This morning as I arrive at the La Petite Ferme Autumn Menu launch, the first thing that always strikes me is the view, this view….this beautiful view!
And as you step down onto the rolling lawns the view just keeps getting better as more and more of the panorama comes into view…
To be able to sneak away mid-week to this beautiful part of the Franschhoek wine route is a treat… and to do it as the colours of the vineyards begin to change is even better! The day of our visit the air was crisp and cool, the clouds a little bit threatening… but the atmosphere was perfect Autumn weather and the ideal showcase for the new Autumn menu.
With the annual harvest complete and winter rains on the horizon, the vine leaves are turning from green to auburn allowing the vineyards time to rest and recharge… and an afternoon at La Petite Ferme enjoying this quieter season is the ideal way to rest and recharge yourself!
We were welcomed with a glass of La Petite Ferme MCC bubbles… and it truly was one of the finest I’ve tried!
Then it was time for the food, a sampling of the starters prepared as bite-sized delights, including the classic Country Style Chicken Liver Pâté, plated with fragrant mosbolletjies and pickled red wine figs. As a non-fan of pâté I can still attest to the fact that this was the best I’ve ever had…
La Petite Ferme Autumn Menu
The new Autumn menu created by the talented chefs in the La Petite Ferme kitchen deftly combines this culinary heritage with a forward-looking approach to both plating and provenance. The food served here celebrates the culinary heritage of this much-loved property.
“Our Autumn menu is really a tribute to the cuisine and hospitality that have made La Petite Ferme one of the best-loved restaurants in the Franschhoek valley for more than 30 years. Regular guests will recognise and enjoy many of the signature dishes on the menu, but will also be tempted by the addition of new plates that show a subtle evolution of the culinary principles that have long been the foundation of La Petite Ferme.”
– Riaan Kruger, General Manager of La Petite Ferme
After our canapés on the lawn we headed up to be seated at the window with a view par excellence.
True to La Petite Ferme’s (“The Little Farm”) farming roots, the new menu showcases a renewed focus on supporting local producers.
From fresh trout to goat’s cheese to organic heirloom carrots from nearby farms, producers within a 100-kilometre radius of La Petite Ferme stock much of the kitchen’s larder.
The array of fresh local produce will also be the inspiration for the ever-changing Assiette de la Semaine (‘Plate of the Week’) – available for both starters and mains, lunchtime only – which will allow the chefs to get creative with whatever ingredients arrive at the kitchen door.
My meal started with a delicate Tartare of Cured Franschhoek Trout which leapt off the plate in a bright bouquet of colours, although I was also tempted to choose the Bobotie Bitterballen – a slow-roasted beef brisket infused with Cape Malay spices, rolled, crumbed and deep-fried.
Regulars of La Petite Ferme will breathe a sigh of relief to see that the signature lamb dish is still on the menu, and, I too, opted for this classic choice. A combination of slow-braised lamb, aubergine and minted yoghurt, this was a delicious option and I have no regrets indulging!
The homemade gnocchi of sweet potato and ricotta was also a popular choice amongst my fellow diners.
For dessert I kept on indulging myself and opted for the Chocolate Torte with salted caramel and liquorice chocolate mousse – it didn’t disappoint! In fact I’m still dreaming of those decadent salted caramel dollops!
To complement the Autumn menu there is an extensive selection of wines from the La Petite Ferme cellar available to choose from. Winemaker Wikus Pretorius taps into selected vineyard sites across the Western Cape winelands to craft an impressive portfolio of terroir-driven wines.
The crisp Unwooded Chardonnay paired beautifully with my trout tartare, while the flagship Cape blend, Verdict, matched the signature lamb dish to perfection.
La Petite Ferme’s wines are only available on the estate, making a meal here a rare opportunity to sample the wines from one of the valley’s most talked-about winemakers.
The new Autumn menu at La Petite Ferme showcases an array of authentic Cape flavours with it’s trademark upmarket country cuisine and is the ideal excuse to revisit “The Little Farm” – except who needs an excuse to enjoy this scenic Franschhoek valley?! Not me!
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is open for lunch from 12h00 – 15h30 and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays from 19h00 – 21h30 in summer (November – April) and from 18h30 – 21h00 in winter (May – October).
Advance reservations are recommended.
La Petite Ferme
Franschhoek Pass Road
Tel: +27 (0) 21 876 3016
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