Fall in love at Maison de L’amour in Darling


LOVE is all around you at Maison de L’amour – House Of Love for the less romantically inclined, for whom a few days and nights here would work wonders.

The Darling (and darling) B&B is owned by Nina and Derek Poole, who also own and run 1910 The Old Forge, a short distance away; both have their personal touch. Nina herself made me breakfast on Sunday – scrambled eggs with salmon, tea, blueberry toast, juice, a cup of muesli, yoghurt and strawberries – beautifully laid out at the outside table next to the plunge pool, and attended by the resident cats. We all basked in the late winter/early spring sunshine.

I’ve always been a stickler for the solstices and equinoxes to determine the change of seasons but I’m afraid these days I have to defer to climate change. Nature follows suit with the early blooming of its annual wildflower spectacle you get in this part of the world, and along the West Coast. It’s just gone mid-August and they are tentatively showing themselves along the side of the road, and in hesitant clusters in fields. It’s a short-lived performance so if you’re after them, I suggest you go soon.

My accommodation at Maison de L’amour was in the garden cottage, freestanding from the main house. It’s pure whimsical delight, with a four-poster bed draped with netting and bolstered by armfuls of cushions and pillows. The angel-wing swing doors to the bathroom (shower room to be more precise) delighted me, to which the number of pics in my camera roll attest. I have included just one here. I loved the loose luxury of curtains which reached the floor in puddles of fabric, and all the knick knacks and ornaments with little other purpose in life but to be pleasing to the eye.

The cottage has a small sitting room, or parlour, with a couch, television and sideboard with the tea and coffee things. It’s lit by sparkling chandeliers, and the kettle is genuine vintage. In other words, it does not switch off by itself. Imagine! Vases are filled with waxy orchids, and the more you look, the more delights you will discover. “It’s like a treasure hunt,” said my friend Pienk Anja, who came to visit.

We spent the day at Ormonde, the wine farm that is literally up the road. We walked! At least this ensured I only bought one bottle of wine but, boy am I sad I couldn’t go back for more of the 2015 Ondine Cabernet Franc because it is outstanding, and I’m fairly sure I shall dream about it for a while to come. Ormonde is closed on Sundays. On the Saturday, however, it was beautiful and relaxed, and the children’s play area is suitably distanced. We drank wine, we devoured a picnic platter, and we talked for about four hours straight. Such is the nature of a catch up with a special person.

Back at Maison de L’amour, I caught the last of the sun’s rays sitting in the boma, which has little windows and if you peek through them, you will see plants and Buddhas co-existing in harmony. Love is found everywhere you look, from the hearts in the heart tree, to the little details in the cottage. It’s the perfect place to relax and indulge in the art of doing nothing. For more information, click here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bianca Coleman ©

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