Franschhoek Valley nestles between the towering peaks of the Cape winelands,
a beautiful valley where some of the world's finest wines are produced. Not to be
outdone by the good wines of the regions, some of South Africa's top chefs have
settled in the area and have added top international cuisine to the menu. The village
is full of arts, crafts and antique shops and galleries, and is only 45 minutes
drive from Cape Town. Franschhoek is an ideal spot from which to explore this wonderful
region of South Africa.
When Protestantism was outlawed in France following the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, hundreds of Huguenots fled France for
places new. Nearly 300 of them arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope and many
of these were given land by the then Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek
(Elephant Corner). The valley later became known as French Corner or Franschhoek.
Their Huguenot Heritage is honoured today by the monument that stands at the top
of the village. Most of the farms and vineyards in and around Franschhoek still
have French names today.