A winding narrow lane of high hedges sweeps you into the small parking area, surrounded by the most scented beautiful garden with blooming hydrangaes, agapanthus, strelitzias, lavendar, geraniums, and auburn haired Lola Barlett steps out to greet the guests. Hard to imagine this cosy, eclectically furnished former family home with loft rooms, ensuite guest rooms and a tucked away cottage were the original stables, nestled in the heart of the more rural side of Constania with oak trees, giant pine and yellowwood and the Tokai forests down the road. The old stable traces are there with the double doors, old beams, the storage barn now a sunny breakfast room. Here and there are reed ceilings in keeping with the rustic vibe, but when you sit in the cozy bar area with its racks of great Cape wine - the warm red plastered walls showing off to best advantage the antique African artifacts, piles of books, comfy chairs, Victorian wrought iron light fittings - well you could be in an apartment in Paris or St Emillion. One loft room is decorated in modern minimalistic style - black & red lacquered furniture - the latest in stainless steel designed TV, fridge and gas cooking appliances. The other (the room where I stayed) more rustic Cape - warm, cosy and great view of the mountain and setting sun, huge bed and fine quality linens. The children shared a big ensuite bedroom in the main house near the swimming pool into which they instantly dived on a return from a beach or hot day in the Cape Town sun, while my son and his wife were tucked away in a separate private cottage for peace and fully deserved quiet after a busy year in the Film, TV and advertising business. All rooms are well equipped with coffees, selection of teas, fruit, biscuits, confectionery, sweet smelling bathroom soaps and lotions and TV. In the study there's a PC with wireless/ADSL specially for guests who need to keep in touch. Breakfasts offer a full spread with traditional English and a Continental with hams, cheeses, cereals, yoghurts, juices, fruit, and a choice of fresh breads. We all ate far too much, hoping that swims and walks would work it off. Rick and Lola assisted by helping us with bookings, directions and invited us to join them in watching the heart-stopping early morning cricket of SA vs Australia - immediately followed by their Australian friends calling them up to discuss the finer points of the game. We all loved the special warmth of their welcome, Rick - the true raconteur with his witty stories and the latest jokes sent to him by dozens of former guests from around the world who email him constantly or chat to him on Skype. The children felt so at home and all of us when we left after New Year - felt not so much sad at leaving - but blessed that we had made new friends who we would definitely be visiting again.
- Also Known As:
- Constantia Stables Cape Town, South Africa