La Petite France is a beautiful and charming cheese factory and cafe situated on the Karkloof road near Howick. It is a hidden gem on the meander which is home to the best brie and camembert to hit South African shores. La Petite France cheese factory is located on Preston Farm where they handcraft their delectable artisanal cheeses. As you drive onto the farm you can see and feel the authentic way that they handcraft their cheeses. This is artisanal food at its best where traditional methods are used in the delicate cheese making process, every product made with love and passion.
Jersey and Swedish Red cows are dotted along the rolling hills surrounding their dairy and factory. La Petite France’s philosophy is to focus on milk quality and not quantity. What makes their cheese different is that the milk and the cheese making process is all done on the same farm. Their cows have an abundance of rye grass which enables them to produce rich, natural-tasting, top quality milk.
Their cheeses contain no chemicals or additives. Their natural, full-bodied flavours come from setting nature to work, going back to basics, as was done in traditional cheese-making. Their brie and camembert are in a league of their own, amazing subtle flavours, unlike any other cheese on the market. A french man brought the authentic french method of making cheeses to Preston Farm many moons ago which is why their brie and camembert have a distinctive flavour and style. They make a range of cheeses including feta, halloumi, tilsiter, brie, camembert and hilton blue. At the shop you can also buy rich farm butter, delicious double cream yoghurt, fresh farm milk and preserves and goodies to compliment their cheeses.
La Petite France Cafe is a beautiful country cafe which totally oozes charms and makes you feel as though you have stepped right into a European country cafe. Surrounded by green hills and grapevines, with the ability to bring your own wine, you can definitely settle in for a good few hours.
The Cafe’s menu is all about cheese and cream, naturally. Serving breakfasts with lashings of tilister cheddar, farm-style scones, cheese platters, homemade ice creams, brie and bacon baguettes and now for my ultimate, the brie fondue pot, which comes with garlic and rosemary or honey and nuts. The menu is relatively small but with delicious meals which are great for sharing, making for an awesome social meal out. This is the perfect spot for a private party, they can tailor make the catering for you and since it is not licensed you can bring in all your own drinks.
For an authentic Midlands Meander experience, where farming methods are natural and great care is taken to produce a beautiful product then check out La Petite France. Their cheeses are to die for and their Cafe atmosphere is perfect for a lazy afternoon out. The Cafe is open Thursdays to Sundays, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.