Ellerman House might be a city hotel but nature is never far away in Cape Town, especially here in Bantry Bay – we have the slopes of Table Mountain behind us, the glittering Atlantic Ocean ahead and a lush indigenous garden all around.
Our enviable location also provides an ever-present reminder of our commitment to the daily practices that help to conserve our natural heritage. As the seasons start to shift from summer to autumn – another wonder of nature – we are taking stock of our efforts to address environmental issues like plastic pollution, carbon emissions and water scarcity.
Community & culture
Click Learning is a non-profit education initiative established by the Harris family that deploys online literacy and numeracy programmes in underprivileged primary schools across the country. Our support of this organisation helps to improve student performance for foundation phase learners, giving them all a much brighter future.
In addition to nurturing a water-wise fynbos garden that helps to preserve extremely valuable indigenous species and enrich biodiversity in the Cape Floral Kingdom, we have made a commitment to reduce water usage on-site by 40%. This is especially significant in Cape Town, which faced a near-catastrophic water shortage in 2018 and continues to experience huge pressure on the water supply.
The environmental and social benefits of sourcing goods and services locally are considerable – it’s always one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. At Ellerman House, we make an effort to use small, local businesses as much as possible, as well as sourcing fresh ingredients from sustainable local suppliers for use in our kitchens and showcasing only African artisans in our shop.
As well as eliminating single-use plastics across the business, our more environmentally-aware daily operations include moving to biodegradable, organic and/or plant-based materials and cleaning products, the use of solar power where possible and the purchase of a custom hybrid BMW in which to transport our guests.
22 MAY: INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIODIVERSITY
Biodiversity – the variety and richness of plant and animal life in a particular habitat – has special significance to those of us in the Cape; home to the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world and an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism.
The preservation of the Cape Floral Kingdom and others like it is critical to the balance of life on Earth, as biodiversity loss affects the wellbeing of all living things – including human beings. We are proud to have invested in the creation of a water-wise indigenous garden at Ellerman House that has become a showpiece of iconic species from all over the country and is representative of the extraordinary assemblage of plant life and the associated fauna that define this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8 JUNE: WORLD OCEANS DAY
On the occasion of World Oceans Day 2023 and in response to the United Nations theme “Planet Ocean, Tides are Changing”, Relais & Châteaux, in partnership with Ethic Ocean, will celebrate seafood “SEAsonality”. This concept alerts us to the need to protect species already weakened by overfishing whose reproduction is threatened by climate change.
As a proud member of the Relais & Châteaux family, we will call attention to the importance of sourcing sustainable seafood – a strict policy already in place in our kitchen – with a celebratory fish dish on the daily menu. Chef Kieran and his team will also offer guests a recipe to take with them in the hopes of inspiring responsible provenance at home.
18 JUNE: SUSTAINABLE GASTRONOMY DAY
Ellerman House Head Chef, Kieran Whyte, and Culinary Director, Peter Tempelhoff, are both passionate proponents of sustainability in the kitchen. The UN describes this approach as “taking into account where ingredients are from, how they are produced and the methods by which they are delivered to local markets and, ultimately, our plates.”
At Ellerman House, this plays out in the number of ways, including the radical reduction of food waste, conscientious sourcing and procurement, a focus on seasonal ingredients and the celebration of our local culinary heritage with South African-inspired menu items that honour our history and culture.
We hope you will join us by implementing some of the ideas above into your lives at home, so that the natural beauty of the Mother City and others like it can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.
Hotel & Villas | Cape Town
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