A Curated Stay at Le Petit Manoir, Franschhoek

Words: Julie Velosa

There are many places to choose to stay when visiting the lovely Franschhoek valley and it can be a challenge to decide exactly what you want out of the experience. The town offers so much in terms of food, wine and the finer things in life, that combining it all into your stay can take some planning. Fortunately, at a place like Le Petit Manoir, the team have done a lot of the work for you – a stunning dining experience is matched by superlative accommodation and both are brought together by service and attention to detail that you will find hard to match.

Le Petit Manoir

Staying at Le Petit Manoir

The hotel (along with its deli and fine-dining restaurant) are located almost at the centre of Huguenot Road (the main road through Franschhoek) and so is perfectly placed for exploring the town and surrounding areas.

Being that there are only four rooms, the boutique establishment is able to offer a really personalised stay. The rooms are beautifully decorated, using the space thoughtfully. The décor is elegant in its simplicity, crisp white linens with colour and texture from cushions and occasional chairs.

Le Petit Manoir

The bathroom is open and features an awesome power shower, a backlit LED mirror and divinely aromatic Molton Brown amenities. The room we stayed in featured a contemporary freestanding bath that is perfect for a relaxing soak.

Hop on the Franschhoek Tuk Tuk

Another great aspect about the location of Le Petit Manoir is the fact that is also the meeting point for the Franschhoek Tuk Tuk. So you can step out of the hotel and right onto a Tuk Tuk. The idea of the tours is to safely transport visitors to a selection of wine farms for tasting experiences. It’s the ideal way to get around if you are not familiar with the valley.

You can opt to book a half-day or full-day wine tasting tour, where you’ll select the farms you want to visit and your friendly guide will drop and collect you. There is even the option to use the service to get around to other places in the area – perfect if you’re visiting and don’t have access to a car.

We took a Tuk Tuk to the delightful La Bourgogne Farm and experienced their premier wine tasting and cheese platter, a total treat. Our friendly driver, Francis, safely transported us there and back and we loved the fact that drinking and driving was not a concern. This is a definite must-do if you’re in the area.

A Dining Experience at Le Petit Manoir

New head chef, Scott Philip Armstrong, has worked at JAN in Nice and brings his style of fine dining to this foodie hotspot. The restaurant itself, like the rest of the hotel, is meticulously curated. Every last detail has been thought of down to stunning glassware and stylish crockery and cutlery. Everything seems to fit together like a puzzle and the result is quite beautiful.

Tasting Menu

For dinner, we experienced the 6-course menu paired with local wines and were enchanted by every course.

The menu is varied and has something for every palate.

There were several dishes that stood out – firstly the Charred Asparagus with Globe Artichoke and Salsa Verde. The salsa verde packed a punch and was a delicious, zingy accompaniment to the asparagus and a light, aerated mousse.

The Hen’s Nest was totally intriguing in its presentation and we saw many of them leaving the kitchen. The promise of a bacon and chicken terrine with pickled chicken egg, fried leeks and pancetta dust was too much to pass up, and it didn’t disappoint.

For mains, the stand out was the Lamb Rump with Burnt Aubergine. The lamb was incredibly tender, with just the right amount of juicy fat that was crisped to perfection on the outside.

Also, the line fish with langoustine tortellini and langoustine bisque was another favourite; the bisque had an incredible amount of flavour and the lemon caviar added a pop of citrus to the dish.

We couldn’t pass up a sweet ending of coffee Malva with chocolate mousse and honeycomb. I mean, who could? Thoroughly (and we do mean thoroughly) full we headed back up to our room to relax.

Even if you are not staying at the hotel itself, the dining offering at Le Petit Manoir is definitely worth booking in for.

Breakfast and Deli

After an extremely restful night’s sleep, we woke to a brilliantly sunny valley day. The hotel rooms look over the NG Kerk, which looks positively resplendent in the morning light set against the backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains.

Le Petit Manoir

Breakfast is served in the restaurant to hotel guests and members of the public. The heavenly delights in the restaurant’s deli section are definitely a drawcard. We opted for a traditional breakfast fry up, which was excellently prepared. We also couldn’t pass up trying a pastry and the croissant was definitely one of the best we have had.

To Sum it Up

From the moment we arrived at Le Petit Manoir we were made to feel at home and looked after.

We felt cocooned and relaxed within the hotel. So much care has gone into the planning of every aspect and it really shows.

If you are looking for a central place to explore Franschhoek from, or a really special spot for a celebration dinner and stay, look no further than experiencing all there is on offer at this truly stunning bespoke hotel.

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