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

Getaway (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -


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, theriver­stone­

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.

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