Bastille Festival in Franschhoek 17 & 18 July 2010

Make your way to Franschhoek, South Africa’s Gourmet Capital, over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of July, where locals and visitors will be celebrating the Valley’s centuries-old French Huguenot heritage at its annual Bastille Festival.

The Franschhoek Wine Valley has throughout the years been linked with the pursuit of freedom, as the destination where the French Huguenots sought refuge from persecution. Aside from the European legacy, the connection with freedom is also evident in a local context with the Drakenstein Prison (formerly Victor Verster), the prison from which the iconic Nelson Mandela was released, situated between Franschhoek and Paarl. This year in particular will be more significant as it commemorates the 20th anniversary of Mr Mandela’s release from the exact prison.

And 2010 will without a doubt be a year of celebrations. Taking into account that South Africa will be winding down from the hype and festivities of World Cup 2010, what better way to paint the town red, white and blue and join in ‘A Celebration of Freedom’. Not forgetting, it’s the only time of the year you’ll be forgiven for wearing a beret.

The Food and Wine Marquee open from 12 noon until 5pm, is always the focal point which draws people to the hub of activity, where visitors can sample fine wines from some of Franschhoek’s award-winning wine estates and indulge in mouth-watering dishes created by the Valley’s highly acclaimed chefs. Sample a wide selection of cuisine, ranging from: oysters, sushi, local and French cheeses to charcuterie, hand-made chocolates and salmon trout from the area.

Not to be missed is the festival’s comprehensive sporting element featuring the usual, popular traditions and activities of: boules, Franschhoek minstrel parade, a barrel-rolling contest and a waiters’ race. A farmers’ market, French Corner Market, musicians and children’s activities are also included in the line up of festival celebrations. For those wanting to appreciate French heritage in comfort, the Screening Room at Le Quartier Français will be screening movies throughout the weekend.

Known throughout the world for its fine cuisine, Franschhoek’s award-winning restaurants will also be offering special menus exclusively prepared for this annual Festival.

So, with something for everyone, make a weekend of your visit, taking full advantage of the many Bastille accommodation packages on offer. Come celebrate the universal triumph of freedom. C’est la vie!

A R100.00 per person entrance fee allows you access to the Food and Wine Marquee, which includes a tasting glass and a complimentary booklet containing 5 tasting coupons. Thereafter all tastings will be charged on consumption.

Tickets can be purchased through webtickets (


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