“Stunning eco-chic retreat and private nature reserve with far-reaching sea and fynbos views - a great stop-off between Cape Town and the Garden Route”
There are 6 rooms but the real gems are the 3 contemporary freestanding Fynbos Suites, set along a path that meanders through the heath (the furthest is about 300m from the main house). At night you'll need a torch (provided) to get back from the restaurant. In the morning you may find it takes a little longer to open the curtains: stretching across the entire length of the room they reveal a view across the fynbos that's simply magnificent. All that separates you from the flora and fauna is a long wooden deck. Outside, there's a table and chairs - perfect for sundowners.
Inside the suites have a clever open-plan arrangement, sectioned into 3 areas for living, sleeping and bathing. Wherever you are, the view never leaves you. This makes you feel like you're living outside whilst remaining cosy indoors. Colours are warm earthen tones: cream polished concrete floors, 200-thread khaki sheets, mud-coloured walls. Furnishings are wood or leather. Electricity is sourced through solar panels and stored in batteries, and there are wood-burning stoves to keep you toasty.
The bathrooms have stainless steel sinks, large bathtubs and limestone shower rooms. You get black fluffy towels and bathrobes. Toiletries are Cape Camomille Moya (made with lavender, geranium and ylang ylang oils). Be aware that hairdryers use too much electricity for the solar power and you're asked not to use them to prevent power trips. Sometimes the water can appear golden-red, but it's safe to drink due to the local source and eco filtration.
Back in the main house are 3 Homestead Rooms - 2 upstairs and 1 downstairs. The views from the upstairs rooms can't compare with the suites, but they're pretty good nonetheless and stretch out across the reserve. The third room is downstairs and larger, with its own living area and a double shower. There's slightly less of a view than in the upstairs rooms, but it does have its own covered terrace with loungers and a small, enclosed garden. The style in these rooms is less cutting-edge but just as comfortable, with big beds, wooden floors, Persian rugs, large sash windows, slick bathrooms (with bathtubs and showers) and wood stoves for cooler nights. The advantage of being in the homestead is that you're that little bit closer to the dining area and pool.
All rooms have crisp 100% percale linen and goose down duvets, as well as fans. A CD player and an eclectic selection of books and magazines should keep most happy. There are no TVs in this place - with these views it would be a sin.
The contemporary dining room is set behind the main house and is connected to the pool area by long wooden walkways. French doors open to a terrace for alfresco dining. There's a rich and varied array of books, evocative black and white photographs on the walls, and fireplaces to keep you warm when the weather gets cool. The air is informal: a wide range of music is played and if there's no-one around you're encouraged to help yourself to drinks behind the bar.
There's a set dinner menu, but whatever is served you can be sure that all meals use fresh local ingredients, whether from the farm's own garden and poultry pen or even a nearby pond (waterblommetjie, an aquatic plant, grows wild in the surrounding area). One of the joys of putting your appetite in the chef's hands is that you don't have to think too much (just let staff know of any specific culinary aversions) - "that's what chefs are for," they say.
We stayed for 2 nights. On the first evening we enjoyed homemade soup and chicken pie; on the second night we feasted on a delicious seafood spread - platters of salmon sourced from a local dam, hake, huge prawns with garlic mayonnaise, smoked mussels and abalone with aubergine, accompanied by fresh asparagus and a black bean and pepper salad. For dessert we helped ourselves to cheese, homemade chutneys and a glass of port. We didn't go hungry.
The simple breakfast buffet typically includes eggs and bacon kept in a hot dish, as well as fruit, yoghurts, muesli, fresh juices, toast, cafetière coffee and a selection of teas. Staff can prepare a picnic for you to take on an excursion or, if you want to stick around during the day, they can arrange lunch - just let them know beforehand.