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Opulent Living SOUT H E R N A F R I CA

T H E C O F F E E -TAB L E MAGAZ I N E F O R T H E F I N E R T H I N G S I N L I F E

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ISSUE NO 5


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Opulent Living Welcome

“Happiness isn’t something you experience, it’s something you remember.” – Oscar Levant

Barbara Lenhard (Publisher) and Florian Gast (Editorial and Creative Director)

I

t's when we sit down to write our Welcome words that we fully appreciate how much hard work has gone into making these pages what they are. As your trusted brand for the finer things in life, we put a lot of research and ‘sweat equity’ into carefully selecting the contents of each edition. For us, this page is the most personal part of the magazine – and it brings back such special memories of when we launched the very first issue of Opulent Living just over two years ago. This is now our 5th edition, but we still remember the happiness we felt when each of our previous magazines arrived back from the printers. Best of all, though, are the moments when feedback

and comments come in from readers who love what we do and who encourage us to keep doing it. This is pure happiness for us, so thank you to all of you who get in touch with us! This edition has brought plenty of happy moments into our lives already. To start with, we visited the home of Gary Player near Bloemfontein, where he enjoys a fulfilled life with his family and horses. It was our greatest pleasure to spend time with this wise man who, at the age of 76, still has so much on the go. Walking along the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town last summer, we also bumped into another famous South African golfer, Sally Little. Sally is passionate about her breast cancer foundation and about raising awareness of the disease as she travels the world playing golf – a sport that connects people everywhere. So we thought, what better way to bring people together than to plan a great trip to play golf and create awareness at the same time. Well, we’re doing it! Opulent Living, in association with Royal African Travel, has put together a fabulous journey to South Africa with an itinerary that includes Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Eastern Cape. Sally herself will accompany this journey, which is limited to just 15 people. It includes stays at two top golfing estates: Fancourt near George and Steenberg in Cape Town, as well as a few days at the renowned Shamwari Game Reserve. We promise a bespoke journey with special highlights! Another highlight has been meeting the charming, and very beautiful, South

African actress Vanessa Haywood, who presents the Jewellery Special in this edition. We have such a good time whenever we meet with Vanessa that, again, we decided to bring people together to share in the fun. Vanessa is a keen cyclist and runner and is going to accompany a journey of like-minded people to Mauritius. So why not join her? To whet your appetite, take a look at the website of our preferred travel partner, Royal African Travel, at www.royalafricantravel.com. Connecting with travel professionals is such a great way to make your life easier. They know the locations intimately and can help you to book truly unforgettable experiences. We don't know about you, but when we plan our holidays, we think of where we want to go, of private beaches and phenomenal game reserves. But when we come back, part of what we treasure most are the memories of the people we've met and the friends we’ve made. We hope that you turn the pages of this beautiful issue and are inspired to begin planning a trip that will bring you memories to treasure. As we present this edition to you, and end this personal page, we'd like to invite you, our readers, to connect with us. Tell us who you are and send us your feedback. Finally, we'd like to thank our business partners and all the people who helped put together this issue. We think their passion shines through on each page. We hope you do too.

Happy days and carpe diem! Barbara & Florian

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Contributors

Imprint

Meet the team behind our features… passions of travel, food and décor as an editor and contributor to local and international magazines

and

websites,

Michelle

is

constantly inspired by southern Africa as a destination, but found the message of hope behind 46664 the most moving. Richard Holmes Never quite sure whether he prefers the city or the bush, Richard is a Cape Town-based freelance journalist with an insatiable appetite for travel. One destination that continually intrigues is Tanzania, which is why he wrote our story on the allure of

Publisher: Barbara Lenhard barbara@opulentliving.co.za Editorial & Creative Director: Florian Gast florian@opulentliving.co.za Managing Editor: Michelle Snaddon Copy Editor: Anne Duncan Designer: Joanna Orr Contributors: Robyn Alexander, Keith Bain, Nikki Benatar, Jane Broughton, Anne Duncan, Ann Ellis-Brown, Sue Gordon-Brown, Helen Grange, Keri Harvey, Vanessa Haywood, Kit Heathcock, Richard Holmes, Fiona McDonald, Ian Macleod, Kerry Mills, Biddi Rorke, Vicki Sleet, Michelle Snaddon For advertising and sales please contact sales@opulentliving.co.za

Tanzanite, its most precious export. Fiona

McDonald Both the grape and

grain intrigue this respected journalist and international wine judge. She was editor of

Wine magazine for eight years, and now edits Whisky magazine. Fiona’s a proud supporter of local bubbly and loves nothing better than a glass of Méthode Cap Classique. Ian Macleod As a sports writer with a special interest in golf, Ian found the interview with the great Gary Player fascinating. He contributes regularly to Sports Illustrated on everything from golf to boxing and

Newspace Publishing CC Cape Town, South Africa www.newspace.co.za, info@newspace.co.za Issue no. 5: published in November 2011 Issue no. 6: to be published May 2012 Issue no. 7: to be published November 2012 Distribution: throughout South Africa and internationally via preferred partners · in first and business class on selected airlines · in exclusive lounges, showrooms and boutique stores · nationwide via direct mail · internationally via selected distributors Circulation: 30 000 Nominal charge: R180

has recently expanded into film with a

Printed in South Africa by Creda Cape Town

documentary on competitive martial arts.

www.opulentliving.co.za www.facebook.com/opulentliving

Vanessa Haywood This South African actress and model has lived all over the world, in cities such as Hamburg, Los Angeles and London. A keen cyclist, Vanessa’s now based in Cape Town. She’s been exposed to international fashion and trends from a young age, which has prompted her great love of jewels.

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Opulent Living magazine is published by Newspace Publishing CC. Copyright Newspace Publishing CC. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from Newspace Publishing or the authors. The publishers are not responsible for any unsolicited material. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Newspace Publishing or the editors. All features on hotels, lodges and estates are advertorials.

Harry the hippo

COVeR IMAGeS (FROM LeFT TO RIGHT) COuRTeSy OF: PeARL VALLey GOLF CLuB, SeASONS OF AFRICA, SABI SABI, DAVID SeSSIONS, HuNTeR HOTeLS

Michelle Snaddon Combining her lifestyle


Dwyka Tented Lodge · A valley like no other

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White Pearl Resorts, Ponta Mamoli · On the edge of the world

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The Royal Livingstone · Lounging under rainbows as a mighty river thunders past

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INTERVIEW · THE MAN BEHIND THE LEGEND

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The Owner‘s Cottage at Grande Provence · Villa in the vineyards

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Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge · Between heaven and earth

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Sugar Beach Resort · Savour the sweetness of relaxed island living

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Marataba Safari Company · An ancient sanctuary

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Marlin Lodge · An idyllic island hideaway

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Contents

122

90

38

Spier · Pioneering spirit

66

Sarova Stanley · An old-world retreat that recalls a decadent colonial past

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Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge · Bushveld romance

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Opulent finds · Indulgent must-have buys

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Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge · Isolated splendour

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The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City · Fantasy fit for a king

90

Kapama Karula · Place of peace where the game are plentiful

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Contents

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94

Zambezi Queen · The ultimate African dream

122

Delaire Graff Estate · Reaching for the stars in the Cape winelands

126

Gorah Elephant Camp · Sleeping with giants

130

Royal Malewane · Seclusion, sophistication and superlative safari adventures

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dossier · sparkling success story

140

Mount Grace Country House & Spa · Gracious dame in the green, rolling Magaliesburg

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Lanzerac Hotel & Spa · Under the oaks

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Highlands Country House · Colonial comfort

154

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50


Jewellery Special High jewellery photo special

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Vanessa Haywood · Creation at its finest

110

46664 · Universal symbol of hope

112

Tanzanite · Nature‘s game of chance

118

De Kloof Luxury Estate · Historical oasis of chic

155

Forum Homini Hotel · A cradle of luxury living

156

Property in his blood · Q&A with Samuel Seeff

162

Opulent events · Stylesetters and newsmakers

165

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Dwyka Tented Lodge ∙ South Africa

A valley like no other An enigmatic landscape, rich flora, rare fauna and the footprints of an ancient people whose memory lives on in the rock art they left behind: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is one of Africa’s most remarkable wilderness areas. And Dwyka Tented Lodge offers the perfect secluded luxury from which to appreciate its rugged beauty.

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Set in the heart of the reserve, on a distinctive horseshoe bend on a dry riverbed, Dwyka Tented Lodge enjoys the most dramatic location of Sanbona’s three luxury lodges.

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T

Cheetah have been returned to the reserve’s semi-arid plains and are breeding and thriving.

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ouching the earth lightly. It seems a strange concept in the Klein Karoo, the long valley between the Cape’s Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains, where semi-arid hills introduce the lush fields of the Overberg to the dry plains of the Great Karoo. It’s a hard land this – the Arizona of southern Africa: temperatures soar in summer and plummet in winter; water is scarce and animals travel great distances to survive. And, while these rocky hills and gravelly plains appear as resilient as they do timeless, this is also a fragile land, where survival is a delicate balancing act. Disrupt that balance and the land is forever changed. Which is why the lodges of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve touch the earth so lightly. Old farmhouses have been restored, water is conserved, erosion is controlled and respect for the environment is paramount. No surprise then that all three of Sanbona’s luxurious lodges – Dwyka, Tilney Manor and Gondwana – were recently awarded the Green Leaf Environmental Standard in recognition of their continued efforts to make the reserve so eco-friendly. When run-down farms in the hills beyond Montagu came up for sale 10 years ago, the Shamwari Group saw an opportunity to restore the land to the way it would have been in centuries past. Rusty fences were pulled down, and the land was given the time and space it needed to recover. First antelope were slowly returned, then, in 2003, lion and cheetah hunted on the plains here for the first time in three centuries. It was a remarkable transformation for a landscape that was once on the verge of collapse. These empty plains have a long history worth conserving, and on cave walls throughout the reserve you’ll find the rock art of the ancient San people; daubed on the pink sandstone in paint of blood and ochre. Their paintings tell of hunts and game animals, visions and ceremony. Some of them date back more than 7 000 years, and while many are carefully documented, others have yet to be explored. These ancient nomads are also remembered in the very name of the reserve: ‘Sanbona’

meaning the ‘vision of the San’ honours the hunter-gatherers that were the first to call these lands home. And what a vision it is. Just over a threehour drive from Cape Town, and just off Route 62 – one of the world’s longest wine routes – Sanbona stretches across 54 000 hectares, making it one of the largest private reserves in southern Africa. Thanks to careful management of this fragile ecosystem, the vast expanse of Sanbona supports a surprising array of wildlife. Apart from being one of the few Western Cape reserves to conserve freeroaming Big Five, Sanbona also boasts rarities such as the riverine rabbit; one of the world’s most endangered mammals. And in the bright Karoo skies more than 200 species of bird are found, with everything from resilient sand grouse to majestic Verreaux’s eagle waiting to be ticked off your twitching list. On terra firma, fleet-footed klipspringer hide on the sandstone cliffs while the lush grasses along the river lines attract the snuffling white rhino. Elephant roam far and wide in search of grazing, as content giraffe nibble on the thickets of thorny acacia. And out on the wide-open plains springbok, duiker and other antelope thrive, providing prey for the cheetah and lion that prowl here. The powerful tawny lions are always a thrill to see in the wild, but at Sanbona you shouldn’t be surprised if you think your eyes are playing tricks. Here, the famous white lions of the Timbavati stalk the Karoo scrub too; part of a landmark breeding project to sustain the world’s diminishing collection of lions carrying this rare gene. And it’s a breeding project that’s paying off, with four rare white lion cubs born on the reserve late last year, two of which are often seen gambolling with the pride. While close-up encounters and the opportunity to track wildlife on foot are sure to set your pulse racing, the real joy of Sanbona is in the details, as highly trained rangers bring the sparse Karoo to life; shining a light on the intricate ecosystems that hold this land together. For the landscape is as much of


The spacious lodge at Dwyka is a convivial place for guests to gather before and after game activities, with a modern sensibility delicately offsetting the traditional safari motifs.

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Dwyka’s luxury tented suites (below) boast magnificent mountain views and are the perfect base from which to explore Sanbona, which is home to both tawny and white lions. The reserve has also introduced more basic, back-to-nature explorer bush camps (opposite).

an attraction as the game. The Western Cape is famous for its profusion of flora, and even in these dry hills there are more than 600 species of plants spread across a number of floral kingdoms. Kingdoms you’ll have all to yourself. During a day spent discovering Sanbona’s secrets you’ll rarely see another vehicle, and as night falls around your sundowner stop it brings a Karoo silence so deep it’ll set your ears ringing. With a glass of fine Cape wine in hand, you’ll feel the true meaning of relaxation

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as the crimson sun dips behind the distant Anysberg. But you’ll also savour the tingle of excitement that comes from the knowledge that wild leopard still roam those very hills. As the evening star rises, the hoot of a spotted eagle owl setting off on its nightly hunt is the cue to return to your own comfortable nest. While three lodges are discreetly hidden away across Sanbona, it is Dwyka Tented Lodge that offers the most dramatic location. Strung out along the horseshoe bend of a dry river, the luxurious tented

suites overlook a spectacular vision of their namesake: towering cliffs of folded sandstone belonging to the Dwyka group. These rocks were laid down in an ice age some 250 million years ago, but their tented onlookers offer a touch of decidedly modern luxury. Easily the most stylish accommodation on Sanbona, just nine canvas-covered suites make up Dwyka Tented Lodge. With each suite carefully positioned to ensure the utmost privacy, the décor echoes the empty skies and craggy cliff-face above the dry riverbed. Walls of roughhewn stone frame kingsize beds while lofty canvas roofs offer a sense of airiness and space. There’s an understated sense of Nordic style here, in the sleek wooden finishes and spacious bathroom that spills out onto a secluded wooden deck. Wash off the day on the outdoor deck, where a shower under the stars offers views of heavenly bodies. And while the riverbed may be dry, your private plunge pool is always sparkling, offering a welcome respite from the summer heat. In winter, underfloor heating keeps your suite cosy, as does fine percale linen and vintage camp chairs that beg for lazy mornings and languid afternoons. It’s an idyllic destination for honeymooners seeking little more than tranquillity and each other’s company, but for more sociable guests the main lodge building is the welcoming heart of Dwyka. Here, on a small hill above the suites, the wood, stone and canvas inspiration


Dwyka Tented Lodge

Near Montagu, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)41 407 1000 Facsimile: +27 (0)41 407 1001 Email: reservations@sanbona.com Website: www.sanbona.com

PhoToGrAPhS: SANboNA WILDLIFE rESErvE

continues, offset by splashes of green from the manicured indigenous gardens that surround the lodge. Meals are served in the airy dining room where you can expect a taste of South Africa’s rich culinary traditions; think Karoo lamb and Cape Malay spices paired with the rich bounty of nearby farmlands. Lunch is a low-key affair to be enjoyed at leisure, while on fine evenings dinner is served in the outside boma. With a whisky in hand and only the next day’s adventures to contemplate, travel tales

are told around the crackling campfire. As rangers share the stories of the San’s rich heritage, the dry firewood sends a shower of sparks up into a Karoo sky washed with stars. The San believed it was ashes from a fire such as this that formed those stars, cinders thrown into the night sky by a headstrong young girl. With their paintings on the rocks and memories in the soil, the stories – and visions – of the San are everywhere at Sanbona, but especially here, in the valley of the ancients. n Richard Holmes

A three-hour drive from Cape Town, Sanbona boasts 54 000 hectares of undulating mountains and plains, indigenous flora and fauna, rock formations and rock art. It’s a member of the Shamwari Group, a private collection of award-winning five-star game reserves in southern Africa.


White Pearl Resorts, Ponta Mamoli ∙ Mozambique

On the edge of the world Situated in a magnificent location just south of Maputo, and blessed with endless beaches and far-reaching views of the aquamarine Indian Ocean, this exclusive resort is a welcome addition to Mozambique.

S

ixty years ago, what is now Maputo was a playground for many a holidaymaker. Come summertime, the city’s stylish hotels, restaurants and cafés saw throngs of fashionable visitors making the most of the palm-treed paradise, sipping coffee and enjoying spiced Portuguese-Mozambican cuisine. Meanwhile in the more remote areas, rudimentary camps and lodges sprung

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up, ticking the boxes for those who didn’t mind roughing it, and who visited the country more for its extraordinary natural beauty, unspoilt beaches and dive sites than the allure of a glamorous holiday. Much has changed in the country since, but with political stability and the development of the tourism industry, so visitor numbers to Mozambique have increased, and likewise the demand for

luxury boltholes has grown. The arrival of White Pearl Resorts, Ponta Mamoli reflects the demands of a jet-set clientele that relishes the opportunity to enjoy the luxurious details of a sophisticated resort, yet still wants a remote location on a pristine stretch of coastline. Situated a mere 25 kilometres south of Maputo, this exclusive escape is a rarity indeed as, more often than not in


Mozambique, visitors have to travel great distances by road or by air to reach any of the country’s five-star lodge and hotel experiences. The first property of its kind in these unspoilt southern reaches of the country, guests can access the resort by road (from the South African border it is about a 90-minute or 100-kilometre transfer) or – if they prefer, as many do – by a short and scenic helicopter flight. Once an unassuming and rustic destination famed for its world-class diving, White Pearl Resorts, Ponta Mamoli focuses on maintaining its unique location and breathtaking natural surrounds as the heroes. Each of the newly completed 22 suites is designed to blend into the lush environment as a sleek ‘beach bungalow’. Inside, interiors are an exercise in pareddown modern style, featuring a blue-andwhite palette with hints of glamour in the decorative details and décor nuances. Designed by renowned hotel, lodge and restaurant design specialist, Chris Browne, the Mid Century Modern style is something of a nod to the country's mid20th-century heyday.

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Each of the suites comes complete with style-driven furnishings in tactile linens and cottons, 400-count bed linen, every mod con imaginable (from flatscreen TVs to air-conditioning) and even a plunge pool. Most importantly, each haven features uninterrupted Indian Ocean views - thus ticking all the boxes for the guest who seeks both style and sanctuary. Although there is a seemingly endless menu of activities for guests to enjoy, the resort and suites are designed so that doing as little as possible and simply enjoying the incredible location is very much a part of the plan. Superb diving ensures those who are keen underwater fans can get up close and personal with the pristine coral reefs and the creatures that call the waters here home. If you’re here at the right time of year, you may even witness the extraordinary spectacle of endangered loggerhead and leatherback turtles laying their eggs. There's also deep-sea fishing, kayaking and horseriding along beautiful nature trails. And for those whose main priority is to recharge their batteries,

PhotograPhs: white Pearl resorts, Ponta mamoli

The design and the palette of each chic suite reflects the seaside surrounds with a discreet nod to Mid Century Modern mores.


what more could one ask for after a long walk on the beach than a massage in the comfort of your suite? Inspired by the beach clubs of Ibiza and the likes of Nikki Beach in Marbella, the resort’s central guest area epitomises ‘beach chic’, complete with an almost all-white interior, low- slung sleek white leather couches, sophisticated lighting and an expansive deck with four-poster wooden loungers looking out to sea - a place where glamorous parties after days on the beach certainly wouldn’t go amiss. The lounge and bar offers sunkissed guests a chance to dress up as little or as much as they want and to linger over sunset cocktails while enjoying the mix of tapas on offer, but in true ‘who cares’ style, shoes are of course strictly optional. Later, once it’s time for dinner, the focus shifts to the cuisine on offer and, to a soundtrack of waves breaking on the beach, the staff share the specials on

the menu – many of them, of course, seafood based. The focus here is on authenticity with the seasonal menus featuring typical Mozambican-Portuguese specialities. Couple this with the cocktails and excellent wines on offer and it’s no wonder that this sexy spot is making a name for itself as one of Mozambique’s most sophisticated secrets. Thanks to its convenient location so close to the South African border, the resort is a perfect partner to a safari experience and, already since its opening just a few months ago, many guests have paid this style-driven escape a visit after time spent in the bush. It's proximity to buzzing Maputo also offers visitors an opportunity to step into its sanctuary with the minimum of effort, allowing them to focus on the task at hand: to unwind and soak up the serenity and extraordinary surrounds that make this getaway so unique. n Vicki Sleet

The resort is designed to encourage guests to do as little or as much as they wish with plenty of spaces for idle reflection.

White Pearl Resorts, Ponta Mamoli

Zitundo, MoZaMbique Telephone: +27 (0)35 592 8100/1 email: reservations @whitepearlresorts.com Website: www.whitepearlresorts.com The resort is easily accessible by road but flying in by helicopter is the most exciting way to arrive and gives a sense of the geography of the coastline.

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The Royal Livingstone ∙ Zambia

Lounging under rainbows as a mighty river thunders past

At the Victoria Falls, the wide Zambezi river plummets more than 100 metres to create one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders – it’s a sight to behold, the force of the cascading wall of water sending up a plume of spray that can be seen for miles around, and throwing sparkling rainbows high into the sky. Situated just upstream from this natural wonder, The Royal Livingstone provides a luxurious, riverfront base from which to explore all this fascinating corner of Zambia has to offer. Opulent Living

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N

A portrait of Dr David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer who was the first European to see Victoria Falls, hangs above the fireplace in the cosy guest lounge.

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orth or south? Left or right? Zimbabwe or Zambia? The debate over which side of the Zambezi River offers the best view of the world-famous Victoria Falls has raged for years. But when you’re sitting on the Sun Deck of the The Royal Livingstone hotel – a cold Mosi Lager in hand – the answer appears all too obvious. Situated just upstream from the World Heritage Site ‘discovered’ by David Livingstone in 1855, this plush establishment pays homage to the great Scottish explorer who gave his name to this laid-back town on the river’s Zambian bank. With only the Zambezi’s gentle waters between the hotel’s Sun Deck and the roaring falls known locally as Mosi-oaTunya, the famous ‘smoke that thunders’ seems almost within arm’s length as you gaze across at the famous plume of spray that rises from the depths of the Batoka Gorge. Waiters in starched whites boast smiles as wide as the river as they offer cocktails and champagne. Flames flicker in hurricane lanterns and the sky turns to fiery red as the sun disappears beneath the waters upstream. In the evening gloaming the throaty grunts of hippo echo across the river; a reminder that this corner of Africa is wild, despite the opulent surrounds. And the luxury here is as abundant as the warm African sun, with colonial comfort that offers a gentle nod to the European history that flows through the region. The hotel’s 173 rooms stretch out along the banks of the Zambezi, ensuring that the resort never feels too crowded. Deep baths allow you to wallow with your memories of the day, before a good night’s rest in kingsize beds swathed in crisp white linen. Decorated in colours that embody the warmth of Africa, each offers a private shady veranda with gorgeous river views (for a taste of true opulence, the Luxury and Presidential Suites also include sumptuous lounges and private dining areas). With cool tiles underfoot, ceilings fans waft the soft Zambezi air across a

room instilled with the soul of Africa: furniture is crafted from rich hardwoods, while objets d’art discreetly decorate quiet corners. Corners where a deep chaise longue, or perhaps a cosy armchair, urges you to linger awhile. As your days flow by like the mighty Zambezi, there are always calm eddies when you can sit back and savour your time in a wild land. As the only five-star hotel – on either side of the Zambezi River – with direct access to the Victoria Falls, The Royal Livingstone certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to filling your days with African adventure. No surprise then, that it was voted in the world’s top 100 hotels by readers of America’s prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine. It is situated in the heart of the 46-hectare Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, so you can either explore the falls at your leisure or opt for a guided tour to discover the secrets of the dramatic Batoka Gorge. The National Wildlife Park stretches 12 kilometres upstream from the Victoria Falls, and game drives throughout the day allow you to discover the endangered rhino, ponderous giraffe and stately antelope that call the park home. If you’re lucky, you could marvel at the sight of elephant swimming across the Zambezi to graze in this protected haven. For something more adventurous, brave the world-famous rapids below the falls with a river-rafting adventure, or soar above the thundering smoke on a helicopter or microlight flight. Experience an elephant-back ride through the emerald-green bushveld, or perhaps cast a line for the Zambezi’s fearsome tiger fish. A bungee jump off the iconic railway bridge across the gorge is the perfect way to seal a day of outdoor adventures. Or you could slow your pace to that of the sedate Zambezi, which flows just a few steps from the hotel’s riverfront Royal Spa. In the embrace of an open-air gazebo, carefully hidden away to ensure absolute privacy, indulge in a selection of African-inspired treatments created to pamper body and soul. Then cool off in the sparkling pool with its riverfront


Luxury suites include a lounge area that leads onto a private veranda and beautiful Victorianstyle toiletries that recall the area’s colonial heritage. The sparkling riverside pool provides the perfect spot to unwind after a morning spent exploring the nearby falls.

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Watch the sun set from the banks of the Zambezi, then head indoors for an à la carte feast in the Livingstone Dining Room.

vistas, where loungers will tempt you to soak up the warmth of the Zambian sun. However you choose to while away your days, they should always end with a sundowner on the riverside Sun Deck. Watch rainbows dance across the smoke that thunders, and keep an ear out for the distinctive cry of the African fish eagle. This black-and-white sentry is the icon of the Zambezi, and its ghostly call will be etched into your memory long after the sun has set. The setting sun should also be your cue to listen for ‘All Aboard’. Exclusive to the The Royal Livingstone hotel, The Royal Livingstone Express offers a journey back in time with a trip on a vintage steam train deep into the Zambezi Valley. Offering all the charm of a bygone era, the immaculately restored air-conditioned carriages date back nearly a century, and are pulled along these historic tracks by a 10 Class steam locomotive that is no stranger to these rails; for years it was used on the Mulobezi Line to haul timber to the railhead in Livingstone. Nowadays its work is more sedate, powering five Pullman-style coaches on a scenic journey through the Mosi-oa-

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Tunya National Park and out into the pristine bush flanking the Sinde River. While you enjoy evening drinks and the gentle rocking along the rails, keep an eye out for glimpses of white rhino, kudu and buffalo in the beautiful mopane woodland. Elephant are plentiful here too, but rest assured that the train driver keeps a careful eye out for any advancing pachyderms! As darkness falls, the train manager ushers passengers into the elegant dining car, where a six-course feast prepared by chefs from The Royal Livingstone awaits. Damask linen and crystal glassware are de rigeur, of course, with fine wines and cold beers included in the fare. The gentle return journey towards Livingstone ends at the Mulobezi siding, and a short drive back to the riverside setting of the hotel. This scenic rail journey is not to be missed, but even with your feet firmly on the ground, a stay at the Royal Livingstone offers a superb epicurean experience. Whet your appetite with a drink in the historic lounge and bar, where deep couches frame a stone fireplace that wouldn’t be out of place in an English


3579/11_E_08

wanteddesign.co.za

Dating back to 1692, Spier’s vinous history is as old as the farm itself.

Spier’s award-winning 21 Gables Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines celebrate the legacy of winemaking in South Africa, as well as our farm’s unique architectural feature – an unrivalled 21 Cape Dutch Gables.

Not for Sale to Persons Under the Age of 18


Take afternoon tea out on the veranda or in the cosy lounge, then spend the evening aboard The Royal Livingstone Express, enjoying a six-course meal and glorious bush scenes.

The Royal Livingstone

Livingstone, Zambia Telephone: +27 (0)11 780 7800 Email: zambia.reservations @zm.suninternational.com Website: www.suninternational.com

PhoTogRaPhS: ThE RoyaL LiViNgSToNE

The Royal Livingstone is part of the Sun international group of hotels and is situated on the Zambian bank of the Victoria Falls. it is served by direct flights (2-3hrs) from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nelspruit. hunting lodge. The old world meets new Africa. Then wander through to the elegant Livingstone Dining Room, which mixes modern sophistication with a dash of old-world style. Its Ă  la carte menu is popular with both residents and visitors, so reservations are essential. And if the skies are clear, there is no more romantic spot in Africa than a candlelit table on the terrace, where the

gurgling of the Zambezi drifts up across the lawns. On the menu, an impressive array of dishes will tempt and please any palate. Perfectly grilled game steaks, or fish fresh from the Zambezi accompany oceanic delights and mouth-watering desserts. Choose a vintage red from the wine list, or slake your thirst with an ice-cold local beer, and toast yet another great day in Africa. n Richard Holmes

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the man behind the legend the story of a boy who set out on a nickel and a prayer to take on the world, and became the man we call the 'Black Knight'. by Ian Macleod

golfing maverick in her own right, came along to the interview with Gary, and recalled how much the golfer inspired her as a young girl.

Welcome Ever the good host, Player offers his guests “the best coffee you’ll ever have in your life”. the man himself doesn’t usually drink it, but he makes an exception when at home on the

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farm, “because the water is in the top three in the world,” he explains. Beverages made, he leads the way to the patio where he points out the stairway on the side of a nearby hill – just one of the marks of his irrepressible energy that dot the landscape. “My Wall of China – it took me a year to build,” he says, before settling down to chat. The boy never given a thing he didn’t fight for, Player attributes his unrelenting drive to a boyhood ingrained by hardship. “i was poor and i had a very difficult time as a young child; going to school an hourand-a-half each way, playing sport, coming home, my mother’s dead, my father’s working in the gold mine, my brother’s at war and my sister’s at boarding school. i had to struggle. so when i played golf it was easy compared to the struggle i’d had. i never choked because, although it was tough to win those Major championships, a lot of pressure for the average person, for me it wasn’t as much because subconsciously i had made a comparison to the difficulties i’d had.” of course, like any lad with a goal, Player had a hero he looked up to, whose movements

PhotograPhs: florian gast

Sally Little, a South African

Who is this man so debonair in black with silver-streaked hair and a smile of content ambition? to the hallowed fairways of golf’s great theatres he is a conqueror, unbending in pursuit of victory. to the country of his birth, an ambassador. and to lovers of athletic pursuit everywhere, he is a paragon of all that is good about sport. Everywhere he goes he is gary Player, the Black Knight. long admirers of the champion golfer, opulent living’s florian gast and Barbara lenhard wanted to know more about this fabled character. accompanied by mutual friend and ladies’ golfing legend sally little, they recently met Player on his stud farm outside Colesberg, deep in south africa’s Karoo desert, where a fuller picture of the great man emerged. here, on land he chose, beside fences he built and gardens he planted, they discovered the grandfather, the businessman and the thinker – the poor boy from Johannesburg who became an icon.


Gary Player, ‘the Black Knight’, is chivalry and determination personified on his farm near Colesberg.


kisses the hallowed turf of the 18th green at Augusta to cap his 51st Masters appearance in 2008 (above). Player strikes one of golf’s iconic images as he closes out his 52nd and final Masters in 2009, aged 74 (opposite).

“ „ You have to work for

everything. That was the good

thing for me coming up as a young person: there was no

such thing as entitlement in

my life. You can say, ‘I have the opportunity.’ That’s the

important thing, that you have the opportunity.

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he studied and who filled his chest with competitive fire. “Ben Hogan: he was just the best. As simple as that. And I still think he’s the best player that ever lived. Why? It’s like saying Pelé was the best. Talent? I don’t know. You can’t describe why someone is a champion in life.” Becoming a man At 16, and still a schoolboy at the famous sporting nursery that is King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, the tenacious Player decided he wanted to become the best golfer in the world. “When I told my father I was going to be a pro he nearly had a heart attack, because he had told my mother before she died that I’d probably go to university. He had never seen me hit a golf ball. I had a zero handicap but so did lots of kids. He asked me, ‘Do you think you’re doing the right thing?’ and I said, ‘Yes, because I will out-practise everybody.’ So I did, I out-practised everybody. Today, this pair of hands has hit more golf balls than any other.” Player set about achieving his dream the only way he knew how: hard work. Training in all the spare time he had, he worked as a teaching golf professional and saved whatever money he could for his passage to Britain, and the big time. Once in England, young Player continued grafting like he had promised his father, earning money wherever he could. Sally Little, who has known Gary all her life through her father, recalls seeing photos from that time

that show what a sacrifice this was. “I recall at the age of eight or nine seeing pictures of Gary when he was in England. He was wearing those suspenders and pants, washing dishes to earn some money to keep going. I remember it so well.” But instead of tiring him out, the work nourished Player and grew his understanding that the world owes you nothing. “Entitlement. Entitlement is a big problem in the world – when you think you’re owed something. You have to work for everything. That was the good thing for me coming up as a young person: there was no such thing as entitlement in my life. It didn’t exist. There wasn’t such a word in my mind. You can say, ‘I have the opportunity.’ That’s the important thing, that you have the opportunity.” The more he practised, the ‘luckier’ he got Standing just five foot seven inches in a boyishly light frame, Player lacked the natural physique to take on the ballistic hitting of arch nemeses Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. So, even though it meant pioneering a new approach to eating and training, he overcame. With voracious dedication, Player turned his compact body into tempered steel with diet and gym programmes that were decades ahead of their time. “In America they used to say I was crazy, that you cannot do weights and play golf. One of the famous architects said I would not last to 35 because the night before I won the US Open I was squatting with 324 pounds on my back. He saw this and said ‘You’re mad!’ But

PHOTOGrAPHS: AP ImAGES

Farewell for now: Player


when my opponents were sleeping, I was in gyms and I was practising – I out-practised them and I out-exercised them.” And he hasn’t stopped. “I’ve cut out all animal fats: milk, meat, etc. The fats are what is killing people. And most people don’t worry about health, even though it’s the most important thing. I’m 76 and I’m still fit. Yesterday I did a thousand sit-ups at the gym.” Just then, as if on cue, a small and sleepyeyed figure appears. It’s one of Player’s 21 grandchildren, visiting from home in America. “Good morning!” shouts the proud grandpa, “How are you? Was that you snoring last night?” A little voice retorts, “No”. “You wanna see this little guy here,” continues Player, “He looks like Nadal, look at him. And he is so fit. How many push-ups can you do?”. “67”, comes the answer. “67 push-ups!” exclaims perhaps the world’s fittest grandpa, through a beaming smile.

with the famous sporting grit and ruthless training he’d employed to defeat all comers so far. But by now he was a worldly fellow who had met all manner of characters on his travels and conversed with paupers and presidents. He turned to his wits and growing charm to strike a victory for equality in his divided homeland. “I came back home in 1970 and we actually broke the apartheid barrier in golf – I brought Lee Elder, the black golfer, to South Africa. I had to go and ask for permission from the prime minister, Mr. Voster at that time, and I played some golf with him, too. I was criticised for doing that, but if the president of China invited me to play with him, I’d play

A mAn of iconic poses

The target Having beaten poverty, silenced the critics who decried his swing as unwieldy and built up the body of an Olympian, Gary Player’s glittering career collided with an opponent no athlete should have to face. Now a multiple Major winner, he became the target of furious demonstrations against the politics of a country he had left as a young man. Even 10 000 kilometres from the epicentre of apartheid, he could not escape the growing backlash of the much-reviled system. “You know, it’s been a difficult life, very different to any other athlete’s. They called me a traitor. There were demonstrations, death threats, people charging me, throwing ice in my eyes. Imagine walking to the tee and they throw ice at your eyes? And telephone books at the top of your swing so you hurt your back! Every week people threatened to kill me. I had policemen walking around with me at every tournament, every hotel. I wasn’t even allowed to play in Japan for 18 years. Once at the PGA Championship at Dayton, Ohio I was busy putting when I saw balls come rolling through my legs. I lost by one shot, and that was probably the best tournament of my life. To have all that going on and lose at a Major championship….” This was a dilemma Player couldn’t resolve

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“ „ Luxury for me is sitting on top of that mountain with

my wife and my dog and my

grandchildren; hearing the

birds and seeing the animals.

Sally Little’s passion for golf and charity are reminiscent of the man who helped shape her successful career.

with him - it doesn’t mean I’m a communist. I don’t worry what their political views are. But it turned out to my advantage. When I went to Voster’s office to say I’d like to bring Lee Elder out, expecting the staunch believer in apartheid to say, ‘Get out of my office!’ he told me to go ahead. Then Lee was put under great pressure in America not to come. I thought Lee did an incredible job and he was never given the recognition in America for that; and I was never given the recognition in South Africa – never.” The legend Yet to retire in any conventional sense of the word, Gary Player can look back on a lifetime of golfing achievement only comparable to those of the most revered names the game has seen. His inaugural Major victory was the British Open of 1959 and two years later he became the first international (non-American) Masters champion. With his win at the 1965 US Open he became the third man ever to complete golf’s coveted career Grand Slam: victories at all four of the sport’s flagship events. Closer to home, he also won a record 13 South African Opens. But perhaps most revealing of the man’s competitive drive is his match play record. He never appeared more lucidly devastating than in this combative format, squared up to just one opponent at a time in an hours-long battle of strategy, resilience and nerve. He won the World Match Play Championship five times, including memorable triumphs over the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, in 1966 and 1971. But from these myriad achievements, the Black Knight’s choice of professional highlight may surprise many. “Being the only man in the world to have won the Grand Slam on both the regular tour and the senior tour.” The family man Reminiscing, it also becomes clear that Player’s golfing highs are only part of what fulfils him. For decades he toured the professional golf circuit with wife Vivienne, six children, a nanny and a tutor. In fact, he may be the most travelled man to have lived. Today, as the spry grandpa sits back on the farm he spent nearly four decades building, the joy his loved ones give him is palpable “If you could see the love that I get from my

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grandchildren. They all sit on my lap, touching my ear – like you saw with the boys just now on the veranda. I have incredible love for my children and my grandchildren. The tragedy of my life was always saying goodbye, saying goodbye, saying goodbye. Big sacrifice.” The admirer One might expect a man who has achieved on the edge of human possibility for so long to have no need for role models of his own. But when asked who inspires him – who he would invite to his ultimate round of golf – Player answers promptly and with an energy that betrays his gratitude. “The five heroes I have are Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela – I’m such an admirer of Mandela – Mother Theresa, Mahatma Ghandi and Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore. The inspiration Just like these exalted names have motivated Player, Sally Little recalls the day the rising star helped inspire her to an illustrious 30year career on the ladies’ professional tour. “Gary was very influential to me when I was growing up because there were no women that I could dream to be like. So I used to watch him whenever I could. I’ll never forget that day when I was 12 or 13 years old and Gary came to our club, Metropolitan, in Cape Town. He gave a clinic, and he pulled me out of the crowd to have a shot in front of him. I was already scared, and then he gave me a one-iron. Now, what was I going to do with that? But I was so happy to have this club – and what a memory!” The philanthropist Having never forgotten what it’s like to be poor, Player speaks of destitution and hunger as a virus in need of eradication. “What upsets me most in the world is poverty. And it’s unnecessary – the world is in a position to prevent it. There’s just so much waste. You go to a restaurant and they give you all this food, but you can’t eat that much and you waste it. You know, I’ve seen a man pay £75 000 for a bottle of wine. Think about what that money could have done for people in a squatter camp. But golfers have raised more money for charity than any other sport. It’s not even close. My foundation has tournaments at


082240

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The performance enhanced 165 kW V6 CDI 3.0 litre diesel pumps out 440 Nm torque and operates in alliance with a sports suspension. Its a fitting tribute to our 125th anniversary and we invite you to contact your nearest Mercedes-Benz Van dealer for more information, telephone 0800 133 355 or visit www.mercedes-benz.co.za/van


The Sally Little ‘Golf & Safari Tour 2013’ A Royal African Travel exclusive

S A L LY G O L F

LITTLE TO U R S

Sally Little Golf Tours are exclusive to Royal African Travel.

Come play golf with me! Your 10-day golf and safari experience, from 23 January to 2 February 2013 includes:

More golf tours and tailor-made packages can be found on our website.

• Touring Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Eastern Cape with Sally Little and a professional tour manager • 4 nights at 5* Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town, including breakfast and dinner • 4 nights at famous 5*golfing estate, Fancourt, including breakfast, dinner and one spa treatment • 2 nights at the renowned 5* Shamwari Game Reserve, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, high tea, two games drives a day, guided walks and selected beverages) • 3 lunches and 6 halfway house snacks • A tour of the Cape Peninsula and of Knysna • 6 green fees and carts – at Steenberg, Clovelly, Pearl Valley, Montagu, The Links at Fancourt and Pezula ZAR 52,800.– per person sharing, single supplement on request, limited to 15 people.

For more information and bookings please contact us: SA UK USA D/A/CH

+27 +44 + 1 +49

(0)21 300 2333 (0)20 3318 7373 (0)202 552 2325 (0)89 210 948 94

golf@royalafricantravel.com www.royalafricantravel.com


Fancourt, at Blair Atholl – big tournaments and that’s how we raise money.” Sally Little confirms a similar level of altruism in the ladies’ game. As the global ambassador for breast cancer foundation Komen, she’s at the forefront of this impressive drive. “The amount of money the LPGA has donated to charity is amazing. We even have thermography units that come on tour for the public to get screened for breast cancer. It’s a wonderful thing to do. I’ve also started my own foundation for women’s cancer in this country and represent Pam Golding as a golf ambassador where we run a series of tournaments locally for lady golfers.” The legend at leisure So he farms and lifts weights and helps the poor, but does the self-confessed workaholic and veritable jackrabbit of a man ever rest? Is there space for indulgence in the jet-setting life of an indefatigable 76-year-old? Of course there is. “Luxury for me is sitting on top of that mountain with my wife and my dog and my grandchildren; hearing the birds and seeing the animals.” Then there is his passion for horses. Player recalls the origin of his fascination with these majestic beasts as a trip to a friend’s farm as a child. The thrill of that first ride never left him, and in 1974 he bought this barren patch of earth where he’s sitting today, and built it into one of the country’s top producers of thoroughbreds. Of course, he still chases little dimpled spheres around the countryside when he can. Now one of the world’s foremost designers, his interest in course architecture is well known, too. And with the experience of over 350 Gary Player signature tracks around the world, you’ll forgive him for picking out his own designs (or ones he’s contributed to) as his favourites to play in South Africa. “You’ve got to go to Sun City and you’ve got to go to The Links at Fancourt - it’s just been put in the top 100 courses worldwide. I’d say for enjoyment, Durban Country Club. Then there’s Blair Atholl, a real championship course. Finally there’s Leopard Creek. Where else in the world do you have a course like that with such a magnificent clubhouse and homes right in the wild? It’s unique.

The immortal Black Knight As morning transforms to afternoon, one final question for the man who’s been posed so many over half a century: What is the one thing he has always wanted to be asked? “It’s a controversial one: Do I want to be to be buried or cremated? I think I’d like to be cremated. I don’t see why you should have a grave and prevent people building or having a highway. That’s just for the living. You’ve had your turn, now you’re going to another place.” On that reminder that we all are mortal, no matter the heights we achieve, there is no doubt that while one day the time will come for Gary Player the man, his legend will live on for as long as the rest of us need heroes and fathers and champions.

FAST FACTS Born: 1 November 1935, Johannesburg, South Africa. Turned professional: 1953. Major titles: 9 (3 Masters; 3 British Opens; 2 PGA Championships; 1 US Open). Holds the record for South African Open victories with 13. Inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Asked to unite golf’s “Big Three” by joining Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as an honorary starter at the 2012 Masters.

I'M 76 AND I'M STILL FIT

An appreciative champion, Player never failed to acknowledge applause with a tip of the hat and a smile.

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The Owner's Cottage at Grande Provence ∙ South Africa

Villa in the vineyards Nestled among the vines on this historic Franschhoek wine farm, The Owner’s Cottage at Grande Provence invites complete relaxation amid welcoming interiors that blend both period grandeur and contemporary style. The ultimate escape, this boutique retreat is an inviting hideaway for all seasons.

A

lex van Heeren knows that privacy is the world’s most sought-after luxury, but he also has an eye for property in unique places. So, when he was looking for a sister property to his award-winning Huka Lodge in New Zealand and Dolphin Island in Fiji, he chose none other than the historic wine estate of Grande Provence in Franschhoek. Minutes away from the characterful village that has become the gourmet capital of the Cape, steeped in Huguenot history and surrounded by peaceful vineyards and majestic mountains, the wine estate has flourished under his ownership. Besides producing award-

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winning wines, The Restaurant at Grande Provence is rated in the top 10 in South Africa. Here visitors can enjoy Executive Chef Darren Roberts’s food under the gracious oaks or in its elegant interiors. There are also estate wines to be sampled in The Tasting Room, before enjoying the latest exhibition of contemporary art and sculpture in the The Gallery. But what most visitors don’t realise is that, hidden away in the middle of the vineyards, is the very beautiful, exclusive-use Owner’s Cottage, a haven of tranquillity and discreet comfort leading onto a pool and private entertaining area. It is a truly spectacular setting for intimate weddings, or for a group of

friends to enjoy on a weekend together. And for those in the know, there’s a spa pool suspended high above the vines with a 360-degree view of the valley – the staircase leading skywards at the end of the swimming pool is the only clue.... Of course, every interior style tells a story, but this one is woven like a silk thread through all three of Alex’s properties. They are all the work of New Zealandbased interior designer, Virginia Fisher. Her style perfectly fits the boutique farmhouse look – unpretentious and timeless, yet reflecting its earthy surrounds and historic heritage with the best of natural fabrics. Her palettes of charcoal grey and white linen are


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A blend of history and contemporary architecture: the 300-year-old Manor House and The Gallery, well known for its collection of contemporary local artists.

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Opulent Living

anchored by carefully chosen antiques and bespoke pieces. And while Virginia’s style in the 18th-century Manor House and The Owner’s Cottage reflect their Huguenot heritage, The Restaurant and The Tasting Room have a chic and somewhat industrial style with steel joinery, galvanised metal and skylights that set the design approach apart from the more historical Cape Dutch. Virginia explains her choice: “In essence, Grande Provence is an estate of senses, providing guests with a full working farm experience, with spaces to be used and spaces to be admired, and these expanses of space allow us to do that. The two design styles are harmonised by a complementary palette, but time separates them.” The sensual journey is also pulled together by the clean landscaping lines given to the garden, lawns and water features around the restaurant and gallery areas. They’re perfectly balanced


The chic interiors of The Tasting Room and The Restaurant at Grande Provence all lead out to beautifully landscaped gardens and water features.

and blend beautifully with the gracious Manor House, with its 300-year-old oaks and manicured hedges, beyond. The Manor House is one of the most outstanding examples of Cape Dutch architecture in the valley and was first owned by French Protestant Pierre Joubert. His story is fascinating: he hid his bible in a loaf of bread and fled his home town of La Motte-d’Aigues in Provence to avoid religious persecution. In 1694 he arrived in Olifantshoek or ‘Elephants Corner’ in the Cape, later to be renamed Franschhoek. Having remarried another passenger on board ship after his wife died on the same voyage, Pierre and his new wife, Isabeau Richarde, prospered on their farm, soon acquiring other local farms, including Belingchamp (now Bellingham), La Motte, L’Ormarins and La Roche. These farms are all still in existence today. Pierre died in 1732, at age 67, leaving

acres of vineyards for generations to come. Two of the estate’s wines are named after the next owner, Count Riccardo Agusta, an entrepreneur and nature conservationist. Then fast forward to 2004, when new Dutch and Belgian owners transformed the estate by indulging their passions for good food and wine. Darren Roberts took up his role as Executive Chef at The Restaurant in 2010 and has continued to keep the accolades rolling in. His menus are wonderfully inspirational, drawing international and local diners from far and wide. “I am truly passionate in my commitment to learning about new food cultures, then blending the various techniques and ingredients in my own way, to create a unique and distinctive fusion,” says Darren. “This pays homage to and often references the great culinary classics, while hopefully taking diners on a wonderful and exciting culinary journey.”

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The travertine-tiled pool courtyard at The Owner’s Cottage leads off welcoming living areas with log fires for chilly evenings.

Darren’s humour is delightful too. His advice to guests as they ponder the menu? “Please feel free to choose your courses as you wish – there is no order in the sense of starter, main, dessert. If you feel you would like to start off with a dessert and duck followed by the quail, then this is your choice!” The duck in question is slow-cooked to perfection and served with grilled lobster, green olives, dates, sweetcorn polenta, walnut arancini poppers and chutney jus – a veritable explosion of flavours. And to finish, one might be tempted by the playful banana parfait with Valrhona chocolate mousse, salted caramel, peanut brittle and mini marshmallows.

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At The Jonkershuis, there’s private dining in an elegant and intimate setting. Statement chandeliers, made with recycled wine bottles, and roaring fireplaces keep things cosy in the evenings. Special dinners, small weddings, functions and boutique conferences are held here with a maximum of 30 guests. And between The Jonkershuis and The Restaurant is The Gallery at Grande Provence, opened in 2008 and now established as a leading location for contemporary South African art and sculpture, with some of the best-known artists drawing collectors from around the globe. It also features jewellery, glass and ceramics, with exhibitions changing every six weeks. Many of the artists and craftspeople also display their work for sale in The Shop. But no visit to Grande Provence is complete without a wine tasting and time spent touring the winery. Awardwinning winemaker Jaco Marais has once again received international recognition at The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in 2011. The Grande Provence Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 won a gold medal and the estate’s flagship wine, The Grande Provence, won a double gold medal. And of course, the best way to experience the estate’s true beauty is to stay the night in The Owner’s Cottage. Available on an exclusive-use basis, it has five beautifully designed bedrooms, one of which is a honeymoon suite. All are havens of luxury and fully equipped with discreet technology for both business and leisure travellers, including surround sound,


What’s the best bed in the world? We’ll let you answer that. Sleep is a truly personal thing. That’s why no one – but you – can say what’s the best bed for you. We can however offer some advice. Choose one that’s hand-made, using only all-natural materials. One with uncompromisable quality that lasts forever. And comes with a 25-year warranty to boot. Now, is this the best bed in the world? Well, let’s just say it’s a Hästens. You decide.

HÄSTENS STORE CAPE TOWN 55 Somerset Road, Corner Somerset & Highfield Road Green Point, 8005 Cape Town +(27) 021 418 0434 info@hastenscapetown.co.za Opening shortly in Johannesburg!

www.hastens.com


Thoughtful touches in each of the suites and the softest linen make it hard to leave this secret gem in the winelands.

