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Franschhoek only 50 Minutes from St James/Kalk Bay

Franschhoek only 50 Minutes from St James/Kalk Bay

On Saturday we decided to spend the sunny winter’s day in Franschhoek. It is an easy drive from Kalk Bay, along the coast with the waves breaking next to the road. Franschhoek is a town in South Africa’s Western Cape with centuries-old vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture.  57 Huguenot families settled in the valley in the 16th century.  Many had skills, associated with the wine industry.

Trails wind through flowers and wildlife at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve to views over Franschhoek Valley. The Huguenot Memorial Museum and neighboring monument honour the area’s French settlers, who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries. Franschhoek Motor Museum displays vintage cars amid mountain farmland.

We drove around the town and managed to avoid the crowds celebrating Bastille Day.  It is a lovely town but quite different from the villages and towns we saw recently during our 2 weeks of driving in Brittany in France.

We enjoyed my favourite wine farm- Leopards Leap.  It has a bright sunny dining area with wonderful views over the vineyards to the huge mountains.  One helps oneself to a large choice salads, vegetables and lamb, pork, duck, chicken and fish.  Then the plate gets weighed and you pay per plate on the weight of it. The food was delicious. The wine was good too. So I purchased a case of the Sauvignon Blanc and a case of Merlot.

Bookcase with skew shelves

There were strange but sensible bookcases next to a roaring wood fire. We settled on the couches to look at some of the books.

We like to visit Franschhoek in winter because it can be very hot in summer. The high mountains around the valley remind me of Switzerland.

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Delene Burman

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