When one thinks of things to do in Franschhoek; wine tasting instantly springs to mind. But there’s so much more to the Cape Winelands than wine pairings and cellar tours – and there’s so much more to Franschhoek than the Wine Tram!
So what to do in Franschhoek without drinking wine? Well, I was recently invited to experience a different side of the historical town and the amount of things to do in the Winelands town that doesn’t include alcohol amazed me. So for all the non-drinkers and designated drivers out there, here’s how to spend 24 hours in Franschhoek without drinking wine.
Take a historical walk of Franschhoek
You’ve driven down Franschhoek Main road (otherwise known as Huguenot road) and are probably aware of most of the places to eat but have you taken a turn-off onto one of the side streets? Franschhoek has a rich architectural history and as such, has no shortage of grand old houses. Franschhoek Adventures offers guided historical walks through the back streets of Franshhoek. It’s a great way to learn some interesting facts about the houses, churches and even cemeteries of this Winelands town.
www.franschhoek-adventures.co.za | 09:00 – 17:00 |Contact +27 072 999 8581
Visit the Franschhoek Medicinal Herb Garden
The Medicinal Herb Garden in the Franschhoek Main road (right opposite BICCCS) is overseen by local resident, Judah James. It was established in 2006 in partnership with the Botanical Society of South Africa and the municipality. Judah used to sell herbs and thus offers invaluable advice to visitors about which herbs are best for certain ailments as well as how to grow your own at home! There’s also a variety of herbs available to purchase directly from the garden.
Contact +27 072 469 2240 for more information.
Have lunch at Oude Slaven Huis restaurant
On the premises of the Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek, you’ll find the most charming little restaurant – Oude Slaven Huis. Learn all about the history of Franschhoek at the museum and afterwards sit down for a delicious lunch at Oude Slaven Huis. I particularly enjoyed their venison pie and brandy pudding. On a sunny day, you can sit outside and soak up the lovely surroundings.
Open for breakfast, lunch and tea | Contact +27 021 876 2192
Experience High Tea at La Motte
Yes, the Winelands High Tea at Pierneef à La Motte restaurant is an experience. A beautifully presented selection of mini cakes and pastries, almost too perfect to eat, is served individually plated with your choice of the finest teas (I chose crème caramel). The assortment includes a smoked salmon sandwich, savoury tartlet, Protea sweet biscuit and a macaroon – all for only R165 per person. You can walk the indulgence off afterwards on the lush green grounds of La Motte by visiting their museum and deli.
www.la-motte.com/pages/pierneef-a-la-motte | Contact +27 021 876 8800
Shop local at the Franschhoek Village Market
If you happen to find yourself in Franschhoek on a Saturday, be sure to stop by the market in the Main road under the giant oak trees. The locally sourced food, beverages, art and clothing will keep you browsing and lingering for quite some time. You might also be lucky enough to spot a well-known chef as they’ve been known to surprise visitors with pop-up stalls! Fur babies on a leash are also most welcome.
www.franschhoekvillagemarket.co.za | 29 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
Check into Residence Vive la Vie for the night
After experiencing first hand that there’s a lot of things to do in Franschhoek that doesn’t include wine, you’ll be ready to put your feet up and the well-appointed Residence Vive la Vie is the perfect place for a night’s stay. The luxury guest house is situated a stone’s throw from Charmonix Wine Farm and Dieu Donne Winery and also a short walk from the Franschhoek Main road restaurants.
All four rooms are comfortably spacious and beautifully furnished. My stay in the Superior King Suite 5 was an absolute pleasure – what more than a crystal clear pool, private patio, lounge and your very own Nespresso machine could you ask for? A good night’s rest you say? Well the King sized bed will ensure that you’re well rested too!
www.vivelavie.co.za | +27 021 300 3149 Or +27 072 482 5909
Enjoy a traditional South African dinner at Mary’s Kitchen
Can you believe you spent 24 hours in Franschhoek without drinking wine? Reward yourself by having an authentic South African dinner at Mary’s Kitchen. This home-based kitchen serves traditional Cape Malay food such as Bobotie, yellow rice and vetkoek with mince curry. It’s fuss-free dining with the focus being on enjoying a hearty meal. I’m a big fan of Malva pudding and Aunty Mary’s version of the dessert has definitely earned its right amongst my favourites.
Contact +27 021 876 3623 or +27 073 289 8044
24 hours in Franschhoek Without Drinking Wine – Yes It’s Possible!
And there you have it; a full day Cape Winelands itinerary that doesn’t include wine. You’ve visited some of the best wineries in Franschhoek and restaurants on those Franschhoek wine farms without having had a drop of alcohol. So yes, it is 100% possible to spend a day in Franschhoek without drinking wine and have the best time while doing it! Tag me on social media when you visit any of these great places – I’d love to hear your experiences :-)
*I was hosted in Franschhoek by the Cape Winelands District Municipality. As always; all views are my own, uninfluenced and completely honest.