Last year November my husband and myself relocated to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth. When we moved, we made a decision that we would explore as much of the Western Cape as we possibly could. We knew that every corner of this province is breathtaking, and it’s filled with old, historical towns just waiting to be discovered. While we’ve both seen a bit of the Cape (me from family holidays, and my husband from growing up in Somerset West) we both haven’t seen much in recent years. So when Afristay reached out to me with the opportunity to collaborate, we took it as the perfect occasion to see one of the most iconic towns in South Africa, Franschhoek.
Everything made simple through Afristay
For those of you wondering who is Afristay and what I’m talking about, let me fill you in. Afristay (Formerly known as Accomodation Direct) is an accommodation directory in Southern Africa. Competing against global giants like Airbnb can be tough, but Afristay has a unique edge. Personalisation. While guest can enjoy the simplicity and convenience of online booking (I’m a millennial through and through!), they can also experience the benefit of customer service and assistance should they require it.
If you’re needing help with planning your trip (And they have over 2000 different locations on their site!) you can even give them a call for advice. They have a team of over 35 consultants who are experts at travel for the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa!
A holiday at a good price!
Another edge that Afristay offers is competitive rates. They can typically offer the better price on accommodation since they have no guest booking fees (Airbnb charges around 7%). Personally, I like to shop around and look for the best deals when it comes to our holidays. Even being able to save R200 means you can enjoy a nice lunch out or enjoy a spa manicure. Each penny saved counts!
If you’d like to learn a little more, why not check out their awesome Franschhoek accommodation options on their website. Be careful though – five hours later you’ll still be browsing and your bucket list will have grown by a mile. They have so many listings and such incredible variety. The nice thing is you can build your own wishlist of all the places you want to stay in for later on! One can easily spend hours on this website. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Getaway to Franschhoek
I have some magical memories of Franschhoek as a teenager, but unfortunately my teenager years are long gone by now! I’ve been longing to take a trip back there, so this presented the perfect opportunity. Afristay had so many accomodation options in Franschhoek, but we eventually settled on the gorgeous Fransvliet Guest House. Fransvliet is a tranquil, luxury retreat situated only 4 kilometers from the heart of Franschhoek.
My husband is obsessed with fireplaces (it’s our ultimate wishlist item for our own home one day!) and we took one look at their fireplaces in the bedrooms and we were convinced it was the place to stay. We were also drawn in by the breathtaking mountain views offered from the rooms. Once there, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re only 80km from the hustle and bustle of the busy Cape Town city. What is lovely about that is that you don’t have to take any leave days- you can easily enjoy a weekend away here without losing too much of your weekend to travelling time.
When we arrived I was blown away by how immaculate the Fransvliet grounds were, and the awe-inspiring beauty surrounding the property. Everything looked exactly like the website (both on Afristays photos and the website itself) and there was incredible attention to detail. I was super happy with our suite!
That gorgeous fireplace
Now, as you know the draw card for us was the fire. My husband literally wasted no time and had the fire going within five minutes (It is winter and bitterly cold in the Cape!). Within minutes we had a Nepresso, magazines out and a fire crackling in the background. It was hard for me to imagine that only a few hours earlier I was rushing to finish some deadlines before heading off. In such a short space of time we were relaxing and enjoying our holiday!
Easy, seamless check-in
I think one of the things that made this trip so stress free and relaxing was how easy the process was through Afristay. I literally booked online (Added my personal details and requirements we had for check-in etc) and when we arrived everything was organised! They greeted us by name, everything was checked in and sorted when we arrived and the same was with leaving. Because of pre-paying via Afristay, there is no lengthy checkout process. The convenience really helped the holiday be even more relaxing.
Exploring the town
We spent some time relaxing at the guesthouse. I’m such sucker for the finer things in life- so heated towel rails and floors were everything I needed and more. We were eager to see the quaint town of Franschhoek! So, we decided to drive to the main road and go for a walk, looking at the restaurants and shops. Everything is so beautiful and it literally feels like you are walking down the streets of Europe. I even managed to pick up the most beautiful dress to wear next week when we head off on our adventure to Dubai. We also stopped at the delicious Terbordore for some yummy coffee. It’s their main roastery, so make sure to stop there next time you’re that way!
We managed to take an evening stroll around the grounds and watched the sunset. Fransvliet is a working farm that produces grapes, olives and figs. We were both in the mood just to relax and read and head out for a late supper. We actually ended up at the Elephant and Barrel which was a good choice. They have a R50 pizza special on a Thursday. Isn’t that a fantastic special? Good pizza and some wine!
The perfect spot for wine lovers!
One thing Franschhoek is famous for is it’s a mecca of wine farms. If you’re a wine lover – then this should be your stop! We spent a lazy lunch at Rickety Bridge and enjoyed a leisurely wine tasting as well. It was pouring with rain and the fire was going. It was such a pleasure to not have to worry about strict time schedules. We took our time and enjoyed the wines and the warmth of the fire.
Rickety Bridge is a historic winery that has won several accolades for both their wine and their restaurant, Paulinas. They have a large variety of wines for tasting (at only R45 per person) as well as delectable cheese platters on offer. If you’re stopping by, be sure to taste their Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon and their flagship – Paulina’s Cabernet Sauvignon. (It was deeeelicccious!!)My husbands favorite was the Rickety Bridge Chardonnay We absolutely loved the company of our knowledgeable sommelier, Charles. He was very friendly and made us feel super welcomed!
Rickey Bridge also have stunning accomodation on the plot, the Basse Provence Guest House. It looks like the most amazing honeymoon or anniversary destination – so romantic! We absolutely loved our time at Rickety Bridge and will definately stop by again.
It was such a fabulous time away and much needed. Both me and my husband have been working long hours (And I’m studying part-time as well). So we’ve been feeling a little stressed! This getaway was exactly what we needed and all this beauty is literally on our doorstep. I’m already browsing my next getaway through Afristay in the spring and my wishlist is growing. Perhaps Hermanus – do you have any recommendations? I’m also thinking about a budget-friendly travel segment on my blog (perhaps under R700 per night for a couple). Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in me covering!
If you’re thinking of planning a getaway in Southern Africa, why not check out their website! They have over 22000 listings so you’ll be sure to find something that suits your pocket and needs. Be sure to start with their fantastic Franschhoek options.
*This post was created in collaboration with Afristay