SA Country Life

Historical Stays

1 Western Cape

John Montagu Guest House


mazingly, back in 1861, Montagu had its own banknotes. When it was declared a health resort in 1936, wealthy people flocked there to buy holiday houses, and in 1941 the Montagu Muscadel Co-operative was formed. I discovered all this, and more, at the tourist office in Bath Street, where they have a street map for a self-guided historical walk of the pretty wee town. Given that Muscadel runs through the town’s veins so to speak, it’s fitting, indeed warming, to be served a welcoming glass of the sweet liquid on arrival at the John Montagu Guest House in Joubert Street. While not marked on the historical-walk map, this house built in the early 1900s as part of a farm, has all the hallmarks of cottage nostalgia and good, old, home comfort. Plus it bears the name of the man, who as colonial secretary for almost a decade from 1843, helped the area realise its full agricultural potential. Originally a pair of and a guest house for about 25 years, it’s seen a few structural changes and upgrades over time but hasn’t lost its old-world charm. One of the four rooms is a family unit and another has a Jacuzzi. The cosy kitchen and dining area where we enjoyed a home-cooked, hearty breakfast, leads onto

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