Holiday in Majorca: finding the perfect Farm Stay

Holiday in Majorca
 

HOLIDAY IN MAJORCA

The name Majorca has passed my awareness several times, but for some reason I always associated it with images of drunk beach goers and partying teens so akin to the neighbouring Ibiza. But boy was I wrong.

 

Towards the end of April I desperately needed an escape from Berlin (it was a looooong winter). After a quick google flights search, I discovered very well priced flights to Majorca and booked it right away. But since I’m not much of a beach person I set upon a hopeful search for a farm stay, if there was such a thing…

Eventually I found Sa Rota, a farm in the middle of the island and set about my Spanish trip with great expectations.

 
 View of the gardens at Sa-Rota, agro-tourism on sitsitso

Sa Rota farm in Majorca
Outside terrace at Sa Rota farm in Majorca

 

The self catering unit we stayed in was perfectly equipped, complete with pebbled courtyard to enjoy home cooked breakfasts on sunny mornings, as well as a private deck with spectacular views over the valley and its breathtaking sunsets.

The interiors are unpretentious and stylishly decorated, with well chosen pieces that support the integrity of the old building. The shuttered windows and terracotta tiles are unmistakably Spanish while the bare stone walls add to the old age charm.

 

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Sa-Rota farm house in Majorca

Elegantly styled bedroom at Sa Rota de Mallorca on Sitsitso.com

 

Wether your planning a romantic weekend or a week long stay, I can highly recommend Sa Rota. The peaceful atmosphere is perfect for lazy days like reading in a hammock or bathing in the pool. And should you wish to explore, the location makes it easy to get to every corner of the island in under 2 hours.

 

Unpretentious, yet elegant interiors of Sa-Rota farmhouse in Majorca
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Swimming pool area at Sa Rota finca in Majorca - travel with sitsitso

 

The warm welcome we received from the owners of this 18th century Spanish farmhouse, was surpassed only by the magnificent beauty of the place and it’s surrounds. Nestled against the hilltops, the finca offers everything you might wish from agritourism; from lemon trees bursting with fruit to bees buzzing around massive lavender bushes and the sound of cow bells and bleating sheep from the neighbouring farmlands.

 
Beautifully tended gardens at SaRota farm-stay in Majorca

Makers | Upholstery & Design

The entrance to The Makers showroom in Centurion

 

MAKERS UPHOLSTERY & DESIGN

 

I’m super excited to be posting this week as I get to share with you the charming upholstery and interior design workshop of my bestie, Meagan Olivier. The Makers showroom in Centurion is such a sensory delight, you’ll be hard pressed to leave once you’ve stepped inside.

The MAKERS showroom on South Street in Centurion is brilliantly vibrant. As you enter you’re greeted by a whimsical sofa posing as a colour-clad crocodile. You’ll never guess that it’s actually an up-cycled corner-booth thrown out during a restaurant refurbishment. The beautiful displays of fabric samples, textures and patterns had me convinced that all of my furniture can do with a facelift.

 

Stills from The MAkers' showroom in Centurion

 

MAKERS source their fabrics from major fabric houses like U&G, Home Fabrics, Fabric Library, Black Fabrics, The design Team etc. so there’s no personality or style not catered for. Meagan also has an incredible knack for colour and can put patterns and hues together that are both surprising and captivating in their originality and impact. Plus with a BTech in textile design, she not only knows her way around colour, but has extensive knowledge about fabric and weaves. 

 

Fabric samples at The Makers' showroom in Centurion

 

Meagie founded her upholstery business MAKERS back in 2013 and along with her team and mum-cum-business partner Lena, she transforms sad old furniture into marvellous masterpieces. If you’re keen to see some of their creations, go have a look at their website; themakers.co.za. They also do custom made soft furnishings like Roman blinds and cushions.

 

The makers showroom in Centurion with fabric samples and fabric potters

Accessories for sale at The Makers' showroom in Centurion

 

Inside the showroom a brightly coloured partition of up-cycled pallets cleverly hides the workshop in the back from the showroom but still allows light to flow through to the space. I also love the vibrant prayer flags – a relic from Meagie’s wedding – used to soften the austere factory ceiling.

 

Upholstery underway at the Makers workshop in CenturionThe Makers Team

 

I’d definitely recommend a visit to the showroom. If you’re lucky you might even get to see the magic happen in the workshop, where the Makers team (Meagie, Lena, Raymond, Meisie, Rita and Justice) turn old fossils into wonderful gems. Meagie’s obsession with quality and attention to detail is evident in every single piece that leaves the showroom and her vibrant personality resonates in every corner of the space.

 

“MAKERS Upholstery & Design is a place where creativity comes alive through a process of collaboration.”

