Bezuidenhout Valley, aka Bez Valley, feels like a forgotten suburb. Once home to wealthy Johannesburg socialites, the area has declined in recent decades. Many of Bez Valley’s stately old houses have been abandoned or fallen into disrepair.
But Bez Valley maintains its sense of history. You can feel it while driving or walking its tree-shaded streets. Johannesburg’s oldest house is here and a few other historical landmarks remain. Yukon House is one of them.
Yukon House was built between 1906 and 1911 and was home to two Johannesburg mayors in the early 20th century. The house suffered periods of neglect as it changed ownership over the years (read this article about the theft of its priceless stained glass windows) but its current owners, Loretta and Henry Chamberlain, have lovingly restored the mansion back to its original glory.
I’ve been meaning to visit Yukon House forever but it’s not open to the public all the time. So when I heard Kennedy of Micro-adventure Tours was hosting a historical tour there — including afternoon tea, my favorite meal — I jumped right on board.
Tour and Tea at Yukon House
This isn’t your average historical house tour. Loretta and Henry live at Yukon House so it doesn’t feel like a museum. This house is truly loved while also maintaining a very authentic, Victorian feel. Each room has some spectacular feature that I couldn’t take my eyes off of.
Tea was served on the cool stone patio adjoining the drawing room. It didn’t disappoint. The food was great and I really enjoyed getting to know the other tour participants who were sitting around me.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than a fun, informative Jozi tour with great food. This was a perfect Saturday afternoon.
And I have good news: Kennedy is organizing another Yukon House tour just two weeks from now on 23 March 2019. Sign up by visiting his website: microadventuretours.co.za. You can also book your own event at Yukon House by visiting yukonhouse.co.za.
Yukon House is at 33 North Avenue, Bezuidenhout Valley. My tour was complimentary. Opinions expressed are mine.