La Petite Ferme – Spring Menu

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to taste the new Spring menu at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek.  The venue consists of a luxury boutique hotel as well as the restaurant which I’d heard of before and had always wanted to go to!

The restaurant offers a truly unique culinary experience.  Each dish is meticulously prepared using international techniques and flavours while making sure to use only the best, freshly sourced ingredients grown locally in the valley of Franschhoek.  This ensures that the menu is perfectly in season.  Presentation and flavour take top priority and you can rest assured that each dish not only delivers a flavour sensation like no other but is also picture perfect.  Definitely Instagram worthy 😉

I was able to bring along a plus one which was a win as we both ordered different dishes and then shared so I was able to have a taste of more of the menu.  There are still so many dishes that looked absolutely incredible that I definitely want to go back and try!

We started off with the Ostrich Carpaccio and the Saffron smoked lime and chilli prawn.  Both were delicious but my favourite would have to be the prawns.  They had such an incredible depth of flavour and were paired beautifully with spring onion and jeera egg fried rice; pickled ginger; char grilled red pepper and tomato gel and a basil pesto soil.  The Ostrich Carpaccio came with fresh apple, candy-striped beetroot, kohlrabi salad, smoked artichoke cream and wholegrain mustard.  I absolutely loved the smoked artichoke cream and wish there had been a little more of it as it really brought some necessary flavour into the dish.

For mains we had the Ginger & Chilli Pork Belly and the Duo of Line Fish.  The absolute standout was the pork belly which was my favourite dish of the day by a long way!  This dish is definitely one of the best I’ve ever tasted and left me very sad that I had to share half of it!  Accompanied by a sweet, tangy apple cider reduction, a deliciously creamy roast pumpkin puree, hazelnut praline dust and the most glorious clouds of crunchy black salted crackling.  Then to make it extra special the pork belly had a thin layer of apple tart ta tan over the top of it which just married everything together.  I’m salivating just writing this it was that good!!  The duo of line fish was trout and tuna and I must say I was slightly disappointed by it.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, but after having the pork belly there was really no comparison.  The line fish came with potato scales (which looked suspiciously like packet bought Lays chips), avocado spuma, smoked tomato dust, black rice, grilled pineapple and a bacon and Gorgonzola sauce which came poured over the tuna.

After we had indulged in the starter and main we went outside to relax on the beautiful lawns, drink wine and let our stomachs digest some of the food before attempting dessert.  We chose to share the Rose and White Chocolate Mousse which came with raspberry jelly, lychee compote, crisp meringue shards and raspberry powder.  This dessert was definitely a win and I could have eaten the whole thing!  The mousse was perfectly light and airy so as to balance out the indulgent sweetness and paired with the crisp, crunchy meringue it was the perfect pairing of textures on the palate.

I can’t wait to try out their Summer menu in December!

A xx

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Berets and Baguettes

No I’m not talking about France (although I wish I was), I’m actually talking about the festivities that take place every 14th of July in the quaint little town of Franschhoek in the Western Cape of South Africa.  Franschhoek, which is Afrikaans for “French Corner”, is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and was first established in 1688 when the French Huguenot refugees began to populate the valley.  The town celebrates its French heritage in every way as can be seen by the Huguenot Monument which stands at the end of the town.  It also embraces French traditions, one of which is celebrating the national day of France aka Bastille Day!

It’s one of the best times to visit Franschhoek as the whole town gets decorated with French flags and banners creating the most enchanting atmosphere.  Looking around all you see is red, white and blue as well as the stereotypical French Beret being worn by all the locals and visitors alike.  As you drive down the main road you have a sense of being transported to a different continent and leaving South Africa behind.

The festival takes place over the whole weekend and you can purchase yourself a Saturday pass, a Sunday pass, or if you’re feeling really enthusiastic you can even purchase both!  I would recommend buying a Saturday pass and then spending Sunday exploring the town and enjoying the many amazing wine farms in the area.

We drove up on Saturday, dropped our bags off at our AirBnB and walked to the festival (luckily it was close enough!).  The setup is incredible, the floor gets covered with wood chips and all the wine and food stalls as well as the main stage and dance floor are underneath a huge white marquee.  A live band plays on the stage as everyone walks from stall to stall tasting the various wines on offer.  There is also lots of mouth-watering French themed food you can purchase to keep you fueled up for the day!  A day pass gets you a free wine glass which you get as you enter, as well as five free wine-tastings and R20 off a bottle of wine.  The best thing about the experience is that the festivities continue late into the night at various restaurants and bars.  We wondered off and headed to Station, a restaurant/pub that had transformed itself for the occasion, with a stage and dance floor setup we knew it was the place to be.  We danced into the night and collapsed into our beds exhausted but content.

The next day, after popping a few pain killers to nurse our aching heads, we decided to stroll into town and enjoy breakfast at one of the many beautifully quaint cafes dotted along the main street.  With food in our bellies and feeling far better for it we ambled along the main road exploring the numerous art galleries and boutique stores that one can only find in Franschhoek.  We decided to make the most of our time in the area and stopped and the spectacular Vrede en Lust wine estate on our way back to Cape Town.  I am a complete wine enthusiast and as I had never been before I was really looking forward to experiencing something new!  Walking through the estate I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the place.  The tasting room looks out onto one of the estates glorious vineyards with the snow-capped mountains creating a picture perfect back drop.  With the fire roaring, we settled down and enjoyed the tasting which was really incredible.  Having never tasted their wines before I was blown away by the depth of their flavour and I loved every one!  We also decided to order a cheese and charcuterie platter from their restaurant which was not only easy on the eyes but was probably one of the best I’ve had in my wine tasting adventures.

What a perfect weekend!

A xx


Boesmanskloof Hike

Firstly let me start by saying that I do not like camping.  I would honestly rather do absolutely ANYTHING else besides camping.  Unless its glamping of course!

A few friends had been chatting about doing a weekend away to Hermanus with the intention of hiking up to a “hut” in the mountains on the Saturday, spending the night there, and then hiking back the next day.  NOT my idea of fun.  I was all for spending a weekend in Hermanus but I was far more keen on spending the weekend exploring the incredible wine route along the Hemel en Aarde Valley which consists of 12 stunning wine farms dotted along the picturesque route.

Now that’s my idea of a great weekend away!  However, wine tasting was promised on Sunday and so I ended up committing to going along for the hike too.  What was portrayed as a rather leisurely stroll turned into the most grueling four and a half hours of my life!  Now I am proud to say that due to favourable genetics I am a naturally fit person, and after 3 hours of trekking through the glorious wilderness I had had enough and was determined to get to that bloody hut as fast as my little legs would carry me.

When I get on a mission there is no stopping me!  And so to the surprise of my fellow hikers (specifically the guys in the group) I powered on by myself and ended up at the hut 30 minutes before everyone else!  I have to say it was worth it to see the awe on their faces!  The hike turned out to be a truly incredible experience, with beauty I had honestly never seen before.  One of my favourite parts was coming across a stunning natural dam that a few of my more adventurous friends decided to take a dip in.  I for one did not want to risk dying of hypothermia!

The “hut” turned out to be a gorgeous little cabin with proper beds, a kitchen and dining room, a hot shower and a flushing toilet.  Thank the Lord!! And so it was a well deserved respite after making my legs endure what felt like climbing Mt Everest.  Once everyone else arrived the evening consisted of drinking wine, playing card games and sharing a meal together.  And also making the decision that there was not a chance we were going to attempt the hike back the following day!  Luckily we sorted out a lift back and so the weekend ended with exploring some wine farms and having dinner at Lizette’s in Hermanus which I can highly recommend!

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic weekend and many special memories were made.  I would actually highly recommend the hike but make sure that if you want to make it a more relaxed experience to give yourself the full day to get to the hut.  It is a 16 km hike after all!

A xx

P.S. If you’re interested in going on this adventure click on the following link: Boesmanskloof Mcgregor Hike


Jordan Wine Estate

On Saturday I had the amazing experience of visiting Jordan Wine Estate for the very first time!  I have tasted their wine before at restaurants and have even bought bottles from the shops to enjoy at home but I had never actually been to the estate.  With it only being an hours drive from Cape Town, I thought I would go and have the full experience at their tasting room!

The wine estate is located in Stellenbosch at the end of a long winding road, lined with trees and stunning natural beauty.  It was a chilly, rainy day and the drizzle and mist made everything have a mystical, almost enchanted aura.  I knew I was in for a treat.

I was treated to two different tastings, the first was a tasting of 6 wines all from their Chameleon range.  All the proceeds of the range go towards the Jordan Chameleon Research Bursary which is an initiative started by the Jordans, whereby the tuition and research costs of a PhD student is funded by the proceeds.  What an incredible way to give back to the community, and on top of that the wines form the Chameleon range are just gorgeous!

The second tasting consisted of 3 of their best wines, each being served in its own uniquely shaped glass to enhance the flavour of the wine.  My favourite was the Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2016 .  The tastes of lime, citrus and fragrant oak spice come through with a full, rich, slightly buttery taste left in the mouth.  Absolute heaven!!!

We decided to get a cheese and charcuterie board to accompany the last tasting which was absolutely delicious and hit the spot perfectly.  Yet another reason to visit this incredible estate!  Make sure to pay Jordan Wine Estate a visit the next time you’re in the area, you won’t be disappointed.

A xx

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Puffer Jackets

So I know this trend has been around for quite some time now, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be making an exit anytime soon.  What’s better in winter than snuggling up in a soft, puffy, cosy, warm jacket? Nothing!  So as the weather is starting to get colder and the days are getting shorter, I thought I’d make a list of my top few favourites to get you all on the puffer jacket train.  It really makes getting out of bed in the morning that much easier.

You’re welcome.

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Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs

I had the incredible opportunity to pay a visit to the famous Gibson’s at the V&A waterfront on Saturday night.  I had been noticing their posts on social media for quite some time and each time they posted a picture of one of their mouthwatering burgers or milkshakes I honestly started salivating!  That’s how good they looked!

But as we all know, Instagram doesn’t always portray reality, so I decided to go and try it out for myself.  The experience when I walked into the restaurant was not what I was expecting at all!  I had envisioned the decor and feel of the place to represent an American diner, with vinyl chairs and plastic table cloths (which I’m not much of a fan of by the way).  But as I walked in I was blown away by the sleek, sophisticated decor; the filament bulbs hanging from the ceiling, the geometric mirrors and the slick minimalist furniture.  I was happily impressed!  The decor and feel of a place directly effects the enjoyment of my experience there, so I knew we were off to a good start.

The next thing to mention was the impeccable service.  As we arrived we were taken to our table and immediately a waitress came along to tend to our needs.  This, unfortunately, is not a common thing at most restaurants in South Africa and it can completely ruin your evening when you have been sitting at a table for a good 15 minutes before someone slowly ambles over to ask what you would like.  Our waitress was friendly, attentive, engaging and was always close by when we needed her.  Another big tick in my books!

Now lets get onto the most important part of the evening…THE FOOD.  If you are an indecisive person then I would highly recommend reviewing the menu a few days before as it can be slightly overwhelming.  They have close to 50 different burgers to choose from which all look absolutely mouth watering!! Our poor waitress kept coming back for our orders and I think it took nearly 20 minutes for us to finally make up our minds.  One of the things I really appreciated, which I have never experienced at any other burger place before, was the care and detail they go into to make sure you get EXACTLY what you want.

How would you like your burger cooked?, would you like raw or caramelized onions?, would you like hand cut fries; sweet potato fries; a baked potato or a side salad? would you like half and half of normal chips and sweet potato chips?”

Unfortunately we were far too stuffed after our burgers to order a milkshake, but I suggest you do!  They have 120 different milkshakes to choose from and they look like works of art rather than that standard milkshake you order at your local fast food joint.

I’ll have to go again to try one out for myself!

A xx

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Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

One of my favourite things to do on a lazy weekend afternoon is to go have a picnic in the exquisite Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.  Its acclaimed as one of the great Botanic Gardens of the world and it’s literally 1 km from where I live in Cape Town.  How lucky am I!

The gardens are absolutely huge, you can explore and walk around for an entire day without seeing everything that’s there.  What captures me the most is the raw, unedited beauty of the place.  There’s a different tree or flower everywhere you look, some of which I could stand and take photos of for hours and still not be able to capture their beauty.  The best thing to do is to get lost on one of the thousands of different paths that meandre and criss-cross around the gardens.  You’re bound to end up in a secret spot that you’ve never been to before, seeing so much beauty along the way.

My personal favourite thing to do is to pack a selection of delicious cheeses, crackers, fruit and a bottle of champagne (of course); a picnic blanket and a good book and to then spend the afternoon relaxing on one of the many rolling lawns.  You can nature and people watch for hours on end, read your book or even play a few games!

If you ever visit Cape Town it’s definitely something that you HAVE to do before you leave!

A xx

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