Wicker Patio Set – Create A Seaside Retreat

Anyone who has visited the coast has experienced something special that they would love to take with them. Since not all of us can pack up and move to the nearest bayside town, must we leave the tranquility of vacation behind until the next voyage? Not at all. The space behind our home is one where we can be as creative as we wish. Creating a personal retreat with all of the feel of the coast is within reach. A space made beautiful by using wicker furniture as the starting point of a backyard décor will be so rich in Cape Cod flair that you will almost smell the salty air and regal in breezes that feel straight from the sea on a warm day.

Covered patios can start with a naturally appealing seagrass rug under foot. This sets the tone for an elegant area, whether you choose dining furniture or wicker lounging chairs and sofas. Be sure to check the limitations of rugs before choosing the right one. Many natural material rugs do better in dry areas. Atop of a rug, consider placing a wicker rocking chair or two, such as the Richmond Rocker from NCI Wicker. A marvelous thing about resin wicker is that it has weather resistant qualities, and also that the colors won’t fade from exposure to the elements. Cushions for your new rocker come in weather resistant fabrics and colors that will fit perfectly within the color palette of coastal living. Blues, yellows and whites in cushions contrast nicely to a white resin or even a walnut resin wicker if you prefer the look of natural wood. If extra seating is required, there is also a matching loveseat made of the same sturdy materials that will give you just what you need.

Wicker is such a good option for outdoor living rooms because it is also a type of furniture that can be used indoors; therefore it has a quality and timelessness to it that other patio furniture simply cannot match. The appeal of wicker is comprehensive, lending a vibe that is ultra inviting to the weary homeowner at the end of a long day. The characteristics of this type of furniture allow for it to be completely low maintenance, leaving your time to remain free for you to just spend time resting on the patio, not working on it.

Around your new outdoor sitting area, placing clear bowls filled with shells atop wicker side tables or a tea cart will enhance the coastal air without overdoing the theme. Should you have a covered patio near the exterior wall of your home, you could even place a picture of the shore on the wall to bring the beach to you every single day. Lanterns with tea light candles can either hang from the patio overhang, or sit all around the patio for subtle lighting on warm moonlit evenings. Plants nearby the patio such as Pampas grass, ferns, and lavender can provide life to the area that is flowing and airy.

Cape Town Must See-VOC Castle Built In 1666

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, better known as the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie), this pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built in 1652 by Commander Jan van Riebeeck, founder of the maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1664 there were renewed rumours of war between Britain and the Netherlands and they feared a British attack on the Cape. During that same year Commander Zacharius Wagenaer was instructed to build a five-pointed stone castle. On 26 April 1679 the five bastions were named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange. The western bastion was named Leerdam; followed in clockwise order by Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassau and Oranje.

In 1682 the gateway replaced the old entrance, which faced the sea. The bell tower, situated above the main entrance was built in 1684. The original bell – the oldest in South Africa – was cast in Amsterdam in 1697 by Claude Frémy and weighs 670 lbs. It was used to tell the hours and warn citizens of danger and it could be heard about 10 km away. It was also rung to call residents and soldiers to the Castle for important announcements.

Inside the walls of the Castle there were among others a church, bakery, workshops, living quarters, offices, cells and numerous other facilities. The yellow paint on the walls was chosen because of its ability to reduce heat and glare from sunlight. A wall divides the inner courtyard of the Castle. The division was initially intended to provide protection to the inhabitants of the Castle in the event of an attack. The well-known Kat Balcony is an outstanding feature of the dividing wall.

The original balcony was built in 1695, then rebuilt in its present form by the VOC between 1786 and 1790. From this balcony proclamations and announcements were made to the soldiers, slaves and civilians at the Cape. This balcony leads to the famous William Fehr Collection of historical paintings and period furniture, which have a special relevance to the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1936 the Castle of Good Hope was declared a national monument. As a result of an extensive, ongoing restoration programme launched in the 1980s, the Castle of Good Hope remains the best preserved fortification of its kind built by the VOC in regions where it had interests.

The Castle of Good Hope was the regional headquarters of the South African Army in the Western Cape, and houses the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments.

“The Castle of Good Hope was not built in consecutive order, so you will jump around from one time of history to another as you explore the Castle…”
Jay Heale

Inside the Castle:
The Castle Military Museum depicts the military history of the Cape, the Castle and Cape Regiments.

The Willian Fehr collection consists of artwork reflecting many aspects of cultural life at the Cape from the early VOC days until the middle of the 19th century. Exhibitions of a contemporary nature are occasionally presented.

During the restoration of the inner courtyard, the foundations of the early 18th century bakery and pool were discovered. The building, currently known as Het Bakhuys, has been reconstructed on these foundations. The original Dolphin pool was named after the impressive fountain in the form of a dolphin in the middle of the pool. Het Bakhuys also caters for functions and conferences.

The Castle forge is located in the earliest blacksmith workshop in South Africa. The Castle’s forge was initially built for the upkeep and maintenance of the Castle’s hardware and steel goods.

In her letters Lady Anne Barnard describes balls held at the Castle during her stay here at the end of the 18th century. These letters written from the Cape, describing many of the facets of the life of that time, have made her a legendary figure. The ballroom, over 180 feet in length, was originally divided into many smaller rooms of which one was occupied as her bed chamber. Since then the beamed ceilings have been covered with plaster and the room in its presence state is used as a Banqueting Room.

Visit the notorious dungeon. As a result of rising damp, the dungeon was not fit to store gun powder as intended and was later used as a prison for the accused awaiting trial.