Plett’s Historic Bayside Beauty
From its humble beginnings in approximately 1870 as the gate house or out building to the farm named The Residency (one of the original farms forming the initial town of Plettenberg Bay), to its later rumoured incarnations as the local police station, post office and fondly remembered family holiday cottage; if the walls of a historic and lovingly restored residence on Plettenberg Bay’s blue flag Lookout Beach could talk, we’re sure they’d tell a tale or two.
Many a holidaymaking family may recall ‘Bunny’s Burrow’, a once sought-after but slightly ramshackle holiday rental cottage located on one of the finest sites in Plettenberg Bay. Now, thanks to its recent owners who purchased the residence in 2003, an extensive restoration project and series of significant upgrades and some luck with the flood damage to the old Lookout Beach car park, have transformed this historic property into a spectacular beachfront home complete with all the charm and character you would expect from a historic beach front cottage, but with all the conveniences and luxury of today.
Encouraged by local architect Steve Westraadt, who showed the owners several houses in Graaff-Reinet that he had transformed from veritable shacks into beautiful colonial Cape vernacular houses. On seeing these transformations, the owners were inspired to do the same to ‘Bunny’s Burrow’. So commenced the type of project that the phrase ‘labour of love’ might have been created for. An extensive rejuvenation and transformation process commenced, This entailed hundreds of hours of skillful craftsmanship spent hand casting cement mouldings, including skirtings, cornices, architraves and window surrounds. Features such as new gables, bullnose windowsills and built-in cupboards were each custom-designed and created to blend in with the original architectural style of the holiday cottage.
The lengthy and distinctly hands-on renovation process has completely restored the old cottage and introduced additional living areas, a swimming pool and all that luxurious living requires. Numerous custom upgrades, true to the character of the property, show added respect to the historic residence. As a result, the 870m2 home and 270m2 entertainment area now beautifully combine characterful history with modern amenities and an abundance of natural light. “We wanted to retain the original soul and integrity of the house, upgrade the finishes and showcase the beautiful original stonework and architecture,” explain its owners.
Today, the old house ‘Bunny’s Burrow’ is almost completely preserved, whilst the many detailed features of the building are shown off to glorious effect. Amongst its many preserved features are beautifully exposed original stone walls and intricate gable detailing (you’d need to travel far and wide to see a finer example of the gable details), exposed hammer trusses, Oregon pine ceiling boards and French oak and white cement floors.
In this special home, the delight is most certainly in the detail. Features such as specially hand casted cement mouldings, corbels and sconces, exquisite barrel rolled ceilings in the kitchen and bathroom areas, oversized antique French and Indian doors, French chandeliers and, the pièce de résistance – a remarkable lead copula ‘statement’ dome at the entrance to the home; these all imbue the house with something beautiful and unique. Substantial and somewhat exotic features and pieces dominate the spaces and give the house energy and interest.
Throughout the property, conveniences of modern living have been creatively integrated to provide the ease and comfort of 21st century life whilst still maintaining the original feel of a colonial home. Newly built areas include a several ‘easy living’ spaces’ including a covered functional veranda, an informal dining room as well as a gas braai area.
These plus a separate building (affectionately referred to as the Boyz Room) complete with its own outside braai area, koi pond, TV lounge, fully equipped kitchen, dining area and another lounge is an entertainer’s dream space that can easily allow for a cocktail party of over 60 people on a terrace above Lookout beach.
Facing the horizon, the complete front of the house also features ceiling-to-floor stack-away windows, suffusing the interior with beautiful natural light and air and providing the most magnificent views overlooking Lookout Beach, the bay, lagoon and magical Outeniqua Mountains. Off the veranda, an infinity pool (also centred off the main bedroom) allows you to see the sunrise reflected in its water. It seamlessly stretches out to an ocean where dolphins and whales are known to visit.
A large koi pond and terraced gardens, complete with vegetable boxes, enhance the property. Two stunning outside showers also sport uninterrupted views of the beautiful bay. The home faces north east, which perfectly protects it from the prevailing winds and makes it warm and sheltered in winter, benefiting from Plettenberg Bay’s temperate climate and its 300 days of sunshine a year.
Situated a short stroll from Lookout Deck and Lemon Grass restaurants and an easy walk to town (under 5 minutes) with the added advantage of a stone walkway in front of the property that takes you straight to the sandy expanse of Lookout Beach, this property’s location is simply unbeatable. All this, plus spectacular views, comfortable and capacious rooms and an attention to detail that very few people would be able to replicate.
Now on the market with Acquire Africa, this uniquely beautiful home is set to offer new owners the opportunity to savour the covetable conviviality of an otherworldly paradise; a sensuous home that offers ultimate relaxation, celebrates its history and revels in the joy of living and life.