By Sharon Waterworth
After spending a refreshingly relaxed day in a welcoming atmosphere one can walk to the herbs and spices farm and pick fresh herbs to make yourself a cup of herbal tea or if you prefer, pick a few to garnish your sun downer drinks with. This new and unique activity is on offer at the newly re-opened La Rochelle Country House and Spa, a magical cross twixt fairy tale castle and French chateau, surrounded by manicured gardens on the edge of verdant forest-cloaked mountains. This luxury country house is an oasis of tranquillity and charm comprising of 108 ha, is one of the best known of the National Trust of Zimbabwe (NTZ) properties situated in the lush, green Imbeza Valley in the eastern border town of Penhalonga, near Mutare. It was renowned in the 1950s and 60s for Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld’s lavish and warm hospitality and has long been recognised as one of the most celebrated botanical gardens in Zimbabwe as well as an icon of the Art Deco movement.
La Rochelle is a place of beauty for Zimbabweans to treasure, a heritage the Courtaulds wanted to share with everyone. Today, it’s dedicated management team aims to be the intersection of nature, history, culture and the arts, creating an ambience of holistic wellbeing.
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