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 foo...

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