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.

Franschhoek: where to stay, eat, shop and relax

Hotels

Rickety Bridge Manor House
This gracious 19th-century manor house lies at the heart of the wine farm and greets the eye as one crosses the (thankfully sound) eponymous bridge. Carefully restored, the three en-suite rooms feature traditional Cape Dutch furniture, yellow-wood ceilings and pine floors. ricketybridgewinery.com

Avondrood Guesthouse
On Main Road (Huguenot Rd) but set in a large garden with swimming pool, this Victorian building dates back to 1870 and is a local heritage site. The five rooms retain the ambience of that era while offering all modern conveniences. avondrood.com

Bo la Motte
One of the nine historic Huguenot wine farms settled in 1672. The five self-catering cottages, set among the vines, orchards or overlooking the dams, are well equipped. This idyllic setting is just a stroll from the centre of the village. bolamotte.co.za

Restaurants

Le Quartier Français
There can be few foodies who have not heard of this internationally recognised fine dining restaurant and its award-winning chef, Margot Janse. The eight-course tasting menu, which changes daily, leans heavily on local ingredients; execution is skilful, presentation beautiful. Take the option of wine pairing to appreciate the best of Cape wines and their compatibility with food. lqf.co.za

Pierneef à La Motte
This spacious restaurant is named for the well-known 20th century South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, whose works are on display on the farm. Chef Michelle Theron creates dishes based on recipes brought to the Cape in the 17th century by European settlers, among them Cape bokkom (dried, cured fish) salad, Karoo lamb and melktert (custard tart). Fresh vegetables and fruit come from the farm’s organic garden. The wine list offers the full range, including older vintages, of Edmund Terblanche’s wines. la-motte.com

Bread & Wine
In a quiet setting, well off the busy main road, Bread & Wine at Môreson wine farm encourages leisurely lunches, as do Clayton Reabow’s modern wines and Neil Jewell’s assured dishes: deep-fried spare ribs are an unusual favourite. Jewell is recognised as a charcutier par excellence, his cured meats and salamis being served by restaurants far and wide. moreson.co.za

Shops

La Cotte Inn Wine Sales
Ludwig and Lodine Maske’s wine shop is a veritable treasure trove. Franschhoek producers are well represented alongside a broad selection of top wines from throughout the winelands. In the cool, atmospheric cellar downstairs, browse through older vintages and an eclectic range of international wines. Lodine’s range of splendid French cheeses should not be overlooked either. lacotte.co.za

Tap & Cork
Glass bottles in all shapes and sizes are here to be filled, sealed and labelled with your choice from an impressive range of locally made liqueurs, vinegars and oils. A selection of local wines is available in an adjoining room. facebook.com/tapandcorkfranschhoek

Huguenot Fine Chocolates
Quality Belgian chocolates made in front of your eyes from imported raw material. This empowerment business, on Franschhoek’s Main Road (Huguenot Rd), was initiated by the Belgian Government. +27 (0)21 876 4096

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