Thursday, 29 September 2011

South African Calling - 28/09/2011-Franschhoek

As we were leaving Cape Town this morning , there was a major power failure . Something quite unheard of in these parts as a  result , all systems came to a standstill and shops had to down shutters as power back up isn't too common here ! The roads were initially chaotic , traffic lights weren't working for miles outside Cape Town . However all that was sorted out once we hit the highway and we arrived into this small town with a total population of under 16000 people !

Franschhoek is a small town on the 'wine route' about 70 Km from Cape Town . It's beauty , wine culture and the fact that it has probably the best restaurants in South Africa  has made Franschhoek into what is often described as the "food and wine capital" of South Africa . This valley is also home to some of the oldest Wine Estates and Vineyards in the country , the sprawling vineyards around the town make the landscape so special .

Oh yes , I also got hauled up by a cop car for driving into a one way lane from the wrong direction ! A brief lecture later the cop car escorted us to our B&B , the website essays it all ! . What is special is that we have a cottage with a tiny pool - all private , a covered veranda which makes it all cosy and feels like home . The kitchenette is loaded and it seems the stocks of  wines and Scotches in the bar have all been paid for by us while booking ! Pity I am driving which means I don't get to smell the damn things !

Lunch was at Mont Rochelle a lovely hotel set in the midst of a sprawling vineyard where we sat on a terrace overlooking the vineyards . Crispy pork belly and a calamari salad were what we ate and were superb .

We then took in the town- basically a one km long main street where all the action is  ! Shop shut at 5 , I guess after that all people do is drink up the wine ! Later on a drive to the mountains we saw these baboons - first ' wildlife ' sighting of the trip !

Dinner was at Reuben's . Reuben's came highly recommend , we had to book our table from Cape Town a day in advance .Fine yet uncomplicated cuisine in a laid back setting  , the restaurant  combines all the ingredients for the perfect evening . 

Chili salted squid was a great starter – served on lemon basil coriander and mint an amazing dish !Duo of oysters dramatically served in their shells on ice and pebbles was fantastic too . 

For the main course we went with lemongrass infused prawn risotto and goat cheese ravioli , both again out of this world ! 

Pity we are here just one day , would love to do dinner there again !

A huge breakfast in beautiful setting . Homemade preserves and bread with fruit eggs and cheeses - just what the doctor ordered ! Soon we drive 4-5 hours to Oudtshoorn .

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