If you exit the city on the N7 and drive up the country’s west coast, past the West Coast National Park, through the town of Velddrif – keep going – and past a vast tract of low-lying marine scrub, you’ll chance upon the quaint seaside community of Dwarskersbos. Here, a clutch of residential homes and holiday cottages bathe in the gentle, ever-present purr of the ocean waves and the salty maritime breezes that blow off the Atlantic Ocean.
Dwarskersbos and its beach, Dolfynstrand, is a place to “get away from it all” – away from the city and the insanity. It’s a serene escape in which one can do a little reconnection with oneself, a loved one, and nature. And as a visitor to this far-flung portion of the Cape, I couldn’t think of a better home-away-from-home to do it all in than DK Villa’s beach cottage at Skilliepark.
Chic beach cottage
Arriving at Skilliepark in the evening on Friday, we were just in time to witness the sun’s final fiery display before being swallowed by the steely grey Atlantic Ocean. Much to our appreciation – after the two-hour journey from Cape Town and the strain of a long working week – a bottle of sparkling wine had been generously left out as a welcome gift and it didn’t take us long to kick off our shoes and begin the task of unwinding!
Johann and Petra De Kock are the husband-and-wife team behind DK Villas. Together, they have established a portfolio of holiday properties in the Cape, and Skilliepark in Dwarskersbos is just one of them. Their beach apartment is decidedly chic and beach-themed with incredible attention having been channelled into every detail concerning function, comfort, space usage, and aesthetics.
It has two bedrooms with queen-size beds (one with an open plan en-suite bathroom with a bath), an open plan double volume living and kitchen space, and a bathroom with twin vanities and a shower. So, it’s perfect for two couples or a family of four. The apartment also features a wonderful indoor braai area with eight-seater table and wrap-around windows that, facing west, offer uncompromised views of sunsets so beautiful not even a wine glass requiring a refill could compel you to leave your vantage point.
In terms of amenities (and luxuries), no detail has gone without consideration by Johann and Petra. The apartment is flush with everything one could possibly want and need to enjoy a luxurious stay in the fairly remote coastal village of Dwarskersbos. This includes a fully kitted-out kitchen, a coffee and tea-making station (with Ouma rusks, natuurlik), heaps of storage space, complimentary Wi-Fi, an enormous flat screen TV with DSTV, and Egyptian cotton towels and sheets so soft I fantasized about “accidentally” packing one in my suitcase to take home with me. They have even provided reference books for birding and nature enthusiasts!
Beach walks and chardonnay sunsets
Skilliepark is located a short two-minute walk from Dolfynstrand (okay, three minutes if you’re really strolling), a broad and mostly deserted expanse of pristine beach littered with mussel shells and patrolled by Kelp Gulls and African Black Oystercatchers. For much of our weekend stay, the sun was hidden behind a diaphanous blanket of marine clouds, which totally suited our agenda to be as lazy as possible and cocoon in the natural light of our cosy ocean cottage. The clouds did eventually clear, however, and just in time for sunset on Saturday evening, and we watched with a glass of chardonnay in hand as the sun’s light leached from the sky, revealing the bejewelled firmament of night.
Quite honestly, there’s little I can say from experience about Dwarskersbos’ surrounding attractions and I blame that entirely upon the seductive comfort of our accommodations. The area is rich in birdlife, yes, and between the months of June and September, Southern Right whales frequent the coast. Further afield, the town of Veldrift offers a variety of restaurants and boutique stores and there is the West Coast National Park to visit, but the true allure of this area (to me) is its remoteness and the opportunity to do as little as possible.
We did just that: spending the weekend reading in bed until late morning, going for beach walks, watching day ease into night, caressed by silvery cloud-filtered sunlight, and indulging in rustic, superbly delicious home-cooked meals at the nearby restaurant, See Kaia. DK Villas has created a restful and luxurious home for the heart and the soul and the perfect getaway for anyone – Capetonian or tourist – in pursuit of rejuvenation.
I’d be back in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t even care if it stormed the entire weekend because the tranquillity that I sought I found within the cotton sheets and whitewashed walls of that beautiful little beach cottage.