Longhouse | A long, hot summer
Graaff-Reinet is one of South Africa’s prettiest towns, sadly often just a stop en route to somewhere else, although it deserves a more thorough exploration. With much of the charming old architecture intact (even the most perfunctory buildings are housed in exquisite spaces) and wide, tree-lined streets, it retains the charm that many old towns have lost along the way.
The Longhouse is one such example. A long, 19th-century whitewashed Karoo house with characteristic green shutters and thick walls, it’s designed to provide refuge from the searing midsummer heat. Designer Charlotte Daneel’s Axel Vervoordt-inspired palette of terracotta, linen and taupe has a soothing and timeless quality, complemented by cement screed floors, wicker chairs and squashy sofas. The odd elegant armchair keeps it polished, but the overall effect is comfortable and laid-back. You’ll live on the huge veranda – deep and wide – that has spots to eat breakfast, host a big lunch or just read a book. There’s a huge fireplace on the one end, taking you into evening and adding ambience.
A row of flourishing fruit trees and a well-stocked veggie garden adds to the country setting and gives you the feeling of taking a step back in time. But despite its old-world feel, the house has all the mod cons and is fully kitted out to make a holiday here really relaxing, including DStv, a full kitchen and an inviting pool. This is an ideal summer getaway – cool screed floors, thick walls and a covered veranda all lend themselves to summer and outdoor living.
Text Julia Freemantle