Built in 1898, and nestled in a lush English garden setting in the leafy suburb of Walmer, Hacklewood Hill is one of the few remaining Victorian Manor Houses in the city, and as such retains much of the elegance and grace it would have boasted when its first inhabitants – a young doctor and his family – once lived here.
Guests are greeted with intricately stained glass doors, gleaming wooden floors and the gentle sheen of wooden banisters lovingly buffed and polished for more than a century. Wandering around the house’s two reception rooms, your eye naturally gravitates from one fascinating period piece to another.
A black and white checkerboard tiled veranda overlooks a sparkling swimming pool, perfect for leisurely dips on hot summer days – while the well-established garden beckons for a quiet stroll or perhaps even a civilised game of croquet on the lawn. The more energetic can opt for a gentlemanly game of tennis or just choose a secluded spot in the garden to enjoy the abundant birdlife which calls the grounds of Hacklewood home.
The manor house’s eight luxury en suite rooms which are equally as enticing, especially as each so perfectly captures the essence of the Victorian Age. Each is individually decorated in palettes ranging from pastel blues and rose bedecked pinks to more masculine browns and reds. As a result, each room has its own unique character and returning guests will enjoy experiencing them all, and will, no doubt, be loath to pick a favourite at the end.
In order to truly experience Hacklewood Hill at the height of its stately Victorian glory, guests need to make a point of opting for at least one dinner at the house’s five star restaurant. The dining room’s magnificent chandelier lights, to full perfection the cut glass, crystal goblets, starched linen and full silver service on the tables below, while superbly trained waiters serve a splendid array of cordon bleu dishes that emanate from the kitchen. Little wonder that the restaurant has garnered itself a slew of fine dining awards and has become a firm favourite on the Port Elizabeth dining scene – not only for its exquisite dinners, but also full English breakfasts, High Tea’s and light lunches.
For a thoroughly enjoyable trip back to a time when days were long and unhurried, furnishings were beautiful and handmade, and every meal was an occasion to use only the best china and silverware, guests need look no further than Hacklewood Hill Country House.