You’re sitting at work, bored and angry at whoever decided you needed to be born without your permission. Pack your bag, get in a car, and head for Franschhoek – I’ve got a place for you to unwind.
Franschhoek is known for its serenity and lazy sunny days, but it is celebrated for its wine experiences. Today’s foodie escapade takes us to a place straddling the line between convention and modernity, in a sleepy little town.
Welcome to Allée Bleue Wine Estate.
Allée Bleue is here to offer you their own take on the Wine-o’-clock experience. You are to drop your troubles at their elegant driveway, and don the sense of calm available to you at the estates many comfortable spaces…your mood helped along considerably, with some exceptional wines.
I had the opportunity to explore and enjoy Allée Bleue estate, and took to touring the fully equipped event and conference venues, the bistro for a spot of breakfast, the fresh produce shop, as well as spending the night at one of their stunning accommodation offerings.
“The Dauphin family have set the benchmark with Allée Bleue – an unparalleled location, elegant yet modern. An exceptional estate creating unforgettable memories.”
The estate’s popular chicnics are a signature and tradition in this part of the Winelands; and you’d be remiss in your foodie escapades, if you didn’t visit the beautifully manicured gardens…to indulge in good wine, great views, and tasty treats.
The Winter Undercover Picnic has a selection of nomnoms for you to enjoy.
One of the things I started in on, was the Beef, Mushroom and green peppercorn Pie. It was not a foodie favorite unfortunately – likely my disadvantage, at favoring spicy foods.
The farm grown Micro-herb salad with an Allée Bleue Cabernet/Merlot wine reduction dressing, and Pecorino cheese shavings, was a comfortable palette cleanser – which waylaid my excessive hunger, left good vibes in my mouth, and had me anticipating the next dish enthusiastically.
I am in love – IN LOVE – with the Allée Bleue farm style cheese platter, consisting of a selection of local cheeses and cold meats. I had it 2 days consecutively, and it was a revelation I’d never had with a cheese platter before. The cheese with cranberries is now my Kryptonite.
Next to the chicnic basket, was some freshly baked bread, fruited dry Melba toast, served with home-made smoked olive tapenade, anised onion marmalade, chili tomato chutney and basil pesto. I thoroughly enjoyed this section of the picnic. The pesto had me thinking of other dishes I could add it to, because: it was tart, light but fresh, and heady in its flavors.
Not to be forgotten, was: farm grown olives and creamy yogurt balls, homemade beef bobotie pie, and a roasted beef wrap with herb tomato, red onion salsa, and spicy mayonnaise. These were the most filling but forgettable picnic options.
Visitors to Allée Bleue were spoiled this Sunday chicnic, as far as dessert is concerned. We had traditional warm Malva Pudding served with creme anglaise, as well as Lemon posset with mint cookie crumble.
One word: Lovely!
You are not going to get culture shock from how they do things – however ‘unique’ the estate may market itself as, rest easy.
Allée Bleue understands the basic needs of their visitors, and accommodate them accordingly. However, their Ace-In-The-Hole is not a singular focus; Allée Bleue strives for (and achieves) quality in their wines, accommodation, and immersive experiences on the estate.
World Class wines – Check!
Fresh fruit & herbs – Check!
Historic charm – Check!
Warm hospitality – Check!
Family friendly – Check!
Captivating scenery – DOUBLY CHECK!
Shame on anyone who thinks to find fault in the admirable efforts of Allée Bleue, as their enthusiasm in providing the best wine country hospitality far outweighs momentary failings.
For its humble chic approach to food, wine & beautiful country-cum-modern spaces, Allée Bleue get’s an 7/10
What about the health nuts & vegetarians?
You’re sorted. Just make sure to let the reservation manager know if you need any additional substitutions, or have any allergies.
Allée Bleue is healthy in its ingredient choices, and offers a satisfying enough amount of dining options for Vegetarians.
Please do consult their menu for a true idea of how accommodating they are for vegans.
What of the drinks & booze?
This is a place of wine. You can’t expect a drinks menu weighing heavy in ciders, cocktails and soft drinks.
As far as wine is concerned, I am partial to the Allée Bleue Brut Rose, having sampled it during a complimentary wine tasting.
“Come and taste our award winning wines in the Allée Bleue Tasting Room. Our friendly team will guide you through our wines and some of the rich history of the estate. With a tree-shaded terrace overlooking the vineyards, gardens and mountains to enjoy in summer, and a cosy open fire during winter, we hope to see you soon.” – Tasting Room Team
There’s a selection of wine for you to choose from though. A picnic so well-thought out deserves you atleast sipping on one glass – perhaps an award winning Allée Bleue Chenin or a robust Merlot?
Wine Tasting hours:
Monday – Friday: 09h00 – 17h00
Saturday: 10h00 -17h00
Sunday & Public Holidays: 10h00 – 17h00
Allée Bleue Wine Estate get’s an all-round 7/10.
Allée Bleue Wine Estate