PhoToGrAPhS: GrAndE ProvEnCE

satellite television (disguised in a console at the foot of the bed), a comprehensive CD and DVD collection and Wi-Fi. The living area flows beautifully into a large conservatory with doors that slide back to reveal the garden and swimming pool area. “Lush lawns edged with dark green hedges contrast with creamy travertine tiles and inset pebbles, while white walls delineate the deck chairs and lounging areas, juxtaposing the cool and crisp swimming pool. Harmony permeates

every angle,” says Virginia, who intended this to be a heavenly retreat for all, including families with children. It’s no surprise then that it was named one of the “10 Most Fabulous Villas in the World” by Harpers Bazaar, and that Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report named it as the 2009 Grand Winner. It was also voted Best Hotel in the Best of SA awards by House and Leisure magazine. Awards of distinction for a distinctive property. n Michelle Snaddon

Grande Provence

Franschhoek, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 876 8600 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 876 8601 Email: enquiries @grandeprovence.co.za Website: www.grandeprovence.co.za Grande Provence is approximately an hour’s drive from Cape Town.


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Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge ∙ South Africa

Between heaven and earth Sculpted into the slopes of the Mpumalanga lowveld is Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, where the land meets the sky and modern safari design meets the soul of Africa. This multi-award-winning game lodge epitomises luxury with a heart – and the groundbreaking architectural masterpiece has been given a fresh new look that draws on the richness of the earth's mineral wealth and reconfirms its status as a jewel in the Sabi Sand crown.

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Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge melds unspoilt African bush with sinuous contemporary architecture, low-tech raw materials with high-end soft furnishings, and true wilderness with understated modern luxuries.

S

abi Sabi Earth Lodge is all but invisible in the landscape: from outside, the discreet entrance has just a single, sinuous path leading directly down into the earth itself. Inside, this winding corridor opens into an enormous entrance hall spectacularly backlit by the sweeping plains beyond. The synergy between the dramatic minimalism of the lodge and the savannah bushveld that embraces it is never more striking. Simplicity on a grand scale sets the scene for a drama in which the great outdoors is the hero: every eye is drawn outwards, past the magnificent water features cunningly sculpted from ancient, salvaged tree trunks to the waterhole, where hippos wallow and herds of waterbuck graze in the afternoon sun. The sensitivity of a design aesthetic that truly honours its surroundings is

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obvious throughout. Guests will find no extraneous paintings or knick-knacks to distract from nature’s canvas; no docking stations, hi-fis and televisions to compete with the soundtrack of the wind gently soughing through the grasses, or the songs of the more than 350 bird species that call this land home. Big game roams freely through the unfenced safari lodge, which lies in the heart of the 65 000-hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. Part of the Greater Kruger National Park, it’s one of the richest wildlife areas in South Africa and home to all the Big Five, as well as cheetah, wild dog, large herds of antelope, zebra and giraffe. Guests can expect to find waterbuck or kudu grazing on the turfed roof of their suite, and may even be lucky enough to spot elephant or buffalo from their private plunge pool.

At this environmentally sensitive lodge, renowned interior decorator Stephen Rich has crafted a subtle, glowing African masterpiece. The theme of the refurbishment? A celebration of the rich mineral wealth – gold, copper, silver, platinum and bronze – hidden deep beneath Africa’s earth. Luxurious veins of these precious elements are reflected in sophisticated furnishings and metallic objets d’art that form a glamorous foil to Earth Lodge’s rough, textured walls. Natural light plays an integral role, and Rich’s interior design capitalises cleverly on how it changes in colour and character as the day progresses – from the cool, pink tinges of dawn through the gold of morning and the sun-bleached white of midday to the long, copper rays of evening. Each of the 13 suites – including the ultra-luxurious Amber Presidential Suite decorated in colours that honour its name – glows with warmth. At every turn the changing light from a chandelier overhead creates a new reflection. The screeded floors polished to a dull shine are adorned with Nguni cow hides that shimmer with hints of gold, copper and silver. Handmade twig chandeliers with gilded metal branches twinkle softly, mirroring the night stars. As the sun sets, it becomes clear that the deliciously heavy, tactile linen throws adorning the kingsize beds are interwoven with gold threads that gleam in the evening rays. Even the wrapping of the indulgent bathroom soap has a subtle shimmer revealed only when the light is right. Each decor and furniture item is an original artwork that takes its cue from nature. Rich asked the Earth Lodge safari


PhoToGRAPhS: SAbi SAbi EARTh LodGE

guides to list their favourite endemic birds; now, perfect metal replicas peep out charmingly from the sculpted metal standard lamps, the hand-crafted struts of occasional tables and the romantic lantern stands that dot the grounds by night. Ottomans resemble a group of pebbles in a pond. Wooden art pieces – tables, benches and water features – were crafted by sculptor Geoffrey Armstrong from salvaged trees torn out of the bushveld by elephants and floods. Walls are decorated with great cross-sections of these magnificent trees in a comment on the artistry of Mother Nature herself. While guests may not want to leave the luxury of their suites, the comfortable day bar is the perfect place to relax between the morning and evening game drives and watch the parade of animals drinking at the waterhole beyond. Or why

not enjoy a holistic body treatment at the award-winning Amani Spa, decorated in understated Afro-chic style? Superb gourmet cuisine, fine wine and unmatched service are on offer in the open-walled dining area, which features massive handmade chandeliers constructed from gold, silver and bronze twigs that are perfect replicas of those found in the surrounding bush. Or eat outdoors in the boma, its walls sculpted from tree roots, where the drama of the wilderness at night is close enough to touch. And for a meal that is truly memorable, gather round the heavy stone-topped dining table that sits in an ankle-deep pool of water. Watch the lanterns twinkling and the stars rising in the endless indigo sky, as a magnificent day in the bush draws to a close. n Sue Gordon-Brown

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, SA Telephone: +27 (0)13 735 5261 Facsimile: +27 (0)13 735 5260 Email: res@sabisabi.com Website: www.sabisabi.com

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Sugar Beach Resort ∙ Mauritius

Savour the sweetness of relaxed island living

Turquoise blue lagoons, white sandy beaches, a subtropical climate, hospitable locals and food that combines the joys of Chinese, Indian, French and African cuisine; Mauritius is a paradise for holidaymakers. And there’s nowhere better to embrace its multi-faceted sweetness than at Sugar Beach, where you can enjoy the conviviality and vibrant atmosphere of beachfront bars and restaurants, the utter relaxation of a glorious spa, and the freedom of space offered by an expanse of sugar-soft sand and crystal-clear water. Opulent Living

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The entrance to the 12-hectare seafront resort gives a glimpse of the tropical gardens and glorious blue lagoon that await guests.

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n the leeward west coast of the island of Mauritius, aptly named the sunset coast, Sugar Beach has made stylish, plantation-style living its distinctive domain. This traditional sugar-plantation-style resort covers more than 12 hectares of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens bordering half a kilometre of white sandy beach and features elegant buildings comprising a central reception, a manor house and 16 villas containing either 10 or 12 rooms. Cool white lines and gabled roofs in sugared-almond colours sit among velvet green lawns and symmetrical palm avenues, a perfect blend of tropical lushness and modern contemporary lifestyle. Indeed, Sugar Beach harmonises opposites very successfully – it is elegant yet familiar, vibrant yet relaxed – with suites, eateries and facilities that appeal to families with small children or teenagers, as well as to newlywed or older couples, many of whom return to celebrate the anniversary of a honeymoon spent here many years ago. For many who’ve returned to it, Sugar Beach would have been transformed from what they remember, as it underwent a complete refurbishment in 2008 and reopened that August with a more contemporary feel, though retaining its plantation-style architecture. The interior design complements the theme. Mahogany furniture and king-size beds harmonise well with the soft finishes in tones of pale green and beige, and louvered shutters play with light and shade. Every room has its own private patio or balcony with easy chair, Ottoman and day bed looking out over a sprawl of palm trees and the azure pools and sea beyond. At the same time, black-out curtains ensure privacy and intimacy. What makes every Sugar Beach room and villa suite exceptional, be it standard or superior, are stylish yet understated touches – such as a single Calla lily in a vase atop the vanity or desk, a paisley print headboard and a collection of pictures depicting exotic Mauritian fruits. Comfortable beds with the finest white

linen, with options of a twin, kingsized or two queensized beds to accommodate adults or children sharing, ensure a wonderful night’s rest, and of course you have all the trimmings – well thoughtout lighting, LCD flatscreen TV, WiFi, and a fully stocked bar fridge. Mauritius is known for its excellent food, and at Sugar Beach you have a choice of four restaurants, each offering its own brand of cosmopolitan fare served up with local flavours. Mon Plaisir, the main, French pavement-café-style restaurant sprawled out below the reception area, serves breakfast from 4am and buffet dinners; Tides, a beachfront restaurant and bar specialises in seafood; Citronella’s Café, an Italian marketplace-style eatery offers light meals and authentic Italian cuisine; and Paul & Virginie, laid out under romantic thatched pavilions, is popular for its varied menu and a musthave signature dish, the palm heart salad. Aside from mixing the finest plantation rum cocktails, Tides bar also serves a great traditional five-o-clock tea, with cakes and pancakes, before turning into a sophisticated night spot with live music, entertainment and dancing to tunes spun by the resident DJ. Tides is also popular for its elaborate crustacean and seafood centrepiece counter, which appears to float on illuminated ice. Here you can compose your own seafood platter from fresh shellfish, mussels, oysters and a variety of sushi and sashimi. For those wanting the ultimate romantic dinner, Tides provides private thatched umbrellas along the beach, and the Beach Trolley caters for all needs. Between Mon Plaisir and Tides is the main swimming pool, its large expanse dotted with palm-tree-studded islands and surrounded by a spacious courtyard, which comes alive at night with romantic lights, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a small crafts market. In the day, the main pool and its surrounding decks offer fun and relaxation for all ages. Off to one side, across a series of stepping stones, is the specially designed kids’ area with walk-in beach edge. For a quieter experience, there’s the South Pool in the


The large resort swimming pool stretches down to the beach, where you’ll find Tides restaurant, which specialises in seafood and magnificent sunsets.

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The plantation-style architecture looks magical at night. Main restaurant Mon Plaisir leads out onto the pool deck and offers continental and cooked breakfasts as well as cosmopolitan buffet dinners.

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South Village, where you can spend the day simply wallowing in the cool water, or dozing on a sun lounger. A blessing for parents are the children’s facilities at Sugar Beach. Sun Kids Club, delightfully conceptualised on the house of sweets from Hansel and Gretel, caters for children from four to 11 years – for littlies of two- or three-years-old, a qualified babysitter is on hand. The club provides exciting, ultra cool and imaginative daily programmes that are age-appropriate and change daily, and dinner time is a special event every evening with a selection of menus, buffets and barbeques, which all take place under the supervision of specially trained hostesses. Sun Kids Club is open 12 hours a day, so you can get the real break you need for a lazy lunch and a walk along the beach, yet be just a stone’s throw away if you feel the need to take a peek or collect. Then there’s @Sungeneration, the club for teenagers, with customised daily activities for 12- to 17-year-olds. Regular get-togethers are organised, including beach barbeques, pizza nights and campfires, and Sugar Beach’s Sports Bar, which includes video games, music TV, a pool and its own DJ, converts to

one of the coolest teen nighttime venues on the island. So the word ‘bored’ will be banished and you’ll be able to focus on getting all the ‘me time’ you need. For many, that will mean engaging in sporting activities. With Sugar Beach’s beautiful beachfront location, most of those will be water related. Snorkelling is a must in the clear tropical waters, as is a ride in a glass-bottomed boat. Then there’s also complimentary kayaking, sailing, waterskiing and windsurfing, and the option to book scuba-diving excursions, big-game fishing and parasailing. On land, there are six floodlit tennis courts and a large, state-of-the-art gym, Aura Fitness, which is equipped with the latest multimedia cardio equipment, air-controlled strength machines, body building and free weights equipment. Personal trainers also offer Pilates, vibro gym and interactive spinning classes that take you through virtual landscapes on some of the most exciting bike rides in the world. There is also daily yoga, stretching and aerobics, as well as a martial arts area for Taebo, kick boxing, Judo and Karate. Golfers, meanwhile, have access to the Tamarina exclusive golf resort, in


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Official fuel consumption for the Audi A8 L range: From 7.8l / 100km - 12.4l / 100km. CO2 emissions from 204g/km - 290g/km (combined). 5 year / 100 000km Audi Freeway Plan standard. The figures given were calculated using specific operating conditions. These figures are indicative only and may vary according to the conditions under which the vehicle is operated.


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a spectacular setting carved between mountain and sea, just a short drive down the coast. Those in search of serious R&R can spend their time being pampered at Aura Spa. A full range of facials, manicures and pedicures are on offer, plus there’s an indulgent selection of body treatments, including Shiatsu, sports, shell and silk massages. As well as peaceful individual spa rooms, there are larger couples suites magnificently laid out with a flotation pool, steam shower, garden and shiatsu pavilion. Best of all, though, is the Aura Hammam or Turkish bath. It’s central feature is the high-walled tepidarium, a large, warm and slightly humid room with heated marble benches, mosaics and jets of water to bathe in. From here you could move into the Caldarium or Steam Room, where the average 55°C

Villa suites boast a separate living space and a private veranda or balcony that gives superb views through the lush, palm-studded tropical gardens to the Indian Ocean.

sugar Beach resort

Wolmar, Flic en Flac, Mauritius For reservations, contact World Leisure Holidays telephone: +27 (0)11 285 2500 Email: res@wlh.co.za Website: www.wlh.co.za

PHotograPHs: sugar BEacH rEsort

sugar Beach is part of sun resorts, a major Mauritian hotel group which owns and manages four resorts in Mauritius and one resort in the Maldives. sugar Beach guests also enjoy access to the facilities of sister resort La Pirogue, which is within walking distance. temperature helps rid your body of toxins, then brave an invigorating dip in the cold plunge pool. Or transfer to a private treatment room for an allover black soap wash, a rough glove exfoliation, a body wrap and face mask. Whichever Hamman ritual you choose, you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated. You may have the energy to venture a bit further afield, to the shopping hubs

of Port Louis and Curepipe. Of course, going nowhere at all is also an option, as the opulence of this superlative resort lies in its generous dimensions and huge diversity of offerings. Whatever your mood, desire or need – whether you’re big, small or inbetween - it is catered for. As the saying goes, the beauty of things is enhanced by their opposites. So goes Sugar Beach. n Helen Grange

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Marataba Safari Company ∙ South Africa

An ancient sanctuary Set on an old African trade route in the green plains below the Waterberg mountains, this bush lodge blends into its surroundings to give guests a close communion with the soothing rhythms of nature.

Luxury tented suites are tucked into the acacia woodland and offer a seclusion that's at one with nature.

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In the luxurious tented suites, wooden decks give sweeping views towards the Waterberg. Guests are spoilt with frequent sightings of leopard. The lanternfestooned camelthorn tree provides a magical spot for sundowners. Built of indigenous stone and timber, Marataba's innovative architecture unites it with its surrounds.

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uests hold their breath in awe as a bull elephants pads by on silent feet; the only sounds in the still bush air are insistent bird calls and the hum of cicadas. It’s just one vignette from an evening game drive at Marataba, a private concession within Limpopo’s malaria-free Greater Marakele National Park. Here in the Waterberg, where green bushveld meets dramatic mountain escarpment and the Matlabas river meanders through the plain, animal encounters are frequent and various, going way beyond the Big Five. Stopping for sundowners at a grassy clearing gives

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a chance to witness the smaller animals in their evening bustle of activity as the mountains turn pink and gold. At the lodge, the discreet architecture anchors Marataba firmly into the landscape. Its history as a strategic point on the old north-south Africa trade route is alluded to in the design narrative, inspired by the legend of an explorer discovering the remains of an ancient settlement, and building anew with found materials. This translates into walls of local stone, tranquil water features and expanses of glass offering panoramic views. Inside, traditional African artefacts mingle with

contemporary pieces crafted by local artisans. The Hunter family motherdaughter interior design team describe it as “the ancient embracing the modern”. The results are inviting and comfortable: long sofas with footstools, generous day beds, tempting hammocks and beanbags on the verandas. On still, balmy nights guests drift out to sit around the fire under the lanternfestooned camelthorn tree, and gaze at the stars until the call to dinner. This could be a formal four-course meal in the candlelit dining room or a relaxed al fresco supper under the sheltering branches of the camelthorn. Whatever the setting, the emphasis is on fusion cuisine using local, seasonal ingredients. For starters truffle oil may anoint a cauliflower and almond soup; mains highlight local game with offerings such as gemsbok loin. The main lodge building and garden is fenced to keep larger animals at a distance, but the 15 luxury tented suites are at one with nature, secluded and private, tucked into the surrounding acacia trees. More cottage than tent, they have solid stone walls and wide screen doors open to the view, a sturdy canvas roof enfolding all. The sounds of the African night drift in and a sense of luxury pervades: the bath freshly filled with hot water and aromatic


oils; the invitingly turned down kingsize bed with smooth Egyptian cotton sheets. In summer a 6am wake-up call alerts you to the beauty of early morning light. Stepping out onto the covered deck, coffee in hand, breathe in the morning freshness but watch out for vervet monkeys eager to share your rusk. Then it’s off on the morning game drive where herds of kudu, impala and blue wildebeest, numerous rhino, giraffe and stately elephants await. Marataba has 23 000 hectares for animals to roam and there are very few vehicles out at any one time, so rangers work hard for sightings, their expert tracking skills and local knowledge imparting even more sense of adventure as guests learn the intricacies of nature in this bio-diverse habitat. Marakele is one of the newer Contract Parks in South Africa, made possible by the vision and passion of conservationist Paul Fentener van Vlissingen, who worked with South African National Parks to reestablish the indigenous bush. Its success can be measured by the diversity of wildlife now to be found here, with an enormous number of different species, including the largest colony of Cape Vultures in southern Africa. Breakfast is a leisurely affair, talking over the sights of the morning drive

while savouring a fresh buffet and hot dishes cooked to order. For the rest of the morning relaxation beckons: dozing over a book next to the sparkling pool, listening to the drowsy calls of birds lulled by the warmth of the day. The rhythm of the day is mapped out by meals – lunch under the trees on the manicured lawn, a tempting tea of freshly baked cakes and, before you know it, the day has cooled enough for the evening game drive. n Kit Heathcock

Marataba Safari Company

Greater Marakele National Park, Limpopo, SA Telephone: +27 (0)44 501 1111 Facsimile: +27 (0)44 501 1100 Email: res@hunterhotels.com Website: www.hunterhotels.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: MARATAbA SAFARI COMPANy

Marataba is one of four family owned and run Hunter Hotels properties, all members of Relais and Châteaux. It is a 3½ hours‘ drive from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.

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Marlin Lodge ∙ Mozambique

An idyllic island hideaway This beachfront lodge on Mozambique’s Benguérua island, part of the pristine and undeveloped Bazaruto Archipelago, offers a true escape from the world. Part of a protected national park, it’s a nature lover’s paradise with nothing but wide expanses of sandy beaches, crystal-clear tropical water, unspoilt coral reefs and bird-rich woodland. It’s a world-class destination for deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling but – best of all – for simply doing nothing at all.

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ick off your shoes. It’s a phrase that conjures up images of exhilarating freedom, of utter relaxation after a hard day’s work, of making yourself completely at home. And it’s literally the first step to enjoying the barefoot luxury offered by Mozambique’s Marlin Lodge, a beachfront property on beautiful Benguérua island. Arrive in Vilanculos, on the coast of Mozambique, and you’ll be invited to wade through the shallows of the turquoise Indian Ocean to the launch waiting to whisk you across to the island. Part of the Bazaruto Archipelago, a narrow chain of six tropical islands not far from the mainland, Ilha de Benguérua is just 11 by 5.5 kilometres in size, and dominated by a ridge of picturesque sand dunes, extensive tidal flats and inland lakes that play host to a wide variety of birdlife. The journey across the bay is just 20 minutes, but it takes you to another world. Traditional fishing dhows dot the horizon as the thatched roofs of this private sanctuary come into view. Situated on Flamingo Bay, on the southwest coast, Marlin comprises just 17 suites, each giving direct access to the white sandy beach. One of only three concessions on this nature-reserve island, it offers wonderful seclusion amid pristine natural surroundings. Elevated wooden walkways – built to preserve the indigenous vegetation

– connect the main buildings to the seafront chalets. With their reed-clad brick walls, thatched roofs and hardwood verandas, they blend seamlessly into their environment. Inside, soft furnishings that reflect the lush island greenery and sparkling blue ocean, invite you to simply relax in the air-conditioned coolness, cocooned away from the world. If you prefer to enjoy the island breezes, take a seat on your private veranda and gaze out over the ocean, listening to the mesmerising lull of the wind gently rustling through the Ilala palms – or pad down the wooden walkway to the beach and stroll along the shore, feeling the warm sand squeeze between your toes. Come back to a hot shower, either indoors or out, then slip into a soft white robe. Perhaps unpack the basket of inviting board games provided, or enjoy a snooze under the crisp covers of the four-poster bed swathed in mosquito netting. Meal times form part of the daily ritual and the local seafood is prepared to perfection. Meet fellow guests for a sundowner in the central cocktail lounge, then enjoy a three-course meal in a setting of your choice: on your private veranda, under the stars at a table set around the pool, or even on the candlelit beach, lulled by the soothing rhythm of the sparkling tide. At Marlin, you can choose to be as active, or inactive, as you please. The lodge

Unwind with a pampering body treatment in the Wellness Centre, or laze on one of the loungers around the swimming pool, cocktail in hand, and enjoy the glorious ocean views.

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Soft furnishings in blues and greens bring the colours of the island into the airconditioned suites, while outdoors there's place to relax on private verandas and in magical bush baths – metal tubs filled with hot water and scented bubbles.

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PhOTOgrAPhs: MArLIn LOdgE

Dishes of fresh, local seafood, infused with the Asian and Portuguese flavours of the island's past, are served in magical settings, including under the stars around the pool.

boasts a fully equipped tackle centre for keen anglers, as well as an on-site dive instructor for those who want to explore the rich marine life around the island. From a gentle snorkel in Two Mile Reef – in a pool aptly called ‘The Aquarium’ – to a brisk drift dive off the neighbouring island of Magaruque, there’s something for every level of experience. You could choose to canter along the endless stretches of sand on horseback, or simply find a lounger alongside the pool and read your book. Later, have your muscles gently kneaded by the resident therapist in the small, private wellness centre and let your last lingering stress dissipate. A guided island tour, though, is a must. The lodge’s nine-seater Land Cruiser takes you through small villages, where locals harvest cashew nuts and weave baskets, mats and hats from the indigenous sisal, to the two inland freshwater lakes –

ideal for birdwatching – and Benguérua Dune, which you can choose to climb for breathtaking views. At remote Pansy Island, you’ll find delicate pansy shells – and the perfect setting for a truly remote picnic. Watch out for red-tailed squirrels, suni and duiker – as well as green coucals, lilac-breasted rollers, paradise flycatchers, fish eagles and flamingoes – as you wend your way through the various habitats, from coastal dunes to acacia woodland and savannah grassland. End the day with a sunset dhow cruise, deftly steered by experienced local fishermen, the only sound that of the creaking wooden mast and rippling sail. And last, but certainly not least, indulge in a magical bush bath, taking in the wide expanse of stars while you soak in scented bubbles and sip on a glass of sparkling wine. It’s all part of the soothing magic that is Marlin Lodge. n Kerry Mills

Marlin Lodge

Benguérua Island, MOZAMBIQUE Telephone: +27 (0)12 940 4212/3/4 Email: reservations @marlinlodge.co.za Website: www.marlinlodge.co.za

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Spier ∙ South Africa

Pioneering spirit Spier is one of Stellenbosch’s first wine farms and has 21 historical gables. But as well as honouring this heritage, the estate is looking to the future, and won the ‘Doing it All’ category of the Condé

Nast Traveler World Savers Award 2011 for its social responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental preservation.

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f all the original Cape Dutch farms in the winelands, Spier boasts the greatest number of historically diverse and beautifully preserved gables. “As it happens,” says architectural historian Dr Hans Fransen, “these 21 gables represent half a century in our history and virtually the entire range of styles of that period in architecture. A

leisurely walk around the farm amounts to a lesson in art history!” To celebrate the recording of these gables, and to give visitors a chance to take just such a leisurely walk, a new audio tour will soon be launched. It’s been recorded by provocative theatre director and playwright Brett Bailey and tells the story of the farm, its history and its architecture.

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Frans Smit, Spier’s acclaimed cellarmaster celebrates the success of his top-tier 21 Gables wines. The best way to enjoy a Spier picnic is to pair it with wines from the new tasting venue.

