Franschhoek Wine District

Franschhoek Wine District

I can safely say this was the most luxurious stop on our African trip so far. The wine district is an unreal experience and even comes with it’s own Franschhoek wine tram tour. Could you possibly ask for anymore.

This area of Cape Town was without doubt, the most picturesque in terms of landscape and idyllic countryside. The drive out from the city took about an hour and as soon as we left the developed hub, we were spoilt with the sweeping mountains and valleys of the beautiful winery district.

When we were planning the trip months before, we tossed up between the two main wine regions, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Although I’m sure both are just as beautiful as each other, we were delighted with our choice. We heard from other visitors who were staying in Stellenbosch, that yes it was breathtaking but it was further out from the hustle and activity of the little town and the activities available in the region.

If you are heading to Cape Town and within reach of this pocket of paradise, you MUST put it on your travel list…even if only for a couple of nights. We had 2 full days and 2 nights and it was enough time to immerse ourselves in the tranquillity and take full advantage of all this region has to offer.

The Hotel

Accommodation

Our stay at Franschhoek Country House was luxury with nothing spared and we got the royal treatment from the moment we arrived.

While we waited for our room to be ready (we did arrive a little early), we were taken to a stunning sun room overlooking the immaculately manicured gardens, to relax. A waiter took our drink orders and returned in minutes, with our barista made coffees. I could certainly have gotten used to that life!

As we explored our surroundings, we weaved our way along cobbled footpaths lined with lemon and lime trees. There was only a small number of country houses and villas on this property and we only ever saw a few other couples throughout our whole stay…felt like a private destination all to ourselves at times!

The room itself was huge and furnished with an elaborate fire place, private balcony and an elaborate bathroom. In addition to all the space in the rooms, there was a communal lounge quarter in each of the country houses (there were about 3-4 rooms per house). In the evenings, the fire was lit in this area and there was a fresh bottle of port set out each night on our return from dinner…an indulgence we took full advantage of!

The Pool

The pool area is certainly worth a mention due to the attention paid to it throughout the day and the facilities the resort provided. There were two pools, one heated and the other heated naturally (it was one to wake you up in the morning!). There were fresh towels in baskets by the poolside and lots of very comfortable sun loungers (no need for that dash to the pool each morning with your towel!).

While we lazed by the pool on our first day in the resort, we were regularly checked in on by the very attentive staff and even had lunch served to us by the pool. As well as having the luxury of ordering any drinks we wanted to be delivered to us throughout the day, there was also a complimentary refreshments table set up under a pergola by the pool with still and sparkling water, home grown lemons and limes as well as freshly made lemonade…seriously, who doesn’t need this in their life!

Hotel Extras

Each day there was a complimentary evening drinks reception held in one of the sunrooms. We sipped on our choice of drink and nibbled on some tasty snacks each evening before heading back to our room to freshen up before dinner. As the on-site restaurant was of award-winning calibre, we didn’t have to go very far to dine in style (further details below).

Breakfast each morning was served upstairs in one of the reception villas overlooking the charming gardens, silhouetted by the distant mountains and rising sun…pure perfection. We had a large selection of hot menu options as well as a great variety of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurts, breads, meats and pastries in the generously prepared buffet. Fresh juices and barista made coffees were the perfect pairings to keep us fuelled until the late afternoon.

Tip:We had a very early check-out on the day we left Franschhoek, we were departing before breakfast. The staff were more than happy to take our breakfast orders the night before and had our meals delivered to our room in the early hours of the morning so we could eat while we finished packing…service with smile!

Restaurant

As we were lucky enough to have such an incredible restaurant on our doorstep, we didn’t even need to leave the resort at night to have dinner. There were so many delicious options on the menu, that we were only delighted to be able eat there twice to sample more of what they had to offer.

The award-winning Monneaux restaurant, located in the original manor house, is elegantly decorated with a warm and inviting ambiance. The menu is a selection of ‘small plates’ served in a series of courses. Richie being a chef, and totally food obsessed, was in heaven. It was the perfect menu for any appetite as the waiters recommended 3-5 courses each but on the night we had eaten a later lunch, we opted for fewer courses and were still full. There were so many tempting options on the menu that even over the two nights we didn’t try everything (the perfect excuse to return, right?!)

We had a variety of meals in the Monneaux restaurant but our stand-out picks were definitely the steak with béarnaise and hand cut chips, chicken and prawn curry with sides and condiments, and tempura prawns with kimchi and lemon aioli. The dark chocolate tart with white choc mousse for dessert was the decedent finish that we couldn’t resist!

Tip: There was a great choice of gin cocktails and the ones we tried were delicious…definitely worth tyring a few! And if you prefer a beer, the local brew is a must…cheers!

Things To Do

Apart from soaking up the lavish atmosphere and relaxing in complete luxury, there was plenty to see and do in this winery heaven.

Something we didn’t realise in time, was that the town itself is a little hive of activity and well worth an afternoon wander. Pop in for a look as it has lots of interesting cafés and restaurant options and quirky shops to wander through.

Our resort had bicycles for rent or a complimentary shuttle service that could take residents to and from the town so perhaps enquire about similar options if you feel like exploring.

Franschhoek Wine Tram

What a memorable and relaxing day…being carried from one amazing winery to the next with our only concerns being which estate would be our next stop! The Franschhoek wine tram was going to bring us a happy day.

