Overberg region of the Western Cape
Elgin Valley in the Western Cape
Langebaan, Western Cape
Born out of a passion for the outdoors and an affinity to Alison’s younger days biking and hiking across the globe.
The marriage of Alison Green and Barry Gould has always been far more than the coming together of two families; it is the unique merging of two creatives with a deep understanding of hospitality. Alison, an engineer, and Barry, an architect, met in Johannesburg in the early nineties and the rest is history.
In 1999, Alison and Barry moved to Elgin (Alison’s place of birth) where they took ownership of Wildekrans Country House – an early inheritance from her father who wished to pass on his heritage in person. Named after the “wild cliffs” at the bottom of the rambling garden, the Wildekrans farm dates back to 1811. The traditional Cape Dutch architecture countered by a contemporary art collection offers a city energy with a country soul, while the Houw Hoek Mountains make for a dramatic natural backdrop. When resting here you experience life with all five senses just a little more deeply.
Born out of a passion for the outdoors and an affinity to Alison’s younger days biking and hiking across the globe, followed by hiking the Groenlandberg with neighbor Dr. Paul Cluver, Alison founded the Green Mountain Trail in 2007, a bucket list walk which includes overnighting at Wildekrans Country House. The route traverses private farms which are committed to conservation and the responsible sharing of these special spaces. Having worked with hikers for more than ten years, Alison has seen the powerful healing affects the natural surroundings have on visitors.
In 2010, the Langebaan Beach Cottage joined the Green Mountain collection, after many years of serving as Alison’s family holiday home. The beachfront cottage is conveniently located on the main beach. It is a short strolling distance from the surf and the popular restaurant Pearly’s, which Alison fondly remembers as an ice-cream parlor called “Franel’s Tea Room”. This simple and uncluttered three bedroom home offers a space to really relax with warmer nights spent outside around the stone braai place which Barry built.
The year 2015 saw the opening of the Blue Mountain Trail – a second slackpacking multi-day hike that offers sweeping views of the Overberg coastline, and close-up access to a unique plant life that literally gives the mountain its blue tinge.
The most recent addition to the collection is Casa di Simonetta, a 1 000 year old house in Adine, Chianti, a hamlet between Florence and Siena. It is a part of Italy they have been visiting since their first year of marriage. While Alison and Barry agree that the wines of Chianti are a top attraction, they are both drawn to the warm climate, the beautiful stone buildings, the simple but phenomenal food, natural hikes and the Italians zest for life.
Much like the other properties which make up this collection, Casa di Simonetta still has strong roots in its past. Michele, the farmer who tends to the olives, grew up in the area with generations preceding him, and he has taught Alison and Barry many things about the quiet village on the hill. And Simonetta Palazio, the previous owner who little by little lovingly restored the home from ruins, has become a great and wise friend who continues to share her rich knowledge of Italian culture. The farmhouse is cool in summer, offers blockout shutters for late mornings or afternoon naps, terraces for alfresco dining, and is surrounded by walks, other villages and food markets in every direction. They are now able to share “la dolce vita” with you too.
And so nearly 25 years later, Alison, Barry, and their handpicked team, are still caring for people’s needs, wants and dreams in a hands-on, individual way. They know that seeking the spirit of a house makes it a home, and that it is of utmost importance to preserve this, whether it’s a whitewashed cottage for beach lovers or a simple Tuscan farmhouse. Throughout their flair for art and architecture is evident. They invite you to immerse yourself in authentic environments, live like a local, and in turn take home inspired thoughts and ideas to keep those ways alive in your own life too.
Whether you are looking to hook up with another group to take one of our lovey hikes or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Green Mountain can cater to your every need. Click the button below to make a booking.