Narnia Farm Guest House

Selected by The Greenwood Guide to South Africa, 2nd edition

Text written by Simon Greenwood

Narnia combines just about every element we search for in a place to stay. Its defiantly itself – the style (luxuriously ethnic, but never overdone) is so unusual and so genuine that you know it is the extension of real people, not some pretentious interior design job.

Stella (graphic design graduate, protea farmer, mother of two) is one of those people and Richard (lawyer, architect and father of four) the other. Narnia is entirely their creation, a dream slotted round one or two key requirements: the house should have a deck with a clear view to the Knysna Heads; and there should be a big, open, friendly entrance hall. Otherwise the house has grown organically into some mad ship with wooden decks, gangways and staircases, swing chairs, heavenly colours of tropical brilliance (“In a previous life I must have been a Mexican,” says Stella), a prize-winning garden, long views in all directions, and smaller surprises everywhere. They are great ones for inventively recycling stuff that you or I might throw away. Stella and Richard amaze me with their great energy and skill with people, despite holding down so many jobs. Go and visit before everyone else discovers it. Bushbuck are often spotted by the dam on the farm.