Franschhoek is a town in South Africa’s Western Cape Winelands district with centuries-old vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture. Trails wind through flowers and wildlife at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve to views over Franschhoek Valley.
The Huguenot Memorial Museum and neighboring monument honor the area’s French settlers, who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Area was originally known as Olifantshoek (Elephants corner) so named because of the elephants that crossed into the valley to calve. The name of the area soon changed to le Coin Français (“the French Corner”), and later to Franschhoek (Dutch for “French Corner”), with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they came.
La Motte, Champagne, La Cotte, Cabrière, La Provence, Bourgogne, La Terra de Luc and La Dauphine were among some of the first established farms — most of which still retain their original Cape Dutch farm houses today. These farms have grown into renowned wineries.
Once a sleepy country retreat, the village began experiencing a boom in the 1990s. The ideal summer weather, snowy peaks in winter and proximity to Cape Town have turned Franschhoek into one of South Africa’s favourite destination for both permanent lifestyle and holiday visitors.
Franschhoek is notable for having some of the top restaurants in the country within its borders. This fact, together with the strong wine culture, and pristine natural and architectural beauty has made Franschhoek into what many describe as the “food and wine capital” of South Africa.
The village has over the years hosted many of the country’s top 10 restaurants as well and even featured in the TOP 50 restaurants in the world, according to the “S.Pellegrino world’s 50 best restaurants”. Whether you wish for the perfect steak, light lunch or a gastronomic evening eperience, Franschhoek has it!