Gloomy skies paired with glasses of deep red, spicy wines. Rain on the windows paired with blazing fireplaces. Knitted beanies paired with huge bowls of pasta. Wellington boots paired with wet vineyard walks. Winter doesn’t sound so bad when it’s paired with the winelands, does it?
I’m a huge fan of winter in the winelands. There’s nothing like a weekend surrounded by food, wine, mountains and vineyards to lift your wintry spirits. I was recently invited to spend the day wandering around Franschhoek, visiting a few of the places where winter is a celebration.
We visited the magnificent Babylonstoren for a walk through their gardens before sitting down to a mushroom-inspired lunch in their ridiculously beautiful House of Shadows.
Babylonstoren is one of the most beautiful places in the Cape (don’t want to sound biased, but I honestly think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world). Their gardens are a feast for the eyes, soul and appetite and their restaurant Babel serves plates of fruit and vegetables freshly harvested from the farm.
The hotel at Babylonstoren has some special winter rates for South Africans, so contact them to make the most of my favourite season.
Allee Bleue, Maison Estate, La Cle Des Montagnes
At Allee Bleue we were given a tour of their herb farm before trying out a farm-to-fork treat of fresh salsa verde. On Fridays, you can book your own herb tour, learn about the herbs they grow, harvest your own and sit down to a delicious 3-course lunch at their restaurant. Visit their website for more information.
It was my first visit to Maison Estate, which is incredible. We were treated to a taste of their brand new deli menu, paired with their great wines. The view from the farm is just beautiful and the food was unusual and delicious.
After lunch, it was time for even more eating. We sat down to a huge winelands braai spread at La Cle Des Montagnes, prepared by our very own private butler. These mega-luxurious apartments are the kind of winelands pad I’m talking about. Check out their website for images and info.
Our dinner was paired with bottles of Stony Brook Vineyards wines. I’m always on the lookout for an excellent bottle of bubbly and their Lyle MCC is definitely an addition to my list.
Winter in Franschhoek
There are LOADS of special offers in Franschhoek this winter. For a full list, visit their website. Don’t fall into that winter slump and spend the next three months indoors when there are so many delicious things to eat, drink and see out there.