Bastille Day, Franschhoek



Apologies for the slight delay in recapping the festivities, I had some minor technical difficulties, but all is good now and below is a little sum up of the activities… 

Unfortunately for us the weather decided not to play along on the Saturday, but Sunday was perfect for those who went through.

Next year we will definitely NOT be going to the food and wine tent.  Although the tent was very festive and the live band was fantastic, the value for money was poor.  R150 per person as entry into the tent for which we received a wine glass and 5 coupons.  One would expect, being a food & wine tent, that at least one coupon would be for food if not a number of them.  At most festivals each restaurant or stand has a similar priced sample dish for which one or two coupons are used.  

There were no food coupons, and while there were some great restaurants and dishes, eating was an added expense.  The coupons which were therefore wine tasting coupons were valued at one coupon per tasting – not per wine farm tasting, per individual wine tasting.  I sort of understand, given the crowd, but I was pretty disappointed after I had made a list of the specific farms I wanted to check out.  So for R150 I got a glass and to taste 5 wines, which might I add were mostly second tier wines as I am sure the farms were not interested in offering their most prestigious at what appeared to be more of a drunken student party than an actual food & wine festival.

 Out in the town however, the French culture was much more present and the festivities were much more enjoyable.  We had a blast watching the barrel rolling competition.  And even got a Porcupine Ridge umbrella for our support in the rain – kudos to Porcupine Ridge, we will definitely buy their wine in the future!  The markets were great, one more of a curio/African nature and one more of a farmer’s market, with great food (delicious samoosas!).  I was disappointed to have missed the Minstrel Parade, but we’ll have to catch that next year.  I was also a little scared of the trail run, next year I will train a bit harder.  The Franschhoek Hospice was out in full force with pancakes, berets, scarves and rosettes for purchase and loads of people added a French flair to their outfits for the day.  All the shops and restaurants streamed in the French colours and bubbling onto the sidewalks with their food and wine.

So, all in all, a great day out in the beautiful town of Franschhoek!  Check the weather and go through when the sun is shining and rather enjoy the town festivities than trying to the fight the crowds in the food and wine tent.  (Unless of course you are a student and ALL your friends are going and you’re in for the KUIER, then you will have a blast in the tent!)

I think next year we’ll check out the festivities in town and then head to one of the surrounding farms.  Perhaps it might be a good idea for the farms to actually have activities going on as well, that might aleve/stagger some of the traffic and add a whole nother dynamic to the weekend… just saying!

Until next year…

Off the N1 along R45


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