We would like to share a visitor comments and photographs on his recent stay at La Rochelle:
Hi All, I decided to make the most of it and stay at La Rochelle – an up market, rambling, country style homestead 5 minutes down the Penhalonga Road just on the outskirts of Mutare. My first visit and I have been impressed by how well it is being run; the excellent dinners; and the relaxed feel about the place.
The main house had lots of long passageways and a large lounge as was the architecture favoured some 50 plus years ago. Saturday night in the main living room had several families playing games like scrabble and dominoes with their kids –pleasant music playing quietly in the background. There are bookshelves all over the place with books dating back to the early 20th century – I browsed through a few: “A Great Book of Humour” (1935) with short stories from about 30 authors including Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy; and then there was “Echoes of Old Country Life” (1892). I did, of course, have to glance through a more modern “Remarkable Gardens of South Africa!” (2012) lying on the coffee table.
Lounge showing portrait of Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia hanging over the fireplace
When the work was done I took off on my Bike for a ride along the backroads – all uphill to my dismay – I ended up traversing what seemed like the Stairways to Heaven – one of those where every corner brings yet another steep rise – still people living way up there with local ladies ascending the hill seemingly unaffected by the heavy buckets on their heads.
One of the lovely aspects of staying at a place like this is that you have a chance to chat to all sorts of interesting people. I had a drink with guy from Sterling in Scotland who was travelling around the country with a couple of mates.
La Rochelle is ideal for either a stopover on the way to or from Mozambique or for a week ago away from the Madding crowd. It is a pleasant drive, just over 3 hours, from Harare. Take time out there soon.
A quote that caught my attention in the Humour Book “ Mrs Wright and Mr Bolt were sipping liqueurs and lingering over that inestimable stage of human companionship when acquaintance is drifting into something higher, wider, nobler, broader, deeper and fuller”! (F.E. Baily in “Look this Way Babe”). A little more subtle than the likes of “50 shades of Grey”!
Mr Mike Garden, Softrite Accounting Systems
Here are some other recent visitors’ comments that were kindly provided by Mr Garden.
La Rochelle – Have friends who stayed there recently with some Art ladies they really enjoyed the weekend and the lovely gardens.
I used to go to La Rochelle when it was still in the Courtauld family and Lady Courtauld was still alive and we used to have tea on the verandah. The gardens were magnificent. I remember it as being so much bigger and so full of colour back then. I think the Manager is doing a remarkable job. It looks wonderful.
This was the home of Lord and Lady Courtauld. There should be a statue there to her pet Lima and the round turret was for her stone collection. They had interesting visitors who signed the lounge window. They had so many antiques that Mr Holland refused to value the contents so a valuer was sent out from the UK. They also planted all different trees. Glad to hear it is running well.