BOSJES in the Breedekloof has announced that the Spens garden café, designed by Coetzee Steyn of Steyn Studios in London, has been awarded a prestigious Prix Versailles special prize for Exterior Africa and West Asia 2021 (Restaurants). As one of the Continental Winners the Spens is automatically nominated to compete for the World Title in the category.

The annual Prix Versailles was created in 2015 to promote a better interaction between the cultural and the economic. Recent creations around the world were revealed last week, a stellar collective displaying extraordinary vitality and diversity, in spite of the global pandemic. These projects are representative of intelligent sustainable development, in which ecological, social and cultural aspects enter into a dialogue with one another, resonating with the International Appeal of 7 June 2020, launched by the Prix Versailles. The six Prix regions are Africa and West Asia – Central America, the South and the Caribbean – North America – Central Asia and the Northeast – South Asia and the Pacific – Europe. 

The Spens, located on BOSJES farm in the Breede River Valley of the Western Cape, South Africa has been shortlisted among 18 shops and stores, 16 shopping malls, 18 hotels and 18 restaurants, all of which will be competing for a total of 24 World Titles: Prix Versailles, Interior and Exterior. This is another major accolade for the striking eatery that to date has garnered three major awards since it opened to the public in April this year.

The 2021 World Judges Panel will make their choices from among the finalists, and the winners of the World Titles will be announced on 15 December, 2021. As always, the criteria applied by the judges encompass innovation, creativity, reflection of local, natural and cultural heritage, and ecological efficiency, as well as the values of social interaction and participation, which the United Nations holds in high regard. As a café, coffee shop and country pantry, the Spens combines the best of these elements and blends effortlessly into the carefully established gardens and broader landscape. It is a prime example of ecological, social and cultural aspects in dialogue with one another.

The inspired design of the Spens, like the adjacent Winkel boutique, is a subtle celebration of the rich cultural history of the region. The carefully burrowed building draws inspiration from the ways of South Africa’s San people and pays tribute to early Dutch settlers to the area. “We worked closely with Square One to not only position the built structures in the landscape as curiosities but also as anchors around which the landscape was eventually designed,” says Steyn. “In keeping with BOSJES design philosophy it was an essential objective from the outset.”  The site is further enhanced by endemic fynbos gardens, water furrows, woodlands, citrus groves and innovative plays areas for children, all providing visual cues as a constant reminder of the cultural and agricultural integration. 

The creative collaboration between Steyn Studio, Square One Landscape Architects and Meyer & Associates Architects, the principal agent appointed to assist Coetzee Steyn and Square One with the execution of the project. Steyn, who also designed the iconic BOSJES Chapel, is passionate about buildings and environments that work in harmony with people and communities. He is adept at creating meaningful spaces that not only allow life to flourish and grow, but that are as emotionally imaginative as they are commercially practical.

BOSJES Spens is open Wednesday through Sunday from 08h30 to 17h00. Summertime events include Sunsets & Sips with live music on select Friday evenings from 18h00 to 21h00, where visitors are invited to enjoy Chef Kim’s famous flatbreads and a selection of BOSJES fine wines on the lawn in front of the venue. And with the festive season now upon us, the Winkel is the perfect go-to for a broad selection of Christmas gifts that range from natural body products to homeware, premium wines, BOSJES farm-produced olive oil, apparel and children’s toys.  

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