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Where to Eat & Drink in Franschhoek, South Africa

Guide to Franschhoek's wine estates & restaurants

Franschhoek, situated in South Africa's Western Cape, is not only a beautiful historic towns but it is home to some of the world's best vineyards, wine estates and restaurants. This part of South Africa is well worth the visit, even if it is just to experience the amazing food and drink. A lot of the wine estates have some of the best restaurants in South Africa, so you often experience the wine and food with some stunning views.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Franschhoek that we went to:

1. Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is a historic farm situated in the Cape Winelands, about a 30 minute drive from the main street in Franschhoek. The farm dates back to 1692 but since then has had a big renovation and Babylonstoren now offers luxury hotel rooms, as well as several restaurants and shops.

Set amongst acres of gardens, Babylonstoren has several restaurants you can eat at whilst you are there. We had lunch at their Greenhouse restaurant which is more casual dining and includes light lunches as well as wine tasting. The Greenhouse overlooks the gardens of Babylonstoren and has a vibrant atmosphere throughout the day. If you are after something more fancy Babel is their farm-to-table and each dish incorporates fresh produce grown in the gardens of Babylonstoren.

2. Protégé Restaurant

Just off Franschhoek's main road, is Protégé Restaurant and it somewhere you must eat at whilst here. We were recommended booking a table at the chef's counter and it didn't disappoint. This experience was a great one as not only was the food exceptional but sat at the chef's counter, we got to watch them prepare and cook all the fantastic dishes on the menu.

We went for the tasting menu which included dishes like sourdough with chicken butter, Korean chicken wings with coriander & buttermilk sauce, miso seared tuna, spiced squid, springbok loin and linefish with Cape Malay relish. Dessert met all expectations as well with the chefs serving up raspberry panna cotta and white chocolate as well as a chocolate mousse with peanut, pistachio and raspberries.

Not only was the service great and the food incredible, but you need to try the cocktails as well. Make sure you book as far in advance as possible as it is hard getting a table.

3. La Petite Ferme

The perfect place to watch the sunset before enjoying dinner. La Petite Ferme describes itself as 'country cuisine with a contemporary twist'. The menu includes fresh local produce and the dishes are all fantastic. Try the wine that is from the estate and you can even stay there in one of their luxurious hotel rooms.

4. Grande Provence

Our first stop was Grande Provence, a heritage wine estate set in Western Cape's valley, surrounded by 47 acres of beautiful landscapes. Grande Provence is over 300 years old and the estate as well as the scenery surrounding it are stunning. We sat in their garden and did wine tasting (that included 3 glasses of wine) whilst a sommelier told us about the wines.

5. Maison Estate

This wine estate is famous for it's restaurant Chef's Warehouse (there is also one at Beau Constantia) and it's delicious wines which you can try in 'The Tasting Room' there. We decided to do wine tasting (accompanied by a snack of fresh oysters) in their garden to soak up the sun and the stunning views around.

6. Mont Rochelle

Mont Rochelle is owned by Sir Richard Branston and is not only a wine estate, but also a hotel and spa with restaurants and shops. We decided to stop here for lunch and from their Country Kitchen restaurant you can get picnic baskets to take and eat outside where you want. We called ahead and pre-ordered our picnic basket (but I don't think this is always necessary). The basket included a mixture of breads, salads, meats and cheeses and you can also buy wine to go with it (glasses and cups are included in the picnic basket).

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