Our story started with our own family and a move from the city of Cape Town to the village of Hermanus in 1966.
Hermanus was nothing more than a village then; one main street and no supermarkets. My earliest memories are nostalgic; the clanging of the milk truck which collected our coupons and left our milk on the doorstep, the Butchery and the sound of the noisy saw cutting the chump chops my Mum would order over the counter every Friday.
Friday was shopping day and I would happily traipse behind Mum as she made her way around the village. We had a Green Grocer too, Freddy, and on Fridays Freddy and the folks from Hawston would make an early trip to Epping market and come home with their trucks loaded with fresh fruit and veg. The trucks parked in a row on the Market Square where they set up for the day to sell their fresh produce. Then it was off to the dairy depot, fresh eggs and chicken were ticked off Nannies shopping list. Nanny was nanny and she ran the household; a legend of a woman who moved to Hermanus with Mum and Dad. She was to be loved and feared, especially when venturing into HER kitchen. Lastly was the visit to JJ Du Toit, the general dealer, he stocked tinned foods and hardware mostly, all neatly stacked on crude shelves stretching the length of his deep shop. Other speciality shops were the toy shop, a tiny shop but packed ceiling height with everything a little one could dream of, Lemm’s Corner, an old double story building with ornate balcony, in my memory it has suitcases and our school uniform and The Princess Cafe where Mum would buy The Sunday Times and our lucky packets after church at St Peter’s on Sundays.
Dad and Mum set up business as Property Agents and went about Selling and Managing Holiday Homes for those fortunate enough to own them. Mum had green fingers and her clients arrived to beautifully staged flowering gardens complete with thriving vegetable and herb patches. There were no specialist services in those days so managing agents did it all, even the home insurance.
I loved Mum and it was my privilege and pure joy to follow her between Eric Jones the Nursery Man (who also owned the Coca Cola factory) and the beautiful houses she tended too. I suppose it was only natural that I absorbed her ways and adopted her love of beautiful homes.
The Champagne Collection has its roots in this story. Dad had passed away when I was a child and when Mum was getting on in years I joined her and together, in keeping with the new demand for beautiful private homes to rent, we set about building a portfolio that could accommodate couples and families looking for special places to call home for their holidays.
Somewhere along this timeline I have grown up my own precious family and had my own experience of this demanding modern lifestyle and it’s pushes and pulls on everyday life; and so grew my heart to find all sorts of Havens and Hide-ways for people to Touch Down and Regroup whether alone or together; some Child Friendly for Bucket and Spade holidays, others having Teen Appeal with Separate Entertainment and still some to suit those looking Just to Retire, to Recline, to Read or to Golf.
This is our heart beat to give our esteemed guests, a beautiful home to holiday in. A space to unwind, to breath, to stretch out and relax, to laugh and to dine and to touch sides with one another away from the hurly burly of everyday life.
This is our aim that our accreditation by the Estate Agent’s Affairs Board and level of professionalism will allow you to book with confidence, that you will arrive to a clean house, you’ll be greeted at the door and welcomed to your “home from home”. That any need you may have with regards to the management of the property will be addressed timeously and with minimum interruption to your holiday, as far as it depends on us to do so. That you will want to return!
This is our Promise to be ethical and to care, to keep the people touch in this remote computerized world.