Every year the Franschhoek Valley residents celebrate their French Huguenot heritage by throwing what is essentially a big party. This year the culinary capital of South Africa is hosting the Franschhoek Bastille Festival on the 13 and 14 of July. It promises to be a bonanza of music, food, wine and French!
Aside from embracing the town’s heritage by dressing up in the French colours and donning a beret, the festival is also an opportunity to showcase the Franschhoek Valley’s great food and wine offerings. During the festival, the main street will be transformed into an open-air market selling anything from beer and bread to cheese and fresh produce. There will be a float procession with each float representing one of the region’s wine farms, with the local minstrel band leading the way.
The centre of the festival is the main marquee, which will be set up just off the main road, next to the town hall. Entry costs R150 and the delights within will more than make up for the cost. Inside there will be wine-tasting with producers like Boschendal, Alleé Bleue and Backsberg strutting their stuff while a number of great Franschhoek restaurants will fulfil the food element of the event.
Among the Dining-OUT stable will be Allée Bleue, supplying hungry festival goers with gourmet baguettes of smoked chicken or lamb, Allora will sell schwarmas, pitas, soup and spring rolls, Backsberg will be selling lamb ciabatta and Roca Restaurant will be providing ribeye rolls.
Food and wine aside for a moment, some of the other festivities of the weekend include live music, silly sports events like the waiters’ race and barrel-rolling race and the longest-running boules competition of its kind.
All in all, it looks set to be a fun-filled French-themed weekend with all the best attributes – food, wine and silliness.
Here are some more Franschhoek restaurants listed on Dining-OUT.