5 days in Franschhoek – the food and wine capital of South Africa

UPDATED January 2022!

5 days in Franschhoek is a must if visiting the Western Cape of South Africa. Franschhoek means ‘French Corner’ in Afrikaans as the area was named after the French Huguenots. Just like France, food and wine are fundamental here. The once sleepy village, with its Cape Dutch architecture, has grown in popularity in recent years, with its gorgeous summer weather and its proximity to Cape Town. Franschhoek is an idyllic place to spend time and here are our tips for enjoying 5 days in Franschhoek – the food and wine capital of South Africa.

Our VIND map should give you plenty of inspiration for wineries to visit during your 5 days in Franschhoek, and we’ll give you some of our favourite tips for this beautiful corner of the world below.

La Petite Ferme is an old favourite. One of the original farm-to-table venues, it offers breath-taking views and you can be sure to indulge in a delicious meal accompanied with La Petite Ferme’s own wine. Sitting back after lunch on the grass bank and enjoying the sunset is a truly worthwhile experience! The previous chef, Neethling du Toit, has moved to the new and incredible, La Cotte Farm. This new country hotel, restaurant and working farm — which is right on the edge of the village — is a perfect lunch spot and a great, more affordable, accommodation option.

On the theme of relaxed lunches, The Country Kitchen at Richard Branson’s Mont Rochelle is worth a visit, as is the Le Lude Orangery which has great MCC (sparkling wine). For a day of luxury in Franschhoek, we recommend Leeu Estates. Home to incredible accommodation and superb restaurants (Le Chêne and La Petite Colombe), this indulgent and immaculate estate is perfect for a spa day; start your day with a massage or other treatment, followed by a relaxing lunch and lounging by the pool, which overlooks the vineyards.

There are a host of excellent ‘pre-dinner sundowner’ spots with incredible views in Franschhoek. Manger at Dieu Donne Estate is one of the best. Go straight through to their grass bank and take in the sunset. Haute Cabriere near Le Petite Ferme has excellent cuisine and similar impeccable views over the valley, and for something a bit different, head up to Cape Chamonix where you’ll find ostrich, zebra, eland, bontebok and springbok  — take in their excellent wines on a game drive overlooking Franschhoek!

VIND Best Coffee: Hoek, Terbodore, Get Lost

There has been much change over the last couple of years in Franschhoek village. For dinner Epice, La Colombe, La Petite Colombe, Foxcroft and Protégé are all under the same ownership and they are certainly doing something right. It is definitely worth trying one or two of these fine dining restaurants when in town – the equivalent food and service would cost 4x as much in London! Our favourite is Protégé; incredible service, presentation and a great atmosphere, while not feeling too pretentious or stuffy.

An evening recommendation is Chef’s Warehouse at Maison – a short drive from the high street. There are a few Chef’s Warehouse restaurants across the Western Cape and they follow a similar theme – an ever changing tasting menu consisting of eight dishes, served in three courses. Fantastic food, great atmosphere and very affordable. The garden at Maison is wonderful, so come early for a drink but watch out for the Pot Bellied Pig! Chef’s Warehouse at Maison is also an incredible spot of a long lunch under their breezy trees.

Sometimes the wine tastings and rich dinners can get a bit much, so if all you want is a pint of beer, then head to Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. This micro brewery is on the High Street, and it doubles up as a bar with good outdoor seating. Another brewery (which is just out of town) is Hey Joe. This cool spot has plenty of outdoor space (great for kids), delicious burgers, and a good vibe (often with live music on Fridays).

For more casual dinner options in town, The French Connection and Bovine have good menus, and are lovely spots for dining al fresco while watching the Franschhoek world go by. A favourite new opening is Oku,  an exceptional South East Asian eatery. We loved sitting outside in their courtyard, which also allowed us to order from their sister restaurant, Yama, which specalises in sushi.

