Our journey to our weekend destination takes us over the scenic Franschhoek pass to our first stop, the lovely seaside town of Hermanus. Here we have a relaxed stroll and sample delicious West Cape Mussels accompanied by a sip of local wine overlooking the ocean. The next stop is the charming village of Stanford, so quaint with its boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, it’s always a joy to visit. TAT is invariably my first stop for its fabulous antiques, vintage finds, and curios, followed by an Ou Meul delicious and, for me, irresistible chicken and coriander pie!
Eager to get to our destination, we take a right at the bottom of the village into the Walker Bay wilderness reserve. Our sense of anticipation builds as we look out for the gate with its wavy metal line above – the discrete marker that you have arrived. From here, a narrow winding road leads through a forest that bursts open to reveal an extensive low slung contemporary building that will be our home for the weekend. We have arrived at Perivoli Lagoon House, where we are warmly welcomed by the managers Marcelino and Simone Henckert with a glass of bubbles. It’s gorgeous, but it’s the incredible views of the Klein River Lagoon and mountains beyond that entice us out to the fabulous wooden deck—it’s breathtaking.
Back inside, the spacious open-plan living space has an understated, sleek contemporary Afro-chic aesthetic. Daniel Naudé’s mesmerising Transkei Nguni Cattle images placed at the head of the room over a staggeringly long floating buffet have a definite wow factor, setting the tone for the gorgeous interior. Simone, an interior designer, has created a contemporary, warm, and inviting interior enriched with an Afro-chic aesthetic. Taking inspiration for the colour palette from the surrounding nature, using ethically sourced, natural materials, mainly wood and leather, combined with textured fabrics in striking prints that add a wonderful vibrancy. The walls and ceilings have a subtle sheen that adds depth and an additional layer of luxuriousness.
Gregg Goddard’s architecture blends beautifully within the natural landscape. Its charcoal-coloured wood cladding and wavy floating roof mirror the mountains opposite, creating the same undulating effect inside. Amazing views and light flood through the massive glazing. Wall-to-wall glazed folding doors allow the inside and outside to flow together. There are two bedrooms to each end of the house, reached by a hallway from either side of the living space that doubles up as a fabulous showcase of African art. This includes a traditional mokoro canoe from the Okavango region and wooden shields carved from a single piece of wood by the Tikar Tribe in Cameroon.
Each of the four bedrooms in line with the living space has a natural, muted colour palette, with colour in the accents and carefully curated art. The en-suite bathrooms have freestanding bathtubs by large opening windows to take in the view while soaking in the soothing Wild Olive Artisans bath foam, candles flickering-bliss! Wooden-shaped cow horn towel hooks are a fun touch. In fact, everywhere you look, you see incredible attention to detail.
Perivoli is a ‘smart house,’ and all the electrics are controlled by the house IPAD. A log fire in the living room blasts out heat when needed on cooler mornings and chilly evenings. The bedrooms have cosy eco pellet fires and underfloor heating. The villa can be booked on an exclusive-use basis for up to eight people, on an all-inclusive or self-catering basis that includes a daily housekeeping service. Madre Bester [of Madre restaurant in Stanford cooks for special occasions and food and wine pairings with local wine farms. Food locally sourced from acclaimed local producers and freshly grown herbs and vegetables come from Perivoli’s garden, cheese and trout from Stanford, and fresh seafood from the Hermanus Harbour.
Guests self-catering are welcome to use the herbs and veg from the garden too. Perivoli Lagoon House is the perfect place to hit reset, digitally disconnect and re-connect to nature. To restore mentally, catch up with friends and family and the books you’ve been meaning to read forever. For long, languid days lounging, enjoying leisurely lunches, and post-afternoon snoozing. The deck is where you’ll spend most of your time, for sure, relaxing by the heated infinity pool. Taking in the gorgeous sunrises and the ever-changing colours of the sky, mountains, and lagoon. Watching the flamingoes stomping by, listening to the birds calling melodiously for pretty much the same reasons as us— that they are well-fed, stress-free, and happy, and spectacular sunsets with dinners under twinkling star-filled night skies.
Marcelino’s informative guided walks through the pristine fynbos are not to be missed. Plus, the off-road safari beyond the sand dunes for barefoot sundowners on the glorious Die Plaat beach. 18km of deserted white sand where the only sounds are the roar of the ocean and the clinking of ice as Marcelino mixes up his yummy G&T’s. The more energetic can take a spin in the Perivoli speedboat, do some water skiing, tubing, or fishing, go kayaking and mountain biking. There is golfing nearby. The bay is a playground for southern right whales between June and November, while Bryde’s, humpback whales, and dolphins hang out throughout the year. The most glorious Boma is just being finished within walking distance from the house.
A natural and beautiful hideaway, Perivoli feeds the soul; it’s an absolute feast for the senses, a magical place in a magical and tranquil landscape that is as good inside as it is outside. No wonder Getrjie, the resident, and very photogenic Dassie, has made his home here. There is no question you will love staying at Perivoli. The hospitality is superb. Marcelino and Simoné are perfect hosts who, along with the lovely Vivian and her team, ensure your stay is the best it can be. Nothing is too much trouble.
Perivoli offers both privacy and sumptuously spacious, luxuriously appointed private and shared spaces. Quite uniquely, there is no need to fight over bedrooms as they are all equally gorgeous with equally stunning views. All rooms lead out to the wrap-around deck through folding glazed doors that allow the inside and outside areas to flow seamlessly.
Find out more about Perivoli Lagoon House here.
All images and story were written by Anji Connell ACID+Anji Connell Interior Design.