Tel : +27 (0) 21 424 6445
I’m beginning to truly believe that we are very, very privileged to be living in a city like Cape Town. We have the most incredible scenery, surrounded by 2 oceans and rugged mountains, stunning vineyards(and their wines), our city has just been voted World Design Capital for 2014, which will bring a whole new type of tourist to our shores… and then we have so many people who really do care about the state of our environment…it must have something to do with that beautiful scenery I mentioned above. Two of those people are Phil Rendel and Liz Sayigh who own and run Parker Cottage in Tamboerskloof with the ethos that luxury and heritage hospitality does not need to negatively impact on the resources of the earth
This guesthouse in the Cape Town city bowl was originally two stately Victorian houses completed by renowned Scottish architect John Parker in 1895, who designed many of Cape Town’s landmark buildings,
The two houses were later joined together to form one grand guesthouse offering a full luxury experience to its guests . The luxury is done so as to blend in perfectly with the wonderfully spacious rooms, the ornate features, wooden floors and the high ceilings of this grand dame of a building .
Parker Cottage is a little different to the usual guesthouse or B & B in that rather than being just a conventional ‘place to sleep’, they offer a very much unplugged, urban retreat and once you walk through the gate you are transported into a blissfully calm and peaceful oasis so far removed from the hurly burly that is Cape Town right on its doorstep. So, although they offer things like free and fast wireless internet, most of their rooms don’t have television (except by request) or radios or hifi’s.
On top of all this they strive to combine luxurious hospitality and bed and breakfast accommodation with an active concern for the society and the environment.
Most people assume that concern for the environment and luxury are somehow incompatible terms. But here luxury and a minimum impact on the environment go hand in hand.
In this regard they have put a 5 year plan in place(of which they are 2 years into) so that by 2015 they will be totally ‘off-grid’ for all heating, electricity, water and sewage as well as recycling over 90% of their waste.
What is great is that they have posted this plan on their website(see link) and they update it regularly. So… there is total transparency and one is able to follow their successes and failures as they move ever closer to realising their dream.
As one will see they do not have unlimited funds at their disposal and greening a building, especially with space constraints, can be an expensive business. Phil, however is accumulating a vast knowledge of the technology available and is a firm believer that the the actual energy harvest(difference between cost and resources to produce and then recycle on expiry) should at least be offset by the savings achieved in energy/water/waste.
Have a read…it makes for interesting reading.
The ultimate aim is for Parker Cottage to be the first urban eco-lodge in Africa.
They are also passionate about the people of this country and are involved in several social upliftment projects .
- The guiding principle at Parker is that no member of staff, including the owners or managers, will ever earn more than three times the salary of the lowest paid employee.
- the two permanent staff at Parker Cottage both benefit from at least two times the minimum wage for the industry.
- Their temporary staff also receive at least 50% higher wages than the minimum wage for the industry.
- Parker Cottage sponsors two scholarships at Ntaba Maria Primary School in the Eastern Cape.
- Phil volunteers at a local primary school in the Bo Kaap. His focus is on increasing the literacy of the Grade 7 learners.
- they use the purchasing power of Parker Cottage to support businesses from less affluent areas and/or owned by historically disadvantaged families and individuals.
Their sumptuous breakfasts are a highlight in that they are unlimited and there are no set times – you eat whenever you are ready no matter what the time. Almost all diets catered for: vegan, vegetarian, halal, gluten free etc. and every day sees a unique culinary touch such as toasted rye bread with creme fraiche, topped with mushrooms sauteed in garlic and lemon juice and layered with rocket. Breakfasts can be taken outside on the veranda, in the garden under the orange tree or in our grand dining room.
Parker is also a social place, with regular wine evenings taking place where guests are able to meet the winemakers and taste the wines of the Cape.
So, in essence, what we have here is a little gem of a place… peaceful, luxurious and relaxing situated in the heart of Cape Town that does not cost the resources of the earth and positively impacts the lives of the surrounding people.
As a one off for the launch of Parker Cottage onto our site we are so lucky to be able to offer the full Parker experience of a one night stay(with their famous breakfast included) at this grand old lady for two people to a lucky reader.
This prize is valued at R1250!
The entry mechanism is this: share this article with others, subscribe to Greggs Platter and then answer the question correctly. All of which one can do here
Current subscribers can email the answer directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question is: How many phases does the Parker 5 year plan consist of. The answer can be found in the above 5 year plan link.
The fine print is that booking for the prize is subject to availability and cannot be taken during the peak times of 20 December – 10 Jan.
Entries close on Friday 11 November and the draw will take place on Monday 14 November.
Good luck to all you wonderful people out there.