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What's on in Franschhoek...La Residence
Plan your stay at La Residence to coincide with exceptional annual events that showcase the very best experiences that the Winelands have to offer. Franschhoek is more than South Africa’s most loved destination in the Cape Winelands and our home between the vineyards here at La Residence. It is a cultural and historical hub of the country, it is the nucleus of Michelin star food, local music, artisanal chocolate, art galleries, astonishing mountain scenery, and of course, South Africa’s finest wines. In every season, every year, there is a reason to enjoy Franschhoek’s beautiful surroundings and its preserved French character at quaint coffee shops, bakeries, book launches, and festivals.
We mark our annual calendars with the highly anticipated events that take place in and around the village every month. Franschhoek’s social calendar is decorated with indoor and outdoor events to keep visitors busy every month of the year – some require booking long in advance, so knowing what’s on and when is helpful to make sure you plan ahead.
Here’s our guide to what’s on in Franschhoek, highlighting what we most love about our spot in the Winelands each month for the year ahead.
The merry month of May
May, in all its cool African autumn appeal, brings the Franschhoek Literary Festival – a three-day event all about South African and international authorship, publishing, story-telling, and the love of reading, all taking place in a variety of venues in the village of Franschhoek. As the season inches towards the winter chill, red wines and reading material start filtering into our everyday lives, and the Literary Festival comes as a celebration of these greatest pleasures in life.
Creating conversations around literature and all the themes it intersects, this festive Franschhoek event celebrates the freedom of imagination and creative expression that comes from reading and writing. Combined with excellent food and wine, it is an opportunity for our guests to enjoy the very best of Franschhoek’s culture.
July in Franschhoek means the arrival of the highly anticipated Bastille Festival, commemorating France’s Fête Nationale in South Africa’s much-loved “French Corner”. Every year, the little town is cloaked in blue, white, and red, and bursts at the seams with good food, wine, music, and markets selling their best Parisian pastries and French French fair. In the middle of Cape Town’s winter, the Bastille Festival is a fun-filled weekend event that draws locals and visitors alike to the Franschhoek Huguenot Monument where winemakers and merchants, chocolatiers and bakers pedal their wares in the energetic environment generated by live music in the winter sunshine. This is certainly July’s merriest event, and a weekend not to be missed in the winelands.
The arrival of spring comes with the indulgence of hassle-free happiness in the form of a Franschhoek Mystery Weekend! It is exactly what you’d expect – a total surprise – and it comes with a reputation that makes it highly popular. A whole weekend in the Winelands including all the indulgences you’d hope for – from award-winning wines and excellent food to the excitement of exploring South Africa’s most beautiful valley – but requires none of the planning. Mystery Weekends are planned in secret, and all you have to do is book your spot, turn up and open your mystery box, which will reveal everything you need to know about your weekend in the Winelands.
Uncorked is not “just another wine festival” in Franschhoek – it is the wine festival of the season, used to showcase the new release wines from participating wineries in Franschhoek’s most magnificent vineyards. The Uncorked Wine Festival will invite you to look forward to MCCs with their vibrant spritz, crisp white varieties leading with pale-skinned fruits and mineral content, and blushing rosés flushed with berries. Along with excellent wine tastings comes live music that’ll get your foot tapping and food that generates joy. Activities like tractor rides through the vineyards make this the perfect family event and bring people together over a shared love for food, wine, and spectacular views.
Nothing but the best in November!
Bubble lovers unite at the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival – a two-day celebration of all things that sparkle. The November weather brings out the best in everything, and this market brings out the best in bubbles! Cap Classique from South Africa’s most loved producers like Graham Beck, Anthonij Rupert, Villiera, and many more come together to share their fare to Franschhoek visitors who gather to eat, drink, and be merry. Champagne producers bring a truly French connection to this event that is all about the fizz, and the village’s best local restaurants turn out with flavours to match the festivities. Live music from South African artists elevate the already excellent offerings of the day, and you’ll find yourself eating, drinking, and dancing the summer weekend away.
Christmas in the Village
The end of the year brings bright lights and baubles to shop windows and market stalls, and the winelands are no exception. In fact, Franschhoek puts on a special 3-day Christmas Market just for the occasion. Ordinarily, the village market is impressive enough, but everything is bigger and better at Christmas time, so expect the Franschhoek Christmas Market to bring even more delicious, delectable offerings than usual.
Spend the day under the ancient oak trees where you can meander between over 100 stalls, taking your pick of artisanal dishes, handmade arts and crafts, and glasses of Franschhoek’s best wine! Roasters, brewers, and bakers fill the air with scents that will leave you smacking your lips, while artists and craftsmen will help you pick out special gifts for loved ones as Christmas Day approaches.
Before you know it, 12 months of fun and festivities have come and gone in Franschhoek, and the year has brought a string of offerings to balance food, wine, art and culture in some of the country’s most beautiful surroundings. If you’re plotting a visit to Cape Town and need another reason to love our wine country, take your pick from the Franschhoek calendar and let the tour begin!
These festivals are justifiably popular, so we would advise booking your accommodation at La Residence well in advance and giving yourself even more to look forward to. Please contact our Reservations Team for assistance.