Looking to get the very best out of your holiday? Here at Oliver’s Travels, we believe that travel is about more than simply going to new places – it’s enjoying the very best the regions has to offer and getting to grips with the authentic experience. In that spirit, our Local’s Guides were born. This time we’re getting a bit more exotic and heading to South Africa to speak with Peggy Klement who is an expert in all things Franschhoek.
Tell us a bit about yourself…What do you do, how long have you lived there and what makes you an expert in the region?
I was born and raised in Seattle, and my husband was born in France and raised in the UK. Now we’re both South Africans by choice! We love Franschhoek and have been here for four years.
Why should people travel to your region at least once in their lifetime?
The beauty, the food and the wine experience, all just one hour from Cape Town.
What makes people come back time and time again?
The beauty, the food and the wine experience (I know I already mentioned it, but it really is that good!) and the friendliness of the people.
Summarize the region for us in three words.
Beautiful mountain landscapes.
Have you had any famous visitors or well-known events take place in the region?
Elton John and Robert Redford recently visited, and Richard Branson also owns a hotel in the village.
Are there any interesting historical stories of the region?
The French Huguenots were given the land and introduced the wine culture 600 years ago. The rest is history!
Travel inspiration time! Can you give us your recommendations on…
The first thing to do – drop your bags and… explore the village’s main street.
Don’t miss! The Huguenot Museum, and on good weather days take time to visit either the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve walks or the La Motte wine estate hike. It is also worth driving over the Franschhoek Pass for spectacular scenic moments, and visit the town of Hermanus and see if the whales are on their seasonal visit.
Best restaurant: There’s too many to have a favourite!
Best drinking spot: Again, there are too many great vineyards to have a favourite, but that does mean a lot of them are excellent.
Best activity: Wine tasting.
Best spot for an amazing panoramic view: Head to the top of the Franschhoek Pass.
Best things to do for families: Horseback riding is something new and different!
Best things to do for a group of friends/adults: Again, it has to be wine tasting. There are 53 different ones in the area!
What do you think first-time visitors will find most surprising about the area? What should they always pack with them?
Hiking or walking shoes are a great idea, and you might find yourself in need of an extra suitcase as there are lots of wonderful boutique shops
What would your perfect day in the area comprise of?
Breakfast by the pool in your villa and an early morning walk in the mountains. Pop in for coffee at Sacred Ground Coffee Bar, then wine tasting and lunch at either La Motte Wine Estate or Bread and Wine restaurant on the Moreson Estate. Then there’d be some afternoon wine tasting at Haute Cabriere, and dinner at either Ryan’s Kitchen or a braai (South African barbeque) prepared by our butlers to be enjoyed with a glass of our estate’s very own Pinot Noir.
What’s the one dish/activity/view/experience etc. that really captures the essence of the region for you, and why?
A wine tasting at Black Elephant Vineyards – great wines supplemented by a great personality. It really encompasses the lifestyle and aura of Franschhoek!
Have a look at some other Local’s Guides: