We’re always inspired by anything visually magnificent around us whether it be art, décor, design, or even food. So naturally we became instant fans of Hanlie Joubert, food stylist and photographer.


In our Winter issue we wanted to bring back the nostalgic feeling of  “comfort food“, which has the extraordinary ability to relax you, remind you of fond memories, and give you a sense of wellbeing. This winter we encourage you to seek solace in the kitchen, to use time honoured methods to prepare family classics with wholesome ingredients and to share with your nearest and dearest. Get to know the hands behind the recipes, Hanli Joubert.

Tell us a little more about yourself, your background and how you came to be where you are.  

I am a food stylist and photographer living on a farm in the Franschhoek Valley with my husband and two children. Here between the mountains we are reclaiming slowness, we search for beauty in the everyday and live with less, with grace and kindness. I always knew I wanted to do something creative and be my own boss. So I went from studying Interior Design in Dublin, to opening an online shop selling vintage treasures in the States, to being Social Media Manager for Babylonstoren in South Africa.

My love for photography came when I was forced to take pictures for my online shop. I taught myself everything I know today. Yes there were lots of tears of frustration, but nothing worth having ever comes easy.  In the end, all the dots connected and today I am grateful to have found my true passion in life. I love this quote of Steve Jobs, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”.



Where  do you find your inspiration? 

Whatever I see at the market or are in season will inspire my next  baking project. I am also hugely inspired by the rawness of Africa and the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi , to find beauty in the imperfect.

What are you listening to at the moment? 

I have always preferred quietness over “noise”. I can hear myself think and also work best when it’s quiet. However I do enjoy listening to Hillsong or Chris Tomlin at the moment.


What are you working on next? 

Getting my online shop up and running.  I am printing some of my still-life images on linen to be used as table cloths, wall hangings and throws.

What is your ultimate comfort food? 

Homemade pasta with a creamy sauce.

Who are you following on Instagram? 

@theflowerfades, @honestfoodmagazine and @provencialmag

What is your dream commission? 

A Kinfolk-style living/cook book about slow living and cooking from scratch. Capturing the process and not just the end results, as life is all about the beauty of the process.

What is your favourite aspect of your job? And your least favourite? 

When the pictures in my head become a reality. The absolute best feeling is when the result is better than I imagine it.

My least favourite would be selecting and editing images.



I have always preferred quietness over noise

What is your advice to young stylists? 

Find inspiration online, but do not fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Comparing kills creativity. Take your time and find your own unique style, that is what will set you apart. Never stop learning.

What is your motto?

Work hard. Stay humble. Be kind. Always.

What is on your décor wish list? 

Pure linen bedding and a beautiful handmade ceramic dinner set.

What are you cooking for dinner tonight?

Mushroom soup and fresh bread.

Your favourite wine at the moment?

I am enjoying Beyerskloof Pinotage at the moment.

All food and photographs by Hanlie Joubert

Location – Natte Valleij  Stellenbosch (www.nattevalleij.co.za)
All linen – Not Perfect Linen 
Vintage props – Woodstack Vintage
Ceramic pasta bowl – Plaaswinkel @ La Motte
We share 3 hearty recipes with our readers, with video instruction online.
Cheese and Basil Ravioli ; Roasted Butternut Soup ; Citrus Pancakes


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The Winter Issue is all about de-cluttering, de-teching and slowing everything down. Packed with inspiration and ideas for making your home a sanctuary, we share the ultimate comfort food recipes, master the art of nesting and take you on a tour of the dreamiest hideaways. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #WinterIssue.