Over the years – a decade or two if you will – the burgeoning town of Hermanus has evolved from being a placid little seaside village of beach bars and bungalows scattered around the curves and cliffs of a dramatically scenic coastline, and transformed into a bustling borough of nouveau colonies of trendy cafés, farmer’s markets, international schools, commercial chains, swanky seaside restaurants and a residential development that spreads exponentially either side of the town’s finger tips. Its coming of age has been embraced by its venerable, diverse communities that thrive from the vibrancy of the revamped village and all of its dynamic happenings. There’s an age-old grace to Hermanus that’s rooted in the leafy suburban lanes, the picturesque cliffside pathways and in every genial wave of a resident welcoming you in with sincerity. And then there’s the nature that pervades every open space with its palpable solace. Whether you’re adjacent the ocean or tucked into the heels of the Kleinrivier mountains, the natural surroundings of this beautiful bolthole will forever be the starting point and full-stop to every conversation. Lest we forget the whales and orcas that frequent the shores throughout the year.
Resting around the ankles of the mountains, tucked into the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, no more than a 10-minute walk to the ocean’s edge, Broadmerston sits upon its soothing, tranquil gardens with poise and solidarity to the soil it occupies. What was once a 1930’s family holiday cottage to the reputable South African-born British military aviator Roger Bushell – best known as the mastermind of the “Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III in 1944, eventually recaptured and murdered by the Gestapo – this heritage hideaway has been tenderly restored and renovated to house a whole new family’s generational holiday antics and mementos. Set on two levels of idyllic country-home living, Broadmerston marries its old-soul charm and charisma affectionately alongside its contemporary counterpart. Original round bay windows, long, connecting corridors, voluminous ceilings, a wonderful teak staircase, teak floors and windows with classical living spaces furnished in layers of leather and linen all echo the sentiment of a laidback yet lavish familial stamp on the home. Six ensuite bedrooms all have their own unique style and views of the garden and those captivating mountains. Its perfect positioning of North allows for endless hours of gorgeous natural light streaming through all of the open spaces, warming up every reading nook and coffee spot at any given moment. Especially on the exceptionally long verandah that’s like some tropical wonderland with its abundance of foliage and sliding doors that lead out into the beautiful, considered garden. Rolling lawn spreads beneath the Chinese Elms, Cork Oaks and Liquid Amber trees that anchor down around the indigenous flower beds of fynbos, spekboom, agapanthus, daisies and searsia that lead up to the elevated swimming pool. A decent round of boulle or even cricket is likely to be on the cards, before the evening’s feasting of a hearty roast around the supper table. The entire home is centred around the merry-go-rounds of the garden that lulls itself by the peaceful, magical mountain air. Evenings will be spent around the fire on the verandah – that can be enclosed should the weather turn with the ocean’s breeze – before reclining in one of the capacious heavenly beds and its luxury linens as you drift off to the sound of the sea in the distance. You’ll be up to greet the morning with the Cape Sugarbirds and the ever-changing colours of the mountain with a view of the early-bird hikers traversing the trails as you plan your itinerary with the crew for the new day. It’s Hermanus and there’s plenty to do. But for the moment, at least, you’ll be more inclined to sit still in the morning light, sipping on the first brew, enraptured by the serenity of this old soul, yet equally enthused by the all that’s still to come of the day. That’s the joy of family holidays in an old, new town.
What we love!
- The glorious tranquility that the beautiful garden and outdoor spaces bring, beneath the mountain and holding centre-stage to the history of the bones of the home.
- Proximity to the town where the markets are amazing, the cafes are cooking, the bars are buzzing, and whales keep on frolicking.
- Should you wish to get some work done during your stay at Broadmerston, or perhaps complete that novel you’ve been working on for months, the separate study that can be closed off from the crowd is a very inviting and inspiring space to do so.
- Fernkloof Nature Reserve is literally out the garden gate. You can walk straight out and directly up the mountain. Which is an absolute must for all hiking enthusiasts wanting to explore the lesser beaten tracks in nature. Especially for winter walks.
- The sunrise hitting the tips of the mountain that transforms from an avatar green to a champagne pink.
What you need to know…
- Broadmerston is only a 10-minute walk to the cliff paths or Fick’s pool for some early morning ocean dips.
- The famous Hermanus cliff path that hugs the coastline and stretches as far as 12km is on the doorstep. Great for morning and evening strolls.
- There’s also a golf course around the corner that’s set in the most beautiful landscape for an easy amble should you rather just walk if you don’t know your irons from your woods.
- The Stanford Valley is a twenty-minute drive away for a full day out. Activities include picnics under the Stanford Manor trees, beside the dam. Sunset cruises on the River Klein. Cheese, beer and wine tasting. Antique shopping in the historic village of Stanford.
- Hermanus Farmer’s Market every Saturday for all things art, craft, food, music, fun and frolics.
- Lizette’s at the circle is a lovely place to go for a light tapas lunch with its lovely atmosphere, or to just simply grab some yummy things from the deli.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie