Two months ago I got out of the group buying industry. I did customer service/content/social media/remained civil to annoying salespeople. All those slashes got too much. To celebrate, I bought a coupon for a night at Oude Wellington from Daddy’s Deals, a competitor. I’m petty like that.
My biggest problem with group buying is that one does not always get the professed value that was promised to you. For instance they’ll discount a meal (Pay only R25, Save 50%!) but make the portions smaller. Basically a R25 portion. Not the R50 meal that you paid for.
As this was my first time using an accommodation coupon I was curious to see if we would have a R1000 experience as the coupon heading loudly promised or a night worthy of the R499 deducted from my account.
The décor of room number 3 at Oude Wellington was cape country cute with a dash of “Oh where can we hang this ugly butterfly print, put this super modern unplugged lamp and red triangle bedside cupboard that the 70s vomited out?” They missed the mark of fabulous country chic by only a few centimetres. The bathroom was a lot closer to this ideal (the one in my head), with only an offending canary yellow chair and their logo sandblasted on the mirror. The underfloor heating and the antique cast iron bath were sublime. I had every intention of just camping there for the night.
The restaurant on the premises was closed for renovations so we headed over the road for dinner at Festa at the recommendation of our hostess. The parking lot was completely dark but we could make out a few cars so we figured that we were in the right place. This is the middle of nowhere, Wellington – there’s nothing else across the road. We were at the point of turning around when a security guard shed some light on the situation and the sign clearly pointing us in the restaurant’s direction.
The revamped barn with a red piano hanging from the ceiling and other hipster paraphernalia were quite unexpected. Above all Festa really got it right. They went all out with toilet pot plants welcoming guest at the door and reigned themselves in with elegant orchids in teapots on the tables. It did not feel cluttered as this style tends to do.
For dinner Festa surprised us even further by plating up meals that satisfied our diverse tastes. The Plus One had a HUGE portion of tomato bredie. Exactly what you’d expect at a platteland restaurant. I opted for a delicate blue cheese, Parma ham and fig pizza. Delicious.
The ridiculousness of the evening came to a climax when I discovered that the manager turned out to be a classmate of mine back in Bloemfontein.
I woke up the next morning craving the left over pizza but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I started to doubt if the evening ever happened at all. Had I just passed out after a bottle of Pongracz while watching model profiles on Fashion TV? The Plus One was also happy to go with this theory as he refused to believe that there is an active hipster coven hiding in Wellington’s platteland. Not even finding the credit card slip could bust this idea.
I found some comfort in the loss of the leftovers with a proper continental spread along with a warm breakfast. Edith fried up the crispiest bacon rashers that almost caused WWIII among myself and The Plus One. We really love our crispy bacon.
We had a lovely time away but I won’t give Oude Wellington too much credit for this. Festa definitely played a big role as well as our absolute need to have 24 hours to ourselves. We knew going in that it was an “upgraded farm experience” which is what we got, complete with dogs barking through the night keeping The Plus One awake. Yes, I suppose there is some truth to me falling asleep with a bottle of Pongracz after all.