Our History

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ZOMERLUST

This property the farm Zomerlust, where the guesthouse Zomerlust Gastehuis.

is situated was transferred on 1 May 1792 from the Dutch East Indian Company to its first private owner, Johan Meyer.  This property, like all others in the historic center of Paarl, was lined along the “Caapse Wagenpad “ today Main Road. The house faced Main Road and the farms stretched either up the slopes of Paarlberg or down to the Berg River.  Zomerlust was an active farm from 1792 untill 1992 and was always a property of some 4,8 hectares.  Archaeological research showed that the first house was probably built between 1792 and 1800 a single storey Cape Dutch home.  Some evidence can be seen looking at the fireplace in the room next to

Die Kraan and the only Cape Dutch window in the current Tool Room…

We were privileged to carry on with a 113-year-old heritage. They made significant contributions to Paarl and South African history.  Apart from farming on Zomerlust they were attorneys in the firm “J Smuts de Villiers”, directors of The Paarl Board of Executors and chairmen of “De Paarlsche Wijn en Brandewijn Maatschappij Beperkt”.  Abraham Pieter de Villiers founded this company in 1856 and today still produces quality Paarl Rock brandy…

The four previous owners, Niel du Toit representing “Die Du Toit Familie Trust”, together with a team of professionals planned to convert Zomerlust from a private dwelling to a small hotel – ZOMERLUST GASTEHUIS.  The idea was to honor our predecessors and offer the Paarl public and guests from elsewhere an experience of the same style and hospitality which prevailed during the De Villiers era.

After 18 months of planning, renovations started on 13 January 1993 and ZOMERLUST GASTEHUIS

opened its doors for business on 16 August 1993. Ten rooms, with minimum disturbance of the original building were fitted into the manor house and the old cowshed were converted into four country style rooms.

It was pure joy to have worked with professionals but the most rewarding experience was to know that the previous owners were involved and that they approved of the final product.

Due to the connection with “Die Paarlse Wijn en Brandewijn Maatschappij”

the rooms were given brandy names. The main suite, No 4 is therefore named, Paarl Rock….

The original farm currently consists of two properties namely the upper part, with historic buildings of ZOMERLUST GASTEHUIS and the Rozenfontein buildings. The lower part, now called Zomerlust Landgoed, is being developed according to architectural guidelines aimed at preserving the old Paarl style whilst promoting indigenous gardening…

ROZENFONTEIN 

…According to old deeds of transfer, Rozenfontein, a natural spring in the center of the historic Paarl served as a watering hole for livestock.

Mrs Turrie de Villiers has created this natural well into a water grotto feature.

The matching bench and table of sandstone was a favorite spot for quiet moments…

DIE KRAAN

…The ladies bar, Die Kraan, was the informal reception area.  The conversion to a bar was inspired by the legend that from the Paarl Wine and Brandy Company’s distillery across the road, the Paarl Rock brandy came by pipe to this room and guests were treated by simply turning on the brandy tap…

THE RESTAURANT

The remainder of the house below street level housed the Jam Room, Die Waenhuis, and the Tool Room.

The Jam Room was the pantry for all the preserved products from the farm.

Die Waenhuis was a store room and The Tool Room housed the garden tools, seeds and fertilizer.

This area was changed somewhat to accommodate the Restaurant.

The names Jam Room, Tool Room and Die Waenhuis are still used to indicate the rooms…

SWIMMING POOL AREA 

… This was a sunken garden on the second terrace.  The original hen house was converted to a summerhouse.  The wall and pergola today form an integral part of the swimming pool terrace.  The conversion from a hen- to a summerhouse was a gift from Smuts de Villiers to his youngest daughter, Anna, on her 11th Birthday.  The structure is therefore about 65years old…

POND WITH BENCH

…This was a gift from Smuts to his wife, Turrie.  She loved to start her day further down at Rozenfontein with prayer and reading The Bible.  So he build this special place for her…

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