Jane Swartz has been at Cape Grace since it opened fifteen years ago and her job is to look after the furniture, fabrics, artefacts and antiques – making sure everything is in immaculate condition. She knows off by heart what’s in every one of the 120 rooms and can recall every work of art and piece of furniture in the hotel.
We asked ‘Auntie Jane’ (as she is affectionately called by the staff), which are her favourite parts of the hotel:
1. Room 420: There is a Penthouse with a jacuzzi on the fourth floor. I absolutely love it for its amazing panoramic views of Robben Island, Bloubergstrand and Table Mountain.
2. Room 419: This Penthouse gives me a feeling of nostalgia. The blue and white Chinese crockery hanging from the chandelier looks like the ones my granny used to use. The curtains follow in the blue theme and the coffee table is an old kist.
3. First floor: Walking along the first floor corridors gives me a sense of history of the old Voortrekker life with the traditional tools, ox-wagon yolks and brass and copper.
4. Fourth floor landing: Right opposite the lift is my favourite armoire at Cape Grace; a display cabinet that belonged to architect Herbert Baker who was given it by Cecil Rhodes. I lived in a farming community and this old furniture is very familiar from my childhood – it gives me a strong sense of my own history.
5. Library: Checking on the yellowwood and stinkwood cupboard gives me a good reason for going into the library, which I find homely and comfortable.
What is your favourite spot in Cape Grace?