A sudden sense of stillness takes over as you meander your way down the not-so beaten pathway towards the back door of Church Cottage. Having felt obliged to turn your car engine off on the way down, engaging in neutral and free-rolling the gravel road, in keeping with the sounds of what surrounds, you know you have arrived in Churchhaven.
This classically styled cottage opens its stoic wooden doors to the heartbeat of the home, where the kitchen, dining and living space stretches itself open-plan. The kitchen cupboards are completely kitted out with all of the practicality one desires when cooking up friendamily feasts. But its the whimsical antique whisks, and cheese graters that you’ll have the most fun with in a linen apron on loan. Books, boardgames and binoculars are there for those moments when you’d rather not be swimming, kayaking, exploring, or sofa-snoring. The large open fire place in the living room is a temptress at her best for wintry days and nights, but the lagoon will keep your feet yearning for that final evening stroll on the soft, white sand. After which, it’s a toss up over who’s having a long bath in the victorian tub, who’s starting the pizza oven on the verandah, and who’s pouring the wine.
Gentle hues of candlelight flicker from floor to ceiling of the cottage, at night. Warming up the shaggy rugs, wide open armchairs, long sofas and dinner conversation.
You’ll awake to the internal church bells of calm calling – Who’s getting married in the morning? You. To the lagoon that you’ve lusted over all night, pondering the depths of its tantalizingly tranquil turquoise waters. You’ll be wearing your kikoi and you’ll look just perfect.
What we love!
- The Pizza Oven on the verandah
- The wonderfully warm lagoon waters with the softest white-sand beaches and very safe swimming for the kids
- The utterly unspoilt, pristine surroundings deep in a National Parks Board Nature Reserve
- The back-to-basics lifestyle in a charming hamlet on the water’s edge
- The incredible range of things to do and see, from the spring flowers in Postberg Flower Reserve, idyllic beach picnics at nearby Kraalbaai (close to the famous Preekstoel rock formation) and kitesurfing at Shark Bay just outside Langebaan (an excellent place for beginners and to hone your skills)
- A paradise for hikers, cyclists and mountain-bikers, if you must
What you need to know…
- Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town
- The beach is best accessed from the left of the graveyard. The path is pretty steep, you need good knees!
- During your stay, you’ll be living the simple, off-the-grid life you’ve been talking about doing. There is cell phone reception, but no WiFi. Solar power is the majority rule with the romance of wood burning stoves, fireplaces and of course gas ovens. Always be water-wise.
- Bring plenty of drinking water
- There is no need for disco hair; so no dryers, hair straighteners or curling irons to be used in the electrical sockets. They are there for the purpose of cell phones, computers, music devices and small appliances. Anything stronger may permanently damage the electrical system
- We are unable to offer a cleaning service at Churchhaven. The ONLY cleaning service available at any of our Churchhaven properties is a mid-week linen change if you are staying for 6 nights or longer. Due to being off-grid Churchhaven houses do not have dishwashers. If this is a problem for you please consider our other West Coast options.
- Church Cottage is inside the West Coast National Park and so you will need to please take note of the following gate times for entering and departing the park: 1 April to 31 August 07:00 to 17:30; 1 September to 31 March 07:00 to 18:30. No entrance into the park is possible after the gates close in the evenings.
- There is a per person, per day entrance fee due to enter the park. Please check the SANPARKS website for latest fee tariffs – https://www.sanparks.org/parks/west_coast/tourism/tariffs.php
- It may be worth investing in a Wild Card – https://www.sanparks.org/wild_new/
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie