Franschhoek Uncorked – Wine Tasting and Lavenders for Africa…

 

20130907_110059Franschhoek is known as the gourmet capital of South Africa. It’s what you’d call a mini version of Paris for those of us who aren’t as lucky to jet off to Europe whenever the mood strikes. It’s full of art galleries, museums, boutique and specialty shops, delis, cafés, top rated restaurants with world class chefs, and more. Our long overdue weekend away just so happened to be the weekend that the Franschhoek Uncorked festival was taking place.

Talk about GOOD timing!

We hadn’t been away for a weekend in a really long time. Hands down my fault. Years and years of hopping all over the show while trying to find out what I wanted to do with my career. Finally, finally this year it’s all come together. To celebrate, we chose this piece of heaven to stay at for two days…

Lavender Guest Farm… The views, the four star quality, the relaxing and tranquil beauty…I could go on forever. If you’re ever in Franschhoek, do yourself a favour and book a room here. AMAZING. Just amazing…. 

Lavender Guest Farm4

We had four seasons in two days over the weekend. Saturday started off as a beautiful spring day, and soon warmed up to a sweltering summer’s day by mid afternoon. People lounged outside in the sun, and cool mist was sprayed onto verandas of alfresco restaurants, while on Sunday – what started off as a cool autumn day, soon turned into chilly winter weather as fireplaces and heaters were turned on at full blast to keep festival goers warm. Typical Cape weather…

Saturday

Here’s what we got up to in the sun….Franschhoek Uncorked Weekend Pics

Sunday

And here’s what we did in the rain…

Franschhoek Uncorked Weekend2

In between wine tasting, we found a painting station at Four Paws wines! I think we were there for the better part of an hour, and since I’ve NEVER seen my husband paint in the 12 years we’ve been together, I lapped up every second of it! I think I’m going to ask him to paint me another picture, how cool is his lemon tree?! I on the other hand, got a little carried away…

And what’s a wine festival – especially an Franschhoek Uncorked wine festival – without food? We were spoilt for choice. There was everything from oysters, Indian street food, cheeses, Belgium chocolates and olives; to full on main meals that were seriously out of this world. Vegetarian? Gluten intolerant? No problem! What a relief…I couldn’t get enough of the buffet bar at Leopard’s Leap as you can see from my piled plate below. It was heaven. So is their scenery and modern building, which is actually only about two years old! Lunch at Solmes Delta was a treat. I had the marinated vegetables and goats cheese rolls with a garlic and potato cream sauce. DEVINE. Solmes Delta have a wonderful story behind them. All of their staff live on the farm, which means that they don’t have to worry about traveling far to get to work, they’ve got more time with their families, and they’re generally happy. This was clear as daylight on the day we visited them, what a pleasure to see people loving what they do and radiating what can only be described as pure joy. Priceless.

Franschhoek Uncorked Food

In total, 19 wine farms took part in the Franschhoek Uncorked festival. We managed to visit 18 of them. Most were well worth the visit, a few not so much – but overall, an incredible experience! Next up…the Helderberg Wine Festival coming up in November. I think we’ll be taking it a little easier this year though! For us, it’s not so much about wine tasting and more wine tasting – although there are some beautiful wines out there, and we get to stock up our wine collection at home, BUT – for us, it’s more about the vibe, the atmosphere. Visiting different wine farms and getting a sense of who they are, while enjoying the outdoor entertainment, delicious food, and just having fun chilling in the sun, in one of the most gorgeous settings in the Western Cape. What could be better?!

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8 Comment

  1. Those lavenders are so pleasing in the eyes. It feels like summer forever! The wine festival is really interesting. Getting to know different kinds of wine coming from different places is really awesome. We need to add this in our wine tour.

  2. […] just got back from an awesome weekend away to the gorgeous “mini Paris of SA”, Franschhoek. It was heaven. It totally rejuvinated […]

  3. Oh how simply divine! I SO want to go on a wine-tasting tour, haha. This looks freaking awesome! I must do this sometime. Thanks for sharing those exquisite photos and you deserve a relaxing weekend! 🙂
    Cyndi recently posted…Ten Things of Thankful: Lake JunaluskaMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      You need to get over here my friend, we can do a whole wine tasting week together!! 😉

  4. Sounds like you’ve had a great trip, Mel!!! Good food, good wine…mmm mmm!
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Dreams nearing homeMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Oh yes… even though technically I shouldn’t be drinking wine, how could I resist when it was a wine festival?? 😉

  5. This sounded awesome and seriously so happy you got to finally get away. So nice that things are coming together and know the feeling here, too. Wasn’t sure for a bit there, but definitely feeling so thankful for so much right now. Seriously though so happy for you and really did look like an amazing weekend getaway!!!
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Top 4 Tips to Prepare for Heating SeasonMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Thanks Janine…it was a little piece of heaven that just went by in the blink of an eye!

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