Franschoek – My Birthday Weekend – Karen

We did a delayed birthday weekend for me as our baby sitter, Tristan was away in Tanzania so we waited for him to get back.  Franschoek would be one of our favourite places its beautiful with its old buildings, tourist shops and wineries.

We began our wine tasting at Leopard’s Leap, didn’t find one that we loved but had fun trying.  Andrew had pre-arranged picnic baskets at Mont Rochelle (owned by Richard Branson) which was our next stop, it was amazing with its cold cheeses and meats, pan fried prawns, smoked salmon, salads, fresh bread and brownies.  Stuffed!

Mont Rochelle

After breakfast on our second day, we went for a drive before stopping for a cheese platter lunch at La Bourgogne Farm. We did not taste any wine, but we did buy a bottle of unlabeled sparkling that came from a neighboring farm.  Our next stop was another winery which offers sparkling wine, Le Lude were we sipped wine in their tasting room before walking through their Rose Garden and enjoying the views.

Tasting Room and gardens in Le Lude

We ended our day at the Grand Provence Estate, we have been here a couple of times before and although I’m not a huge fan of their wine, the estate is beautiful.  We did our wine tasting out in the sculpture garden, the gardens are beautiful and sculpture are fantastic, Andrew did the wine tasting while I had a soft drink.  The buildings date back over 300 years, there is a small art gallery, restaurants and accommodation.

Before going out for our french meal we stopped in at Tuk Tuk Brewery and Andrew did their four beer tasting.  We came here last year with Josh for his 18th birthday but did the 8 beer tasting that night.

Our favourite sparkling wine is from a small, family run winery called, Colmant Winery and is run by a Belgium couple, Isabelle and Jean-Philippe Colmant.  They started the winery in 2002 when they moved from Belgium with their five children.  We did a wine tasting while there and then bought a bottle of Colmant Brut to open when we finish our Atlantic crossing.

On our drive back to Simon’s Town we stopped at Franchhoek Motor Museum, we had driven past it many times before and not being car enthusiasts had never stopped, so we did.  I will admit it was amazing the sheer number of cars, bikes and motor bikes housed in the two large purpose built rooms.  The vehicles representative of over 100 years of history.  The Franschhoek Motor Museum is owned by car collector and South African Johann Rupert a billion heir.

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