La Petite Ferme: Our full report
Situated on the Middagkrans Mountain, Franschhoek Pass, just outside the town 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 of this working winery, La Petite Ferme has four suites in the Manor House, five Vineyard suites, four lakeside lodges and two cottages. All rooms have a different layout and are individually decorated and furnished.
Next to the restaurant and overlooking the Merlot vineyards is the Manor House, which has four suites sharing a large swimming pool.
- The aptly named, La Petite (a standard suite) is the smallest of the suites here. It has a couple of dark brown cozy armchairs in front of the double bed, and only has a shower in the bathroom. Its private veranda with partial views, makes it feel quite secluded.
- Centrally located in the Manor House, the Veranda Suite (a superior suite) 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 an interchangeable double/twin bed 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. From there, double doors lead out onto a partly shaded private veranda. The double-bedded bedroom is very spacious too, and has a refreshing touch of bright blue and turquoise.
- The Library Suite (deluxe suite) is the most spacious and luxurious room in La Petite Ferme’s Manor House. It comes with a separate lounge area and there is a warming fireplace in here and also the bedroom. Its interior design features a remarkable, rustic reed ceiling and in the bathroom there’s bot a bath and separate shower. The private veranda has a covered sitting area with lovely views – a great spot to relax after a days wine tasting.
The five vineyard suites at La Petite Ferme 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 sun loungers. Each of the suites is detached and has more privacy that the Manor House suites, with trees and low walls separating each room.
- 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 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, La Petite Ferme’s 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 a mini bar and air conditioning. The white tiled bathroom has under-floor heating and is equipped with a freestanding bathtub.
- The design of La Petite Ferme’s Champagne Suite (superior suite) is very similar to the Vista Suite: wooden furniture, cream with hints of light blue decor. It’s comfortably furnished with a sofa, wardrobe, writing desk (with a little TV above), fireplace and a double bed. Outside is 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 at the same time. The lounge here features a fireplace and a spacious and 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 in a garden on the northern slopes of the mountains, from overlooking a lake and the village of Franschhoek. They are not located within the ground of the main property but are only a short walk away over the road. They can each accommodate up to four people, with either two doubles, or one double and one twin.
Inside, these rooms are slightly less luxurious and significantly smaller than the main suites, and are decorated with hints of yellow and ochre. Each has an en-suite bathroom, a ceramic fireplace and a double bed or twin beds. La Petite Ferme’s lakeside lodges are a great option for families travelling with children.
La Petite Ferme also has two rustic self-catering cottages 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 one, and can accommodate a maximum of two travellers.
- Maison Cottage sleeps up six people in total, with a maximum of four adult guests in two double bedrooms, plus two children (on request), hence it’s is great for families. The children usually sleep in the loft area, which has twin beds.
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is a large linear room, split between the main indoors 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 a superb! The restaurant is open seven days a week with lunch served from 12:00 to 15:30, however do note that dinner is only available Thursday to Sunday (19:00 to 22:00). With Franschhoek and its selection of restaurants being only a short drive away, this doesn’t usually pose any problems.
As of 19 November 2015, La Petite Ferme has a brand new outdoor Tapas Bistro (an addition made by the new owners who arrived in 2015). 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! You can go on a guided tour of La Petite Ferme’s own vineyard and cellar, finishing the tour with a wine tasting. These tours take place daily at 11:00am and should be booked in advance.
As you would expect there are plenty of other vineyards in the area to sample. Within walking distance, Franschhoek Pass Winery Haute Cabrière, which specialises in Method Cap Classic, offer cellar tours and tastings by appointment as well.
A ‘Chocolate Experience’ is possible at Huguenot Fine Chocolates, which offers a half hour visit which tells the story of chocolate and includes a demonstration of how chocolates are made and also a small chocolate tasting
More active travellers might like to book a guided walk or mountain bike tour on the surrounding mountain slopes. Other possible sports activities include bowls on the Franschhoek Bowling Green, tennis at the Village Tennis Club, paragliding from the Franschhoek Pass 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 in the main road. It usually takes place every Saturday from 9am to 3pm.
Some wine estates in the area offer additional attractions and activities which you can join, like the classic car museum at L’Ormarans, an archeological site at Solms Delta or a Venetian style glass blowing studio at Seidelberg Wine Estate.
Our viewLa Petite Ferme is in a stunning 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, travel on 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. 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 has a good a-la-carte menu, including a few children’s options. Lunch is daily from 12:00 to 15:30, but dinner is only available Thursday to Sunday from 19:00 to 22:00.
La Petite Ferme’s menu has a strong reputation and uses local fresh ingredients to produce ‘contemporary-rustic’ cuisine. Unfortunately none of us have eaten here yet but when we visited last the food looked great. The menu included starters of free-range chicken pate 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, teriyaki pork belly and some tasty looking puddings and a cheese platter.
La Petite Ferme makes its own wines and has a selection of these available for sale.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: No drinks are included.
Family holidays: For family holidays 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 restriction and seem to warmly welcome children. They accept children of all ages although some rooms are better suited to accommodating children than others.
Property’s age restrictions: There are generally no age restrictions and children can be accommodated in selected suites, with prior arrangement. Children under the age of two stay free of charge and a baby bed can be supplied. All children from 2 – 12 years old pay only 20% of the room rate for an extra bed to be added to room when sharing with parents however please note that they can only accommodate one extra bed per room, and only in selected rooms. The Library suite works well for this. The lakeside cottages taken children of all ages, as does the Maison self-catering Cottage.
Special activities & services: There is a small be decent menu for children.
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.
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 in each room
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.