Winelands and Dinner

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Jul 17th, 2004, 08:11 AM
  #1
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Winelands and Dinner

In Sept., we will be staying in Capetown for 5 nights. We want to tour the Winelands, and also want to stay for dinner at KoH (recommended by Selwyn) or at LBV (recommended by Kavey) or at any of the other highly recommended Franschhoek restaurants. However, our plans do not permit us to stay overnight in Franschhoek, and we will need to return to Capetown for the night. Will this be possible, logistically, without renting a car and driving ourselves?
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Jul 17th, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Hi jrruff,

Yes it would be possible but I dont think it would advisable as it is about a 60 minute drive back to Cape Town in the dark Furthermore if you will have had a meal with wine that might not be such a great idea. Must also mention that a meal at KoH as an example just would be criminal with a glass of wine or two (assuming that you drink wine)

What I cant understand is your question "Will this be possible, logistically, without renting a car and driving ourselves?" Surely you mean renting a car and driving yourselves????

Just checking.

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Jul 17th, 2004, 04:55 PM
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Thank you Selwyn for your reply.

I did mean "without renting a car and driving ourselves". I don't wish to have a multi-course meal with wine and then drive on any roads, much less unfamiliar roads late at night. In short, are there car or taxi services that can be arranged for a late night return to Capetown from Franschhoek? Alternatively, do any of the wine tours have a gourmet dinner stop as part of their tour?
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Jul 17th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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No. I think you're looking for something a bit too complex. If you want to do this right, you should go and stay a night in the winelands. Your guesthouse host in the winelands may help you arrange for transport from Cape Town and then back-- but you should know that there really isn't any public transportation system at all to get you anywhere. And, for the cost of transport from Cape Town to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek and back again, you can probably rent a car. If you scheduled this for the end of your trip, you might find it perfectly acceptable to take a cab from your hotel in Cape Town to the airport, pick up a car, drive to Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, and spend a day, night, morning in the winelands before driving to the airport to drop off the car and return home. Driving outside of Cape Town is much easier if you are unfamiliar (as we were) with driving on the left side of the road. The roads are well marked, and traffic is not particularly heavy. You can get around Cape Town fine with taxis and by taking daytrips out to the Cape Penninsula. But you really can't tour the winelands and have dinner out there without driving yourself.
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Jul 18th, 2004, 12:07 AM
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Jrruff

I still dont understand your statement of "I did mean "without renting a car and driving ourselves". If you are not going to hire a car then what car are you going to be driving as per the above statement???

I feeel that Uhoh_busted is spot on with her advice. There are no transport services to and from from Fraschhoek to Cape Town and a taxi ride will cost you triple the price of the meal you are wanting to have (that is if you will even be able to find a cab to do this ride). Thus I strongly suggest that you follow the excellent advice that Uhoh_busted has given you.

Another point: I have been in the Cape Town tourism industry for many years and I do not know of any tours that exist that offer the facility that you ask for in terms of a gourmet dinner after a tour in the Western Cape region.

What I also cant understand is your reluctance to want to stay over in Franschhoek for the evening?

Hope this all helps even though it all sounds a little bit up side down.

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Jul 18th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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Selwyn, the "without" refers BOTH to renting the car and driving themselves.

IE Jrruff would like advice on getting back to Cape Town atter dinner without renting a car and without driving themselves.

Jrruff, I think this would be possible, though not perhaps the best option either in terms of budget or pleasure. However I'm sure your hotel in Cape Town could get a quote for you for a car service to and from the restaurant. You'd probably need to decide whether you wanted one car that would wait or have a car drop you and then another collect you when you're done, either at a prearranged time or on your call.

But there are so many excellent restaurants in and near Cape Town that it just doesn't seem worthwhile to do this unless you stay over.

Just my opinion...
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Jul 18th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Jrruff,

OK via Kavey's explanation I now understand the statement. I read it as without hiring a car.... and then... when you said driving ourselves I thought that you were doing just that.

Anyway thats not the issue. All I can say in one line is "Dont attempt to do what you are trying to do with regard to your Franshhoek dinner as it is totally impractical". Please take my advice in this regard. Wish I could give you better suggestions but if you read all that Uhoh_Busted and Kavey are telling you there is no better advice as all in their mails make a lot of sense.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Sorry for the initial confusion and hope that the above helps.

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Jul 18th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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I don't know if this applies - but for anyone looking for an OUTSTANDING meal in Franschhoek - look no further than La Petit Ferme. They are only open for lunch and you need reservations several days in advace - but it is worth it!!! It was definitely the highlight of our trip to the winelands! We stayed 2 nights in Franschhoek at the Quarier Francais, which was wonderful.
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Jul 19th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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What luck! I asked a poor question and still got a good answer.

We will not be staying in Franschhoek (simply because our package provides excellent accommodations in Capetown), but we are very interested in the "restaurant experience" in Franschhoek. I was trying to combine a wine country tour with dinner at KoH (or similar - based upon Selwyn's many recommendations of KoH), but it does not seem logistically feasible. However, the suggestion of a gourmet lunch at La Petit Ferme seems like an excellent compromise, so long as I am able to choose a wine country tour that has its lunch stop in Franschhoek and allows enough time for this type of lunch.

Many thanks for all advice and suggestions.
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Jul 19th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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We enjoyed a lunch at La Petite Ferme. Whilst I thought the food was good I can't say it struck me as anywhere near as special as the food in a number of other places. That said the views are lovely - reserve a table with a good view ahead of time. Whilst most tables are by a window the entry level ones look into a conservatory sort of room a level below. That's where I'd prefer to be seated as nothing obstructs the views from there down out into the valley.
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Jul 19th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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You may want to ask the concierge service at your Cape Town accomodation about arranging a tour for you. I got the impression that most guides will set up a tour tailored to what you want to do -- and if there is a guide who works out of your hotel/guesthouse, they can probably work with you to include everything you want!
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Jul 19th, 2004, 10:34 PM
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Le Petit Ferme is the old favourite in Franschhoek that has been going for many years with its consistency and good product. Make no error LPF serve a great meal however in the past couple of years many new places have sprung up and today I am happy to say that there are many other places that are much better than Le Petit Ferme, that is in my opinion. A couple of examples are Bijoux, Topsi and Co, French Connection and I also have been told by reliable tourguide sources that Bon Vivant serves a great lunch too. There are one or two other establsihments that I regard as very special that I keep close to my own chest in that they are secret spots that I frequent with my visitors. Sorry but I have to guard some very well earned hidden secrets too. All that I am trying to say is that Le Petit Ferme is good but it is not the only good establishment to eat lunch at in Franschhoek.

In terms of tours it is very unlikely that you concierge at your place of stay will be able to arrange a good tour for you that is privatised will include a lunch at any place of your choice. Most tours that are arranged via concierges are scheduled tours (fixed tours with fixed lunch spots) and with that said it would be better to try and find a private tourguide or operator BEFORE you arrive in SA. Not only will this mean that you wont be paying a concierge commission fee in your tourguide tariff but it will also ensure that you have a tourguide booked to help you because most of the "good" private operators are booked up long in advance. The best way to do all of this is to firstly ask around for recommendations and secondly to use the internet by doing a couple of Google searches with relevant keywords. You are bound to come up with some answers this way.

Just my twopence worth.

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