It also places the farm in historical and geographical context. Spier enjoys a scenic setting on the Eerste River (or First River), so called because it was the first to be encountered by settlers as they left behind the known confines of Cape Town. The land on which the estate stands would thus have been among the first to be ‘discovered’ by farmers heading inland – so it’s no surprise it’s one of the oldest farms in the district. A new wine tasting venue, situated in what was the Spier Deli, is another new development. The estate’s much-loved picnics have also been relaunched with a new selection of foods inspired by the successful farm-to-table restaurant Eight, and now enable visitors to enjoy lunch with a bottle of the wine they’ve

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most enjoyed tasting. In this vibrant new space, visitors have the opportunity to sample the new top-tier 21 Gables range that’s making waves for cellarmaster, Frans Smit, a member of the esteemed Cape Winemaker’s Guild. He’s chosen his two cornerstone varieties – Chenin Blanc and Pinotage – to celebrate the legacy of winemaking in South Africa. Both are key local varietals: Pinotage was created in Stellenbosch, and Chenin (historically called Steen) is the first white variety to have been planted in the Cape. South Africa is one of the few places in the world where fine wine Chenin is successfully produced, and the 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2010 is one of Frans’s favourites, as is his ‘newstyle’ award-winning 21 Gables Pinotage 2009. His blends under the Creative Block


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The future moving in.


PhotograPhS: SPier

label (named for the Spier Arts Academy Project) are also enjoying great success. To add to the wine-tasting experience, the estate is planting an educational vineyard next to the new tasting venue. Here visitors will be able to walk along rows of different varietals with knowledgeable wine ambassadors. Especially rewarding for Frans is that, for the second consecutive year, Spier was voted the top-performing winery at the prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles awards, and won a Grand Gold for the Private Collection Shiraz 2008 as well as five other Gold medals. It was also the only South African wine farm to win Golds at all the top international competitions in May this year. But by far the best way to understand what Spier is doing, and what paved the way for the Condé Nast Traveler World Savers 2011 award, is to stay at the Spier Hotel and to experience the broader picture, which includes the estate’s philosophies on water and waste management, agriculture, social responsibility and

cultural and environmental preservation. Conde Nast Traveler editor, Klara Glowczewska, was highly complimentary in her assessment of the property at the awards ceremony: “Spier is truly leading the industry in developing the most progressive and creative projects - a shining example for the rest of the industry to follow.” The 10-year-old hotel’s 155 rooms have recently been refurbished, though through recycling and updating as much as possible. Each of its four spacious suites has also been individually designed to reflect both Spier’s support of the arts and South African culture, and is adorned with local art, craft and sculpture. A night at Spier is a night spent secure in the knowledge that the hotel’s footprint is as light as possible, and that the community benefits from each and every guest who supports the estate’s ethos of social responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental conservation. At Spier, it is possible to make a difference. n Michelle Snaddon

Spier

Stellenbosch, Western Cape, Sa telephone: +27 (0)21 809 1100 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 809 1973 email: info@spier.co.za Website: www.spier.co.za Spier is set on the banks of the eerste river and enjoys sweeping views of the helderberg mountains. it is an easy half-hour drive from Cape town and 20 minutes from the airport.

The Spier Hotel has 155 rooms, all of which have recently been refurbished. The wine farm is one of the oldest in Stellenbosch.

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Sarova Stanley ∙ Kenya

An old-world retreat that recalls a decadent colonial past Smack-dab in the heart of Nairobi, one of Africa’s quintessential 21st-century capitals, the Sarova Stanley still retains a connection with its Edwardian roots. Once a hotbed of post-hunt bravado, it remains an ideal base for forays into the heady, diverse city, and a cushioning place to gird your loins before heading off on safari.

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he largest city between Cairo and Johannesburg, Nairobi is an effervescent East African capital, brimming with life, energy and a fascinating history. The Sarova Stanley – a plush, award-winning hotel bang in the heart of the city’s pulsating downtown – has always been a vibrant part of that history, and remains one of the best places to witness the intersection between the future-thinking, cosmopolitan Kenya and the gracious former colonial outpost. Today’s Nairobi is a city of charmers as much as a place full of dreamers, money makers and safari thrill seekers. You’ll find many of them catching up with the past at one of the city’s original hostelries.

Step inside Sarova Stanley – the hotel’s been around almost as long as any thoughts of Nairobi itself – and it’s like drifting into a bygone era. From a hastily evolving modernity, through its hefty revolving doors, you step into refurbished surrounds heavy with the nostalgia of those early Edwardian days. Chesterfields, antique clocks, woodpanelled walls, gleaming marble floors and sepia photographs celebrating great safari moments recall a decadent past. It all harks back to a time when big game hunters were considered heroes. Nursing drinks and an air of privilege, they’d recount their animal-chasing escapades to a captivated audience of leggy ladies,

wood fires roaring and ivories tinkling in the background. Even if the hotel now caters to a new kind of traveller – many of them businessfolk at the forefront of Africa’s future – you still feel the pull of its luxurious lounges, historic long bar (where the very first local-brewed beer was served) and evocative suites. Like the celebs and royals who’ve hung their hats and boas here, you can’t help feeling that you’ve stepped into a vintage film set, albeit one that’s been dutifully made-over for the modern era. Hemingway, Denys Finch Hatton and the Duke of Windsor all celebrated successful safaris here; and if these walls could talk, they’d share tales of such luminaries as

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Plush surrounds evoke a bygone era. Thai Chi Restaurant has a Thai Select award from the Thai government in recognition of its serving authentic Thai cuisine – the only restaurant in sub-Saharan Africa to have received this award.

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Ava Gardner, Clark Gable and Stewart Granger. Stories, no doubt, that would make you blush as much as smile. Although it’s by no means a small hotel, its spruce Club rooms, with their bold colour schemes, fat mattresses and antique-feel furnishings mean that Sarova Stanley remains a genteel escape after exploring Kenya’s capital. And explore it you must, for despite its reputation as a staging post between safaris, it’s also an intriguing urban landscape in its own right, and is surely the only city on the planet where you might spot the Big Five as your plane comes in to land. Established as a cool country retreat, where aristocratic Europeans would escape the seductive evils of turn-of-the-century London life, Nairobi retains its immediacy to the bush. The city touches Nairobi National Park, and its affluent suburbs virtually merge with wilderness surrounds – an easy drive from the city centre takes


PhotograPhs: sarova stanley

you to vast, big-boned estates where jungly gardens still shelter wild animals, attract abundant birdlife, and hark back to romantic days that birthed extravagant romances such as those of Karen Blixen (whose former home is now a much-loved museum), who penned Out of Africa. And when you’re done exploring, perhaps ready to recount your own safari conquests, you’ll find out why the hotel was voted Kenya’s Leading Hotel in the World Travel Awards 2011. Whether lounging around the fifth-floor pool, or watching the coming and going at the legendary Thorn Tree Restaurant, this feels like a sanctuary where you can spend all day recuperating. Disappear into the sheltering embrace of one the distinctively designed suites, each with a personality to set it apart from the rest, picking up details drawn from different aspects of Kenya’s history, thematically celebrating its colonial heroes.

While contemporary conveniences are de rigueur, some have Jacuzzis and walkin wardrobes, and you’ll find exquisite etchings, paintings evoking pre-modern Africa, and plenty of genuine antiques accompanying the vintage furniture. Nairobi’s first stock exchange now trades as Sarova Stanley’s distinguished Exchange Bar, with its plush lounges and moody lighting, while the adjacent ThaiChi restaurant is sufficiently authentic to have Thailand’s ambassador among its regular guests. Here, it’s possible to relive some of the city’s original romance, rubbing shoulders with a new breed of movers and shakers, who know where to come for good times. More than a hotel, Sarova Stanley is an institution. The walls may reveal but a small part of the story of what has unfolded here, but there are few better places to get an inside perspective on Nairobi’s past – and, no doubt, its future. n Keith Bain

sarova stanley

nairobi, Kenya telephone: +254 (0)20 275 7000 Facsimile: +254 (0)20 222 9388 email: thestanley@sarovahotels.com Website: www.sarovahotels.com

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Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge ∙ South Africa

Bushveld romance Relaxing in a fragrant bath on a private deck, savouring the gentle glow of an African dusk, it’s clear why couples choose this secluded lodge in the North West Province for romantic retreats and weddings. Cocooned in this blissful setting, a glass of bubbly in hand, the world is far away – and the adventure of a safari beckons.

T

he romance of the African bush embraces guests from the minute they touch down at the small airstrip on Madikwe Game Reserve. A giraffe peers curiously over a thorn tree, a lone elephant ambles past – and your pace slows to the timeless rhythm of the majestic landscape. In the heart of this serene bush sanctuary is the luxurious Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge. Woven into the contours of a rocky kopje, it looks at one with its

surrounds. Thatched rooftops and wooden walkways blend seamlessly with age-old tamboti trees and giant boulders, so that the 10 suites are hardly visible from afar – an ingenious design that also ensures guests total privacy. Each spacious suite is different, designed into its own perch among the rocks, with smooth ochre boulders forming natural walls both inside and out. Huge concertina glass doors fold back to embrace the view, looking out over private plunge

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The 10 glass-fronted suites, each with their own deck and private plunge pool, offer absolute privacy and majestic views over the reserve.

pools to the plains beyond. The décor is understated African chic: four-poster beds are swathed in mosquito netting and made up in fine picot linen; sofas are deep and inviting. In winter, fireplaces and underfloor heating make for a cosy ambience, while in summer ceiling fans and air-conditioning offset the heat. Soft hurricane lamps light the way to the main lodge, winding along the wooden walkways past the sculptural tamboti trees and leading guests through ancient wooden doors into the airy spaces of the lounge, bar and dining room. For the latter, head chef Izanne Nawn and her team produce a variety of wholesome dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. A fusion

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of the finest local produce with decadent African and international flavours, they’re produced with what Izanne calls her secret ingredient: passion. Whether served in the elegant formality of the dining room or under the stars in the boma, watching the night visitors to the waterhole, each meal is a feast, impeccably served. It is no hardship to get up early for the morning game drive. The cool dawn air, the glorious colours of sunrise, the fresh scent of the bush and the lively songs of the prolific birdlife all fill the senses with eager anticipation. The malaria-free Madikwe Reserve spans a vast 75 000 hectares and is home to all the Big Five. It’s also renowned for

its population of African wild dogs, and offers guests frequent sightings of these endangered predators. The lodge is set in the centre of the reserve, so each drive takes guests in a new direction. Experienced rangers and trackers skillfully monitor the whereabouts of the game, and seem to have encyclopaedic knowledge of each and every species. They’ll explain the hunting strategy of wild dog families, showing how they chase off other lurking predators, and point out half-grown pups in a tug of war over a tasty morsel. Then they’ll take you to where the lion pride, last seen on a night drive bringing down an impala, is sleeping off the excess. On your return to the lodge, a sumptuous


The cosy library offers WiFi internet and shelves of books to enhance your wilderness experience; the reception area is open to the magical sights and sounds of the bush; and guest suites are a cool, calm haven with soft furnishings in soothing neutral tones.

breakfast on the main deck revives and restores. Then you’re faced with the choice of whether to relax in your private plunge pool or take a dip in the main swimming pool. Or indulge in a therapeutic massage in the lodge spa – where holistic therapies that draw on indigenous botanical extracts, such as marula, Kalahari melon and mongongo nut oil, help you reconnect to nature and embrace the energy of the African bush. A leisurely day passes as you

drink in the secluded peace and watch the endearing antics of the dassies, or the baby elephants frolicking in the waterhole. Returning from the evening game drive, a romantic private dinner awaits on the deck of your suite. sparkling wine on ice, candlelight, a trail of petals leading enticingly to the gently steaming bath, flowers strewn in a heart shape on the bed: it’s the stuff of which lifelong memories are made. n Kit Heathcock

Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge

Madikwe Game Reserve, North West Province, SA Telephone: +27 (0)13 737 6626 Facsimile: +27 (0)13 737 6628 Email: reservations@madikwehills.com Website: www.madikwehills.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: MAdIkWE HILLS PRIvATE GAME LOdGE

Situated on the Botswana border, Madikwe is a four-hour drive from Pretoria or Johannesburg. FedAir also offers a daily air shuttle service from OR Tambo International Airport. Flights take 50 minutes and the lodge offers a complimentary road transfer to and from the airstrip.

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w

CARBON MAGIC: Exclusive Corcel No. 1 bathtub n If you‘re looking for something truly special and unique for your ultra-modern bathroom, then Austrian company Corpo Celeste may have just the product for you. Its limited-edition Corcel No. 1 Bathtub is glamorous, sleek and truly one of a kind. It‘s made from lightweight but superstrong carbon fibre, and the company will release just 51 units. Its aerodynamic shape has been inspired by that of a racing car and the way its surface plays with light gives it a mysterious, black magic kind of allure. The bath is more than seven foot in length, though the skin is less than a millimetre thick.

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TIME OUT: The Kosha chill zone n Claudio D‘Amore of Swiss

THE PERFECT SERVE: Stylish new whisky bar n Luxury whisky Johnnie Walker

design company Cosanova has

Blue Label has partnered with

designed Kosha as a luxury

Porsche Design Studio to create

meditative space. With pure

the Private Bar. Inspired by the

ergonomic lines that reflect the

bottle‘s label, which sits at a

body‘s curves, it‘s made up of

24-degree angle, the bar is crafted

33 strips of wood machined one

from brushed titanium with a

by one and then assembled by

luxurious leather interior, and

hand. As well as a leather seat

features state-of-the-art motion

and handrest, it provides niches

sensors which open through a

to store favourite books. www.kosha.ch

perfect 180 degrees, revealing three bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, four subtly illuminated

ROUSING ENCORE: Bang & Olufsen system n BeoSound 5 Encore is a digital music system that offers access to internet radio stations and can browse and play music from a computer, a USB stick or a portable device. Simply connect speakers and the setup is complete. www.bang-olufsen.com

FORGE AHEAD: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition driver n Nike‘s new 430cc pear-shaped driver is built through a true fourpiece forging process, so that the face, crown, sole and hosel are combined to maximise both the NexCOR face (a new Nike technology designed to enhance distance) and the centre of gravity location, so the golfer can achieve optimal distance and control.

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crystal glasses and chilled water. www.johnniewalker.com


Opulent Living finds HOME COMFORTS: Outdoor loungers n The Aqua Collection from Italian design firm Paola Lenti brings the comfort of indoors to the outdoors with poufs, crate beds and soft loungers made of high-tech yarns that are resistant to UV rays, salt and chlorine. www.paolalenti.it

HIGH FASHION: Karl Lagerfeld crystal glassware n Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has designed a collection of delicate glassware for Swedish company Orrefors. The beautiful crystal pieces in milky white, black and crystal embody his minimal, clean aesthetic and some are engraved with his KL monogram. The collection includes glasses — from flutes to coupes to water glasses — as well as vases, bowls and coasters.

www.orrefors.com

FRESH COLOUR: New from Home Fabrics n Engineered to last years without

TASK MASTER: KitchenAid mixer n This powerful 300W mixer

losing their colour, durable UV Pro

enables

fabrics are a practical and functional

mixing. It comes in a wide range

choice for outdoor furniture. They‘re

of fun colours with a 4.83 litre

also water and stain repellent and

stainless-steel bowl, a beater

come in an extensive range of pretty

blade, wire whip, metal C dough

designs and colours.

hook and pouring shield. www.hf.co.za

effortless

ingredient

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A GOD‘S EYE VIEW ON THE WORLD: Paul van Schalkwyk Fine Art Photography n Namibian artist Paul van Schalkwyk has won more than 50 awards, both locally and internationally, for his work as photographer, cinematographer, director and writer. His beautiful fine art photographic images are custom-made to order and feature aerial shots of African landscapes printed on various meduims, ranging from fine art archival paper and archival canvas to elements such as aluminium, copper, glass and wood.

www.paulvans.com

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GRILL MASTER: Barbecue wagon n Made by a former Formula 1 engineer, the high-performance Brennwagen charcoal grill is crafted from premium stainless steel, with titanium head ducts, a lightweight aluminium chassis and handles in mahagony wood. www.brennwagen.de

HEAD ON: Elegant wall display n This kudu hunting trophy made from recycled cardboard

WINE MASTERS: A collection of six iconic labels n The Ultimate Collection is the latest initiative from Estates &

was designed by Joanna Orr of

Wines, the wine division of the Moët Hennessy Group. This stunning

Head On Design. Called “Jozi 2”,

collectors box – designed by Parisian artist Pablo Reinoso – contains

it embodies the latest SA décor

six hero wines from around the world. Three of the wines, Terrazas

trends and was painted by Cape

de los Andes, Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay, put their respective

Town artist, Sharon Boonzaier.

regions of Mendoza, Margaret River and Marlborough on the world

A perfect Christmas present.

wine map. The other three have won plaudits as artisan wines that

www.headondesign.co.za

push the winemaking boundaries.

www.estates-and-wines.com

SHAPE SHIFTERS: Animal chairs n Spanish artist Maximo Riera has produced a limited-edition collection of Animal Chairs, which includes the Octopus Chair, the Walrus Chair, the Beetle Chair and now the

forms cut from foam blocks

PERFECT CURVES: Sleek modern washbasin n The Callas washbasin by

and then handpainted in black.

Italian firm Advance Design is

www.maximoriera.com

sure to make a strong statement

Rhino Chair. The unique pieces are assembled from a series of

in your contemporary bathroom. The basin is made of Exmar, a

UP TO THE MINUTE: Louis Vuitton Tambour watch n A Louis Vuitton watch always makes a strong style statement, and

synthetic insulating material

none more so than the exquisitely crafted Tambour Repetition Minutes

washbasin comes in a standing

in white gold. With a sapphire caseback, a sapphire crystal dial and

pedestal style, or you can choose

alligator leather strap, it‘s made for the traveller and displays a second

one that sits on top of a vanity.

time zone in the dial in the centre.

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www.louisvuitton.com

that helps keep water hot. The

www.advancedesign.it


CULTURAL PATRONAGE: New Montblanc pen n In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, Montblanc has designed a tribute to Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, the Roman diplomat who is widely regarded as the first patron of the arts. The marble lacquered Maecenas pen, with sterling silver rings and a rhodium-plated 18K gold nib, is greatly influenced by Roman aesthetics and is richly decorated with scenes from his life. www.montblanc.com

STAR-QUALITY SOUND: Eric Clapton amplifiers n Leading guitar manufacturer

DIAMOND RING TONE: Lamborghini cell phone n With a front set with 7.8

Fender has released the new EC

carats of diamonds and a back

Series Eric Clapton Amplifiers.

blanketed with pearly white

Available in three sizes, the

alligator leather, and stamped

amplifiers have a classic vintage

with

look, reminiscent of the 1950s,

Raging Bull icon in 18-carat gold,

and will feature Eric Clapton‘s

the Spyder Supreme Diamond

signature on the front panels.

Edition phone cuts quite a dash.

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Tonino

Lamborghini‘s

www.lamborghini.it

ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD: Hush felt pods n Open-plan offices, crowded urban landscapes and social media; never has it been easier for humans to connect, but what about when we want to withdraw? Leading UK designer Freyja Sewell has created womb-like felt pods to help us do just that. Called Hush, the pods create an enclosed space that provides a personal retreat into a dark, quiet and natural space. The pod exteriors are made from100% wool felt and its cushions are stuffed with recycled wool fibres. They can also be transformed to provide more traditional open seating.

SPARKLING WATER: Swarovski Soda Stream n Soda Stream, the world’s

CHOCOLATE DREAM: Water ganache n British pastry chef Damian

leader in homemade sparkling

Allsop‘s range of water ganaches

drinks, has launched a Swarovski-

are served at Michelin restaurants

studded edition for the luxury

across the UK. They are created

kitchen. The Crystal Soda Stream

using water, instead of cream and

is encrusted with 1 200 crystals,

eggs – a process which Allsop

comes in white, silver, red and

believes unlocks the true flavour

titan, and includes two glass

of the high-quality chocolate and

carafes and a gas carbonator.

their fruit and liqueur fillings.

www.sodastream.com

www.freyjasewell.co.uk

www.damianallsop.co.uk

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Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge ∙ Zambia

Isolated splendour Deep in Zambia’s vast South Luangwa National Park is the graciously appointed Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge. Formerly a private presidential retreat, the colonial-style lodge is an ideal base from which to explore one of southern Africa’s most unspoilt valleys, known for its prolific wildlife and ancient trees.

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The colonial style suites are spacious, cool retreats. Sunset calls for drinks and a chance to admire the vast skies above South Luangwa.

I

f life is about the journey, rather than just the destination, then Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is one of those memorable places where your ‘getting there’ is almost as thrilling as your actual arrival. To travel to the South Luangwa valley, guests first have to fly to Lusaka, before flying a further hour north to Mfuwe. From there, it’s over two hours by road in a 4x4 vehicle, driving through local villages before entering the more than

9 000 square kilometre South Luangwa National Park. The terrain is rough in places, the landscape constantly showing off its stark beauty in the shifting afternoon light. It’s not uncommon to see herds of buffalo, zebra and other plains game. But be grateful for this remoteness because it means that the chances of seeing anyone else while out on game drives are extremely rare. Isn’t this the ultimate luxury on safari? A highlight of the trip to the lodge has

to be the Luangwa River crossing, which involves putting the 4x4 vehicle and all its passengers on a pontoon that is then pulled across the water by strong young locals. Watching the sun sink below the horizon like a flaming red ball, sipping on a chilled Zambian beer while listening to the snort of hippo all around you, is one of those perfect moments when you realise that Africa has crept under your skin – an enduring love affair that seems certain to last a lifetime.

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The pool is a wonderful siesta spot after lunch. Game drives bring you up close to lion prides. The area has incredible trees, including mopane, leadwood, winterthorn and sausage trees.

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It’s always exciting arriving at a lodge in the middle of nowhere, and Chichele Presidential Lodge is no exception. There’s the glow of myriad hurricane lamps flickering in the dark. There are lots of wonderful staff waiting on the front steps in welcome, proffering cool facecloths to wipe away the dust and a tray of chilled drinks. Luggage is whisked away to the suites, and before long you are soaking in a deep, fragrant bath before a delicious three-course dinner. It may be twicebaked cheese soufflé, rare beef fillet with fresh vegetables and vanilla pannacotta. Dinner is served in different locations every evening, so there’s always a surprise. Later, the kitchen staff serenades guests under the stars while they finish their wine or sip coffee. At Chichele, there’s a feeling of being unburdened, of slipping seamlessly into safari life without a care in the world. Zambians have got gracious hospitality nailed down. The South Luangwa is, in a word, vast. Such is the diversity of its landscapes that you can venture out every day and see something different. It’s a region that has become synonymous with walking safaris over the years, and Sanctuary Chichele guests can choose to do a walk instead of a game drive from the lodge, accompanied by a professional guide and an armed scout. An alternative is to spend a few nights at sister property Sanctuary Zebra Plains, a new dedicated walking safari camp that hosts a maximum of six guests in luxury tents. Being on foot, all your senses fully engaged, just feels like the right way to explore the bush. There’s time to stop and marvel at the smallest details, listen to the bird calls – there are more than 400 species – and keep an eye open for the Little Five – being the rhino beetle, buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise and ant lion. Sanctuary Chichele offers excellent game viewing with impressive sightings of endemic species, including Thornicroft giraffe, Crawshay’s zebra and Cookson’s wildebeest. Night drives are an exciting time to see nocturnal animals such as


Sundowners in the bush is one of those time-honoured rituals, made more special by the incredibly warm, generous-hearted staff.

PhoTograPhS: SaNCTuary rETrEaTS

.) Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge

leopard, spotted hyena and bush babies. Originally the presidential retreat of His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the First President of the Republic of Zambia, the property was reopened by Sanctuary in early 2011 after an extensive refurbishment. Unashamedly colonial in style, it features grand reception rooms opening onto a long veranda conducive to al fresco breakfasts and afternoon tea. There is a large swimming pool for cooling dips, especially when temperatures soar. The lodge’s hilltop position, overlooking the floodplain in the valley below, provides panoramic views so that it’s possible to spot herds of zebra and puku from the comfort of

an armchair or without leaving your airconditioned suite. Each of the 10 suites comes complete with a spacious luxurious bathroom and French doors opening onto a private veranda. The style throughout is understated and elegant. Four-poster beds swathed in mosquito netting and crisp white linen ensure an excellent night’s sleep, interrupted only by the cry of hyena or the saw of leopard down below in the valley. Sanctuary’s philosophy is carried through into every aspect of the guest experience, so that a safari here is as close to nature as possible without forfeiting any of life’s little luxuries. n Jane Broughton

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia Telephone: +27 (0)11 438 4650 Facsimile: +27 (0)86 218 1482 Email: southernafrica @sanctuaryretreats.com Website: www.sanctuaryretreats.com Visitors fly to Lusaka and then onto mfuwe. The transfer time from mfuwe airport to the lodge is approximately 2 hours in a 4x4 vehicle (a 45-minute road transfer through villages followed by 1 hour 15 minutes on a gravel road through the national park, where there are game-viewing possibilities).

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Jungle-inspired frescoes decorate the large dome that adorns the cathedrallike entrance hall, while outside mosaics add tropical colour to the Grand Pool.


The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City ∙ South Africa

Fantasy fit for a king This palatial resort hotel invites its visitors to step into a mythical world of luxury and pleasure. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, championship golf courses and a bushveld reserve set in an extinct volcanic crater, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most famous destinations in South Africa.

