Sunday, 12 October 2014

The White House, Mthatha

It’s all about balance

A lovely definition for the verb of balance is “to offset the value of one thing with another”. Things brings about a state of equilibrium, or more simply put, “to enable someone or something to remain upright and steady” (Google web).

This is what I find at The White House in Mthatha. I was involved in visits to community projects in the extreme heat, dust and busyness of the urban streets and surrounding townships of Mthatha. I thoroughly enjoyed the intensity and vibrance of the work, but needed to counter-foil this experience with calm, clean, minimalist repose. The serene interiors really are all white, with white walls, white windows and doors, white furniture and crisp white linen. After washing the dust off in a spacious, modern shower, I found balance by collapsing into this little haven at the end of each day.

There are rooms squeezed into every corner of this property, but once inside, they create a cell of calm contentment. Rooms are air-conditioned, with glass doors, lined curtains, desks, plentiful pretty lamps, complimentary tea and coffee.

The public spaces are elegantly decorated with landscape and Nguni scenes, together with country clocks and blue and white checked table cloths. An outdoor pool and conservatory-style dining area is a gathering point for guests in the evening. Staff are helpful and always on hand, and there is a restaurant at the lodge such that you needn’t leave your little oasis except to head out again into the texture and life of the city and beyond onto the beauty of the Eastern Cape wild coast.

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