9 Western Cape Sleeping Beauty Guest House
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.