FARM­LAND RE­TREAT

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Real Lives -

Emma Manuel, 42, moved from Cape Town to Elgin Val­ley, where she lives with her hus­band Gor­don, 42, and their chil­dren Luci, 10, and Mia, seven. MY HOME We live in a comfy house on a piece of farm­land, close enough to our neigh­bours that we feel safe, but far enough away to en­joy un­in­ter­rupted views of our glo­ri­ous sur­rounds. We’ve just moved my re­tired par­ents here from Joburg, and are lov­ing having three gen­er­a­tions liv­ing to­gether un­der a sin­gle roof.

MY WORK Our move was prompted by our dreams of own­ing a restau­rant. I’d been work­ing as re­gional sales man­ager for a food-ser­vice com­pany in Parow, and Gor­don was running his restau­rant, Gor­don’s Coun­try Kitchen. In Oc­to­ber 2015, when we heard The Pool Room in Elgin’s Oak Val­ley Es­tate was look­ing for new own­er­ship, we threw our hat in the ring. We took over with me running frontof-house, and Gor­don as pa­tron chef.

MY COM­MUTE It’s a two-minute drive, as op­posed to the some­times hour-long com­mute I used to have. I even walk to the eatery in sum­mer.

MY FAVOURITE PLACE Sir Lowry’s Pass into Elgin. It’s as beau­ti­ful as it was the first time we passed through it. It’s be­come sym­bolic, too: it’s now the en­trance to my haven.

BEST THING ABOUT LIV­ING HERE There’s so much to do as a fam­ily, from swim­ming in the dams to rid­ing bikes around farms. It’s heart­en­ing to see my girls en­joy such a whole­some child­hood.

THE DOWN­SIDE I do miss Cape Town’s end­less num­ber of shops, and there are times when I crave a fuss-free take­away, which we don’t have here.

MY COM­MU­NITY The close-knit­com­mu­nity vibe is price­less. Peo­ple here go out of their way to help one an­other. It’s like we’re one big ex­tended fam­ily.

WHAT I DO IN MY DOWN­TIME I browse the Dassies­fontein Farm Store; it stocks ev­ery­thing from wine to enam­el­ware.

‘My daugh­ters en­joy a whole­some child­hood here’

Emma and her fam­ily es­caped the bus­tle of Cape Town to re­lax in the coun­try­side

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