The French corner of the Cape, Franschhoek lies in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world, just 45 minutes’ from Cape Town and within half an hour of the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, and Somerset West wine routes.
Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape Winelands, Franschhoek is an area that is world renowned for its spectacular beauty, superb Cape wines and world-class restaurants.
Originally settled in 1685 by French Huguenots who fled their homeland, Franschhoek was originally named Elephant’s Corner after the vast herds of elephants that roamed there. But soon after the French settled, the area changed its name to Franschhoek (French Corner). The heritage of these first settlers lives on today through the Huguenot monument situated at the top of the village.
While Franschhoek is not generally considered as a holiday destination by South Africans, it remains popular with overseas guests especially those from the UK, Netherlands, and Germany.
This traditionally French town is the food and wine capital of the country and one would be hard pressed to dispute the claim. Eight of the top 100 restaurants in the country are found in Franschhoek, there are nigh on 30 wine cellars and over 28 restaurants from which to choose for your gastronomic experience.
Today, many of the wine farms still bear their original French names and most of these farms have beautiful examples of Cape Dutch architecture.
Franschhoek’s village has a wonderful collection of art and antique shops and galleries and the main streets are lined with restaurants and coffee shops.
While not a typical seaside holiday spot, Franschhoek holds the lure of culture and history, exceptional cuisine, a solid property investment market, along with excellent wine tasting and wine farm visits. The appeal lies in the fact that it is away from the crowded mass of beach holiday makers but close enough to go to the beach and Cape Town for all the tourist attractions should one so wish