Kloof Road, Cape Town Ward 54, Cape Town, City of Cape Town, Western Cape, 8005, South Africa


R100,000 Per Month

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Property ID:


8849 SQM


Those were properly wild days, muses world-renowned artist Beezy Bailey, as we sit on the stoep of Villa Toscana with the world’s most recognisable view stretching out before us. ‘When we first lived here in this rather elaborate “Italian folly” it was like being paupers in a palace! It belonged to my aunt, Stella Cappini or Lady Bailey as she was then. It dates back to1952 and she filled it with beautiful Italian furniture and lived with her bachelor brother Lorenzo, who planted the olive trees and terraced the garden 80 years ago. It was 12 years before we could begin the restoration, but by then we knew we wanted to open the house up to the magnificent vistas of Table Mountain, so we began by replacing doors and windows. ‘At that time, I was inspired by trips to India and Venice and began to understand the influence of the Silk Route, which I embraced.’ Grand doors originating from an Indian palace, with colourful stained-glass windows above, were installed on the Signal Hill side of the house and cast late-afternoon shafts of glowing blue-red light into the art-filled stairwell. Stella would have loved the jumble of photographs in the antique cabinet in the passageway, opposite memorabilia that shares the fascinating history of this somewhat controversial family. A portrait of Sir Abe Bailey hangs over the old-fashioned swing door to the kitchen and has witnessed an extraordinary guest list over the years of A-list ‘rock royalty’ and ‘art’ stars.

‘David Bowie came to interview me for Modern Painters magazine and described the grounds as having “sexy gardens”. They are not clipped and ordered, in fact, they’re a bit dishevelled.’ At the foot of the stone steps, magnificent orange strelitzia’s bloom prolifically in-between guerrilla vegetable planting of cabbage and fennel, and the meandering path takes you past beehives, blossoming cherries and plums to the new eco pool, a 14m-long oasis lined with a Tree of Life mosaic. The view across the deck and through the trees, skims over rooftops to the deep-blue sea beyond Cape Town harbour. ‘The Bowie Dancer, one of a limited edition of three cast in bronze, was based on a flamingo from Churchhaven. I sent one to Bowie and when he asked the edition number, I told him it was one of three. He said “done!”. It was sold. Today, that Bowie Dancer, with a cast of my own head and my wife’s hands, is looking into Iman’s sitting room! My Yves Klein Blue artist-proof Bowie Dancer remains by the pool,’ grins Beezy.

‘My whole mission here is to retain this green lung, our little paradise in Higgovale, on the slopes of Signal Hill. We harvest honey from our hives, enjoy borehole water and an abundant organic veggie garden with artichokes, spinach, wild garlic and the creamiest Jerusalem artichokes. With time, we will slowly go off-grid.’ But for now, the house has recently enjoyed a brush of new colour – as it understandably feeds this artist’s soul. A fresh lime green has turned the open-plan kitchen into a feel-good space and the colour of a bird’s egg was the inspiration for a new sixth bedroom with gorgeous views of the mountain, leading off the blissfully cool Imperial Yellow media room. ‘When it’s hellishly hot in summer, we often come down here,’ says Beezy. But the heart of the house, where the lovely blonde parquet has survived many wild parties with the likes of Hugh Masekela and Winston Mankunku Ngozi jamming in the corner, remains unchanged. The Giotto-inspired azure ceiling studded with gold stars is softly lit by an inherited lamp from Winston Churchill’s flat in London in the living room, and lacquer-red walls are lined with a collection of canvases, save for the ‘elaborately framed fake ancestor that my brother and father bought years ago at Ashbeys,’ says Beezy. ‘The beautiful Chinois panels, set against the black dining room walls, were painted by Lady Stella. I wish she could see Villa Toscana now. It’s amazing how well they’ve survived.’

Upstairs, the softest pinks and rich teal blues offset a personal collection of art works, some of which were gifted or swapped and have stories to tell. Luscious velvet curtains, carved Zanzibari beds with silk drapes, Lorenzo’s room with the bold wallpaper depicting Rome, and a choice of two of the most romantic bathing experiences in this city await… the vaulted perlemoen-shell ceiling in the main en suite was an installation done years ago – inspired by a mother-of-pearl ceiling in the Uffizi in Florence – and is the ultimate indulgence. The Victorian bath is surrounded by a mini gallery worthy of a visit. But come summer, the vintage copper bath and outdoor shower on the upstairs deck tops it all with stupendous views of Table Mountain. ‘You just sit in this bath and pinch yourself,’ laughs Beezy who never tires of this view. And neither would you… it’s unbearably hard to leave!

What we love!

Hand’s down, the best views in town from the terrace – the ultimate private dinner venue set in almost two acres of garden (one of the largest in the city).
The new deck and pool: you could spend days down here reading, entertaining friends or simply cocooning with family.
Its central location – no more than 10 minutes to the beach or Waterfront.
That there’s a bedroom style and view for everyone, from restful city-to-sea views or hypnotic mountain views.

What you need to know…

The house is on busy Kloof Nek Road, but you would never know as it’s well protected by two gates and surrounding houses, all providing absolute privacy and security. There’s ample parking.

Villa Toscana is very much the home of an artist. It’s a privilege to stay here and we respect its quirkiness.
Bee hives on the property.

Available from May to September.

There are two 1 bedroom cottages available. The larger cottage overlooks Table Mountain and is available at R 37 k per month. The smaller cottage is available at
R 25k per month.

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Tracey Roscher