Rooms: 2: Fairview House sleeps 6: 1 double full en-suite, 1 family suite (1 twin/double, 1 double with shared bathroom); Cottage sleeps 6: 1 double en-suite, 2 twin/doubles (1 en-suite).
Prices: Fairview House R5,500 per night; Cottage R4,500 per night. Rented on an exclusive-use self-catering basis. Ask about B&B options and rates.
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Meals: Many restaurants nearby. Can inquire about organising a chef.
Directions: 12km along N2 from Plettenberg Bay towards PE on the left hand side of the road. Continue down good dirt road for 1km and Fairview is the first house on the right.
They say that scent brings back powerful memories, and to this day a whiff of jasmine takes me back to Fairview’s fragrant garden. Every single bloom was chosen for its perfume alone by Gillian, authoress and doyenne of the Rattray family: the intoxicating blend of lavender, lilac, indigenous freesia, dog roses and rosemary which floods into the main bedroom is natural aromatherapy at its best. Just metres away from this English country garden, fynbos still grows wild in the Whiskey Creek Nature Reserve, home to duiker and even the occasional leopard. The Cape Dutch house’s interior - with its antlers, grandfather clocks, wooden beams, and cut-glass decanters - has the stately but lived-in feel of an ageing Scottish hunting lodge, and ample space for games of hide-and-seek. It’s hard to believe then that the Rattrays only built Fairview twenty years ago, unearthing their fantastic display of neolithic axes in the meantime. Manager, Willemijn, showed me around, leaving the dogs ragging cheerfully across the great stretches of lawn. My favourite bedroom’s cream curtains and floral wallpaper were drenched in light from the French windows exaggerating the already healthy dimensions. And joy of joys, the blue-and-white striped bathroom had a giant-sized Victorian slipper bath. Once back outside, I threw a stick for the Jack Russell. “Big mistake...” said Wilhemein and indeed I found myself leaving Fairview with an aching arm, but a large smile plastered on my face.