La Petite Ferme is situated just outside the town of Franschhoek…
La Petite Ferme: Our full report
Situated a short way up the Franschhoek Pass on the Middagkrans Mountain, just 5 minutes by car from the centre of Franschhoek, La Petite Ferme has stunning views over the valley and the surrounding mountains. It’s an elegant guesthouse on a working wine estate, offering a wide choice of rooms, which range from fairly rustic, self-catering cottages to deluxe suites.
Set amidst the vineyards, La Petite Ferme has several different styles of accommodation in varying locations: four suites in the Manor House, five vineyard suites, four lakeside lodges and two cottages. All have a different layout and are individually decorated and furnished.
- Next to the restaurant and overlooking the Merlot vineyards is the Manor House, whose four suites – one standard, two superior and one deluxe – share a large swimming pool.
- Smallest of the suites here is the aptly named La Petite (a standard suite). It has a couple of dark brown cosy armchairs in front of the double bed, and a shower rather than bath in the bathroom. Its private veranda, with partial views, makes it feel quite secluded.
- The Veranda Suite (a superior suite), in the centre of the Manor House, opens out onto a large patio with an impressive open fireplace. From here there are sweeping views across the large pool and beyond to the Franschhoek valley. Inside you’ll find a double or twin beds with gold and brown soft furnishings, a TV and a spacious bathroom.
- La Petite Ferme’s Bridal Suite (superior suite) has a walk-in dressing room with a full-length mirror, and a larger bathroom than the other suites in the Manor House. The double-bedded bedroom is very spacious, too, and has a refreshing touch of bright blue and turquoise. From here, double doors lead out onto a partly shaded private veranda.
- The Library Suite (deluxe suite) is the most spacious and luxurious room in the Manor House. It comes with a separate lounge area and there is a warming fireplace both in here and in the bedroom. Its interior design features a remarkable, rustic reed ceiling, and the bathroom has both a bath and separate shower. The private veranda has a covered sitting area with lovely views – a great spot to relax after a day’s wine tasting.
- The five vineyard suites at La Petite Ferme (two standard, two superior and one deluxe) are only a couple of minutes’ walk from the reception and restaurant, and overlook the Sauvignon Blanc vineyard and the valley beyond. All are decorated in a modern French country style, featuring white wooden furniture and some antique pieces too. On summer days, you can enjoy the private veranda with plunge pool and sunloungers. Each of the suites is separated from the others by trees and low walls, creating more privacy than in the Manor House suites.
- The Africa Suite (standard suite) is suitably decorated in browns and creams, and features dark wood and leather furniture. Depending on your preference the room can be set up as either a double or a twin, with bedside tables, a small desk, wardrobe and a sofa facing an open gas fire. The en-suite bathroom has a walk-in shower, single washbasin and a toilet.
- With rustic, light wooden furniture and an antique touch, decorated in hues of white and dusty green, the Provencal Suite (standard suite) feels slightly lighter and airier than the Africa Suite. The sofa and coffee table here face onto a fireplace – great for chilly winter evenings. The bathroom has a very large, glass walk-in shower and a washstand with twin basins and gold-framed mirrors above.
- Set on an outcrop in the Sauvignon Blanc vineyard, the spacious Vista Suite (superior suite) has lovely views over the Franschhoek valley from the private veranda and plunge pool. It is elegantly decorated in beige and warm browns, and features extra long beds, a large wardrobe, a lounge with fireplace, a TV with DVD player, a dark wooden desk and a wicker armchair. It also has air conditioning and a minibar. The white tiled bathroom has under-floor heating and is equipped with a freestanding bathtub.
- The design of the Champagne Suite (superior suite) is very similar to the Vista Suite, with wooden furniture, but cream décor with hints of light blue. It’s comfortably furnished with a sofa, wardrobe, writing desk (with a little TV above), fireplace and a double bed. Outside is a large private veranda, with a plunge pool, loungers, umbrella, and table and chairs.
- La Petite Ferme’s biggest room is the Geneva Suite (deluxe suite). It is tastefully designed, with warm hues of cream and white making it feel quite smart yet homely. The lounge features a fireplace and a spacious, comfortable sitting area. Special touches are the ornate French four-poster bed, and the Victorian bathtub in the en-suite bathroom. Even the private plunge pool outside this suite is larger, again with great views of the vineyards and mountains. If you can stretch your budget its worth the extra!
- The four lakeside lodges at La Petite Ferme are a great option for families travelling with children. A short walk from the main property (and over the road), they are set in a garden on the northern slopes of the mountains, overlooking a lake and the village of Franschhoek. Each can accommodate up to four people, with either two double rooms, or one double and one twin.
Inside, these rooms are slightly less luxurious than those in the main suites, and significantly smaller. Decorated with hints of yellow and ochre, each has a ceramic fireplace and an en-suite bathroom.
- The two rustic self-catering cottages are situated amongst the vineyards, close to the restaurant. Each has a private plunge pool, a wooden fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen.
- Pear Tree Cottage is the smaller cottage, accommodating just two travellers.
- Maison Cottage sleeps up to six people so it’s great for families, There’s room for a maximum of four adult guests in two double bedrooms, plus two children (on request), who usually sleep in the loft area, which has twin beds.
The main restaurant at La Petite Ferme is a large linear room, split between the main dining room and a light and bright conservatory. It has a chic farmhouse feel, with tastefully ‘distressed’ furniture and stone-tiled floor.
