Neighbourhood 13 OCTOBER 2019
PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE
Serene Swartland Malmesbury is one of those towns making it easy for people to have the priviledge of living on the platteland and working in the city, page 6
ASH IS AT IT AGAIN
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NEWS & LIFESTYLE
13 OCTOBER 2019
Editor’s exclusive CARLA REDELINGHUYS
In your hood:
Haute Cabrière |
021 876 8500 | cabriere.co.za
How does your garden grow? G
reen spaces, no matter how big or small, have the potential to bring people together, which is why on Sunday 20 October South Africans are encouraged to wear a flower crown and celebrate Garden Day with neighbours, family and friends. Garden Day was created by Candide, a gardening app that connects gardeners with fellow plant lovers, public gardens and plant nurseries, with the aim of kick-starting a movement to unite all South Africans.
Enthusiasts are encouraged to show their support by making and wearing flower crowns and hosting a celebratory event. It could be tea and cake, a glass of umqombothi, a plant swap, or lunch on the lawn… As long as you’re surrounded by greenery and toasting the goodness our gardens give us all year round. Local chefs like Bertus Basson is also getting in on the action and have put together Garden Day-inspired recipes with ingredients that people can find in their own gardens. For your celebration, why not try his delectable and super-easy Garden Succotash:
Ingredients Serves 4 2 cups samp, cooked 250ml vegetable stock 100g cauliflower handful spinach 100g broccoli 6 pumpkin blossoms, torn (optional) handful fresh basil 100g butter 50g raw peanuts salt pepper 1 lemon vegetable oil
Method 1. In a pot heat up the samp and vegetable stock. 2. Add all the vegetables to the samp mixture and simmer until the vegetables are cooked. 3. Add the butter and stir to emulsify the vegetable stock. The starch in the samp will assist in forming a light emulsion. 4. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. 5. In a separate pan heat up a little bit of oil and toast the raw peanuts. 6. Finish off the succotash with the toasted peanuts. Taking part in Garden Day couldn’t be easier: Go to gardenday.co.za to download a toolkit with hints, tips and how-to videos and don’t forget to join the movement by following @GardenDaySA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
High times for Haute Cabrière Long famous for both their still wines and cap classique sparklers, familyowned Haute Cabrière on the Franschhoek Pass has released a trio of signature wines celebrating special sites on the estate WORDS: RICHARD HOLMES IMAGES: SUPPLIED
he new range – dubbed the Haute Collection – consists of a trio of wines from the 2017 vintage: a barrel-fermented chardonnay with a component fermented in clay amphora, a pinot noir, and a 100% amphora chardonnay. With chardonnay’s popularity on the rise, the addition of two still chardonnays to the estate’s line-up is sure to be welcomed. The new range was no happy accident though. Rather than stumbling upon standout batches in the cellar, cellar master Takuan von Arnim says he and winemaker Tim Hoek “are always actively looking for particular blocks on the farm that have heritage and character. The chardonnay, for instance, was the first vineyard to be planted on the farm, in 1983. It gives such amazing fruit.” The Haute Collection Chardonnay is a blend of wines matured in both oak barrels and 450 litre clay amphorae. The result? An elegant “chard” with subtle oak richness on the palate. A different offering altogether is the Haute Collection Amphora Chardonnay. Here citrus freshness and bright minerality shows just why these clay vessels are making a
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comeback in the winelands. Using neutral amphorae to ferment wines from specific sites, “shows the purest expression of terroir”, says Takuan. As with the historic chardonnay vineyard, the block chosen for the Haute Collection Pinot Noir is also remarkable. Situated higher up on the farm, on the slopes of the Middagkrans Mountain, the vineyard was planted more than 20 years ago by founder Achim von Arnim. With 10,000 vines per hectare, high by local standards, “the focus is on terroir and concentration and competition between the vines”, says Takuan. “Unless you put vines into a tight spot they don’t give you their best.” Alongside the new Haute Collection, the cellar has – just in time for summer – also released a brand-new rosé-style wine from pinot noir. With more structure than the cellar’s ever-popular chardonnay-pinot noir blend, “the new rosé fits into the Haute Cabrière range beautifully”, says Takuan. “It’s a perfect stepping stone into pinot noir, and really closes the circle of the wines we create.”
