Plettenberg Bay is renowned for its stretches of beautiful beaches, warm Indian Ocean waters, charming communities made up of multigenerational families, fabulous eateries and cafés, nature trails and an idyllic seaside existence. As much as the little town itself is a sought after destination to frequent with the whole family, for long summer holidays, Plett’s surrounding areas are just as enchanting and captivating. Where the mountain and forest air brings about a stillness and remote tranquility. Where the kids can run free, the countryside views evoke a sense of farm-life nostalgia, and the resident bird and wildlife escort you on an urban safari, just a hop, skip and a jump away from the ocean.
Tucked into the hills high above Robberg Beach, less than a ten minute drive from the centre of Plettenberg Bay, Ashford House rests on 210 hectares of farmland, Macadamia orchards and Cape Ash trees, indigenous forests, dams and rivers, a country cricket club, horse paddocks, and endless trails for avid cyclists and mountaineers to explore. A contemporary African take on an English countryside cottage, this hideaway opens it apex reed ceilings to the views of the valley and the ocean in the distance, and beckons you in to a timeless, classical space of elegance and grace. Family heirlooms, treasured antiques, neutral tones of soft vanillas, greys and whites, wash up against the walnut chests and deep reds of the exposed brick walls. Layers of texture elevate the open plan nature of the three-bedroomed home with grass rugs resting over oak floors, tall glass doors and windows and soft linen furniture occupying the living, dining and reclining spaces. All opening out to a wide, curved verandah, overlooking the green lawn, the pool and magnificent views of the farmland.
You’ll be reminded of being a child again, in the serene surroundings of Ashford’s farm. Your days begin with a lovely, long walk around the dams, into the hills and alongside the rivers. The occasional dip into fresh water before heading back for a rinse under the outdoor shower, or into the pool. Perhaps a dip in the indoor pool in the nursery and separate steam room, where the orchids and ferns are thriving. A lazy brunch on the stoep before an afternoon excursion into town to stock up on the evening’s supplies. You’re likely to catch a few waves and build a few castles on the beach – working up an appetite for the feasting that ensues around the braai later on. First, a round of golf, maybe? Or back to the farm for some fishing. The paddle boats are waiting, as are the bass and tilapia. Sundowners on the verandah as you watch the sunbirds and the swallows dart through the reeds of the dam and into the pink sky. The occasional duiker wandering down to the watering hole for a dip and a sip. As the night sets in and the stars light up the valley’s darkness, so do the trees, with their fairy lights and lanterns, holding a spotlight for the resident owls that love a good choir singalong before bed. You’ll rest peacefully with the lovely sounds of stillness. The security of feeling so safe and removed from the town, all doors and windows wide open, exposed to nature’s elements. And isn’t that what holidays in the countryside, beside the sea are all about?
What we love!
- Ashford House is a working farm with wonderful farm managers who reside on the property.
- Both Harry and Solomon will be around, riding their quad bikes, fixing machinery and seeing to all of things related to the farm, as well as assisting you with whatever you need.
- The feeling of being completely removed from the town, its occasional chaos and holiday hustle. Yet it’s only a 5-minute drive away from the farm, to the nearest supermarket and onto the beaches.
- There is a total sense of security that comes with the seclusion of the house. Spending time in the valley with the incredible birdlife and wildlife, knowing you are at your liberty to explore the land and rest easy with the support of the staff.
What you need to know…
- The property sits directly opposite the Plettenberg airstrip – only 1 minute’s drive from your very own airport.
- There’s a fabulous club house and cricket oval on the farm, that hosts the community cricket matches. It’s not open to the public, unless there are matches on, where the odd volley ball and boule games with take place. There’s also a treasured snooker table and darts board.
- You’ll find there will be days when you don’t need to leave the area for want of any other activities and excursions
- The 210-hectared farm has a number of dams and streams and rivers to swim and fish in, a neighbouring golf course and driving range, and of course mountains to trail.
- The laundry room downstairs also has a TV and playstation for those that need to shut off from all of that beautiful nature!
- Unfortunately no hounds allowed.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie