Grand Cape Mediterranean mansion on the market

With prime-located, upmarket seafront property a prized commodity around the world, especially in major cities - where space is at a premium, for the affluent, privacy is now the new luxury, says Sam Nel, a Western Cape area manager for Pam Golding Properties.

A landmark, iconic property in the St James area, on the Cape Peninsula’s False Bay coastline, which offers privacy, style, luxury and prime location in spades is ‘Graceland’, a grand mansion built in 1914 for John Garlick, a renowned departmental store developer, and which is now marketed through Pam Golding Properties priced at R57 million.

Comprising a total of 774sqm under roof, and set on an exclusive private estate of 10 800sqm stretching from Main Road up to Boyes Drive, affording the historic home spectacular ocean views, there is nothing to compare with this immaculate residence, which stands proud in one of the most sought-after suburbs along the South Peninsula coastline. The main house, lodge house, staff quarters and garage comprise 668sqm and undercover patios 106sqm.

Nestled against a majestic mountain backdrop, Graceland’s terraced gardens merge seamlessly with the natural terrain, with three stone staircases leading from the top gardens onto the untouched mountainside.

The St James area and surrounds is characterised by gracious and historic homes and famous Victorian-style bathing booths, while the neighbouring harbour village of Kalk Bay is renowned for its eclectic mix of top restaurants, trendy cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Apart from the appeal of the beaches with their tidal pools and relaxing ambience, the Southern Peninsula coastline is in close proximity to good schools, and since lockdown has seen increasing demand from those seeking more open space, away from the confines of the city, says Shelly Keys, who is also a Western Cape area manager for Pam Golding Properties.

“Mindfully curated to invite luxurious, contemporary living, this exceptional property of significant size and stature will appeal to a discerning buyer for use as a very private residence – a stately home, or it could become a boutique hotel or corporate headquarters for an international or local company.”

Steeped in history and designed by celebrated architect William Grant, Graceland is an early example of what came to be known as Cape Mediterranean architecture. Elements of Spanish and Italian features such as pergolas on columns and generous arched verandahs are delicately combined while high ceilings, perfectly maintained wooden floors, doors and sash windows feature throughout.

Stone walls define the lower perimeters and a gently curving driveway leads from an imposing entrance gate to the residence with its distinctive chimneys, elegant loggias, covered porticos and signature Majolica roof.

The impressive façade of the house and alluring interiors have been impeccably preserved in a manner which retains authentic links to its historic past. On the lower level, the formal dining room and lounge lead off a grand wood-panelled entrance hall, both with views of the sea and mountains across the Bay.

A tranquil library area and study open to a wide breezeway bordered by an iconic ivy-clad mountain stone wall, while a generously proportioned kitchen area encompasses the rear of the residence and connects with an informal ‘chef’s table’ dining area leading onto a sea-facing columned patio.

A classic wide staircase leads from the hallway to the upper floor, which comprises a spacious landing opening to a pillared verandah and four very generous bedrooms ensuite. Two sea-facing suites open onto private balconies which face the sea and overlook the gardens and mountain behind.

Set in a tranquil enclave, the swimming pool is surrounded by plants and large established trees for the utmost privacy. There are many vantage points in the grounds from which to enjoy panoramic ocean and mountain vistas to take in the crisp sea air while the front patios which flank the entrance provide cool and serene spaces with intimate ocean views.

Designed in keeping with the architecture of the main house and with independent access, a comfortable Lodge House with sweeping sea views is located at the entrance above the garage.

Graceland was originally called Watergate after a waterpoint which was built into the lower boundary wall, and which was fed by a perennial mountain stream. It was known specifically as a rest and drinking point for horses pulling carts and carriages on their way to Kalk Bay and Simonstown.

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