Living in Elgin

Elgin: 100% country living but not 'unplugged'.

"It's the perfect compromise" says one resident of Elgin. We're talking over a glass of wine on the veranda of the Elgin Country Club. It's a perfect spring day. Not a breath of wind. The sun is going down over the mountains. And the dam, surrounded by pine forest, is like a mirror.

"Perfect" is the right word. But isn't shifting gear, moving to the country really out of reach, not feasible? Especially if you have strong ties to the city - work, friends, business, etc?

Not anymore. Here's the story.

Around 6 years ago, a city dweller, who'd had success with business and property in London (UK) and Cape Town came out to Elgin. Just poking around. And what he saw, the environment, the natural surroundings made a big impact. Just months later he'd moved his family out to Elgin and bought several properties out here. Amongst them was a 15 hectare apple orchard, situated at the foot of a mountain, with a river running by it, and on the edge of the Kogelberg biosphere (with 1650 plant species – more here) a protected natural reserve.

After joining forces with Frans Lamprecht who has led the conceptualisation and management of the development process, that apple orchard is now Elgin Country Estate.

A Truly "Best of Both Worlds" Place to Live

And the vision is to create an up market, stylish eco- friendly residential estate. One that offers not only options for making it a home, but also as a weekend breakaway, or as a rental property (with the Estate Management running the rental side for owners.)

"We couldn't go back to the city" the resident says. And why would they? Elgin - or Grabouw as it's also called - is a small town. But still it has what one needs: a SuperSpar, several restaurants, a Shoprite and a solid telecommunications infrastructure.

Besides that one has Pick 'n Pay, Woolies, Sportsman's Warehouse, Mr Price Home, Game, Movies, Dis-Chem, Exclusive Books - all just 20 minutes away. And that's not 20 minutes because you're stuck in traffic. It's 20 minutes on the free flowing N2. It's only 45 minutes to
Cape Town.

Then there are the sports considerations close by: walking trails, rowing on the Eikenhof (Country Club) dam, tennis, squash, bowls, horse riding - all of it literally on one's doorstep.

The Country Club frequently hosts the X-Terra Triathlon Series, the Cape Epic and other running, mountain biking and swimming events. So Elgin is very much on the map, but not crowded. An exquisite location, but still quiet and 'in the country'.

It's a common site to see whole families on their bicycles cruising along the country roads, or on their horses – taking a path up through an orchard, through the pine forest and up into the mountains.

Elgin is also close to other destinations, such as Arabella Golf Estate (20 minutes), Hermanus (30 minutes) and Houwhoek (10 minutes).

So if living in the glutted, frantic city is getting you down, Elgin Country Estate may well be an attractive option for you. It's all the best of modern living, with relatively close proximity to big city amenities, combined with all the best of country living.

A duck flies in with a whoosh in the evening air, lands with a splash on the dam. Then it's still again.

I take a sip of my wine. A couple of mountain bikers roll in for a beer after an afternoon on the mountain. They're in no rush to make the glutted N-2 trip back to Cape Town. They live here.

I don't think I've ever seen anything as perfect. What a lifestyle.

-Gerard le Roux

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