Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Birds Paradise in Robertson (2015-07-08) Photo Gallery 19 JUL 2015

With Montagu our home for a week, every day was an adventure out and about in the Robertson, Ashton, Barrydaly, Montagu area. Our first real outing was to Birds Paradise, an exotic bird breeding operation in Robertson, one which does so well that they’ve even opened quite an impressive visitors centre, featuring a restaurant, kids play area, crocodile pit, and views of quite a large number of different animal and bird species!

IMG_20150708_121449 craig lotter and jessica at birds paradise exotic bird breeder in robertson

We headed out nice and early, arriving in time for a nice breakfast (on the premises) before grabbing our entrance tickets and heading in to see the birds.

And birds they have by the dozens.

Exotic birds from literally all over the world can be found here, and it is a absolute explosion of colour and squawks. However, these guys are bird breeders, meaning that birds are kept in breeding pairs in relatively small cages, bare to allow for easier capturing of the birds.

Honestly, it is not something that I could really enjoy at all, seeing as I am very much against the keeping of birds as pets in the first place. (Plus, I’ve been to the fantastic dome aviary that is Birds of Eden before – once you’ve been there, you can never really look at birds in cages ever again!)

IMG_20150708_115349 green bird at birds paradise exotic bird breeder in robertson

Still, the girls were entertained by all the colours on display, the tame owl in the curio shop was a hit, there was a massive variety of animals and birds to see, and Jessica was particularly excited to take her very first photo – using my phone, and pictured below:

IMG_20150708_115118 jessica lotter's very first photo

And of course, the play area was a great way for them to burn off all the energy following our stroll amongst all the birds.

IMG_20150708_125907 emily lotter on trampoline

Needless to say, such a large variety of things to see made for quite a bit of photos on the morning!

Related Link: Route 62 Birds Paradise

Springbok Pie at Platform 62 in Ashton (2015-07-07) Photo Gallery 18 JUL 2015

On our way through to Montagu for our little holiday at Rainbow Glen, we drove past an interesting little spot in Ashton, fronted by a rather large and impressive historic steam locomotive!

IMG_20150707_134126 decommissioned locomotive at platform 62 in ashton

Platform 62 is a tourism centre associated with Route 62, and hosts impressive antiques and wine sales sections, as well as a restaurant area.

IMG_20150707_134140 at platform 62 in ashton

There’s an outside eating area as well, stocked with all kinds of kiddie activities, guaranteed to entertain the little ones. Chickens run wild (which you can buy feed for if your kids are into that), and then of course there is Fanie die vark (Fanie the pig) who wanders about both inside and out!

(As it turns out, both Jessica and Emily were more than just a little terrified of Fanie the pig!)

IMG_20150707_140019 fanie die vark pig at platform 62 in ashton

Something however to look out for at the restaurant is definitely their delicious springbok (venison) pie – definitely worth every penny! :)

Related Link: http://www.platform62.co.za/

Rainbow Glen in Montagu (2015-07-07) Photo Gallery 17 JUL 2015

We enjoyed one of our first holidays away together as a family (just the four of us) this July, with a four day long adventure in the Montagu area.

IMG_20150709_103348 emily lotter at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

We were originally booked in to stay at the Montagu Springs resort, but Chantelle got a little spooked when Andy and Albert returned early from their break a lot less than impressed, plus some of the information we were receiving from Montagu Springs in regards to their warm pools wasn’t helping either. So instead, Chantelle made a last minute switch to Rainbow Glen, a quaint little self-catering guest farm setup run by a family of rock climbers (Montagu is after all heaven for South African rock climbing!).

We rented the Garden Cottage, which although being a little sparse and not particularly modern, housed the four of us easily enough, with access to a great little braai lapa, a big lawn for the kids to play on, kids toys like slides, a trampoline, and a jungle gym, a rabbit hutch, a chicken coop, and a cool little paddock with two horses roaming about in it.

Jessica immediately made friends with some of the other kids staying there and what followed was a particularly enjoyable week away from home and work.

IMG_20150709_102048 kids feeding horse at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

We built each day up around a primary focal point (Robertson Birds Paradise, Viljoensdrift River Cruise, and Montagu Guano Cave) and spent quite a bit of time driving around and taking in the sights of the Robertson, Ashton, Montagu, Barrydale area – made particularly easy by the fact that we got a great mobile data signal throughout plus a Google Navigation app that works really, really well!

