Lodges

La Fontaine Guest House

A classic Franschhoek experience

La Fontaine Guest House

After an amble down Main Street, turn off towards Le Bon Vivant (more about that later) and take a right on Dirkie Uys Street and you’ll find La Fontaine—an absolute gem of a guesthouse in the heart of Franschhoek and really quite affordable too. Originally built in 1926 as a residence for the Headmaster of the local school, the main building is still an impressive one today and adjacent Campbell House is equally charming. With a small and tremendously friendly team that have worked together since 2001, this is a cosy and welcoming base for a few day's exploration of the Winelands.

At the lodge

The hotel

Downstairs in the main house, you’ll find a cosy lounge and sitting room, complete with perfectly placed sherry decanters and crystal glasses. Breakfast is usually served in the courtyard but there’s also an light, airy breakfast room for chilly days – and for the ultimate lazy morning, coffee and pastries can be delivered to your room too! The lush, indigenous gardens hide a large swimming pool at the back, with fabulous views of the craggy mountains that surround the village.

The rooms

The 6 bedrooms in the main house are all tastefully decorated with classic furniture and crisp white linens. Our vote goes to Room 5 with its large shared balcony or Room 4 with claw-footed tub in the bathroom. Five slightly larger Garden Suites are scattered around the garden (accessed by their own gate) and perfect for families. Across the road, there are three bedrooms in Campbell House, all with enormous beds, high ceilings and original wooden floors.

On safari

Experiences

Only a stone’s throw away, a wander up and down the boutiques and galleries of Main Street is essential. When you’re ready for a pitstop, we hear The Hoek serves the best coffee in town! No visit to Franschhoek would be complete without a visit to some of the nearby wineries and La Fontaine will happily organise a private tour around some of the best. And to clear your head in the morning, try one of the local hiking trails – there are plenty to be discovered.

When to go

Cape Winelands by month

January

Season: Dry
  • The weather is consistent with plenty of sunshine, a handful of rainy days and the potential for stronger winds.
  • Enjoying tastings and pairings with the picturesque vineyard backdrop.
  • The perfect month for outdoor activities, explore the countryside by foot, car, horse or tram in the Franschhoek region.
  • The end of January welcomes the Delheim Start of Harvest Celebration, a unique experience at a working wine farm, with grape stomping and al fresco dining.
  • The outdoor market is on every Saturday amongst the vineyards of Stellenbosch, explore the local artworks, homemade delectables and of course a wide variety of wines.
  • Avoid any disappoint and book restaurants and activities early, during this period.

February

Season: Dry
  • This is the hottest month of the year in the Winelands, with little to no rain expected and occasional winds.
  • A great time of year for eating al fresco with postcard perfect views of the vineyards and surrounding countryside.
  • Take advantage of the clear sunny skies and enjoy a hike through the Winelands hills.
  • The Stellenbosch Wine Festival is a day of music, fresh foods and of course locally produced wines.
  • The Franschhoek Summer Wines Festival takes place on the Leopard's Leap Family Vineyard, a picture perfect setting for wine tasting and some fun in the sun.
  • Avoid any disappoint and book restaurants and activities early, during this period.

March

Season: Dry
  • In this month rain is unlikely with long hours of sunshine and hot weather expected.
  • Enjoy ideal conditions for wine farm explorations, picnicking and al fresco dining.
  • Comfortable conditions make cycling, hiking and horse riding popular outdoor activities.
  • Hot air ballooning provides a unique and beautiful perspective of Paarl's vineyards and countryside.
  • The Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Celebration in early March is a festive occasion, with grape stomping, leisurely walks among the vines and wine tasting from the barrel.
  • Avoid any disappoint and book restaurants and activities early, during this period.

April

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are comfortable at this time of year, with the first rains of the season falling in the form of occasional showers.
  • The last of the sunny days provide the perfect setting for wine tastings and pairings in the immaculate countryside of the Western Cape.
  • Late April is a staggeringly beautiful time to visit this region, Autumn is setting in and the leaves on the vines turn bright reds, yellows and oranges.
  • The South African Cheese Festival take place on Stellenbosch's Sandringham Farm, an estate transformed with the delights of culinary excellence and wine perfection.

