Garden Route Accommodation

High Flyers alert

Hot off the press. We were interviewed by the wonderful Katherine Graham for High Flyers magazine. It is always nice to read about Augusta in the news.

A SHORT EXTRACT FROM THE ARTICLE

When it comes to preserving historical buildings, you won’t find anyone as passionate as Henk Klijn. The co-owner of Augusta de Mist Country Estate in Swellendam is familiar with the joys and challenges of living in a home with a history – the oldest part of the guest house dates back to 1802 and is a national monument. ‘A heritage homestead is not cheap and easy; the whole structure needs constant care and specialist attention,’ he says. ‘Everything about the home is old: the yellowwood shutters and doors, the early 19th century ironwork and the reed ceilings held together with ancient mud.’

Henk, who is the resident chef at the guest house as well as being an active member of the Swellendam Heritage Association, believes heritage food tastes better at Augusta de Mist than a burger. ‘Just try bobotie here and see what I mean,’ he enthuses. ‘Or some malva pudding and a glass of chenin blanc from old bushvines. All better. Music? Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe or Mimi Coertse. All heritage and better in these surroundings.’

Engaging with tourists from around the world affords Henk the perfect oppor- tunity to share his heritage, in the stories he tells and the food he prepares. ‘I am constantly surprised at just how much our country inspires visitors,’ he says.

But he is wary of romanticising the past. ‘We cannot afford to drop anything that is part of our heritage. It is who we are– warts and all. However, it is dynamic and we should strive to make it relevant and interesting.’