Double storey victorian house, beautiful wooden floors and charm. Amazing views of Table Mountain from your comfortable bedroom. Central and vibrant with coffee shops and bars 5 min walk. Easy access to public transport. Two beautiful burmese cats!
The house has retained its old-world charm, with high ceilings and all the original wooden floors and trim. It has an open-plan ground floor, with a galley style kitchen, dining room and lounge with a fireplace. The kitchen is very well equipped (we both love to cook) and has a large stove and oven and all the accessories you might need (and some you might not), all at the full disposal of guests. Most importantly there is a dishwasher!
There is a flat screen TV in the lounge, without any local channels but with the ability to watch films on DVD or flash drive. There is also a small powder room downstairs with a toilet (the cats are toilet trained so this is their toilet), sink and washing machine (which you are welcome to use with our washing powder). There is a small, secluded garden in the front with a bench where you can enjoy your breakfast or a sun-downer.
Upstairs there is a home-office and library room. This leads onto a large, shared modern bathroom with a shower and spectacular views onto the slopes of Table Mountain (you can often see zebra grazing under the Umbrella Pines while you shower). Both bedrooms are upstairs, with the main bedroom looking out towards the Stellenbosch mountains from a small balcony, and the guest room (on offer) looking back through a large sash window to Table Mountain. The room is light, airy and has a comfortable double bed, a two-seater couch, built-in cupboards and shelves. The bedroom comes fully equipped, with bedding, towels, hair dryer, local maps and guides (plus our expert advice!).
Being built in an era before easy access to electricity, the house has beautiful natural light throughout the day and is well ventilated, cool in summer and warm in winter (with the fire burning).
We have two Burmese cats, Toby and Massi who are very social and will be only too happy to come and snuggle on your lap.
The room comes with fast unlimited wireless internet, weekly cleaning service from the lovely Rose and all electricity/water included.
You are welcome to use all areas of the house except our bedroom and the top balcony. Please help yourself to tea and coffee and if you would like to cook feel free to use our spices.
The house is very big and it comfortably accommodates 4 people so it is well suited to longer term stays.
Interaction with Guests
We also live in the house and you will be staying with us but we both work during the day so will not be at home. We will be home most evenings and are more than happy to to get to know you and help with any questions that you have about Cape Town or South Africa.
Observatory (Obs) is a diverse neighbourhood, full of students, artists, foreigners, long-term residents and tourists. Close enough to the centre of town to have seen some wealth and development in its past, yet far enough out to have its own distinct feel and charm. One of the few suburbs with a small high street, grass common (with pick-up soccer games in the evenings) and a public library, it has public and pedestrian spaces sorely lacking in many parts of South Africa. The area is part of a local initiative, recognised as an "improvement district", which provides additional private security patrols and, for those who want it, escorts home from the main bars and restaurants at night.
Our house is centrally located in Obs, just a block behind the high street, with all its restaurants and bars (just far enough to not get the noise at night), as well as 2 blocks from a number of small corner shops and 2 large super-markets.
PLEASE NOTE: The house is very well located for access to UCT with the medical campus being a 5 minute walk away and there is a free UCT shuttle that runs frequently to upper campus as well.
Public transport is readily available (unusual in many parts of South Africa), with trains into town and down the Peninsula to Kalk Bay, and buses, mini-buses and taxis in all directions. Car rental is available locally, or in town and will definitely add to your trip in Cape Town.
Observatory itself is very well located for access to the Cape Peninsula, at the confluence point of highways leading to just about everywhere. Within 20 minutes drive you can be in town and over the neck to the famous beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, or down the Peninsula into Constantia and the nearby winelands. Heading out in the other direction, Stellenbosch and Franchhoek, with their renowned winelands and mountains, are about an hour away.
