In 1994 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa – we found this wonderful property, first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration. We embraced the challenge to restore this historic George landmark – always bearing in mind that the challenge in restoring and maintaining any old building remains to stay true to the authenticity of the structure. We are so thankful that the grounds remained large enough to give the house a garden it deserves too.
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 Thereasa. Monica is the head housekeeper and has been a member of our staff for quite a few years. She is originally from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, but have now settled here in the heart of the Garden Route. She 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.
George is situated on a low plateau between the sea 8km to the south and nestled at the base of the George and Cradock peaks, both of which are higher than Table Mountain.
Fairview Homestead is just 8 km from Victoria Bay Beach, 4.6 km from the Garden Route Mall and 12 km from George Airport. George makes an excellent base from which to explore the Garden Route, famous for its scenic beauty, fynbos, long sandy beaches and some of the finest golf courses.
George is the ideal base from which to explore the Garden Route … beaches, lakes, mountains, and rivers offer visitors an unforgettable holiday; for everyone from the very adventurous to those who prefer to relax in the sun, stroll through cool forests or take scenic day drives.