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Just shy of its 100th birthday, this grand stone house has been part of the current family’s life for nearly 25 years. A well-planned and carefully considered renovation a few years ago created more open-plan areas and infused the living areas with light through double skylights and glass-embedded floors.

Named Ferrybridge after the original owner’s English home town, the house retains much of its quiet and sturdy presence. But as the owner says, ‘It is a house of history and experience,’ with many family collections still in place; a war chest from the owner’s great grandfather, inherited books, art and objet d’art collected over the decades on travels abroad. The owner is blessed with an eye for composition and contrast and there are many delightful cameo collections that showcase objet d’art at their best. Sofas are deep and luxurious, four-poster beds beautifully dressed for a night’s restful sleep.

If a house has excellent bones, it is best to keep this elegant framework. The hallway with its sweeping staircase – one of the owner’s favourite features – is the backbone of the overall design. One of the home’s most unusual features is an in-door pool, giving guests a reason to take in some gentle exercise.
But the 1.5 acre garden all but upstages the interiors, with a landscape lovingly planted and coaxed into maturity over decades by a ‘gifted gardener’, from an earlier generation. ‘My mother-in-law turned this into a parkland’, says the owner ‘and it has featured in decor magazines, and garden show-days.’ Hardly a visitor leaves without photographing the camellias in full riotous bloom or hydrangeas with heads the size of beach balls.

With space for 12 guests, this is an ideal house for a family gathering for a special occasion. It is designed for entertaining, either out on the verandas and lawns or inside in a great open-plan kitchen. Or perhaps, thinking of relocating to Johannesburg, it will be from this wonderfully central base in Westcliff, that you are able to take your time to explore neighbouring suburbs? If you are travelling and in transit to neighbouring countries, spend a few days here and take a breather. The garden alone will be your ‘green lung’ between flights. As an executive business retreat, it is here, with history around you at every turn and yet with access to modern facilities, that the future strategy of a new company may be formed. It’s that kind of atmosphere, that kind of space.

What we love!
The garden is a small botanical masterpiece and in a Johannesburg climate, Africa meets English estate
Many historic homes tend to be dark and feel a little dated but the renovation uses the exceptional Highveld light to flood the rooms and has given a light, contemporary feel.
While accessible to the city and surrounding malls in Rosebank, Hyde Park and Sandton, the house feels as if it is set in a country estate.

What you should know…
The property is in Westcliff, one of the city’s most prestigious and historic suburbs but has access to the nearby M1, and therefore an easy transit to O R Tambo international airport.

Kids must be competent swimmers aged 6 and above please.

The resident housekeeper is able to cook simple dishes for guests when required

Reviewed by Les Aupiais

Facilities

  • 1 x Bedroom (double)
  • 1 x Bedroom (king)
  • 1 x Bedroom (queen)
  • 3 x Bedroom (twin singles)
  • 5 x Bathrooms (3 are ensuite)
  • BBQ (Weber)
  • DSTV
  • DVD player
  • Fireplace (wood)
  • Pool (indoor & heated)
  • TV
  • Wifi

Guests

Sleeps 12

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Westcliff, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Westcliff, Johannesburg, Gauteng  The Perfect Hideaways team are veteran road-trippers who are only too happy to share their black book of things to do when you book into one of our hideaways.

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Rates

R8 000 – R18 000