First Season – check!
It’s been so long since I blogged and we’ve now had our first summer season here at White Water. What a whirlwind it was. We finished off the last guest suites, conservatory and restaurant shortly before the Christmas holiday rush, thanks also to Rob’s parents Bob & Les, who were here at that time and ready with tools and paintbrushes. We were pretty much full from mid Dec until about mid Jan. Busy times continued through until Easter with guests joining us from all over the world.
They always say that dealing with the general public is different and that being in hospitality takes a special kind of person.. Wow!.. We have on the whole had amazing guests who have been so supportive of our venture and appreciative of what we’ve created here. This is evident in our reviews and we could not be happier with the general reaction to the place.. However, there are always exceptions…. but I think I will wait and write a book one day.
We finally got the farm re-paint completed, all buildings and fencing is now white and we think looks quite smart and makes the farm stand out nicely from the road as you drive down the Klein River valley. We installed 2.3km, yes 2.3km! of post and rail.. The quotes we had in for this were crazy so Rob decided we could buy the materials locally and do it ourselves with our own farm workers. He worked with them and dug and cemented in each pole.. Then came the great paint job, I’ve lost count of the times we’ve come back from Cape Town from the discount paint shop with the car full of giant tins of white road-marking paint!
Our restaurant had a good start also, The Garden Grill started serving lunches on the weekend just before Christmas, with a bang we had 58 for lunch on Christmas Day! Below are some pics through the summer months. Someone said we must be crazy to open a restaurant and I kind of know what she meant.. I haven’t worked as a waiter in about twenty five years and I can’t say I was ever particularly good (you can see me in a pic below attempting the skill!) but thankfully the vibe of the restaurant is relaxed and no-one is in a rush, so much so we often have Sunday lunchers only leaving around 5pm.. Being married to the chef also is “interesting” on occasion.. will leave it at that 🙂
I must mention our first weddings, these have been a lot of work and great fun too. It’s such a great feeling being able to give someone a truly memorable experience on one of the most important days of their lives. They are long days (often 18 hours) and not without dramas but always end up with everyone on a high. Big thanks to these super couples who trusted and believed in us!
We couldn’t have done all of this so far without the amazing support of the local community, our neighbours and new friends. Also the great team we have assembled here at White Water. Big thanks to the hospitality team – Zelda, Nandi, Ntombi, Ellen and also Amba for her help. The wedding team – Tabby, Brosnan, DuPreez, Ntando, Theresa, Carmen, Ronwell, John, Jacques & Aston. The farm team – Johan, Elad, James, Graive & Arnod. I also must mention our lovely Lesley, our helpx.net volunteer who came at the beginning of March for about seven weeks when we were tired and needed some respite. She was a godsend, got stuck in and turned her hand to everything. We miss her and hope she’ll come back next season!