IMG_20150710_090838 feeding the rabbits at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

Even the odd power break or two couldn’t quite dampen this great week of out and about with the family! :)

Related Link: http://rainbowglen.co.za/

Breakfast at Vergelegen Wine Estate (2015-07-06) Photo Gallery 16 JUL 2015

Our first day of our official July week of holiday saw Chantelle and I take a day for ourselves, leaving the kids in school while we got to gallivant around. Sure, we did have some great coffee at the Daily Coffee in Somerset West and installed the kids sandbox back home, but the best part of the day was actually the morning, which we decided to kick off with an impromptu breakfast at the historic (and now Anglo American owned) Vergelegen Wine Estate.

IMG_20150706_121235 chantelle and craig lotter at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

If you aren’t familiar with this historic wine estate, Wikipedia gives us this (much less lyrical than Vergelegen’s own website of course!):

“The estate was settled in 1700 by an early Governor of the Cape, Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Van der Stel used the resources of his employer, the Dutch East India Company, to improve the estate, and in 1706 a number of free burghers at the Cape drew up a formal memorandum complaining about van der Stel’s illegal activities. This memorandum contains some of the earliest images and descriptions of the estate. As a consequence of the free burghers’ complaints, van der Stel and other officials were sacked, and three-quarters of the original Vergelegen estate was sold off, drastically reducing the size of the property.

In 1798 the estate was sold to the Theunissen family, who planted extensive vineyards and concentrated on the production of grapes until an infestation by the phylloxera louse in the late nineteenth century wiped out most of Vergelegen’s grape production.

In 1917 Vergelegen was purchased by the millionaire mine magnate Sir Lionel Phillips as a present for his wife Florence. She remodeled aspects of the house and planted the magnificent gardens, but removed the few remaining acres dedicated to grapes.

IMG_20150706_123459 vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Following the death of Lady Phillips the estate was purchased by the Barlow family, and Charles “Punch” Barlow oversaw the reintroduction of limited planting of grapes. However, by the time Anglo American bought the property from Barlow’s son in 1987, no grapes were being cultivated.

Anglo American concentrated on the production of high-quality wines from Vergelegen. The first vintage under the company’s stewardship was harvested in 1992. Within ten years the estate was recognised as producing some of South Africa’s finest wines, with the cabernet sauvignon blend Vergelegen, single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon Vergelegen V and semillon/sauvignon blanc blend Vergelegen White regularly achieving a maximum five stars in John Platter’s annual Guide to South African Wines.

Vergelegen’s Cape Dutch house, gardens and winery are open to visitors. Interesting features of any visit include a trip up the mountain to the winery plant, and a walk under the vast Camphor laurels (Cinnamomum camphora) planted by Willem van der Stel in about 1705 which have been declared a protected provincial heritage site. The winery is uniquely shaped in an octagon form that is mirrored on the vineyard’s labels.”

IMG_20150706_105052 breakfast at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Breakfast was of course amazing (always is – as is the lunch which we enjoyed on our wedding anniversary last year!), but this was the first time that we took the time out to wander around the estate, visit the museum house, ponder over the slavery issue highlighted by the fact that this was once one of the largest slave populations outside the Cape Town castle, stroll over the bridge and through the small forest, and take in the beautiful, ancient and majestic trees dotted around the estate.

IMG_20150706_124645 chantelle lotter in the forest at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

What a truly enjoyable morning out and about, and certainly a great way to start one’s leave! :)

Related Link: http://www.vergelegen.co.za/

Visiting Stony Point Penguin Colony with Friends (2015-06-27) Photo Gallery 12 JUL 2015

Despite the annual Gordon’s Bay “Festival of Lights or “Winter Wonderland” being in full swing, Chantelle and I saw fit to have fun in a different way, by inviting some friends over to our side of the world for a guest house braai instead!

First activity for the day though: a visit to the penguin colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay.

IMG_20150627_133710 kids jumping at the stony point penguin colony in betty's bay

As it turned out, we were blessed with the perfect winter’s day weather for the trip, and Dean, Zania, Evan, Natasha, Michelle and Michael all tagged along with the little ones for a fun trip down the wooden walkway, surrounded by both adult and baby penguins on either side.

(Funnily enough though, this was the least amount of penguins we’ve ever seen there before – I can only assume our timing was a bit off on the day – must have been out hunting is all that I can come up with!)

