Franschhoek (“French Corner”), a picturesque valley where large herds of Elephant once roamed, is where the French Huguenot refugees were granted land by the Dutch in the late 1600s. The French names of the valley’s regions were offered by the Huguenot settlers who cultivated the land into farms that later developed into vineyards. Today Franschhoek is a sleepy spa & wine town by day and a glamorously-bustling gourmet capital by night. The Huguenot’s heritage carries on still with the local Bastille Day festival, delectable Cabernet Sauvignons, innumerable French Provençal cuisine served in cute street-side bistros (many of which make the South African Top 100 list) and of course, the beautiful Huguenot monument at the end of Main Street.
Franschhoek changes with the seasons; warm and romantic in winter from May to August, breezy and chilled in the hot summer months of September to April. Some vibrant events in the Franschhoek Valley include:
NOVEMBER Stroll through ten gardens in full summer bloom in Franschhoek.
MARCH Franschhoek’s Oesfees Festival – Oesfees is the local Harvest festival highlighting the best of local Jazz with an outstanding showcase of musicians.
DECEMBER Franschhoek’s ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Festival is a social highlight in its fifth year running. The event is hosted in the gardens of the Huguenot National Monument showcasing French Champagne (Taittinger is an attendee) and local South African Cap Classique, served alongside culinary delicacies catered by the best local restaurant scene. Hosted by Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourist Association.