Madelein Roets and Carine le Roux have what could be referred to as a “run-of-the-mill” occupation!

These two women, and their business partners, Adelle du Plessis and Pieter Venter, have turned a 90 year old mill in the Swartland into a successful function venue, restaurant, and art gallery.

The mill which was built in the 1920’s in the little village of Philadelphia near Cape Town, operated until 1976 grinding flour from wheat grown in the area. After closing down, it stood unused for many years until it was purchased by one of Philadelphia’s most famous sons, the celebrated international artist Pieter van der Westhuizen. He and his wife, Zebeth set about having it lovingly restored, giving the metal-clad building a wood-crafted interior. Die Meul was then hired out for many years as a function venue, but after the death of Pieter van der Westhuizen in 2008, this unusual piece of real estate came back onto the market.

Madelein and Carien had recently taken up residence in the tranquil village having sold their successful restaurant, De Malle Madonna, in Paarl.

They realised that the old mill would be the perfect setting in which to establish an Art Gallery, paying tribute to Pieter van der Westhuizen’s work. It would also, of course, be great for a restaurant and function venue......!

Die Meul became De Malle Meul, a play on words from their previous business and “mallemeule” (a merry-go-round), an apt description of the whirl of activity that the old mill enjoys today.

Using the services of chef Wilinda Hanekom, who is known for her traditional South African dishes, it has become a popular place for weddings, shows, functions and Sunday lunches. The venue seats up to 100 people, and there is also a chapel in the loft of the building which is used for small weddings. The majestic Dutch Reformed church across the road is often used for the larger church services.

De Malle Meul is also open for wine tasting which can be enjoyed together with a “Platterland Platter”. The wines from Capaia Wines and Havanna Hills (both Wine of Origin Philadelphia) and two of the Durbanville Boutique wines – Fisantekraal and De Vallei are on offer.

Two other activities that take place there on a regular basis are monthly music programmes featuring well-known local artists, and various cookery courses that are run by Johane Nielson, the Food Editor of Tuis/Home Magazine.

De Malle Meul also has several self-catering guest cottages available for hire, so if you need a break from the daily grind and feel like life has put you through the mill, treat yourself to a bit of the restorative peace and quiet of the charming village of Philadelphia.

For more information go to www.demallemeul.co.za or visit www.capecountrycalls to find out more about other places of interest to visit in Philadelphia and in the surrounding countryside.

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