Right off Hout Bay’s Victoria Road, in a quiet, unassuming apartment complex called The Boardwalk, you’ll find a stylish two-bedroom guesthouse by DK Villas. Overlooking the Hout Bay village, the Atlantic Ocean, and Chapman’s Peak beyond, this property is in a prime position for guests to enjoy the fruits of the valley, which range from wine, markets, and fresh-caught seafood to heartbreakingly beautiful views, world famous drives, and nature appreciation.
We had all of this and more on our weekend itinerary and so it was with great excitement that I packed the car, the fiancé, and the friends on a Friday, and drove to the “790” – so nicknamed for its telephone prefix – to spend the weekend at The Boardwalk.
Sublime interior design
Johann and Petra De Kock (hence “DK”) have more than a mere knack for transforming properties in beachside communities, which they then rent out to holidaymakers. Put it this way: if their hospitality ambitions fall short, they have certain careers in interior design!
Walking into The Boardwalk property, there is an enduring sense of quality, craftsmanship, and consideration for aesthetics evident in the design choices Johann and Petra have made, from the Tivoli taps in the bathrooms and SMEG kitchen appliances to the Egyptian cotton sheets on all the beds. The furniture pieces are attractive and high-end (solid wood tables, woven fabric seats, leather sofa), and work together to create spaces and rooms that are the perfect cocktail of comfort, luxury, and hominess.
The TV is one of those curved creations from Samsung and the electrical outlets contain every shaped socket imaginable (no scrambling about for adapters). There is a black-and-white wall mural on the open-plan dining room and lounge wall depicting a historic Cape Town scene before the cable car station was built. The paintings, which are all original works by local artists, add pops of colour to an otherwise cool (but not cold) and tranquil colour palette of warm greys and natural beiges. Even the light fixtures are practically works of art on their own and we absolutely loved the mirror wall features.
Balance and harmony
It is often the case in hotels and guesthouses that the owner’s attempt to go ultra-modern is executed at the expense of a sense of warmth and hominess. Modish design aesthetics might please the eye but if there is no warmth and familiarity in a space, it won’t please the heart. The reason I digress with this point is because DK Villas is a perfect example of how to avoid this tragic imbalance, striking the most delicious harmony.
After goggling at our plush accommodations, we unpacked, uncorked the complimentary bottle of bubbly DK Villas had so generously left out for us, and immediately began cooking up a pot of stew for dinner. Our plan for the weekend was to enjoy our home-away-from-home as much as it was to enjoy our friends’ company and Hout Bay as a tourist attraction. And so we successfully kicked off the weekend with good food, good wine, and good fun.
Hout Bay as a destination
Having grown up in Hout Bay, I found it hard in the past to consider it a holiday destination, since it was the ‘everyday ordinary’ for the better half of my youth. Needless to say, that all changed over the weekend and it wasn’t only because of our luxurious steeping in DK Villas’ haven.
With three of my nearest-and-dearests in tow, we traipsed around my old hood, starting with a short drive along the world famous Chapman’s Peak’s Drive to the East Fort, stopping to take pictures of the bay, its frame of mountains, and the embracing ocean in all its cerulean glory. The water was as still as a millpond, disturbed only by a lone stand-up paddle boarder and a delightful pod of dusky dolphins, which we spotted from our lofty vantage point at the crumbling old fort.
We then headed over to the popular Bay Harbour Market for a quick lunch of inexpensive sushi before driving up the north-facing slopes of the valley for a 15:00 tasting at the Hout Bay Vineyards. We spent a blissful hour-and-a-half tasting their gorgeous range of wines (an MCC, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, and Rhône-style blend) made from grapes grown right here, with the exception of the blend that included a few varietals sourced from further inland. The tasting is by appointment only, giving it an intimate feel and is hosted in the cellar by wine-maker Catherine Lacey.
The next day we visited the World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park, an attraction I remember with great fondness from my youth but which is today in sore need of funds to clean and upgrade its facilities. Having said that, it remains an enchanting diversion, particularly for kids and bird enthusiasts such as myself.
Gorgeous, tranquil haven
The Boardwalk is a trendy and modern self-catering apartment with all the amenities, conveniences, and luxuries you could possibly want and need to enjoy a fabulous, self-catered stay in Hout Bay. It really doesn’t matter that winter is slowly approaching either – I could quite happily have locked myself in that gorgeous, tranquil haven all weekend. Overall, the experience was invigorating, adventurous, and a restorative return to the roots, and it is my most ardent recommendation that you treat yourself to some of the same!
Husband-and-wife team Johann and Petra are also behind two other properties in the Cape: the three-bedroom Harbour View villa, which is located across the bay from The Boardwalk, and a two-bedroom beach cottage at Skilliepark in Dwarskersbos up the West Coast.