Tuesday 12 December 2017
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Where the big dogs are

The interior of the Big Dog Cafe shows off industrial materials.

As I walk through the glass doors of the café on a wintry July morning, droplets pattering on the paved walkway, I feel as though I have strolled into something very, very special.  On entering I am greeted by the dark, alluring scent of freshly ground coffee beans, with wisps of vanilla silking through the air.  At the counter to my left a barista is bustling, working magic.  Water droplets condense on a carafe with lemon water.  The smell of something decadent from the kitchen.  In the garden a willow tree blows listlessly in the wind.  But inside, it is warm, welcoming and friendly. Michael, the owner, is even more so.

“I want my office back”, says mayor

Mayor Gesie van Deventer now has an office in Franschhoek. In the photo above she is pictured with her PA Carmen Saville (standing) while in conversation with a visitor.

Stellenbosch mayor, Adv. Gesie van Deventer, now has an office in Franschhoek.  The Mayor spends the first Friday of every month in Franschhoek. Upon taking office in August 2016, Mayor van Deventer realised that taking frequent meetings in the boardroom of the municipal buildings is not ideal. She needed an office space where she can work and receive appointments in a professional environment.

Groendal gets a new library

Construction on the new Groendal Library is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

Groendal residents have had to make do with their, admittedly, fully-equipped container library for the past decade. The container library was donated to the community in 2007 by Exclusive Books Reading Trust. Now they can look forward to the opening of a fully-fledged library of their very own.

Roll out the barrels!

Barrel rolling champions Marchelle Johnson and Keanu Rhode in action at the DSTV Franschhoek Bastille Festival.

The DStv Franschhoek Bastille Festival on 15 and 16 July, was Franschhoek’s 24th Bastille Festival. On the Saturday the weather was wet and wintery and although the village stalls were poorly patronised, rain did not stop play at the marquee.

Rickety Bridge’s Foundation Stone Range

This experimental craft range, which winemaker Wynand Grobler particularly enjoys making, is adorned with a creative, eye-catching label reflecting Wynand’s innovative approach to the three wines. The blends are constantly evolving, being tweaked by Wynand every year. Although they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the intricate label, designed by the talented Fanakalo team, may make you wonder at what’s within. Chances are that you’ll like what you find!

Boschendal white wine best in SA

Boschendal’s Appellation Series – Elgin 2015 Chardonnay has been awarded the Best Elgin Chardonnay Trophy, Best Chardonnay Trophy and ultimately the Best White Wine of South Africa Trophy at the 2017 International Wine Challenge (IWC).  Additionally, Boschendal was awarded Gold for its Elgin Pinot Noir 2015 at the IWC and to add to these impressive awards – it was also announced that Boschendal has garnered Gold at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) for its Boschendal Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and Boschendal 1685 Shiraz 2015.

La Petite Colombe set to open soon

La Petite Colombe promises a surprise or two...

As one era ends another commences.  With The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français having closed recently La Petite Colombe will take its place from 1 August.  La Petite Colombe is a new partnership between the Leeu Collection and the proprietor chefs of La Colombe, Scot Kirton (Eat Out Chef of the Year 2015) and James Gaag.

Franschhoek Theatre project reaches a milestone

The team working to create the Franschhoek Theatre at Franschhoek High School are making steady progress. In June they reached an important milestone when building plans were submitted for approval to Stellenbosch Municipality, Heritage Western Cape and the Western Cape Departments of Education and Public Works and Transport.

FAK vereer Sleigh in Franschhoek

Die uitvoerende hoof van die FAK, Dr Danie Langner, het die NP van Wyk Louw toekenning aan die skrywer en historikus Dr Dan Sleigh oorhandig.

Die Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurverenigings (FAK) het op Saterdag, 20 Mei, die NP van Wyk Louw toekenning aan dr. Dan Sleigh oorhandig. Díe toekenning is deur Dr. Danie Langner, uitvoerende hoof van die FAK, aan Sleigh oorhandig as erkenning vir sy bydrae tot die Afrikaanse taal en kultuur. 

First winter storm hits

First winter snow on Wemmershoek Mountains (Pic: Margie Ellis)

The first major winter storm hit Franschhoek and large parts of the Western Cape on 6 and 7 June.  In anticipation of severe conditions the Western Cape Education Department had taken the precaution of closing all Western Cape Schools on the seventh.

Gale force winds hit the Tuesday evening, accompanied by rain, which continued on Wednesday.  Approximately 45mm of rain fell over the two days, while the first snow fall of the winter was also recorded. 

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