Llandudno is an enclave cut into a steep mountainside, surrounded by sweet textures of earth shades and fringed by a frolic of white-capped waves. Through the years it has retained an exclusivity that could hardly be bettered anywhere in the world.
The house, called Emanzini, which in Xhosa means ‘On the Water’ lies close to the shoreline and is filled with a lambent light generated by sky and sea. For Vanda and Peter Jewiss it was love at first sight. “The house was nothing really, we had to reconstruct, renovate, pull down, go up and out. It was more innovation than renovation,” she says. “It was all about position.”
Vanda, whose origins are Polish, has vast experience in renovating in Europe and immediately saw the potential. “My palette was right here, all the wonderful dune and sand colours. The sharp green of succulents.” She kept the outline simple with cool geometries and open planes full of pleasurable textures such as raw wood, ceramics, shell and skins and offset with neutral colours such as pencil and graphite, clay and driftwood.
An all-weather verandah opens up fully, creating a gorgeous, integrated area between the kitchen, dining room and verandah. With those incredible views it creates an effortless yet quite sensational entertainment space.
Vanda crafted the house from the environment and the low lying structure jigsaws seamlessly into the coastline. The interior is given sharp focus by giant oils by Peter Jewiss. “We call them faces,” says Vanda. “Their eyes follow you around.”
The couple are keen art collectors. There is a collection of Mike Sibley’s famous pencil drawings and a Katarzyna Novak, a Polish sculptor, piece with an ancient Etruscan feel that feeds into the contemporary. “My husband and I wanted it most of all to be a place of relaxation,” says Vanda. This is emphasized by organic furniture inspired by South African design partnership Meyer von Wielligh, who channels the natural world. Signature pieces are dining room chairs, movable bar with stools and sideboard.
“Real relaxation,” says Vanda, “is often elusive.” Bedrooms and bathrooms have received acute attention with deep-pile luxury, four poster beds and sheepskin rugs that are soft on the senses. Her forte is turning the ordinary into the sensational but avoiding ostentatiousness. “At night we light loads of candles and sit on the terrace which is sheltered, surrounded by lapping waves. It is like being on a large liner.”
She says she has always been very excited by South Africa. “I use local whenever possible and apart from being a pleasure dome of surf and swimming and beach walks, I wanted it to be an icon to South African talent.”
What we love!
- A feeling of remoteness, yet only a twenty-minute drive to the middle of the city.
- A Blue Flag beach that is seldom, even in mid-summer, over crowded.
- Pathway walks along the coastline.
- Hout Bay Harbour a short drive away where one can buy fresh fish daily.
- The Bay Harbour Market is definitely worth a whirl. The revamped old Sea Harvest
fish factory hosts more than 100 stalls and includes external tented alleys and
What you need to know…
- Llandudno surf is known for rip tides so make sure there is life saver on the beach
before you try any heroics. Luckily it is seldom unattended.
- Never dive directly into surf, the ground beneath might be uneven.
Reviewed by Lin Sampson