Fairview Homestead | Heritage accommodation in George, Garden Route, South Africa
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Guests I’ll always remember?

Shortly after I opened doors I received a booking for three policeman to share the family room. Now that sounded a bit weird, but the agent confirmed: three gentlemen and they had to share a room and could I please confirm the private entrance and secure parking.

It was just getting dusk when my front door bell rang and there were the three policeman. Beach-bum impersonater smelling of beer, gangster wannabe’s as charming as can be and parked in my driveway – a dented rust tin of a Kombi van.

On my request to see some ID, the one chap flipped open his ID badge, but much too fast for me to really see whether it was authentic. He then explained that they had to share the room because they were here to assist the local police and that they were transporting ammunition that they were not allowed to leave in their vehicle. That just freaked me out! Here I had to watch three men store an arsenal of guns under my antique wrought iron and brass four poster bed.

When my husband returned from work, I related my story of woe. He took one look at the van with the tinted windows and declared: yes, tonight they are going to rob a bank and it will be all over the papers, ‘robbers stayed at four star guest house in George’.At that stage he was still not so convinced about this guest house thing that I wanted to try, so did not offer me too much in the line of sympathy.

I decided to phone the local police station to find out if they were expecting three policemen and couldn’t say that I was surprised that they were not. They kindly offered to send a patrol car around a few times in the night, but did not think it was wise to confront the men.

They had paid cash on arrival and were now officially paying guests.Thankfully I had no other guests to worry about and with hubby happily snoring away, I spent half the night peering into the parking lot to see if the kombi van was still there. The next morning my three bright eyed and bushy tailed policemen,once again in civilian dress, tucked away heartily into bacon and eggs, served them by a not-so bright eyed and bushy tailed hostess.

With great relief I saw them off. Within minutes I got a phone call from the local police station to say that I had nothing to fear – they were expecting three officers, but that the police station had not been notified in advance as it was an undercover operation.

When Desmond came home for lunch it was to find a note on the table telling him to make himself a sandwich and not to wake me up – I was making up for lost sleep!

George wat nie veel geskiedkundige argitektuur het om mee te spog nie, kan gelukkig nou tog groots wees op die Kaapse Georgiaanse styl woning, Fairview wat met groot sorg en toewyding gerestoureer is deur die huidige eienaars, Mev Philda en Dr Desmond Benkenstein.

Alhowel reeds in 1841 tot stand gekom het, is meeste van die dorp se karaktervolle en geskiedkundige huise gesloop. Fairview wat terugdateer na 1861, dien vandag as ‘n gesinswoning en as smaakvolle ingerigte gastehuis. Die gasteboek getuig daarvan dat toeriste vanoor die wêreld dit ‘n verruklike ondervinding gevind het om hier tuis te gaan.