What happens when you find yourself with some free time in hand and a lovely balmy Sunday afternoon to go with it? Firstly, if you are in Pietermaritzburg in Winter, you know that there must be a cold front coming. Secondly, you take absolutely full advantage of the sunlight and find a spot to bask in it like a lizard.
So that is precisely what I did. I found myself at the entrance to Blackwood nursery walking through a veritable flora paradise, which believe me, is too beautiful bathed in afternoon sunlight. So much so that it is easy to forget you are in a city. Touchwood Interiors is situated toward the back of the nursery and is the kind of shop with all sorts of crafts for the interior of your home that could make anyone want to part with a fair amount of plastic.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with co owner and chef, Gregg Oosthuizen, who I had seen greeting and chatting with various patrons. The story of Sagewood has been a dream 20 years in the making for him that has spanned a couple of Provinces. He is a shining example of determination and shows that it is possible to build a dream if you keep at it. Gregg has experience in running restaurants and consulting for restaurants, but has been waiting for that something special to catch his attention. Now that he has found it, he and his team have personally overseen the making of the country furniture and special touches like the wooden pallet cladding on the walls. This attention to detail is not only displayed in the furniture and fittings, but is evident in the ever so tempting food (both in flavour and presentation). To say it is appealing would be considered unjust because it is an understatement. You almost don’t want to eat it just so you can stare at it a little longer! It is no coincidence then that the byline on his business card is “passion on a plate”. It seems Gregg has managed to carry that out in the relaxed atmosphere and with the way he and his staff relate to customers.
There are plenty of beverages to choose from. I personally struggled to choose between hot and cold, but for your viewing pleasure…..
The veggie juice is deliciously cold with a decidedly celeriac influence. You feel healthier just looking at it, but being able to savour it felt like my cells were flexing 🙂 The coffee comes from one of my #happyplace’s, Terbodore Roastery. So you know it’s going to be good right!
I settled on having some lunch and was drawn to the pizza (perfectly healthy considering my choice was Rustic which included butternut, courgettes, sundried tomato, caramelised onion, peppers and cheese). A girl has got to keep healthy right?
The pizza’s are cooked up in the wood fired ovens just alongside the seating area, where the smell is certainly enough to put bias in your decision of what to eat.
But obviously Pizza is not your only choice. There is pasta, salads, breakfasts and an artisan table that you can make your selection from.
After you have satiated your appetite on the main course, why not head over to the dessert and pastries table? I eat to specifically leave space for this! What a good decision this turns out to be at Sagewood. You have every possible delight laid out alluringly for your choice.
For those that are concerned about the cold, you needn’t be. The main room has a lovely big fireplace to make sure you are kept nice and toasty.
Along with this, there are some comfy sunny spots with couches if you are just popping in for a natter with your friends and a cuppa to go with it. All handmade here, no mass produced stuff.
I didn’t get to peruse all the lovely dainties, but of the ones I saw, the cake definitely caught my attention. A moist and nutty carrot cake with the most exquisite melt in your mouth icing delicately displayed with some cream and lemon curd (that was a flavour explosion in itself while complimenting the cake). I loved the flower touch. Just so enchanting.
So all in all, if the pictures don’t convince you…I don’t know what will. What a truly chilled out experience for my Sunday arvi. Well, it would be good at any time really. But don’t take my word for it, go try it out.
You can find Sagewood at Shop 3, Blackwoods Home of Gardening, 97 Chatterton Road, Pietermaritzburg. Call them on 033 342 0658. DO leave space for dessert. Trust me, it is SO worth it.