Revered as the mountain-mecca of the Cape – for its boundless mountain ranges and rock formations that shape the Langeberg landscape like stoic soldiers of the Breede River Valley – the quaint agricultural town of Montagu nestles itself amongst the rivers, the orchards, the vineyards and the healing hot mineral springs. Charming old homesteads, antique furniture stores, cafés, bookstores, market places, restaurants and galleries line themselves along the leafy lanes of the historical hamlet. A palpable sense of familiarity envelopes as you ramble down the roads, witnessing the odd peach fall from the back of a farm bakkie and a gaggle of geese sauntering between jovial members of the community as they emphatically salute your arrival, waving a glass of the region’s grapes in hand.
It’s a unique village along the famous Route 62 that welcomes you with warmth and sincerity to sample the produce of the land, feel the spirit of the community, breathe the crisp mountain air and settle into the rhythm of laidback living.
No more than a 10-minute walk from the hub of the village, on a secluded panhandle along the Keisie River, looking up to the majestic Langeberg mountains, STIL. reveals its contemporary curves and white-washed brick facade with integrity and understated splendour. Set on one level, – with an idyllic upstairs roof terrace overlooking the indigenous garden with its beautiful wild meadow, small silver birch forest and flowing stream – this hideaway immediately instils calm and clarity.
The essence of honouring a simpler, slower-paced life in nature is captured in the open plan living, dining, reclining and cooking space that’s flooded with natural light courtesy of the tall, high-ceilinged windows and open steel-framed doors. Aluminium screens slide open and closed, bridging the outside in. Its palate of stark whites and blacks, neutral stones, greys and rough wooden textures reaffirms the ‘less is more’ sentiment, and the owner’s principle on avoiding ‘stuffocation’ at all costs.
The ensuite and its counterparts are all finely furnished and fully equipped for a getaway for a week or two at a time, with your favourite person, or just you and your favourite books. When you have that mountain air and stillness, those tranquil sounds of the ibis family collecting twigs for their nest, the sight of the giant kingfishers darting in and out of the stream, and an urgency to tend to only the things that require your immediate attention – like a gin and tonic on the soft lawn, a couple of sun salutations on the upper terrace, a meander around the wild garden mimicking the Anton Smit sculptures, or preparing a feast in the enticing kitchen – you’ll be reminded on all that matters in that moment.
When the time calls for an excursion, the vibrant town beckons with its wine farms, museums, art galleries, cultural walks and adventurous hikes and bike routes. There’s even an art nouveau cinema at the KWV building for an evening with a European classic and glass of the good stuff. Montagu is all about its burgeoning community and what they have created for each other over the years. It’s the perfect stopover when gallivanting Route 62. STIL is the perfect place to recharge the most important part of you and yours.
What we love!
- From the moment you arrive at the property, the fresh mountain breeze blowing through the trees, with the trickle of water flowing in the stream and the incredible birdlife flying about, you feel a complete sense of calm! The property is so aptly named.
- The inspiring Anton Smit sculptures all around the property that enhances the tranquility.
- The owners of the property – having lived in Montagu for 16 years – are very well versed on the village and all of its exhilarating activities, as well as the pleasantly casual, indulgent ones too.
- Massage therapists are happy to treat you at the property, taking in the healing elements of the mountain.
What you need to know…
- Montagu is a two hour drive from Cape Town.
- For meals out in the town, you’ll only need to walk 10 minutes to restaurants and cafés like 22 Church Street, The Rambling Rose and The Pastry Place.
- For incredibly quirky and educational tours of the town on foot or by bike, contact Marcel at Flying Feet for her fabulous wit and knowledge as a guide.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie