17 May 2018

Celebrating Franschhoek

Winter in the Cape Winelands can be an amazing time of the year. The good days are filled with crisp and clear blue skies, soft sunlight, not a breath of wind and at times touches of snow capping the mountain ranges in the background. While it’s probably a bit too chilly to laze along the beaches, it’s a photographer’s dream of incredible natural light, the views while driving along the mountain passes of the Winelands districts are extraordinary and world-class red wines perfect for those wintery nights around the fireplace at your hotel. 

Dubbed the ‘food-and-wine’ capital of South Africa, the picturesque town of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands boasts one of the highest concentrations of award-winning restaurants, coupled with over 50 renowned wine estates across the valley. Travelers can also indulge in a variety of locally produced cheeses, olives, export-quality fruit and organic produce and experience the country’s first ‘bean to bar’ artisanal chocolatier.

Proudly steeped in French heritage, the town’s origins date back to 1688 when the Huguenots fled their homeland and settled in the valley. The Bastille Day Festival, held annually in July, celebrates the story of Franschhoek with a lively, fun and vibrant event at the Huguenot Monument.

This is a place where art, nature, heritage and decadent food paired with the finest wines in the world come together. Famed sculptor Anton Smit’s exhibition of work is currently on display at Grande Provence, but there are always interesting works by various artists of different mediums on show. The petrol-heads can tour the vintage motor museum, there are plenty of hiking trails for those who prefer the fresh air and scenery, and the keen fisherman can spend a day trout fishing along Wemmer’s River.

Tucked away on the edge of this beautiful village,  La Clé des Montagnes is a short walk from the pavement café vibe of the village center, situated on a working wine estate surrounded by picturesque vineyards and plum orchards. Each of the four villas (either two, three or four suites) offer individually designed interiors, large fireplaces, expansive patios and a swimming pool in the peaceful gardens. The villas can be reserved privately for a small family or group traveling together or as suites individually on a per room basis.

La Clé des Montagnes is the most comfortable ‘home-away-from-home’ and the perfect base to explore the Cape Winelands from.

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