The Ellerman House, Bantry Bay
A place one can easily call home…
My sense as I walked through the front doorway into the most spectacular home I have had the pleasure to explore. If indeed it was my home, I would never cease to explore its treasures.
Built on the foot of Table Mountain, with a 180 degree view of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ellerman House appeals to the hearts of all who have an unrelenting appreciation for art, wine and supreme living. I stood on the balcony staring at the scenery draped before me and there were no words to describe it. The articulating chamber within remained void as I continued to walk through the mansion, astounded by the décor and to a greater degree, the thought behind every item of furniture and every deed rendered to those who made the Ellerman house their haven for a few days.
Throughout the house and even beyond, distinguished works created by a number of incredibly talented South African Artists can be seen. Every piece of art is meticulously placed to convey a message, to complete a theme, to complement the surrounding beauty, to draw you in. The house boasts an impressive collection of art. Nearly 1000 paintings adorn the walls, some of which were made by the influential political artist William Kentridge and contemporary realist John Meyer.
Another form of art the house is passionate about is wine; collecting, tasting, maturing, sharing, specifically that of South African origin. The Ellerman house has sourced over seven thousand signature wines from about 150 different vineyards in the greater Western Cape. And again, to add more sentiment to the experience the home owner displays several customised sculptures and designs inspired by the vine as winemaking in essence is an art on its own. A personal favourite is the "Terroir Wall" which forms part of the Ellerman House Wine Gallery, designed by industrial contemporary artist Angus Taylor. The large copper frame exhibits the soil taken from 100 wine farms and assorted into smaller frames. Rich in tannin and red oxide tones, it is far more than just a box of sand; it brings the vineyards into your home for a more intimate wine tasting experience.
Behind it, contained in a glass room stands an enormous carbon fibre cork screw housing up to a thousand bottles of fine red wine. I couldn’t help feeling whimsical as I walked between and around the curves of the spiral sculpture, happy to spend my time in a literal glass of wine.
The idea to deepen the relationship between man and earth is suggested throughout the entire home. Each room opens up to invite the beautiful garden, the oceanic breeze and the feeling of tranquillity. Natural materials such as wood, raw iron, granite, bamboo, carbon and chalk are used to furnish the interior while the garden is an assemblage of indigenous foliage so that you, the explorer become a part of nature wherever you go.
I simply cannot be satisfied calling it a house. It is a quintessential work of art.
- Tame Dreyden