On our day tour of the Cape Winelands we stopped for lunch in Franschhoek – one of the oldest towns in South Africa. Translated as the ‘French Corner’ it’s also known as the country’s gourmet capital. My tastebuds were obviously not going to miss out.
With so many fantastic restaurants, we went with a recommendation and chose La Petite Ferme nestled in one of the Western Cape’s picturesque valleys. The restaurant is part of a multi-award winning boutique wine estate which boasts nine suites and two self catered cottages too.
From the moment we walked in our eyes were on stalks. The breathtaking views of the vineyard, rugged mountains and rolling hills – it’s quite something.
We had prime seating on the terrace with floor to ceiling windows providing us with incredible views in LIVE technicolour as we ate. The decor in the rest of the restaurant is elegant with muted greys and creams, light wooden floors and glorious gold light fittings – understated luxury at its finest.
We still had a very long day ahead of us. After the wine
drinking tasting in the morning (which you can read about here) we decided against a full bottle, plumping instead for a carafe of the Baboon Rock Chardonnay. Outrageous when you’re dining in a vineyard, but when needs must…
This fine dining restaurant ticked the box for our girls too with their children’s menu. You see: holidaying with children doesn’t mean you need to stay away from high-end restaurants. Unless of course your child is The Tasmanian Devil. In that case I’d give them a wide berth. And can you guess what they both chose? Pasta! It won dish of the day once more.
My culinary adventure started with a crumbed goats chèvre with fig preserve, rocket and walnuts. The light starter of tangy, soft goats cheese with a crunchy coating along with the sweetness of the preserve was sublime.
Mr S ordered the fish cakes with capers, pak choi, zucchini ribbons, sesame seeds, peppadew and chilli tartar sauce. He loved the flavoursome take on what can sometimes be quite a simple dish.
The wild mushrooms with cauliflower truffle purée, pearl barley, pecorino cheese and garlic crumbs was a pure delight. Think risotto but without the rice. The nuttiness complimented the earthy mushrooms and I loved the soft yet chewy texture.
Mr S was impressed with his main of smoked trout with lemon-chive hummus, roasted beetroot, horseradish crème fraîche and baby fennel salad. I asked him for a word and he just said ‘symphonic.’
Making up for the fact that we’d only ordered a carafe we couldn’t help ourselves and ordered a dessert wine. Just look at the legs on that beauty!
It went perfectly with my dessert of baked lemon cheesecake served with raspberries, passion fruit curd and flaky wafers. Pretty as a picture it was hard to eat for erm, about two seconds. Or let’s be honest the time it took for me to take a suitable snap! Light and tangy, I can confirm it didn’t last long.
It was no surprise Mr S went for the vanilla buttermilk panna cotta served with fresh strawberries, basil granite, crumble and strawberry sauce. Panna cotta being one of his favourite desserts (he has many, to be fair).
Understandable now why La Petite Ferme has been listed by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the top 15 ‘Best Value’ establishments in the World. Yep. That’s right. The World! Like many of the restaurants in South Africa, the food is high-end but the prices you pay are half of what you’d pay anywhere else. Also, the service we experienced from beginning to end was impeccable yet friendly and added to the relaxed atmosphere.
After lunch we couldn’t wait to explore the grounds and get a little closer to the magnificent views. It was an idyllic afternoon. The fresh mountain air, glorious blue skies, Provençal-style vineyard vistas and watching the girls enjoy the grounds, confirmed one thing for Mr S and I. Next time we’ll be coming to stay.
Do you have a favourite holiday restaurant? Perhaps somewhere where you always go back? Let me know in the comments box below.
La Petite Ferme | Franschhoek Pass Road | Franschhoek 7690 | South Africa
Disclaimer: This post is a content collaboration and we received a complimentary meal at La Petite Ferme. All views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie.
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