Saturday, 4 May 2013

Abalone Place, Durban

My funny Valentine

I was looking for The One. If truth be told, I was always on the lookout. I had been searching for many years for the quintessential Durban character stay. And Abalone Place, in the trendy area of Glenwood, is just such a place. A classical 1927 Art Deco residence, with shiny stairways and floors, deep semi-enclosed balcony with full harbour views, and white painted double doors and windows towards every angle, Abalone House ticks all the boxes. Rich, yet restrained fabrics of South African birds and flowers have been used to create stylish seating areas in every possible corner.

 What I love about Abalone Place:
  • Expansive Durban harbour and city views
  • Beautifully restored, typical Durban 1920’s residence
  • Original Art Deco fittings and traditional wooden furniture
  • Deep private balconies with comfortable seating areas
  • Lush, layered, modern South African fabrics which update the look while enhancing its integrity and quintessential Durban character
  • Durban tropical and soothing colours – palm greens, soft blues and creams

Accommodation experience
There’s a reason why they call it falling in love, as opposed to stepping neatly into love. I was swept off my feet, flat on my face bowled over by Abalone Place. More of a Regency girl myself, I had always had a secret distaste of Art Deco style. As my trendy Cape Town friends waxed on about their favourite design, all I could muster was a lyrical “MmmMMmmMmm”. And here I was, no longer faking it, but head over heels with the naive simplicity of it all. True love happens upon us quite unexpectedly, disarmingly, and often not in response to anticipated beauty.

Being newly in love, sleep loses its desperate urgency, and I have woken earlier than needed, eager to enjoy my last few hours of this place. It is 4.30am, and Durban sleeps, though the views from the harbour to the South, and 2010 World Cup Soccer Stadium to the North are very alive with twinkling lights. I have opened the high bedroom windows to be closer to the view and to let in the sounds of the waking city. I spend time making the perfect cup of coffee and I take it out to the balcony where I sit, nestled amongst the cushions, journal on my lap.

I imagine how, living here in this vibrant city, one would gradually lose appreciation of these sounds and sights.  It is strange, how, with such a limited amount of time on earth, we so quickly allow life to become mundane and routine. We lose touch with the everyday, ordinary miracles of the views, the noises of country or city life, the taste of good coffee. We fall out of love with life. A stay in a new and exciting place offers the opportunity to re-awaken our senses, and an appreciation of not only the new and exciting, but the ordinary, everyday loveliness of our lives. Lasting love is perhaps not only the exciting new romance, but a reminder and a deepening appreciation of the fullness of what we already have.

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