Morrells Manor House has all the character of a country guesthouse, with all the hushed professionalism of a luxury urban hotel. Set in one of the older, leafier suburbs of Gauteng, Northcliff, the style is understated French Provencial, with indoor and alfresco dining areas overlooking lavender bushes and a peaceful, blue-grey pool.
In the original manor house there are chandeliers in every room, Louis XV-style chairs, old fashioned coat racks and wooden luggage racks. Individually decorated rooms follow a botanical theme, with names like Plumbago, Camellia, and Hydrangea. There are fresh cut flowers everywhere and I count four vases filled with lilac sweetpea flowers in my room alone.
I choose to stay in the Agapanthus room, which has ceiling-to-floor lead-light windows and double doors onto a private sun-filled courtyard. The synchronised curtains, headboard and floral valence complement the white percale linen and pretty bedside lamps. The enormous bathroom is tiled, with a wide, deep bath and a double-headed shower. Maria Garcia bath products are the final flourish leading to a happy sigh.
I head out to Morrells Manor House early, deciding to escape the Gauteng rush to get some work done. Despite arriving unannounced more than two hours before check-in time, I am graciously received without even a flinch, offered a drink and shown to my room.
Unfortunately when I see this loveliest of rooms, all thoughts of work vanish. It is all I can do to sink into my soft bed with a magazine. With the sun streaming in through the open doors and windows, to the sounds of Turtle Doves and Barbets from the surrounding established trees, I convince myself I will be more productive tomorrow, thanks to a peaceful afternoon in this plush, secluded haven.