A little version of Paris in Hartbeespoort, South-Africa

“To imagine is to choose “ / Imaginier c’est cheisir” – Jean Giono

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Just imagine walking into a small little valley that felt like you are in Paris (well maybe just a little bit), eat fresh chocolate croissants,  have a warm cappuccino and enjoy French music and if you want to take your partner with you can even seal your love forever with a lock.  Well as they say it’s the most precious or valuable thing in life don’t cost much.

Ooh, la la, look where I’ve been I recently –  a quaint place called “French toast café” which lies in the heart of Hartbeespoort, North-West Province in South-Africa, it’s only a 45-minute drive from Pretoria.  It originally opened in 2015 and that was the first time I have visited it.  It was the first time I have watched this popular film called “French Toast” at an open-air cinema, old fashioned don’t you think?  But I’ve loved it, every minute of it 🙂

If you haven’t seen the movie its available on DVD’s.  So what is it really about?  Well it’s a journey of a young woman that went to Paris to find the truth.  Lisa lives with her father, Izak on a wine farm in Franschoek. Her mother died some time ago, and left a french toast recipe that only a few people know. One day she finds her mothers diary and to her astonishment finds out that she has a brother or sister in France somewhere. She decides to go and find her sibling. Her boyfriend, Theo, is on the verge of asking her to marry him, but understands that she has to go. In France she meets a chef, Jean-Pierre, who works in the Alexandre cafe shop. He is looking for a photographer for his cookbook. Because she can’t speak French, she decides to help him but then he must help her find her sister or brother. They have fun looking for her sibling but then something happens that makes Jean-Pierre disappear and he asks her not to look for him. Why does he do this? Does she find her sibling? Is Jean-Pierre her sibling? Does Liza go home and marry Theo?  – well watch the movie and find out, its a very touching story.

At this very property of French toast cafe, there is a beautiful song called “Dans in die reen” which was written by Machiel Roets and its a duet that is performed in French and Afrikaans, I still get goosebumps when I hear this song”.  This song was recorded at this property of French toast cafe and I guess it became really popular after that.

There is a 12.5 meter Eiffel tower and “I love you wall” which is perfect for picture opportunities and then you can buy a lock, write your and your partner’s name on the lock and seal your love forever.  French toast café was specially built as the official ‘bar’ in the film.

 

 

French toast café is a bit more developed nowadays because now they have a deli there, a few shops where you can buy clothes and handmade jewelry and they have even a photo booth where you can get dressed in vintage costumes, all part of the “French feel”.  Some evenings over the weekend they do show a film as its an outdoor cinema but reservations are advised beforehand because it’s so popular.  Today its a very popular tourist attraction.

What a wonderful experience and I will definitely recommend it to anyone that is looking for something different.

“Sometimes in life, you have to break the rules and live a little”

 

Different experiences

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Hi there! My name is Ané du Preez and I am from South-Africa but currently teach and live in Thailand. I am a writer and a solo traveler. I love learning about other cultures and traditions. My interest started when I was only a child and my grandparents shared their travel stories through pictures, stories, and writing. This blog is to share my wonderful adventures with all of you. I’ve been discovering the gems of mother nature and its amazing people. Join me as we venture into the beauty and inspiration that is all around us. I am an advocate for all to live their life to the fullest. To travel is to live!

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