Rocking gently in the hammock while watching hundreds of mesmerizing cormorants fish in circles at sea, I periodically dipped into The Little Book of Hygge. Waves washed in and out below me, the spring daisies bobbed their heads in the breeze … a pretty idyllic post-lunch pause in the day. Hygge, the Danes believe, ‘is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It’s about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.’ Well, Paula’s Cottage in Jacob’s Bay does just that.
Its location is a surprise as it has water on both sides: the kitchen overlooks the tidal inlet on one side of the house, while the front opens up directly to the sea through three double doors leading onto a wooden deck. Commanding the best view of the bay (and quite possibly the entire village), sunsets are simply heavenly here whether you’re lazing in the deck chair with a glass of chilled white, or walking over the lichen-covered boulders out on the point.
With two four-poster double beds downstairs and ample beds upstairs under the thatch (one twin at the top of the stairs – ideal for children and teens – and one twin bedroom and one double bedroom) with four compact en-suites, it’s the ideal beach house for families to share. Winters are cosy with a wood-burning convection fireplace at one end and an indoor braai at the other – what more could you ask for? So, no matter the weather this classic West Coast beach house delivers in spades. Teens will also love using the canoes and the ping-pong table they’ll find downstairs in the lower floor of the house, which is part garage, part teen chill space.
Pack plenty of yummy food … you’ll discover the Babel cookbook (all all-time favourite from Babylonstoren) and Reuben’s braai recipes that will have you fired up with inspiration. Begin and end the day with a long walk along the beach and you’ll return home refreshed, revitalized and happily hygge’d!
Reviewed by Michelle Snaddon
What we love!
- Sunlight that streams in at all times of day. In winter it’s heavenly, in summer it’s filtered by shutters (also excellent security)
- That the house is perched atop a dune – flop out of bed and head straight down to the beach in your pj’s or do your yoga stretches before anyone else is up
- Two fireplaces make this a cosy winter getaway despite tiled floors (and there’s underfloor heating). Light the fire before the sun goes down
- Wonkiware ceramics, Le Creuset and a superb collection of original art
What you need to know…
- The 5th bedroom area is at the top of the stairs, so is ideally suited to children or teens as it has no en-suite bathroom and you need to walk through this bedroom to get to the bedroom on the left and right of it.
- Charlie’s Deli is at the entrance to the village – great coffee and supplier of wonderful olive oil, farm butter, cheeses, patisserie and all the usual deli fare. Urban deli lovers will not be disappointed
- The little café next door has all the essentials that you might have forgotten plus handcrafted gifts and delicious rusks and Ethiopian coffee that’s roasted in the village
- There’s an abalone farm just along the dune… ironically making this one of the safest beach havens around. 1.5 million litres of cold Atlantic seawater is pumped into the tanks every hour, to keep the abalone in the wildest, freshest sea conditions possible. Truly extraordinary… but expect some rather bright security lights at night and a faint hum at times from the water pumps
- Don’t be put off by the kelp miggies – just open the windows and doors and let the fresh West Coast breezes take them away!