Fairview Homestead | Blog
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When I had been running the B&B for close on 15 years I told myself that it was time to start writing down all these stories about the restoration process, the day to day joys and frustrations of running a guest house and of course all the recipes and tips that I’m forever dishing out. Two of our children regularly contribute – our daughter Nelleke Elston, a chef specializing in food styling, as well as our son Alex Benkenstein who shares a love for the ocean with his dad and oldest brother and has an ease with words that his mom stands in awe of. In the category “My B&B Life” I share the stories of a house and garden, lovingly restored and shared with our guests.


 

Some text obviously came from our website, but whoever wrote this definitely had to have stayed here - I wonder who?

Built in 1861, Fairview Historic Homestead has been sympathetically restored to its original Cape Georgian splendour, and invites guests to experience elegant accommodation in the heart of the Garden Route.

On arrival, the gardens make a spectacular first impression and are undoubtedly the showpiece of the property. Lovingly curated into a fairy-tale expanse of arches, flowerbeds, flowing lawns, water features and clipped hedges, this magnificent space will steal the hearts of all guests, whether they have an appreciation for gardening or not. The striking Georgian house fits beautifully into this pretty scene and has been furnished with a collection of antiques and artwork that, together with the high ceilings and wooden floors, perfectly capture the grace of old.

This article, titled 'Paul Ash plays lord of the manor' appeared in the travel section of the Cape Times : ''I'm tired of boxy hotels, and I've had enough of drek little B&Bs owned by poxy, unhelpful pinch-faced landlords and stuffed with décor from hell. There, I've said it. Running a B&B should require a license, where applicants are subjected to the same rigorous scrutiny as those who wish to own automatic weapons. Sadly, that is not the case, which means I spend an inordinate amount of time sifting through the dross. George, as you may well imagine, is overstocked with B&Bs. The town has more accommodation options than Jo'burg has Tuscan palazzos, so I was well pleased, on my very first troll of the web, to stumble across Fairview Homestead, a former farmhouse built some time after 1864 and sold to one Koos Stander in 1894. The family farmed apples and cattle until 1974, fending off the urban creep. Today, the homestead is an island of beauty in the middle of George's spreading metropolis.

The peppadews growing at Fairview self-seeds and we find ourselves in constant supply of these deliciously piquant little peppers. The green shaped ones will all turn red at some stage - I quite like the look of a combination of green and red in one jar. I use it in omelets, pasta dishes, in salad and stuffed with creme cheese it makes a lovely snack served with ice cold beer.

Both Desmond and I grew up with mothers who made Ginger beer and Grenadila cordial as a summer cool drink.The drink was only allowed to brew to make it fizzy and non alcoholic (although I do remember becoming quite tipsy once because I scoffed down the delicious swollen raisins that I was supposed to discard!) Desmond's mother often made Grenadilla Cordial and looking at our harvest this year the guests will be treated to Grenadilla cordial in a big way: For every 2 cups of Grenadilla pulp, you add the juice of 3 oranges and 1 lemon. Heat 3 cups of water and dissolve 2 cups of sugar to make a thin syrup. You then add the fruit to the syrup and bottle it. It is very good diluted with soda water and ice. And a shot of Vodka and a mint leave will turn it into a summer Cocktail!

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.

The grounds on which Fairview stands was first registered in 1864 in the names of Messrs. Swemmer and Meyer, directors of the first bank in George. When these two gentlemen found themselves in financial difficulty in 1894, they sold the farm to Koos and Miems...