Churchhaven – Worshipping the West Coast

About an hour north of Cape Town, you’ll see a turn-off to the left into the West Coast National Park where a road will lead you to a hidden hamlet on the Langebaan Lagoon.  Chattering seabirds swoop over faded fishing … Continue reading

A Kruger National Park Photo-story

There’s nothing quite like the African bush. Family membera of ours recently visited the Kruger National Park – more specifically the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve South-Western section of the park. Here, they stayed at Lower Sabi Sabi and Sabi Sabi’s … Continue reading

10 Things to do in Greyton

Tucked against the mountains in the Overberg of the Western Cape, Greyton is a perfect weekend getaway that gets you into the country to exercise, relax, and indulge in gorgeous fresh farm food, fabulous wine and craft beer…  in whatever … Continue reading

Uncovering the secret season in Plett

Overlooking pristine beaches and nature reserves, Plettenberg Bay is the playground of South Africa’s wealthy. It’s also a town of contrasts that has somehow retained a village feel in the face of burgeoning informal settlements and luxury property developments.

Come winter, the town hibernates – boarded up, awaiting the summer migration of upcountry lemmings and international swallows.

It’s the secret green season in the Cape – moody and wet, but with mild weather between the cold fronts. Drive the N2 between Cape Town and Plett and you’ll see a spectacle of wheat and Canola fields, blue cranes, herds and aloes against misty mountains.

But the beaches are deserted, bar intrepid retirees who walk their dogs every day … long invigorating walks.  And the nearby forests are magical –  dripping green and mossy, brackish water rushing over dank earth.

We stayed at Gemini in Plett – a turquoise shuttered, Cape Cod style house right on Robberg Beach, booked through Perfect Hideaways.

Gemini is the perfect holiday house – beautifully designed and decorated, with great entertainment areas, stylish bedrooms and lots of little luxuries – relaxed and welcoming.

The house is well thought through, from the landscaped indigenous garden with its wooden walkways and hidden boma, to the open plan living area and kitchen with its top of the range appliances, it oozes comfort.

We loved the detail, Philippe Starck taps, the enormous Gaggenau stove,  an espresso machine and juicer, a great selection of books, deep comfy sofas and Lloyd Loom chairs.  The owners are clearly travellers and avid collectors, and they’ve shared their collection of beautiful artifacts around the house.

If you can raise yourself off the lounger, the beach is a close walk across the road and down a boardwalk through the beach vegetation, and you’ll have miles of sea and sand to explore. For the more adventurous, there’s a hike on the Robberg Peninsula – the views are worth the effort.

The Plett area has endless entertainment, exercise and foodie options. Try walking or biking Harkerville forest, visiting Natures Valley, taking a boat or canoe up the Keurbooms River, or just relaxing over a long lunch at Bramon wine estate or at the Lookout Deck.

For more info about Gemini contact www.perfecthideaways.co.za. Tel: 021 790 0972, or email: stay@perfecthideaways.co.za

Deli.cious!

Lunch at The Deli in Woodstock, must be one of the better ways to end the week. I love the relaxed simplicity of the place, and the food is fabulous. There is a great selection of salads quiches, wraps and sandwiches, plus wicked home-baked cakes and treats.   It gets really busy, so go early to beat the rush . http://www.thedeliwoodstock.co.za/  Image

Two Angels in Knysna

The Knysna Festival is around the corner, and for anyone entered into the fun, there is always a mad scramble for accommodation. Last year, as a festival virgin, I entered the 21km run, gathered a motley crew of faithful supporters and planned the pilgrimage.

By a stroke of luck, we found accommodation at the Two Angels (previously Rockery Nook) on Leisure Isle, in full view of the Knysna Heads.

We rented ‘Lovers’ Nook’ cottage,  the ‘Oyster Nook’ studio, and a small loft room upstairs.  The ‘Nooks’ were both stunning – stylishly decorated and very comfortable with en-suites, kitchenettes and incredible views, but the loft room was a tad basic – no frills but fine for overflow accommodation that you could put your kids into.

Best part of our stay? Hard to choose between the incredible sunsets on the lagoon, waking up to the lapping, rushing sounds of the incoming tide, or early swims and lazy bike rides around Leisure Isle.

Best places to eat? If you’ve had enough of relaxed mojito’s and braai’s at the house,  venture out and try champagne and oysters at Sirocco on Thesen Island or breakfast at East Head Café http://www.eastheadcafe.co.za/

And yes, we also ran a race that required us to get up in the middle of the night, queue to catch a thumping taxi into a dark, muddy, freezing forest, just to run all the way back – and it was fabulous fun.

Book accommodation at Two Angels through www.perfecthideaways.co.za. Tel: 021 790 0972, or email: stay@perfecthideaways.co.za

Karoo Roadtripping – Heading out east

From Cape Town, the N1 stretches out after Touws River into dry scrub. Trucks ply the routes and the small towns are not quaint – Merweville features little more than a bottle store and a railway siding.

The land is harsh, sheep dot the veld and houses stand resolutely alone among windmills and gum trees. But as we near the Eastern Cape the landscape subtly shifts, and low-lying hills rise out of the arid flatness.

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Arundel, St James – A colonial Cape Town gem

The Cape Town seaside suburb of St James is an anachronism, left over from Cape Town’s colonial past. It reposes elegantly on the False Bay coast, like high tea on a silver service, between the arty, fishing-based community of Kalk Bay and Muizenberg’s cosmopolitan mix of pensioners, surfers and Nigerians.

Arundel, a classic St James holiday house tucked away on the mountainside, offers travellers a gracious refuge from the bustle of holidaying in Cape Town.

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