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