Of all the things we love about Llandudno, it’s the inimitable presence of some Mediterranean village – on African soil – that makes it so charming. From its tranquil turquoise tides crashing on the white shoreline, its big boulders bulging out of the sand, lemon and olive trees, milkwoods and bougainvillea bushes hanging over bungalows and wandering pathways that curve the hillsides. Its community of city dwellers occupying a quiet pocket of the seaside – fresh out of tailored suits and into baggy board shorts. Kids with their grandparents, buckets and spades, dogs and boogie boards head down to the beach, barefoot around the clock. Interwoven, multigenerational residents that lead the pleasantries on the streets. The feeling of a rare, respected hamlet of happy people presides amongst the lanes of Llandudno. And it’s only a twenty-minute drive from the city centre.
With the nature reserve to one side, the mountain on the other and a grand expanse of ocean right in front, Orchard House settles on the slopes of Little Lion’s Head, just a stone’s throw away from Sandy Bay. Tiered into levels of lush green lawn, a massive 20-metre swimming pool, an urban farm – the only one of its kind on the Atlantic Seaboard – shady Ficus trees, old olives, Madagascar dragons, European palms, and of course the signature milkwoods, Orchard House submerges itself into the sub-tropics. The property’s plans were orchestrated around the presiding trees.
An intensive labour of love – some might call it obsession – Orchard House’s architects arduously constructed a home set on two levels of expansive living, dining, cooking, entertaining and reclining spaces that all manage to spill outdoors with the magnificent views. Tall glass sliding doors stack away into the walls, allowing the outside in, where the stoep leads you into the garden, over the deck, the swimming pool and into the ocean. The lovely Buddha patio cocoons you in a protected courtyard with low comfy seating centered around the fire-pit. The perfect spot for a starry, still night listening to the waves crash as the flames flicker and the family tales gets retold. Four large en suite bedrooms sit upstairs, in keeping with the signature style of clean, refined lines, layered in texture and maximising on the light and spectacular views. The main en suite opens out onto a beautiful terrace with its own outdoor shower and secluded seating area. Ideal for that early morning brew, watching the waves, the whales, the seals, the dolphin and all of the surfers do what they do best. Off-shutter concrete, oak flooring, bespoke contemporary furnishings and family collectables, a massive carved stone Buddha from Zimbabwe, an 1820’s chandelier as well as bold, bright statements of contemporary lighting all furnish the spaces with an eclectic embrace from the owners. Wood burning stoves and chopped timber wall features warm it all up with sincerity.
With all of its refinery and blatant architectural finesse, Orchard House is essentially a contemporary farm in the quaint little area of Llandudno. A place where no street lights and stores exist. Just rows of bungalows, beautiful beaches, mountain trails and trees. For those wonderful moments of repose, you’ll spend your time relaxing around the 500m2 urban farm, enjoying a sundowner beside the vegetables, occasionally picking the evening’s menu from the garden. Then it’s back up to that state-of-the-art kitchen, around the long table or at the bar, and into the Buddha courtyard beside the fire-pit. Upstairs to sink into those beds, ensconced in Egyptian cotton, and away with your dreams of having that farm in Africa. Only this time on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
What we love!
- The lovely outdoor shower of the main en suite, watching the ocean as you rinse remnants of the surf from your hair. Its private terrace is also a great sun trap for an afternoon tipple and a few chapters of your favourite novel.
- Enjoying the beautiful views from so many aspects of the home, overlooking the palms and the milkwoods, and out to the ocean.
- The urban farm is the most wonderful feature on the property. Little prayer flags bring a calming element to the area, with its seating space. It’s tranquil and unique to this part of the coastline.
- It has to be said, the kitchen is a great kitchen to cook from. Not only for its appliances but for its viewpoint of all of the open areas, always feeling connected to the holiday action.
What you need to know…
- There is off-street parking available with a double lock-up garage.
- Guests are encouraged to pick their own vegetables from the farm for their daily meals.
- Llandudno is no more than a 20-minute drive from Cape Town, and only 10 minutes to Hout Bay that’s home to every kind of store you’ll need.
- For some fun and frolics visit the Hout Bay Market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday where live music, art, craft, food and fashion is aplenty.
- Take a drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive to the southern part of the Peninsula and stop off at some of the most scenic picnic spots in the world.
- The Constantia Wine region is a 25-minute drive away, towards the Nek of Constantia and through the forest to some of the best grapes in the Cape.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie