9 Western Cape Sleep­ing Beauty Guest House

Rivers­dale

South African Country Life - - Country Escapes - – Mar­ion White­head 028 713 1651, sleep­ing­[email protected], www.sleep­ing­beau­tyguest­house.com

Once the dom­i­nee’s res­i­dence, this his­toric dou­ble-storey house was built in 1880 for the lo­cal Dutch Re­formed Church, in the dorp’s prime street run­ning par­al­lel to a river that en­sured lush fruit and veg­gie gar­dens. It be­longed to the church un­til 1960 and a busi­ness­man later turned it into Rivers­dale’s first guest house, named af­ter the Sleep­ing Beauty peak in the Lange­berg, vis­i­ble from the peace­ful gar­den. Jinja and Monica Jar­main bought the guest house in 2002 and have re­tained the his­toric charm of the build­ing while mod­ernising and up­grad­ing the six en suite bed­rooms. They’re gra­cious hosts and their lat­est in­no­va­tion is a labyrinth in the gar­den, planted with heal­ing herbs, wa­ter­wise suc­cu­lents and colour­ful daisies. I found walk­ing the labyrinth with a piece of fra­grant laven­der from the gar­den a sooth­ing way to end a day’s travel, watched by the neigh­bour’s cu­ri­ous horses. The nearby veg­gie patch is the source of the or­gan­i­cally grown straw­ber­ries that Monica turns into the de­li­ciously fruity jam she of­fered me at break­fast. On her rec­om­men­da­tion, I vis­ited the Julius Gor­don Cen­tre at the other end of Long Street and was amazed at the ex­tent of their col­lec­tion of South African art. A drive up the scenic Gar­cia Pass is an­other must even if you aren't do­ing one of the hikes in the fyn­bos-decked Lange­berg moun­tains.

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