Bon Appetit Franschhoek!
We picked up our hire car and navigated the short hour and a half drive to our next stop in Franschhoek.
It was very hot today – up to 35 and Summer has only just started here. They say it has started hot though – February (their hottest month) isn’t usually much hotter than this.
August – mid Winter here – is about 15 degrees on average,but can drop just below freezing at night on occasion. I don’t think many people who live here all the time understand what cold can really feel like?!
Le Quartier Francais is a really beautiful hotel. Luxurious, yet informal and relaxed. This afternoon, they organised a trip for us to a winery that is part of their group.
Tour of the Mullineux and Leeu Winery
We were the only guests who took up this offer so we had the place to ourselves and were treated to a guided tasting of their Mullineux wine. Interesting that the grapes come from the Swartlands region and they have freedom to combine the grapes exactly how they wish, so their wines are created rather like a recipe, mixing varieties from different soils together. Very different from France – although this region does have many strong echoes of its early French settlers.
Franschhoek is such a pretty place. Roses fill the town at this time of year and the high street is a real pleasure to stroll up and down. There are lots of different restaurants to sample here too. We are pre-booked (many months in advance!) to the Tasting Room at tLe Quartier Francais tonight though, so sampling the other restaurant here will just have to wait.
The Tasting Room - Le Quartier Francais
We are really looking forward to sampling the menu in the Tasting Room tonight. The award winning chef Margot Janse creates an eight course contemporary African inspired tasting menu aimed to stimulate emotion sufficient to break your habitual patterns. Guests are advised to allow 3½ hours for the experience and also that there is no dress code – you dress for the experience you want to have.
“I have no signature dish, South Africa is my signature.” Margot Janse.
Glad I packed – loose fitting cool trousers!