Country-chic containers make for a unique stay
Hidden behind the Mostertshoek mountains is a house that isn’t your conventional holiday home. ONDELA MLANDU chilled out there
Riverstone’s FamTin WOLSELEY, WESTERN CAPE
Fancy spending a night in a converted shipping container on a working fruit farm? It’s far more cosy, comfortable and stylish than it sounds. After the success of the original Riverstone House on the same property, owners Claire and Duncan Dicey decided to add another option to their farm stay. The container conversion was not only a financially viable solution, but unique. Two steel cargo containers are built onto a brick-walled rectangular framework, creating an open-plan living area with two bedrooms on either side.
A deep, covered patio in front doubles up the space, creating a large, airy inside-outside room for dining, hanging out, playing games, reading, braaiing or just relaxing. The patio is fabulous in summer, and when it’s chilly outside, the glass sliding doors can be closed without spoiling the view, and the fireplace lit.
The view is wonderful: mountains in the distance, farmland and fynbos below the peaks and, directly in front, the farm dam – it’s just a few steps from the patio to the wooden jetty to the pontoon, where you can sit and dangle your feet in the water or dive in for a swim.
Palmietvlei Farm grows blueberries and pears, and it’s possible to take endless strolls on the property, amid the orchards and greenhouse tunnels, immersing yourself in those views and soaking in the seasons of farm life. FamTin is set apart from the farming activities, and from the other self-catering house on the property, so you’ll have your privacy. It’s not totally quiet, except at night, as you’ll hear the sounds of workers in the distance, but that’s a pleasant countryside soundtrack.
The look and feel of the house inside is modern and urban-chic – it wouldn’t be out of place in the suburbs – but all around is natural beauty, solitude and craggy peaks. (The sunsets are something special.) The colour scheme inside echoes what’s outside – blues, browns and greys – creating a feeling of peaceful sanctuary.
The kitchen is smallish but lovely, with a gas stove, and is stocked with coffee, tea, milk, sugar and rusks (a pile of firewood is provided too). There’s no complimentary fruit, but guests are welcome to buy farm berries – the hosts supply an awesome pie recipe. Berry picking for guests will be introduced at a later stage.
FamTim provides a fresh-air escape for those who just want to spend a few days relaxing, switching off and not doing too much (although Ceres, Tulbagh and the Breedekloof wine valley are close by). Even your dogs can come too. BEST FEATURE The patio – or, more specifically, the cushioned couch on the patio. This is where I spent most of my time absorbed by the beautiful views. COST From R800 pp sharing, R350 pp extra (children R150). SLEEPS 4 BOOK 083-499-1524, theriverstonehouse.co.za
TOP The FamTin is a cosy nest suited to couples, and offers an exciting environment for kids. BOTTOM LEFT The main bedroom has a cute Victorian bathtub and an outdoor shower for steamy stargazing. BOTTOM RIGHT It’s hard to draw yourself away from the patio – light the braai, set the table, pour some wine and enjoy the views.