IMG_20150627_130021 craig lotter at the stony point penguin colony in betty's bay

Nevertheless, the kids had a ball, and of course as any parent to a little one knows, that is literally all that counts! :)

Visiting Harold Porter Botanical Garden with Friends (2015-06-27) Photo Gallery 11 JUL 2015

The annual Gordon’s Bay “Festival of Lights” or “Winter Wonderland” has now come and gone, carnival weekends and all. As it turned out, Chantelle and I didn’t really end up spending too much time on it, primarily because we were busy with other things – like inviting our friends out to our side of the world for a change! :)

IMG_20150627_151701 emily lotter in harold porter botanical garden in betty's bay

With a braai organised at the guest house in the evening, and a visit to the penguins already done, Evan, Natasha, Dean and Zania joined Chantelle and myself for a little stroll around the beautiful Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay (our second ever visit there), on what proved to be quite a beautiful winter’s day.

IMG_20150627_140904 crossing the bridge in harold porter botanical garden in betty's bay

As it turned out, a troop of baboons had decided to visit the gardens while we were there, meaning that we were treated to quite a few spectacles – from little baby baboons tumbling about on the grass, all the way through to adult baboons lounging around on the park benches!

IMG_20150627_141346 baboons on a bench in harold porter botanical garden in betty's bay

Quite a sight indeed! :)

(And of course, a walk in the sun simply had to be followed up with some refreshments at the Red Disa restaurant…)

Related Link: Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

Jessica’s Fourth Birthday Party (2014-11-16) Photo Gallery 02 JUL 2015

So somehow we’re already in July now. Which of course means that we are hurtling towards the end of the year, which in turn then means that we’re hurtling towards Jessica’s fifth birthday party this coming November!

IMG_20141116_142233 jessica lotter birthday party at mondeor restaurant

Which completely reminds me – other than the post detailing my bad knee injury (but with a spectacular fall) on the day, I never actually got around to posting the few photos I hastily snapped on what was the perfect day for my perfect little girl.

So let’s rectify that then shall we?

IMG_20141116_142254 the lotter girls at mondeor

The party was held at the fantastic Mondeor Restaurant in Somerset West (next to the new Cape Garden Centre) who kind of specialise in hosting kiddies parties.

Lots of our family and friends, and friends’ kids, joined us on a very My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic themed day, and thanks to the gorgeous sunny weather, everyone had an absolute ball.

(Jess was particularly proud of the fact that as far as she was concerned, she was dressed exactly as Rainbow Dash would be!)

IMG_20141116_144340 kids birthday party at mondeor restaurant

The snacks and food were great, Chantelle’s two tier My Little Pony cake was a hit, and of course, the kid’s treats were spot on.

Naturally, loads of fun was had (and time spent) in the splash pool, and so as it is pretty plain to see by now – Jessica’s fourth birthday party was definitely a big hit on the day! :)

Needless to say, Jessica was also pretty chuffed that her My Little Pony collection grew a little in the process…

IMG_20141115_145628 fluttershy, pinky pie and jessica eating ice cream

Wine Tasting at La Couronne Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 01 JUL 2015

The third stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the La Couronne Wine Estate.

IMG_20150510_134948 chantelle lotter wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Originally named Champagne Farm and farmed by seven generations of the Le Roux brother, La Couronne is now named after the famed French warship of the French Navy built in 1636 by Cardinal de Richelieu. La Couronne was the first man of war built by the French themselves in accordance to Richelieu’s plans to renew the French Navy, after a series of ships built by the Dutch. The construction was overseen by the famous carpenter Charles Morieur, from Dieppe. The ship was one of the most advanced vessels of her time, equipped with 68 heavy guns, 8 firing to the bow and 8 to the aft.

Needless to say, the wine estate doesn’t really feature any heavy guns, no.

IMG_20150510_130845 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Instead, they offer a fantastic wine selection, as well as quite a well thought out wine and chocolate pairing, something Chantelle and I quite enjoyed. (By this stage of the morning, we kind of felt like wine experts already! :P)

As luck would have it, we ended up there on Mother’s Day, and because pretty much no one else other than Chantelle and myself were present for lunch, we were treated with a personal tour around their vats, operations and more importantly, barrel cellar – a definite highlight for any wine newbies like us!

IMG_20150510_132547 la couronne cellar barrel tour in franschhoek

In fact, we got on so well with the tasting expert that we ended up staying there for a hour longer than planned, enjoying cheese, chocolates and more wine than any person should be tasting in a single sitting! :)

Not a bad way to end off what had been quite a long morning of tasting wines then! :)

IMG_20150510_142759 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: La Couronne Wine Estate

A Cake Pop Class in the Making (2014-07-15) Photo Gallery 30 JUN 2015

Before Chantelle finally made the decision to wind down her little baking business and its unreliable income in favour of a job back at the guest house where things worked out financially a little better, we toyed about with quite a few ideas on how we could boost Chantelle’s Cupcakery’s profits/business in order to keep it alive as a viable option.

