Franschhoek is one of those places that feels so close that you tend to overlook it. It seems too near for a weekend away. Generally, we Capetonians will go for a day trip, visiting one of the many wonderful wine farms. However, Franschhoek deserves more than just a day.
In the Western Cape we’re spoilt with the variety of small, pretty towns, but Franschhoek has to be the crowning jewel. Its quaint, European feel immediately charms you, and the breathtaking mountains that surround the valley give it that magical, uniquely South African quality.
I had the opportunity to visit Franschhoek recently, and as I was there for one night only, it was difficult to say goodbye. Auberge Daniella, a gorgeous self-catering guesthouse, was hosting its annual local networking event. It was an afternoon of local food, wine and music in a stunning setting. Auberge Daniella is a beautifully restored Victorian homestead that comprises three luxurious self-catering apartments that are elegantly styled and fully equipped with everything you could possibly need for one night, two weeks or an even longer stay. The gorgeous house in the lovely village setting quickly starts to feel like a home away from home, but even more comfortable.
This year’s event took place on a balmy afternoon. There was delicious food and wine from all over the Franschhoek Valley – it truly is the food and wine capital of the country. There were representatives from the Protea Hotel, La Petite Ferme, La Motte, Franschhoek Tourism, Allée Bleue and Rickety Bridge, among others. It was great to see the Franschhoek community come together, network, chat and just enjoy themselves. I felt lucky to be included.
To top it all off, I got to stay in one of the Auberge Daniella suites, La Cotte, for the night. A night’s rest in one of the specially designed beds, with Egyptian cotton bedding, made it even more difficult to leave Franschhoek. Augusta, the friendly owner, managed to coax me out of bed with a freshly baked farm loaf that was still warm when she put it into my hands.
With an amazing variety of restaurants, shops, wine farms, a wine tram and so much more on offer, Franschhoek deserves more than a day visit. Book yourself into Auberge Daniella and familiarise yourself with a town you should have got to know a long time ago.
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Words: Molly Fitz-Patrick | Images: Supplied