Cheers to bubbles in Franschhoek

Cape Town - What better way to welcome the festive season than with a bottomless glass of beautiful bubbly in hand?

Sound good?

Well, head on over to the winelands this weekend for the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, aka, The Magic of Bubbles

The festival celebrates all things sparkly in the form of South Africa’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) and France’s best Champagnes - including Piper Heidsieck, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot - against the backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains and the iconic Huguenot Monument. 

A photo posted by Karen Rossen (@dragogurl) on

Taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, festival goers will have the opportunity to hang out with local winemakers from estates famous for their bubbly, including Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, JC le Roux, Krone, Pongracz, Steenberg and Villiera, among many others. 

But what is a festivity without food? Not much! So, be sure to go hungry in order to make the most of the mouth-watering array of gastronomic delights. Bread & Wine, The SalmonBar, Haute Cabrière, Le Franschhoek, L'Ermitage, Restaurant at Grande Provence and Mont Rochelle are a few of the restaurants showcasing their menus during the festival.

If you live or are visiting Cape Town, it is an easy hour's drive that is as rewarding as the time you'll spend in the age-old wine-making valley.

While we're sure the Magic of Bubbles will keep you rather occupied, we suggest making a weekend (or maybe even a long weekend) of it and checking out these 30 things that make Franschhoek well worth a visit.

Have we overlooked anything, let us know by emailing

1. WINE – the obvious one. Some of South Africa's oldest and finest vineyards are based in Franschhoek.

2. The drive itself along the scenic Franschhoek Mountains, which used to be known as Oliphants Hoek.

3. It is South Africa’s very own French Corner, thanks to the Huguenot settlers who made it their own in the late 1600s.

4. Which brings us to Bastille Day! Did you go, send us your pics to

5. Book lovers cannot miss the annual Literary Book Festival

6. OR the decadent delights of Le Quartier Francais.

7. CHEESE - your are spoiled for wine pairings in this region from La Cotte, Dalewood Fromage and Anuru.

8. The wineries – yes the wine deserves another mention. Tastings and food pairings can be experienced at La Motte, Champagne Estates, La Cotte, Cabrière, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donné and La Dauphine - some of the first established farms in the region but there are many more to discover. Do you have a favourite? Tell us in the comments section below.

9. The Huguenot monument - makes a great photo - email

10. The Franschoek Kitchen at Holden Manz - we recently enjoyed a getaway there - take a look

11. Cape Dutch Architecture - like the Cape Dutch Reform Church in main road dating back to the 1800s.

12. The wine tram - this hop-on hop-off tour sounds like such a fun way to make the most of Franschhoek's wine farms.

13. Enjoying a Spa Day at Le Franschhoek

14. CHOCOLATE – do a tour at Huguenot Fine chocolates

15. Some of the most scenic hiking trails. Try the Dutoitskop Trail, which starts at the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve office on Franschhoek Pass.

16. The Saturday seasonal food market outside the Dutch Reform Church.

17. Franschhoek Uncorked festival 27 - 28 September.

18.  Wine with biltong people. Salivating!

19.  Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne festival - 29 & 30 November 2014.

20.  Go check out the Madiba statue outside the entrance to the Groot Drakenstein (formerly Victor Verster) Correctional Facility, where he walked out of prison after 27 years.

21.  Hire a bike and do a cycling tour with the family along the 7 kilometre off-road tarred path running from De Villiers Street to the Wemmershoek/Berg River Dam crossroads.

22.  Do the Babylonstoren garden tour.

23. Head to the Huguenot Memorial Museum for an in depth look at the Huguenot's history, furniture making skills and social life.

24. Reubens - the original signature restaurant of one of South Africa's most popular chefs. Great food worth your time and money.

25. Stroll down main road to make the most of the art galleries dotted in the area.

26. Take the kids to a visit to the Motor Museum at L’Ormarins for a nostalgic treat.

27. Indulge in the Franschhoek artisan food route

28. Which should include a stop in at Bread and Wine for their artisan bread. They also offer bread baking courses.

29. Wine with Olives - including an olive oil tasting. Yes please!

30. Check out the Museum van der Caab for insights into the Stone Age, the slave history of the farms and the San people.  

Have we overlooked anything, let us know by emailing or come join our travel community on FacebookTwitter or Instagram accounts.
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