– Meagan Olivier

 

12-Makers-Upholstery-&-Design-showroom-in-CenturionMeagan and Lena from the Makers

 

Coffee & cozy at FreiRaum cafe

Freiraum cafe on Katzbachstraße

 

Coffee & cozy at FreiRaum cafe

 

Without the anticipation of Christmas and thrill of Sylvester, Berlin can be pretty grey and gloomy in January. So if you need some motivation to leave the house, head over to FreiRaum on Katzbachstraße. With their two wood burning stoves and logs to last all winter you’ll be hard pressed to find a cafe more cozy. Owners Oguz and his wife Nihal, have done an amazing job at creating an atmosphere so inviting that you just won’t want to leave.

 

Lovely fireplace at FreiRaum Cafe

 

But if you can’t be coaxed on looks alone, come for their amazing coffee and delectable edibles. Everything is home-made and freshly baked by Nihal and Oguz, whom you’re certain to meet on your visit. Originally from Turkey, Oguz moved to Berlin 6 years ago. He studied economy and was a diving instructor before practising gastronomy here in Berlin. Nihal, who grew up in Berlin, is an art therapist, and initially used the space as her studio.

 

cookies-in-a-jar

 

The idea for FreiRaum came about when Nihal fell pregant. The family found an apartment above her studio, and because she was about to stop working they decided the turn it into a coffee shop. Oguz and Nihal did the interiors themselves, with an effort to maintain an eco friendly approach. It took 8 months.

The resulting design is simple and understated with a focus on earthy colours and natural materials like bare clay walls and wood panelling. Coupled with old wooden floors, wild flowers and woolly throws, the space is reminiscent of a mountain cabin in Scandinavia. It’s down-to-earth aura is even more enhanced by the child friendly elements like tiny chairs and wooden horse. It’s no surprise that the owners themselves have two kids, Eftalya, now two and a half and her 15 year old brother, Tanyel.

 

pillows

Outside

 

For me FreiRaum makes the best coffee in Kreuzberg and I simply love hanging out here. For Oguz and Nihal it’s become a true Kiezcafe. A place where families gather, wonderful exchanges occur and friendships begin. Do come and have a look for yourself, on Katzbachstraße 24, Kreuzberg.

 

 

 

STORY + PHOTOS BY BARBARA CILLIERS

Venice | A trip to the Biennale (All the world’s futures)

Close-up of Venice Canal

 

la Biennale di Venezia

 

Cobblestoned footpaths down dimly lit alleys, crossing quaint little bridges of opaque teal water … Few cliches more aptly describe their subjects than the ones depicting the ancient city of Venice.

 

Late night stroll to the fruit market in Venice
Captivating beauty of Venice at night

 

And the water-bus from the airport only adds to the allure once you finally set foot on the historic island. A trip to the Biennale (All the world’s futures) allowed me this magical visit, and so I was doubly delighted, first by the romance and splendour of the city, and second, by the spectacular displays at the la Biennale di Venezia.

 

Old school lamp in Venice

 

The Biennale

Like Alice I wandered into a land of wonder, of pearls and dragons and critical expressions of our current world state. Karo Akpokiere’s “Zwischen Lagos und Berlin made me humble and homesick through his themes of social inequalities and cultural juxtapositions. The “dead” flags in Ivan Grubanov’s United Dead nations for the Serbian pavilion delivered a beautifully dismal display of the notion of nations. On a brighter–much yellower–note; Great Britain’s Sarah Lucas had me itching for wanting to touch her oh-so-smooth er … could it be penises?

 

Experiencing Antonio Manuel's Occupations/Discoveries at the Venice Bienale
Experiencing Antonio Manuel's Occupations/Discoveries
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Deep Cream Maradona by Sarah Lucas
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Ivan Grubanov’s UNITED DEAD NATIONS, Installation at Venice Art Biennale 2015

 

The city

The World Heritage site dating back to the 10th century BC, is actually a group of small islands (118) connected by footbridges. It’s enjoyed wealth through most of it’s history due to it’s maritime power and commerce. The resulting grand and majestic architecture (Venetian Gothic architecture) effectively obscures the fact that their foundations are wooden piles of alder trees, that have been submerged in the ocean for centuries.

 

Venice in the day time
The teal colours of the Venice canal

 

There’s just so much to say about Venice that I’m thinking of doing a follow up post later. But here’s a quick round-up of my experience so you have something to go on should you decide to visit:

Sleeping: I can really recommend the airbnb apartment hosted by Silva Farina. The immaculate and elegantly decorated apartment in Castello is perfectly located, only 5 mins away from the Biennale, but central enough to the rest of the islands so we could do all our exploring on foot.

Eating: Suggested to us by Marie from Stil in Berlin, the Osteria il paradiso perduto at Fondamenta della Misericordia, 2540 – 30100, did not fail to deliver on its promise. Here you’ll experience culinary delight in both their seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Drinking: Vino Vero is a charming wine bar we stumbled across in Cannagerio 2497, that draws you in with its cheerful character and keeps you there with its impeccable selection of wines.

 

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