Sorbonne Apartments
cnr. Akademie and De Wet Street
Franschhoek
Email: info@holly-tree.co.za
Phone: +27 (0) 82 825 3684
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 652 0652
Explore Franschhoek | Holly Tree | Your Home Away from Home
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WINE ESTATES

With Holly Tree located in the magnificent, internationally celebrated Cape Winelands, guests can explore nearby wine estates. Franschhoek is surrounded by rolling mountains swathed in vineyards and lush countryside. The vineyards are a trademark of the region, and even more so are the quality wines produced in this charming area.

 

The exquisite 40 plus vineyards that surround Franschhoek yield superb wine, many of which can be tasted and purchased on site. A large number of wine cellars and vineyards offer tours of their facilities as well as the option to enjoy a scenic picnic amongst the picturesque surrounds.

 

With so many wine cellars from which to choose for a tickle of the taste buds, to purchase some superb wines, explore the vineyards or simply to enjoy a flavour-filled picnic, Franschhoek is a wine lover’s paradise.

 

Chamonix, Graham Beck, L’Ormarins, Boschendal, Dieu Donne, La-Motte, Rupert & Rothschild, Boschendal Manor & Winery, Lynx Wines and Grand Provence Estate (the latter which is rated in the top 100 wine estates in the World) are just some of the illustrious wine estates in the area.

Chamonix offers visitors a seamless blend of unspoiled nature, welcoming hospitality, exquisite facilities and a host of culinary and viticultural delights with a history stretching back nearly 350 years.

La Motte is home to the finest wines, recognised internationally for exceptional quality. With its picturesque setting, traditional cuisine and historic charm, La Motte is an enchanting experience.

Dieu Donné is situated high on the steep south-west facing slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains, encouraging a cool climate and combined with the rocky soils of weathered granite, a unique terroir has been created.

Grande Provence Estate, Franschhoek, is a destination in its own right, offering award-winning wines at The Winery, gourmet cuisine at The Restaurant, South African artists and artisans at The Gallery and The Shop.

FRANSCHHOEK WINE TRAM

While self-driving to the many estates is an option, the hop on hop off Wine Tram is a sensible and fun option. This facility allows you to enjoy a variety of activities including wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or a stroll through the vineyards at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates without having to drive yourself. The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off (full day) tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the area. Passengers can spend a relaxed day exploring the delights of the enchanting Franschhoek Wine Valley!

 

The tour starts from and ends at the Wine Tram ticket office – a mere 550 meters from Holly Tree apartment. There are four popular routes to choose from.  It is advisable to book tickets in advance to secure your seat and avoid disappointment as the tour fills up quickly. We would suggest that you first consider where you would like to have lunch, investigate some restaurant menus and then choose the tour that is going to suit your lunch venue best. Ideally lunch will be your third or fourth stop. Picnic baskets are also available at many of the vineyards.

 

Once you have reserved a departure time for the tour of your choice, you are free to hop on and hop off at the various wine estates on your chosen route. Once you alight at a wine estate, you will have a full hour to explore before the next bus or tram arrives to take you on to your next exciting destination.

 

If you are travelling with children we highly recommend including stops at Rickety Bridge, La Bourgogne and Grande Provence, as these all have jungle gyms and lovely play areas for the young ones. Franschhoek Wine Tram currently offers four hop-on hop-off lines to choose from: Blue Line, Red Line, Yellow Line and Green Line. Each visiting eight wine estates and showcasing a separate part of the Franschhoek Valley.

DINING OUT

Franschhoek, formerly known as the French Quarter, is now widely recognised as the gourmet food capital of South Africa with more than 50 restaurants to choose from, both in the village and on the surrounding wine farms. The village’s heritage is apparent in every bite when you visit their French styled restaurants, many within easy walking distance of Holly Tree.

 

Dining options are extensive, as one can find excellent seafood, contemporary cuisine and even traditional African potjiekos (local slow cooked stews), along with both modern and time-honoured French and South African delicacies. For something lighter the hamlet offers a lavish choice of coffee shops, pizzerias and delis with local and imported cheeses.

 

This charming village is home to some of the top South African restaurants. In fact, a number of award-winning chefs reside and ply their fine trade in Franschhoek – are you sold yet?

 

Franschhoek restaurants have become leaders in great food and local wines – with exceptional value. We therefore recommend that during peak season (October – March) you book in advance to secure a table and avoid disappointment.

 

A few of our favourites include: Foliage, The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, Bread & Wine at Môreson, Grande Provence, The Kitchen a Maison, Allora, Pierneef at La Motte, Roca, Dutch East, Ruben’s, Le Bon Vivant and Ryan’s Kitchen.

Protégé

Protégé is a casual-style eatery at Le Quartier Français under the guidance of Scot Kirton. Visitors looking for an informal eatery now have the perfect venue in Protégé, featuring stylish casual fare created by a series of talented young chefs headed by Jess van Dyk. Asian, French and Italian influences can be detected in the cuisine which includes the trendy small plates menu, ideal for sharing. Visitors can choose to dine al fresco or watch the chefs at work in the central show kitchen.

Foliage

In a sense, Chris and his foraging boots have finally been set free. Wild ingredients loom large, with everything from wild geese to wild mushrooms and wild herbs ending up on the plate in some shape or form.

Épice

Introducing Épice – The latest venture from the team behind La Colombe, La Petite Colombe (6th best restaurant in South Africa), Foxcroft and Protégé. Épice – derived from the French word Épice meaning spice (and is pronounced eh-peace) – is an intimate fine dining restaurant, serving an array of delectably curated dishes. The fine-dining restaurant is headed by chef Charné Sampson (previously sous chef at La Colombe).

