Franschhoek, South Africa
As its name suggests, South Africa’s Franschhoek (‘French Corner’ in Dutch) is a picturesque village whose laidback cafe culture has a distinctively French feel. Full of character, Franschhoek is distinguished by its fine colonial architecture, numerous gourmet restaurants, art galleries and curio shops. The first French Huguenot settlers arrived in South Africa at Franschhoek in the 17th century and their influence lives on, for this is a place undeniably devoted to the creation and enjoyment of good food and wine.
In the immediate surrounds of the village, there are more than 40 wine estates, several of which have achieved world renowned status, and many of which offer classical concerts, art exhibitions and jazz evenings alongside cellar tours, tutored wine tastings and award-winning dining experiences. In addition, the Huguenot Museum and Monument provide a fascinating insight into the history and origins of both Franschhoek and South Africa at large.
Further afield from Franschhoek, South Africa’s beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife are to be found only 45 minutes away in Cape Town, also known as the Mother City.
LA RESIDENCE DIRECTIONS
La Residence is 5 minutes’ drive from the centre of the Franschhoek village. Franschhoek itself is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, or 45 minutes from Cape Town International Airport via the N1 and R45.
Climate/When to Visit
This is also the time to revel in the freshness of the air, cosy log fires and delicious afternoon teas!
Franschhoek weather is mild and has a Mediterranean climate, somewhat like the South of France, which is why the area is perfect for grape-growing.
Summer weather in Franschhoek occurs during the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter, which makes it the perfect destination for an escape from the cold. Summer days range from warm to hot and are rain-free. Temperatures vary from minimum 15°C (60F) up to an average maximum of 29°C (85F) though on some days temperatures can reach as high as 38°C (100F). The light is dazzling, brilliantly coloured flowers bloom and skies are cloudless. Cultural highlights in spring/summer include the Classical Music Festival in October and Cap Classique and Champagne Festival in December.
Franschhoek weather is mild in winter too: the rainy season runs from May till August, with July and August the wettest months. Winter temperatures range from minimum 8°C (48F) to maximum 19°C (66F). You may find the cooler months of June, July and August actually more pleasant for sight-seeing and wine-tasting and the winter landscape with its snow-dusted mountains definitely has its own special beauty. Autumn/winter treats include the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May and the Bastille Festival in July. This is also the time to revel in the freshness of the air, cosy log fires and delicious afternoon teas!
What to Bring
For summer holidays in Franschhoek, light clothing is essential and don’t forget your swimsuit for making the most of the pool. But temperatures often fall in the evening, so to enjoy alfresco dining or nightcaps under the stars, a light jacket, sweater or wrap is recommended. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are also must-haves for this time of year.
For winter holidays in Franschhoek, short sleeves may still be worn, but generally we recommend a sweater, cardigan or jacket for day wear and something a little warmer for the cooler evenings. Suitable footwear and light raincoats are desirable for wetter days and more substantial outdoor clothing is needed if activities such as hiking or cycling form part of your itinerary.
Please note that La Residence and the Villas in the Vineyard have no dress code: you are free to wear whatever you prefer.