Abberton was built in 1911 for Christopher William Dix, Secretary to the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association, which recruited black mineworkers in Southern Africa. Designed by Baker and Fleming, the house’s roof is notable by the sweep of the Brosely tiles and tall chimneys.
Following Dix’s death in 1916 the family sold to Dr J.C.G. MacNab, a respected ear, nose and throat surgeon. He renamed it and altered it to accommodate his large family.
In 1934 it was sold to H. Appleby and E. Stemmler, who converted it into a small residential hotel. In 1986 the Herbert Baker Restaurant was incorporated and the two properties have been progressively improved with the final restoration of both premises and gardens in 2007 by the Altron Group.
The enormous oak tree is reputed to be one of the largest in Johannesburg.