Thursday, 4 April 2013

Driftwood Studio and Cottage, Rainbow Valley, Eastern Cape

Upon finding oneself amongst the trees

When I heard that Driftwood Studios was home to not one but two artists, I confess to being a little nervous about the quality of the accommodation. With a penchant for bright orange and purple, artists can sometimes offer fairly rustic, though colourful, places to stay. However my fears were unfounded as I discovered this quaint little gem in the quirky Rainbow Valley, in the Eastern Cape. Not a beaded curtain in sight, this rustic, thatched, tree-house-style double storey cottage is calm and minimalist, with pure white curtains and linen.

The upstairs space has a low bed, no more than a (very comfortable) mattress on the floor, which suits the hippie-style room, contrasting with the surprisingly good thread count white linen. There are windows in every part of the room, and the free-standing bath is well positioned next to the open double doors, offering both privacy and views of the trees beyond. The downstairs room is made of natural stone and offers a self-catering kitchen and cosy dining area. A private braai space and sitting area downstairs offers outdoor living amongst the hens and monkeys.

What I love about Diftwood Studios
  • The architecture and decor which feels organic and natural
  • The deck which is like the platform of a tree house
  • The free-standing bath next to double glass doors
  • The many windows facing all directions
  • The beautiful woodwork, showing creative craftsmanship
  • The soft low bed with views of the trees all around

Accommodation experience:
Surrounded by trees in Driftwood Cottage, it feels like one is sleeping high up in the forest canopy. I wake at one point in the night and look up to dappled moonlight coming in from all angles of the oddly shaped windows and doors. I feel a soaring happiness and gratitude at being part of this eco-friendly, thoughtful and beautiful place.

Parker Palmer describes the True Self as a friendly follower, kindly calling for our attention. He says that if we continue to ignore its pleas for us to drop our social masks, this True Self can even use drastic measures like depression, burnout and ill health to cause us to stop and listen. Perhaps we need to heed this gentle call of our True Selves and grasp onto the thin, golden threads of happiness that we find, using them to lift us into a more joyful, healthy, true self. And this is what I find at Driftwood Cottage, as grounding as it is uplifting. Without any ostentations or pretence, the organic and simple nature of the tree house calls one back to what is real and good, and invites one to be a more authentic version of oneself.

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