Monday, 18 March 2013

The Old Forge, Wilderness

Naturally restored

What a delight it was to discover the Old Forge, Wilderness. A stylish little cottage on a farm near Wilderness in the Western Cape, the Forge is everything lovely about a restored old outbuilding. The original building has been expertly restored to celebrate its beautiful stonework, while being extended to offer every modern convenience without detracting from its character. In keeping with the natural forest and grassland setting, the architecture is open and earthy, linking the exterior with the interior with a spacious deck style open plan lounge and kitchen area. The bathroom is also open, with privacy and views. Well-made, clear awnings provide protection against the elements.

The bedroom is in the original forge and the textured walls give a sense of cosiness and safety. The polished floors, fresh white linen, wooden furniture and elegant decor bring the look together with finesse. The host’s caring approach to nature, beautiful things, simplicity, comfort and hospitality is felt in every aspect of the delightful space.

Things I love about The Old Forge:
  • Sensitive restoration of the original stone building
  • Clever design which manages to feel both cosy and connected with the outdoors
  • The extensive use of natural wood to complement the original stonework of the forge
  • The way the natural materials are complemented with clean white cotton linen and thoughtful decor
  • The friendly host who genuinely cares about creating a welcoming space while respecting one’s privacy
  • The setting of the cottage on a farm in an area of outstanding natural beauty

Accommodation Experience
I was privileged to stay at the Old Forge while doing some debriefing and training work with a non-profit organisation in George for a week. At the end of each work day, the drive out of George to the Wilderness area was spectacular, and reminded me of expensive Riviera coastlines in Europe. I realised again how world-class our coastline and natural areas are in South Africa. Reaching Oakhurst Farm, I drove through a long avenue of tall Blue Gum trees, which created the perfect transitional space from my emotionally and cognitively demanding work, to a place of rest, comfort and beauty in nature. Spending time in the open lounge, watching the sun set across the adjacent field, was gently restorative, and sinking into the soft bed at night was deeply restful. The natural, grounding, inexpensive, yet nurturing stay enhanced my work experience and passed on to me a calm energy with which I was able to engage joyfully with the people of the region and gratefully receiving wisdom from their experiences and reflections.

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