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 much 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 staying 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 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 are more informal. At the back of the house we have fruit trees, a herb garden, vegetable garden and a small orchard.