Of horses and vineyards
WHEN an estate agency principal tells you that in 30 years of marketing homes she has never come across one quite as magnificent and expensive as Westerdale Estate’s for which she has now acquired a joint sole mandate, this should be a signal to sit up and take notice.
That is the situation in the Cape suburb of Durbanville, situated just 30km from Cape Town, where Annatjie Verster has been mandated to sell a country house on its 6,6ha equestrian estate.
The area of Durbanville first was established when a group of Tygerberg farmers requested permission from Lord Charles Somerset, the district governor at the time, to build their own church in 1825. The Durbanville website, www.durbanville.info, notes that a small village grew between the church and the outspan called Pampoenkraal. In 1836 the inhabitants of Pampoenkraal petitioned a subsequent governor, Sir Benjamin D’Urban, for permission to rename the village D’Urban. Permission was granted and the new name persisted until 1886 when it was renamed Durbanville to prevent confusion with Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. A village management board was established in 1897 and a municipality in 1901.
The website notes that Durbanville grew rapidly after the turn of 18th century and a local industry developed. The area boasted its own court house, jail and magistrate from the 1870’s and became a Magisterial District of Bellville. The court house complex still exists in altered form within the Rust-en-Vrede complex, originally erected in 1850.
The past 30 years has seen this area expand even further, although it has kept its rural charm to some extent. It is perhaps this blend of modern living with the rustic feel which has made Durbanville a popular residential node, along with the fact that it is situated within minutes from the main highway into the Cape Town city centre and the Cape Boland towns, making it conveniently central to both business and leisure activities.
It is here, in a rural setting yet close enough to the main centre of Durbanville, that our feature home is situated.
Once part of the Meerendal wine farm, this double-storey home boasting 1 350m2 of floor area (roughly ten times the floor space of a typical modern threebedroom apartment), is described by Verster as truly exceptional.
This, said Verster, means that all the main rooms, the bedrooms and the kitchen are incredibly spacious. To give just one example, the main bathroom which has a freestanding bath, covers 80m2 of floor space and includes a steam shower room and a conventional double shower.
There are three bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, as well as two guest toilets and a guest suite with a dressing room and Jacuzzi. There is also a basement.
The huge open plan kitchen with its centre island, two open plan living rooms and vast reception areas with full length glazing make up the entertainment space. Other features include a home theatre room with a big screen, a sun room, wine cellar, library, and an indoor braai area.
The home faces north-east and boasts 180 degree views across Durbanville’s horse paddocks and vineyards to the Klein Drakenstein hills, which can be seen from most of the rooms.
The owner, who bought the house three years ago, is a prominent Cape Town architect. He has, says Verster, totally redesigned and fitted out the original home.
“This was truly a labour of love. His excellent taste and design flair are evident everywhere. He has installed some of the best finishes I have ever seen, including travertine wall and floor tiles and hard dark bamboo flooring.”
The house also has a Control 4 home automation system.
The main home is complemented by a 250m2 flat with three bedrooms and two spacious living areas as well as the two semi-detached cottages set apart from the home. Together these cottages bring in an income of R14 000/month. The property also has four garages.
On the estate there are four large horse paddocks, all under irrigation, and eight luxury stables set well away from the main houses with press and drink water bowls for the horses. A local riding school has offered to rent these facilities and any horse lover would, says Verster, be keen to stable his horses here.
Future water supplies to the estate are assured by a borehole delivering water to six tanks with a 70 000l capacity.
“It goes without saying,” said Verster, “that a home of this standard in today’s market has to be offered at a bargain price — and R17,5m really is that. Whoever becomes the owner will have the pleasure of living in great style in rural Durbanville — while being only 5km from the village.” Price: R17,5m Contact: Rawson Properties Annatjie Verster 021 975 2124
WITH A VIEW: The enormous home, left, is 1 350m2 under roof. The magnificent views, above, across Durbanville’s horse paddocks and vineyards to the Klein Drakenstein hills, can be seen from most of the rooms.