2 ways to drive into wine country in and around Stellenbosch (near Cape Town):

Of course, you can do a day trip from Cape Town but if you’re able to spend more time/$s…consider staying at least a few nights in this beautiful region (maybe longer if you love food/wine/history – fascinating & more on that later).  A visit here can be easily included in a longer itinerary following the well known Garden Route from Mossel Bayto Port Elizabeth (see map above and previous posts + a few more to come eg. our stay near coast/lake in Hermanus (Sth of Cape Town)-see map.

We didn’t spend long in Stellenbosch (a larger town/small city) and chose to stay near the picturesque village of Franschhoek (a short distance from Stellenbosch).

Where we stayed in Franschhoek (as guessed from spelling, an interesting mix of African, French and Dutch history):  Auberge Clermont (B&B…more like a small, boutique hotel).

Informative coffee table book at our B&B including a historic summary of the wine industry of region.

Photos below: a cafe where we had lunch in the village…it was a cool day so the beautiful homemade soup went down well! Older children might find the South African currency (Rand) interesting – (range of pics on Net)…most kids love looking at notes/coins of different countries (especially these with animals!) and working out cost of simple things in their own currency eg. How much would a bowl of soup cost in Australian dollars? American dollars? British pound?… wherever your child comes from of course:)


Photo below: I also loved the celebration of colour and design that you see everywhere in Africa – including these two women strolling along the footpath…”sidewalk” in US I remember from travels there. I wonder what the word these women would use is?…another question for children or just the child in me😉

We visited some beautiful restaurants including one traditional French restaurant – more about that in a future post.  For now a recipe from a new book in our collection “More Than French – Recipes & Stories” by Philippe Mouchel with Rita Erlich…forward by Paul Bocuse who describes Mouchel as “A remarkable chef”.


SAUTEED SCAMPI (“Prawns” in Australia) with capsicum, tomato and apple chutney – P64

A recipe which originated in Normandy France (restaurant Gill in Rouen).

The chutney: makes more than you need for this recipe, is one that keeps well in the refrigerator (store in a jar). It’s important to cut the apples and vegetables into even-sized pieces so they cook evenly and look attractive. This chutney also works well with chicken.

Serving size: Scampi (prawn) are available frozen but in Australia those are often sourced from Asia. We prefer to use our locally sourced South Coast prawns. Allow about 3 or 4 medium/large prawns per person.

Ingredients for the chutney:

1 white onion (about 130 g) peeled/chopped; 1/2 red capsicum, 1/2 yellow capsicum (both 1 cm dice); 2 Granny Smith apples + 2 medium tomatoes (both peeled, cored/seeded & 1 cm dice); 125 ml red wine vinegar; 200 g brown sugar; 1 level tablespoons of Dijon mustard; 1 level tablespoon curry power; 1 dessert spoon paprika; 2 cloves garlic (peeled/finely chopped); 1 tablespoon grated ginger, salt to taste.

To make chutney: Put all ingredients except salt into a large saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring from time to time early on in the cooking, and more frequently towards the end, so the chutney does not catch. When done and the chutney has a ‘Jammy” consistency, season to taste with salt.

For the Sautéed Scampi – Ingredients: 6 scampi (about 200 g each); curry powder (just enough to season scampi); olive oil; S&P

Method: cut each in half lengthways, leaving the shell on. Season with the curry powder, S&P. Heat a non-stick frypan with a film of olive oil. Add scampi cut side down and cook for a min to give them a little colour, then turn and cook for another minute. To serve, place scampi on a plate and add a spoonful of chutney. Accompany with a green salad.