'West with the night'
Beryl Markham wrote the brief for the rooms
When we working on the vision for the creation of Melvill & Moon over 20 years ago there was description of the rooms of the Muthaiga Club in the Happy Valley/Kenya /1922 era in West with the Night that resonated with us
"Kenya was now beginning to provide a pleasing blend of hardship and luxury, as the Muthaiga offered its croquet course, polo stables, Goanese chef and chauffeurs. The Muthaiga’s sturdy rooms, non so elaborate as to make a rough-handed hunter pause at its door, nor yet so dowdy as to make a diamond pendant swing ill at ease, were the refuge after long hunts , lean crops, and strained meetings at the bank. These were the rooms which the people who made the Africa I knew danced and talked and laughed, hour after hour" Beryl Markham, West with the Night.
'Headed for Muthaiga' . The Prince of Wales on Safari with Denys Finch Hatton and Miguu Anderson (not such 'rough handed hunters') on a 1922 Safari. Coincidentally two of the current Melvill & Moon product range are shown in the shot; The Rhodes chair and the Harry Moon table.
For anyone familiar with the era captured so well in Out of Africa and White Mischief 'none so elaborate as to make a rough-handed hunter pause at it's door, not yet so dowdy as to make a diamond pendant swing ill at ease' can take one's brain on a bit of a walk. Even today when you walk around Muthaiga one has that 'if these rooms could talk' thought. (But at the same time we're on at housekeeping about the measure of 'the art of the bedroom' being the feeling of being the first person ever to have been in that beautiful bedroom!).
But all in all while 'classic Karoo' has been our guiding light through the restoration process it was in West with the Night that Sue found the underlying sexiness and alure that we might have missed had we had our heads buried too deep in the Karoo bushes.
"I didn't set out to decorate it. All I've done is to try and make it the kind of home from home we'd all love to be a part of" Sue Melvill
Well done to Sue and her team ; Sean Daniel and his wonderful colour eye and his hand done stripes, muralists Quinton Farro and Mandy Brockbank, Isaak for his painting and woodwork and 'can do' spirit, Alicia for her Cape Town backup, and thank you to so many mates who scoured their storage units for 'stuff' (valuable stuff often precious antique stuff - Graham Warsop, Derron and Greg Mac Farlaine, Annie Alletzhauser). Thanks also to Zak our GM, Emson and Tickey and all the others on the Karoo Art team. Classic Karoo' was never compromised and those diamond pendants will hang at ease always.