Thalassa Seaside Cottage. Castle Rock, Simonstown.

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Simonstown. – A while ago, I escaped to the seaside for the weekend, checking into the Thalassa Seaside Cottage at 1 Castle Rock for time overlooking the ocean, arriving on the Friday afternoon and dragging myself away by midday Sunday, revived and relaxed.

It all came about rather fortuitously after meeting owners Trish and Helmut Ludwig at the Vergenoegd Wine Estate Harvest Lunch in March. Over a leisurely meal under the oak trees, we got talking about how lucky we are to live in the Cape and they casually told me they had a cottage in Simonstown that they rent out to tourists, both local and international.

One thing led to another and I was left with a kind invitation to experience Thalassa Seaside Cottage just beyond Simonstown. Taking up the offer a couple of months later had me excited returning to a part of the Cape that I’ve loved and known since childhood, yet rarely spend quality time in.

What Trish had failed to mention in her modestly, is how utterly beautiful and perfectly positioned, Thalassa Cottage is. Literally heaven on our doorstep.

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Thalassa Cottage is an original, recently and meticulously renovated fisherman’s cottage, built in 1929 and situated in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Positioned on the hill overlooking Miller’s Point, the cottage speaks of open living, has a big lounge, fully equipped kitchen and dining area, as well as a gorgeous wooden outside deck. There’s a big TV and DSTV, free internet and a collection of books to snuggle up with.

The cottage sleeps five in three bedrooms, the main bedroom has a fireplace and views straight out to the ocean. The second has twin beds and the third room a single bed, ideal for a child. There is a main bathroom with a gorgeous bath, shower and toilet as well as a separate toilet and hand wash basin.

The original Oregon pine floors and cottage style furniture with comfy couches, make the place instantly feel like home. But it’s the clever layout, design and real sense of space that struck me. We immediately unpacked and took to the deck with a glass of Tangled Tree wine, watching the light soften over False Bay as the last of the fishing boats returned to shore.

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This is a very comfortable cottage that will engulf you and allow you to switch off from the world and simply enjoy the moment, everything is considered and there are loads of personal touches, quality linen,

Even though Summer living here will bring breezy evenings and braais on the deck, I can just imagine Thalassa in Winter too, with the fireplace roaring in the main main bedroom and long baths taken to the sound of the waves. It really is an all year destination.

You’ll want to stay in and enjoy the space, but if you’d like to explore, there a mountain walking trail from right outside your front door, the option of a meander down to the Miller’s beach just below and Simonstown is only 5km away if you opt to walk around or get a meal.

The hospitality of the hosts Helmut and Trish astounds and if you need anything or have any questions, one of them will be there for you.

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Travelling with my parents and Eden Weiss, we relaxed into the cottage and enjoyed lazy starts, on the Saturday making the most of our proximity to Simonstown and spending the day exploring the village on foot. The cottage has an incredibly comprehensive guide of things to do in the area, yet we kept our focus on the antique stores, Saturday market on Jubilee Square, the waterfront and penguins at Boulders.

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From Thalassa Cottage you have easy access to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, which is just a few minutes drive away. And just around the corner is Scarborough, which Helmet tells me offers the very best spot for a sundowner.

Recommended places to eat or stop for a coffee are The Meeting Place on the main road with it’s rich collection of shopping options, The Lighthouse Cafe where we had a delicious lunch and of course The Black Marlin for seafood and uninterrupted views.

As the shift of travel moves local for many South Africans seeking a rejuvenating break without having to take on long distances – or the exchange rate, a staycation in Simonstown is the way to go. Allowing you to be self-sufficient and independent, albeit with support of your wonderful onsite hosts, dining options, close to nature and with numerous tourist attractions within easy reach.

Of course, any international visitor would love it here too! As time in a nature reserve near Cape Point is a different and authentic experience that many miss out on. For us, the weather was perfect, so was the company and Thalassa really made the perfect spot to be based at.

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To learn more about Thalassa Cottage or book your stay there, visit their website and connect with them on Facebook. If you’d prefer, have a look at their listing on Airbnb and book through there. Either way, this is the perfect seaside escape and very well priced, you don’t want to miss out. Especially during the Winter months where the prices are beyond reasonable. I for one can’t wait to get back there.

Address: 1 Castle Rock, Millers Point, Simonstown, Western Cape, South Africa. Phone: +27 (0) 21 7861118 | Mobile: +27 (0) 826536751 | Email: trishelm@mweb.co.za

A few useful notes:

– Sadly no pets are allowed given the sensitive nature of the surrounding nature reserve. No smoking either, for the very same reason. And just because that would be bad.
– There are still road works on approach near St James and I would recommend that you opt for Boyes Drive, best views over False Bay too.
– When warned about baboons in the area, take note and keep the doors pulled closed where appropriate. They would make a mess of things and help themselves to your supplied. Also don’t leave your garbage outside.
– There’s a lovely drawn map of the hiking trail behind the cottage and it would please any hiker wanting an elevated perspective.
– As Trish kindly pointed out when I made out booking, there are no shops nearby and it is advised that you bring what you need. There’s a great oven, large friend and the kitchen is well equipped.
– It really does comfortably sleep 5! And is very spacious.

The cottage deserves a minimum of two nights stay.

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Disclaimer:
I was invited to experience a weekend at Thalassa in exchange for a review and most generously hosted. Thank you very much Trish and Helmut for your warm hospitality, you are custodians of a true piece of heaven. Inside pics, supplied.

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Dawn Bradnick JorgensenDawn Jorgensen
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The Incidental Tourist

The Incidental Tourist is a Personal Travel Blog of a conscious traveller with a deep love for Africa, its people and the environment.

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