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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
Based on 6 reviews
Guest reviews are written by our customers after their stay at Le Jardin.
Like everybody else we fell in love with Pinocchio & Duchess. The house is wonderful as well – beautifully and interestingly appointed. Loved the garden and all the chill spots too. Staff looked after us too well. Thank you.
It was amazing. We had the best time. We come from Norway (Oslo) and Sweden (Vesteras).Pinocchio and Duchess made this trip. They are so loving and caring.
Thank you for a splendid stay at a beautiful house that we will always remember!
Thank you for lending us Wonderland for the past week. We have had a truly amazing magical time. Everyday we have discovered new and fascinating aspects of the house and property and have absolutely loved having Duchess and Pinocchio join us in our adventures. We have had such fun! We have been so well looked after by all your warming staff who have catered to our every need – and a chef who has procured innovative, colourful and above all delicious meals. We have loved our time here.Many thanks for a truly wonderful holiday.
Always good to “be home”. Loved spending time with friends celebrating life under the full moon with Greg’s Gin Fizz! Thanks so much for the friendly service and big smiles.
What a prefect stay, the location is beautiful, the staff. So very professional and courteous. Nothing is to much trouble for the team here at Le Jardin, making our stay in South Africa relaxing and memorable. Thank you.
R18 700 – R45 900