One of the more interesting plans we had was for Chantelle to start offering various cake/baking themed classes under her Chantelle’s Cupcakery banner.

Chantelle settled on Cake Pops as being the best class to start off with (they were super popular at the time), and so to test everything out, we roped in friends Michelle and Natasha to pop in and learn how to make cake pops.

IMG_20140715_094647 natasha granger, michelle oosthuizen and chantelle lotter do a cake pops class together

The end result?

Techniques learned, skills taught, and well from the look of it, lots of fun! :)

Even Teddy Bear and Barbie weren’t going to miss out on this “how to” lesson!

IMG_20140719_125751 big stuffed monkey sitting on a tub chair

Looking back at it now, it’s kind of a pity that this one didn’t quite work out in the end. That said, having two small kids at home is work enough thank you very much!

Wine Tasting at Grande Provence Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 29 JUN 2015

Grande Provence Estate wears her 300-year history with dignity. Sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape, her lush vines spread across 47-acres with gentle vistas over the valley floor, with the rugged mountains beyond. This is heartland South African wine country at its very finest.

IMG_20150510_122414 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

The second stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the majestic Grande Provence wine estate.

This old estate has a contemporary, artsy feel to it, and its stunning French Huguenot-style buildings are complemented by loads of interesting modern art and sculpture pieces dotted all around its stunning restaurant and tasting centre areas.

IMG_20150510_115250 chantelle lotter wine tasting at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

We opted to have our tasting session outside, and with weather as perfect as it was, this was the right choice. Shady trees, stunning art – an absolute treat for all the senses!

IMG_20150510_115411 craig lotter wine tasting at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

The wine was great (as expected), but sadly the lady taking us on our wine tasting tour not so much, struggling with a lot of the questions that we asked of her. Sadly, if it wasn’t on her script then it wasn’t going to be forthcoming.

IMG_20150510_122140 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Nevertheless, Grande Provence was an absolute treat and I’m certain we’ll be finding ourselves there again in the near future! :)

High class indeed.

IMG_20150510_122312 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: Grande Provence

Wine Tasting at Rickety Bridge Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 28 JUN 2015

The first stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the tasting centre at the Rickety Bridge wine estate.

IMG_20150510_104819 chantelle lotter wine tasting at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

From the website: “The Franschhoek wine estate, Rickety Bridge, has a winemaking history dating back to the 17th century.

It was once part of the original La Provence farm granted to the first French Huguenots who settled in Oliphantshoek and renamed the area, Franschhoek. Over the years La Provence was subdivided and in 1797 the land which is now known as Rickety Bridge wine estate was granted to the widow, Paulina De Villiers.

Rickety Bridge wine estate is situated less than 3 kilometres from the centre of the quaint Franschhoek town and nestles against the slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains overlooking the majestic Wemmershoek Mountain range. This position gives the estate a range of aspects and soil types for growing different varieties of grapes.

The lower flatland of the estate is covered by sandy soils being close the Franschhoek River which crosses in front of the estate’s lower border. The hillside provides the wine estate with decomposed granite soils which are ideal for growing high quality red grapes required for producing premium red wine.

Rickety Bridge wine estate is 50 Hectares in area of which only 15 Hectares are currently dedicated to vineyard, with a further 6 hectares under development. The remaining 35 Hectares are made up of buildings, dams and pine forest.”

IMG_20150510_104334 wine tasting at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

Although smaller than most of the other wineries around the area, Rickety Bridge’s setup is very professional, and the lady that took us through the tasting course had to be on her toes (and was!) thanks to the multitude of questions we threw at her (basically, we’re first timers, so we have a LOT of questions about everything wine related!).

The wines were particularly good, as expected, the views stunning, and overall, a very polished and welcoming experience.

IMG_20150510_104814 wine tasting at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

Needless to say, this was a great start to our wine tasting day! :)

Related Link: Rickety Bridge Wine Estate

Things to See in South Africa: Franschhoek Wine Tram Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 27 JUN 2015

Franschhoek is undoubtedly the crown jewel when it comes to South African wine regions, based entirely on just the sheer number of successful and historic wine estates packed into this fertile valley. One of the best ways of seeing and tasting all this splendour is by hopping on the Franschhoek Wine Tram, a tourist operation that transports guest between the various wine estates on a hop on/hop off basis.

