A pop-up success in Plett
It was chic, it was fun and vibey and the locals loved it. It was everything that espouses the mantra of “Plett is a feeling.”
The Junction Boutique Hotel, in the prime location of Plett’s Main Street, hosted the first of what they call a “Lifestyle Emporium” function in June – and the locals turned out in force to enjoy it – and get a taste of what is to become a regular event.
The Junction Boutique Hotel is the perfect setting – modern, light, bright and elegant – for a gathering like this. The restaurant cum-lobby-bar space boasted a bespoke wine-tasting while the area was decked out in art and an array of vintage items, such as an antique typewriter, and all sorts of high-end treasures including some gorgeous gently worn and definitely pre-loved clothing.
Wine tasting was hosted by none other than Migliarina Wines with roaming winemaker Carsten Migliarina on hand to chat to guests about his wines – which are sold in top restaurants and specialist wine shops. He founded the company in 2002 and when he is asked where his wine estate is, he says, “right in front of you. I do not own a wine farm, but am instead free to source the best grapes from the best vineyards I can.”
He started off with a Sauvignon Blanc and a Shiraz, both sourced from Franschhoek, and the Shiraz was matured in a friend’s garage, but now the range has expanded to cultivars which include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Grenache, Riesling and Shiraz. Grapes are sourced from the best wine estates in the Western Cape and then hand-crafted by Carsten. His passion for wine started at the young age of 14 when he fermented table grapes. He spent 10 years in the catering industry as a sommelier at places like the Le Pont de la Tour in London and the Grande Roche in Paarl and then earned his winemaking stripes as contract winemaker in South-Africa, Germany and Romania and of course making his own wine. His most recent winemaking adventure took him to China, where he participated in the Ningxia Wine Challenge.
Walls that night were a canvas for well-known South African art curator Leigh Rein, who relocated to Plett permanently during the Covid-lockdown. She spent her working life in Johannesburg in media and advertising, magazines and was business development director for Top Billing for many years. When magazine circulation started to decline, she pursued her love of interior spaces, design and art – and focused her energy on supporting local emerging artists, like Greatjoy, Conrad Bo, Ayanda Mabulu, Thabiso Dakamela, Dario Manjate, Arlindo Maunde, Solomon Omogboye and others.
Leigh is also the art curator for a large international store, Roche Bobois, which is a leader in high-end furnishing. Describing the exhibit at The Junction, Leigh says; ‘it was a treasure trove of goodies sourced with love by myself, Braam Naude from Reliq-Faith and Anabelle Desfontaines Everest from Wizards Vintage.’
To top it all off The Junction Hotel offered a tapas menu and those who had the flatbread with salmon raved about it – although there was no real verdict whether that or the flatbread with carpaccio was better.
The art will stay on the walls and be refreshed, while the vintage items are still on show.
And watch this space for the next pop-up surprise.
About the Junction Boutique Hotel
Given its location in the very heart of Plettenberg Bay this hotel is the ideal place to stay within walking distance of most Plett restaurants and shops. For Garden Route residents who come from further like George for dinner or the evening, The Junction is the perfect place to put your head after a night after exploring what Plett has to offer.”
Co-owner Cameron Attwood created The Junction in 2018 and Reta his wife and general manager of the hotel describe what they have achieved as ‘bespoke, homely, but also up-market boutique style.”
Reta says her husband Cameron, with a long and prestigious pedigree in the hospitality trade, threw himself into decorating and creating this hotel. Reta, who comes from a marketing background, makes it her business to put The Junction on the map.
This little hotel has its very own personality as it features clean contemporary design, with a hint of traditional intercontinental aesthetics. It’s light, it’s bright and it’s cosy, but also trendy. It has a modern twist, but the signature is elegance. Simple, stylish and sophisticated, but definitely not pretentious, is how Reta would describe it. “Just think of a New York 80s style with minimalist lighting, mod furniture and interior accents all working together to create beautiful and timeless spaces and you have us,” she says.
The cornerstone of The Junction’s design philosophy is the creation of multiple dynamic spaces that make up a very cool whole. Every themed room and suite were designed meticulously and each of the 10 rooms is different. All are finished with indigenous wood, brushed steel accents and from the red Smeg kettle and matching fridge (in room 4), to linen and towels from local Mungo textiles, to other furnishing bought locally, including pillows that promise the best sleep, every minute detail to attention has been taken.
The Junction is a favourite with film companies who stay here while shooting in Plett. Garden Route locals have discovered an oasis in the heart of Plett from which to base themselves for a staycation – and Reta says they have national and international walk-in guests. They stroll past, smell the coffee and the welcoming demeanor of The Junction – and they stay.