Hospitality and French Country Charm at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek
La Petite Ferme boutique winery and luxury accommodation sits just a short way up the Oliphants Pass in Franschhoek and enjoys an unprecedented view over the vineyards and valley below. Nestled into the mountain and surrounded by tall trees, it’s easy to think you’re in a little corner of rural France.
Contemporary Country Chic
The hotel was recently revamped, and while its decor and finishings maintain elements of its Huguenot heritage, it has a thoroughly contemporary look that brings it in line with the best in the area.
Accommodation at La Petite Ferme consists of vineyard cottages, as well as a Manor House that is divided into separate luxurious suites. These can be booked individually or by a group travelling together, which would give you carte blanche of this secluded area.
Room with a View
Our room, the John & Carol Suite, is part of the Manor House and shared a gorgeous pool and view with the other three rooms. The room was incredibly spacious and beautifully decorated in monochromatic tones, with warmth from luxe velvet blankets and decorative cushions.
The design focuses on luxury, while not forgetting functionality, and boasted a lovely outdoor area with cosy seating. Special touches included underfloor heating, outdoor daybeds and a stocked minibar with snacks, drinks and jars of delectable cookies and rusks to enjoy.
Special touches included underfloor heating, outdoor daybeds and a stocked minibar with snacks, drinks and jars of delectable cookies and rusks to enjoy.
The stunning bathroom deserves a mention all of its own – it was the kind that you mentally pin for one day when you build your own dream home (just me?). Floor-to-wall screed in an aged ivory tone, with tap fittings in the most gorgeous brushed pale copper/rose-gold colour. A large walk-in shower, separate egg-shaped bath with a floor-standing gooseneck tap mixer and heated towel rails.
Wine The Afternoon Away
La Petite Ferme has its own vineyards and the view from the lush lawns in front of the hotel overlooks these. It is nothing short of spectacular in the afternoons as the sun moves over the Middagkrans mountains behind the hotel and bathes the valley in a warm glow.
They currently make a Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a few special winemaker labels as well.
Luvuyo, one of the knowledgeable wait staff, guided us through an afternoon wine tasting, which was held in the lush gardens overlooking the vineyards. We thoroughly enjoyed this experience; with the winter sun warming us to toasty perfection and the freedom to just sit back and take it all in, it was utterly relaxing. After tasting the range, we decided that the barrel-fermented Chardonnay was our personal favourite.
Our wine tasting was followed by afternoon tea, which can be taken in the restaurant, gardens or your room. Given the loveliness of our room, we decided to enjoy our baked cheesecake with spiced berry compote while sitting on our terrace. Absolute bliss.
Dining at La Petite Ferme
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is a popular spot for guests and non-guests alike to enjoy an elevated dining experience. Not only do they provide an à la carte menu but also a fabulous Chef’s Table dinner, ingredient-themed evenings and other exciting food & wine experiences that can be enjoyed during your stay or booked if you are visiting as a non-guest.
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is a popular spot for guests and non-guests alike to enjoy an elevated dining experience.
The menu is full of delicious options that make choosing quite difficult. To start we had the burrata with smoked tomato pearl, tomato dust and pickled cherry tomatoes. A good burrata is always satisfying and the smoked tomato element of this dish played so well with the creaminess of the cheese.
We also tried the Crispy Squid with Pea Puree and Pickled Ginger – another classic dish that delivered both in looks and nuanced flavour from various elements.
For mains the Franschhoek Trout was a no-brainer; this local sustainably farmed fish was delicious with a light white wine veloute. The other selection was a toss-up between the house classic of Karoo Lamb in Phyllo or the Duo of Beef. The duo won out, and the absolutely melt-in-the-mouth fillet and crispy crumbed pulled oxtail were both perfection. With cauliflower purée and chargrilled baby onions, it was everything you would expect from this bistro classic.
We simply couldn’t manage dessert and it was with much regret that we missed out on this course – a first I think! Apple of My Eye – an apple sorbet with candied baby apple and vanilla custard sounded heavenly, as did Study of Chocolate – chocolate mousse with blueberry gel and strawberry ice cream. Alas, we simply couldn’t fit in another bite… all the more reason to come back though!
A Restful Haven
As the hotel is set away from the busy town of Franschhoek it is exceptionally quiet and makes for a great place to retire to after a busy day of sightseeing in the area. It was genuinely one of the most peaceful and restful night’s sleep I have had in a while. Country living is where it’s at!
Breakfast is served on the same terrace that overlooks the vineyard views; taking in the panoramic vistas while enjoying an excellent cup of coffee is the perfect time to cement your plans for the day. With an absolute plethora of things to do in the area, your hardest decision is going to be picking where to begin.
As the hotel is set away from the busy town of Franschhoek it is exceptionally quiet and makes for a great place to retire to after a busy day of sightseeing in the area
We loved that the continental element of breakfast was delivered to our table. Jars of yoghurt and cereal, a stunning fruit platter, cheeses, charcuterie and a tray of mixed pastries. This way of serving is one of the legacies of the Covid time period that seems to have continued at a lot of establishments and is a positive change. It takes the thought out of selecting from a buffet-style set up and means that you can just relax and indulge.
Of course, there is a varied hot menu as well, and our eggs Benedict and Classic Chataeu breakfasts were both lovely.
One thing which really stood out for us at La Petite Ferme was the exceptional service we received from every single member of the team. From the cheerful greeting at the gate to bubbly on arrival, a swift digital check-in, room tour, wine tasting and restaurant service – we couldn’t fault anything. Every person we encountered was polite, helpful and impeccably mannered.
Our stay, while brief, was thoroughly enjoyable. We felt rested, well-fed and most of all well taken care of. If you’re looking for country-style accommodation, with a team behind it that will ensure you make the most of every moment, you will find this at ‘the little farm’ La Petite Ferme.