Fancy a trip to France without the ten hour flight? Then visit the annual Bastille Festival weekend in Franschhoek. Wear your red white and blue outfit, adjust your beret and drive just 45 minutes out of Cape Town, because this tiny town will be transformed itself into a quaint French village allowing you to experience the culture of flowing wines, tasty cheeses and food that will have you speaking the language of love.
On the 13th and 14th of July, in honour of its French Huguenot heritage, the town comes alive with loads to see and do for all ages. The town hall is where the festivals Marche de Franschhoek takes place. A central market filled with gastronomic pleasures and fine wines where visitors are encouraged to meet and relax over a plate of food and a glass French fare. A highlight of the festival this year are ten visiting winemakers from the Rhône-Alpes Region in France who will be showcasing their very best wines which will be available for tasting at Grand Provence.
Although just wandering down the main road is a delight as there are plenty of boutiques and shops of interest to browse, organised entertainment is carefully planned and continues throughout the celebratory weekend. This includes a parade by the town’s minstrels, the highly anticipated Waiters Race, which is a long standing tradition at the festival as is the very entertaining barrel-rolling contest and in true French tradition, this year’s festival plans to host the biggest and longest running boules competition. A farmers market, kiddie’s entertainment and music throughout will ensure that the centuries old commemoration is enjoyed by everyone visiting the picturesque town that weekend.
Accommodation is plentiful but gets snapped up early, so if you are planning to stay overnight booking early is recommended. Tickets prices vary from general entry to VIP and are available from webtickets – these are limited to ensure that the areas don’t get over-crowded.
So head down to Bastille Day in the little town of Franschhoek, pop a cork and toast to joie de vivre! For more information, visit the event website. http://www.franschhoek.co.za/bastille.html