Eat, Drink and Be Merry in Franschhoek
"Gourmet Capital of South Africa"
Franschhoek is not only known for great wines. At restaurants in town leading chefs create internationally acclaimed culinary delights, and eight of South Africa's "Top 100 Restaurants" are here. It is little wonder that Franschhoek is referred to as the Gourmet Capital of the country.
"A little history"
In October of 1687 Simon Van der Stel and twenty something pioneers travelled from Stellenbosch over Helshoogte and into the Berg River Valley. The pioneers established their farms along the banks of the Berg River and its tributaries. Van der Stel named the valley Drakenstein after the great estate in Holland belonging to the Lords of Mydrecht.
A year later about 270 French Huguenots, in an attempt to escape religious persecution, settled in the Berg River Valley and founded the community of Franschhoek (which means French Corner). The Huguenots were allocated farms in this valley on which they established vast wine estates. Their cultural heritage is evident in the enormous influence they had on both the development of the wine industry and the gracious rural architecture of the period.