Parker Cottage Guesthouse is a small, owner-managed business with eleven permanent staff.
Twelve if you count Jasper, the Parker Dachshund ...
We’re Liz and Phil, (the owners), and came to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape (Grahamstown) in 2006.
We bought Parker Cottage Guesthouse in 2008 after a couple of years running another guesthouse, Mountain Magic Suites.
We’re also academics by profession: Liz works in the sociology of education and is writing her Phd at the moment and Phil is a linguist with an interest in primary education. When we’re not at Parker Cottage B&B, Liz likes nothing better than anything to do with horses, gardens and fantastic outfits! Phil’s never happier than when covered in oil working on his Land Rover, skateboarding or windsurfing at Langebaan.
Donovan is our caretaker at Parker Cottage B&B. Even at the tender age of 24, he manages all painting and decorating here (and now also the wiring and plumbing) with exceptional diligence. He's originally from the Eastern Cape, Graff Reinet to be precise, and loves riding his racer bike around town. He now lives in Mitchell's Plain and is the main breadwinner for his household of five.
Donny plays for a local football team called Napoli (no, not the Italian one!) and makes it known that unless he is playing, the team loses. Donny's big ambition is to become an electrician one day.
Olga has been with us since Donovan, her son, told us that he knew someone who could help with the linen. Olga now is in charge of cleaning all the public areas of the house, the kitchen, lounges, passages and stoep, which takes all day, every day.
Olga and her husband Jeffrey brought the Jonkers family from Graff Reinet to Cape Town about ten years ago. Olga's a passionate housewife and mother of four, of which Donny is the eldest.
We feel most proud to welcome on board Tomas Kucer, our new manager. He is trying us out for the season and things are going very well, so soon we’re pretty sure he’ll be part of the furniture.
Tomas is a Capetonian, originally Croatian, and used to work for another guesthouse in Cape Town until last year when we snapped him up. He’s already getting personal mentions in our TripAdvisor reviews!
Thandeka hails from Khayalitsha and used to work for many years at An African Villa (wonderful boutique hotel on Carstens Street), and now for us. She's the mother of four too and has recently become the exceptionally proud owner of her own house after several years of struggling.
Thandeka has a wicked sense of humour: be careful! She also greets every guest she meets with her traditional isiXhosa handshake. It's a real honour.
We like to do everything in house at Parker Cottage, and that goes for our linen too: so we've taken on Nompilo Gcwabe (if you don’t speak Xhosa, that’s a little hard to pronounce!) who is an old friend of Babalwa’s.
Having worked her way through six months of hard work as a general cleaner at Parker Cottage, Nompilo has now graduated to our laundry maid. She’s in charge of the laundry and linen (that is a huge job) and with the help of the industrial steam iron we bought, is doing just fine. Welcome Nompilo!
Zukiswa is a dab hand at the hospitality industry: she was head housekeeper at a guesthouse that closed a few years ago in town and was in charge of the entire place for many years. We couldn’t wait to employ such a capable lady who turns her hand to anything at Parker Cottage with enthusiasm and skill.
She’s a quiet and retiring type but says of herself ‘I know more than I say and think more than I speak’, which is very true. Zukiswa’s family home is in the Eastern Cape, a day’s travel from Parker Cottage so she lives in Langa whilst she’s working here. She’s a Housekeeper at Parker Cottage.
Jameson joined us recently as Donovan’s right hand man. He’s officially our Assistant Caretaker but ends up doing all sorts of things he didn’t ever imagine he’d be doing! Originally from Malawi, he came with his brother, who works at a neighbouring guesthouse, a few years ago.
Jameson’s working his way up the ladder at Parker Cottage learning everything from table setting to bed making, plastering and wiring along the way. He lives in Delft.
The first time Liz and I met Penny, she was our neighbour in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. Penny was actually born in Zambia but educated in South Africa. She completed a BA Honours in Politics at Rhodes University and then moved to Cape Town a few years ago.
She’s no stranger to hospitality and the world of food and wine having been head of service at one of Cape Town’s leading restaurants, Savoy Cabbage. She’s now our Assistant Manager at Parker Cottage.
Diana has a long history of working in hospitality: she used to own her own guesthouse in Swellendam and sold it a few years ago to move to Cape Town. She now runs her own consultancy and locuming company for hospitality businesses all over the Cape and beyond, so she only works at Parker Cottage a few days a week to give Phil and Liz a bit of a break now and then!
Diana is a serious gardener, having grown and sold roses professionally in her time, so she’s a lady of many talents. She’s also an amazing salsa dancer, setting floors on fire all over Cape Town at the weekends. She has two daughters who live overseas.
Jasper is actually the son of the legendary Monty, who belongs to the owners of An African Villa, Jimmy and Louis, just up the road from Parker Cottage. He's only 10 months old, very excitable and very amusing. The only toy that we have found that will last more than a day with him is an old piece of car tyre.
Jasper regularly attends our wine evenings and makes his comments on the vintages we are tasting.
Parker Cottage b&b in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town is conveniently situated for all visitors to Cape Town. If you enjoy exploring the cultural side of a city and all things art, Parker Cottage is close to many renowned Cape Town art galleries.