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ike the rest of the Sun City resort complex, built in the rolling hills of the Pilanesberg west of Johannesburg, the Palace of the Lost City was the brainchild of legendary South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner. As with so many of his creations, it’s bold, larger than life, and utterly captivating. A fantasy world conceived as a recreation of the palace a ‘lost tribe of Africa’ might have once built here, its majestic turrets with their elephant tusk

embellishments tower over the scenic volcano-formed valley – and issue a clear statement about the splendour to be found within its walls. Indeed, from the moment visitors arrive at the entrance, where they are greeted by an enormous statue of an elephant, it’s impossible not to be swept up in the drama and sheer luxury of this remarkable place. The reception area, like the rest the hotel, is decorated in grand style and features natural yet ultra-luxurious materials:

think polished marble floors and soaring columns that draw the eye upwards to the opulent frescoed rotunda. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, the Palace of the Lost City has 338 air-conditioned rooms decorated with a distinctly African feel. All are furnished and serviced to five-star standards, with artistic flourishes and superb en-suite bathrooms. They also have wonderful views of the jungle-like gardens and waterways that surround the hotel.

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The hotel's imposing architecture presides over the 18-hole Lost City Golf Course and the surrounding bushveld. Inside, marble and lush greenery dominate the palatial entrance hall.

Guests can also opt for one of four remarkable suites. The King, African, Desert and Royal Suites feature spacious bedrooms, each with a kingsize bed and an en-suite bathroom complete with a Jacuzzi, a large living and dining area, a library, sauna, bar and kitchenette – as well as a full butler service. There’s even a baby grand piano in the Royal and Desert suites. All overlook the pool and give stunning views over the gardens to the bushveld beyond the edge of the resort. When it comes to dining, guests are spoiled for choice. There are two fine dining venues, the Villa Del Palazzo and The Crystal Court (which takes its name from its massive and exquisite Venetian chandelier). The former overlooks the Grand Pool and serves great Italian food, complemented by a superb wine list. The latter, with its floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over water features and

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lush gardens, is open daily for sumptuous breakfasts and lavish afternoon teas, as well as for dinners that showcase the finest contemporary cuisine. For lunch, the Palace Pool Deck and the Crocodile Lounge, situated in the clubhouse of the Lost City Golf Course, serve light meals and snacks. And there’s no better place to enjoy an exotic cocktail than in the colonial splendour of the Tusk Bar and Lounge, dominated by archways created by giant teak tusks. While the architecture of the Lost City is a reflection of both art and nature, the gardens that surround it are all about the most gorgeous expressions of the latter. Designed by imaginative landscape artist Patrick Watson, lush tropical plants, splashing streams and winding paths invite guests to wander. A late afternoon stroll is the perfect way to end a leisurely day spent soaking up the sun around


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Lavish afternoon teas are on offer in The Crystal Court restaurant, while maple panelling and frescoed ceilings characterise the spacious suites.

PhoTogrAPhS: SuN iNTErNATioNAL

The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City

the Grand Pool at the Palace, or perhaps enjoying a revitalising treatment at the Royal Salon spa. For those who like a more active holiday, there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy in the Sun City resort. The Valley of the Waves features flume rides that will thrill both children and adults, and has the Roaring Lagoon, a wave pool surrounded by a palm-fringed beach, as its star attraction. There’s also parasailing, waterskiing, sailing and gentle lake cruises on offer at Waterworld, situated at the large man-made Sun City Lake. Then, of course, there’s golf – with not one but two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by South African golfing legend Gary Player. Both the Lost City course and the Gary Player course (home of the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge) feature multiple tees to suit every skill level, as well as challenging

water hazards – including one on the 13th hole of the Lost City course with 20 live Nile crocodiles. Reserve at least one evening for a spot of gaming at the luxurious Sun City Casino, or to perhaps take in a concert at the Superbowl, which has played host to many of the world’s top entertainers. Last but not least, there’s game aplenty in the adjoining Pilanesberg National Park. Situated on the eroded remains of an extinct volcanic crater, this picturesque reserve consists of numerous hills, wooded ravines and grassed open plains that are home to all the Big Five, as well as many other large mammals and a proliferation of birdlife. Explore it on a personalised game drive, or simply drink in its unique landscape from an elevated vantage point in the Lost City. A palace of pleasures indeed. n Robyn Alexander

North West Province, SA Telephone: +27 (0)14 557 4307 or +27 (0)11 780 7810 Facsimile: +27 (0)14 557 3111 Email: scenq@za.suninternational.com Website: www.suninternational.com

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Kapama Karula ∙ South Africa

Place of peace where the game are plentiful Built right on the banks of the ever-flowing Klaserie River, Kapama Karula is a study of lightness and flow. Set among 12 000 hectares on the Kapama Private Game Reserve in Limpopo, the lodge is pure decadence designed specifically for discerning bush lovers and those who appreciate fine dining, pampering and exclusivity. Here attention to detail is the norm, as are unique game-viewing opportunities – from an open vehicle, hot-air balloon or atop an elephant.

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n early morning sun threads yellow light through the trees, giving the surrounding bush a golden glow. On a low branch, a leopard lies awkwardly as if it dropped into the tree from above, while down below impala kick up a fuss at her presence. She’s not interested in their angst and lies sleeping on a satisfied belly. While all aboard the game drive vehicle are entranced, this is actually a common sighting for rangers at Kapama. “We see leopard at least 20 to 25 days of the month,” confirms general manager for tourism at Kapama, Johan van Eeden. “The reserve is definitely one of the best

places to see leopard, and lion too. We see lion virtually daily, plus there are rhino, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a huge variety of plains game.” Best of all, the chance of seeing another vehicle while out on a game drive on the Kapama Private Game Reserve is just about zero, which means you have the surrounding bush all to yourself. There’s that same feeling when staying at Kapama Karula. This new lodge – just three years old – has only five suites and seven tented suites. All are completely private, with lavish space and magnificent appointments. The suites all have their own swimming pools, with sweeping

views over the Klaserie River running by, while tented suites enjoy the rim-flow pool at the lodge. Karula’s décor has a ‘modern earth’ twist. White is the canvas on which earth tones and textures are reflected, with highlights of metal and stainless steel. There’s a sense of lightness of being, while not forgetting you’re in the African bushveld. Bone door handles and kudu horns above the fireplaces remind you, as do the gnarled tamboti branches used for balustrades around private suite decks. There are no formal gardens, just wild, natural vegetation, yet air-conditioning will keep you cool in the balmy summers. It’s a

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Kapama Karula is a study in calm. Surrounded by the southing sound of running water, interiors are all about light and space.

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delicate marriage of comfort and luxury with the smallest possible environmental footprint. Children are also welcome at Karula and are specially catered for. They cook and bake with the chef and serve their creations to their parents at tea time; guided bug walks around the camp teach them about natural creations, while special attention is paid to children’s specific tastes at mealtimes. Fine dining is the norm for guests to Karula; and with all tastes catered to. While there are never more than six guests on a game viewing vehicle – so everybody has a ‘window’ seat – families enjoy their very own vehicle and personal guide. At about 160 square metres, family suites are extremely spacious with plenty of room for children to play, or watch wildlife films on the flatscreen television. There are Wii play stations too. Suites also have living rooms and fireplaces, along with well-stocked mini bars and hot-beverage stations. Lockable screen doors mean you can sleep snugly, while listening to the night sounds of the bush outside. By day, specialist bird and bush guides conduct walks to see the ways of the wild up close, and a completely different game viewing experience is from the lofty height of an elephant’s back. The 14 elephants on Kapama used for elephant-back safaris are all available to Karula guests too. However, if you prefer not to ride but rather to interact with the elephants, that is another unique wildlife experience. All these elephants are orphans rescued from Zimbabwe and they roam freely in the bush in-between elephant-back riding times. Importantly, Kapama’s are not trained, but rather rewarded with food. At the cheetah sanctuary on Kapama, rare king cheetah can be seen along with other cheetah, wild dogs, African wild cats, black footed cats, lynx, serval, civet and lions. All the animals have been rescued from death or discontent, to live out their lives in comfort on Kapama. If injured animals can again return to the wild they do, if not they have a permanent home at Kapama, named for a prominent Pedi

chief who also cared for his subjects well. A completely relaxing and befitting offering at Karula – with means ‘peace’ in north Sotho – is the world-class Kapama spa experience. Just 15 minutes by private transfer from Karula, guests can be pampered all day long and even have lunch at the spa. Others may enjoy relaxing high above the earth in a hotair balloon, wafting where the wind takes it; still others will choose a photographic safari with an award-winning wildlife photographer to ensure their memories of Kapama stay in full colour. It’s time to take a second game drive, to check on one lazy leopard and see if any other big cats come out to savour the last rays of the day. At Kapama it’s almost certain they will. n Keri Harvey

Kapama Karula

Kapama Private Game Reserve, Hoedspruit, Limpopo, SA Telephone: + 27 (0)12 368 0600 Facsimile: +27 (0)84 197 7952 Email: res@kapama.com Website: www.kapama.com Kapama Private Game Reserve is situated about 10km from Hoedspruit. There are scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit twice daily; and between Cape Town and Hoedspruit three times a week. Guests are met from the airport and transferred to Kapama Karula in an open game-viewing vehicle.


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Opulent Living Jewellery Special

Boucheron’s exquisite necklace celebrates its 150th anniversary and proud heritage. Inspired by Queen of the Night, it’s adorned with 11 delicate buds that open and close – just as the flower does. Hidden among the leaves is a lilac sapphire that is detachable and can be worn as a pendant. More information on page 110.

TIMELESS MASTERPIECES PRESENTED BY VA N E S S A H AY W O O D


To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Chopard designed the Animal World collection, with 150 creations that celebrate animals. The Frog Ring is in white gold set with emeralds and black and white diamonds – with the crown featuring a stunning brilliantcut yellow diamond surrounded by smaller yellow diamonds.

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Jewellery Special


Cartier’s Snake Queen necklace, from the exceptional Secrets et Merveilles (Secrets and Wonders) Collection is in platinum set with brilliantcut diamonds, with yellow diamond eyes, as well as nine pear-cut yellow diamonds.

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Van Deijl’s necklace in 18-carat white gold and 18-carat yellow gold is set with 85 brilliant-cut diamonds, a cushion-cut topaz, pear-cut topaz, pear-cut citrine, marquise-cut citrine, three round-cut peridots, a marquisecut amethyst and a pear-cut amethyst. Priced at R137 000.

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Jewellery Special


From the Midnight Suite Collection by Schreiner Fine Jewellery in Munich, these earrings form part of a necklace, bracelet, earring and ring set and feature black pearls, black diamonds, colour diamonds and rubelites.

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More than 1 000 diamonds set in platinum make up the sculptural Diamond Flower Brooch by Graff Diamonds. Designed as a double-layered flower, the star of the piece is a breathtaking 6.25 carat Fancy Intense Yellow radiant diamond, which is surrounded by eight pear-shaped diamonds of over one carat each.

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Jewellery Special


Elegance’s 18-carat white gold and rhodium-plated bracelet is set with 32 jade pieces and 452 round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of 4.15 carats. Priced at R280 000. There are matching earrings set with 68 brilliant-cut diamonds. Priced at R57 000.

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flashlights

Piaget is well-known for its collections of unusual rings. Its strikingly simple Possession Excentrique ring is in white gold with diamonds and black sapphires; the Miss Protocole ring is white gold set with diamonds; and the Possession Chain Motif ring is in 18-carat yellow gold with diamonds and a moving chain.

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Jewellery Special


concept: florian gast. reproduction: flash digital cape town

From the high jewellery collection Bals de LĂŠgende by Van Cleef & Arpels, the intricate Oiseau necklace Le Bal Proust was inspired by one of the five famous masquerade balls of the 20th century and contains blue, pink and mauve sapphires and diamonds.

Jewellery Special

Opulent Living Opulent Living 1099


Crafting extraordinary jewellery takes awe-inspiring time and talent – and magical gems that date back millions of years.

Vanessa Haywood has been an entertainer from a very young age and is totally at ease on stage and in front of the camera. She is best known for her role in Hollywood blockbuster District 9.

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I‘m not somebody who owns much fine jewellery (only because I’m too terrified I’d lose it), but I was totally inspired as I paged through the catalogues of some of the world‘s finest jewellers in order to present this special section. I‘m proud to say there were many South African designers represented in the pages of those catalogues. Certainly, I‘ve lived and travelled all over the world, and I can quite honestly say that our local designers are on a par with international jewellers, with their pieces worn by highly influential people the world over. In discovering the genius creators behind the magnificent pieces featured in Opulent Living this issue, I took a journey through the world of precious stones – from when they were formed within the earth, to the moment they arrive in the master craftsman’s hands. Every one of the timeless masterpieces showcased evolved through a creative process that I’ve only just begun to understand. For example, the exquisite Boucheron necklace took French designer Shaun Leane and his craftsmen 1 600 hours to construct, and the same amount of time was patiently spent setting it with brown diamonds, sapphires and white diamonds. It‘s finished with a stunning pear-shaped lilac sapphire, which can be removed and worn on its own. What you don’t know, without actually holding the necklace in the palm of your hand, is that you can open and close each of the 11 delicate buds. They‘re inspired by the ephemeral flower Queen of the Night, which opens at night to release a mesmerising, intoxicating scent. All these beautiful jewels began life simply as elements – so your diamond ring was once carbon, and your grandmother‘s ruby earrings aluminium oxide. The process by which these elements became precious gems is as mystical as it is magnificent. In my attempts to unearth exactly how long this transformation took, I learnt that nobody knows for sure. There have been attempts to try to date

inclusions in different parts of diamonds, but they have been largely unsuccessful. It may be that diamonds were formed in just days, weeks and months, or it may be that they took millions of years to become the stones we know and love. The difficulty, I discovered, is that, as with most crystals formed deep within the earth, it‘s not a continuous process. Diamonds start to grow, and then that growth may be interrupted for some reason – a change in conditions such as temperature, pressure or source of carbon perhaps — and they lie dormant kilometres below the surface for millions of years, only to start growing again when conditions are right. As far as we know, though, all precious stones are pretty old – probably formed in the first couple of billion years of the earth‘s history. So, no matter how you look at it, the ethereal jewellery in this special feature could have taken a few million years to get to its current beauty – from the birth of the gemstone and gold deposits, through mining, melting and cutting, to the delicate process of designing and crafting each piece. There’s something remarkable about wearing something so steeped in history, and so exceptionally beautiful. I can’t quite describe it, but I remember being on the set of Blood Diamond adorned with diamonds and surrounded by bodyguards (perhaps they feared I’d run off with the jewels) and thinking, This feels phenomenal! And when I was privileged enough to wear high-end jewellery to my District 9 premiere, I felt like a princess. While I‘ve always believed extraordinary jewellery adds a certain je ne sais quoi to a woman, after exploring the process by which it is formed and crafted, I have a newfound appreciation for its beauty. The odyssey of fine jewellery is something complex and quite magical – and requires a talent for which I am in awe. Now, to get my hands on that Boucheron piece would be a dream come true

Jewellery Special

PhOTOgrAPh: BOB LEINDErS

by Vanessa Haywood


VA N D E I J L 1964

manufacturing jewellers and certified retailer for

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46664 universal symbol of hope

Liezl van der Westhuizen supports the 46664 Bangle Campaign by wearing a Copper bangle. It comes in three variants: Copper, Black Pearl and MyCopper. It is the simplest bangle to produce, reaches the greatest market, and enables the most job creation.

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The 46664 Bangle Campaign is a powerful one; its mission and inspiration a tribute to Nelson Mandela’s humanitarian legacy.

PHoToGRAPHS: 46664 BANGLE CAMPAIGN

by Michelle Snaddon

Who would have thought that it was possible to give prison number 46664 a purpose? Nelson Mandela, prisoner 466 of 1964 did, and so did Bob Geldof. “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” said Mandela wisely, and he was right. It wasn’t long before the 46664 Bangle Campaign idea swept across the world, gaining support from celebrities who backed it with heartwarming intensity. From the moment the concept was sketched out on a paper serviette in a canteen at founder Robert Coutts’s office in 2006, he knew it had potential. An encounter with Nelson Mandela in the late 1990s had sparked his desire to become involved in community development and giving back. But the key turning point, says Robert, “was when the concept of converting corporate social responsibility into corporate social opportunity took hold”. It was for this reason that founding members of the 46664 campaign decided to create a product that would demonstrate support for its fight against HIV/Aids, become a powerful message of freedom and hope – and provide much needed employment at the same time. The product had to be uniquely South African, create sustainable revenues and work to uplift the less fortunate in the country as well. And so the idea of a 46664 Bangle was born, it‘s C-shaped design symbolising broken chains and freedom for all, and Mandela’s prison number branding it as a tool in the fight against HIV/Aids. “Not everyone can be a ‘Nelson Mandela’,” says 46664 board member Achmat Dangor,

Jewellery Special

“but we all have the ability to act in a way that befits the legacy of such a great global icon”. Today, three years after the birth of the 46664 bangle, it has evolved to become much more than a global platform for an HIV/Aids awareness and prevention campaign. There are four prestigious Legacy Bangles, as well as limited-edition Platinum and Gold bangles, available to collectors, but more than 37 000 silver and copper bangles are being worn all over the world, a figure the campaign aims to take up to a staggering 2.5 million in the next 12 years. The Legacy Bangles are made only once a year, in honour of an historical event, or as a reminder of Mandela’s legacy. To date, only four have been crafted, each one a unique and exquisitely beautiful masterpiece of precious metals encrusted with precious stones. The first Legacy Bangle is Plat Zero and was produced in 2008 by Robert Coutts with the expertise of goldsmiths Rael Kahn and Andreas Salver. It took three weeks to produce and was made in platinum and encrusted with 259 white diamonds. Each bangle has a 3D imprint of Mandela’s hand set into it. It acts as an embrace from him to the owner in the hope that it will influence the wearer to always keep Mandela’s guiding principles in mind. Christies of London auctioned it at Madiba‘s 90th birthday gala dinner at Hyde Park in London. It fetched the highest price of any item that wasn’t autographed by Mandela. The Montblanc 4810 Togetherness Legacy Bangle was crafted in white gold with 301

The Invictus Legacy Bangle was designed by Sabine Roemer for Morgan Freeman, who played the part of Mandela in the film Invictus.

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The Invictus African Daisy, designed by Sabine Roemer, was worn by Invictus producer Lori McCreary at the 2010 Oscars. Encrusted with diamonds and emeralds, it builds on the simple Invictus bangle and was inspired by Namaqualand daisies.

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round-cut diamonds totalling 4.4 carats and embedded with a Montblanc Star diamond (WS1 clarity). It was also auctioned by Christies – at the Mandela Day Gala in New York in 2009. Montblanc became involved at an early stage, its actions reflecting the company‘s philosophy that “Helping others gives success true meaning.” Lutz Bethge, CEO of Montblanc International explains: “Montblanc has been a proud supporter of the 46664 campaign and has given South African craftsmen the pride to show and sell their work on some of the world’s most prestigious shopping streets. By providing visibility we are able to lend a voice to this cause. “Another reason why we wanted to support the 46664 campaign is the duty to safeguard the gift and tradition of craftsmanship. Montblanc has been nurturing the work of its master craftsmen since the birth of the brand in 1906, giving them the tools to create beautiful pieces out of the finest materials. True to this belief, Montblanc lends its support to the skilled craftsmen who produce the 46664 bangle.” The third Legacy Bangle is perhaps the most symbolic of the turning point in South Africa‘s

history: the Invictus Legacy Bangle (“invictus” meaning “undefeated” or “unconquered” in Latin). The bangle was designed by jewellery designer Sabine Roemer to commemorate actor Morgan Freeman‘s efforst to tell the story of Mandela, and his leadership and courage in changing the path of his troubled and divided nation, in the film Invictus. Morgan wore the bangle to the 2010 Oscars, giving the campaign unprecedented worldwide exposure on the red carpet. It was then auctioned by Savile Row in Sandton at the world cup-themed 2010 Nelson Mandela Foundation Gala Dinner. It was bought by the Frame family, with proceeds going to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Invictus Legacy Bangle was made in white gold and the 46664 trademark was encrusted with 90 black diamonds. On either side, a total of 20 emeralds were embedded to reflect the country’s natural beauty and affiliation to conservation, a common thread that links the people of SA together. Morgan Freeman affirmed his belief in 46664 by explaining: “We wear the 46664 bangle to honour Nelson Mandela who stands as a worldwide symbol for peace and reconciliation. It is a powerful reminder and conversation catalyst for those who are unfamiliar with 46664 and its mission to spread the legacy of Mr Mandela by empowering young people in communities and creating a platform for global change... which can change the way we listen, think and act... one wrist a time!” The fourth bangle is called Ukungafani (or Spirit of Diversity) and was designed by Oresti Mavrodaris and Talia Savva of Elegance Jewellers in Johannesburg. Made from black ironwood, rose gold and brown and white diamonds, it symbolises the strength of the South African people and the embracing of diversity. It was launched in April 2011 with the handbound 46664 Legacy Bangle Book. Ukungafani is due to be at the next official Nelson Mandela Foundation Gala Dinner. “Each bangle must last a minimum of 1 000 years to carry the legacy forward,” says Robert Coutts, explaining that when the fourth bangle was being designed in gold, silver and wood, they went in search of ironwood from the Eastern Cape (when petrified, it lasts forever), which incidentally grows very close to Mandela’s family home.

Jewellery Special


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FIZZYTHERAPY


Over the past three years, it also became clear that many people wanted to donate to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but they also wanted a unique bangle to wear, gaining credibility by association, but also continuing to show support and spread the message. So Bespoke Bangles came about, and are now made to order, reflecting the personality of the wearer and never copied again. One of the most famous is the Invictus African Daisy, designed by Sabine Roemer for Lori McCreary, a producer on the Invictus film, who also wore it to the 2010 Oscars. Sabine created an elegant gold cuff, with a simple 18-carat gold bangle at its centre and white diamonds set into the 46664 trademark. Both she and Lori were inspired by the startling brilliance of the Namaqualand daisy on their visits to South Africa, so the cuff is embellished with flowers encrusted with diamonds and emeralds. The Gold Heritage Bangle, in white, yellow and red gold, was the first Bespoke Bangle to reflect the South African flag – set next to the trademark and encrusted with black, white and yellow diamonds, as well as rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Platinum bangles are said to have a lifespan of more than 10 000 years and, as a result, are at the top of the list in the collectable series of bangles. Only 90 were made (they were launched at Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2008) and almost all of them have already been sold to donors and those looking for a unique investment opportunity. The Gold bangle is made in two forms: 90 are to be created in 24-carat gold and 466 bangles will be crafted in 18-carat gold (there will also be some available in rose gold and white gold). The significance of the Silver bangle is that it is the “mainstay” of the programme because it offers the most potential to upskill and educate craftspeople. Each one is handcrafted in pure silver with a copper inlay to signify the message of health and healing. Training is part of the programme and to date, the experience has allowed many craftspeople to move on into formal employment. 46664 would like to sell 2.5 million silver bangles in the next 12 years. The Copper bangle is aimed at the youth as a symbol of hope and a daily reminder to act

Jewellery Special

responsibly and to follow in the footsteps of Mandela, living by his principles. It is linked to the MyCopperMyResponsibilty programme, which is set to create a minimum of 4 000 jobs for those with HIV/Aids. It plans to do this by training craftspeople to make the bangle, and by upskilling factory workers to create the stylish boxes in which all the bangles are sold. Robert Coutts puts it in a nutshell. “The concept is simple: to teach a valuable life lesson in the art of giving back. To be responsible for the choices you make in life. To commit to being responsible for others.” His hope is that the bangle becomes “the universal symbol of hope to be worn with pride every day and

that, through international expansion and sustainable funding, it supports the vision so that Mr Mandela’s legacy will live on through the initiative.” In addition to the 46664 Bangle Campaign (www.46664.com/bangle) and the new 46664 Apparel Project, there is strong emphasis on the role individuals can play in taking the legacy forward. Projects such as Nelson Mandela Day, which encourages individuals worldwide to act on Mandela’s challenge, issued at the 46664 London concert in 2008, for his work to continue and that “new hands be found to lift the burden”, require a personal sacrifice of time – but none so great as the 27 years he sacrificed in the name of social justice, equality and human rights.

Each C-shaped bangle, symbolising broken chains and freedom for all, is given a unique serial number, and registered with the owner’s and creator’s information.

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If absence makes the heart grow fonder, is it any wonder that the world has fallen head over heels in love with the shimmering blue visage of Tanzanite?

Semi-nomadic Maasai first discovered the precious stones near Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Precious stones are revered for their rarity, but most of the world’s mineral wealth is spread far and wide. Gleaming emeralds are found in mines as far apart as Colombia and Zimbabwe; diamonds sparkle in the soils of South Africa, Russia and Australia; and amethyst is found in mines across the globe. Yet none are so rare as Tanzanite. At least a thousand times scarcer than diamonds, this shimmering blue gemstone is literally one of a kind: formed by a geological fluke and found beneath just a single country: it’s namesake, Tanzania. And even within the rolling plains of this East African paradise, only a few square kilometres of loamy soil yield the world’s precious – and finite – supply of a gem that is blazing a trail from Fifth Avenue to Regent Street. But perhaps we should start at the beginning, by turning back the geological clock 585 million years. The super-continent of Gondwanaland was just beginning the slow-motion collision that would form the landmass known as Pangaea. As the continents shifted, base minerals were churned and realigned as the tectonic plates of modern-day Africa fell into place. Mineral deposits of zoisite were commonplace, but this geological freight train – known as the pan-African event – carried with it an unusual hanger-on: vanadium. With a little help from heat, pressure and geomorphology, they formed an entirely new precious stone. This combination of minerals was so unusual it’s often described as being more incredible

than the stone itself; a blip in the slow predictable passage of geology. Mother Nature’s game of chance that paid off in rich veins of sparkling blue Tanzanite. To the Maasai pastoralists who claimed these lands in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, the blue of Tanzanite is a sacred colour: a healing element that celebrates life, with new mothers offered blue beads as a mark of respect and reverence. And these semi-nomadic Maasai were no strangers to the gleaming gemstones, long before Tanzanite shimmered in the display cases of bespoke jewellers. It’s hard to know exactly when the Maasai first discovered the glistening stones near the base of Kilimanjaro, but they have built up a rich folklore around their creation. Oral tradition passed down through the generations tells of the land being set ablaze by a bolt of lightning, and the heat from this ‘magic fire from the sky’ transforming otherwise dull crystals into shimmering blueviolet stones. Yet this ‘magic fire’ is not far from the scientific truth. Like sapphires, rubies, blue topaz and most other coloured gems, most tanzanite is gently heated to approximately 450°C to transform the stones from a lacklustre bottlebrown into shades of sparkling blue and violet. Through heat, the stones undergo a permanent transformation that’s as magical as their creation. And yet, were it not for a wandering herder and an enthusiastic tailor, Tanzanite may have never made its way into the outside world!

Jewellery Special

PhOTOGRAPhS: TANZANITE FOuNdATION

by Richard Holmes


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Tanzanite is prized for its colours, which range from light blues and lilacs, to deep indigo, violet and burgundy. Its rare beauty is fast diminishing, though, as the last rich veins are being mined rapidly to keep up with demand.

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While the Maasai may have known of the stones forged by magic fire for centuries, it was less than five decades ago that this ‘new’ gem was brought to the attention – and jewellers – of the West. But let’s rewind the clock again; this time to 1967. In the Merelani hills of northern Tanzania, near the city of Arusha, a tailor of Indian descent was indulging his favourite hobby: prospecting. Manuel D’Souza was searching the hills for rubies when a local Maasai tribesman showed him rough stones glinting with shades of blue and violet. At first he thought they were sapphires, but further gemological tests soon revealed them to be an entirely new gemstone whose exquisite colour ranged from light blues and lilacs, to deep indigo and violet. It didn’t take long for glamorous New York jewellers Tiffany & Co. to hear about the new discovery. They quickly seized upon the new gemstone, with Henry B Platt – greatgrandson of founder Louis Comfort Tiffany – naming it Tanzanite, after its country of discovery. When the first Tanzanite jewellery collection launched at Tiffany’s in October 1968, Platt proclaimed it was undoubtedly “the most beautiful blue stone to be discovered in over 2 000 years.” He also – shrewdly – reminded well-heeled buyers that Tanzanite was found in only two places on earth: “Tanzania, and Tiffany’s”. That’s happily no longer the case, and today jewellers around the world showcase this remarkable precious stone. However, nearly

half a century after it was first discovered, Tanzania is still the world’s exclusive supplier of Tanzanite. Despite exhaustive studies, an unassuming four-square-kilometre corner of land near Arusha remains the only place on earth where payable deposits of this valuable gem have been found. Geologists estimate that within 20 years the world’s only source of Tanzanite will run dry. Tanzanite is a diminishing stone, and when it is completely mined out there will be a dramatic increase in price, which is why the likes of Charlize Theron and Hilary Clinton have already invested in the stone, especially as it’s getting harder to find large stones. While not as hard as diamonds – or valuable as sapphires – Tanzanite is unique for its dramatic colouring: a kaleidoscope of royal blue, violet, indigo, lilac and periwinkle. “It’s a colour like no other,” says Liebrecht van Diejl of Van Deijl Jewellers who believes that Tanzanite brings out an emotional response in most people who see the stone for the first time. “For me, it has an internal beauty with colour that comes from within and from the heart. And what’s so astonishing is that this pure beauty comes out of all the chaos in Africa and, fittingly, from the very heart of the continent.” If you want to get technical, this dazzling spectrum of colour is because Tanzanite is “trichroic”, meaning it radiates three different colours – blue, violet and burgundy – for each of its crystal axes. How skilfully the stone is cut will determine whether the gem shows more blue or violet. At its best, Tanzanite emanates a rich velvety blue, with just a hint of violet – an echo of the rare Kashmiri sapphires. As with diamonds, when choosing the perfect piece of Tanzanite you should bear in mind the four C’s: Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight. Because of the heat treatment most Tanzanite stones are flawless, and the carat weight will largely come down to the depth of your pockets, but choosing a stone that’s been carefully cut is key to ensuring your gem sparkles as it should. The vibrancy of a wellcut gem makes a big difference to the price. A well-cut stone is very light and lively. Blue and violet are the most sought-after colours, while flashes of red and pink suggest an even better quality tanzanite What’s interesting is that current increased demand from Asia, where Chinese buyers

Jewellery Special


are increasingly choosing large Tanzanite gems (over 10 carats) as their investment of choice, is likely to outshine demand from the United States where the market is valued at a sizeable US$500-million. But when this rare stone’s mystical beauty becomes better known, there is no doubt that its value will increase substantially. A finite supply and no prospect of new deposits being found mean that this precious stone could well be limited to a single ‘Tanzanite generation’ of first-time owners. Due to its scarcity and late discovery, in 2002 Tanzanite became the first gemstone since 1912 to be added to the official birthstone list by the American Gem Society. If you or your loved ones were born in December, the rich blue of Tanzanite is the stone that marks your place in the world. This ‘Tanzanite Generation’ is also perhaps the first to show concern about where and how their precious stones are mined. While diamonds have been tarnished through the

illicit trade in ‘blood’ or ‘conflict’ diamonds, Tanzanite mostly charts a more ethical course. According to Hayley Henning, Executive Director of the Tanzanite Foundation in New York, thanks to the small area that Tanzanite is mined in, and strict self-regulation from mining companies, Tanzanite has become one of the world’s more ethically produced precious stones. While smaller independent mines still offer dubious working conditions, TanzaniteOne, which is one of the world’s most sophisticated coloured gemstone

Jewellery Special

Besides its pure beauty, Tanzanite jewellery, such as the impressive Tiffany Bahari Brooch (below) and the earrings (far left) by Brazilian designer Letícia Linton of LBL Design, is a solid investment as the gem is 1 000 times scarcer than diamonds.

mining operations in the world, ensures that safety and security is a priority. In 2003, the Tucson Tanzanite Protocols were developed to ensure Tanzanite’s ethical route to market, and that – for commercial mines – all relevant labour legislation, safety regulations and best mining practices are adhered to. Through the non-profit Tanzanite Foundation, industry stakeholders also contribute to both the growth of the Tanzanite industry, and the wellbeing of the local communities that are impacted and uplifted by the mining operations. Since its establishment eight years ago, the Tanzanite Foundation has built two schools and a medical clinic in the Merelani region, along with maintaining roads and providing fresh running water for the local Maasai’s herds of cattle. And for as long as the wildebeest have migrated across the open plains of the Serengeti, the proud Maasai have measured their wealth in the herds that sustain their tribe. Even today this timeless practice is little-changed, but beneath the Merelani grasslands lies a new wealth and a new beauty, that brings a new pride to Tanzania. It is unclear as to exactly how many seams of Tanzanite still lie waiting to be discovered, but TanzaniteOne CEO Dr Bernard Olivier believes that at the current rate of mining “we are looking at mining Tanzanite for around 20 more years”. Having said this, whether it’s years, or decades until the rivers of blue run dry, for those of us lucky enough to be living in the Tanzanite generation, this radiant gem truly is forever.

ITs supply Is fInITe

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Zambezi Queen ∙ Botswana

The ultimate African dream Experience boutique cruising at its finest on the luxurious Zambezi Queen. This unique houseboat experience combines the thrill of a Chobe River safari with the sumptuous extras you’d expect from a five-star resort.

T

he Zambezi Queen commands the mighty Chobe River with all the elegance her name suggests. Moored a few kilometres from the Kasane border outpost in Botswana, she appears like a glittering mirage on the silvery water, twinkling a gracious welcome in the lengthening afternoon shadows. There are few places in the world as breathtaking and unspoilt as the slice of Africa this boutique houseboat calls home. And while you’re aboard, you’re

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forgiven for losing yourself completely in the heady exoticism she evokes. From the chilled bubbly on arrival to the carameland-honey interior and exquisite sunsets, the atmosphere on this five-star craft is one of absolute hedonism and romance. There’s a timelessness about the experience that you won’t easily forget. As the Queen plies the teal-grey waters of the Chobe, you are free to let your imagination run wild. Against this spectacular backdrop, you might feel just a little bit of the

magnetic chemistry Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart ignited on screen in their 1951 epic African Queen. While you’re a guest in this fantasy wonder world, it’s also impossible not to feel a visceral connection to the surroundings. Hippos with hides the colour of wet stone emerge from the grey shallows, watching thoughtfully as you disembark from your water taxi. A knot of placid-looking buffalo graze undisturbed just metres away. It’s only the sudden call


As the Zambezi Queen plies the wide calm waters of Botswana’s Chobe River, you are made to feel like royalty. From exceptional cuisine to unforgettable game viewing, the atmosphere aboard is one of understated luxury.

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The luxe, contemporary interior has been designed with the discerning traveller in mind. This is Big Five country and sightings along the river bank are frequent.

Charming staff offer a first-class welcome before escorting you to your luxury suite. Smaller motorised boats are used for memorable African sundowner cruises and fishing expeditions.

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of a distant fish eagle or the silent slither of a nearby croc as he flicks backs into the swampy warmth that signal this isn’t a film set. It’s real, wild African bush at its most magnificent. And you’re part of it. When it comes to décor, this 45-metre piece of nautical excellence is a true show-stopper. Inside, everything is bathed in muted hues of bone, charcoal, honey, ebony and caramel. Each of the 14 spacious en-suite guest cabins boasts floor-to-ceiling views of the river, meaning you can laze back in bed while watching a herd of elephant move silently into the distance. Alternatively, sit outside on your private terrace, pink gin in hand, and drink in privileged glimpses of giraffe and zebra as the sun melts into the horizon. As the African dusk bathes the Zambezi Queen in a mauve-ish glow, the topdeck entertainment area beckons. Here, sophisticated mingling is at its best - and

as the boat accommodates only 30 guests at a time, evening meals feel like an intimate dinner party with like-minded adventurous souls. One of the highlights of your two- or three-day cruise is the evening spent under a cloudless sky at the openair boma on the Caprivi bank. Enjoy a lavish banquet served around a flickering bonfire while you soak up the scents and sounds of the wilds. Expect some engaging local entertainment to round off this authentic bush experience before setting back to your water-based home. From the sumptuous breakfast buffets to the gourmet lunches and dinners served under the watchful eye of chef Felix Ncube, the Zambezi Queen is known for her exquisite cuisine. And in between meals, there is no shortage of snacks or mojitos to enjoy on one of the upstairs decks. For sun-lovers, a splash pool offers the perfect respite from the heat of


PhotograPhs: ZamBEZi QuEEn

the day, although upright fans keep the temperature just right indoors. On board this stately vessel, nothing is superfluous and everything is eco-friendly. As she meanders down the Chobe, a jet propulsion system (instead of propellers) reduces impact on the river bed, while solar panels convert the sun’s energy into hot water. At 10pm every night, the craft switches to battery power, meaning there is no noise from a generator to disturb the tranquil starlit quiet. In your suite, crisp white linen and soft blankets on double deluxe beds means your hours of rest aboard this boutique hotel are spent in perfect comfort. Every centimetre of the Zambezi Queen’s interior is a seamless mix of African opulence and contemporary chic. But it’s her surroundings that truly take your breath away. Avid birdwatchers will delight in the jewel-coloured specimens that flitter into view, while those who

are more appreciative of a sure-footed herd of elephant or a nimble clutch of monkeys will be equally enthralled. If you want to get a bit up-close-andpersonal with the game that fans out over the riverbanks, enjoy a sunset cruise on one of the smaller vessels that allows you to get within (what seems to be) arm’s reach. Itineraries also include thrilling 4x4 game drives in the unfenced Chobe National Park as well as tiger fishing expeditions on the river. A land-based cultural tour of a nearby village is made more memorable because you paddle there in a traditional mokoro, a dug-out canoe handmade from the sausage tree. However long you spend aboard the Zambezi Queen, one thing is certain. You’ll never feel you’ve stayed long enough and will yearn to return. And until you do, you will hold precious memories of the sheer romance of this wildness close to your heart. n Biddi Rorke

Zambezi Queen

Kasane, Botswana telephone: +27 (0)21 438 0032, Cell phone: +27 (0)83 309 3874 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 438 4389 Email: info@zambeziqueen.com website: www.zambeziqueen.com the Zambezi Queen operates on the Chobe, between namibia and Botswana.

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Delaire Graff Estate ∙ South Africa

Reaching for the stars in the Cape winelands With two beautiful restaurants, a growing collection of award-winning wines, an exclusive 10-suite hotel with a spa, and an impressive contemporary art collection, Delaire Graff Estate on top of the scenic Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch is a stellar example of fine living.

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ocated between the famous winegrowing regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, Delaire Graff Estate adds a sophisticated dimension to the Cape’s growing food and wine culture with a state-of-the-art winery complemented by an extraordinary tasting lounge and two world-class restaurants. Glamorous, colour-saturated interiors with a unique South African provenance were conceived by London-based interiors guru David Collins. With the help of local artisans, Collins pulled together an authentic look that incorporates riempie chairs, beaten copper, stone-packed walls, peach-pip floors and rietdak ceilings. In the winery, winemaker Morne Vrey is producing a steady stream of awardwinning wines that are not only perfect to enjoy on their own but also complement

the excellent food being served on the estate under the experienced direction of executive chef Christiaan Campbell. The winery’s flagship restaurant, with its stunning tangerine leather banquette seating, marble fireplace and thoughtprovoking artworks, extends outdoors onto a vast terrace shaded by giant oaks. Thanks to the estate’s elevated position on the Helshoogte pass, the views are unrivalled anywhere else in the winelands and tables are highly sought after, especially in the summer. While the restaurant has an everevolving, menu of appetizers, mains and desserts, out on the terrace a wood-fired oven delivers an alternative to à la carte dining with a few simple, crowd-pleasing dishes served at lunchtime on busy days. Softly spoken yet passionately intense when talking about food, South African-

born Christiaan Campbell has a solid track record, having worked at home and abroad in some heavyweight kitchens. He likes to refer to his food as ‘sunshine cuisine’, and by this he means food that harnesses the vitality and warmth of the sun, giving life to those who eat it while providing maximum flavour and nourishment. At Delaire Graff the focus remains firmly on producing food that reflects the very best of local, ethically sourced ingredients, some of which are picked daily from the estate’s own biodynamic greenhouse

Tables on the terrace at the flagship restaurant are as sought after as Christiaan Campbell’s ‘sunshine cuisine’ (above). The impressive lodge lobby (left).

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and vegetable gardens. Dishes are created around what’s available, keeping everybody on their toes. Christiaan is also committed to sourcing proper free-range, organic meat and often buys from the biodynamic farm on the Spier Estate in Stellenbosch. The current menu features the likes of braised lamb with roast carrots and crushed peas with mint; grass-fed Spier beef sirloin served with smoked short-rib dumplings and mushroom ragout; and roast chicken with pine nut risotto, artichoke and kohlrabi. Desserts are luscious, elegant creations, such as a much-loved pistachio nougat and rose geranium ice cream or a decadent double malt ice cream sandwich with parsnip, carob cake and mascarpone. Indigenous gardens link the main restaurant to the lodges and spa, while providing the perfect foil for outdoor sculptures by prominent South African artists. In fact, the estate as a whole is like a giant gallery showcasing owner Laurence Graff’s extensive collection of important works by the likes of William Kentridge, Deborah Bell, Dylan Lewis and Lionel Smit.

The 10 exquisitely appointed lodges have a double-volume living area, a mini kitchen geared to private dining, and a heated infinity pool sunk into a generously proportioned timber deck. Uninterrupted views of the region’s famous vineyards, mountain peaks and olive groves are reason enough to linger outdoors with a glass of estate wine and irresistible canapés come sunset. Butler service is a phone call way, there’s 600-thread count Egyptian cotton bed linen, and the marble bathroom is stocked with hardworking but heavenly Aromatherapy Associates products, an essential oils-based range used in many of the specialised treatments offered in the spa. The spa is at the heart of the lodges with four cocoon-like treatment rooms, each with its own bathroom and hydromassage tub, and an outdoor pool, sauna and steam room. The estate’s second restaurant, the intimate, Asian-inspired Indochine, is part of the lodges. Headed up by chef Jonathan Heath under the guidance of Christiaan Campbell, it boasts bold blue leather

Chef Christiaan Campbell takes pride in every aspect of the guest experience. His ingredients are ethically sourced and mostly organic.

banquettes, beaten copper-topped tables and a brand-new art installation featuring 800 Perspex swallows in flight. On the menu are lighter, flavourful pan-Asian dishes infused with lemongrass, ginger, lime, chilli and coconut. With so many delights to choose from, it’s no surprise that Delaire Graff has fast become one of the premier destinations in the winelands. n Jane Broughton

Delaire Graff Estate

Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 885 8160 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 885 1270 Email: lodge.reservations@delaire.co.za Website: www.delaire.co.za

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Swallows in Flight, a collaboration between artists Lionel Smit and Andre Stead, is a dramatic focal point in Indochine restaurant.


Gorah Elephant Camp ∙ South Africa

Sleeping with giants

The Eastern Cape is elephant country, and there’s no better place to get up close and personal with these intelligent, highly social mammals than this five-star bush lodge on a private concession within Addo Elephant National Park, home to the densest population on earth. Sitting on the cool veranda of the 19th-century homestead that forms the heart of this romantic tented camp, watching calves frolicking in the nearby waterhole, you can almost imagine yourself part of the herd.

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Gorah's luxurious tented suites shelter beneath thatched canopies. Large herds of elephants are frequent visitors to the waterhole in front of the lodge. Lions were reintroduced to Addo in 2003.

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he world was a very different place when Hester Vermaak stood on the shady veranda of the newly built Gorah manor house. It was the middle of the 19th century and this was still frontier country; the farthest reaches of the growing Cape colony. Back then Gorah was one of the wealthiest farms in the district. Hester’s hard work – and the world’s love affair with ostrich feathers – had paid off, and she was known far and wide for her elegant home and warm hospitality. Plates were never empty, and the door never closed to travellers at the home of Hester Vermaak. The years passed, and today the green hills that run down to the sparkling Indian Ocean east of Port Elizabeth are a frontier of a different sort. The farmlands lie fallow and conservation is king: fences have been pulled down, lands restored and indigenous wildlife returned to their original stomping grounds.

The Eastern Cape, with its mild weather and malaria-free bushveld, is now known for Big Five escapes that make the perfect bookend to lazy days spent exploring South Africa’s picturesque Garden Route. A host of private game reserves have mushroomed on the road between Port Elizabeth and historical Grahamstown but, when it comes to Eastern Cape safaris, size certainly does matter. The herds of antelope and elephant that make this corner of South Africa famous need vast areas to roam across. The Addo Elephant National Park – South Africa’s third-largest national park – provides just that; 264 000 hectares running from sweeping coastal plains to the craggy hills where the rugged Zuurberg rises into the escarpment. And hidden away on a private concession amidst this lush landscape of valley bushveld, Gorah Elephant Camp enjoys the best of both worlds.


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PhotograPhs: gorah elePhant camP

The original homestead, built in the 19th century, has been lovingly restored and forms the heart of the camp. Its open veranda is a popular spot from which to admire the sweeping views and passing wildlife.

Morning and afternoon game experiences traverse Addo’s network of tracks, but also enjoy exclusive access to the quiet off-road routes of Gorah’s 5 000-hectare concession; the first ever to be granted in a South African national park. Unlike Addo’s self-drive visitors, Gorah’s guests get to savour the true joy of a private safari escape: the thrill of having a piece of African bush all to yourself. When Addo Elephant National Park was first proclaimed in 1931, just 16 elephants remained in the area. Today, this delicate ecosystem is home to hundreds of these magnificent pachyderms, along with Cape buffalo, rhino and a rich variety of antelope and bird species. But don’t forget to open your eyes and ears to the subtle wonders of Addo too: the humble dung beetle that’s endemic to these hills, the shy herds of endangered mountain zebra and the rumble of a lion’s contact call echoing across your hilltop sundowners. While game drives introduce guests to the remarkable diversity of wildlife in Addo, the elegant manor house and luxurious tented suites are half the glory of Gorah, an award-winning member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection. Wooden walkways wend their way between just 11 en-suite safari tents, where simple white canvas walls belie the homely luxury within. Four-poster beds and cosy armchairs cry out for afternoon naps, or perhaps spend the day on your private deck with a glass of bubbly and a pair of binoculars. Addo is home to more than 300 bird species, making it a paradise for twitchers, but as the sun sinks towards the horizon keep an eye on the lodge waterhole for thirsty elephants coming down to drink. After dark, the rustle of nocturnal activity through the canvas adds a frisson of excitement to a good night’s sleep.

But not before savouring the gourmet delights of Gorah. As a member of the acclaimed Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, dinners in the historic homestead – a proclaimed national monument – are a triumph of crystal and candlelight, with an epicurean à la carte menu and extensive wine list ensuring a memorable evening. On warm nights, enjoy dinner under African stars in the open boma, or on the veranda with views of the floodlit waterhole. After dinner sink into a deep leather armchair and swop travel tales by the cosy fire, or browse through a book from the extensive library. With its high ceilings, magnificent iron fireplaces and collection of African memorabilia, Gorah makes for a loveably old-world escape. Some 150 years on, the Gorah welcome is as warm as ever; the accommodation still sumptuous and the valley views still breathtaking. Old Hester would be rather proud. n Richard Holmes

gorah elephant camp

addo elephant national Park, eastern cape, sa telephone: +27 (0)44 501 1111 Facsimile: +27 (0)44 501 1100 email: res@hunterhotels.com Website: www.hunterhotels.com

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Royal Malewane ∙ South Africa

Seclusion, sophistication and superlative safari adventures It would be a disservice to label Royal Malewane, situated in Limpopo's Thornybush Game Reserve, as simply a luxury bush lodge. Managing to be both unstuffy and first-class, it’s a place of privilege that in every respect transcends expectations, leaving guests feeling both like pampered traveller and wilderness adventurer. Few places prioritise guest experience to quite the same degree. But then it's the kind of safari lodge that conjures up every superlative in the book.

Liz Biden's colonialinspired rooms are rich with personality and exude an old-world comfort and charm. The spa is situated around a central courtyard with a heated swimming pool.

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tiny four-seater comes to rest at the end of a runway cleared in the bush. Runway? Barely. In fact, the quizzical crowd at arrivals includes buffalo and zebra that moments before had been grazing where the plane touched down. Steadying their heels, guests find themselves in Royal Malewane’s 13 000 hectares in Thornybush Game Reserve, just west of the Kruger National Park. It is possible to get here by road, but that somehow lessens the illusion of travelling to a land before time. The illusion is in any case swiftly broken by hearty welcomes as eager-to-please staffers set about making guests feel at home. They’re passionate about the bush, and no matter what degree of luxury guests

have prepared for, they’ll continually surprise with the trouble taken to make this the safari vacation of a lifetime. By the time guests reach their sleeping quarters – oversized freestanding thatchtopped bedrooms decorated in owner Liz Biden’s inimitable, slightly theatrical style – they'll already have fallen head over heels. In love, that is. The raised teak boardwalks that link the suites enhance the sense of privacy, and underscore the drama of literally sleeping in the bush; in fact, it’s sufficiently wild that an escort is required after-dark. Perching on stilts, the simple, unfettered architecture melds easily with the bush surrounds – a foil for the plush textures and warm hues inside. It’s a sanctuary. Palatial, dreamy, fabulous – these are the kind of rooms

mothers warn their daughters about: big, handsome, seductive spaces one can’t wait to dive into after a morning or afternoon of tracking down animals. With her magpie eye for beautiful and extraordinary things, Liz adds a twist of magic to her colonial-inspired interiors. She’s dreamt up heaven-sent rooms rich with personality, yet her notion of opulence is understated and elegant, such that comfort and usability go hand-in-hand with the choice of vintage furnishings, ornaments and artworks. Liz’s skill lies in creating visually vibrant and memorable spaces that aren’t a distraction from the bush. Thus, the great outdoors can be viewed through top-to-toe windows – or more directly from your private terrace, with its open-air shower and chill-out

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A stay at Royal Malewane is all about relaxing in the splendour of the African bush, whether it‘s over tea in the lounge, or in the seclusion of its eight guest suites.

