Tuesday 1 May 2012

Dream day: Cape vineyards

I'm late to the party as usual, but the 1st of May theme for this month's by-invitation international blog event is Dream Day. From my current perspective here in Britain, where it has been raining non-stop for weeks on end (and no end in sight) as in some kind of biblical Noah's ark type flood, thoughts turn easily to the sunny vineyards I visited last month, which do now seem a distant dream.

Is this France? No, a little corner of France in Africa, Franschhoek, where French settlers came to plant their vines ...

Since the Cape has a disproportionate share of natural beauty - oceans, vineyards, mountains, forests - and award-winning restaurants, one is spoiled for choice with dream-day material. But lets say we do a vineyard day, starting in the Constantia valley wine estates, with breakfast at the Alphen ...

under the plane trees at La Belle Café

and head out from there along the wine routes via Stellenbosch to La Motte in a setting made of dreams

for lunch in the Pierneef restaurant

and a wander round the art gallery and farm shop before tea in this peaceful spot on the lawns 

At sunset we could drive down the road to Le Quartier Français for dinner with a view to the sculpture garden

(Le Quartier Français has been in the world's top 50 restaurants list for years, as well as best restaurant in Africa and the Middle East)

and much later, since it's still warm outside, head back to Constantia Uitsig for dessert on the terrace

All photographs taken by me on dream days in April 2012


  1. Karen this is so beautiful - I have not been to Franschhoek, but from my memory of a visit many years ago - you have captured the soul of South Africa. On the list for next time- definitely! Brava Francesca xx

  2. Karen, never mind being late...I was too...but here you are with this splendid post. Everyone involved in By Invitation Only has always amazed me with our different takes on the same subject each month. Each wonderful. This is why I love our group of women from around the world so much. I cannot think of anything I've been so proud to be a part of. Thank you thank you thank you for joining us today and for always. xx's

  3. A wonderful invitation to a part of the world unknown to me except through your eyes ---
    It must seem, though, in the steady downpours that seem to be afflicting England, that London and Cape Town are on two different planets!

  4. Dear Karen,
    What a beautiful and memorable journey you've taken us with you! The more I'm following your South-African 'trip' - the more I really would like to visit this place. So lively, so beautiful!
    Thank you for all the interesting reportages and the wonderful images.

    I keep dreaming......

    I do hope that weather has turned to the better in the UK. Yesterday we had some sunshine, rain has stopped, just right for the first of May. And today - blue sky and sunshine, finally !!!!
    Will send the sun over to you!!!

    Warmest greetings,

    By the way, have you received my mail with invitation to the Fair? Maybe you were still away at the time.....

  5. April dream days, indeed, Karen.

    Your photography and words have allowed us to have a delightful taste of Capetown's French accent.

    Surely, the sunny blue skies will soon return to London? They are intermittent here in New York now.


  6. What an amazing place to have visited, beautiful in every way.
    Your photographs are incredible.
    Happy May Day Karen!!
    May all of May be a wonderful month for you.
    x Coty


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