Franschhoek Bastille Festival & Haute Cabriere

I haven’t been to the Bastille Festival in Franschoek for several years. I went for the first few years and then I started going to the Knysna Oyster Festival. This year, work commitments forced me to cancel my Knysna plans so I ended up at the Bastille Festival again.

It has certainly grown! It used to be fairly quiet and civilised, but there are masses of people now. It reminds me of the cheese festival (but not as bad). I haven’t actually been to Franschhoek itself for quite a while so I didn’t want to waste my whole day in a tent. I arranged a visit to Haut Espoir in the morning (more on that just now) and also booked a table for lunch at Haute Cabriere. So we ended up arriving at the festival tent after 2pm. Luckily we had booked because they ran out of tickets a while before we arrived. Seeing as we had tasted wine all morning and enjoyed a two course lunch, we weren’t in the mood to taste wines and food. Which saved us quite a bit of cash as tasting tickets are R10 each which is absolutely ridiculous. Considering the size of a tasting, R100 would barely fill a glass. To get in cost R100 as well and the food is not cheap, so it can be quite an investment.

We ended up chatting to friends, watching Schalk Burger get his photo taken and enjoying the sounds of Lonesome Dave Ferguson. After two hours or so we got bored and decided to visit the Elephant and Castle in town. The last time I went to the Bastille Festival I went to the Elephant and Castle and it was empty, this time I never got in. The courtyard outside was packed and they had 2 bars in the courtyard. I caught a glimpse of my friends at the bar inside but there was no way I could get to them.

Lunch at Haute Cabriere was a little disappointing. We tried two courses with the paired wines. I started with the quail (R68) which was cold and completely overwhelmed by the homemade ‘chutney’. My partner had the goatsmilk terrine (R64) which she was happy with but not blown away. For mains I had the beef fillet (R140) which was good and quite a generous portion. My partner had the springbok fillet (R130) which was also good. The paired wines are selected from the Haute Cabriere stable (which includes Pierre Jordaan). I think the selection limits the pairing, I didn’t find my paired wines to be complimetary at all. At that price I would suggest just ordering a bottle of your favourite.

As you can see the prices are not cheap, without drinks you would be looking at R200+ for two courses. Your definitely paying for the environment thought. Haute Cabriere is a stunning farm with amazing views. The toilet is downstairs and if you peer through the curtain at the bottom of the stairs you have an amazing perspective on rows of wine barrels with a tasting table at the end. I need to do a wine tasting there! Luckily they are currently running a special during the week, 2 courses with a glass of bubbly for R100 which is an absolute steal. So if you’ve been wanting to try it out, this is your chance.

The service was capable, but one thing that did really annoy me was the addition of a R5 Streetsmart donation without our permission. I am a supporter of Streetsmart and would have happily contributed but it is meant to be a voluntary donation. I’m sure Streetsmart themselves wouldn’t be happy with the contributions being added to the bill without warning.

Haute Cabriere
021 876 3688


6 responses to “Franschhoek Bastille Festival & Haute Cabriere”

  1. Haut Espoir sounds like just my cup of tea. So exciting to hear of more and more wine farmers going the biodiversity route. Must go check it out one of these days – thanks for the headsup!

  2. Michelle

    Haut Espoir Rose is extraordinary! It is one of very few Rose’s made from Shiraz, and is pretty unique too in the fact that it is lightly oaked. Definitely the best I’ve tasted.

  3. I absolutely LOVE the 2006 Gentle Giant from Haut Espoir. The wine farm is definitly one to visit. Great views, friendly people and fabulous wines at great prices.

  4. Re StreetSmart, the card actually reads:
    “Money for children in need is raised by restaurants affiliated to StreetSmart. A voluntary R5 donation will be added to your table’s bill. If you’d like to give more just say so. StreetSmart funds education, skills training and family reunification programmes for street children. Your donation goes directly to these already established initiatives.”

    So the restaurant did the right thing… may I impishly suggest your annoyance is a little odd coming from a man who doesn’t mind if restaurants charge him for tap water?

  5. Thanks for clearing that up, JP. I have to admit that I haven’t seen the card as it wasn’t on the table and I have not seen it at any other restaurants.

    I was under the, mistaken, impression that they checked with you before adding it. I will not be annoyed next time, and I think I need to correct a comment on my Streetsmart post too.

    With the respect to charging for tap water, I don’t see a contradiction. I agree with your initial comment that the customer must know what’s going on. That applies to water and Streetsmart.

  6. B-J Klein

    You HAVE to at least get the spelling of Franschhoek (with 2 Hs) right..please!!