Welcome to our Autumn Issue!

It is now exactly a year since we launched our VISI Great Spaces tours. In each issue we try to secure two of the special spaces featured for readers to visit. The Great Spaces tours have proven to be extremely popular, as not only do they give readers the opportunity to experience places to which they would ordinarily not have access, but they also give the VISI team an opportunity to meet and interact with our readers face to face.

Some readers are such fans of the tours that they have attended every one! To all our loyal readers, thank you so much for your incredible support. I hope to see you at all the Great Spaces tours we have lined up for the rest of this year, starting with a tour of Otto de Jager’s 117-year-old house in Cape Town (page 98), where you can see for yourself how he has brought a Victorian semi into the modern era. I personally cannot wait to see his cabinet of curiosities. To book, e-mail

Then there’s a special cooking class and lunch at Jacques Erasmus and Hein Liebenberg’s magnificently restored house in the small town of Montagu (turn to our story on page 62). Only 10 spots are available, so secure your place now.

Regardless of your personal style preference, I honestly believe there is a space in this issue that will speak to you.

There’s a West-Coast-meets-Versailles holiday house in Brittania Bay (page 40), a modern architect-designed home in Pretoria (page 52), a Parisian-style jewel in Cape Town’s City Bowl (page 84), a striking Cape Dutch house complete with glassed addition in Fresnaye (page 74), and the magnificent Prynnsberg Manor in Clocolan in the Free State (page 90). Last but not least, I just love the tiny whimsical garden created by hairdresser Wim van Zyl in Vredehoek, where angels and gnomes come out to play (page 124).

We also take a look at the temporary space Georgia Black created for the first LITTLEGIG 24H festival, held in a forest near Klapmuts in February. I adore the water installation that Kevin Mackintosh and Daryl McGregor created for the festival. (They also captured it beautifully for VISI – have a look on page 108.)

And how absolutely proud all of us here at VISI HQ were when we heard that chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen had become the first South African to garner a Michelin star. Take a look at his fabulous restaurant in Nice on page 122 and enter to stand a chance to win a copy of his book JAN – A Breath of French Air (Struik Lifestyle). Let us know if you ever pay it a visit and be sure to send us pictures.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the first mellow days of autumn.

– Sumien