Finding the unexpected in Wolseley

Posted by Ondela Mlandu on 23 October 2018

Hidden behind the Mostertshoek mountains is a house that isn’t your conventional holiday home.

Image by Ondela Mlandu

Fancy spending a night in a converted shipping container on a working fruit farm? It’s far more cosy, comfortable and stylish than it sounds. After the success of the original Riverstone House on the same property, owners Claire and Duncan Dicey decided to add another option to their farm stay. The container conversion was not only a financially viable solution, but unique. Two steel cargo containers are built onto a brick-walled rectangular framework, creating an open-plan living area with two bedrooms on either side.

Image supplied

A deep, covered patio in front enhances the space, creating a large, airy inside-outside room for dining, hanging out, playing games, reading, braaiing or just relaxing. The patio is fabulous in summer, and when it’s chilly outside, the glass sliding doors can be closed without spoiling the view, while the fireplace keeps the area toasty. The view is wonderful: mountains in the distance, farmland and fynbos below the peaks and, directly in front, the farm dam – it’s just a few steps from the patio to the wooden jetty to the pontoon, where you can sit and dangle your feet in the water or dive in for a swim.

Image by Ondela Mlandu

Palmietvlei Farm grows blueberries and pears, and it’s possible to take endless strolls on the property, amid the orchards and greenhouse tunnels, immersing yourself in those views and soaking in the seasons of farm life. FamTin is set apart from the farming activities, and from the other self-catering house on the property, so you’ll have your privacy. It’s not totally quiet, except at night, as you’ll hear the sounds of workers in the distance, but that makes for a pleasant countryside soundtrack.

The look and feel of the house inside is modern and urban-chic – it wouldn’t be out of place in the suburbs – but all around is natural beauty, solitude and craggy peaks. (The sunsets are something special.) The colour scheme inside echoes the landscape’s palette – blues, browns and greys – creating a feeling of peaceful sanctuary. The kitchen is smallish but lovely, with a gas stove, and is stocked with coffee, tea, milk, sugar and rusks (a pile of firewood is provided too). There’s no complimentary fruit, but guests are welcome to buy farm berries – the hosts supply an awesome pie recipe. Berry picking for guests will be introduced later.

FamTim provides a fresh-air escape for those who want to spend a few days relaxing, switching off and not doing too much (although Ceres, Tulbagh and the Breedekloof wine valley are close by). It’s also pet-friendly, so your dogs can come too.

Image supplied

Best feature

The patio – or, more specifically, the cushioned couch on the patio. This is where I spent most of my time absorbed by the beautiful views.


From R800 per person sharing, R350 per person extra (children R150)


Four people



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