May

Season: Wet
  • Expect some rain over the course of a lengthy stay, with daylight hours shortening and temperatures remaining mild.
  • The mixed weather provides a welcome variation of outdoor activity and fine dining by a crackling wood fire.
  • The onset of autumn presents a picture perfect setting, the leafy vines burst into colour with yellows,oranges and reds, painting the countryside.
  • There are many festivals in and around the Winelands during this month including Hartenberg Estate's annual Feast of Shiraz and Charcuterie, Delheim Wild Mushroom Hunt, the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival and Riebeek Valley Olive Festival.

June

Season: Wet
  • The wet season is at its peak with a one in three chance of rain, temperatures are dropping and evenings becoming quite chilly.
  • Take advantage of the low number of tourists and explore the wine paired culinary delights of this region.
  • Early to mid June before the vines have dropped their bright red, yellow and orange leaves, provides a beautiful period to visit the region.
  • The Durbanville Winelands play host to the Soup, Sip and Bread Winter Feast, a festive occasion with broths, chowders, artisanal breads, live entertainment and above all quality wines.
  • Pack warm clothing in this month.

July

Season: Wet
  • The wet season experiences colder temperatures and rainfall on a third of its days.
  • An ideal time of year for foodies, enjoy world class cuisine and wines overlooking the undulating hills of the Winelands region.
  • Indulge in the unique wine and food pairings on offer, including chocolate, cheese and charcuterie.
  • Bastille Day in Franschhoek provides a festive occasion with wine tasting, music and fun for all.
  • Pack warm clothing in this month.

August

Season: Wet
  • It is still the wet season, with high chances of rainfall, lower average temperatures and cold nights.
  • Enjoy the romantic Winelands setting in this month, crackling fires, international cuisine and a mouth watering variety of wines.
  • Day tours provide a great method of exploring the nearby wine regions, enjoying wine tastings and pairings as you go.
  • The Robertson Slow Food and Wine Festival is a unique and intimate event, enjoy slow cooked menus paired with wines by the winemakers themselves, in an idyllic vineyard setting.
  • Pack warm clothing in this month.

September

Season: Dry
  • The weather begins to shift, with less rain falling and a slight rise in average daytime temperatures, evenings still have the potential to be chilly.
  • The mixed weather provides a welcome variation of outdoor activity and fine dining by a glowing wood fire.
  • Day tours are a great way to explore the surrounding wine regions indulging in tastings and pairings as you go.
  • Franschhoek Uncorked Festival is a celebration of local heritage, with traditional braaivleis (barbecued meat) and plenty of locally produced wine.

October

Season: Dry
  • Enjoy the first days of the warm dry summer, temperatures climb and the last of the seasonal rains fall in the form of sporadic afternoon showers.
  • Capitalize on the change in weather dining outside with rolling views of the surrounding farm lands.
  • Outdoor explorations are back on the table, spend your time hiking, cycling and horse riding in the countryside.
  • Get to know South Africa's wines with the Robertson Wine on the River, Wellington's Pinotage on Tap and the Durbanville Wine Valley's Season of Sauvignon festivals, Known for good food, great entertainment and exceptional wine.

November

Season: Dry
  • In this month the days are warm and sunny with periods of wind and little to no chance of rain.
  • One of the best months to visit the Winelands, enjoy all the perks of high season without any of the crowds.
  • Outdoor activities are a must, with hiking and cycling trails through the hills providing expansive views of the countryside.
  • La Paris Festival in the Valley is an annual event based in the Franschhoek Winelands, indulge the senses with an assortment of market stalls and local entertainment before enjoying some of the region's award winning wines and cuisine.
  • Avoid any disappoint and book restaurants and activities early, during this period.

December

Season: Dry
  • Enjoy ideal weather with hot sunny days, very little rain and the potential for short-lived gusty winds.
  • Revel in picture perfect days, venturing from one wine farm to the next.
  • Outdoor activities are a must in this month with hiking and horse riding always popular methods of exploration.
  • Hot air ballooning provides a unique and beautiful perspective of Paarl's vineyards and countryside.
  • Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival is a sophisticated affair with high end tastings and cuisine to match.
  • Avoid any disappoint and book restaurants and activities early, during this period.

Map

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