Within the West Coast National Park rests the lagoon’s beautiful body of blue where the flamingos flock to the shallows, the sandpipers skip along the sandbanks and the other 250 species of birds sweep the skies. One of the oldest fishing villages in the Western Cape, Langebaan stretches along the lagoon’s shoreline where families have been gathering – decade after decade – living an idyllic beach life upon the tepid, turquoise waters.
Named after the owner’s grandfather’s French fishing vessel and what was once a sixties Sardinian-inspired boathouse, Frailann has been lovingly revived to reveal a contemporary beach house hovering above the high-water mark of the lagoon. It’s as if you’re aboard your own yacht, with the crystal-clear waters lapping beneath your feet. Set on three levels of considered spaces that optimise on the magnificent lagoon views, this hideaway retains its familial heritage and old Langebaan charm yet boldly makes a statement of sophistication in its refined style. Accommodating as many as ten of your favourite big people plus a couple of small ones besides – from the mammoth Balinese-inspired main ensuite bedroom to the adventurous kids bunk room – the bungalow generously extends itself into a large open-plan kitchen, living and dining space, a clever wind-sheltered courtyard, patios and long viewing decks, a library, a TV room and a cosy ‘dungeon’. Solid oak floors and American Spruce timber panelling hints a little further to that yacht, setting sail over the lagoon.
Located on the Sandy Bay stretch of Langebaan, next door to the oldest beach house in the village – where the owner’s parents originally met so many years go – Frailann anchors itself amongst the most charming community of lagoon dwellers that have occupied this area for more than six generations. It’s likely every morning – as you rise with the sun and open all of the shutters, step down onto the beach with the first hot brew of the day – that you’ll be accompanied by other beach walkers, their dogs and kids, sharing a hearty helping of enthralling anecdotes of Frailann’s history. After brunch you’ll head off to Shark Bay for a morning dip, or paddle across to Churchhaven for some hiking and birdwatching. Perhaps a little venture to the yacht club for an afternoon bevvy beside the boats, followed by some fishing. As soon as the sun salutes the end of the day and the lagoon’s waters transform from turquoise to pink to gold, the deck chairs beckon with a beer in hand and another round of tales from the locals. The fire in the courtyard is lit and it’s time to see to the fresh fish on the braai. Soft music lifts the ambience with the night, as you and yours gather in the courtyard, regaling the wonderful day gone by, and all that’s still to come in the wilderness of the West Coast.
What we love!
- After spending most of the day in the water, a warm rinse under the outdoor shower, overlooking the lagoon and into nature, brings a blissful awareness of the beauty of the surroundings.
- Being located directly on the water’s edge, you’ll have access to all of the water sports including windsurfing, kitesurfing, fishing, Hobie Cat sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding. There are a couple of canoes, life jackets and SUP boards stored in the Boathouse for guest’s use. Please ensure you bring your own sailing equipment, the other water sports toys stored in the garage are for the owner’s use only.
- Sleeping with all of the doors and windows open, feeling at peace.
What you need to know…
- There are three large moorings in front of the bungalow so you can bring your own boats and moor them easily.
- For stocking up on groceries; there is a reasonably big Spar in Langebaan village, plus at Laguna Mall there’s a huge Checkers and a decent sized Woolworths.
- There is a lot of history to the house that is layered in its memorabilia as you enter through what was once the old Boathouse, now a beautiful big garage with a large wooden sailing boat. A lovely stamp from the owners to incorporate what the old Langebaan community life was like.
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie