Cel­e­brate French food and cul­ture in a ru­ral set­ting

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOTORING -

La Pe­tite Dauphine Guest Farm in Fran­schhoek cel­e­brates its 12th an­niver­sary this July and cel­e­brat­ing is what La Pe­tite Dauphine does best. “We cel­e­brate life, love, fam­ily and friends with ex­cel­lent food and fine wine to up­lift the soul at La Pe­tite Dauphine,” says co- owner Louis Matthee.

He says the ex­pe­ri­ence at La Pe­tite Dauphine Guest Farm is all about es­cap­ing the city rush and em­brac­ing the ru­ral tran­quil­lity in an idyl­lic set­ting with breath- tak­ing scenery cen­tred on ex­pan­sive views of the Fran­schhoek Moun­tain.

Lo­cated on a work­ing farm of olive groves, fruit or­chards and vine­yards, La Pe­tite Dauphine, which has been listed as num­ber-one in trav­eller24’s top five lux­ury South African bou­tique ho­tels, ac­com­mo­dates guests in the lux­u­ri­ous com­fort of su­pe­rior suites just two kilo­me­tres from the vil­lage of Fran­schhoek – “the Gourmet Cap­i­tal of South Africa”.

Es­cape the ur­ban jun­gle for a su­perb coun­try break where plum trees line farm lanes and vine­yards yield boun­ti­ful har­vests.

It’s a par­adise for those who love laz­ing in the coun­try­side, eat­ing first- class French food and drink­ing fine wine.

“Plan your perfect day un­der our flow­er­ing gum tree over­look­ing the pond, or un­der the 200 year-old oak trees, all while feast­ing your eyes with breath- tak­ing views,” says Matthee.

“While our vis­i­tors en­joy the laid­back seren­ity and peace­ful­ness of the farm en­vi­ron­ment it is close enough to the cos­mopoli­tan Fran­schhoek to be able to de­cide at the drop of a hat to dine al­fresco at one of Fran­schhoek’s many street café’s or to stroll into his­tory with the vil­lage her­itage walk, which de­scribes how French Huguenots who af­ter the re­vo­ca­tion of the Edict of Nantes in France in 1685 – when Protes­tantism was out­lawed – fled their home­land and a few hun­dred of them even­tu­ally made their way by ship to the Cape of Good Hope.

“A num­ber of the French Huguenots were given land by the Dutch govern­ment in a valley called Oliphantshoek (Elephant Cor­ner) – so named be­cause of the vast herds of ele­phants that roamed the area - soon af­ter they set­tled it be­came known as Fran­schhoek ( French Cor­ner) as it had the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of French speak­ers of any area in the Cape.”

To­day, La Pe­tite Dauphine em­ploys 30 peo­ple and is a bal­ance between farm­ing, guest house, restau­rant, and func­tion venue.

Any­body who has a love for style with­out pre­ten­sion, ex­quis­ite food that is un­com­pli­cated, qual­ity wines, and a tranquil ru­ral get­away can be grate­ful, for La Pe­tit Dauphine is all of that and more.

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