I love Franschhoek and all it has to offer: wine farms, views, delicious cuisine and a place to relax with family and friends. So when we were invited to review Leopards Leap wine farm I took the opportunity to venture out with my family.
Upon arrival you are greeted with a very modern looking building accessible via a ramp which hangs over the restaurant’s very extensive water feature. Inside there’s a vast, open-plan space with a rotisserie section at the opposite end. We were given a table close to the back exit, giving us easy access to the rolling lawns which boasted two rustic jungle gyms, a large slide and a sand pit for the kids.
Waiters offered us a high chair for our one year old and the seats were a good enough height for our three year old to access the table so one wasn’t necessary for him.
The lunch: At first I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how the rotisserie worked but we were told that it was self-service. You make your way through the choice of seasonal roast vegetable and salad dishes and finally get to choose between the meat dishes.
If you love your meat, take care not to pile up your plate up too much with the vegetables and salads like I did. They look enticing but I think I overdid it and hence didn’t finish all that I’d dished up on my plate. Also, bear in mind that you are charged based on the weight of your plate. So if you want to curb your spend, don’t dish up too much!
When it came to the meat I chose the succulent lamb neck, while my husband asked for the pork belly. To drink, I had a glass of Chardonnay and I ordered chips and a milkshake for the kids. Other choices for the children included pasta, burgers, and toasted sandwiches.
What I liked: The food was good – better than good! It was fresh, wholesome and when it came to choosing what to dish up from the rotisserie it was a very hard choice as there was a desire to sample everything. Overall, the lunch came to R407.55, which I was happy to pay as I felt it was good value for money. There are some restaurant chains (who shall remain nameless for now) that would charge a similar kind of price, but I assure you that the quality would just not be the same.
We didn’t order dessert but there was a selection of mini desserts available, including rice Krispies marshmallow treats, cheese cakes, peppermint crisp tarts, tiramisu, chocolate brownies and cupcakes. Prices range from R15 – R30.
The rolling lawns are vast and the kids enjoyed having a good run around on it, while the sandpit and jungle gyms provided ample entertainment and clamber joy.
What I disliked: The rotisserie set-up can at times give off a ‘canteenish’ feel and getting up to dish up your own food can be a challenge when you have a clingy child.
The lengthy water feature was a magnet for my water besotted one year old who insisted on pacing up and down along it, trying to touch the water and lick it off his fingers! So perhaps in hindsight it wasn’t a good idea to bring someone as young as him as he was enthralled by the feature. While there was safety mesh there was little to prevent him from jumping in it (or trying to).
I’d recommend this place for families with slightly older children who follow the rules when it comes to water safety and don’t need constant supervision near it.
Also I found the waiters were a little slow when it came to the service (I partly blame self-service set up as there’s less to do, making it difficult for the waiters to keep tabs on customers) and we had to flag one down to get our bill.
Would I go again? Absolutely! I think the views, layout, food and wine make for a great day out in the countryside. However, I think we’ll venture there again when our youngest has reached the age of three and beyond.
For booking information and to download the menu, click here.
For more, review our list of child-friendly wine farms.