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In your hood:
13 OCTOBER 2019
NEWS & LIFESTYLE
Cape Town CBD
Riverine Rabbit | 021 424 7204 | riverinerabbit.com
Spring in the air As Riverine Rabbit approaches its first birthday, chef Ash Heeger explores spring ingredients in the new season’s menu WORDS: KIT HEATHCOCK
IMAGES: KIT HEATHCOCK & SUPPLIED
ustainability has been the focus of Ash Heeger’s Riverine Rabbit since the family-owned Church Street restaurant opened a year ago. Her previous restaurant Ash, in the same premises, explored ethical meat in all its forms; the new iteration, named after the endangered Riverine rabbit of the Karoo, applies Ash’s considerable fine-dining experience and skills in celebration of the whole spectrum of local produce. We were treated to a preview of the new spring menu, where a beautiful fish dish exemplified Ash’s approach. Red Roman – from Abalobi – is simply grilled on the Josper, the vegetables providing an intricate background canvas of contrasting flavours – thin slices of fennel braised in a compound butter flavoured with various seaweeds she’d collected and dried and a touch of anchovy for umami depth,
the spring freshness of broad beans and cucumber from Abalimi, sea lettuce foraged and lightly pickled, it’s all super local and sparkling fresh. Our seven-course tasting menu with well-judged wine pairings had already started on a high note, with snacks of sublime millionaire’s cheese on toast crowned with truffle butter, chickpea curry pani puri on a bed of dune spinach, and toasted focaccia with bacon jam, quail’s egg, caviar and porcini dust. The honey-cured thick flank of beef, reimagined with a creamy gentlemen’s relish of anchovy and garlic, pickled and fresh mushrooms and cured egg yolk, with divine potato crisps, managed to be at the same time intensely grown-up and evocative of childhood treats. Ash’s dishes have a confident complexity with many layers of flavour, but an overall simplicity that gets right to the heart of the ingredients. That quiet confidence is reflected in the almost silent open kitchen – smoothly running, calm and focussed. It’s fine dining without any hint of pretension or flamboyance. As a self-confessed butter freak, putting together a vegan tasting menu was a challenge but one that Ash has relished. It launches this month, including a lovely burnt leek dish with luscious vegan Béarnaise, hazelnuts and pickled lemon. After a superb duck dish using the whole bird – breast, rillettes and duck fat potatoes – we’d gone beyond an elegant sufficiency, but Ash’s new Hangi pudding revived our flagging appetites. Dreamt up on a recent visit to New Zealand, it’s a gorgeous deep honey sponge pudding, with sweet potato, cinnamon and nutmeg parfait, lime crème fraiche and cider compressed apples. A foodie delight from first to last.
13 OCTOBER 2019
Always in style There are decor trends which, in one form or another, stay forever WORDS: ANNE SCHAUFFER
t’s not possible to escape certain decor “truths”, and no matter what trends change all around us, those hold true timelessly. Take black and white – it’s always been popular, but what’s changed is the type of materials, textures, accessories, and so on. Two interior decorators provide their top-three timeless trends.
Lee Moon of Lee Moon Interiors, chooses: • Neutrals: visualise the Nordic/ Scandi feel – we continually go back to canvas whites/taupes as they form the base of every restful interior. It’s a universal style with which many people associate, even though they’re often unaware of why they do so. We return to the warmth offered by these absolute basics. A successful room employs various different textures and tones of neutral – from wool, silk and linens, to a nobbly cushion, woven sisal carpets and raw wooden decor. They can add pops of colour to fit in with current fashions, but the basis is always a quality neutral. • Natural woods: we’re seeing more and more natural woods – it has so many applications today – from flooring, ceilings, live edge furniture, decor items. It makes for cosy spaces and is “nature’s way” of adding additional texture to decor. Natural woods have always been used, but there’s a significant revival in appreciation for natural products. • White kitchens: there are so many variations of white kitchens, as they are considered timeless and classic. White complements neutrals perfectly, and no matter your style – farmhouse, cottage or contemporary – there’s a white kitchen style and texture for you. This can have colour added in the accessories, wallpaper, or tiling, but your basic stays clean and fresh looking and is universally appealing.
Bailey Basson of Blue Capricorn Interior Design Studio picked out these: • Plants: the perfect way to bring life and character to any space. Not only do they add colour, but texture, and they bring nature inside. The quantity and type of plants are what makes the space personal – it could be some palms in a simple pot or basket, succulents in decorative vases or bunches of flowers on a table. The best part about plants is they’re easy to move around, inexpensive to change, and easy to fit into any design style and aesthetic. • Wallpaper: wallpaper used to have “dated” associations, but it’s made a huge comeback and, thanks to the massive variety, is here to stay! It’s one of the easiest ways to transform a space – again, the wallpaper design is down to personal style, but the options are endless – from a plain textured wallpaper, to a subtle pattern, to a bold graphic. These can also be custom made now with any photo or image you have available – the options are endless! • Layering: layering creates such warmth and comfort to any space. This can be done with layering furniture, that is, a rug, then table, then chairs, then scatter cushions, then throws, then table ornaments, then lighting, and so on – everything comes together to create an inviting and homely environment. This can be done with multiple textures of scatter cushions on a sofa; scatter cushions, blankets and throws on a bed; even walls are being layered with wallpaper, then multiple forms of wall decor, art, photos, mirrors, sculptures. Layering is done with purpose, it’s not just as many things as you can find thrown into one space… that’s called clutter!
13 OCTOBER 2019
Increasing activity in the S price band below R3m
pring has seen the green shoots of increasing activity in the residential property market in the price band mainly below R3m take further root, says Richard Day, CEO of fixed-fee agency Eazi. “Encouragingly, Eazi’s confirmed sales in July and August were up 141% over the same period last year while August was 146% up on average monthly sales for 2019 to date. Currently, our average sales price is just over R1,8m, which confirms that the convenient, userfriendly fixed-fee offering has been well accepted by the marketplace, especially as we are seeing 95% of our offers being accepted by sellers,” says Day. “In addition, while our quickest time to sell has been one day, we recently sold a three-bedroom house in Kensington, Cape Town in just 10 days for the full asking price of R1,499,999. “The positive uptick we’re seeing in residential property market activity is echoed by FNB, which reports that indicators point to a narrowing demand-supply gap,
driven by both a mild improvement in demand and properties entering the market at a slower pace. This is coupled with somewhat improved market sentiment as well as valuefor-money opportunities for buyers, and increased competition among mortgage lenders – together with a stable, relatively low interest rate.” FNB reports that transaction volumes, estimated using Deeds registry data, have improved by 0.9% in Q2. The price band from R700,000 to R1,8m was the best-performing segment, with volumes increasing by 5% year on year, followed by the price band between R1,8m and R3,5m, which reflected growth of 2.4% over the same period. Adds Day, “Today’s home buyers are increasingly tech savvy, as borne out by our website statistics, which reflected 129% more page views as well as 129% more buyer leads in August compared to the monthly average for the year to date. As the fixed-fee method of selling homes becomes entrenched in the marketplace, we anticipate further growth in sales activity.”
Landlords, tenants and cost increases W
hat happens when the municipality revalues your property and the escalation means a dramatic increase in rates? Or when your insurance on your thatched investment property in Cape St Francis goes through the roof? Or when the levies on your sectional title property are increased? Can landlords insist that their tenants help fund the difference by imposing a rental increase during the term of a lease? “No”, says Shaun Dubois, principal of Just Property, Pietermaritzburg. “A landlord may not increase the rent in any way during the lease period, unless provision for this was agreed to and included in the lease before it was signed.” Dubois explains that while it’s much more common in commercial leases, some residential leases contain clauses that allow landlords to pass any increase in their costs related to the property to the tenant. There are any number of variables that may increase a landlord’s costs over the term of a lease. As the months go by, the Reserve Bank’s repo rate will rise and fall, affecting the prime lending rate and possibly what the landlord is paying on his bond, but Dubois has never come across an
interest rate increase being passed onto a tenant. The most common increases that would lead to such a clause in a lease being invoked are when municipal rates go up. Dubois says he has also seen the clause used to cover insurance premium increases but notes that this is extremely rare. It’s important to note that the CPA (Consumer Protection Act) prohibits landlords and tenants from “contracting out of law”. Some suggest that this means a lease cannot contain a specific escalation percentage for the renewal, and that increases should be renegotiated at each renewal. So, landlords facing increased costs might be tempted to increase the monthly rental at renewal time by the amount required to cover such costs. Dubois advises landlords to remember that in terms of the unfair practice regulations, they’re required to give the tenant no less than two months’ (40 business days’) notice of an increase. “An increase in accordance with the Consumer Price Index is safest,” says Dubois, “but tenants will always prefer less, and landlords will always want more. In past years, escalations were an almost standard 10% but the market has
changed and, in many cases now, the increase percentage has decreased.” So, adding a rates-related increase on top of CPI might lose you a good tenant. “Escalations need to be fair,” Dubois warns. “That said, there’s no legislation that governs the escalation rate.” What is the solution? Are there alternative options for landlords, some of whom are facing large adjustments to their valuations, and therefore extensive rates hikes? “Both parties need to negotiate in good faith, taking into account the tenant’s payment history and other positive or negative information,” says Dubois. It’s Dubois’s understanding that as long as the signed lease shows that both parties have contracted into allowing for a particular increase or cost, then such an increase would be lawful. He warns against imposing a “special levy”. “Even if it’s legal, such a move would be very unusual and is not encouraged.” Dubois says it’s imperative that landlords factor in possible increases in levies, rates and the effects of interest rate increases or decreases when they buy an investment property and also when they come to marketing it. Better still, get a respected property agent who knows the market to advise you, and never over-extend yourself to the point where one increase or a defaulting tenant will push you into a situation where you’re facing the prospect of repossession. “Sadly, we often come across owners who are desperate to sell because they have placed a tenant privately that has defaulted,” says Just Property CEO Paul Stevens. “Owners who cannot cover their bond should approach the bank as soon as possible about the situation and then try to sell the property. Too often owners wait until their bank has served them with court papers. It’s still possible to sell the property but the longer the owner leaves it the less chance they have of the bank consenting to a sale or delaying legal action.”
Value-for-money at Applegarth Estate
uilding is underway at this new eco-friendly estate located just two minutes from Constantia Nek, with the first luxury house now complete, according to Ashley Larter, Seeff Hout Bay. It offers top-class security and 30 contemporary architectural homes arranged around a lush greenbelt and up onto the ridge where you can enjoy uninterrupted views across the valley. Plots vary in size between 650m2 to 1,047m2. Plot prices range from R1,695m and from R4,995m for a plot-and-plan option, all inclusive of VAT and with no transfer duty payable. There’s a choice of house designs in single and double storey options offering three to four bedrooms and an optional swimming pool. There’s also a five-bedroom option available. The finishes are superb and include freestanding baths and double basins for the master bathrooms, open-plan living areas, decks and fabulous views of the grounds. Properties located higher up enjoy uninterrupted landscape views. Buyers can also use their own builder and architect. Floor plans
can be drawn to suit their own unique living requirements, says Larter. External aesthetic guidelines are in place to maintain the overall look, feel and character of the estate. The design and landscaping aim to incorporate the natural surroundings, particularly the wetland areas and trees. The plot layouts were carefully considered for minimal disruption of the existing mature trees and to maintain as much greenery as possible while maximising privacy. The natural mountain colours and textures are reflected in the stone cobbles and natural stone cladding used as feature elements. The secure lock-up-and-go nature of the estate appeals to those looking to scale down as well as to foreign “swallows” from abroad and is ideal for families given the close proximity to top schools, says Larter. The estate offers easy access to schools and amenities in the Southern Suburbs, as well as a secure and inspiring lifestyle combined with quality homes. The estate is well priced compared to family homes in the Southern Suburbs and on the Atlantic Seaboard.
13 OCTOBER 2019
Malmesbury Country living close enough to the bright lights of the city WORDS: KIT HEATHCOCK IMAGES: MARLENE BRAND, SHUTTERSTOCK & GOOGLE MAPS
*Map not to scale
he centre of the Swartland farming district and at heart a traditional Afrikaans country town, Malmesbury has always seemed a world away from the Cape Town metropolis. Now that the N7 is being upgraded to dual carriageway all the way to Malmesbury, it suddenly feels closer, and people looking to escape the city bustle are realising it’s easily commutable and a desirable place to bring up a family. “Malmesbury is not far from Cape Town, but still you live in the country. We always wanted our children to grow up in the platteland,” says Elna Burger, House of Health and Skincare, who has lived here for 24 years. “Almost everybody knows each other and the community is very supportive.” While the town retains the warmth and friendliness of the traditional Afrikaans community with church fairs, potjiekos competitions and agricultural fairs, a new young energy harnessing the food and wine vibe of the Swartland wine region is adding fresh initiatives such as the monthly Swartland Street Market. And there’s lots to do in the area.
“When we moved here I thought it was in the middle of nowhere, wow, was I wrong!” says Rory Lambson, My Chefs, who with his chef wife Stella, after cheffing in the UK, Cape Winelands and Joburg, returned to her home town to open their own restaurant. “It’s actually very central for Stellenbosch, Paarl, Table View and more. When we get time off we love taking drives just to take in the scenery and visit some of the quaint towns in the area.” However close to Cape Town Malmesbury now feels, you never forget you’re in the Swartland. “Be prepared to get hot!” says Rory. “This town cooks in summer, regularly hitting 40 degrees and higher.”
Property Established leafy residential streets climb the hill in a grid behind the main streets, a mixture of older houses and cottages and modern family homes, all with gardens. The town is gradually growing, new gated residential estates at the top of the town including Mount Royal Golf Estate, Klipfontein Farm Estate and Fonteine Village retirement complex surrounded by fields. The lower end of town is mostly
commercial and light industrial units servicing all the town’s needs, and the landmark Bokomo factory.
Schools Swartland Primary School and Swartland High school have a really good reputation and draw students from the surrounding countryside with a boarding hostel available. CPM is a popular private primary school in town. Alternative options include the Paarl schools, about 35 minutes’ drive away, as are the nearest Cape Town schools.
Explore Malmesbury is surprisingly central when it comes to exploring. The charming small towns of Darling, Hopefield, Riebeeck Kasteel and Riebeeck West are all within easy reach. “We love to drive to Riebeeck for brunch and just stroll through the shops there,” says Elna. The Swartland Wine Route covers a huge area, so wine tasting takes you on a scenic drive as far afield as Piketburg for organic wine producer Org de Rac, Riebeeck Kasteel for Kloovenberg, Allesverloren, Meerhof, and into the unexplored back roads of the Paardeberg, where many of the innovative small wine estates do tastings by appointment only. When summer heat hits and beachtime beckons, head out to the West Coast at Yzerfontein or Langebaan, or visit the monthly market at Groote Post followed by a beach walk at Grotto Bay. Get out into the Ceres mountains for hiking, ziplining and camping, or go sailing at Vogelvlei Yacht Club. Within the town itself Bill&Co hosts a monthly farmers market, and plans a heritage lunch in November with chef Chris Erasmus of Foliage, himself originally a Malmesbury boy. For date nights and lunches the place to go is My Chefs, then there are Friday pizza nights in the garden at Granny Jeans. On the culture front Malmesbury Museum takes you on a trip down memory lane with displays of artefacts recreating the homes and shops of previous centuries and a photographic history of the town.
13 OCTOBER 2019
I love the history of the town; there are so many amazing old buildings. The dynamic of the town is changing and it’s just a really exciting place to be at the moment. The area has some fantastic wine producers, which is great. I also like the pace of life and it’s still an affordable place to live. RORY LAMBSON, MY CHEFS
R17,129 per month
R1,295m In a complex
over a period of 20 years at 10% prime
R550,000 For an apartment
R1,8m For a house
Median asking price
For a typical property (three-bedroom house)
R12,500 In a complex
R10,500 For a house
For an apartment HOUSE
median asking price
For a typical property (three-bedroom house)
• My Chefs: date nights and family lunches • Bill&Co: wine bar and deli with monthly market • Beef and Barrel: owner-run steakhouse and burgers • Granny Jeans: breakfasts, burgers and pizza nights in the garden • Cherry Lane: breakfasts, cake and coffee • Fynbos Estate Sunday Lunch Club
For a typical property in this area
Median asking price
Monthly bond repayments
• Spar for groceries, cafe and sushi • Voortrekker Road and surrounding streets for all the high-street stores, banks and post office • De Bron Centre: Pick n Pay, clothing and furniture stores, and a wool shop • 24-hour Woolies Foodstop at the Engen Centre • AgriMark: everything farm, animal and country lifestyle related
• Wine tasting in the surrounding countryside on the Swartland Wine Route • Golf at Malmesbury Golf Club • Malmesbury parkrun every Saturday at Die Bos • Skydiving from Diepkloof Airfield with Mother City Skydiving • Swartland Birding Route with maps and checklists from Swartland Tourism