Friday, March 4, 2016


Once again time has flown.  On the 16 of March it will be a year since I took over the management of At 85 on Church, owned by Belgians Jean-Luc Melice and Marie-Claire Melice-Mulders.  This has been a very happy year for me and I am thoroughly enjoying working with these lovely people.

Jean-Luc is a climate scientist.  He worked at the University of Cape Town for 4 years and fell in love with the Karoo. He now works in Paris. Jean-Luc and Marie-Claire have been coming to Prince Albert since 2007. 
At 85 is a well appointed self-catering, family home with a beautiful, established garden and a swimming pool.
The main house has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a fully fitted kitchen, scullery, dining-room, lounge and wide verandas on two sides of the house.
There is also a separate, self-contained cottage with a king (or two singles) and a sleeper couch.  There is a romantic bath in the bedroom with a separate toilet and basin, as well as an outdoor shower with hot and cold water for those warm balmy nights to shower under the stars.
The house is centrally located and close to all amenities, with most within walking distance.
 At 85 on Church is one of the lucky properties in Prince Albert that has a lei water turn written into it's deeds.  There are two lei water dams, a smaller one into which the water is gravity fed, and then the water is pumped from there into a larger dam which in turn is irrigated onto the garden.  I bought some goldfish a few months back that have bred and are a lot of fun to watch in the dams.  Local fish that are found in the area have also made their way down the lei water system and into the dams and it is fascinating watching them all grow, see what they feed and thrive on etc.  Perhaps small things amuse small minds?  But anything to do with nature intrigues me.  I managed to get hold of some tilapia which when I researched them, I discovered were excellent for cleaning up dams, and what a great job they have done, even though they are still just little wee things.  I have also learned that all of these fish are part of the carp family.

The garden is large and shady, and therefore an attraction for the neighbouring and stray cats.  Of a day we can have Push-Push from one neighbour, Casper from another neighbour as well as our regular black and white visitor all gathered at once.  Not that they all get along, so you'll normally find them in different corners when not demanding a bit of attention.  At first I was concerned about how the guests would react to these visitors, and being an animal lover myself, am so pleased to say that so far the guests just love having them around and spoil them rotten.  No wonder they like the place so much.
Photographs marked with a * were taken by photographer Gareth Williams.


 * The main house

Casper, a friendly visitor.









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