We recently had the pleasure of entertaining the Chinese delegation visiting Cape Town. The Mother City has an ever increasing Chinese population with more and more Chinese owned businesses operating in the CBD and surrounds. I must say, there was a fair amount of pressure being felt for those responsible for entertaining our Chinese guests whose culture and cuisine is so diverse and refined. Although, in today’s world of fast paced living and mass production, it is rare to find true craftsmen that produce unique and one of a kind products. Artisan products are basically products that are not produced in a large Industrial factory and mass produced. Things like artisan food are produced by small companies or individuals that are usually hand-made in small quantities. The products are high quality and are made by using very traditional methods. Lately I have seen an increase in these types of food from craft beer to hand-crafted chocolate in Cape Town.
The Spice Route
The Spice Route is a Wine farm located in the town of Paarl in Cape Town. Here you can enjoy and explore a variety of craft products from home décor and glass to the wide selection of artisan foods and drinks. We booked our tour through a Cape Town based travel company, Ashanti Tours, who offer a huge variety of local tour packages in as well as catering for the increasing demand for adventure tourism in South Africa.
- Craft beers that you can experience with a biltong tasting
- Home-made deli products and preserves
- Delicious coffee and home-made ice-creams and sorbets
- Of course a selection of wines
- De Villiers Chocolate
I recently got to experience a chocolate tasting at their studio in the Spice Route. On arrival you pay a small fee to enjoy the tasting. In the tasting room you are greeted by the friendly staff members who explain a bit about their products. You are then left to wander around the room where they have laid out their various chocolate flavours on a table top. Walking around, each plate offers a short explanation you can read. You are then allowed to taste the chocolate and move on to the next flavour they offer. They offer a variety of flavours from your traditional milk to dark chocolate as well as unique flavours such as, coffee and cardamom and chai milk chocolate. After enjoying the different tastes you can go to their shop where you can purchase your favourite chocolate. Leaving the chocolate shop you can then explore the many sights and tastes that is the Spice Route.
The Franschhoek experience
Franschhoek is a beautiful area providing an abundance of food and wine experiences. The established vineyards, wine farms offer a variety of tour options that will take you on a journey of discovery and delight. With its Cape Dutch architecture, fun activities and artisan food there is something for everybody to enjoy.
There is actually an artisan route you can follow, where you will discover the finest products and treat your taste buds to a taste sensation. Foods like olives, breads, chocolates and cheeses will tempt you at every turn.
There is even a map you can follow to find each delectable location. Here are a few places and their offerings in Franschhoek. After only visiting a few of our scheduled destinations our guest Chinese delegation were champing at the bit to go on safari in Cape Town.
Huguenot Fine Chocolates
My favourite, so it’s only right to start with this location. Huguenot Fine chocolates can be found in the main street of Franschhoek. Here they will tempt you with the finest hand-crafted Belgium chocolates and truffles.
Terbodore Coffee Roasters
My next favourite thing is of course coffee. Terbodore are artisan coffee roasters that produce the finest blends of coffee. The product is made with love and care and can be enjoyed with each cup that you make. The company has grown and now offers their product to many hotels, restaurants and retail outlets in South Africa. This is a testament to their good quality coffee products.
La Motte Wine Estate
A visit to Franschhoek is not done until you visit one of the many wine farms in the area. The La Motte Wine estate seems to offer the best of wine and food in the area. The Estate offers everything from wine tasting, a wonderful restaurant, and hiking trails. The Farm shop has a substantial selection of handmade gifts, bread knives, spice-blends and they make their own coffee blends.
The shop also offers their own range of body care products and fresh produce grown on the Estate itself. The first thing you will find upon approaching the Farm shop, is the delicious aroma of freshly baking bread. They offer artisan breads that will melt in your mouth as well as yummy sweet treats and cakes. Here you can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery while you sip and nibble on the best food in town.