Well we had been warned that it would not be a good idea to change a brand name and that we would be better to live with the name of the property rather than to establish another name. But it soon became obvious that no one actually knew what the name of the property was!
In order to make sure that we were pronouncing it correctly we asked French and Belgian (the previous owners were Belgian) colleagues how to pronounce ‘Les Hauts de Montagu’. So with our best French accent we introduced ourselves as LeO d’ Montagu to find we received completely blank stares – ‘where?’ ‘LeO d’Montagu on the R62, 3kms towards Barrydale’ – ‘Oh you mean Lez Outs’! (or Lays Oats or Lees Hats)
In fact we have heard so many interpretations and pronunciations of the Les Hauts name that at one point we considered reverting back to the original name of the farm Boontjiesrivier as being easier!
Eventually after much discussion and realising that most Klips, Kloofs and Kops had already been taken over we found our new name from a species of ‘Fynbos’ growing on the estate. Hopefully everyone will find it much easier to pronounce Galenia (Ga –len – ear).
When we closed for the season at the end of April we had a respectful removal of the old name on the front entrance walls and for a few weeks it has been left blank – our neighbours and the good people of Montagu must be intrigued, but at last we are proud to reveal to the world our new name.
Behind these walls is a hive of activity with contractors in the rooms in the main house, creating new staff accommodation, landscaping the gardens and swimming pool and repairing the dam. But by 1st September we expect to be ‘up and running’ and doing our very best to establish our new name as a beacon of hospitality, peace and tranquillity in the Klein Karoo.