By shortly after 10 o’clock this morning we were in our white convertible Volvo, top down, zipping down the N1 highway. We were on our way to Franschhoek, by way of Paarl. We’ve never been to Paarl before and it’s only a little bit out of the way, so today was our day to check it out. We basically drove into the city, up and down Main Street, and then out again. We passed a couple of great-looking golf courses on our way out. We were about to enter the main drag of Franschhoek when we got a text from Shirley Martens — we had hoped to have lunch with her and our old friends Graham and Paddy (we stayed at their ‘Bird Cottage’ for 3 weeks 15 years ago). Well, that wasn’t going to happen today. But now it’s on for TOMORROW! Okay, no problem. We’ll just go for lunch by ourselves today, and we’ll come back here tomorrow afternoon, after our golf game. It’s just over one hour to drive here, and we’re looking forward to having afternoon coffee at Paddy’s house.
The little town of Franschhoek sure has changed in 15 years! We parked on the main road and wandered up and down the length of the street. Lots of new shops. Lots and LOTS of tourists browsing through lots of souvenir and knick-knack shops. We DID recall some of the older buildings — the mini-mart grocery store, the post office, and the book store. We had made a reservation at the Haute-Cabriere Wine Cellars and Restaurant for one o’clock, and we didn’t want to spoil our appetite, so we couldn’t try any of the delicious-looking pastries to go with our cappuccinos at a little bakery-cafe. Then we waked to the ‘top’ of Main Road, where we used to turn right to go to Bird Cottage, and where there is a historic monument to the Huguenots who settled here in the 17th and 18th centuries. That French heritage is why we saw the red-white-and-blue flags everywhere, and why there is a lot of French spoken here. We remember the monument as a landmark for us from our earlier time here. (In fact, here is a photo of the two of us in front of it in December 2001.) We took a few photos.
And then it was time for lunch. We drove up to the Haute-Cabriere estate and parked the car. They had a table for us outside, in the shade, with a view of the Franschhoek valley below.
And although Sue decided NOT to try the BIG lunch with fancy-schmancy wine-pairings for each of three courses (or six if you wanted the complete kit). So she had the line fish of the day (Angelfish) and I had the pasta dish of the day. And both plates were as delicious as they were attractive! Sue could hardly eat a mouthful without first declaring how “delightful” this was.
After lunch we drove past our old stomping grounds at Bird Cottage (we’ll check it out more thoroughly tomorrow) before heading back home. The roads are great. The traffic was crawling OUT of Cape Town, but we were heading IN, so rush hour didn’t slow us down at all.
I worked on the computer and Sue read before supper. Then we watched the last few episodes of “Making a Murderer” on Netflix. Sue announced that she “couldn’t IMAGINE eating supper” so I had to help her visualize it. We ended up having SANDWICHES for supper — thereby switching our lunch and supper around — so we were able to eat all three meals today, in spite of having messed up the routine by having a big (delightful!) dinner for lunch. Yeah, I guess our entire day was “delightful”.