The Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale is on South Africa’s renowned Route 62. It sits prominently in Uniondale’s main vein that connects all the major roads with all the major attractions. There are a handful of guesthouses in this small town, but the Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale distinctly stands out because of its history.
The Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale – if these walls could talk, I would grab a chair and listen.
The house, built in 1896, served as a *nagmaalhuisie in the old days of long journeys, ox wagons and horse carts. Farmers from the outlying areas stayed in these nagmaalhuisies to attend church and to catch up with the latest news from distant neighbours. As the years progressed various doctors stayed in the house and ran their practices (with a waiting room and pharmacy) from the front of the house.
The Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale boast the title of being the first ever Guesthouse in Uniondale.
If you fast forward to today the owners of the Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale, Dave and Tish Cummins, welcome you into their family home that turned into the first ever guesthouse of the town in 1991.
The Guesthouse, with its shades of green, is situated on a quiet secure street. Ducks quack on the front lawn, an African Grey greets you on the *stoep and dogs happily wag their tails. Old wash tables and antiquities fill the hallways. Centuries of footsteps and stories are etched into the yellowwood floors. Coloured window panes dance with the sunlight and rooms are tastefully decorated while remaining a classic timeless style.
The guesthouse offers tea and coffee making facilities, lock up parking, a hearty breakfast and a licensed ladies bar. The bar, Dave’s Den, is covered from floor to ceiling with South African memorabilia; from Coco-Cola keepsakes to old switchboards. The walls are decorated with a collection of caps and old signboards reflects the 1900s while famous faces are fading away on newspaper cut-outs.
It’s here in the bar, behind the counter, where the stories of yesterday are told with enthusiasm. It’s here in the bar, in front of the fireplace, where tales of Uniondale bring colour to your life. It’s here in the bar, under a plethora of caps, where the Cummins family welcomes you to their Uniondale.
When you ask the Cummins if much has changed since they moved here in 1981, they answer: “Everything is still exactly the same”.
Here in the Karoo yesterday and today blends harmoniously together as one. Everything is still exactly the same.
And that’s the beauty of the town and the essence of the Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale. It’s the history that makes this guesthouse part of our tomorrow. It’s the stories that make you stay a little bit longer. And it’s the people that make you return time and again.
Untouched, unchanged, uninterrupted: Uniondale.
*Nagmaalhuisie – Literally translates to Holy Communion House. Farmers used these houses as an overnight house when they came to town to attend church.
*Stoep – Afrikaans for the veranda in front of a house.
*Photos taken by Karen Share – Photographer and Fellow Road Tripper for this trip.
Stay tuned for the next post, Things to do in Uniondale, coming soon.
Thank you to the The Townhouse Guesthouse in Uniondale for partnering with Going Somewhere Slowly during our stay.
All opinions are my own.Guesthouse in Uniondale