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Glenelly Estate, situated in South Africa’s idyllic Cape Winelands, has launched The Vine Bistro and reimagined its tasting room and glass museum. The new interiors display a sophisticated aesthetic inspired by Glenelly’s French heritage and charm. Created in 2003 by May de Lencquesaing, former owner of iconic Bordeaux Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, the project was initiated with her two grandchildren Arthur de Lencquesaing and Nicolas Bureau, continuing the family involvement in wine since 1783. For the redesign, the owners looked no further than award-winning interior design firm Inhouse Brand Architects. The Inhouse team, guided by Director Phillip Wyatt and Senior Designer Brenda Hart, was tasked with designing the new ground level eatery and renovating the first floor tasting room.

The brief from Glenelly was clear from the start; bring in the new, while preserving the timeless appeal that guests have come to know and love. Hart explains: “The client wanted a warm and inviting space that was slightly unconventional, with a modern French twist. They wanted it to be ‘very Glenelly’.” Drawing inspiration from the estate’s legacy and surrounding mountainscape, Inhouse created just that. To carry through Glenelly’s theme of mixing the old with the new, Inhouse incorporated subtle features that hint at the estate’s rich history, such as the eye-catching replica of a twenty-year-old vine, which hangs suspended in the air in the building’s reception area.

Just beyond reception is The Vine Bistro, which is headed by Christophe Dehosse, a French chef who is well established in the Winelands, having worked for estates like Joostenberg and Chamonix. The bistro’s interior is inspired by the French-style menu and incorporates classic French furnishings such as 19th century chairs and classic Parisian tables. White metro wall tiles, patterned floor tiles and classic French-style wall mouldings on the bars and counters complete the look. Glass foldaway doors bring the outside in; offering spectacular views of the estate’s grounds. A pergola covers the terrace, where guests can spend lazy afternoons at long timber tables feasting on delicious meals and enjo ng the magnificent surroundings.

Inspired by the unique collection of 340 pieces of antique and contemporary glassware and artwork housed in the estate’s museum in the underground of the winery, Inhouse decided to incorporate various glass pendant lights throughout the bistro. Suspended brass lights were also included to emphasise the French-inspired design scheme. The tasting room is where the character of the estate comes to life and visitors are able to sample the farm’s selection of wines. The pièce de résistance in this space is the tasting bar, which is made from an impressive amalgamation of polished concrete and granite from the terroir.

The corner of the bar reveals an engraved map of the farm, indicating where one can find Glenelly’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay vineyards. A selection of extraordinary hand-blown glass lights hang suspended over the bar. The tasting room also features a separate and private tasting area for wine connoisseurs, which has been enclosed with glass and black steel-framed room dividers. Here, the minimalist interior reflects the pureness of the tasting process. The overall design is a superb blend of the traditional and the contemporary, conveying beautiful aesthetics that reflect Glenelly’s French heritage and character.

Design: Inhouse Brand Architects

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