Deryck recently stayed at the fun and luxurious Abalone House in Paternoster. Abalone House set the perfect stage for a fun and relaxing romantic weekend away up the West Coast.
The West Coast has always held a particular appeal for my wife and I. It's not just the abundance of flowers that wrap the fields in season, or the numerous quaint towns riddling the R27. For us the appeal really lies in the big skies and the wide-open spaces, the endless beaches, fresh air and sense of peace.
Paternoster, a traditional fishing village tucked away on the coastline an hour and forty-five minutes out of Cape Town, has got to be one of the most beautiful havens for weekend travellers seeking respite from city life.
Tracey and I nipped off for a night without the kids, who enjoyed a sleepover at Granny's.
The boutique Abalone House boasts five stars for luxury, and we found it to be extremely comfortable and an absolute treat to the senses. It is just a short walk from the beautiful unspoilt beach, has plenty of sheltered parking, and sits on the corner of two very quiet roads.
The first thing that struck me as I walked through the front door was the wonderful décor. If hodgepodge would describe a confused mixture, I'd call this a 'delightful-podge', a wonderful mixture. Every nook and cranny has something to catch your eye. Every wall displays a montage of art, souvenirs, antiques and paintings. Tretchikoff prints, stretched and pixelated, and Pierneef calendars join the well known and the unknown, filling the rooms with colour and texture. As a filmmaker by trade, I couldn't help imagining stories to fit all genres as I wandered around and soaked it all in.
Each of the 10 luxury suites at Abalone House are uniquely decorated with quirky and eclectic touches and are on either the ground or first floor around a central sheltered courtyard with a private swimming pool. Or, guests can choose to relax in the Jacuzzi on the rooftop terrace with its stunning ocean views.
If you are truly going to take relaxing seriously, then a visit to the Healing Earth Spa is a must. With African inspired treatments which make use of the organic range of Healing Earth products, this is an absolute haven, and the spa has been nominated for the 2016 World Luxury Spa Awards.
However, the cherry-on-top was heading downstairs for dinner at Reuben's Restaurant. How many descriptive words can I throw into one sentence? Romantic, decadent, relaxing, beautiful, mouth watering... the play on the senses never ends. The sun set as we enjoyed our cocktails on the deck, and later, heaters hung from rafters enticed us to eat outside. Ordering a rib-eye steak 'as the chef recommends' is often risky, but at Reuben's, it was faultless. Tracey had the lasagne, a picture-perfect portion - light, fresh and flavoursome. From the select wine list, we ordered the Nativo 2009 and we ended a phenomenal evening with ice cream and cheesecake.
If I were to choose what makes or breaks a night away, it would have to be the quality of the bed and the shower. I slept ten hours straight in our king-size extra-long bed, a feat I don't think I've achieved since my son was born nine years ago. The room we enjoyed was set with under floor heating, a private balcony, DSTV and an espresso machine. Deluxe pillows, beautiful linen and heated towel rails in the en-suite bathroom are just some of the features that added to the feeling of luxury.
The next morning a breakfast buffet of cheeses, fresh fruit and croissants awaited us. This we chased with the eggs benedict and a walk on the beach.
Heading back to Cape Town later that day I felt our goal was achieved. I was rested, inspired and just felt great. Be it for a quiet and romantic weekend away, or to immerse yourself in the colour and creativity on display throughout the property - Abalone House is simply a must-do on the West Coast.
To find out more about Abalone House & Spa and to book a weekend away in Paternoster, click here.