La Petite Ferme is a wine farm situated on the hills of Franschhoek, upon the Oliphants Pass and Middagkrans Mountains with splendid views over looking the valley. This establishment is something special.
Its story even more so - like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Le Petit Ferme is a modern day institution and Franschhoek would hardly seem complete without this bastion of present day permanence.
The modern farm was bought in 1974 and in 1984 a 40-seat restaurant was built. The farm previously ran as a plum farm and when the plum farm closed down the owners John and Carol Dendy-Young re-hired all the original staff to help run the restaurant.
After experiencing a tragic fire in 1996, the restaurant was brought back to life with the help of the staff and community… Instead of donning the usual aprons, they put on gumboots and rebuilt this beautiful establishment from the ground up.
The restaurant is bright and beautifully decorated. Adorned with the original fireplace in the main seating section, the new interior honours both the old and the new, salvaging what survived the fire and embracing it with fresh décor. Outside the lawns roll down into the Franschhoek valley and the views are simply spectacular. Walking around the estate, while sipping on perfect glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc, I watched an elderly couple; sitting quietly on a bench taking in their surroundings. A place that encourages the appreciation of peace and calm really is a place worth visiting.
The property has luxury accommodation and will make even the wariest of travelers feel welcome and well rested. With large bedrooms with spectacular views I could picture myself in the stand-alone bath with bubbles in hand over looking the valley.
We were treated to a special, old versus new tasting to launch the new menu at the restaurant. The food brims with flavour and is the perfect option for a long summers lunch. My must try was the trout which was served with a citrus hollandaise sauce. Who knew that hollandaise needed citrus? A revelation! Hardly one to be forgotten - A very real concern for me now is how to ask chefs at other restaurants to up their hollandaise game without getting thrown out.
Paired with the La Petite Ferme Sauvignon Blanc, I was in heaven!
The maestro in the kitchen, Neethling du Toit has struck the perfect balance between the much-loved old menus, retaining certain inalienable elements to pay homage to the past, but with an ever-mindful eye to the future.
To know where you are going you can never forget where you have come from.
If you find yourself in the area or travelling up the Franschhoek pass then this estate is a spot that you simply have to try.
It might feel a little strangely familiar, like a home away from home, but that’s ok.
You could stay on for a few days and lose yourself in La Petite Ferme.