Designated as a monument in 2005, a historical wooden house in Dutch Cul de Sac will soon reopen as a small bed & breakfast and event venue. The new venture, by Natasha Richardson and her husband Alexis Bryan, will offer visitors a break from the hustle and bustle, a picturesque setting for memorable events, and a glimpse into the olden days and into Richardson’s family history.
The property, Pasture Piece, which in colonial days belonged to the van Romondt family as part of the vast Retreat Estate, was both passed down and purchased, mostly within the family, and now belongs to Richardson. She has fond memories of the home, which her grandparents lived in as she was growing up.
The house itself dates back to at least 1902, according to records at the Kadaster, Richardson says. Over the years, while changes have been made, such as expanding, and integrating the kitchen and bathroom into the main building, the house still maintains much of its original charm and structure.
Built for the environment, the wooden house, with a traditional hipped style roof, has withstood many hurricanes with relatively minimal damage.
The living room, or main hall as it will now be called, includes artwork, display boards on architecture, a few artefacts and antiques, and items that pay tribute to the extended family, such as a wooden secretary desk, portrait of her parents, and framed family name history and emblems for Richardson, Labega, and van Romondt.
Many will recognise the traditional building, with ornamental details, propped up by stone wall, and visible from L.B. Scott Road. The property has, in recent years, housed a doctor’s clinic, mental health facility and two children’s organisations.
Now designated as a monument, one of the challenges has been to repair and make it comfortable with modern amenities, while preserving the architecture and sense of place. Bryan, a contractor and architect with experience working with older buildings, has been key in this process. Recent renovations have been made possible by the Prins Bernard Cultural Fund Caribbean region, as well as family and friends.
The property includes one main hall, which can be used for business meetings or any festive event, and three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms – one of which is ready to accommodate guests when Pasture Piece opens to the public very soon. The two remaining bedrooms, which are adjoined, are expected to be completed in the coming months.
Lots of garden space and a breezy, shaded seating area on the back porch, make for a relaxing, private atmosphere that makes it easy for guests to maintain social distance.