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There is a place, like no place in Stellenbosch. A land full of wonder, mystery and exuberance. Where a grand, mature manor house, meets a boundless, whimsical playground, imploring you to lose all sense of seriousness. Follow the yellow dirt road, through the hills of the Devon Valley wine region, to Le Jardin.
This is no ordinary home. Beautiful? Yes! Opulent? Absolutely. Tranquil? Totally, so. But, normal? Not at all. And in the most delightful way. The property’s grandiose entrance echoes an “open sesame” as you walk through the dignified doors into a hallway of choice. Do I settle into the comfort of the classics, reclining on immaculate antique sofas and smoker’s armchairs, all resting on signature Persian rugs, enraptured by books and booze cabinets? Or do I escape down the rabbit hole? Lavish and languid, or mad and magical? Why not both? Everything you could possibly dream up and desire, exists in this hideaway, waiting for you to go seek and discover.
Different themes illustrating all of the different rooms, meet and gregariously greet each other, as they seamlessly stitch the owner’s story together.
Over a period of twenty years this creative couple, he Swiss-French, she South African, designed a family never-never land that’s full of love, and full of fun. Courageous colours of mustard, coral, aqua blue, deep purple, terra-cotta, gold, copper and green, canvas the space, bringing the whispers of the old walls to life. In continuing with the running theme of humour, pieces of art by Pieter van der Westhuizen, Andy Warhol and one of the owner’s children, hang side by side each other. Where Pop meets whatever we fancy. The bright, tropical wallpapers, the abundance of chandeliers, the glossy red AeroBullDog speaker, the superbly comfortableVictorian beds, The Adventures of Tintin-themed rocket room, the ice-cream umbrellas beside the pool, all bring meaning to the sentiments carved into the stools that stand in the leather gin bar – “we’re all mad here”, “not all who wander are lost”, “make your own magic”!
A hop, skip and a jump down the palatial stairs that lead from the voluptuous verandah, onto the kikuyu grass, stands the glass house. A monumental piece of artwork, if you will, this outdoor building, draws you in with her alluring, dreamy light, enticing you to plant yourself amongst the ferns, succulents, and dapples of shade from the tree that’s pierced its way through the glass ceiling above. The long table lends its wooden legs to a gathering of loved ones, all toasting to you, as you say, “I do”, perhaps. There’s no escaping the vision. The leaves and the love are inside and out, all around and about.
And then there’s the garden. Backed-up against the surrounding vineyards, the body of the property stretches itself across acres of tiered tranquility. Perfectly manicured lawn lays centre-stage, banked by hydrangeas and endless rows of roses, as it disperses itself off into secret pathways, beneath the towering old oaks and blue gums. A great big playground with a swinging nest, a trampoline, a hideaway house, and a Teepee tent, borders the deck to the dam. You can dive in, paddle around, or zipline across. Or better yet, spectate from the bubbling jacuzzi above.
As afternoon antics turn to evening, and all the colours begin to blend in with the night, the outdoor fireplaces warm up the ankles for barefoot dancing on the lawn, outside the glass house, that’s all lit up and glowing, ready for a long, long supper at the long, long table.
What we love!
What you need to know…
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie
1 April to 31st August 2019 - R18 500 per night 1 September 2019 to 14th December 2019 R22 500 per night 15th Dec 2019 to 15 Jan 2020 R 30 000 per night (7night min stay) 16th January to 31st March 2020 R22500 per night For wedding venue fees please send enquiry with dates and guest numbers