If you stand under the 160-year old oak tree in the courtyard, its ancient branches cast a vast umbrella of green over the whole of Café Felix. Not just the renowned and beautiful restaurant, but the enchanting guest house and wedding venue too. Foodies and lovers of French and Italian-inspired country cuisine know exactly where to find Café Felix in Kerkstraat, Riebeek Kasteel. Those seeking to exhale for a lazy and luxurious getaway know the guest house section of Old Oak Manor like home. Romantics wanting to pledge their forevers marry here under the canopy of that old oak tree, to the sound of fountains and birdsong. It’s a spectacular spot, a beloved landmark in town and a renowned foodie venue for well over a decade. And it all started in honour of a cheeky black cat.
The Old Oak was created by a renowned interior decorator who loved the south of France – and her cat – so décor is just that and classically lived-in, Provencal beautiful. The property has also been regularly featured in local and international décor magazines, for its magnificently curated style. Still, four of the evocative en-suite guest rooms are named for special felines. The fifth suite, known as the Loft, is even more spacious with its own lounge and is favoured as the bridal or honeymoon suite. But more important than the details is the uniquely calm, deeply relaxed atmosphere of this gracious property, which started out life as a humble farmhouse and tobacco barn.
The thick clay-brick walls, still seen in parts of the building, are dated to around 1860 and have witnessed all the change and progress from the Victorian era to the iconic Cape Dutch flair it boasts today. The Old Oak is also believed to be the oldest historic building in Riebeek Kasteel, so owning it is a rare privilege.
Before opening as Café Felix in 2005, the building was extensively and sensitively renovated. A new kitchen, conservatory, loft accommodation and extension of the inside and outside seating areas was completed to accommodate 50 diners inside and 100 outside. There’s a pool too and for functions 120 guests are easily served in shade in summer. A crackling fire in the lounge will beckon you to draw closer and sip red wine in winter.
This is a special place that’s warmly welcoming and relaxed, and the building exudes character and personality. Pure reputation for excellent food and service has grown the business consistently, with South Africans from all corners being the main patrons. They come from all over to exhale and unwind and taste the good life. If you go there and stand under the old oak tree, you will experience this too. It’s a beautiful, soulful South African legacy to be continued, and it comes as the full package for sale, which has been such a success so far. The seller asks only for his laptop.
Price: R6.5m (price includes the property, furnishings and the business)
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