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The Franschhoek Cellar

Franschhoek Cellars – Celebrating fine wine, food and friendship since 1945

Rosie has a very particular set of needs. She needs to be fed. She needs to be warm, patient people. She needs to be entertained. This can be very difficult when we go out and, as parents know, if your kid is miserable, then you are inevitably going to be miserable. Therefore, finding that perfect spot can be harder than pretending to laugh at the jokes on The Big Bang Theory.

So when Rosie was invited to Franschhoek Cellars to spend the day there, we were very excited to see what was in store.

Franschhoek Cellars is located on the Franschhoek main road (you can’t miss it), and in 2014 was totally transformed into a sophisticated, yet fun, tasting venue housing several wine brands and offering various eating options.
There’s a lot of emphasis on serving and working for Franschhoek rather than being a glorified tourist destination – community life is very important to them and being a relevant presence means that just in our visit, we saw a lot of regular locals who couldn’t stop praising the place.

But did we enjoy it? I actually wanted to insert a sound byte, but a 50 second clip of me squealing is not appealing so instead, I’m going to convey my emotions in capital letters.

FRANSCHHOEK CELLARS IS A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE FOR PARENTS WHO NEED TO FEEL NORMAL, AND WHO WANT A FABULOUS OUTING THAT EVERYONE WILL ENJOY.

But you want the details right? You want to know why I’ll be going back. Why I think this is Cape Town’s best restaurant for families.

There’s a kids play area with child minders.

From the car park, you get whizzed to the entrance in a golf buggy which of course, Rosie thoroughly enjoyed, and as soon as we walked into the building, Rosie was whisked away and taken to the outdoor play area. At first I thought that she was being played with because we were doing a tour but no, THIS IS NORMAL. This is why Franschhoek mothers are so relaxed, because they have this awesome space where they can come and have a coffee, or something stronger, and let their kids go nuts on slides and climbing walls whilst the most amazing ladies watch over them.
Rosie had a ball. She went down the slide for the first time. She chilled in a miniature trailer, letting another kid pull her around on a toy tractor. She didn’t even care that I wasn’t there and it was such a treat to be able to have a tour, a wine tasting and a lunch with Mr H and feel calm about it.

There’s never ending space.

As the days get colder, being outside might be the last thing on your mind but kids are so ridiculously resilient that you’ll be glad for the space at Franschhoek Cellars where they can run and let off steam. Everything is protected and hedged in and if you do want to sit inside, their Station Restaurant is right next to the play area and has huge windows for easy peeping.
And yes, the Station Restaurant used to be….wait for it…a tram station and now functions as a chic place to eat and as a function venue.
Speaking of venues, did you know, there are four venues at Franschhoek Cellars?! Each space is uniquely designed to offer a different feel and experience and they can cater for weddings, birthdays, business meetings, launches and any celebration you can think of.

There’s wine.

Not content with just having one tasting room, The Franschhoek Cellar has THREE. For somewhere chilled and informal there is the Brampton Wine bar  – Brampton Wines is a lifestyle wine brands offering a range of up-front, fruit-driven wines with a strong and vibrant character.

Their main tasting area has stunning bay windows, a long bar area, goodies to buy and cool cork walks. It serves the Franschhoek Cellars range.

For a sophisticated and in-depth tasting, there is the Bernard Premium Lounge which is a stylish setting used for formal tastings of the Bernard Series – a small selection of award-winning ‘hand-crafted’ wines.

In the main tasting area, we did a cheese and wine pairing for R60 and a chocolate and wine pairing which was R70 – obviously I did the latter and it was seriously good value for money because I got to stuff my face with 8 chocolates which, incidentally, are all made in Franschhoek – I just love the internal support of neighboring businesses.

There’s beer.

If you don’t like wine (are you okay?) then there are two beers, on tap, you can choose from. Plans are afoot to open a premium wine tasting venue called The Old Road Wine Company, and attached to this will be a bar that will sell beers from their craft brewery, Redrock.

There’s good food.

Rustic, hearty food with local flavors are on offer, as well as a number of kiddie’s items and some snacky bar foods too. We ordered bobotie spring rolls to start with ( I love bobotie!) and they were delicious. For mains, Mr H chose their Cellardoor burger with Boerenkaas & homemade tomato chilli jam and on the chef’s recommendation, I went for the oven roasted duck with Sweet & sticky berry-glazed, roasted herbed vegetables and crispy new potato. Both were filling and went well with our beer and wine choices.
Prices are very decent so your wallet can relax too.

 

As you can imagine, we left full, happy and with a tired Rosie. If we hadn’t need to get back home, we could have crashed in one of their two self-catering cottages that go for R2000 a night and sleep four (that’s only R500pp) but make no mistake, we’ll be heading back and I’m already planning a moms & babes day there with friends.

Don’t have kids? Visit for: Wine. Pairings. Amazingly attentive staff. Roaring fires. Beer. Wifi.

For more information on how you can plan your visit, check out their website

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