Stollenbosch and Franschhoek - Cape Province, South Africa

Very well behaved schoolboys...and only the teacher has the sole umbrella.

Around 50 kilometres north-east of Cape Town,  there are vine yards, encircling mountains, bustling night clubs, historical sites and good food - interesting considerations for a weekend getaway.  There is no ocean but only inland delights, including the national flower of South Africa, barista coffee, picnic grounds and a university town.  The private Bridge House School is available for boarding.   In 1999, Stollenbosch University designed and manufactured the first micro satellite in Africa, SUNSAT.   The 25000 students at this higher education institution are known as "maties".

Vines were first planted in the Stollenbosch area in 1679 and are today strong in the terrior tradition of reds like Shiraz, Merlot, Pilotage and Carbenet Sauvignon.   Like Simon's Town, Stollenbosch is named after former Governor Simon van der Stel.   The River Eerste runs beside this charming hub, which has wonderful examples of Cape Dutch architecture and culture.   The Afrikaans language is still used extensively here.

Signs of spring on wet morning - along the road to Stollenbosch.

There is a quaint shop to drop by at the end of Drop Street in Stollenbosch - Oom Samie se Winkel, which provides lollies, curios, wines, antiques and jams.  The name in Afrikaans language simply means Unlce Samie's shop.   There are four heritage places to consider visiting as well - the Powder House, the Fick House, the Seminary and the Museum.

Otherwise, every Saturday, there is the Slowfood Markets at the corner of Bosmans and Distillery Roads.  Restaurants to check out include the Apprentice, at Adringa Road and which serves as a training restaurant for the Institute of Culinary Arts; Beads Restaurant in the old Devonshire House; Schoon De Companje bakery and cafe in the Oude Bank Building; and Basic Bistro at 31 Church Street and serves international cuisine.   Fabio's nearby at 21 Church Street serves Nespresso coffee blends.   The Warwick Wine Estate is located outside town.

Historical centre of Stollenbosch  - understand classic beauties.

View from a window in Franschhoek or the French Corner -  Bastille Day celebrations have been held here since 1994 in a fascinating corner of European culture in South Africa.  Cape Dutch farm houses and architecture are fascinating to me and they can be found in this region.  I did miss boarding the Franschhoek Wine Tram trains here though.

Nelson Mendela walked free from a 27 year imprisonment  on 11 February 1990 at this site - and I was watching glued to the screen on television in Sydney Australia.   Although Mendala was mostly incarcerated on Robben Island, a ferry's ride from Cape Town, world media focused on the moments he came out from Pollsmoor Prison.  Within a few years, apartheid rule stopped, with the Noble Peace Prize jointly awarded to F.W. de Klerk  and Mendela for this momentous political development.

Supporting the Huguenot Monument is a Museum with large pleasant grounds to commemorate this historical settlement of  French Protestants who escaped religious persecution by fleeing to another continent and successfully re-established their cultural base.

Nearby Franschhoek Valley was founded by Huguenot settlers and specialise more in vineyard production of whites like Semillion and Chardonnay.    Originally a place for roaming elephants, this region was developed by these European migrants.   The land was potent for cultivation, steam trains were introduced, together with an intense work ethic.

It may have been a rainy day but this added to the old world charm and elegance of Stollenbosch.

I enjoyed this unique peanut flavoured snack for morning tea  - The Open Kitchen - with my cuppa.

The Open Kitchen caught my attention because of one offering - the Billtong Eggs Benedict.  This is available the whole day long, with other options in beef Trinchado pies, oxtail and butter bean.  I felt like being invited to a dear mate's home and kitchen.  There are also books placed around for customers to browse or read.   My recollection on walking in is that of the aroma of coffee and breads, plus a homely feel.

The Open Kitchen is located at 35 Plein Street at the Cuthberts Building, Stollenbosch.
Telephone: + 2721 8633 5653
Opening hours every week day from 7am to 5pm and on Saturdays form 8am to 3pm.

The bakery, cafe, deli  and barista scene - The Open Kitchen.

The Open Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Welcome warm snacks at The Open Kitchen at Plein Street, Stollenbosch.

Buildings in the centre of Stollenbosch are solid, have architectural presence and a cultural feel.

Fresh upmarket produce for a hub with a university, surrounding country lifestyle and an agricultural base.

Friendly retailer inside the Markets in the town centre of Stollenbosch.

Aromas and presentation attracted me to this bakery delight.