With its dapper 1940’s Cape Dutch facade and eclectic, unfettered interiors, Buitenzorg holds its poise like an earnest gentleman in a contemporary art museum, acquiescing every onlooker, without a hint of ostentation.
Set on six acres of equestrian paddocks and stables, rolling green lawns, oak, avocado and fig trees, English rose gardens, herb and vegetable patches, olive groves, citrus and apple orchards, two swimming pools, tennis court, guest cottage and a wild meadow – this hideaway declares sublime suburban living, in the heart of the Constantia winelands.
The part-English, part-South African owners held a watchful eye on Buitenzorg for over 10 years, before finally purchasing the property in 2018. Alongside the works of reputable interior designer, Sarah Ord, they transformed the original homestead into a vibrant yet refined space, where frivolity meets finesse, colonial meets contemporary. Using the charm of the old walls as a backdrop, they fervently parlayed their impressive art collection, creating a dynamic dialogue between signature pieces and heirloom furnishings. From Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith rugs cushioning the wooden floors, to Philip Briel, Ryan Hewett and Katherine Wood paintings adorning the walls. From the comfort of an Eames, a statement of the Barcelona and the fun of an Adelta Bubble chair to the fine carpentry of local craftsmen. Each room conveys a timeless sense of cohesion, between contemporary European and African art.
The lavish living spaces of the ground floor comprise of a cigar lounge, library, drawing room and formal dining room, all connected by a grand, double-volume entrance hall. A state-of-the-art kitchen with additional dining area, opens out onto a dreamy, long verandah with more comfy couches and recliners for those languid lunches and afternoon mountain gazing. Across the hallway and into one of the five colossal bedrooms – four of which are en suite – with the master upstairs delivering nothing short of sheer opulence to the discerning bather. The other three chambers all sit on the first floor, under the thatch, overlooking the gardens and Constantiaberg mountain range. A study leads out onto a balcony, that offers majestic views of the backside of Table Mountain, and adjacent vines of Groot Constantia wine estate. An idyllic spot to settle with the late afternoon sun as you watch the birds dart with the changing colours, and the evening horse-riders trot along the pathway, in sync with the sound of the ice clinking in your glass. An additional two, beautifully-styled out-suites, sit beside the swimming pool and stables, offering more room for that ever-expanding guest list.
Buitenzorg is an artist’s Eden, a family’s reunion, a wine-lover’s Utopia and a gardener’s oasis.
What we love!
- The quiet seclusion of the property, with its breathtaking views of the Constantia wine region.
- One of the wine cellars has been converted into a fully stocked gaming room, with a pool table, gaming consoles, table soccer, as well as plenty of arts and crafts material to keep the kids occupied.
- The property has direct access to the Groot Constantia vineyards for easy country walks amongst the vines. As you enter through the gates of the property, a long, sweeping driveway leads you to the front door setting the tone of old age romance and grandeur from the get-go.
- The swimming pool has a fun slide and ample lounging space around it for lazy afternoons spent on the property. There is also an additional smaller swimming pool and sun loungers set amongst the rose gardens, very close to the Manor House.
- With its 5 large vegetable and herb gardens, and an abundance of fruit bearing trees, you’re at liberty to source enough ingredients for those blissful al fresco meals from the garden.
What you need to know…
- For the active members of the family, the Constantia Greenbelt mountain biking trails are only 2 minutes away from the property.
- Buitenzorg is nestled within the Constantia wine region – home to some of the country’s finest restaurants and wine estates. Aside from the estate on the doorstep, take a short drive and explore all that the region has to offer including Buitenverwachting, Beau Constantia (spectacular views of the valley), Steenberg Vineyards – that’s home to Bistro Sixteen82 and Catharina’s – and of course Silvermist Wine Estate where La Colombe’s kitchen cooks up the most iconic and internationally acclaimed menus in South Africa.
- This unique estate, grand as it is, is totally secure, with a high-tech, top of the range alarm and security system – for that extra peace of mind.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie