Meet your hosts
In 1994 we moved back to South Africa after a 13 year stay in Namibia. We bought Fairview and took up the challenge to restore this historic George landmark – always bearing in mind that the challenge in restoring and maintaining any old building remains staying true to the authenticity of the structure.
About the house : We therefore removed a garage that altered the square Georgian shape of the original building. Eight windows had to be replaced and were meticulously duplicated using the old frames as templates. The time consuming restoration was contracted out to a specialist team and took nine months to complete. Waterproofing of the clay walls proved to be a major challenge, as was the stripping of the many layers of paint to expose the lovely wood again. All the plumbing and electric wiring had to be redone, the 4 chimneys and fireplaces needed radical repairs, and most of the light fittings were removed and had to be replaced with antique ones again. In 2013 we embarked on another renovation – this time adding a courtyard staircase giving access to two upstairs guest rooms and adding new garages for personal use at the Smith Street entrance to the property.
The house is now fully restored to its long lost splendor and elegance and is listed with the National Monument’s Council as well as the local George Heritage Trust. Thanks to the income from the guest house we can keep this George landmark property in the condition it deserves. And we are so thankful that the grounds remained large enough to give the house a garden it deserves too.
About us: Desmond works as a medical doctor and enjoys the physical aspect of gardening, joking that he’ll join the gym and start golf when he retires from gardening.We both love traveling and hiking – apart from the numerous South African hiking trails, we have walked the Camino to Santiago across Portugal, Spain and France. It does not matter where our annual holidays are – there will always be at least hike fitted in and one garden on the ‘must see’ list.
I am assisted in the running of the guest house by Elize, who apart from her passion for languages, also enjoys dabbling in the creative arts of writing and acting. Her career path lead her from teaching to the theater and later into the field of tourism. Entering the hospitality industry was a natural progression.
Both Eveline and Monica have been members of our staff for quite a few years. Monica is originally from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, but have now settled here in the heart of the Garden Route where their children now attend local schools. Eveline as the senior member of our housekeeping staff has built up quite a reputation for herself as having a flair for creating beautiful posies to welcome quests to our home. She also does not shy away from lending a hand in the kitchen at breakfast time.
At Fairview the food is home-made and home-grown or locally sourced. We also keep our own chickens for the freshest of eggs. In recognition of our responsibility to the environment we also use ‘green’ products for housekeeping, laundry and cleaning. Desmond keeps a ‘wormery’ and three compost heaps. He is passionate about his garden. The front garden is more formal in structure – in keeping with the formal Cape Georgian style of the house. The flowerbeds on the Eastern side of the house is more informal. At the back of the house we have fruit trees, a herb garden, vegetable garden and a small orchard.