The Cape Winelands is known for its obvious offering: vino. Since the city has been so cold over these past few weeks, the thought of warming up the insides in Franschhoek sounded like the perfect solution, and unbeknownst to me there was an abundance of things to do in the Winelands. My mini-breakaway from the city happened to be a wet winter’s day. While I expected it to be a gloomy experience, it turned out to be everything but!
Here are some of the things you can enjoy in Franschhoek in winter:
Get a headstart to your day at Terbodore café
Terbodore café in Franschhoek is the second roastery under the brand’s belt. Located on Huguenot Street, the café is a warm melting pot of sorts. From elderly men grabbing a cuppa while reading the community newspaper, to young newlyweds holding hands while enjoying an omelette, and the frantic young professional beating away at their keyboard before the work day begins (aka me) – Terbodore offers a friendly space and a delicious, freshly roasted cup of coffee to kickstart your day.
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A Franschhoek Favourite: The Wine Tram
Can you really say that you’ve been to the Winelands without experiencing the wine tram? I think not. Even as a Capetonian who has never experienced the wine tram before, I can officially tick that off my bucket list and finally say with all confidence that I’ve experienced the Winelands in all its glory.
The Wine Tram at Franschhoek terminal is another buzzing spot with a melange of accents floating through the air, even on a rainy day in the middle of the week. The terminal includes a coffee shop and a souvenir store that offers everything from their famous, classic French pastry, the Beignet, to pinotage-infused candles.
The wine tram offers 7 different lines, each colour-coded according to your chosen experience. We had a taste of the grey line which includes a tractor ride to vineyards that are not directly positioned on the tram’s route – perfect for the rainy days.
The grey line stops at Klein Goederust, Leopards Leap, Chamonix, Dieu Donne, Grande Provence, Rickety Bridge, and Franschhoek Cellar. The wine tram passes through every hour, so you can hop on and hop off whenever you’d like and pick and choose which vineyard you’d like to visit.
The wine tram includes a complimentary glass of wine en route to your wine farm of choice and the tour guides are incredibly friendly and energetic, getting you amped up for the journey ahead.
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Create your own blend at Rickety Bridge
Rickety Bridge offers the unique experience of blending your own bottle of wine. They provide you with everything you may need to create your own blend, including the wine to experiment with, funnels and measuring jugs, some paper to jot down your secret sauce, and a sticker and some colour pens to create your distinctive label.
The staff at Rickety Bridge is there to guide you through the process of converting the glass-to-bottle ratios of your special blend and to assist you in corking, labelling and packaging your wine.
Pro-tip: you can ask the wine tram staff to hold onto any wine that you’ve purchased, while you hop on and hop off. Once your tour is over, your wines will be returned to you.
Go chocolate tasting at Huguenot Fine Chocolates
Huguenot Fine Chocolates offers a demonstration of how their cocoa is sourced and how their mouthwatering treats are made. The demonstration is ideal for the whole family as it is led by passionate locals, who allow you to be engaged and hands-on, and at the end, your kids will love you so much more as they’d get to walk away with some delectable Belgian chocolate. We got to create our own praline delights and as a result of the cold, we were able to see the fruits of our labour set pretty effortlessly.
Read more: Wind down with a getaway in the Winelands
Enjoy brekkie at La Motte’s artisanal bakery and garden café
La Motte’s garden café is perfect for those who want to be surrounded by nature, all the while escaping the cold. The garden cafe has an indoor-outdoor style, with its floor-to-ceiling glass design, giving you the feeling that you are outdoors when you are very much covered and cosy. The bakery is known for its bread baskets, which come with a broad selection of yummy, golden carbs to fill you up. Expect everything from freshly baked croissants to ciabatta, seeded loaf and so much more and you can choose whether you want your bread basket to come toasted or fresh.
Enjoy a Midweek Stay for 2 at the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel
Centrally located in the heart of Franschhoek and only a 1-minute stroll away from the famous Wine Tram, the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel is well-known for its staff’s hospitality, exquisite rooms and convenient, central location. With a wonderful selection of cafes and galleries close by, staying at yet another one of Lion Roars’ phenomenal hotels is guaranteed to be nothing but pure bliss.
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With so much to add to your Franschhoek itinerary, perhaps it’s time to book into a quaint little B&B and discover all Franschhoek has to offer.
Originally written and published by Woman&Home Magazine.for
Feature Image: Pexels