We are regular visitors to Franschhoek and recently spent a couple of weeks in the village with some friends from the uk in tow and would like to share a few observations.
Restaurants; Prices have increased considerably since we were last in town (May '09). Service levels seem to have generally improved with Le Bon Vivant and Kalfi's leading the way. We had outstanding meals at Le Bon Vivant, Mon Plaisir, Reuben's, Cafe Bon Bon and Klein Genot. Ici was ok but dull, Topsi''s was as eccentric as ever and Kalfi's was terrific value. Haut Cabriere has now dropped it's tapas style menu and returned to the former portion/half portion concept but was not on form the evening we ate there and their mark-up's on their own wines have got beyond a joke.
Winery's; Rob at Haut Espoir has really worked hard on the bio-diversity theme and if you can book onto one of his fynbos walks you are in for a treat. Jacoline and Johan at My Wyn give a wonderfully informal tutored tasting in a magnificant location. DP at Glenwood (the new chairman of the local winery association) is also in fine form. You get a far more personal experience at these wineries than at most of the bigger names and our friends loved these visits.
New things to do; David Walters, the local master potter is organising regular weekend Raku firings at his studio Roubaix House and two of our party had a great time at one of these.
Local information; Sadly the local information bureau has become little more than a retail outlet selling 'Franschhoek' branded merchandise but there are now two local papers available online (The Month and The Tatler) and I would recommend them both to potential visitors as a good sources of current information on the village http://themonth.co.za/ and htttp://www.franschhoektatler.co.za/