In 1700 Governor Willem van der Stel was granted land some 9km outside Cape Town, which he named De Nieuwe Land or Nieuwland and developed as a country residence. This included a modest lodge, a formal garden and an oak plantation. It remained the property of the VOC, and over the years became a gracious residence for high-ranking Company officials.
In 1791 the property was sold to the first of a series of private individuals, and although it reverted back to Government ownership in 1805, it was resold in 1826 and remained in private hands thereafter. During the 1860s it was let to the Colonial Government and became a country residence for Cape Governors. The village of Newlands was probably established at about the same time.The railway line from Salt River reached Newlands on 19 December 1864.
Today however it has become synonymous with the world of rugby and cricket, Newlands is known as Cape Town’s ‘green’ suburb - located against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain only 15 minutes’ from the centre of Cape Town city. This leafy, upmarket suburb has some gorgeous homes that back on to the mountain and lie virtually on the perimeter of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, offering sought after views. Newlands is the heart of the ‘South African’ rugby and cricket experience - both the renowned Newlands rugby stadium and cricket grounds are located here - the latter in particular offering some stunning views of Devils Peak from under the canopies of old Oak trees. Lazy afternoons are whiled away here, if cricket is your thing! Newlands forest, just off Rhodes Avenue, provides locals with a wonderful haven in which to exercise their dogs, and the walk from here to Kirstenbosch is a good four-hour trail, steep at some points, but you recover on your way into Kirstenbosch, where you can stop for breakfast or tea at one of the restaurants.
A number of restaurants in Newlands have earned accolades in the ‘eat out’ guide, and local coffee shops and bistros provide good opportunities for informal business meetings or morning tea. The Montebello Design Centre is also in Newlands and has a sculpture garden, a number of local art studios, a craft shop and restaurant as well as the first contemporary Bushman Gallery. The Centre is one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets with over twenty arts and craft studios and workshops, a historic greenhouse and nursery, a forge, and stunning restaurant and organic deli farm shop. The Centre is the result of a financial and property bequest by Cecil Michaelis. The Project is situated in the farm buildings of the historic site of Montebello. These buildings and land have a colourful history, being the birth place of Ohlssons Brewery and Continental China. Montebello Design Centre is a Non Profit Company, with a number of commercial tenant studios on sight.