From historic post office to fine dining restaurant

Post & Pepper Restaurant, Stellenbosch

Post & Pepper opened its doors in mid-February 2022 and is the brainchild of chef and owner Jess van Dyk and restaurant manager Dimitri Hadzigrigoriou, both formerly of Franschhoek’s Protégé restaurant. It is located in Stellenbosch’s old Post Office, a heritage building that is 200 years old and offers a casual, fine dining experience. 

DINE IN A HISTORICAL BUILDING

Jessica van Dyk is a young, dynamic chef that always dreamed of owning her own restaurant. Once the Oude Postkantoor (old post office) building, that dates back to the early 1800’s, in the heart of Stellenbosch had been secured, she approached SKEP Studio with her dream for the restaurant. Her wish was to pay homage to the history of the building and to create a comfortable, functional, and welcoming space. Under SKEP’s guidance, the building was transformed with classy style, whilst retaining the original charm of the Cape Dutch architecture. 

Jessica’s fine dining background meant that the design of the kitchen and bar area had to be central to the design of the restaurant. The bar is the backdrop of the restaurant where hints of the history of the building have been preserved with the wooden counters and metal trimmings. The kitchen is open and visible throughout the space. Jessica’s love of plants inspired the shades of green that have been used throughout the restaurant. The green velvet fabric on the booths create privacy and add warmth, whilst the foliage wallpapers bring a bold and fun element to the design. The wallpaper is even used on the ceilings in the washrooms.

TRANSFORMED BY SKEP

SKEP Studio was responsible for the newly upgraded interior of Post & Pepper.

Geraldine Heyns-Lotter (Architect) and Carla Gerber (Interior designer) from SKEP Studio, met whilst working together in Stellenbosch. After having their babies in 2012 they decided to start Skep Studio which allowed more flexible working hours for them as working moms. They landed their first project and things have grown from there. The fact that they have an architectural and interior design foundation is a great advantage for their customers.  Carla and Geraldine work together on all projects and look at design holistically, offering a turnkey solution for their clients.

When asked about their décor style, they confirmed that they are very adaptive and flexible when it comes to the different projects. They believe the client’s personality and preferences should guide the style of each project. They have designed a wide variety of projects from residential homes to corporate offices, boutique hotels, retirement villages and medical suites.

SKEP AND WOODBENDER

Geraldine and Carla have worked with us on various projects, ranging from residential to commercial spaces. When choosing furniture, comfort, style and durability are all important factors that they consider. When it comes to hospitality and retirement home projects, they highlighted that durability is their top requirement. Comfort and style are very personal decisions, and one of the unique additional services that they appreciate from Woodbender, is the fact that we are always willing to supply sample chairs for the clients to view and test. 

Geraldine Heyns-Lotter & Carla Gerber from SKEP Studio

For the Post and Pepper restaurant, SKEP selected our Riga chair, as the style, comfort and durability fitted the design and overall look and feel of the new restaurant perfectly.

When asked about their favourite design trend at the moment, Geraldine commented that for her it is, Biophilic Design. “People are tired of concrete and greys.  Post-pandemic has us wanting to get closer to nature and to bring nature and natural elements into our living and working spaces. Wood, textures like rattan, indoor plants and organic patterns and wallpaper give comfort and ground us.”

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