Advice on Vineyards

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Aug 22nd, 2005, 07:25 AM
  #1
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Advice on Vineyards

Hello

We have booked a trip in mid-October and after going on safari we will be staying in Cape Town. We have booked the first couple of nights but want to spend a couple of days/nights in Franschoek/Stellenbosch. My partner know a bit about wine (I only know how to drink it..!) so we want to stay in a working vineyard. Any reccomedations...

We also enjoy good food (who doesn't) so would love some advise on resturants etc. We prefer to avoid the really touristy stuff but if it is a must do...then we usually do it...!

Looking forward to your replies.

Thanks

Nicky & Nick
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:02 AM
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Hello,

There are plenty of options for accommodations in the winelands. Personally, I would recommend Franschhoek as a base -- it's between Paarl and Stellenbosch and very central. Most of the best restaurants are in the Franschhoek region, and it's nice not to have to drive a long way back to the hotel after all of that good wine...

When I investigated accommodation in Franschhoek for my trip, I didn't find many options in a working vineyard. One exception was Chamonix

http://www.chamonix.co.za/accomstart.htm

The little cottages look very nice.

If you aren't set on staying on a working vineyard, you can also check out Basse Provence, which is set in a vineyard but doesn't process the wines itself.

If you decide not to go with a vineyard, take a look at the options offered by the Portfolio Collection, www.portfoliocollection.com -- they have a wonderful selection of small, characterful places in the Winelands. I spent a month in SA staying only in Portfolio accommodation and always had good experiences.

In terms of restaurants -- book a table (now!) at Le Quartier Francais. It has heavenly food and is deservedly very popular!

A couple of other options:

Klein Oliphantshoek (open kitchen, very intimate, great food and wine)

The Cellars at Haute Cabriere (very atmospheric -- nice in that dishes are served as 1/2 and whole portions rather than starters and mains, so you can mix and match)

La Petit Ferme (go for lunch -- the food is wonderful and so are the views over the valley)

If you're looking for an 'African theme' restaurant, take a look at Moyo at Spier. Spier also has a Cheetah Outreach Centre where you can pet cheetahs.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:24 AM
  #3
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Hi Jasher

Many thanks for your advice....so much to see and so little time but I like the sound of Chamonix.

Will let you know...!

Thanks again

Nicky & Nick
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 03:38 AM
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Hello,

You may also want to visit www.platteronline.com -- the Platter Guide is SA's wine-tasting 'bible' and there is information about all the different vineyards (specialities, award-winning vintages, tasting rooms and hours). You can join online or buy the guide when you arrive in SA. I found the maps on the website very helpful for planning my days.

You can also try www.eatout.co.za, a site which gives local reviews of restaurants. Put Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, or Paarl into the search engine to find restaurants in the winelands.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 05:11 AM
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Hi Jasher

Thanks again.

Regards

Nicky & Nick
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:37 AM
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NickyNick! We didn't stay here, but I have heard very good reports from people who did.

From the photos I would def. give it a go if I ever get the chance to return.

have a great trip!
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:38 AM
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Sorry - would help if I added the url ...

http://www.i-escape.com/hotel.php?hotel_key=SA016
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:43 AM
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My husband and I stayed at Le Francais in Franschoek 2 years ago and I would definitely second the recommendations for meals at Le Francais, La Petite Ferme (get the trout) and Haute Cabriere. The food was fabulous and we are definitely foodies. We also liked 94 Winery Road (had lunch there on our way back to Cape Town. Our favorite wine farms were Rust en Vrede and Thelema -- very good wines (Rust en Vrede's blend has been rated as one of Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the World consistently for the last few years) and gorgeous settings.
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Aug 24th, 2005, 01:03 AM
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Hello,

I was on the Portfolio website last night and noticed that there is a way to search only for 'working farm' accommodations, which would include vineyards. This would probably widen your choice.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 24th, 2005, 05:24 AM
  #10
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Thanks once again and to theothers who have posted a reply.....looks like I am goping to have to pack my elasticated trousers afetr all the fine looking places you have recommended.

Thanks

Nicky & Nick
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Aug 24th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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Fish Monger in Stellenbosch is an excellent fish restaurant. Reserve some seats, because it's full most of the times. And, also in Stellenbosch, you can have an excellent lunch in the Vineyard Kitchen. It's at the Dombeya vineyard, it has only a few tables in the middle of a vineyard.

Both places arent very expensive either.
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Aug 24th, 2005, 06:15 AM
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Oh, and avoid Mojo's. It's goodlooking, but (relatively) expensive, crowded with tourists and the food wasn't really bad, but wasnt very good either. It's somewhere in the Stellenbosch-area, but forgot exactly where...
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Aug 24th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Julian, thanks for the link to Platter online.

I also loved 94 Winery Road, and in Franschhoek, The French Connection.

Have a great time, NickyNick, you'll be in wine-and-foodie heaven!
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