Rhythms of Grace
I recommend a week’s personal retreat at La Residence Villas in Franschhoek (see www.laresidence.co.za). A row of stylish garden suites, the magical healing formula of these villas is a holistic combination of dramatic views, glamorous décor, clever design and impeccable service. Create your own unique package, choosing from a lengthy menu of treatments, including idle flotation in blue-grey swimming pools, massages and various spa options, fabulous food and wine to lift any spirits, and a kind ear of hospitable staff.
Of course my treatment of choice is simply to gaze upon the rich and creative décor of each suite at La Residence. Sumptuous and daring combinations of purple, cerise and gold hues do their work on my psyche. I marvel at the artistic combinations of colours created by our very own South African version of Trisha Guild, Liz Biden. Marbled floors, gilded mirrors, floating chandelier, and upholstered headboards come together in a fusion of antique meets modern.
Renowned for over-the-top luxurious bathrooms, each bathroom at La Residence is a veritable suite unto itself. Here many restorative hydrotherapy hours may be spent, accompanied by sensual Charlotte Rhys products and mountain or botanical views.
Each of the five villas has a different compilation of rooms but looks outwards onto the Franschhoek mountains and La Residence vineyards and plum orchards. Designed with families in mind, the spacious villas of La Residence are a place of freedom to relax and be oneself.
I have come back to Franschhoek for the many inspiring activities in the area – touring wine farms, eating at some of the world’s best restaurants, shopping, walking and cycling. Yet in this sumptuous haven of La Residence, I find myself unwilling to leave the beauty of my suite. I struggle with this urge to sink mindfully into the simple experience of staying in, with a sense of guilt at letting go of my inconsequential plans. But sometimes the mind and body simply know what they want, and it is necessary to forgo one’s enthusiastic predetermined ideas to follow the deeper rhythms of grace. I gratefully succumb to this invitation to do exactly as I please, to restore my energy and sense of balance.