Franschhoek you sweetheart …. wait for me ….

I had not been to Franschhoek before last year.

True fact.

Kennith and I stayed over for a night and walking around the town, and had lunch, and dinner, and ate chocolates, and I found a metal Scottish Terrier doorstop.

It was a really lovely day.  I firmly realised that I do love Franschhoek.

Been promising to get out there again, and we just have not got there.  Story of my life.

My birthday is coming up – 9 May, and I am treating myself to a day in Franschhoek and a little stay over at a guest house.  I have booked a guest house – not quite sure where the kids will be, but those are details I can sort out between now and then.

I have booked dinner at Mange Toit – not sure if it is pretentious good, or we can put wine in our ice without the wine waiter shitting in his pants.

I plan to spend the day ambling around, strolling along through the shops and maybe a drive to a nearby wine estate for a walk around/glass of wine.

Sounds like a slice of heaven!  Exactly – this people is what heaven would be like, and then I might start believing in it.

I have booked lunch at Bread and Wine Restaurant which is at the Moreson Vineyard.

I drank a bottle of their Miss Molly wine last year and I think I had a religious experience {chances are if someone told me it was served in heaven I might well get on board with this heaven and hell malarkey.) I plan to buy a box of Miss Molly at lunch.  Not necessarily drink it all at lunch, but make a heroic dent in it would do.

I believe the restaurant is brilliant, so I am writing that in my diary in ink. With a giant heart and a note to starve myself for three days to really get the full experience.  I am so not used to going anywhere that does not break into the the Spur “it’s your birthday, it’s your birthday” with all the waiters-who-could-not-get-away-fast-enough singing along.

I am sure it will be fine.  I will bring my own sparkle and put it in my ice-cream, just so I do not forget the unfortunates who are eating at the Spur on my fine day.

I usually do not get excited by my birthday, but this year I am.  9 May, look out, I have your number.


Thanks Franschhoek – I am quite in love with you!

Franschhoek was frikn ama.zing!  Running away to Franschoek without the kids = off the scale fabulous!

Words cannot describe, but as I was too busy eating/drinking/basking in the joy and took only a few pictures, so all I got is words.  Bear with me as I bumble through.

The weather was sunny and one of the first days in Cape Town where you could walk around without being blown away or experience a Noah-style downpour.  We had two gloriously warm and sunny days.  We arrived in Franschoek parked in Huguenot’s road and just walked to everything.

How do you know you are having an epic day?  When you have eggs benedict for breakfast and follow it up with an ice cream cone!

We only went to things in Franschhoek we could walk to.

Walked up Huguenot Road all the way up to the Memorial. I was more interested in walking around the graveyard which had some grave stones dating back 150 years or more.  I am not going to get all gothic on your arse, but I do love a wander around a graveyard and reading the stones and imaging what might have happened.

We stayed at the Franschhoek Protea Hotel – which was beyond cool.  It is right on Huguenot Road and we parked there and walked around for the day.

Clearly they saw me coming.  We arrived to a room with Chuckles available, and Chenin Blanc on ice.

I am almost sure I hopped up and down and clapped my hands like a demented circus seal.  The deal was sealed when there was a gift pack on the bed with his and her t-shirts that they had made up for us “Been there, Done that FRANSCHHOEK” t-shirts.  I laughed like a drain.

How funny is that — how much of a sense of humour do the people at Franschhoek Protea Hotel have?

Kennith and I headed to lunch at French Connection.  It was nice, but not blow you away brilliant.  Food was good, but not wildly memorable.

Dinner was at The Common Room at Le Quartier Français – which was enough to bring you to tears.  Happy tears.  Excellent timing on my part as the night we were there the Le Quartier Français chef was featured on Master Chef as the Guest Chef – they asked if they could put the television on for the show.

The meal was unbelievable.  Easily one of the best meals I have ever experienced.  It was one of those where you order several small dishes and then pick on them.

We order a bottle of wine.  I seldom have the opportunity to use the word SUBLIME, but the bottle of Miss Mollie Hoity Toitie.  Oh my heavens, like liquid honey — it’s on my Xmas list to myself!  Haven’t seen it before, will now be stalking the vineyard.

We got back to the hotel to find the bed turned down and a fuzzy hot water bottle neatly tucked into the bed.  How brilliant is that?

Franschhoek was phenomenally brilliant.  Everything was perfect in every possible way.  The only person who was a bit sucky, was at a book store down the one side road.  Anyone who knows me knows I love book shops – I am happy to spend my grocery allowance on books, really I am fine with it.  Wine+books+chocolate what could be more perfect?  Great little book store.  I wandered around, we were the only clients.

