Swellendam South Africa

This is a very special romantic story and one I’m so happy to share.

Even before we’d discovered Swellendam South Africa, Richard found this old couch on one of his antique store trawls in 2002.  He bought it.  It sat in a pile of building rubble for the many years that we’ve been restoring and building our Schoone Oordt country hotel.  This past winter, whilst breathing new life into the rooms, kitchen and garden, Richard also found the time to ‘potter’ on restoring the couch in his workshop.

This is what it looked like lying outside Schoone Oordt and pre-restoration:

leather antiques Swellendam South AfricaAntique couch Swellendam South AfricaSwellendam South Africa

The restoration project of this beautiful old piece of furniture is perhaps a story enough, but what makes this truly memorable, is that two old letters dating back to World War Two were found hidden down the side.  Obviously stuck there in anger or pain and forgotten.  They conjure a story of love, of hurt, of betrayal and leave us wondering whatever happened to the people in the story.  For privacy reasons, we haven’t posted the letters so that you can read them, but if you recognise the writing, do let us know, we’d love to return them to their rightful owners.

antique letters in couch Swellendam South AfricaWorld War 2 letters Swellendam South Africahidden letters in couch Swellendam South Africa

And after many hours of pottering in Richard’s true perfectionist style, here is the finished couch proudly displayed in our beautiful Honeymoon Suite.  Thank you for the gorgeous pictures Wander & Sonette Bester (our management couple extraordinaire!).

We so look forward to your comments.

Romantic Getaway Swellendam South AfricaHoneymoon in Swellendam South Africa


  1. Jo Kirk says:

    What a wonderful story and a fabulous job on the restoration of the couch. I will be having the pleasure of staying in the honeymoon suite in January next year with my husband to be and I cannot wait to see it in the flesh.

  2. How amazing! Was there a date to the letter? (Fabulous restoration Richard!)

  3. Amanda says:

    Would love to read those letters some day. What a beautiful story.

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