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From Estate Living magazine

Western Cape | Stonehurst Estate | Lifestyle Estate

Fine living – naturally

Stonehurst Mountain Estate is an iconic and well-known estate for various reasons. Its aesthetic appeal is unrivalled by many, its community and social sentiments cemented and their environmental and sustainable practices sound. My visit to the Stonehurst Mountain Estate was an interesting one that started at its impressive entrance. My surroundings were instantly hushed as the cool, sea breeze coming up from the ocean stirred the aromatic flower scents in the air, and it was evident I was entering a quite zone.

Cradled on the slopes of the Silvermine Mountains, Stonehurst Mountain Estate is a prime 100 hectare site, overlooking the Constantia Valley to the north-west and False Bay to the south-east. Located in the heart of the Cape Fynbos kingdom, Stonehurst is home to a wide variety of indigenous flora & fauna and offers discerning homeowners the opportunity of being close to nature in a contemporary, family-friendly, very secure environment. Striking a seamless balance between ecological sensitivity and meeting the modern-day lifestyle needs of residents, the estate is interspersed with footpaths, parks, streams, lakes and riverine areas, whilst a Lifestyle Centre provides residents with contemporary facilities, including a Functions Lounge, Bar, Games Room and fully equipped Gym. Offering three residential formats, the estate comprises; Stonehurst Close – a group scheme of 30 properties surrounding a children’s play park; Stone Village, also a group scheme, comprising 82 residences for lock-up and go living, and nearly 200 individual residential erven with beautiful views of the Constantia Valley, False Bay and the mountains of the Table Mountain National Park. Combining contemporary design with a fervent passion for safeguarding the natural environment, Stonehurst appeals to nature lovers as well as those who enjoy living near to a major urban metropolis.

The security at Stonehurst is impeccable and there was a short wait while all relevant people were contacted to confirm my visit. These days security is top on the list of priorities and it’s evident that Stonehurst has it completely under control with absolutely no incidents in the last year. Upon driving through the Stonehurst gates, a spectacular water feature decorates the long driveway up towards the jutted and ever beautiful Silvermine Mountains that shelter the estate. The fountain-come-water feature is long and rectangular and divides the driveway all the way up to the top. Cascading water flows over different levels that is circulated and reused to ensure no wastage. As I drive higher, the admirable views that the residents are accustomed to are incredible to say the least. From the snowcapped Franschhoek Mountains in the distance, to the Constantia valleys and vineyards, Table Mountain and the dark blue Atlantic Ocean, it amalgamates all the iconic aesthetics that the Western Cape has to offer. Stonehurst is situated on the slopes of the Silvermine Nature Reserve and it can really be described as a solace of silence and tranquility. Both the sunrises and sunsets here at Stonehurst are rumoured to be absolutely magical, with both boasting an array of striking colours and hazes of burnt orange and fierce red. It seems the estate really does have the best of both worlds, as it awakens and as it lies down to sleep. Forming part of a nature reserve, Stonehurst’s environmental and sustainable manner came easily and the residents are only too happy to oblige and contribute to a greener environment. Stonehurst holistically contributes to the protected nature reserve’s indigenous fauna, flora and wildlife. No alien plants have been planted and the wildlife is protected. Because the Stonehurst Mountain Estate is located in an area with significant water, the bird life is spectacular with regular sightings of interesting and beautiful birds. A resident eagle is sometimes seen soaring through the estate, with porcupines regularly visiting and snakes causing a stir of excitement with the children on the estate. Quite notable in terms of wildlife is that Stonehurst is also the home of the endangered Western Leopard Toad.

Stonehurst boasts a few dams, one of them which irrigates the estate’s gardens reducing water loss. Families are able to enjoy a day in the sun fishing, but only a catch and release program is allowed. Energy efficient lights are used throughout the estate and every home recycles by using the colour coded bins provided. One of the fundamental ways in which Stonehurst Mountain Estate differs from the regular estates is with the helpful and concise recommendations that residents can take into consideration when building on the estate. These range from insulation to reduce artificial heating, to lighting and energy efficient appliances. With this taken into consideration however, there are mandatory requirements for certain elements in the home, which also contribute to the estate’s sustainable practices. These requirements include certain solar heating, timers on certain appliances such as a pool pump, a rainwater runoff system flowing into gardens and lighting provisions.

A nursery is in the process of being built and grown at the top of the estate where the dam is located, which will incorporate an entire new element of organic produce in the estate. Together with the estate’s residents, Stonehurst really does strive to live in harmony with nature.

Immaculately paved streets wind through the estate where the Stonehurst homes have been constructed with both the environment and aesthetic appeal taken into consideration. The free standing homes in the one section are beautiful, bold and large, and there is a little more space for individual architecture. Most of the homes have striking gardens which the residents seem very passionate about and I envision much time is spent in the outside areas marveling at the magnificent views. One similar thread that runs through the homes on the estate is their natural colours, which not only fit with the entire estate’s feel but that are also known to be better for the surrounding wildlife. Stonehurst village, one of the other areas located in the Stonehurst Mountain Estate, is a group of smaller townhouses are located. There is a lovely river that flows alongside an otter has been spotted enjoying the water on a hot summer’s day. These townhouses are painted a natural, olive colour and are adorned with lovely, wooden shutters giving them a certain characteristic appeal. The other area in the estate is Stonehurst Close, which is also comprised of townhouses but these are larger and a tad more private. From the larger homes to the two differing townhouse options, Stonehurst really has made living in paradise that much easier as it appeals to different requirements.

Stonehurst has to be one of the most attractive residential estates for families for obvious reasons. It really does offer an outdoor lifestyle in a secure environment, which is a sought-after commodity. There are numerous cycling and hiking trails that are located among the lush fauna and flora, and just taking the dogs for a walk is an educational journey, where an array of wildlife and new plant species can be discovered. It’s the perfect solace for a child to be social in and be in such close proximity to true mountain living. Children can enjoy the three beautifully located play areas offering wooden play grounds or the social events held at the lifestyle which are a common occurrence. The lifestyle centre really is top class and offers a world of entertainment for both parent and child. It boasts a complete gymnasium, where trainers are on call, and a heated pool where many of the estate’s children are given swimming lessons. There is a billiards room where the ladies on the estate can enjoy yoga and Pilates and the children can enjoy a movie night once a week, and can come together to enjoy delicious hot dogs and watch a film. The lifestyle centre is not only a great spot for the children but it also offers adults an escape from everyday duties. There is a luxurious lounge with lush carpets, comfortable couches decorated with feather filled pillows, a large LCD TV and an exquisite fireplace for those cold, winter nights. The bar is open every Wednesday and Friday where many adults from the estate enjoy a drink with friends whilst catching up on the day’s happenings.

There is an immensely strong sense of community and social sentiment at Stonehurst which brings the residents together. The lifestyle centre also offers a beautiful outside area sporting lush, green grass with views of the flowing river and a marquee for those balmy, summer afternoons. There is a ladies night for the women on the estate, as well as a book club.

Upon leaving Stonehurst I knew a few things to be certain.One, the estate itself is absolutely beautiful – from sunrises to sunsets, unparalleled views and the surrounding environment, its diverse and interesting. Two, they are holistically contributing to the environment, have sustainable practices and live in harmony with nature, which only increases its appeal, and three, I would love to one day live at Stonehurst Mountain Estate.

Stonehurst Mountain Estate, fine living – naturally

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