How to spend a weekend in Franschhoek, South Africa

Here at House of Coco, it’s no secret we love a good glass of wine, particularly when it’s paired with some equally delicious eats. So when we sent our girl Beth to Cape Town, we knew no trip would be complete without a visit to nearby foodie hotspot Franschhoek. Here’s #TeamCoco ‘s indulgent itinerary for how best to spend a weekend in South Africa’s gastronomic capital…

It’s not long after noon on a Saturday and I’m sat in dappled sunshine looking out onto a vine-striped valley, unashamedly swirling my seventh wine tasting around the glass. Just a few hours ago, I was in the middle seat of British Airways’ Friday night flight direct to Cape Town – but with just an hour’s time difference between destinations, no sooner had we closed our eyes in London we were landing in Cape Town and in Franschhoek in time for lunch.

I could rave about this pretty corner of the Cape Winelands for days – how it’s French Huguenot history makes it feel like the South of France in South Africa – with the finest wines, all the more delicious drunk against the movie-set mountain backdrop and better yet, at such reasonable prices.

Gabled Dutch homesteads and quaint avenues lined with quirky galleries make for an upmarket artsy vibe, while countless eating options range from the cutest corner cafes to ten-course tasting menus that fuse French influence with local South African ingredients. While you could happily spend weeks here, this is the ideal weekend add-on to any trip to Cape Town – read on for our ultimate itinerary…

Grande Provence, The Pool at La Residence, Trianon

Saturday AM 

Drop your bags at: There’s no shortage of luxury lodgings in Franschhoek, but here are some of our faves…

  • La Residence – for splurge-worthy luxury, this opulent estate can’t be beaten, with interiors and an infinity pool that were made for Instagram.
  • Grande Provence – #TeamCoco love the idea of staying within stumbling distance on our very own wine estate.
  • Trianon – Our top Airbnb pick this homestead is ideal for groups of friends, within walking distance of countless wineries and complete with vine-striped mountain views from your private pool and hot-tub at such great value.
  • The Explorer’s Club – Set just one street back from the main road, owner and explorer Jo has decorated these centrally located homes with items from around the world which makes for that eclectic, boutique feel we love.

Saturday PM 

Park yourself on the pretty terrace and prepare to while away the afternoon under the ancient oaks at Grande Provence – choose from either of the flagship tastings or match your wine with a canapé pairing. #TeamCoco recommend the hop-on-hop-off wine tram (need we say more)- but if you’re pushed for time consider taking an uber to some more wineries – the chic Mont Rochelle and hidden gem Rickety Bridge were our favourites. For sweeping sunset views of the Franschhoek valley, head to Roca at Dieu Donne Vineyards for dinner. The menu is full of South African specialities, but be sure to get the Springbok which was the standout dish.

Sunday AM 

Grab a juice and some fresh croissants from The Village Tart Bakery to stave off any potential wine-over, as a mooch around the art galleries and shops of downtown Franschhoek is not to be missed. For lunch, try the outdoor terrace at La Petite Ferme – where you can lounge on the lawn to soak up some of the best views of the valley. With numerous accolades and stunning seasonal menus, the food is every bit as beautiful as the setting.

Sunday PM 

The sister restaurant to Cape Town’s award-winning La Colombe, dinner at La Petite Colombe may be a pricey affair by South African standards, with a full tasting and wine pairing for £110 per person, but in our opinion is worth every penny. Staff guide you through a well thought out and exquisitely executed menu and generous wine pairing, with the highlight being the opportunity to enjoy a palate cleanser at the chef’s counter. High-end fine-dining with a low-key atmosphere, it’s easy to see why La Petite Colombe books up months in advance – reservations are essential.

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