some with art exhibitions, as well as musical entertainment, a unique offering by each farm.
The following wine farms will be showcased:
* Babylonstoren: wine and olive tastings, cellar tours, and a 3-course Pizza meal (R200)
* Noble Hill: Mexican foods, Hitichino Japanese craft beer, and wine tasting
* Rupert & Rothschild: tasting of Rupert & Rothschild wines as well as of Rothschild wines. Foods offered include French Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 4 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was good marketing for Franschhoek, known for its food and wine, combined with its beauty, being filmed on a perfect summer’s day. There was minimal, if any, Woolworths punting in the episode!
Hayden started his Franschhoek journey at the Huguenot Monument, erected in honour of the French Huguenots, ‘exiles‘ who picked Franschhoek to grow vines viewers were told, a bit of creative licence, as they were given the land. Hayden explained that the village name, which he pronounced close to perfectly, means ‘French Corner’. He said that the monument represents peace, agriculture, and viticulture, copywriting nonsense, as the monument (erected in 1948) represents religious freedom, something the Huguenots could only experience in Franschhoek, having to flee France. The village was previously called Olifantshoek, after the elephants roaming in the valley. The main road of Franschhoek was shown, and Hayden referred to it as having buildings with ‘French style architecture‘ (sic)! Continue reading →
Franschhoek is celebrating the 21 st anniversary of its Bastille Festival this weekend, and is adding a spicy new touch of the Seychelles to the festivities. The Festival has a brand new location in Franschhoek too.
The Food & Wine Marquee has been moved next door to the Huguenot Monument, where the Champagne Festival is held successfully, and will no longer be located in the village centre, as in the previous years. Entrance to the Marquee is limited, and in the past Saturdays have always been sold out in advance, at an entrance cost of R200, making it imperative to buy tickets in advance On Sundays it is easier to get into the Marquee, with the entrance price reduced to R180.
The Food & Wine Marquee will be home to 25 Franschhoek Vignerons, including Allée Bleue, Babylonstoren, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Bellingham, Black Elephant Vintners, Boschendal, Dieu Donné, Grande Provence, Haute Cabriere, Holden Manz, La Bri, Leopard’s Leap, Môreson, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothschild, Solms-Delta, Vrede & Lust, La Petite Ferme, La Motte, Akkerdal, Morena, and Glenwood. Ndlovu beer will also be available to taste. Local restaurants serving food are Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Grand Provence, Holden Manz, Le Franschhoek Hotel, Noble Hill, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta, L’ermitage, Bread & Wine, Reubens & Racine, and Wild Peacock.
The atmosphere on Franschhoek’s main road is electric and fun, with visitors wearing red, blue and white, and donning a beret, to get into the French spirit! Almost every business on the main road is draped in bunting in the French colours, and has a table of Continue reading →
* ‘People love our country and continue to visit South Africa‘, said President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address at the opening of Parliament last night. He set our country’s tourism target at 15 million visitors per year by 2017, with a revenue of R125 billion generated.
* TripAdvisor is testing amongst a sample of American hotels a new Question and Answer service on listed property pages, so that guests can request further information before they book, including for example questions such as the cost of a mini-bar, availability of tickets to attractions at reception, opening times of the pool, etc. Other travelers and the property can answer the questions. Hotels in the same town are not allowed to answer about another hotel in the discussion forums.
* Much admired and liked Eat Out Top 10 Chef Jackie Cameron from Hartford House is leaving the KwaZulu-Natal hotel at the end of July, to open Jackie Cameron’s School of Food and Wine in Hilton in January next year. Continue reading →
Indian businessman Analjit Singh has made a substantial investment in Franschhoek, buying three wine farms and a guest house. Last year Mr Singh bought a share in Mullineux Wines, now called Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.
In Franschhoek Mr Singh has bought the wine estates Von Ortloff, Dieu Donné, and the neighbouring Dassenberg, which will be consolidated into Leeu Dassenberg Estates. Fynbos is to be planted and alien vegetation to be removed. This will become the foundation for a new luxury boutique hotel, a spa, a winery, and a wine tasting facility, which will be run under the guidance of General Manager Matthew Smith.
Mr Singh has also bought the Rusthof guest house on the top of main road in Franschhoek, which will change its name to Leeu Rusthof Country Inn when it re-opens in summer, after refurbishments commence in July.
Mr Singh’s hospitality and property interests and new developments will be looked after for him by Hector de Galard. Mr Singh founded The Max India Group, which has interests in life insurance, health insurance, and health care. His local business investments have been made in his personal capacity, and he is using the ‘Leeu’ name, given that his surname means ‘lion’ in Sanskrit. He first came to our country during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and investigated investments at that time already. This led to his Continue reading →
* MasterChef USA is said to have been ‘cooking up a lie’, Chef Gordon Ramsay giving contestants cooking lessons prior to the filming of episodes, according to the revelations on the blog of a former contestant on the show. The producers responded that each contestant has access to information and to training. ‘Each home cook is given professional training before the challenges to ensure they can cook something decent when they start recording’, it was written. No such training has been given to MasterChef UK contestants however.
* Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with his counterpart in Saudi Arabia. No further details about the agreement are available.