Other Things to Note
You’ll be sharing the house with the two of us, Aretha and Cameron (and our 2 kitties). Aretha is a PhD student at UCT, studying cell biology and Cameron is a furniture designer by day and a bicycle nut by night. Both of us are active and social, with running, cycling and hiking among our favourites. We both like cooking and food (Aretha is a vegetarian too), we have good knowledge of just about all the restaurant options in town and the surrounds and can give good advice no matter what your preference. Living in the Cape, we can’t help enjoying the variety of wines on offer, with a good knowledge of the best farms to visit and good guides on hand to point you in the right direction.
Aretha is from Cape Town, and Cameron from KwaZulu-Natal and between us we’ve travelled widely within and outside of South Africa. Cameron has travelled South and Southern Africa extensively (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique), and has lived in both the US and the UK. He has family in France and Italy and speaks some French and Italian, often better after a glass of wine. Aretha has also covered a lot of South and Southern Africa, has lived in the UK and travelled to every major continent.
We have stayed in AirBnB accommodation in the US, the UK and Europe and love being part of the community it offers. We believe that being a frequent guest has helped us become good hosts and look forward to having you stay with us.
Make yourselves at home! It is a non-smoking house though you are welcome to smoke in the garden. Our lovely cats are indoor cats so please keep them safely inside.
We had a wonderful time staying with Aretha and Cameron; they were nothing but accommodating. The location was perfect, a 2 minute walk to the downtown area with plenty of restaurants to choose from. Their home was beautiful, if we are ever in the area again we definitely hope to stay at their house!
Staying with Aretha and Cameron and their cats was just great! They are very nice and welcoming, easy going and helpful with whatever you need. The house if beautiful and Super clean. There's a little front patio that is beautiful to relax in, the room in spacious and offers all you need with a great view. I would always stay there again! 100% recommendable!
Thanks so much for a fantastic stay in Capetown, Aretha and Cameron! Your place is great and we really felt at home! Pitty that we didn't see each other that often but that's how it is in a fascinating city like Capetown :). Would recommend Aretha's and Cameron's place to everybody - beautiful house, nice cats, great hosts and a lot of nice bars and cafes just around the corner. Hope to see you around some day!
We feel very comfortable in Aretha and Camerons house. Everything is clean and both are very friendly. It was great to stay there.
Aretha and Cameron are lovely, hospitable hosts. They welcomed us into their home and soon it really felt like home. They were extremely helpful, recommending things to do in the area. Their home is exactly as described and really well located in an area with a bohemian feel. We absolutely adored their cats. We would book with them again in a heartbeat.
We spent a weekend at Aretha and Cameron's place. They were great hosts, friendly but not intrusive. The place was adorable and very clean. The bed was comfortable and bathroom was excellent. Loved the view of the mountain from the shower! Really centrally located – short drive to town, the Old Biscuit Mill market, Kirstenbosch, etc. The cats were charming.
We felt very welcome at Aretha and Cameron's house. They provided us with great advice about Cape Town and South Africa. Their place felt like home. Many nice cafe's and restaurants are just around the corner. We would highly recommend this place to other travellers.
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I am a 28 year old South African woman and I am getting my PhD in cell biology at the University of Cape Town. I love to travel and to see new places and have travelled quite extensively in Africa, Europe and Asia. I also love scuba diving though I don't get the chance very much. I love food - eating and cooking and can spend hours poring over cook books and food blogs and love trying new cuisines. I also enjoy all the good wine that the Cape region has to offer. Living in Cape Town offers easy access to beautiful surroundings which I make full use of when I go cycling or running.
My husband, Cameron, is 33 years old and runs his own business making custom-built wood furniture. He also loves to travel, covering the US, Western Europe and Southern Africa, and speaks some French and Italian. He has studied and lived in both the US and the UK, getting to know both countries well during his almost 10 years abroad. Cameron is bike mad, with a collection of 9 bicycles, riding on and off road all around Cape Town.
We both love cats and have two very cute, fat Burmese kittens who need lots of loving! We enjoy going out for good food, which Cape Town has an abundance of, and keep an eye on the live music scene for the best shows.
When we can't get away to a new destination, we like to host people in our home, where we can show them all that Cape Town has to offer and learn about them and where they are from.