After our amazing and relaxed weekend in Franschhoek in March, we decided to go for round two and headed back to this picturesque wine valley in April. We were invited to stay at the newly opened Franschhoek Boutique Hotel; an intimate space with six bespoke rooms which have each been beautifully decorated, accented with loads of unique and carefully thought out touches.
Franschhoek Boutique Hotel
We stayed in the Palm room, which was literally my dream space. The ultra-luxe bathroom was papered in the most fabulous tropical paper, with a deep ball and claw bath to relax in. The bedroom had crisp white linen (the only linen, in my opinion) with a lush green velvet headboard and even a tiny wine fridge. For all your romantic winter weekend away needs, the rooms also come with cute little fire places. The view of the Franschhoek mountains from the bed changed colour with the sun. Even if I had designed a dreamy room for myself, I couldn’t have done a better job. If boutique hotels are your thing, many people have recommended the Boutique Hotel Downtown San Jose , in the famous tech hub, Silicon Valley as an alternative destination.
The hotel is also super central, so we were close enough to walk to restaurants and the centre of town, or hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, which departs from right outside (we didn’t go on the tram this time, but you can read about how great it is here).
The Kitchen at Maison
One of the things I love about the winelands is that there’s always more to see, and even though I love trying new places, we gave in to temptation and went back to The Kitchen at Maison for dinner on our first night. It is absolutely my winelands obsession right now, and the food is really something special. The best time to go is on the first Friday of the month, when their First Fridays Dinners take place. Three courses for R400 – totally worth it.
Le Lude MCC
We started our tour of the valley bright and early the next morning and stopped off at Le Lude, a place I’ve been dying to visit for ages. The restaurant and tasting room are absolutely gorgeous and I immediately felt like I was on the set of a movie set somewhere in France.
*Unfortunately we had an unpleasant experience with the tasting room staff and were disappointed enough with the cold welcome to leave without trying any wines. However, after a Twitter exchange with the winemaker Paul Gerber, we headed back for a tasting and really enjoyed our experience. In my opinion, complaining on social media is not the way to deal with any service issues. And it’s not something that I normally do. However, I felt that I had seen enough people raving on social media about how great Le Lude is to know that we’d missed something special, so I wanted to see if we could turn it around while we were still in the valley. The experience was turned around with just one Tweet from Paul, and after the conversation was taken to DM, we went back because we really wanted to see why so many people loved their experiences at the farm.
This is definitely one of the most beautiful farms in Franschhoek, and while the restaurant, Orangerie, was fully booked when we visited, I’ll definitely go back to try the food. The MCC that Paul and Natalie, his assistant winemaker are making is I think, some of the best being produced in South Africa. It’s produced by fermenting the wine under cork, which is unique to the farm, and the balance between creamy bubbles and dry palate is perfectly balanced. We bought an entire case before we left.
Tuk Tuk Brewery
For a snack, we stopped at Tuk-Tuk Brewery. I was so impressed with the food and vibe. We had small plates of delicious chicken wings and fish tacos and it was refreshing to see something other than burgers on a menu at a brewery. The food was fresh and flavourful and paired excellently with the CBC beers they had on tap. It’s somewhere I definitely plan on going back to.
We also visited my friend Rob at his farm Haut Espoir, where we stocked up on a case of my favourite red wine, the Gentle Giant. Trust me, you need this wine to survive winter, because it will give you life.
After a long day in the winelands, we headed back to our hotel room for an indoor picnic and I had a long bubble bath. We decided to spend Sunday night at the hotel too, and only head back to Cape Town on Monday morning. This is the perfect way to really stretch your weekend, but be warned that the Monday morning traffic to Cape Town is enough to give you a serious headache.
So Franschhoek, what’s next?
About Franschhoek Boutique Hotel
Situated in the centre of the famous Franschhoek village surrounded by the bouquet of freshly baked bread, hand rolled pasta and some of Africa’s greatest artworks.
Franschhoek Boutique hotel has six, elegant 25sqm boutique boudoirs that vow to marry its mistress the picturesque Franschhoek Mountains.
All rooms come complete with Complimetary Wi-fi , Mini Bar Fridge and wine cooler, Heated flooring and towel rails, Morso contemporary fireplace, Beverage and Bar Station, Full bath and shower facilities
Summer Rates from R 3,500 – including breakfast
Winter Rates from R2,600 – including breakfast