I see a box that says “audio books” – so I look at the box and there are only 2 audio boxes inside it, so I am thinking maybe there are more somewhere else in the store.  I look at the lady running the book shop and in my “I’m a really excited customer voice” go “Are there more audio books anywhere?”

Book store manager/owner goes: “What does it look like…..” and she gives me this withering look, basically summing my IQ into single figures.

I mumbled an apology for being alive.  I aimed to browse a bit closer to the door so I could leave.  Book store owner/manager/person might consider relooking at the manual of “being vaguely nice to customers …” so as not to burst the bubble that all things in Franschhoek are perfect.

We browsed through shops and bought odds and sods, and ate chocolate and that repaired my perception that Franschhoek is really the most perfect place on earth.  I really enjoyed the town – I loved the fact that you could stroll – and there was enough to see without having to get into your car and drive anywhere.

Thanks Franschhoek, I am definitely a new fan.  You and me must get together again really soon!

Running away to Franschhoek …

Kennith woke up this morning, attempted to have a conversation with me.

I bleated about the need to “leave me alone and let me sleep…”

He took kids to school, I continued to lie in my warm bed curled up like a ferrit hoping that I will never have to stick my head out into the freezing cold morning air.

I only jumped out of bed when I heard the car arrive back in the garage.  Of course I looked like I had been out of bed for ages.  Meanwhile not.

We packed – I must confess I put in enough clothes for a week, whilst we are only away for one night.  But I tend to get a bit manic if I am sleepy and have no idea what to expect.

Then we set off to Franschhoek.  I did start the drive with: “Seriously where is Franschhoek, how long will we be driving?”

Have I mentioned I have never been to Franschhoek.

The lovely generous team at Protea Hotels Franschhoek suggested we stay with them them, so that is exactly what we are going to do. Kennith’s mom will collect kids and bring them home, and hopefully take them to school tomorrow.  But really I have left that to her.  If kids do not go to school, you know I am sort of okay with that.

Me – I plan to lay around eat Chuckles, drink Chenin Blanc and wonder why we cannot move to Franschhoek!

Happy 18th first date anniversary us!



Franschhoek I have your number! Call me, let’s get together.

Thanks again to everyone who reads this blog, and everyone who comments, and everyone who went along to VOTE.  Like really, thank you {tips hat}

I have had such awesome feedback and it really is all quite lovely. Yes, I appear like I don’t give a toss, but of course it is all caramel cupcakes and unicorns when someone says good things about my blog.


Kennith has been away for about a month, so I have become a “hiking” widow.  I have had house, hearth and heathens (cleverly disguised as my children) to deal with.  Alone.  By myself.

I must confess there have been times when I have wanted to just off the entire household, but then there were times when the house is quiet, everyone is sleeping, I am making starfish shapes as I have the entire bed to myself, and I am surfing DSTV like a Mr-Price Surfing Champion!

He is due back next week Monday, and on Tuesday we have decided to take the day off work and spend the day celebrating/drinking cheap wine.

I am attempting to go to Franschoek – yes, I still have not been there.

I was aiming to go there on my birthday this year, but then circumstances conspired to work against me.  I do realise that I am probably the ONLY person living in Cape Town, who has not been to Franschhoek.  But there we go.  I am a Franschhoek Virgin!

I am so ready to pop THAT cherry.

On 17 July hopefully we are heading out for lunch/wine/truffles in Franschhoek – and I can buy a been there, done that t-shirt.

Things to celebrate over at the MacBarlow Manse:

1.  Reluctant Mom Winning Mommy Blogger 2012 – she still makes me proud {sniff} that old girl!

2.  Kennith summitting Elbrus, Russia and returning in one piece.  He has also lost a ton of weight and is super fit – he is at that point where he likes to stand around in his form-fitting underpants and says “you like, you like??”

3.  Kennith and my wedding anniversary on 17 July, and is also our first-date-anniversary – we got married on the date specifically for this.  I think our first date anniversary is 18 years and our wedding is 3 years.  Kennith only counts the 18 years – he gets quite chipped off if you say that we have been married “only 3 years”.

4. Happy Helpers -{ Nanny and Domestic Agency in Cape Town } taking off so damn well.  I am so proud of my little fledging.  She has managed to fall out the nest, and not nose dive into the tarmac.  Bless her little cotton socks!

5. Tuesday is as good as any day to celebrate that SCHOOL HOLIDAYS are the fk over, and kids can be handed back over to the school system!

Much to celebrate!