VIND Favourite Eats: Protégé, Oku, Grande Provence, La Petite Colombe, Chef’s Warehouse

Babylonstoren is still a working farm

Food and Drink are the obvious attractions when you have 5 days in Franschhoek, although there are so many other activities on offer. The landscape is wonderful, so walk, run, bike or drive, and take in some of the great roads and trails. Franschhoek has a literature festival in May, an art festival in October, and the ‘uncorked’ wine festival in September! The market runs every week on a Saturday from 9am – 3pm, and is a perfect place to get a coffee, enjoy live music and have some food from one of the wonderful stalls or trucks. During the summer months, Franschhoek Square has live music and wine tastings on Friday evenings; with a great choice of restaurants in the square, like Cartel’s brilliant wood fired pizzas, or Allora for Italian and tapas, this made for a brilliant and fun Friday night. In the square you will also find the Franschhoek Wine Tram kiosk, if you (understandably) don’t fancy driving to the wineries!

If you’re a sports lover, the oldest cricket ground in South Africa is in Franschhoek. You’ll also drive by the Motor Museum, owned by Johann Rupert; the collection dates back over 100 years.



Views from La Petite Ferme - a must for 5 days in Franschhoek

Views from La Petite Ferme

Long lunches at La Motte

As you head out of Franschhoek, try wine tasting at the cool and funky Old Road with popcorn and wine pairings. On the main road out of Franschhoek there is Leopards Leap and Rickety Bridge ; a contemporary estate and a traditional 19th century Cape Dutch estate, respectively. A little further is La Motte; this incredibly classy estate is one of our favourites. Their house museum allows you to immerse yourself in the history of the place from the original Cochoqua tribe inhabitants, to the arrival of the Dutch East India Company and the French Huguenots. La Motte is a beautiful place to spend time; friendly staff and delicious food – it is a must for lunch!

Further along the main road to Stellenbosch is Boschendal. This exceptional estate has it all…excellent wine, accommodation, a restaurant, horse riding, biking trails, workshops, a butchery and more. Keep an eye open for their upcoming events. We were lucky enough to experience New Year’s Eve at Boschendal with live music from ‘Hot Water.’ They have a regular Friday evening market where you can expect stalls, food offerings, family activities, live music and, of course, Boschendal’s great selection of wines.

Further away from the main village, in the triangle between Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, is Babylonstoren. This classy farm has everything you can imagine: wine tasting, garden tours, farm shops, a spa, a hotel, workshops and obviously a couple of restaurants and a bakery! Babylonstoren presents beautifully. You can simply wander around and take in the assortment of gardens, or you can take part in one of the many activities on offer. However, it is a very popular destination, and after we saw the queues for their Greenhouse Café, we decided to try our luck at Babel, the in-house restaurant famous for their colour coordinated salads.

If you want to get away from the crowds, head to the next-door property from Babylonstoren and find Noble Hill. The Latin-themed restaurant (think Mexican small plates) is called Cosecha, which is Spanish for ‘harvest.’ Cosecha is open for brunch or picnics and the setting at Noble Hill is delightful with a relaxed atmosphere.

If you’re after elegance and prestige, then one more estate along this strip is Rupert & Rothschild. Here you can taste their estate collection including Rothschild’s wines from across the world (and their impressive fromage selection!). I would suggest booking if you wish to eat at their sophisticated restaurant, which has views of the vines and the spectacular Simonsberg mountain.

On the road from Franschhoek to Stellenbosch there are many fantastic estates: Glenelly is a wonderful lunch spot. Tokara is highly impressive with a great deli (and a playground for kids), Neil Ellis for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Camberley Wines and Bartinney which is a hidden gem, or the exceptional Jordan on the other side of Stellenbosch.

For pure luxury then Delaire Graff is the place to visit. Eat, drink, stay, spa – it is an incredible place. You can learn more about Delaire Graff here and if you’re feeling adventurous head to other wine regions like Constantia, Robertson, Somerset West (Vergelegen) or down to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Just search our map!

I have missed plenty and no doubt you will too in only 5 days in Franschhoek! Relax and enjoy the food and wine capital of South Africa! Email us if you have any questions or need any other recomendations – will@vind.wine.


A beautiful entrance to La Motte

A fantastic lunch at La Motte

Shop at la Motte

Quality produce

Sculptures at la Motte

Incredible starters

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