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gazebo. And in the big-boned bathroom you have only to lie back in your clawfooted bathtub to be reminded of where you are – the bush spills immediately beyond the window alongside. Still not convinced? Then how about the elephants that stop by to drink from your plunge pool? It’s supposedly private, but the pachyderms don’t care. Giraffe, buffalo, and various others will also drift past – appearing as if from nowhere, their silence-to-size ratio always an uncanny surprise. With so much going on right here, it’s helpful to remember that, should the trek back to the main lodge seem like too much effort, it’s possible to summon lunch (or a massage) right to the room. Ultimately, though, the test for a safari lodge is not the contents of the minibar or type of shampoo stocked in an admittedly palatial bathroom. The real litmus test lies in the way guests’ demand for luxury intersects with a never-to-be-forgotten wildlife experience. Sophisticated safaris are not about ticking boxes and racing between sightings as the Big Five are hunted down; a first-class safari team leads guests into the middle ground

between science and adventure, getting everyone hooked on the finer details as they discover titbits between more obvious sightings. Great guides will get the entire vehicle excited about what’s going on inside a termite mound. Sure, trackers lead visitors up close to the Big Five, and introduce some of the more than 300 bird species recorded here, but they’re also brilliant at the safari equivalent of going off the beaten track, making the interaction with the bush especially personal. Everyone leaves feeling like one of the original explorers. Or, if guests really want to return home the hero, they can ask for an on-foot expedition. Tracking rhino on their own terms is easily one of the most thrilling ways of getting to know the bush. Rifle in hand (for protection), a guide and tracker show walkers an intimate, intricate world that’s easily missed on even the most fastidious 4x4 safari. Hawk-eyed trackers show how to read Nature’s signals – paw prints in the mud, the freshness of a dung heap, the shrill call of an antelope. When you're not cavorting with wildlife, there’s plenty more to keep you going.


First prize for hedonists? Indulge at the spa. Unique to Royal Malewane is the use of mineral-rich water, tapped from beneath the ground, for various nourishing hydrotherapies. If guests come to Africa to feel nature’s pulse, this an ideal way of tuning their bodies to the right frequency. Or, for something more active, set off for a round of golf, sail above the earth in a hot-air balloon, ride an elephant, or visit one of the local communities where

it’s possible to meet a sangoma and gain insight into traditional healing practices. Sated by scintillating food, endless topups of wine and thrilling tales, each day ends floating among Ralph Lauren linens on the canopied four-poster. Somewhere in the distance, the call of a lion cuts through the ebony night and finds its way into dreams. It’s a voice from the wild that, like Royal Malewane, will linger in the heart forever. n Keith Bain

Royal Malewane

Greater Kruger National Park, Limpopo, SA Telephone: +27 (0)15 793 0150 Facsimile: +27 (0)15 793 2879 Email: info@royalmalewane.com Website: www.royalmalewane.com

PHoToGRAPHS: RoyAL MALEWANE

Five-star Royal Malewane is situated 50km from Hoedspruit and is easily accessible by both road or air, either via scheduled flights to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg or Cape Town, or via charter flights to its airstrip.

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Just what is the relationship between Méthode Cap Classique and the super-suave (fictional) secret agent? by Fiona McDonald

fourth generation winemaker at Weltevrede, written at the launch of his first Rosé MCC.

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Bond laughed and gestured the sommelier forward. He displayed the bottle of South African sparkling wine Bond had ordered to be brought when his companion arrived. The man opened it. Bond tasted it and nodded approval. Then he said to Jordaan, “You‘ll like this. A Graham Beck Cuvée Clive. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The 2003 vintage. It‘s from Robertson, the Western Cape.” Jordaan gave one of her rare laughs. “Here I‘ve been lecturing you about South Africa, but it seems you know a few things yourself.” “This wine‘s as good as anything you‘ll get in Reims.” Excerpt from Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver. Why was Cuvée Clive mentioned rather than one of the many other local bubblies? Perhaps because it‘s such a prestige cuvée, from one of the country‘s best known and most focussed Cap Classique producers, Graham Beck wines. Certainly it‘s the choice of presidents: Graham Beck bubbly was served at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994, and it was Barack Obama‘s choice when he won the Democratic party Presidential bid. Cuvée Clive is the ultimate expression of this Robertson winery having spent 60 months on the lees. (Those are the dead yeast cells in the bottle which impart additional finesse and elegance to the wine.) Initially built to make around 24 000 bottles of fizz annually, the success of Graham Beck bubbly has seen that production ratcheted up each year to

PHOTOGRAPHS: RIEHAN BAKKES

Poetic prose by Philip Jonker,

“The name‘s Bond, James Bond.” Immortal words written by Ian Fleming and uttered over the years by actors George Lazenby, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton and, most recently, Daniel Craig. With much of the action in the latest Bond thriller, Carte Blanche, taking place in and around Cape Town there‘s a lot of expectation regarding the shooting of the movie. Locals cannot wait for Daniel Craig to touch down and the cameras to begin rolling. But one of the most interesting elements of the book is a passing reference to local bubbly. As Bond says, “(It‘s) as good as anything you‘ll get in Reims.” So what is the story of South African fizz? Well, naturally it may not legally be called Champagne – only sparkling wines from the designated Champagne region of France are permitted to wear that label. Yet it is made according to precisely the same process – an acidic base wine is bottled with additional yeast and sugar added, which causes a secondary fermentation in bottle, resulting in carbon dioxide bubbles that become integrated in the wine – and using exactly the same grapes. It was 40 years ago, in 1971, that Frans Malan of Simonsig pioneered local bubbly. He called his sparkling wine Kaapse Vonkel – or Cape Sparkle – but subsequently the style of wine has been named: Méthode Cap Classique. Simply put, it‘s made in the classic Champenoise tradition – Méthode Classique – but it comes from the Cape. Et voila! Méthode Cap Classique – or MCC to its legion of fans – was born...


sparkling success story


Méthode Cap Classique is a symbol of celebration. Made in the traditional Champenoise tradition, it undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle – in South Africa, the minimum time allowed for this process is 12 months.

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the point where it now accounts for a few hundred thousand bottles. That‘s indicative of the growth of the category, much of it driven by local demand. As Graham Beck cellarmaster – and local bubbly aficionado – Pieter Ferreira says: “to get an accurate production figure is impossible … I think it‘s a South African thing not to share the truth with one another – but it‘s believed to be around six million bottles of MCC made every year.” By comparison, Champagne produces in the region of 450 million bottles annually, so how does South Africa compete? Perhaps it is because producers have got the fundamentals right that this category is on such a firm footing. One of the wineries that blazed a trail early on was Villiera in Stellenbosch. Jeff Grier engaged with Champenoise producer Jean Louis Denois and over the course of a decade the two became not only fast friends but worked the respective harvests at each others‘ properties. Grier to this day is grateful for the lessons he learned not only making Champagne in France but with Denois travelling to South Africa to be at his side once he began vinifying the wellknown Villiera Tradition MCC at home. Both Villiera and the Krone family of Twee Jonge Gezellen of Tulbagh are aware of the need for wines without sulphur. In the Krone‘s case it‘s because matriarch – and keen bubbly imbiber – Mary is allergic to sulphur, and like many others suffers migraines as a result. The one good thing about MCC is that the carbon dioxide that gives it its distinct fizz and bubble is a natural preservative and thus obviates the

need for the use of sulphur in the winemaking process. The Krone‘s Rosé Cuvee Brut is a pale salmon charmer that is ideally suited to those with sulphur sensitivities – as is Villiera‘s Brut Natural. “This product comes from angels. It is very special; every bubble goes back up to the Milky Way,” says Jean Louis of the wine – though Grier does warn that it should be drunk within a year of purchase. Cap Classique also has the power to change lives. Witness Belgian stone mason JeanPhilippe Colmant, who sold his business and moved to Franschhoek where he then set up a specialist bubbly cellar – assisted and advised by Pieter Ferreira. His is one of the few wineries that is solely focused on Cap Classique production, and his annual production is geared towards 40 000 bottles, maximum. “I believed we could fill a gap for a high quality Cap Classique bubbly that was priced slightly above the other local quality Cap Classique brands – and that we could target a market that was looking for quality and was less price sensitive,” Colmant said. Passion is such an overused word but Colmant is one of many producers who epitomise and exude their intense love of MCC and are anxious to improve the profile of the South African bubbly scene. Franschhoek dubs itself the country‘s food and wine capital and Colmant‘s neighbour Nick Davies of Franschhoek Pass Winery, makers of Morena MCC, is yet another example of enthusiasm for the fizzy stuff becoming a near obsession. Similarly, another Franschhoek winery, Topiary,


announced its arrival (out of nowhere!) in 2010 by being rated 4 Stars in Wine magazine‘s annual Cap Classique challenge – and then promptly followed that up with a full-house of 5 Stars in the 2012 Platter Guide! Another label to watch is that of GM&Ahrens, a partnership between Albert Ahrens and Gerrit Maritz. In a nod to legendary hot-air balloonist and Champagne producer Eugene Mercier, who memorably scored a marketing coup at the World‘s Fair in 1900 by offering balloon rides accompanied by copious amounts of his own Champagne, the two launched their limited release (just 2 000 bottles of 2008) vintage brut bubbly by rising above Franschhoek‘s main street at 6.15am on 1 September. “Hosting a Spring Day party that kicks off at 6.15am was something Gerrit started in 1985 – and we decided that would be the perfect time and date to announce our presence.” Franschhoek also plays host to an annual Cap Classique and Champagne festival. Traditionally held over the first weekend in December, the event has entrenched itself on the local social calendar. With Franschhoek recognised as the gourmet food and wine capital of South Africa, it stands to reason that the food offerings are as good as the bubblies that are available over the course of the weekend. Generally, bite-sized morsels are the standard fare when a large group of people are sipping from Champagne flutes. Perhaps because the fizzy stuff falls into the trap of being considered primarily an apéritif, canapés are the automatic pairing. But there are so many wonderful foods that can work brilliantly with good bubbles, as another Franschhoek personality demonstrated at the launch of Graham Beck‘s new MCC, Brut Zero 2005, in October. Margot Janse of Le Quartier Français, one of South Africa‘s most acclaimed chefs, came up with the following pairings: Brut Zero 2005: smoked Big Bay oysters, cucumber, granadilla and chorizo. Rosé 2008: mushroom, wood sorrel and celeriac. Blanc de Blanc 1993: Driehoek farm guineafowl supreme, artichokes, grilled waterblommetjies and licorice. Bliss Demi-sec NV: XL bon-bon, lime, ginger beer, apple and sticky bun ice-cream. Only an accomplished flavour-meister could be as imaginative as the above menu indicates

– but the point is that Janse took some exciting risks. Artichokes are traditionally a huge no-no when it comes to wine since it magnifies any faults and often creates a metallic taste in wine. Vital to any pairing, bubbly or not, is the weight of the wine. Hence the matching of the main course with the oldest wine – the 1993 Blanc de Blanc. A bubbly with 18 years of age on it was a wondrous thing – all rich, biscuit nuances, creamy and buttery with a pronounced nuttiness. That weight and richness was balanced by the chargrilling on the waterblommetjie and the surprising lightness and succulence of the guineafowl, which was cooked sous-vide to retain flavour and tenderness. Sparkling wine with its prominent acidity is ideally suited to oysters – and by lightly smoking the oyster and contrasting that with the vibrant bite of a tiny cube of tangy granadilla and crumbs of salty fried chorizo, it provided a turbo-boost of flavour that tangoed on the tongue! Beautifully pink and with lovely bright berry tones, the vintage Rosé was offset against the truffly earthiness of mushroom and celeriac. And as for the slightly sweet Demi-Sec Bliss and the multiple elements of the dessert… well, who wouldn‘t be a sucker for a choccie bon-bon and sticky bun ice-cream! Creativity, as in so many things, is the key to successful food and sparkling wine matches. It‘s also a characteristic that could be attributed to former Diners Club Winemaker of the Year John Laubser. He‘s the general manager of Steenberg Vineyards in Cape Town‘s exclusive Constantia area – but in his spare time, he indulges his love of fizz by making a unique, handcrafted bubbly under his own Silverthorn label. Called The Green Man Blanc de Blanc, it‘s a 100% Chardonnay MCC that has been joined by The Genie Rosé Brut. His love of bubbly comes courtesy of – you guessed it, Pieter Ferreira! Laubser worked at Graham Beck‘s sparkling wine cellar in Robertson before moving on in his winemaking career. Robertson is coincidentally also where Laubser‘s vineyards are located. He‘s a firm advocate of the chalky limestone soils of the area being perfect for Chardonnay and believes that this is a particular asset when making a Blanc de Blanc bubbly. As an

good quality and huge value

“The saltiness of the oyster is an ideal foil for the crisp flavour explosion of the fizzy bubble,” says Cape Wine Master Allan Mullins.

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Fresh AND Full oF liFe

Images featured are from Celebrating Méthode Cap Classique by Di Burger (Stacked Publications, R300). Beautiful photographs accompany 53 profiles of the 90 sparkling wine producers in the country, plus methods of production and advice on everything from how to pour, store or chill bubbles to common terminology and more food pairing ideas.

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interesting aside, Steenberg produces 48 000 bottles of MCC a year – and is quadrupling production over the next four years! But the biggest pro-factor for MCC is the price/ quality ratio. “In relation to similar bottlefermented offerings from around the world, South Africa offers amazing value”, Southern Sun hotel group sommelier Miguel Chan said in a recent Wine magazine interview. “Again, a kind of 'best-kept secret‘ of the wine world.” He said that South African MCC has the edge on other international Champagne alternatives such as Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy. “They use regional grape varieties whereas South African MCC uses the classic or traditional Champagne varieties. As with most factors in wine, when the foundation is good, great things can be expected going forward.” His sentiments were echoed by Elunda Basson, winemaker of The House of JC Le Roux, the country‘s largest sparkling wine maker. “We‘ve seen with our top MCCs that there‘s a swell in demand, particularly in Europe.” It appears that knowledgeable international palates are looking to serious styles of MCC and wanting older vintages “because it‘s seen as a worthy alternative to Champagne”. So savvy European consumers save while still drinking a quality product. As wine expert and international

wine judge Dave Hughes says: “there‘s a lot of dreadful Champagne out there – and people fall for it just because it has Champagne on the label! The top South African bubbles are so much better quality than the average Champagne – and offer huge value too.” Probably the best spot to indulge in a new Bond moment of bubbly enjoyment is at one of Cape Town‘s most stylish establishments, The Mount Nelson hotel. Or its Planet Bar to be precise – a watering hole that has played host to Robbie Williams, Kate Moss, Leonardo di Caprio and Morgan Freeman. Planet specialises in Champagne and has an impressive range of imports. One of the main reasons it‘s able to offer the likes of Veuve Clicquot, Billecart Salmon, Moët & Chandon, Laurent Perrier, Louis Roederer and Dom Perignon by the glass is that they utilise the Verre du Vin wine preservation system. This means that a bottle remains fresh and unoxidised for up to 30 days – not that Planet Bar ever have that problem since both Champagne and MCC turn over way quicker than that! And if the world‘s best secret agent is prepared to forego his traditional ‘shaken, not stirred’ martini in favour of one of South Africa‘s most prestigious Méthode Cap Classiques, they must be on to something!


Mount Grace Country House & Spa ∙ South Africa

Gracious dame in the green, rolling Magaliesburg

Mount Grace Country House & Spa is a favoured escape for those who love the calmness of country life, decadent spa offerings and fine dining with flair. An icon of the Magaliesburg, Mount Grace epitomises elegance and unpretentious luxury, attracting those intent on refreshing body and soul, while still indulging the good life. Here there’s a sense of being “far from the maddening crowd”, yet Mount Grace is just a hop from both Johannesburg and Pretoria.

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Sweeping gardens surround Mount Grace, giving it a wonderful air of tranquillity.

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t’s Friday night just before nine, and a small group gathers to head for the hills under cover of night. After a day spent at the spa, followed by a sumptuous dinner by chef Franc Lubbe, everyone has swopped strappy evening sandals for closed walking shoes. The group is chatting animatedly in anticipation of an unusual outing this evening. What is for sure is that it will be a truly unique wildlife experience. As we head out into the darkness, the group walks quietly as the guide shines an ultraviolet light heavenwards. Ironically, we are not searching for stars in the sky, but rather on the ground for shy red

scorpions that are both rare and indigenous to the Magaliesburg Mountains. When the ultraviolet light illuminates them, they glow yellow like surreal highlighters. There’s no need to get close to these extraordinary little creatures, because they shine like yellow earth stars and can be seen from a distance. For those guests not so keen on unusual noctural wildlife outings, there are guided garden and tree walks, or you can pick up a brochure and walk the gardens yourself. Bird, frog and butterfly lists are also available. To stretch your legs even more, there are mountain trails and mountain bikes,

or you could play tennis or go hot-air ballooning. Alternatively, you could simply kick back and relax in your decadent villa or suite. General Manager at Mount Grace Country House & Spa, Clayton Howard, says the establishment “offers what noone else does in the area. We take a real interest in our guests, so while there is formality there is also honest care. When guests return, we remember their likes and dislikes, even their routines.” Clayton smiles and says: “People simply get bitten by the Mount Grace bug and return again and again – some guests have been here over 35 times.”

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Flowing water and panoramic views over the surrounding hills give guests an authentic experience of being surrounded by unspoiled nature.

He adds that “time stands still here and guests often forget they are in a hotel, but when they need or want something there is always a staff member on hand to assist. We don’t have a dress code either, which further encourages complete relaxation. Being comfortable here is what’s most important.” Currently Mount Grace has mostly corporate guests during the week and leisure guests on weekends. It’s a favoured destination for conferences because of it’s accessibility to both Johannesburg and Pretoria - being an hour- and a halfhour drive respectively – and the diverse conferencing options it offers across 15 different venues – the largest seating up to 180 delegates.

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On weekends, Mount Grace has a changed atmosphere; it’s abuzz with activity yet very relaxed, with couples and groups of friends enjoying being out in the countryside. “Guests of all ages love coming here,” adds Clayton, “because our offering appeals to everyone. Young couples, older couples and groups of ladies visiting the spa with their girlfriends are all here on the weekends.” While Mount Grace has more than 120 guest rooms, peace and privacy always prevails here. The 12 secluded villas have been designed as spa villas and each has a large private plunge pool. All are decorated in a contemporary bold style that is also pure, old-world luxury. Decadence continues at the evocative


Guest suites reflect a fine marriage of new-world style and technology subtly enhanced by old-world charm and luxury.

Mount Grace Country House & Spa

spa, set in rugged gardens and with many dual rooms for couples to enjoy a pampering together. Of the 27 rooms in the spa, nine are tented bush-style treatment spaces to evoke the sense of being deep in nature. Five pools are also available to spa guests, and in-suite spa treatments can also be arranged. However, many guests design their days around mealtimes and the superb cuisine created by chef Franc Lubbe. “Country garden style food with a chic flair” is how he describes his cooking style, which includes the use of plenty of fresh herbs and unusual white lavender in some starters and desserts. While Rambling Vine is for fine dining and substantial meals, the Spa Café

seats just 60 and is wildly popular over weekends for its uncomplicated, wholesome fresh food that showcases seasonal fruit and vegetables. The third restaurant, Twist, is for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a ‘twist’. Unlike usual restaurants that prepare food in the kitchen, Twist brings the kitchen into the restaurant with an unusual buffet-style offering. “We want the buzz, the flames and the aromas right in the restaurant, with active chefs,” adds Clayton. That’s the unique trait or ‘twist’ of Mount Grace Country House & Spa: many unusual but thoroughly relaxing options, be it curled up with a book, day dreaming in the wild gardens or spotting glow-inthe-dark scorpions. n Keri Harvey

Magaliesburg, Gauteng, SA Telephone: +27 (0)14 577 5600 Facsimile: +27 (0)86 630 5834 Email: reservations@mountgrace.co.za Website: www.mountgrace.co.za Mount Grace Country House & Spa is surrounded by 10 acres of lush gardens in the Magaliesburg Mountains. It is roughly one hour’s drive from Johannesburg and a 35-minute drive from Pretoria.

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Lanzerac Hotel & Spa ∙ South Africa

Under the oaks As you’d expect on the outskirts of the winelands town known fondly as the ‘Eikestad’, a gracious avenue of stately oak trees lines the quiet country lane that leads up to the Lanzerac Hotel & Spa; the estate’s magnificent manor house taking pride of place, framed by vineyards, mountains and bright African skies.

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ituated outside Stellenbosch, the second-oldest town in South Africa, the Lanzerac estate’s title deeds stretch back to 1692; the earliest days of the Cape colony. As you wander up the tree-lined driveway, the estate’s rich past palpably wraps an arm around your shoulders. Step into the manor’s cool reception rooms and you can sense the centuries of history; of riding boots on the original yellowwood floors, music evenings echoing off heavy ceiling beams

and – timelessly – warm winelands air wafting in through tall sash windows. Today the manor house offers a handful of magnificent suites for lucky travellers. Four-poster beds, rich linens, luxuriant wallpaper and hand-carved wooden furniture hark back to a more gracious period, and ensure these sought-after suites are far and away the most romantic rooms on an unabashedly romantic estate. Yet Lanzerac’s other rooms are each glorious in their own right.

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The estate enjoys scenic mountain and vineyard views, making it a wonderful spot to enjoy tasty dishes al fresco.

Spread out across private annexes, each room is individually decorated in a style that is classical, yet modern; where wingback chairs pirouette with antique chests, and original wooden doors spill out onto your private terrace overlooking the estate’s manicured gardens. Although Cape Town is less than an hour away, you’re quickly transported to a space where life is lived a little slower; where you can recharge in peace. And if rejuvenation is what you’re after, the Lanzerac Spa is just a few steps away. Saunas and steam rooms ease away those travelling aches and pains, before the

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spa’s signature Theravine treatments use the goodness of grape extracts from local vineyards to rest and restore. The Lanzerac Spa is also one of just a handful in the country to offer the ‘Dr. Fish’ treatment, where hundreds of small ‘doctor fish’ exfoliate and micro-massage your skin. But the winelands is as much about indulgence as it is rejuvenation, and with a selection of restaurants and a worldclass winery on site there are few better places than Lanzerac to spoil yourself. A cornucopia of restaurants and bars are scattered across the estate, offering something for every palate. With its

sheltered setting and Mediterraneaninspired cuisine the Lady Anne Courtyard offers delightful summer dining, while a few steps away you’ll find the cosy Taphuis Bar. Housed in one of the estate’s original buildings adjoining the manor house, the low ceilings, flagstone floors and deep hearth make this a perfect option for enjoying hearty bistro cuisine by the fireside on a rainy winter’s day. But one of the main attractions of the estate is perhaps best enjoyed at night. The Governor’s Hall is the flagship restaurant at Lanzerac, with portraits of the eponymous colonial governors gazing


Lanzerac's 48 rooms are an oasis of calm while the antique-filled Craven Lounge, named for South African rugby player and long-time Stellenbosch resident Danie Craven, is a gracious spot for pre-dinner drinks.

down on diners as they enjoy fine Cape cuisine from chef Stephen Fraser. The à la carte selection offers a gourmet wander across the country’s culinary heritage, with the best local produce re-imagined into a inspired menu. A few steps from the Governor’s Hall, the Craven Lounge and Esquire Cigar & Whisky Lounge are ideal for a nightcap of fine whisky or cognac. Cognac for a nightcap, perhaps, but a highlight of Lanzerac is undoubtedly the stylish winery and tasting room. This is, after all, one of South Africa’s best-known wine estates, and – nearly a century after the first grapes were pressed here – Lanzerac continues to grow and produce award-winning wines under the watchful eye of winemaker Wynand Lategan. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc do particularly well in this valley, but it is a more robust red that is perhaps Lanzerac’s best claim to fame. For it was here, in 1959, that the world’s first Pinotage was bottled. This entirely new cultivar – a hybrid of

Pinot Noir and Hermitage/Cinsault – was created in Stellenbosch, first grown on Lanzerac vines and has gone on to become the iconic South African wine. It’s an honour remembered today in the estate’s remarkable Pionier Pinotage; an iconic wine that fittingly traces its roots to an iconic estate, on the doorstep of South Africa’s oldest wine route. The pioneering spirit of the Eikestad certainly lives on at Lanzerac. n Richard Holmes

Lanzerac Hotel & Spa

Stellenbosch, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 887 1132 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 887 1941 Email: res@lanzerac.co.za Website: www.lanzerac.co.za

PHoTogrAPHS: nEIL AuSTEn

Lanzerac Hotel & Spa is situated on a 155-hectare wine estate on the outskirts of picturesque Stellenbosch. It is approximately a 50-minute drive from Cape Town, and 30 minutes from the airport. It is ideally positioned to explore the winelands as well as the many art galleries, craft shops and museums in the area.

