Mention Darling these days and Pieter-Dirk Uys comes to mind. With his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout this South African performer, author, satirist, and social activist is synonymous with the small West Coast town. Around 1996 he converted the old railway station into a cabaret venue, restaurant, and museum and named it Evita Se Perron. Together with many well-known artists, the local icon makes regular appearances.
Given the opportunity of spending a couple of nights sleeping with him –figuratively – I jumped.
Dave Burger and Fran Sexton left the rat race three years ago. Searching for the new home they saw the property online. Despite its ramshackle state they saw the potential and made the move.
Tucked away in the quieter part of the main road the whole house was in need of TLC and imagination. The property is so spacious that it lends itself to dividing with one half their home and the other for accommodation and Daisy Darling Bed & Breakfast was born. Named after Dave’s mother and the abundant spring flowers that bloom in the area they now receive five-star awards.
This well-traveled couple says they had three criteria for the rooms – a good quality bed (they are massive with space enough for a theatrical troupe), aircon and a pool. And keeping with Darling theme they hit on the idea of dedicating one of the three suites to Evita Bezuidenhout. But would he agree? Contacting him to ask permission he arrived at their door with a box of pictures and memorabilia under one arm and spent the next hour chatting to the owners’ four cats – Bella, Mr. Mischief, Vino and Felix – who also goes by names Velcro, Inspector Cousteau, and Bovril.
Now, entering the “sweet suite” floorboards creaked, time stood still surrounded by the eclectically decorated room. The walls are adorned with posters and pictures from the now 74-year-old Pieter-Dirk Uys’s long career. Among those with whom he or Evita has been photographed are Nelson Mandela, former speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Frene Ginwala, the National Party Foreign Minister Pik Botha, Cyril Ramaphosa in the early1990s and anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman. A bright pink hat hangs on an oak cupboard waiting to be worn in one of the icon’s lavish skits; the sateen headboard topped by portraits of Uys, another a parody of Tretchikoff.
The walls of the generously proportioned lounge are hung with paintings by Fran and other local artists. All the works exhibited are for sale. Guests can relax (by a fire in winter) and catch up with a series or movie on Netflix.
The pool is surrounded by fruit trees and a grape-vine and is a welcome place to relax under a sun brollie on the patio. A transparent curtain comes down in the event of bad weather. It’s also where the couple serves their Darling breakfasts made exclusively from locally sourced products. And it’s pet-friendly.
Combine your stay by dipping into Daisy Darling’s sparkling pool or getting to know the quirky culture of Evita se Perron. Daisy Darling offers a B&B experience with a delicious difference
Also, Find the 2019 Summer Line-Up of Evita se Perron
Find Daisy Darling on the West Coast Way Culture Route and Tractor Route.
Contact: 022 492 3361 or email [email protected]
Karen Watkins started out as a travel writer and photographer supplying articles for numerous newspapers and magazines including Indiwe, Country Life, Go, Good Taste and others. Joined Independent Newspapers Limited in 2007 to work one year with Special Projects writing marketing copy before joining the Constantiaberg Bulletin as a multi-media journalist writing news and taking pictures until May 2019. And now she is writing for West Coast Way