Meet the owner Magdalena Reekie-Black Zavodna

May 6, 2018

I was born in the Czech Republic. I came from a family of small wine producers. We lived in the South part of Czech called Moravia. My home town, Mikulov, is the most beautiful historical and cultural mecca. You will find a castle, museums, synagogue, Jewish cemetery, Holly Hill, cycling paths, galleries and cellars. It belongs to a world heritage sights along with Lednice and Valtice. So, if you are planning a trip to the Czech Republic and you want to discover more about my country, you need to get further afield from Prague and the above mentioned should be on your bucket list as amazing places to visit.
Mikulov is a picturesque, sunny village with white hills and miles of vineyards stretching along the border with Austria. I have been living and working in the vineyard since I was born. Wine culture is a big part of me, I think I drank wine before I drank milk!
My parents have always been hardworking, passionate, loving and enthusiastic about teaching me and my sister all about art (my daddy Eduard is a great art collector) and wine. He taught us everything from harvesting the grapes to how it reached the final glass. However he also taught us not to overdo it with drink and the dangers of alcohol. I remember my first teenage experience of getting drunk with my friends. My Dad woke me up the next day at 7am and I felt so hangover, and I worked in the vineyard all day long in the hot dry sun. I soon realised that getting drunk and working in the vineyard just don’t mix.  Maybe that’s the answer to binge drinking in the UK (:.
My Mummy, Vladimira, is a bit like “Mother Hen”, keeping her children under her wings, looking after them and feeding us delicious meals keeping us safe,sound and happy. I have inherited my love for good food, cooking, feeding people and entertaining and looking after them well.
We always had a small holding. Growing everything we needed in our garden and jarring, pickling and preserving the harvest for the cruel, snowy, freezing winter months. When my husband Matt first saw our larder, he was in chef’s heaven.
We have a great Pig fest in the winter when we slaughter our piggy and used everything from nose to tail. Me and my sister had to help a lot and we were part of everything that needed to be done for the family to live.
I came to the UK fifteen years as a teaching assistant to help a little boy with cerebral palsy at Richard Pates school in Cheltenham. I have passed an honour degree in primary school teaching, art and for students with additional needs. I then continued working at Alderman knight school in Tewkesbury and Widden School in Gloucester. I love this line of work  and I am sure I will come back to it again. Matt also achieved a teaching certificate while working for the charity “Wiggly worm” at the NSC in Ullenwood and we continue supporting students with additional needs from the NSC  by having them attend our restaurant on work experience program. Also at the moment we are trying to find the right candidate for an apprenticeship.
I met my husband Matt here, in Painswick. There must be truth to the saying “Love comes through your stomach”. He truly is a wonderful chef ( and person of course)!
By having St. Michaels restaurant with rooms I could utilise my artistic skills to create and design our themed rooms. They are very colourful, unique and luxurious. And I could also use all my knowledge about wines, food and being the hostess without the mostess.
So, now you know all about me. Please come to St. Michaels and tell me all about you! I will pour you a nice glass of wine!
Sincerely yours,