Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Loft, Old Oak Manor, above Café Felix, Riebeek-Kasteel

Escape Fantasy

This is the kind of place where you find yourself spending much of your time imagining some series of (un)fortunate events which of course leave nobody any worse off, but where you are somehow trapped here for days on end in this loveliest of spaces, unable to return to your everyday hectic life. In this very particular and unrealistic fantasy of ‘circumstances beyond your control’ you are nonetheless nourished throughout your stay by the delicious meals from Café Felix below.

This is The Loft, at The Old Oak Manor, above Café Felix in the small one-street South African town of Riebeek-Kasteel. It is a surprisingly stylish space in which to indulge your escape fantasies, well designed by a kindred spirit who appreciates good design and décor. An open plan suite, one enters through double French wooden doors into a spacious lounge with couch and wingback chairs. There are pale grey walls, French antiques and wooden furniture throughout. 

The lounge is divided from the bedroom by a creative screen of white painted window frames. On either side there are more seating and writing areas, with coffee and tea facilities and an antique desk. A wooden slipper single bed and another wrought iron bed with teddy are available could you bear to share this place with anyone else. The bathroom is ever-so-lovely, with a French style freestanding bath, painted wooden floors and louvre screens on wheels.

Accommodation Experience:

I have always wanted to sleep above a restaurant, the idea of having a fabulous meal and then simply walking upstairs to a silky white bed somehow capturing my imagination. I sit in a corner of the Loft, listening to the sounds of life and smelling the enticing aromas from the restaurant below, but feeling hidden away from the world. 

Instead of joining the warm buzz of the restaurant below, I decide to continue my solitude and order dinner at the deck of my pretty suite which overlooks an autumnal vine and mountain. The universe responds, sending a Prussian blue sky, full bright moon and softly hooting owl as accompaniment. As opera music and a sweet local port drifts up from the restaurant below I drink in this moment and am able to extend it, seemingly forever, with no-one else any the worse off, and myself completely fulfilled and restored.

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