12Wine estate, FranschhoekMont Rochelle, FranschhoekLa Fontaine, FranschhoekThe Last Word FranschhoekLAFONTAINE, FRANSCHHOEKSituated on a quiet side street, La Fontaine is anaffordable option in Franschhoek. There are 14rooms in the main house and in the surroundinggardens, each of which is unique. Rooms havewooden floors, simple country style décor andsome have fireplaces. Many of the originalfeatures have been retained in the main house,giving it a homely atmosphere. Every morning,breakfast is served in the pretty courtyard, undera trellis laden with vines. FranschhoekRows of vines blanket the valley floor beneathrugged mountains; this is Franschhoek, ourfavourite spot in the Winelands, only an hour'sdrive from Cape Town. The name translates as'French corner', dating back to when theHuguenot refugees were granted farmland herewhilst fleeing 17th century persecution in France.Today the area is filled with award-winning wineestates and whitewashed Cape Dutch farmsteads.Franschhoek's small town boasts some of the bestrestaurants in South Africa, as well as quaintshops, art galleries and a memorial to theHuguenots settlers, all within walking distance.Whilst not as famous as the neighbouring valleyof Stellenbosch, we find the compact size andrelaxed atmosphere truly welcoming. This is awonderful area to spend a few days simplyrelaxing and indulging in some of the best foodand wine in the country. THELASTWORDFRANSCHHOEKThis is a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel. It has just six suites and the atmosphere is very private and the service is attentive. Thereis a swimming pool, bar, lounge, upstairs terrace and DVD library for guests. Each suite steps outonto a shady patio area, and all feature acombination of modern and traditional Capedécor. Despite being only a couple of minutes'walk to the restaurants in town, the hoteloccupies a wonderfully peaceful spot. MONTROCHELLE, FRANSCHHOEKThis luxurious hotel is located in between two working wineries, and offers superb views of the Franschhoek valley and forested hillsides.There are 22 well-appointed rooms, spreadacross three different wings, each with their ownstyle. There are two restaurants here with achoice of fine-dining at Mange Tout or bistromeals at the Country Kitchen set amongst thevines. There is a swimming pool, bar, severallounges with fireplaces, and a terrace where youcan enjoy breakfast in the morning sunshine.
FRANSCHHOEKCOUNTRYHOUSE& VILLASFranschhoek Country House and Villas is situatedon the outskirts of town, with superb views of thesurrounding vineyards and mountains. The mainhouse was originally a perfume factory built in1890 and has been lovingly restored. There are26 rooms, 12 of which are the beautiful villasuites. Courtyards with fountains separate thebuildings, and there is a swimming pool in thegardens. Rooms are decorated in a traditionalstyle, and the rich yellow exterior adds to thewarmth and character. The restaurant servesexcellent fine-dining meals, complimented by anextensive wine list.AKADEMIESTREET,FRANSCHHOEKHidden within a traditional Cape Dutch building isthis delightful boutique hotel. There are sixrooms, some in the main house and some in thecottages set amongst the gardens. All are vast,with high ceilings, wooden floors, outdoor sittingareas and unique artwork adorning the walls. Themature gardens include a pond and lovelycourtyard where breakfast is served in thesummer. Situated on a quiet residential street,Franschhoek's numerous restaurants are just ashort stroll away.www.audleytravel.com/southafrica ?01993 838 550 ?The Cape Region13Franschhoek Country House & VillasGrape harvest, FranschhoekAkademie Street, FranschhoekHuguenot Memorial, FranschhoekWine tastingThere are worse ways to spend a day thansupping the beautiful wines in and aroundFranschhoek. With dozens of wine estatesscattered across the valleys and hillsides, thechoice is overwhelming. Many of the estateshave additional features to appeal to differentinterests, ranging as widely as art galleries,classic car collections and archaeological sites.From the delightful sparkling wine of HautCabriere, to the bold shiraz at the charming,cobweb-laden Muratie Estate, there is muchto discover here. We can recommend aselection of our favourite wineries beforeyou travel to ensure you get the most out ofyour time in the area. A day spent with private guide PietmanRetief is highly recommended if you don'twish to drive yourselves around the estates.He was born in the Winelands and hasworked in the South African wine industryfor many years. A natural raconteur, he ispassionate about the area's history, tracing hisown family lineage to the foundingHuguenots. Pietman will tailor the tour toyour individual interests, giving a balance ofvineyards, culture, history and architecture,along with sampling some superb wines.