SA’s west coast really comes into its own in winter. Although there are plenty of gorgeous sunny days, it’s those crisp, moody ones that are more conducive to romantic getaways and quiet fireside repose.
The village of Paternoster is an idyllic destination for such pursuits and Abalone House, which combines old-world elegance with bohemian eccentricity, is the perfect luxurious bolthole for a weekend or mid-week escape from the city. The lovely team – attentive but not invasive – encourage cocooning in all its forms, and a beautiful place to start is on one of the comfy antique sofas by the library fire surrounded by shelves of books and games, memorabilia, objets and a wonderful collection of art that includes oversized Tretchikoff canvases.
This signature style of Abalone House is echoed in the more pared-down décor of its elegantly revamped spa with its calming blue walls, Persian rugs and details in complementary ikat fabrics. It is also a refreshing departure from those predictable tonal beige spa spaces, heavy with the scent of lemon grass oil. This bespoke Africology spa offers top SA products and professionalism in the expertly trained hands of therapist Kayla Vraagom, who gave the most effective deep-tissue massage I’ve had in ages. The treatment is the ideal departure point for your total relaxation and alone is worth the 160km drive from Cape Town.
Winter of course stimulates the appetite and the kitchen has you covered with a generous breakfast spread after a brisk morning beach walk on pristine white sand – there is over 7km of beach to explore. You can select to cosy up in the more formal dining room or enjoy the wonderful views from the adjacent conservatory bar area. Delicious casual fine-dining options with a focus on local seafood in the evenings are accompanied by an extensive wine list (also as a pairing option). Although lunch is served, I recommend taking in some fresh sea air and the surrounding village – head over to Hungry Monk at the nearby Crayfish Wharf.
Abalone House & Spa is running a winter special of a two-night stay in a plush Standard Superior Suite at R5,995 per couple. The offer includes daily breakfast, a 60-minute bespoke intuitive herbal oil massage for couples, a three-course dinner and welcome drinks. There is complimentary Wi-Fi, but I strongly suggest total immersion in Abalone hospitality by switching off.
• For more details contact Abalone House & Spa on 022-752-2044 or visit their website.