Franschhoek: Planning the Perfect Weekend Getaway to the French Corner

Franschhoek: Planning the Perfect Weekend Getaway to the French Corner

Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek

Today, we’re going to explore what Franschhoek has to offer and help you plan the perfect weekend getaway to this special little town. Starting with a bit of history then moving onto the logistics: where to eat, sleep, and play!
Franschhoek was founded by French Huguenots who were fleeing persecution in Catholic France. They were given land by the Dutch East India Company and transformed it from a wild space into what we know today as the wine and gourmet capital of South Africa. Franschhoek is Afrikaans for French Corner. 

Where to eat 

Chefs Warehouse at Maison
Small plates at Chefs Warehouse at Maison 
Image credit: Chefs Warehouse Team
Chef David Schneider cooks up fresh, sustainable food on this working farm to make for the ultimate dining experience. Maison means home and Schneider wants to make his diners feel at home. 
The restaurant is on the outskirts of Franschhoek and feels like a barefoot luxury. Think giant trees, lush grass, earthy-toned furniture, and friendly chickens to set the mood. 
Pop by for a wine or whisky tasting or settle in for Schneider’s seasonal sharing menus. 
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
Image credit: Matthew Grobbelaar
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery is located on Franschhoek’s main road, Huguenot Street, so you might stumble in after a long day enjoying the valley. 
With chef Darren Badenhorst at the helm and the Cape Brewing Company making the beer, you seriously can’t go wrong. 
The menu is a celebration of foods from all over the world including Germany, Mexico, India, and America. The go-to for locals is a cold CBC beer and a plate of nachos. 

Where to sleep

Hog Heaven at the Farm Sanctuary 

Pigcasso in his barn

Image credit: Farm Sanctuary SA
For an experience like no other, why not sleep in a luxury barn loft? 
Farm Sanctuary SA, a registered NPO, has put together some truly unique accommodation in the loft above Oink gallery. Oink is home to the famous painting pig, Pigcasso, and his rescued farmyard friends. 
During the day, you can visit the gallery and its animal inhabitants. You can even do a wine tasting! But if you want the full experience, book a night’s stay with Pigcasso and friends. 
Leeu House 
Leeu House from the outside
Image credit: Matthew Grobbelaar 
If you’re looking for more traditional accommodation, Leeu House is a great option. Being on the main road, it’s extremely central so you won’t have to walk far to find top restaurants or galleries. 
Complete with a conservatory for al fresco dining and a spa for relaxation, Leeu House has everything you need to really unwind. 
Leeu Collection also offers accommodation at Leeu Estates and Le Quartier Français. Their properties in Franschhoek include fine dining restaurants Protégé and La Petite Colombe as well as the Everard Read art gallery.

Where to play 

The Franschhoek Wine Tram 
 Franschhoek Wine Tram
Image credit: Matthew Grobbelaar
If you’ve only got one day to see as much of the Winelands as possible, the iconic Franschhoek Wine Tram is your best bet!
The Wine Tram is a hop-on-hop-off experience where you can visit up to 8 of 24 wine estates in one day! Hop on at the terminal in Franschhoek and discover the true extent of the Cape Winelands. The tram goes to well-known farms like Haute Cabriere, as well as newer farms such as Lynx. 
You can’t do the Wine Tram without a bag for sunscreen, a jersey, and space to carry your wine purchases! Our Hedgren Inner City Tote is a great option for this.


Galleries and Museums 

Everard Read Gallery Franschhoek
Image credit: Matthew Grobbelaar 
Franschhoek is also home to a host of galleries and museums. So, if you’re not so keen on the Wine Tram (or you need a more relaxed day-after-the-tram activity), there’s lots to see in Franschhoek. 
Notable galleries include Everard Read, Is Art Gallery, and Manz Art. These galleries, and many more, can be found by taking a walk down Franschhoek’s beautiful main road.
Museums include the Franschhoek Motor Museum and the First South African Perfume Museum as well as the Huguenot Memorial Museum. 
So what are you waiting for? Get packed for your weekend getaway to Franschhoek today.

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