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Colonial comfort Highlands Country House ∙ South Africa Steeped in happy family memories and with a rich, textured history, Highlands Country House

n HIGHLANDS COUNTRY HOUSE

in Cape Town’s leafy southern suburbs is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all retreat for guests

Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape, SA

seeking privacy, personalised service and relaxation. Built in 1900, this beautifully restored Herbert

Telephone: +27 (0)21 797 8810

Baker manor combines all the charm of a bygone era (pressed ceilings and original Broseley roof tiles) with up-to-the-minute mod-cons (WiFi and flatscreen TVs in every room) and indulgent creature comforts (the resident spa offers utterly decadent treatments).

Facsimile: +27 (0)21 761 0017 Email: info@highlands.co.za Website: www.highlands.co.za

With the glut of over-the-top five-star hotels dotted around the Mother City, it’s a relief to find a boutique hotel that displays a singular sense of style and place. From the noble entrance to each of the 14 rooms, the feminine, colonial-esque décor imparts a sense of genteel grandeur without being stuffy. The impeccable, manicured garden (with a solar-heated swimming pool round the back and a slimline lap pool in the front) is the work of resident gardener, Matyoko Williams, who has worked at the property for more than 11 years. As has front-of-house manager Jane Osborne, whose knowledge of Highlands history will have you rapt. The impeccable service of the hands-on staff deserves special mention. Whether you take an extra shot of espresso in your cappuccino, your boiled eggs slightly runny, or boiling water and lemon with your meals, they have a knack for remembering the details, so you need ask only once. Highlands’ proximity to attractions such as the Constantia Winelands and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens does not detract from its splendid sense of seclusion: once you are cocooned within the Nikki Benatar

This historical home was built by Victorian architect Sir Herbert Baker and is set in green, leafy gardens in one of Cape Town's most prestigious suburbs.

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PHOTOGrAPHS: HiGHlAndS COunTry HOuSe

grounds of this historical home, the outside world feels light years away.


This boutique country hotel lies in a secluded green valley in the picturesque town of Swellendam, about three hours' drive east of Cape Town.

Historical oasis of chic

n DE KLOOF LUXURY ESTATE Swellendam, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)28 514 1303

De Kloof Luxury Estate ∙ South Africa

Facsimile: +27 (0)28 514 1304 Email: info@dekloof.co.za

Early morning sunshine dusts the Langeberg mountains in honey hues and there’s a profound

Website: www.dekloof.co.za

sense of stillness as a new day dawns at De Kloof. At this five-star Swellendam guesthouse, where bubbly and the newspaper serve as your wake-up call, all life’s craziness seems far away. Set on an historical estate – the perfectly preserved Cape Dutch manor dates back to 1801 – De Kloof is a smooth blend of gracious old-world living and modern amenities. The whitewashed farm buildings boast interiors in natural, nude shades and clean lines softened by just a little French flair. "Colonial eco chic,” is how owner Marjolein van Mourik describes her crisp style. Having lived and run hotels on every continent, she and her husband Roy have combined their globetrotting experiences to create a slice of heaven in the Cape’s third oldest town. There are eight guest suites, including two honeymoon suites, spread between the manor house and its outbuildings, all swathed in comfort with decadent soft furnishings and modern

PHOTOGRAPHS: DE KLOOF LuxuRy ESTATE

necessities such as WiFi. Taking centre stage is the surrounding natural beauty, with all suites enjoying breathtaking vistas of the gardens and mountains. Organic vegetables and herbs are grown on the estate, and make their way to the intimate restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can also indulge in afternoon tea in one of the cosy lounges, or book a relaxing treatment in the new massage room. As the day draws to a close, there’s wine tasting and tapas followed by a decadent à la carte dinner either inside or in the secluded garden. End the evening in the whisky and cognac lounge, enjoy a Cuban cigar and then retire until tomorrow, when another idyllic day beckons.

Keri Harvey

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A cradle of luxury living Forum Homini Hotel ∙ South Africa n Forum Homini HoTEL

Want to tick the Cradle of Humankind – a World Heritage Site that has produced some of the world’s

& rooTS rESTAurAnT

most important archaeological finds – off your list of the planet’s must-see places? Then you’ll be

Letamo Game Estate, muldersdrift,

happy to discover that the perfect place to stay over has (like Homo sapiens) already fully evolved.

Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng, SA Telephone: +27 (0)11 668 7000 Facsimile: +27 (0)11 668 7010 Email: reservations@forumhomini.com Website: www.forumhomini.com

The Forum Homini experience begins with the unique architecture, which alludes to the fascinating story of the history of mankind. Its award-winning Roots restaurant opens up to a wide deck with tranquil lake views. Here the innovative Roots team creates dishes that are essentially French with subtle African and Asian influences. The menu changes daily and each course is matched with complementary wines. The hotel has 14 luxury suites – cut into the earth, with grass-covered roofs, evoking a feeling of luxury cave living. Each suite features a fireplace, stalactite lights and a kingsize bed enveloped in a romantic tulle canopy, and leads through a waterfall of sparkling coloured beads that cascade over the doorway to a large glass-roofed shower. A luxurious bath for two is set in the lounge so you can bathe in bubbles while overlooking your own private patio and the pristine bushveld, where antelope and zebra graze peacefully on the distant hills beyond. At Forum Homini, every visit is a journey of discovery, and after eons of bipedal locomotion our Robyn Alexander

PHoTogRAPHS: FoRum HomInI HoTEl

species can now put its feet up! This is luxury living beyond the mists of time.

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Classic elegance 51 Harrow Road, Sandhurst, Johannesburg n For more information contact

Once the gracious headquarters of the Austrian Consulate, this Sandhurst home is one of grand

Corinna Lowry: +27 (0)82 652 8891

proportions. Sweeping into its capacious parking area and past the sizeable Koi in the pond near the

George Papadopoulos: +27 (0)84 454 1834

entrance, it’s evident that it was designed to host many guests with ease. It is well situated on an

sandhurst@seeff.com SeeFF Sandton telephone: +27 (0)11 784 1222

acre that includes a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool and manageable garden, plus expansive entertaining areas. The house was originally designed by award-winning Johannesburg-based

asking price: R18 million

architectural firm Louis Louw Johan Bergenthuin and has had several extensions over the years to

(offers from R16 999 000)

create a spacious home ideal for an executive lifestyle. The heart of the central living area comprises four reception rooms with a large kitchen leading to a billiard room, dining area, formal living room and relaxed family room. All of these flow outdoors with ease to expansive covered entertaining areas overlooking the swimming pool and garden – perfect for those who wish to entertain in style. Five bedrooms and bathrooms are configured over two wings in the home. One wing leads to three well-sized bedrooms, a spacious study area and a lounge leading to the main suite. Off this is a Hollywood-style dressing room, walk-in safe and spacious en-suite bathroom with direct access to a covered patio area with a Jacuzzi. Two more bedrooms are in the opposite wing, one of which has a separate entrance, making it ideal for conversion into a home office (or even a home theatre) as it has easy access to the driveway. Clients or guests would enjoy secure parking for up to 15 cars in four garages, four carports and the paved entrance area. The house is fitted with air-conditioning and heating units plus fireplaces, with an additional generator, for year-round comfort.

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A prime location, magnificent views, superior fixtures and fittings, and a smooth indoor-outdoor flow characterise this Cape Town penthouse.

Penthouse playground V&A Waterfront Marina, Cape Town One of only 11 penthouses set on the front yacht basin of the V&A Marina, this airy, light-filled space with floor-to-ceiling glass panels boasts exceptional, unobstructed waterfront views. Direct elevator access is to the entertainment level and open-plan dining and lounge areas that lead onto generous patios. A beautifully appointed kitchen and bar area, separate laundry, guest cloak room and two bedrooms en suite complete the facilities on this floor. Upstairs, the pièce de résistance is an expansive private living room and a main bedroom area with ‘his and hers’ bathroom suites. All boast floor-to-ceiling glass walls leading on to large balconies. Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour, the V&A Waterfront is the jewel of Cape Town and has become South Africa’s most-visited destination. Set against the backdrop of Table Mountain, restored wharves, warehouses and quays boast exciting shopping and entertainment venues intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments. With this central location, the penthouse is a stress-free drive from the airport and the perfect weekend retreat from Johannesburg. Part of the vision for the V&A Waterfront was for it to be lived in and V&A Marina Residential is the

n For more information contact

culmination of six years of planning and design to produce one of the world‘s foremost residential

Adrian Mauerberger +27 (0)82 626 6454

locations. The development is now complete and is made up of 11 buildings situated on the Marina canal, which links the Waterfront to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, plus another six buildings set directly on the yacht basin. All together there are 518 apartments and more than

adrian@seeff.com Emelia van der Linde +27 (0)83 748 5184 emelia@seeff.com SEEFF WATERFRONT

200 yacht moorings. All the units are on the water‘s edge and a short walk through this secure

Telephone: +27 (0)21 425 5970

estate along gently lit landscaped walkways finds you in the bustling heart of the Waterfront.

Asking price: R26 million

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Gracious hillside villa 175 Frederick drive, Northcliff, Johannesburg Perched on Northcliff Ridge, in one of Johannesburg’s most affluent and established areas, this spacious 700m2 home offers sweeping views over its landscaped garden towards the Magaliesburg mountains. The owners have an eye for architectural detail and spent considerable time planning and building their exquisite home, paying special attention to ensuring it has impeccable finishes and a superb flow. The house is well situated on an extensive, north-facing stand and offers the ultimate in privacy with well-established trees in the large garden. The 4 249m² property can be sub-divided and has a second entrance on another road. From the moment you enter the generous entrance hall and step through into the formal lounge and separate dining room with its gracious fireplace, you are struck by the home‘s majestic style. Gleaming parquet floors and wooden windows blend with travertine tiles, giving the space character and charm. Imported antique crystal chandeliers have been used throughout and add a welcoming touch. The spacious family room flows out to a covered entertainment patio complete with piped music. The light-filled, open-plan kitchen and breakfast area blends sophisticated neutrals with granite and wood and is equipped with Siemens appliances, two ovens and a gas hob. It‘s perfect for family gatherings and the utility room alongside makes entertaining a pleasure. A sweeping marble staircase, with stunning wrought-metal detailing in the balustrade, leads n For more information contact

upstairs to the main bedroom which has a full en-suite bathroom, dressing room and large

Norah Whittingham-Jones:

balcony from which to enjoy the stunning views. There are a further two bedrooms and one

+27 (0)83 628 5290 norah.wj@seeff.com Cynthia Todd: +27 (0)82 781 4404 cynthia.todd@seeff.com

bathroom upstairs, with three bedrooms, one en suite, and two additional bathrooms downstairs. The garden has its own borehole and fully computerised sprinkler irrigation system. It boasts

SeeFF RaNdbuRg

sandstone patios, water features, a herb garden, floodlit tennis court and a large swimming pool.

Telephone: +27 (0)11 476 3536

With state-of-the-art security, staff accommodation, double auto garages and four carports, this

asking price: 9 999 000

home is the perfect lifestyle choice for the executive family.


The spacious entertainment wing leads on to the mostly indigenous garden, which features a floodlit tennis court, pavilion and swimming pool, as well as sweeping views.

The Cape’s finest 49 Canterbury Drive, Bishopscourt, Cape Town Set on a 12 000m2 plot with uninterrupted views towards Table Mountain, this extensive property boasts voluminous proportions, quality interior finishes and elegant design. A masterpiece of baronial-style splendour and with superb flow from indoors out, it’s perfectly suited to entertaining. The portico-covered entrance opens into a gracious hall with a dual staircase connecting all the living spaces. At the heart of the house is a spacious ‘entertainment wing’ that flows harmoniously from a central built-in bar area to a billiard room, home theatre, kitchen with separate scullery, open-plan family room and casual dining area. All are double volume with tall custom-made doors and windows adding to the sense of grandeur. Special features include a gentleman’s club wine cellar and cigar lounge. A dual office and library has a separate entrance for receiving guests or clients. A covered terrace, with glass-stacking doors and a built-in barbeque and pizza oven, frames the magnificent views and leads into the landscaped garden. There are seven sumptuous bedrooms, all incorporating spacious en-suite bathrooms and dressing rooms with built-in cupboards. Every room in the main house leads to a terrace or balcony with spectacular views. The main suite incorporates a lounge with gas fireplace, ‘his and hers’ glamorous bathrooms and dressing rooms. A separate two-bedroomed Estate Managers’ home, state-of-the-

n For more information contact Ingrid McFarlane: +27 (0)83 658 4267 ingrid@seeff.com SeeFF ConSTanTIa

art security, imposing gates with a guard house, a 10-bay garage, a lift, generator and borehole

Telephone: +27 (0)21 794 5252

complete this executive villa.

asking price: R98 million

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Property in his blood Chairman of leading South African real estate group, Seeff Property Services, Samuel Seeff shares his local expertise. by Ann Ellis-Brown

n  Do you think buying property in South Africa is a good investment against currency inflation and devaluation? In my view, property as an investment is all about timing, timing, timing. If you get your timing right you can look like an absolute genius; if you get it wrong you can look like an idiot – for the same property, in the same position, with nothing else changing. For example, foreigners who bought in 2002 when the rand was weak enjoyed a double bonus if they sold between 2003 and 2007. The market appreciated dramatically: we had the highest growth rate in the world in 2004 at 35%; the second highest in 2005 at 24%. Then the rand strengthened. So there was huge capital growth as well as financial growth for those taking foreign currency home. So, if you buy today and the rand strengthens, you could sell next year and make money regardless of what happens in the property market. But few buy property as a currency hedge. Most buy with their hearts, and it‘s a big decision for them. n  Where would you recommend foreigners buy in South Africa? The major metropolitan areas always retain their resale value. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t buy anywhere remote because you wouldn’t be able to sell as easily. n  What makes South Africa unique? Even in the most built-up area you’ll find a niche of soul that is difficult to replicate. South Africa offers different landscapes and plenty of space – the lack of feeling that you’re on top of millions of other people From most coastal cities you can drive an hour and see whales, or fly an hour and a half and see a pride of lions in the bush. It’s difficult to get all that anywhere else. For those from the UK, there’s a shared history, culture and language. For those coming from Europe, it’s an easy overnight trip, the winelands are similar… it’s a new environment but you still feel comfortable.

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n  What are the levels of red tape when buying property in South Africa as a foreigner? There’s very little of it. The only big difference is that a signed offer to purchase is a legally binding document. If the seller accepts your offer, you have to buy, and the seller can sue if you don’t. On purchasing, you pay the purchase price and the transfer duty that accrues. Another plus is that our deeds office is one of the most sophisticated in the world. Land ownership can be traced back to when Jan van Riebeeck arrived in the Cape in 1652. When you take transfer and receive your deed nobody can challenge it. When you sell, you can repatriate whatever funds you’ve brought in or made from the sale after capital gains tax. n  Is there proposed legislation that will impact on foreigners being able to buy South African property in the future? Owners of privately held land currently can, and I believe will continue to be able to, sell to foreigners. There is some discussion about government only selling state land to locals. n  What are Seeff’s greatest achievements in the property industry? The biggest was getting the industry players together: in the Cape, we have worked with a newspaper publisher to bring out the weekly Saturday property magazines for 20 years. We put together Mortgage SA, now Ooba; we were listed on the main board of the stock exchange in 1995 – the only real estate company to be listed on the main board. Personally, I was recognized last year by the Property Association for a lifetime achievement award. n  Do you think Johannesburg will become the New York of Africa? Johannesburg has an energy and a buzz I don’t experience in any other city in Africa. It’s cosmopolitan and engaged – people come from all over to do business there. Having said that, I think Sandton will be the Manhattan or Hong Kong of Africa, if they get it right. Joburg’s CBD

Capetonian Samuel Seeff was born and bred in the Mother City. Seeff Property Services was founded by his father in 1964, and he was just 21 when he and his older brother Lawrence took over the reins shortly after his father's death in 1984. Since then, the company has grown to be a leader in southern Africa with offices throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia.

is turning around, but I still think Sandton is where you should put your money. n  Three adjectives for Cape Town and Joburg: Cape Town is beautiful, considered, balanced – people work long hours but they also take off early to walk on the mountain, play golf or go to the beach. Johannesburg is energtic, dynamic, exciting. n  Dream home? Somewhere on the Mediterranean – the south of France or Tuscany. I love that sunshine. n  Weekend retreat? Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands. n  Soccer or rugby? I am a rugby fan, but my first true love has to be soccer. I loved the 2010 FIFA World Cup. n  Define luxury? Quality and craftsmanship. n  What does family mean to you? Everything I do is for my family. n  What are you currently reading? Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures. He looks at social phenomena and interprets them. It’s very interesting. He’s well worth reading.


Axor Bouroullec Axor Axor Bouroullec Bouroullec

Feel Free to Compose. Axor Bouroullec gives you the opportunity like never before to tailor the bathroom to your needs. More on this innovative bathroom collection andAxor the designers Ronan and Bouroullec at Feel Bouroullec gives us the Feel Free Free to to Compose. Compose. Axor Bouroullec gives usErwan the opportunity opportunity www.hansgrohe.co.za or call one of our regional offices:

Feel Compose. Axor gives the opportunity like never to the bathroom needs. More like Free nevertobefore before to tailor tailor theBouroullec bathroom to to our our us needs. More on on the the innovative bathroom collection and Ronan and Erwan like never before to 4761 tailor the bathroom to ourCape: needs. More the innovative bathroom collection and the the designers designers Ronan andon Erwan Gauteng: 087 943 Western 021 447 7144 Bouroullec at: innovative bathroom collection designers Ronan Eastern Cape: 044 873 0638 and the KwaZulu-Natal: 031and 791 Erwan 2277 Bouroullec at: pro.hansgrohe-int.com/axor-bouroullec pro.hansgrohe-int.com/axor-bouroullec Bouroullec at: pro.hansgrohe-int.com/axor-bouroullec


singh& singh &sons PON/2834/Opulent living/E

Opulent Living Editorial

Inspired by the charismatic and revolutionary viticulturist, Desiderius PongrĂĄcz will always be an impeccable pairing for those ďŹ ner moments in life.

Opulent Living

Not for Sale to Persons Under the Age of 18.

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Johannesburg flies high Lufthansa named the Airbus A380 that flies its popular route between Frankfurt and OR Tambo for the city of Johannesburg in June, highlighting the importance of the relationship between Germany and South Africa.

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n a festive ceremony at OR Tambo International Airport, a Lufthansa A380 was christened ‘Johannesburg’. After the ceremonial pouring of champagne over the fuselage, the city's executive mayor Parks Tau proudly unveiled the name, and then ‘Johannesburg’ took to the skies, flying guests to Cape Town and back. The

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sociable trip included a scenic flip around the Cape Peninsula, with pilots flying low enough to give guests a wonderful bird's eye view of Table Mountain. The A380 was introduced on to the Frankfurt to Johannesburg route in 2010 and confirms OR Tambo's importance as a major hub for passengers travelling from Europe.

09 [01] Parks Tau, Executive Mayor of Johannesburg. [02] Cheryl Walker, Helen de Nobrega and Wilco van Eeden. [03] Jessica Baker and Toby Venter (Porsche SA). [04] Themba Mthamkori. [05] Parks Tau christens the aircraft with the traditional bottle of bubbly. [06] Kay Kratky (Lufthansa). [07]. Dieter Haller and Axel Simon (Lufthansa). [08] Barbara Lenhard (Opulent Living). [09] The stylish Lufthansa A380 crew.

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Brandy shines bright The SA Brandy Foundation rolled out the red carpet with a glamorous banquet at Val de Vie in Paarl in October, showcasing the spirit as a versatile tipple and inducting five new members into the Brandy Guild.

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his year’s SA Brandy Foundation banquet, themed ‘A Night with the Stars’, saw celebrities and selected media from all over the country fly into the Mother City for a night that saw brandy take centre stage – and enjoy one encore after the next. “2011 marks a special year for South African Brandy,” said Dr Caroline Snyman, Chairperson of the SA Brandy Foundation. “We have triumphed on the world stage a total of 10 times – in only 13 short years – and this year a South African brandy once

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again won the coveted title of World’s Best Brandy at the IWSC in London.” Guests sipped on brandy cocktails while watching a game of polo, and then enjoyed an outdoor performance by the Gugulethu Tenors before heading in to dinner. The star of the show served as the inspiration for all four courses of the flavourful meal, with each course paired with a premium brandy. When the meal ended, Lira took to the stage with a surprise performance – and within minutes guests were on their feet and jiving to her catchy hits.

09 [01] Paul Reynell (MagnaCarta) and Tharien Nel (Media Nova). [02] Christelle ReadeJahn (SA Brandy Foundation) and Adele Ankiewics (Distell). [03] Local singing superstar Lira. [04] Florian Gast and Barbara Lenhard (Opulent Living). [05] Francois Ferreira (Francois Ferreira Academy) and Margot Janse (Le Quatier Français). [06] Wandie and Morale Ndala (Wandie's Place). [07] New guild members: Margot Janse, Brett Nankin (Africa Discount Liquors), Caroline Snyman (SA Brandy Foundation), Billy Gallagher (School for Tourism and Hospitality Studies), Rudge Sitai (Sam's Inn) and Hennie Heyl (ex Distell). [08] TV presenter Doreen Morris, former Miss SA Amy Kleinhans and socialite Edith Venter. [09] Africa Melane (CapeTalk), Christelle Reade-Jahn and Ayanda Holo (Misael SA Art).


A platinum occassion The 2012 American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards held in both Johannesburg and Cape Town this September provided ample evidence that the art of fine dining is alive and well in South Africa.

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eld at Bentley’s prestigious showrooms, the 14th American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards paid tribute to 78 top fine dining restaurants in South Africa. The judges of the 2012 awards were well-known Johannesburg-based writer and food critic, Victor Strugo, and Cape Town-based “foodie” Tamsin Snyman. Establishments were rated according to quality, cuisine, décor, service, creativity, ambience, wine list and – of course – their acceptance of American Express cards. “It is fantastic to know that there are 78 restaurants around the country that meet

the exacting standards of the programme,” said Tina Venter, Head of Card Marketing for American Express. Eight restaurants were recipients of their first American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards: BistroSixteen82, Nobu, Planet@Mount Nelson and Reuben’s One&Only in the Cape Peninsula; Pierneef at La Motte in the Cape Winelands; Bice, Café del Sol and Le Soufflé in Gauteng. Three restaurants also reached the prestigious milestone of 10 consecutive years as members of the programme: 96 Winery Road and Fraai Uitzicht 1798 in the Winelands and La Campagnola in Gauteng.

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[01] Tina Venter (American Express). [02] TV sports presenter Carol Manana. [03] Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast (Opulent Living). [04] SABC TV presenter Liezl van der Westhuizen and Jay Badza (Jenny Newman PR). [05] Tshipi Alexander (American Express) and Amanda Roberts (Grande Provence). [06] Norma Ratcliffe (Warwick Estate). [07] Tshipi Alexander and Nancy Kinchela (Saxon). [08] A saxophonist provided musical entertainment. [09] Michaela Soule (Essential Consulting for Hunter Hotels). [10] Tshipi Alexander and Chris Erasmus (La Motte).

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[01] Carla Antoni (Carla Antoni Collection). [02] Carina Gous (Distell). [03] Mark Norrish (Ultra Liquors). [04] Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast (Opulent Living). [05] Etienne Le Riche (Le Riche Wines). [06] Glamour was the order of the day. [07] Guest speaker David White (founder of wine blog Terroirist). [08] R. Goulart, G. Mateleonne and Joevila De Bouraos. [09] Burger Badenhorst (De Kelders) [10] Food and wine editor Jos Baker (right) and fellow auctiongoer. [11] Christelle van Niekerk (De Grendel). [12] Eben Sadie (Sadie Family Wines) and Pete Gottgens (Asara).

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Under the hammer The 37th Nederburg Auction, held in Paarl in September, saw a new record price for a South African wine, a steep increase in prices overall, and great international interest in rare red and fortified wines.

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t's always a fine occasion when top wine buyers come together at Nederburg in Paarl to bid for some of South Africa's finest wines. The 37th event was no exception, and saw a healthy eight percent jump in overall income, to R6.1 million. The highlight was the record R68 000 paid for a six-bottle case of Monis

Collectors Port 1948 by Nigerian wine importer, Obi Josephat Ndibe. The charity sale on the day raised R183 000 for Goedgedacht Trust, the Pebbles Project Trust and the Anna Foundation, with Ndibe once again paying the highest price: R31 000 for a bottle of Echezeaux 1966 from Domaine de la Romanee Conti.

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A Daimler Brand

Vehicle specifications may vary for the South African Market.

When you see the New CLS, you’ll probably be overcome with many emotions. The new design of this iconic four-door coupÊ, featuring a LED Intelligent Light System including adaptive headlamps standard throughout and exclusive handcrafted interior design elements, leaves nothing to be desired from an aesthetic perspective. Rest assured the beautiful exterior does indeed hint at what lies within with state-ofthe-art features that ensure every bit of this car meets your standards of perfection. www.mercedes-benz.co.za/cls

The New Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Calm yourself. The palpitations will pass.


www.opulentliving.co.za


Opulent Living Magazine no 5