There comes a time in everyone’s life where you really need to grant yourself a treat; a spoil, if you will. Usually when it comes to a holiday, images of tranquil beaches, sunshine, loungers and views appear at some point or the other – with rest and relaxation being a sought after fundamental. South Africa has some of the most spectacular and postcard perfect coastlines and if a West Coast escape is something you enjoy doing as much as we do, then all I can say is that Abalone House in the tiny fishing village of Paternoster is a place to highlight on your map.
Recall at the beginning of this post I mentioned a spoil? Well this Tretchikoff House is beyond a treat, with hidden treasures and trinkets all over the place, giving a homely and warm first impression. Slight sidestep – If you aren’t sure who Tretchikoff is, you might like to know he was one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. He became famous for his prints and his work adorns most of the suites and living areas of your new found location. It all adds to the quirk and beauty that is this gorgeous Boutique Guest House, totally unique and unexpected.
From the moment we arrived we become engulfed by the charm of the place. An old Piano with framed pictures, a perfectly positioned arm chair and just the right amount of floor to wall books are among the few things you will find yourself staring at when you’re meant to be paying attention to the friendly staff who (believe it or not) are busy pouring you a glass of chilled bubbles.
Before you know it you are whisked off to your room, passing through the most tranquil of courtyards with swimming pool and café style seating. Beautiful birdcages, leafy greens and fairy lights frame the scene – again, you can’t help but keep staring (at this stage you are drinking the bubbles so everything really is great!).
The bedrooms are magnificent. Opulence deluxe! Extra length King beds with crisp linen, En-suite bathrooms with bath, shower, under tile heating and heated towel rails; fully stocked bar fridge and top of the range Italian coffee machine (really good coffee!); Flat screen TV, iPod docking station, CD and DVD player just in case you might need to catch up on a series or three. They really take Lavish to an entirely new level for a fishing village and with the waves crashing in the background and the view from the upstairs Jacuzzi deck being breath-taking; you just know you have arrived at ‘rest and relaxation-ville’.
It was time to top up the bubbles and it just so happened that high tea awaited us downstairs on the gorgeous deck of the restaurant. High Tea includes a selection of delectables – both savoury and sweet. Teas, coffees, juices; anything goes really. Again the view and sounds of the crashing waves on the beach just meters away are completely idyllic. After making sure we tried all the treats (and at this stage you might feel slightly full) we decided to take a sunset stroll along the beach. The great news here is that all guests of Abalone House will always have a direct path from the main house right down to the beach. The owners of Abalone House made sure to purchase the plot of land between the beach and their front door to stop anyone from building anything to obstruct the view of the coastline. Win!
Dinner is served early (which is worth knowing, so a word of warning would be not to over indulge in the tea time treats) as the food at Reuben’s is simply amazing. The food is fresh and tasty and the portions are generous. Paternoster being a fishing village, there isn’t a shortage of fish to choose from. All the daily specials are highly recommendable – all seasoned to perfection and memorable in their own right. Deserts are sumptuous treats and if you’re anything like us, then the bubbly was continuing to flow. If you’re not quite ready to go to bed yet, there is a comfortable living room to melt into with an after dinner drink, right next to a roaring fireplace. Returning to our room after dinner we found our beds turned down, our robes laid out and lovely little evening treats awaiting us on our bedside tables.
Breakfast is served early and until late morning and offers something for everyone. A buffet of fresh fruits, cereals, baked buns, hams and cheeses are nothing short of mouth-watering. For those of us that enjoy a hot breakfast there are a selection of favourites to choose from, including a tasty eggs benedict or full English breakfast.
The Abalone experience is beyond 5 star. Attentive staff, intimate settings and sensational dining set Abalone House apart from the rest. You can’t help but sink into the experience of being pampered and served as your every need is catered for (even on departure they hand you a parting gift to make your drive back home a refreshing one!). The Guest House also offers Spa treatments at the Healing Earth Spa and the village is filled with picturesque sights and lovely restaurants to stop at and enjoy fresh and delicious sea food. It’s one of the most wonderful places to escape to and personally I think it should be on everyone’s ‘must do’ bucket list.