La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek, South Africa
Will Ross, July 24, 2017
South Africa’s Western Cape has no shortage of outstanding gastronomic spots, a density of which cluster around Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Franschhoek Valley. Restaurants vary from tableclothed ballrooms to cavernous concrete spaces, always stocked with a broad selection of wines and varied game meats.
The small Huguenot town of Franschhoek is dotted with excellent wineries and restaurants, each with their own views, impressive interiors and warm hospitality. Sitting on a small hill at the back of the town’s main drag is La Petite Ferme, an institution that offers both accommodation and food without compromise, within an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Yes, this means they also have their own selection of craft wines, pulled together from the property’s small vineyard that slopes down from the white-washed buildings that make up the hospitality complex.
Such formiddable shelter and fueling options also come with the chance of some tough outdoors, at least for trail runners, mountain bikers and road cyclists. Runners might think to scale trail running routes around the Jonkershoek and Hottentots Hollands Reserves, a short drive down the road in Stellenbosch. Meanwhile cyclists can simply head out of the door of La Petite Ferme and up the Franschhoek Pass which has a vertical gain of 432m over 8km, an average gradient of 7%. Or else gnobbly tyres can slice along the many off-road trails that connect vineyards for some gravel fun.
When visiting, think to schedule time at the Huguenot Museum to learn about how a small part of Europe came to define this part of the Western Cape.