WHILE I was unpacking my suitcase at dk villas’ cute new little one-bedroom apartment, I pondered on how long we’ve been using the word “staycation”. First of all, the all-knowing Wikipedia says it’s a day trip close enough to home without the necessity of overnight accommodation; if that is so, I’ve been using it wrong all this time.
Turning to Merriam-Webster I found my confirmation bias in the definition “a vacation spent at home or nearby”. Startling, however, is that it’s a term that was first used in 1944. Nevertheless, I was in Hout Bay and I was having a 48-hour staycation.
I’d previously stayed at two of dk villas’ other properties, one in Dwarskersbos on the West Coast, the other in Hout Bay – one week shy of exactly two years ago. Oh, that was a night to remember, with revelry, rockabilly and eisbein…and a lot of wine. This time was sedate in comparison.
With two-bedroomed properties in its portfolio, Johann de Kock told me they became aware of a demand for something smaller. In the midst of Covid and lockdown – which created both opportunities and delays – he and his wife Petra bought the apartment in the RivervieW complex, gutted it completely and created something fresh and original. I was the first person to stay there, which is always a rather special experience.
The location is super convenient; just one road back from the Main Road and a couple minutes’ walk to where you emerge opposite Cheyne’s. Hout Bay Manor is directly next door. Your Google Maps will show you other places that are within one or two kilometres which is fair walking distance but frankly it was too hot for that kind of nonsense. I did walk to Chapman’s Peak Hotel, though, where I had dinner on the first night with the darling Goffe-Woods. It simply had to be calamari, wine and sunset with good company, and all my expectations were met.
Back at the apartment – which has a parking bay right outside the front door – the decor is French rustic: lots of distressed wood and wrought iron, in a palette of soft neutrals. But the kitchen…oh my word. We need to take a moment to appreciate the sheer beauty of it, fully kitted with black and chrome SMEG appliances (kettle, toaster, coffee machine, stove, washing machine, tumble dryer; the only reason there isn’t a fridge is because it wouldn’t fit), white crockery, white honeycomb tiling with black grout, sparkling glassware and drawers neatly filled with all the bits and pieces you need, from oven mitts to a stopper for the complimentary bottle of bubbly (although to be honest, I never need those). Nobody’s drawers at home look like this, so ordered and pleasing. We have what Michael McIntyre calls “man drawers“.
It made me quite melancholy to have planned all my meals to be eaten elsewhere instead of cooking in this dream kitchen; heck I might even have entertained guests. The closest I came was Plant-Based Creative’s orange and almond granola with yoghurt (half vegan, half not) for breakfast, and their choice chip cookies with my tea on the little balcony framed by bougainvillea. It is what it is.
You’ll find everything you need in the apartment: big fluffy towels (you’d think it’s not a lot to ask to have ones that wrap around your whole body from armpits to knees but so many times you’re left immodestly clutching corners), separate towels for the beach and others for your makeup or dyed hair, DStv on a smart TV so you can pick up your Netflix too, Magneto lights in case of Eskom, fire extinguisher, rain umbrella, pegs if you’re going to do washing, and a beautiful high gloss file with descriptions and stunning photos of all the wonderful things to do and see and visit in Cape Town and surrounds – which remind you just how central a location Hout Bay is for an exceptional holiday, long or short.
Besides Chappies, I popped in at The Little Butcher for another story another day and got some perfectly pink, moist (I have no problem with that word) and fatty biltong to tide me over until an early supper at Mariner’s Wharf. It just felt imperative that I have fish and chips overlooking the harbour. Expectations met: two for two.
Afterwards I popped in at Bay Harbour Market which is trading on Friday evenings as well as Saturdays and Sundays. I was a woman on a mission, to collect a bunch of records from one of my dealers, Brian Vinyl, who looks out for me and sends Whatsapps when he finds things he thinks I’ll like. I also needed a “new” secondhand book to read since I’d finished the one I brought with me; the book man there always has good stock, so naturally I bought about five books.
If you’re spending more time at the market, you can enjoy a selection of local wines, craft beers and gins; delicious cuisine, from street food, to nibbly bits and platters for the whole family. Shoppers will find fashion, leather accessories, décor, art, collectables, crafts and gifts, plus there is live music to entertain visitors.
And finally, on my second morning, I broke my fast at Hout Bay Manor. The pretty courtyard is spaciously set out with tables and woven umbrellas and tranquil water features under dappled shade. Menus are provided via QR codes and while we all have our breakfast favourites, I tried something new: El Pixo, which is sweetcorn fritters with feta, chilli (tiny bit thank goodness) and spring onion, topped with bacon, avo and two poached eggs, with sautéed baby rosa tomatoes on the side and a chilli relish. Most yummy indeed.
It was a perfect little staycation. For more information, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©