Pick up Cheese & Wine at Fromages de France at La Cotte Inn
Really, is there anything more quintessentially French than a good (and quite possibly stinky) cheese? We think not. That’s why a visit to Franschhoek is simply not complete without a visit to Fromages de France at La Cotte Inn. This unique little store is easy to miss if you are not a local or in-the-know but is really worth seeking out if you have some time (find them at the bottom of Main Road, on the corner of Louis Botha Street). Tucked away in the corner of the La Cotte wine shop is a cheese counter that proffers the very best in French cheeses, imported weekly and sold just as quickly. Owner and cheese guru Lodine Maske and her husband Ludwig are passionate about good quality cheese and know each one intimately. They pointed out that the dates on the cheeses – often mistaken for expiry dates, actually mark when the cheeses are ready to be eaten. This is when they have reached their optimal ripeness and flavour. Lodine is a wealth of knowledge and can tell you every region, flavour profile and even stories of the farms where the cheeses originate. Of course, the wine shop is positively packed to the eaves with fantastic local wines of every description, so don’t leave without at least a few bottles. The shop, with its dim lighting and dusty corners, gives you that feeling that you’ve stumbled into a treasure trove and indeed you have. Select a wine that goes with your cheese purchases and you can look forward to an evening well spent. This store really is a hidden gem.