Who We Are and How We Started

Trading the fast pace and bright lights of bustling city life for life in the slow lane is not an easy decision to make. The road may be longer toward Harrismith, but after finding the gem, De Oude Huize, we instantly knew that we prefer the scenic route. Since we are your hosts, allow us to introduce ourselves.

Our names are Hennie and Sandra and along with our two sons, Pedri and Gerald-Cecil we have made it our lives’ passion to turn the De Oude Huize into a rustic and breathtaking masterpiece. Being a creative family, we settled in the small but delightful town of Harrismith. Here we have been privileged to have the opportunity to put our God-given talents to work.


The historic house was built in 1860 by James Edwards. When we first saw the house it had 40 centimetre thick soil walls and foundations made of sandstone, which had been packed without cement. The wooden floors needed replacing, the doors and doorframes had to be cleaned of their six layers of old paint, and cracks big enough to allow the sunlight to peek through had to be repaired. This was just the beginning of the list of things we needed to do to restore the property to its former glory. We were mesmerised by its charm though, so, in 2000, it became our pride and joy. We named it De Oude Huize Yard as this is a perfect reflection of what it is – a place frozen in time that takes pride in its Olde Worlde feel.

Some of this charm lies in the "drumpel", or threshold that is so well-worn one wonders who has trod over it to find love, peace and happiness. Some lies in the way the exterior walls present a deceptive, modest façade but that behind its doors, a different world opens up. Then there is the picturesque natural beauty that surrounds us, as we overlook the Platberg Mountain.

We hope that you will join us for a visit so that you too may enjoy an escape into a lifestyle left behind, not forgotten but rather cherished.