‘Keep it simple . . . buy what you love and what resonates with you’, says Hayley Breytenbach as we stand in her kitchen looking at the late Denzil Herring’s paintings above the Aga, all still life’s of copper and brass in an old farmhouse kitchen. ‘I fell in love with his ability to capture metallics. After purchasing my first piece online, I quickly bought two more,’ she says – but this collection is modest in comparison to the 10 exquisitely detailed pencil and pastel portraits of women of Africa, commissioned from Greg Lourens as well as four giant fossil reliefs by Toby Megaw that grace the lofty walls of the living room. Hayley doesn’t do anything in small quantities: she and her husband manage one of the largest Boran beef herds in the world, manage a wedding venue, a wine estate, five restaurants and more. Life moves fast and decisively but despite this, sharing meals together as a family in their welcoming farmhouse kitchen is a tradition that is never compromised.
However, it’s the Toby Megaw sculpture of a baby’s hand clenching onto a father’s thumb at the end of the pool that was the first piece they commissioned together. It’s called ‘Renaissance’ and represents vulnerability, trust and new beginnings. Originally the centre piece of their first restaurant, and representing the phase of life they were in (about to get married), it’s now surrounded by their formal hedge garden and draws the eye across the long pool. The other large sculpture is Bruce Little’s buffalo in the study. ‘It embraces our African heritage and sits proudly in a masculine space’, says Hayley as the fire begins to glow and wine is poured.
But, as conversation starters, the Toby Megaw fossil reliefs of a frog, prehistoric bird, ostrich and giraffe that line the charcoal walls on either side of the 12-seater dining table win hand’s down – and oversized linen pendant lights the perfect solution for 5m high ceilings. Entertaining, whether it’s in the farmhouse kitchen or on the covered verandah leading out to the pool, is a breeze here. The pantry shelves literally heave with platters, oversized linen napkins are casually knotted over just-arrived Farmhouse Collection ceramics that Hayley has designed, and the walk-in fridges are a chef’s dream. This is the Cape Winelands lifestyle at its best: oodles of space for families, ever-changing mountain views that stretch forever and an abundance of fruit, wine and locally grown produce – including the best beef in the world, of course.
• At Art House Collection we love to share our ‘insider experiences’. Speak to us if you’d like to arrange a tailor-made experience during your stay. Brenaissance house wines are included when you book through us.