The La Petite Ferme restaurant in Franschhoek and I are of the same vintage.

My mother tells the story of once stopping there (with me, a five-year-old) in the late 1980s for a cup of tea. The restaurant was in those days, as it is now, a bastion of farm-style sophistication in 360° picturesque surrounds.

No sooner had my parents and I sat down that day than I knocked a glass of Coke all over a lovely tablecloth. My mother was mortified and ready for swift chastisement when, a few tables away, a child picked up his plate of food and flung it across the room. It hit the wall and covered a sizeable portion of it. My transgression was quickly forgotten as my parents looked on at the unfolding drama. Smugly.

Mindful of this, I hoped to put my best foot forward a few weeks back when, 30 years later, I returned to La Petite Ferme.

These days the property consists of more than just the original restaurant. It also offers accommodation and has a small vineyard.

The staff is warm and the food is good. There’s egg royale with estuaries of salmon and thickly cut bacon on rösti for breakfast. The dinner and lunch menus change seasonally, but the classic roast lamb with aubergine and polenta chips is always on it. One can easily — I speak from experience — plough through a couple of bottles of the restaurant’s eponymous wine (I spilt none) while you laze on the sunny terrace for a couple of hours.

The estate’s Vineyard Suites have just undergone a huge revamp, and as befits any switched-on 34-year-old, they’re now looking elegant and thoroughly modern. You want private plunge pools and baths with views of the gardens? You’ve got them. You want luxe natural textures, blonde wood and airy spaces? They feature too.

You could, of course, wander across the road to the Haute Cabrière winery to drink more wine. Or you could pop down to the village for dinner at, say, the Marigold restaurant or the Le Quartier Français hotel.

But I was more than happy to lie in the bath at La Petite Ferme, chill out in the pool, read, sleep and enjoy the spectacular views of the Hottentots Holland mountain range beyond.

lapetiteferme.co.za

The writer was a guest of La Petite Ferme