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Guide Franschhoek - South Africa's Wine Region

Guide to Franschhoek - Things to do, where to eat, vineyards and places to drink

Franschhoek was one of my favourite places to visit in South Africa and I would highly recommend going whilst in Cape Town. Situated in South Africa's Western Cape, Franschhoek is famous for it's beautiful, historic town as well it's many vineyards and amazing restaurants.

This blog post is a guide to Frankschhoek, a combination of what we did over 3 days in Franschhoek, including the places we stayed, the vineyards we went to and the restaurants we ate at.

Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and with that comes a town featuring Dutch architecture surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys. What's more is Franschhoek is home to some of the most amazing vineyards, wine estates and restaurants in South Africa (if not the world).

After 2 days in Stellenbosch, we moved onto Franschhoek, which is about a 40 minute drive. We had heard that Stellenbosch was more popular than Franschhoek, but I personally preferred Franschhoek. There is so much to here including some of the most stunning wine estates and best food we had whilst in South Africa.

Where to stay in Franschhoek

We stayed at The Village Manor for 2 nights to make the most of all Franschhoek had to offer. The location was ideal, being a short walk from the main street, but set far enough back so that it wasn't too noisy at night.

The hotel is set in an old house and a lot of the original features still remain. There is an outdoor pool (that is quite basic but a nice way to cool off after a hot day in the sun).

Franschhoek South Africa

The Franschhoek Wine Tram

One of the most popular activities to do in Franschhoek is the Wine Tram. The tram is the best way to see multiple vineyards/wine estates in a day (or multiple days if you want to do more). It's also a great way to experience some of Western Cape's most beautiful views and dine at some of South Africa's best restaurants.

Wine Tram South Africa

Doing the hop-on hop-off experience costs around 35 USD (550R) for the day and the experience offers you the opportunity to try lots of different wines at the estates and vineyards. There are several options on which wine estates you stop at and you can pick your package by choosing the line you want to go on.

I've done a full blog post on the Franschhoek Wine Tram.


We had heard amazing things about Babylonstoren, so whilst it featured on some of the lines of the wine tram, we wanted to go here separately to experience it for a few hours without feeling like we needed to rush on to the next place.


Babylonstoren is a historic farm sitauted 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 is home to over 300 species of plants. Each day their resident gardener does tours of the gardens, talking about the different plants that grow there and it's a great way to learn more about Babylonstoren and you even get to try some of the edible plants, it only costs 50R (about $1). You can spend some time wondering through the gardens, checking our their giant cacti and other interesting plants.


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.

Visit their shops on sight where you can buy their handmade soaps, candles and creams (all made with produce from their gardens). They also run daily workshops and tutorials on how they make everything.

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.

Protege Franschhoek

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.

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.

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