…retains heart and soul
We’ve long been enamoured of the legendary La Petite Ferme. There are few who aren’t familiar with ‘that wine farm on the hill’ and its unrivalled views across the magnificent Franschhoek Valley from its position on the slopes of Oliphants Pass and Middagkrans Mountain.
This beloved Franschhoek stalwart is a lot of things to a lot of people; a go-to spot for a spoil-yourself lunch, a rustically refined sundowner setting, a popular location for wine tasting and the ideal setting for a weekend breakaway in one of its luxurious guest cottages. In fact, La Petite Ferme excels on all fronts, which is why many can’t stay away for very long.
Refurbishments and upgrades have been taking place to the property since it came under new ownership in October 2015 and, remarkably, the venue now offers even more to attract Franschhoek fans, foodies and wine lovers.
The first of several new and exciting changes to come is the newly opened La Petite Ferme restaurant. Still offering the same heart and warmth, and rich in the culinary heritage and bounty of the winelands, this award-winning culinary destination has been revamped to sport a more modern, fresh appeal.
Lebanese interior designer, Claudia Chahine, oversaw the new décor and design aspect of the venue, whilst talented Cape Town based ceramicist Mervyn Gers handcrafted a collection of unique and beautiful dinnerware, designed specifically for the restaurant. Throughout the space an elegant yet unfussy simplicity prevails – a nod to both function and nostalgia. Complementing the special recycled glassware, also made especially for the restaurant by Ngwenya Glass, the dinnerware design incorporates the unique attributes of the farm, furthering the rustic-contemporary look yet still providing that ‘fine dining’ feeling. A welcoming display plate bears an outline of the restaurant with the mountain backdrop.
La Petite Ferme’s new summer menu, to be launched in November, will remain true to form, featuring a variety of polished dishes, earthy yet urbane, and ranging from small plates and light bites to hearty entrees and indulgent desserts all inspired by the season and paired with fine local wines.
“The smoked trout and the aubergine-wrapped lamb are perennial favourites, for example, and we’ll never disappoint those customers who’ve come to savour these signature dishes.”
Renown for using local produce in creative dishes with a global twist, Executive Chef Neethling du Toit, who has headed up the La Petite Ferme kitchen for eight years, says guests can still look forward to the same heart-warming fare and elegant styling but with a revived flair. “Some of our dishes are so popular and ‘set in the history’ of the estate that that we’ll always look to retain them on the menu in some shape or form, but introduce an additional twist,” he says. “The smoked trout and the aubergine-wrapped lamb are perennial favourites, for example, and we’ll never disappoint those customers who’ve come to savour these signature dishes.”
Promising artful presentations and brilliant flavour combinations, not to mention impeccable service, La Petite Ferme is renowned as a dining destination with both beauty and elegance. While the restaurant has always incorporated local and sustainable food, the addition of a brand new herb garden to the newly landscaped gardens surrounds (a nod to its historical past) will now bring it in closer balance to nature.
A new tapas and cocktail area situated in the garden area, will also be up and running in November, meaning guests can gather in the restaurant’s pockets of intimate tables, either on the veranda or in the garden area, and enjoy a refined cocktail or selection of light bites as the sun sets over the distant mountains. The restaurant will also then be open for dinner every day during our summer season from November to April 2017.
Add to this a fantastic winery, beautiful newly landscaped garden, all-embracing views and a range of luxurious (soon to be renovated) cottage-style accommodation and you realise this is not just another quaint French-styled wine farm, but an enchanting destination second-to-none.