|Franschhoek (Dutch (spelling before 1947): "French corner") is a small town with in the Western Cape Province and one of the oldest towns of the Republic of South Africa.|
The valley was originally settled in 1688 by French Huguenot refugees, many of whom were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Olifantshoek ("Elephants' corner"), so named because of the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area.
The name of the area soon changed to Franschhoek, with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they came. La Motte, La Cotte, Cabrière, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donné and La Dauphine were among some of the first established farms — most of which still retain their original farm houses today. These farms have grown into renowned wineries.
Franschhoek is notable for having some of the top restaurants in the country within its quiet borders. This fact, together with the strong wine culture, and pristine natural and architectural beauty has made Franschhoek into what many describe as the "food and wine capital" of South Africa.
The attributes of the village have turned Franschhoek into a popular tourist destination, with dozens of bed & breakfasts and small cottages available for accommodation at premium prices as well as a great used bookstore--the biggest in the area.