Greeted by a cultural harbour and a fascinating haven where chic vintage and modern furniture is complimented by an array of intriguing art. Cotswold Gardens, a guesthouse in the beautiful avenues of Saxonwold goes beyond being just a guest house – it’s a place of synchronicity, and a permanent exhibition of art work. It is not difficult to see that Janine Hobbs, owner of this ‘jewel’ is doing exactly what she loves and has successfully accomplished a sophisticated chic juxtaposition. She offers two self-catering suites and four spacious B&B rooms, including all the bells and whistles that creates a four star abode!
Stella, a previous guest at Cotswold Gardens confirms this in saying, “I can recommend this guest house wholeheartedly, in fact it is more than a guesthouse with the hosts always so helpful and their beautiful place full of impressive artworks.” A personal affair of art showcased includes: Hundertwasser, Candice Breitz, Norman Catherine, Bronywn Millar and Stephen Hobbs and many more. Janine has also hosted a number of authors, one of whom is Richard M Wainwright a celebrated writer of 10 children’s books. All of his works focus on family values and compassion as a way to cope with and overcome a variety of life’s challenges.
When chatting to Janine about her garden her passion beams through and she highlights, “I started the garden from scratch, it’s what I love!” Similar to what I can imagine a secret garden to be, we wander through gulping in the fresh sweet scents of jasmine and the gorgeous display of colour which simply dazzles. This all accompanied by the soothing flow of water, and tweets from the resident weavers, crested barbets and grey loeries (Go-away birds, as they are now known as). Clivia’s catch my attention with their clusters of vibrant yellow and orange trumpet flowers brightening an early spring garden. The fuchsias and impatiens don’t go unnoticed either, nor do the cascading leopard & jacaranda trees. Lucy, another past guest at Cotswold Gardens says, “I stayed here for a week while on a work trip. I don’t know that I have ever had such a wonderful B&B experience. The gardens are lovely; it’s like an oasis of calm.”
As part of the stay at Cotswold Gardens, breakfast is included but dinner recommendations by Janine include The Grillhouse, The Fishmonger or Wombles. All three are award winning restaurants and guarantee a fine dining experience. A lunch time stroll to Tashas in Rosebank is also encouraged. Janine goes above her call of duty and will book guests’ tours, galleries, car hire, restaurants and places of interest. She recommends guests with time on their hands to visit Liliesleaf Farm, Constitution Hill, The Origins Centre, Soweto and Apartheid Museum and several of Rosebank’s art galleries.
Saxonwold is one of Joburg’s oldest suburbs made famous by the Rand Lords who controlled the gold and diamond industries of South Africa. The broad winding streets are inviting with their large old trees and impressive mansions of the time. Cotswold Gardens is certainly a feast for the eyes, there is no limit to the sensuality and it displays exuberant warmth. If you want beauty, hospitality, charm and convenience then don’t stay anywhere else says another guest, Helen. This is a charming place where guests become friends.