As with the rest of the property, the views are superb! The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, but do note that dinner is available only Thursday to Sunday. With Franschhoek and its selection of restaurants just a short drive away, this doesn’t usually pose any problems.
In November 2015, the new owners at La Petite Ferme opened a brand new outdoor Tapas Bistro. As the name suggests, it offers a selection of tapas but from all over the world, not just Spain.
Activities at La Petite Ferme, are generally focused on wine! Guided tours of their vineyard and cellar, finishing with a wine tasting, take place daily at 11.00am and should be booked in advance.
There are also plenty of other vineyards in the area to sample. Within walking distance, Franschhoek Pass Winery Haute Cabrière, which specialises in Méthode Cap Classique (a sparkling wine), offers cellar tours and tastings by appointment as well.
A ‘Chocolate Experience’ is possible at Huguenot Fine Chocolates, which offers a half-hour visit covering the story of chocolate and a demonstration of how chocolates are made, and a small chocolate tasting.
More active travellers might like to book a guided walk or mountain-bike tour on the surrounding mountain slopes, or even paragliding from the Franschhoek Pass. Possible sports include bowls on the Franschhoek Bowling Green, tennis at the Village Tennis Club, and golf at Boschenmeer or Pearl Valley near Paarl.
To learn more about the history and culture of the town, go on the Franschhoek Heritage Walk or the ‘Art and About’ route. During summer it’s fun to visit the Farmers’ Market next to the church on the main road. It usually takes place every Saturday from 9.00am to 3.00pm.
Some wine estates in the area offer additional attractions and activities, such as the classic car museum at L’Ormarans, an archaeological site at Solms Delta or a Venetian-style glass-blowing studio at Seidelberg Wine Estate.
Our viewLa Petite Ferme is in a superb location with some of the best views of any lodge that we feature in the Winelands. It’s a very comfortable place to stay, with a good range of rooms to accommodate most budgets, and offers some great cuisine and wines.
Ideal length of stay: 2 - 3 nights
Directions: From Cape Town, take the N2 until exit 22A to R300/Bellville, where you change onto the R300. After 14km, follow the signs onto the N1 towards Paarl/Worcester and continue on this road for 29km. Then, take exit 55 for the R45/R101 towards Franschhoek/Paarl and turn right into Main Street shortly after. The third road to the left (R45) merges into Huguenot Road after about 25km in Franschhoek. At the end of the road, turn left again to get onto Lambrechts Road/the R45 where you’ll find La Petite Ferme after a further 2km..
Accessible by: Self-drive
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is buffet-style and offers a good selection of cereals, breads, cheese and meats, fruit, yoghurts and fresh juices.
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is open daily for lunch, 12.00–3.30pm, but dinner is available only Thursday to Sunday, 7.00–10.00pm.
The good à la carte menu, including a few children’s options, has a strong reputation and uses local fresh ingredients to produce ‘contemporary-rustic’ cuisine. Unfortunately none of us at Expert Africa have eaten here yet, though when we visited last the food looked great. The menu included starters of free-range chicken paté with sherry roast prunes and crostini, soup, baked prosciutto-wrapped baby camembert; main dishes of braised leg of rabbit, curry lentil and apple filled samosa, and teriyaki pork belly; and some tasty-looking puddings and a cheese platter.
The Bistro has a small selection of tapas from India, Italy, Switzerland and South Africa.
La Petite Ferme makes its own wines and has a selection of these available for sale.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: No drinks are included.
Family holidays: For family holidays in the Winelands with younger children, consider La Petite Ferme’s lakeside lodges or the self-catering Maison Cottage. Older children can be accommodated well in the main suites.See more ideas for Family holidays in South Africa
Honeymoons: With a picturesque setting in the valley of Franschhoek, a range of menus, indoor and outdoor dining and a wedding planner, La Petite Ferme is a good choice for a wedding or honeymoon in South Africa’s Winelands. It offers different seasonal wedding packages.See more ideas for Honeymoons in South Africa
Attitude towards children: La Petite Ferme is now more child-friendly than in the past. They have relaxed their age restrictions and seem to warmly welcome children although some rooms are better suited to children than others.
Property’s age restrictions: There are generally no age restrictions and children can be accommodated in selected suites, by prior arrangement. Children under the age of two stay free of charge and a baby bed can be supplied. For children aged 2–12 years, 20% of the room rate is charged for an extra bed when sharing a room with parents. However, please note that they can accommodate only one extra bed per room, and only in selected rooms. The Library Suite works well for this. The lakeside cottages take children of all ages, as does the Maison (self-catering) Cottage.
Special activities & services: There is a small but decent menu for children in the restaurant.
Equipment: A cot is available
Generally recommended for children: Although La Petite Ferme does accept children, we feel the main lodge still caters better for adults and teenagers. The lakeside cottages are recommended for families.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: There is a back-up generator
Communications: No WiFi in rooms – only in main area. There is cell phone reception in all areas.
TV & radio: All of the Petite Ferme’s rooms have a TV, which has normal channels but not DSTV.
Water supply: Mains
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: The are doctors in Franschhoek
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There is a security guard on from 7pm at night. There is no reception after 7pm but there is a duty phone.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are located in each room.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: The Petite Ferme offers a laundry service at an extra charge.
Money: There are digital or key safes in each room.
Accepted payment on location: La Petite Ferme accepts all major credit cards and well as cash payments in South African rand.