IMG_20150510_102352 franschhoek wine tram

From their website: “Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.

A combination of tram and tram-bus transports passengers around a loop of stops allowing them to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and when they are ready, hop-on to continue the tour.

The tour takes passengers right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, complimentary wine tastings and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.”

IMG_20150509_125135 franschhoek wine tram bus

The Wine Tram operates a number of busses and a single tram (the busses are all modelled to resemble the tram, itself modelled after the open-sided Brill Trams of circa 1890), and essentially runs two lines – the Blue Line which visits the following estates: Mont Rochelle, La Couronne, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, La Bri, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence, and the Red Line which visits the following estates: Maison, Eikehof, Leopard’s Leap, Dieu Donne, Chamonix, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence.

IMG_20150510_102907 franschhoek wine tram

With no need to drive yourself around, this is the best way to be carted about, take in the magnificent scenery and surrounds of all these historic wine estates – and of course taste, drink and buy as much wine as your head and wallet can handle!

All the busses and tram have storage facilities whereby they will transport any wine purchases back to the ticket office for you, meaning that you never have to lug anything around with you, a big advantage as you can well imagine.

Most of the estates visited have some sort of special deal for guests using the Wine Tram, be it free tastings, discounted wine purchases, or free wine pairing sessions.

IMG_20150510_104819 chantelle lotter tasting wine at rickety bridge wine estate in franschhoek

A day out and about on the wine tram is definitely not something to be missed, particularly if you love fine wine!

(All of these photos were grabbed from our recent trip to Franschhoek in case you were wondering.)

IMG_20150510_115411 craig lotter tasting wine at the grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: Franschhoek Wine Tram | Rickey Bridge | Grande Provence | La Couronne

Ride in a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible (2015-05-09) Photo Gallery 26 JUN 2015

I’ve spoken in length about the awesome birthday weekend out in Franschhoek that Chantelle planned for us back in May, and sure, there is still a couple of posts that came out of it still to come.

This particular birthday surprise was however one of the more memorable ones – so it gets a post all to itself! :)

IMG_20150509_144909 franschhoek motor museum Ride in a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

As we stepped outside after ending off our guided tour through the fantastic Franschhoek Motor Museum, we were greeted with a shiny red treat: Chantelle had organised a ride around the estate in a jaw-droppingly beautiful red 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible!

IMG_20150509_145230 franschhoek motor museum Ride in a 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

I could scarcely contain myself as I sank down into its comfortable, plush embrace, and after a quick chat with our driver for the day, the loud engine roared to life and we were off, cruising the beautiful L’Ormarins wine estate and making our way up and around to the luxurious and newly build Terra Del Capo Tasting Room on the adjoining Anthonij Rupert wine estate. (Everything here belongs to the Ruperts in case you’re wondering)

IMG_20150509_150001 terra del capo tasting room on the anthonij rupert wine estate

We were let out at Terra Del Capo and Chantelle and I settled down to some refreshments and to take in the views of the relaxing, gorgeous surrounds, before we were once again collected and whisked away via the scenic route back to the Franschhoek Motor Museum doors.

IMG_20150509_145259 chantelle and craig cadillac convertible selfie

Needless to say, a birthday treat of the highest order! :)

(Apparently, this is a thing that the Franschhoek Motor Museum offers. It’s not widely publicised, but they do in fact have a selection of classic cars to choose from – in this particular case Chantelle leaped at the opportunity for us to get some wind in our hair with a convertible!)

Related Link: Cadillac Series 62 Convertible | Terra Del Capo Tasting Room | L’Ormarins Wine Estate | Franschhoek Motor Museum

Things to See in South Africa: Franschhoek Motor Museum Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 25 JUN 2015

If you love your motor history (or just motor cars in general), and find yourself in the beautiful Western Cape of South Africa, then you simply HAVE to take the trip out to the picturesque Franschhoek to visit Johann Rupert’s sublime Franschhoek Motor Museum situated on the stunning L’Ormarins wine estate.

IMG_20150509_134617 franschhoek motor museum ford collection classic car

As Franschhoek Motor Museum puts it:

“Across the length and breadth of Southern Africa, only one place can adequately portray the evolution of the automobile, The Franschhoek Motor Museum. The museum’s collection exceeds 220 vehicles – ranging from a 1898 Beeston motor tricycle to a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar – and more than 80 exhibits will be on view at any one time, displayed in four de-humidified halls with a total floor area of 2700 m².”

