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.
River Manor, StellenboschRIVERMANOR, STELLENBOSCHGuests at River Manor are welcomed like familyby the owner-managers Johan and Leigh, makingthis a very homely accommodation. The 18rooms are cosy and well-appointed, and there is a small spa offering a range of treatments. The gardens have two swimming pools, as well asplenty of shady areas to relax in. River Manor'slocation is superb, within walking distance ofDorp Street which is filled with shops and cafes.Overall this is an ideal base for your stay inStellenbosch.StellenboschStellenbosch is a charming town in the heart ofthe Winelands. Old collides with new here, withbuildings dating back to the early 1700s, and thestreets are filled with students attending itsfamous university. The result is a lively town witha very welcoming feel. Roads are lined with 300year old oak trees and filled with boutiques, delisand exquisite restaurants. Of course, the area isbursting with excellent vineyard estates, from the tree-lined avenue leading to Neethlingshof to the world-renowned wines of Delheim's Cellar. Cultural events take place throughout the year, including street festivals, art exhibitionsand music concerts. 14The oldest shop in StellenboschNeethlingshof wine estate, StellenboschWine and dineAside from the incredible wines in thisregion, the Winelands is known as thegourmet capital of South Africa. Many ofthe country's award-winning restaurantsare situated in Franschhoek, Stellenboschor the neighbouring wine estates. Aswell as the traditional combination oftasting vintage cheeses with wine, someestates match varieties of chocolate totheir reds and whites. At lunchtime,choose anything from a simple salad to a picnic sourced from a local deli. In theevening, enjoy a bistro meal or treatyourself to a seven-course tasting menuin a fine-dining restaurant. It's hard notto be caught up in the passion of therestaurateurs, who delight in creatingedible masterpieces.