The tour we took was operated by Franschhoek Wine Tram and has 5 different routes, with between 7 and 9 stops on each, where you can choose to stop at any 6 wineries of your choice. Each stop had tasting selections and some had delicious food or snack options (the program you get with your ticket has all the information you need for planning stops to suit your individual interests). Our initial stop was at the Eikehof estate. This was an inviting, boutique family winery with a backdrop of postcard quality. The sweeping vines ran as far as the eye could see only to be met on the horizon by a backdrop of striking mountains. We chose not to do a tasting here as it was a little early but enjoyed the complimentary glass as we strolled through the vineyard and listened to the proprietor share the estate’s history.

One of our favourite stops was the Dieu Donne winery. We decided to make this stop as it was the highest point up the mountain on our route and we had seen on the program that there was a restaurant here too. It was the perfect way to break up our afternoon as we went for the wine tasting option and accompanied it with a cheese board…certainly a cheese board worthy of mention!

The Rest

And so, it’s with a head full of incredible memories, that I come to the end of this post, we really enjoyed writing about the Franschhoek wine district. I hope some of this information can be of help to anyone considering a trip to this unique paradise or that perhaps we have ignited an interest in you to pay a visit.

Thank you for taking the time to read our post and we would love for you to check out our earlier posts on the previous stops we made on our African adventure.

We hope to see you again soon. And hopefully it could be sipping on a pinotage in this wine district and tearing around the Franschhoek wine tram.

We had the pleasure of travelling around Cape Town also before moving on to Franschhoek. it’s well work add that to a trip.

33 thoughts on “Franschhoek Wine District”

  1. sydandmegadventures – WELCOME! Follow the adventures of a celebrity psychic/actor couple. We're weird. We have real ghost stories. We also can be very picky so we know hacks for LUXURY and COMFORT. We're a bit older and are by no means hipsters, save Meg's occasional retro looks, and Syd's clean eating. We believe in energy, manifesting, manners, humor, and kindness (especially to strangers). So many travel bloggers are young bohemians, or full blown families. . . we're just in between free spirits. We're happy you're here.

    That food and wine looks to die for! Also you two are such a cute couple!

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      We were too, was amazing a great way to unwind and relax and also a great excuse to drink wine all day 😀

  2. Vinn – Cyprus – Vinn has been living and working in the middle east for more than 10 years. She started traveling since 2007 mostly in Southeast Asian countries, middle east regions, Greece and Cyprus. Currently in Cyprus for another round of adventures! Catch her at VinnEnRoute!

    Definitely noteworthy for SA itinerary. Love the ambiance of the resort and the way they are pampering the guests. And looking forward to wine tasting. 😉

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      Its a great spot for sure. If you find yourself in South Africa definitely get there

  3. Lannie Travels – Isle of Islay – Full time aid-worker, part time food and travel blogger. Love experiencing the world through its food culture! Happily fueled by coffee, great food, and whisky.

    Omgggg I love everything about this place. I know that the wine should be the showcase but I’m currently obsessed with the food! I know where I’m visiting in SA!!!

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      It well worth it its wine is awesome but they do say uts the culinary capital in South Africa food is unreal

  4. bl2l

    Thank you for bringing the Franschhoek wine district to our attention! The wine tram sounds like and excellent opportunity if you want to taste wine but not drink and drive. That food looks delicious. Now that I know that you’re a chef I’m sure that it was, too!

  5. Jenni @ I on Image – The Netherlands – Welcome to I on Image's image consulting and personal styling blog! I am Image Consultant and Personal Stylist Jenni Ryynänen. My job is to help you to put your best foot forward in any situation. I want you to have better style, clearer self-image and more confidence. As a result you will discover the joy of dressing up, enjoy being the best dressed person in the room and have more opportunities in life. These articles will help you to invest in your image and take your personal style to the next level. Your success is inevitable when you unleash your best self. Subscribe so you won't miss anything! https://ionimage.nl/blog/

    Wow this sounds really amazing! I am a huge wine and cheese fan but so far experienced only tours in Italy and France. This would be a dream come true!

  6. wattwherehow – Bernie and Jess Watt are travel bloggers from Australia, living in NYC. Award winning copywriter by day (Bernie) and legal professional (Jess), casual photographers and hobbyist Vloggers in the making, our blog blends travel experiences from around the world with tips for those coming to NYC to live or vacation.

    That looks like it would be the most chilled out escape ever.

  7. kasiawrites – Kasiawrites Cultural Travel Blog is about adventure, exploration and discovery with a focus on responsible travel. An exciting way of learning about the world as well as self-reflection and personal freedom. A place for curious travellers, looking for new experiences, discovering new things and learning something new along the way.

    What a lovely place to explore! And those pool views are pretty amazing

  8. Wendy | Perthtravelers – I'm a wife and mother of two daughters with a passion for travel and new adventures.

    What a wonderful time you had in the Franschhoek wine district. Great service from Franschhoek Country House delivering your breakfast to your room so you could pack. The food sounds and looks delicious too.

    1. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

      The tram is necessary after a long day on the vineyards. Cant beat a good Pinotage South Africas finest 👌

  9. Chalk and Cheese Travels – We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far

    The tram is necessary after a long day on the vineyards. Cant beat a good Pinotage South Africas finest

  10. Carpe Diem Eire – Hi I'm John. Together with my wife Beata we travel part time through Ireland and Europe whenever the opportunity allows it. My travels focus on road trips and city breaks. I have an avid interest in history and culture. My travel style is a high energy one, as I strive to make the most of my free time. So Carpe Diem in other words. Join me on my travels.

    Undoubtedly this is the perfect resting plane when in the wine region. No matter how much wine you taste, there’s those meals to soak it up at the end of the day. Or worse case scenario that cold pool the next morning to knock it out of you. Looks gorgeous guys. Great pick.

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