All of the vehicles belong to Johann Rupert, and the sheer monetary and historic value of the collection is simply put, staggering, when you consider just how rare most of the exhibits actually are! All brands and ages are representing in this one of a kind collection, from your antique, veteran and vintage rides, all the way through to your post-45, post-60 and of course, modern motors.

Classic Bugatti, Ferrari, Mclaren, Bentley, Ford, Alpha Romeo, Mercedes Benz, BMW – well you get the picture – make a showing, and needless to say, there is no way you can step away from this without a massive grin on your face!

IMG_20150509_133105 franschhoek motor museum classic car collection

As mentioned, only a portion of the collection is on display at one time, with regular rotation meaning that you can visit the museum more than once and come away with something different each and every time. There are four custom built barns, and each showroom barn is then usually set up to follow some sort of theme.

On our recent (and first ever) visit, the four displays were as follows.

First up was the classic elegance theme, which saw beauties that included rarities like the 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash, 1905 Mars Carette, 1914 Humberette, 1922 AC Royal, 1931 Bugatti Type 49, and a 1936 Auburn Supercharge Eight amongst others!

Building 2 housed a homage to Ford, with classic Ford Model A (1903), Ford Model T (1911), Ford Model A Roadster (1931), Ford Convertible Club Cabriolet (1937) amongst those making a showing.

IMG_20150509_135644 franschhoek motor museum ford collection classic car

Of course more recent Ford vehicles were on display as well, like the Ford GT40 (1967), Ford Mustang (1968), Ford Fairlane (1970) and the 1971 Ford Capri Perana.

Barn number 3 housed the Italians in the form of Alpha Romeos, and the Germans in the form of Mercedes Benz.

IMG_20150509_141234 franschhoek motor museum mercedes benz collection classic car

So, so many fine European specimens.

Finally, Building 4 played host to the speed demons, some circuit racers included. Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, Austin Healey, and of course the bright red of Ferrari are all front and present, and anyone with even the slightest love of fast cars is guaranteed to walk out of this particular showroom in total seventh heaven bliss!

The Motor Museum does of course have a small little eatery attached in which you can enjoy something to eat, but more importantly, you can actually book a tour guide for the visit – which is exactly what did. This adds a lot more to the visit, and more importantly, allows you to get a little more up close and personal with the cars than what the general public is allowed.

IMG_20150509_144259 franschhoek motor museum ferrari collection classic car

And the icing on the cake? You can actually also organise a trip around the estate in a classic car (they have a list to choose from). This isn’t a heavily advertised feature, but it is certainly worth doing – which is exactly what we did in a classic 1959 Cadillac Series 62 convertible!

IMG_20150509_145924 franschhoek motor museum ride in a classic red 1959 cadillac series 62 convertible

In other words, if you are in Franschhoek then you should definitely not miss visiting this extraordinary shrine to automobiles.

Related Link: Franschhoek Motor Museum

Things to See in South Africa: Huguenot Fine Chocolates (Franschhoek) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 JUN 2015

Billed as Franschhoek’s famous Belgian chocolate shop, Huguenot Fine Chocolates is a tiny BEE producer of fine handcrafted Belgian chocolates. Located in the main street of Franschhoek, the self proclaimed gourmet capital of South Africa, this boutique chocolaterie offers a delicious range of chocolates, made from the finest imported Belgian chocolate.

IMG_20150509_105749 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

Business partners, Danver Windvogel and Denver Adonis are Belgian-qualified chocolatiers, and their chocolate work is world class, making them and their chocolate a popular stop in the tourist heavy Franschhoek.

IMG_20150509_110430 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

The shop / work area also plays host to “The Chocolate Experience” a half-hour long programme of tasting, demonstrations and chocolate history – interesting if you don’t have any clue as to what exactly chocolate is in the first place!

(Although not a “must” experience as we discovered on our most recent trip to Franschhoek, the information provided is pretty interesting if you are coming in with no prior knowledge, you do of course get to taste chocolate in its various states, and pleasingly, you get handed two little chocolates at the end of the talk.)

Chantelle and I are rather fond of this beautiful tourist town of food, art and wine, and needless to say, Huguenot Fine Chocolates is a stop that we pretty much never miss when we’re in town! :)

Related Link: http://www.huguenotchocolates.com/