La Petite Colombe

6th best restaurant in South Africa 2020

“A meal at La Petite Colombe restaurant is like doing the tango with a stranger. You enter the dance floor uncertain of what to expect, and when the music stops at the end, you are left breathless and speechless. And when words are not enough, only a hearty applause will do. I am clapping loudly right now..” — Nidha Narrandes, Cape Town Etc.

Chefs Warehouse at Maison

14th best restaurant in SA 2020

Chef David Schneider joins Liam Tomlin in transporting Chefs Warehouse’s style of casual fine-dining to a refined country setting. Maison, on the edge of the historic Franschhoek Village offers a contemporary set-menu lunch or dinner. It’s a riff on traditional tasting menus and small-plate sharing experiences, served in four courses.

Le Coin Français

16th best restaurant in SA 2020

The newest edition to the Franschhoek scene is a restaurant really and truly for Franschhoek. Both in concept and in name, the aptly named “Le coin Français” , which literally means Franschhoek, will embody the essence of the valley in heritage, cuisine, art and wine. It will feature cutting edge methods meeting time tested French elegance in cuisine, a carefully selected locally themed wine list to showcase the best local wines, a French sommeliers selection, and an ever evolving collaboration of art.

SPORTS & ADVENTURE

Golf Courses

Head out to the Winelands, ready your drivers, wedges and prepare for some of the most satisfying golf you’ve ever experienced.

Golf courses on offer include Pearl Valley Golf Course, the newest Jack Nicklaus signature course in SA and Boschenmeer Golf and Country Estate, a David Frost signature course, uniquely the first 27-hole layout in the Western Cape.

Pearl Valley Golf Course

Situated in the picturesque Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, with the majestic Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains providing a dramatic backdrop, Pearl Valley Golf Course is only 30 minutes’ drive from Holly Tree. Consistently ranked among the top ten courses in South Africa by Golf Digest, it’s no wonder that that this golf course is a favourite amongst golfers to the area.

 

One of the most attractive aspects of the Val de Vie “Super Estate” is its iconic Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. This masterpiece was shaped by the vision of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his unique touch is evident throughout the course.

Boschenmeer Golf Estate

Boschenmeer Golf Estate is a dream course in a stunning natural environment. It is well worth the 30 minute drive from Franschhoek and is popular for its hospitality and friendliness. This picturesque 27-hole parkland course, situated on the Boschenmeer Country Estate, is just outside the historic town of Paarl, framed by the majestic Drakenstein mountains and the famous Paarl Rock. Boschenmeer is amongst the must-play courses in South Africa.

 

Records show that golf in Paarl was, in all probability, first played in the 1880’s when Mr Wahl, an attorney, pioneered the game in the town. It is still being played there at the Boschenmeer Golf Estate, home of the Paarl Golf Club.

Hiking Trails

It is hard to imagine more beautiful surroundings for a hiking trail than the Franschhoek Valley. The quaint town is set in a valley surrounded by four towering, mountain ranges and boasts numerous spectacular walking trails, some of the best in the Western Cape. Hikes in Franschhoek range from short and easy to a strenuous day trail. Take your camera, take your time and enjoy nature at its best.

Cats se Pad Hiking Trail

Starting just outside Franschhoek and built in 1819, this was the first pass over the Franschhoek Mountains. This easy 3km trail offers glorious scenery and a great diversity of fynbos within the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. There are some lovely views of the patchwork of farms in the Franshhoek Valley.

Cats Pass Trail

Enjoy the unrivalled splendour of Franschhoek on the Cats Pass Trail located in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. This 10.5km trail extravaganza of gorgeous scenery, steep ascents and historic points of interest is ranked as being moderately challenging (mainly due to a very steep ascent) and takes about five hours to complete.

Perdekop Hiking Trail

Staking a claim for the best view in a region famous for them, this enjoyable 15km walk to Perdekop is the longest trail available at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The trail requires a high level of fitness and the steep climb is more than made up for by the glorious 360 degree views from the top and the lovely fynbos and abundance of birds along this 6-8 hour route.

Dutoitskop Trail

Dutoitskop Trail is a breathtaking hiking trail with a beautiful variety of fynbos along the route. The views from Dutoitskop, that stretch over the stunning Franschoek Valley and Wemmershoek Mountains are spectacular and on a clear day Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are easily visible! This moderate strenuous trail spans 12km and is challenging enough for the keen and experienced hiker, but easy enough for fit walkers. It should take about 5 hours, and is well worth the effort. If you are into bird watching, look out for the endemic Cape Rockjumper.

La Motte Hiking Trail

As an estate, La Motte is committed to the highest conservation and biodiversity standards, and their picturesque hiking trail is a wonderful showcase of some of the extraordinary work they do. This 2 hour circular hiking trail through luxuriant fynbos, orchards and vineyards along a scenic mountain route with stunning views over the valley is a great way to appreciate this beautiful wine estate.

 

The trail requires a fair degree of fitness, starting off relatively easy, wandering through the gardens and then the vineyards before it begins to wind up the slopes of the Wemmershoek Mountains, where one is bound to work up a sweat (get the heart rate up). The 5.6km trail starts and ends at the La Motte Tasting room and a well-deserved wine tasting is definitely a great way to finish off your day out.

 

The Sustainable Hike is a further expression of La Motte’s commitment to the highest conservation and biodiversity standards and the protection of precious indigenous flora and fauna in the mountain area surrounding the estate and the adjoining Wemmershoek mountain range.