Weekend getaway Tintswalo Atlantic: My howls aren’t what they seem

There's a hint of Twin Peaks about Hout Bay, especially in winter. Admit it, and if you can't, you're probably one of its inhabitants … an ashtray ceramist or a swinger, say.

Huge trees sway under sheltering skies, people gawp at you from behind graveyard shrubberies, mad horses run wildly over marshlands – at night, on the rain-soaked hills, you can hear their whinnying echo off damp cliffs.

Rumour has it that, in one of the forests, there's a community of former librarians and lentil fiends who all live merrily in hempen tepees.

I once worked in Hout Bay; the people were lovely, the atmosphere drove me to asparagus quiche. I was therefore not in the mood for a stopover in the valley filled with ageing hippies. A friend, however, asked me whether I wanted to try out Tintswalo, just outside Hout Bay.

My heart sank, but because she once smuggled me (on a private jet, nogal) into New York for three days, I owed her a favour.

On arrival, the rains came down. It was dark, we drove a car the size and shape of a ladybird. Via Chapman's Peak, past the tollgate, deep down a winding, slippery corniche so compact I was certain that we were going to slip over the steep cliff.

Right at the bottom, there was a flickering light at the end of a precipice, ancient milkwood trees surrounded a building, two little wild animals scattered into a bush. Rooikat? Porcupine? Who knows, but two pairs of eyes shone in the dark.

This was all I needed: wild animals that bite my ankles as I have a quick pee in a bush. But when the gate of the lodge swung open, my cynical heart turned into putty. I entered something that felt like a secret childhood treehouse perched on the edge of the world.

There was a fireplace, warm colours, shabby-chic furniture, windows that looked right on to the ocean. The mighty winter sea might have sounded cruel, but it looked like an Annie Leibovitz photograph: rich and dramatic.

I stayed in one of the 10 island-themed chalets, the beach on my doorstep. Sitting in the huge round bath felt like I was in a space bubble landing in the ocean. The bedroom comes with a bed the size of the moon, plush and luxurious carpets and free wi-fi – every adorable ­cliché in the book.

For in-house guests, there is the full dining experience, which is a selection of canapés at sunset followed by a five-course dinner, at R320 per guest. (The same menu served to nonresidents is R550 per guest.) I had biltong-dusted kudu loin served with butterbean purée, butternut risotto, zucchini fritters and roasted garlic jus. Ambrosial, and the chef was good-looking too.

Not bad, indeed, for a place situated on the outskirts of Twin Peaks, a show, I admit, that I now miss sorely.

Herman Lategan was the guest of Tintswalo Atlantic

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Slate politics reflects the decline of the ANC

The competing factions in the party put power before national interests

Africa, Caribbean have ‘moral high ground’ on climate change –...

Both regions boast innovative, homegrown solutions but these rarely ‘get airtime’

The major economic and political questions of Marikana remain

Why do representative bodies like the union, the party and the so-called left seem to fail their constituents during struggles like Marikana?

Samsung flexes with the flip and fold

The folding tablet and flip phone look very similar to last year’s models, but feature a redesigned, slimmer hinge mechanism and other incremental updates
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×