La Petite Ferme - Vineyard Suite patio. Pic: Hein van Tonder
A short turn just off the start of the Franschhoek Pass, this gracious farm embodies the spirit of Franschhoek as you sweep your eyes on verdant vineyards that creep up towards the imposing mountains.

Today the farm has an exclusive boutique hotel with luxury suites as well as a manor house accommodating guests. 

The restaurant is under the helm of recently appointed chef Kyle Norris who with his team offers a blend of traditional and gastronomic panache from the kitchen to table.

A former parachute battalion soldier, Norris turned his hand to the kitchen almost two decades ago. 

His arrival at Le Petite Ferme was, in fact, the result of a dream realised by executive sous chef, Maveer Thulsie - he and Norris worked together at a Drakensberg resort in 2012/3 and he'd left an indelible impression. Kyle was contacted, and he jumped at the opportunity.

Saffron smoked lime and chilli prawns that sit atop roasted jeera egg-fried rice and a basil pesto soil.

Food at La Petite Ferme
 
Toward the tail end of winter, a small group of us were invited to sample the seasonal delights of the spring menu from hearty roasts to flavour-packed dishes that were all consummately cooked with delightfully innovative touches. 

For starters think King Crab Cakes with baby marrow blossoms and fig crackling and pickled cucumber; Saffron smoked lime and chilli prawns that sit atop roasted jeera egg-fried rice and a basil pesto soil or, an Ostrich carpaccio with smoked artichoke cream.  

Among the mains, not all is nouveau. 

The slow-roasted lamb is another classic and comes served with aubergine, fondant potatoes, plum, red wine jus, candied rosemary and tomato soil.   

The Smoked rib-eye and croquette chips was also declared a winner as well as the Duo of line fish with potato scales and avocado spuma while a rich and satisfying Ginger and chilli pork belly cleverly gets served with an apple tarte tatin and apple cider reduction and has a black-salted crackling.
 
Desserts include both traditional and more modern creations from a rooibos creme brulee to a rose and white chocolate mousse.

The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is open for lunch daily and dinner (from November) daily.