August Meeting: a visit to Ouland Royal.
Date & Time: 4th August 2017, 10am.
Venue: Ouland Royale, Robberg Road (Plett Airport Road) Look out for our signs.
VISITORS TO PAY FOR THEIR TEA/EATS, MEMBERS NO CHARGE
TOPIC: A walk through the fynbos lead by Estelle from the Ouland Nursery, and Charles Reitz (Wilja’s brother), come and learn more about ericas, and other fynbos.
The baroque barn outside Plettenberg Bay is filled with the stuff dreams are made of. Weaver birds’ nests and baskets hang from beams, plants spill over the brim of an old bath tub, and pretty things dangle and twinkle everywhere. My senses are filled to the brim and we are still only on the stoep – a whole treasure chest of beautiful items await discovery inside.
“Ouland Royale is meant to be a space where people can come and escape reality, a fantasy place where they can eat decadent food, and feel happy and safe,” says Wilja Reitz, the owner of the extraordinary venue and eatery that has people talking. Read more about Wilja here.
A self-confessed workaholic passionate about women empowerment, Wilja is all about teaching and doing things for herself. “I thrive on proving to myself and others that I can achieve almost anything through self-belief and gratitude for my blessings in life. I try to encourage that in my staff too – there are very few things we cannot do if only we put our minds to it and believe in our inner strength.” In November 2013, Ouland Royale opened for business!
Wilja named her venue after the farm, which her grandmother had dubbed Ouland (old land), and an Afrikaans song Royal Hotel by David Kramer. “I loved the song when I was a child and it fit well with the boere baroque Russian theme of the barn and the decadent royal feel of the decor.”
The double volume ceiling and sliding doors that run almost the extent of the side walls create a light-filled space that is dramatically and decadently decorated. Long tables are set with silverware, crystal, candles and flowers. Tea and cake are served on antique and collectable crockery. Lounging spaces are created by cleverly placed couches, covered in dramatic and playful fabrics. Walls are adorned with gilded mirrors and antique portraits. Wilja’s lampshades add colour, drama and whimsy. Funky hats cover mannequins or hang over the corners of portraits and mirrors.
“I’ve collected many beautiful pieces throughout the years and several of the ones in Ouland Royale come with lovely stories.”
Initially intended as a wedding venue with simple cake and tea, the eatery became unexpectedly popular. “I taught myself to bake, which was also a childhood dream, and the food is really honest and unpretentious. It turned out to be a winner and people continue to come back for more.”
Part of Ouland Royale is an antique and décor shop, and Wilja continues to make couture lampshades and hats on order. “It feels like my life is not long enough for the things I still want to create. My creativity feeds my soul, it’s why I work.
“I believe Ouland Royale appeals to people who love and appreciate beauty, quality and attention to detail – and who understand the energy of goodwill, romance and decadence here.”
WORDS: Athane Scholtz / SOURCE: http://southmagazine.co.za/archives/2015/baroque-decadence/