‘Sorry for the cliché, but there’s no other way of saying it: It’s a deep out-of-africa experience’
uninterrupted views (only one light is seen in the distance at night), a reservoir swimming pool (frequented during the day by a herd of nguni cattle and at dusk by bushbuck), the smell of fertile grassland and the calls of owls, fish eagles, swallows and herons all conspire to form a strongly rooted connection with the continent.
greg agrees with the owner’s description: a‘ lthough the interiors are grounded in a traditional european aesthetic, you get a strong “romantic africa” sense of place, especially through the muted colour palette that mirrors the tones visible in the landscape.’ The khaki and greens of the succulents and fynbos, the bleached yellow of the grass, and the blue-grey of the distant outeniqua Mountains and surrounding eucalyptus leaves (although not indigenous, these trees are so old, they no longer leech the soil) – all these hues are introduced to the interior, with subtle layering evident in textures rather than a multitude of objets.
The family spends most time on the back stoep, another prodigiously recessed outdoor living area, which affords sightings of the zebras, giraffes and elephants roaming around the adjacent game reserve. The owner’s nightly ritual of lighting candles and setting the drinks tray (‘even if no one’s having a whisky, I just love the romantic magic of it,’ she smiles) lends itself to snuggling up on this stoep, cocooned by the enveloping stillness, often falling asleep on the fourposter day bed to the sound of nightjars.
considered bed designs and linen choices are paramount in this tranquil scene. ‘sleep is very precious to us,’ she explains. ‘The farm is our place of retreat and restoration.’ Blankets by garden route weaver Mungo pile on the cosiness, while coral & hive karakul rugs maximise warmth. seagrass, sisal and jute mats feature underfoot, too, their texture echoed in the exaggerated weave of the dining chairs.
‘They’re almost like armchairs,’ greg says of the seats he designed to fill the expansive indoor dining area. ‘Because they’re so big and comfortable, the dining room almost acts as another sitting room, where you really want to linger after meals.’
and linger they do – be it after a lunch prepared from the vegetable-garden bounty, or while playing a game of scrabble in front of a fireplace. ‘We’ve discovered an art of living,’ attests the owner, carrying a basketful of spinach, lettuce and fennel that illustrate her point. ‘It’s possible to live in a way that’s deeply nourishing for body, heart and soul.’ Bobbejaanskloof is available to rent. perfecthideaways.co.za; Greg Mellor gregorymellor.com
evenings are often spent around the fire pit, admiring the surrounds