Decanter travel guide: Franschhoek, South Africa

With its strong French heritage, striking natural scenery, beautiful architecture and forward-thinking vignerons, Franschhoek is a must-stop destination for visitors to the Cape, says Angela Lloyd. Read her Franschhoek travel guide here.

My perfect day in Franschhoek

Morning

Whether your day starts with one of Sacred Ground’s (sacredground.co.za) cooked breakfasts or choice of breads – the tangy sourdough is fab – accompanied by a Fairtrade coffee, you’ll be well set up for the day’s tasting. The Franschhoek Wine Tram (winetram.co.za) is the perfect option for those concerned about drinking and driving. This hop-on, hop-off tour, offering transfer to and from your destination, stops at seven farms on two routes. Hop off in time to make the 15-minute drive to Solms-Delta.

Afternoon

Solms-Delta has traced its heritage back thousands of years to the Cape’s original hunter-gatherer inhabitants. The slave and music museums and archaeological remains are well worth exploring. Fyndraai restaurant is part of that heritage. Shaun Schoeman’s traditional menu incorporates ideas from those early peoples to today’s cultural mix of Africa, Asia and Europe. Suggested wine pairings (mainly Rhône varieties) accompany each dish.

Evening and overnight

Settle into your luxurious five-star accommodation, Akademie Street Boutique Hotel & Guesthouse (aka.co.za). Surrounded by a rambling garden, each of Akademie’s three guest cottages are both private and intimate, but suites in the Cape Dutch style main house are also available. Breakfast is served by hosts, Arthur and Katherine McWilliam-Smith, on the main house patio with gorgeous views of the mountains. But before you start thinking of breakfast, head to dinner – just a five-minute walk away – at Chris Erasmus’ Foliage (facebook.com/Restaurantfoliage). His skill in combining flavours and textures (featuring locally foraged ingredients), has drawn an enthusiastic following. The focus is on Franschhoek wines with a good selection by the glass.

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