Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Proudly Prince Albert with a Swedish twist

- Sally Arnold -

In August, Three Lily Buds, an exciting new showroom for unique South African products, including several produced in and around Prince Albert, opened its doors to the public on the small Swedish farm, Fridhem Gaard, situated close to the Swedish border with Denmark.

The project was conceived by Swede, Anders Paulsson, with Sally Arnold, an artist and designer who lives in Prince Albert and took two years of extensive renovations to the farm buildings, the addition of a glasshouse and the sourcing of local high-quality products, such as Avoova, True Karoo, Vinwood, Charlotte Rhys and Carrol Boyes. Several items were custom designed by Wolskuur Spinners and Kredouw Farm of Prince Albert and by Rugalia and Kales Marble in Cape Town.

On 1 and 2 August a team of eight busy South Africans, mainly from Prince Albert, set up the exhibits in the renovated, spacious old farmhouse and gave the enthusiastic public a taste of the good life and fabulous resources from Down South. Three months earlier, Johann Rissik had assembled a vintage Karoo windmill, which now pumps groundwater into the farm dam. The dam attracts small buck and large numbers of migrating geese.

Organic Reyneke wine from Stellenbosch, complemented by the upcoming Migliarina label, organic Rozendal vinegars, the peppery green Kredouw-produced Karoo Virgin olive oil with Alf Gundersen’s iconic Karooscapes adorning the cans, and a hot dinner conjured up by two young Swedish chefs on the newly installed AGA, kept the crowd coming back for more.

Large scale paintings, outdoor sculptures and carpets by Sally Arnold, three original Gundersen Karooscapes, Avoova bracelets and furniture, Charlotte Rhys perfumes and body care and Vinwood recycled wine vat furniture competed with 14 vintage aircraft for attention on a beautifully sunny, calm summer’s day.

Bengt and Sten, Anders’ highly professional aerobatic colleagues, wowed spectators in their nifty vintage airplanes, drawing smoke hearts in the sky and setting spectators’ stomachs churning with their daredevil repertoires. Many too enjoyed a thrilling ride - among them new Prince Albert resident Annelies Brans of Mirtehof. Annelies and her husband, Thijs, arrived via Amsterdam, while Charles Roux and partner travelled via London with Jo and David Long to attend the opening.

Unique in its nature as a multi-purpose Swedish farmhouse venue with a contemporary South African twist, Three Lily Buds is now officially open for business. The various spaces are available for private and corporate event bookings, besides continuing to showcase the imported South African brands.

Three Lily Buds would like to thank Ilse Schutten, John Southern, Carsten Migliarina, Shirley Southwood, Dick Metcalfe, and Pat and Margie Arnold for their huge creative input and team spirit in making the inauguration the success it was.

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