Origins & Ethos
Our inspiration behind things
Was to offer visitors what we’d like to experience when travelling – the chance to travel like an insider, share a page or two from a local’s little black book, hear multiple perspectives, make authentic connections
Which is why we give you a taste of things uniquely South African, in a variety of fields:
Architecture, Gastronomy, History, Gardens, Art, Craft & Design, Ceramics, Archaeology
So that you experience hand picked highlights, landmark locations, World Heritage sites –
and enjoy exclusive access, private viewings and local gems wherever possible
Founder & owner Marion Ellis
Was born on a farm in Africa, and after studying languages and history of art at the University of Cape Town, travelled extensively, sailing the oceans and crossing continents, before settling on the slopes of
Table Mountain in Cape Town.
The inspiration behind her first business venture in South Africa was to provide the sort of food she couldn’t find on her return following years of gallivanting the globe.
To counter this gap, she created Rozenhof restaurant that resonated in the hearts of Capetonians and won accolades such as “Number One in the Cape” while appearing repeatedly in the “Top 10 American Express / Style Awards in South Africa”.
Her second foray found her searching for high-flying executives with hard-to-find-skills, in association with a leading recruitment consultancy, which garnered her this endorsement from Singita Game Reserves:
“Marion Ellis’ considerable network of Southern Africa’s most valuable people, her superb work ethic, and unique skills in the service industry, make her an individual we would without hesitation recommend”.
For fresh updates to her ”black book” she harnesses her networks and hones her associations, such as the Vernacular Architecture society; International Wine and Food society; Slow Food convivium, and via her husband, the Botanical and Geological societies of Southern Africa.
You clearly know the landscape, foodscape & funscape like you know how to breathe.
Following someone who loves what they’re sharing is a no-brainer. It’s almost like getting that perfect massage, just when you need it most. Recommending an experience of a lifetime is not hard – Dr Stan & Pam Hart, USA
We believe that door opening journeys are about travelling with a curious mind …
an open heart … and light steps
We’re an eclectic bunch of locals who share this ethos:
We’re architects, artists, foodies, wine fundis, environmentalists, historians, creative craftsmen, archaeologists, botanists and ‘fynbos’- fanatics
We’re also cultural interpreters, captivating raconteurs, as well as story-tellers deluxe who weave locals strands together to shine light and share clarity
We don’t mind killing the cat, metaphorically!
Meet the team
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