THE MOTHER OF ALL bath­tubs

In be­tween the fyn­bos at the foot of Ta­ble Moun­tain is a ho­tel of lu­di­crous lux­ury. Biénne Huis­man books in and chan­nels Char­l­ize Theron for a day

CityPress - - Trending - Be­ware of jay­walk­ing toads while driv­ing through No­ord­hoek en route to Hout Bay

Who doesn’t need a long, slow, pip­ing-hot bath in their life? If I could con­duct all my business from the com­fort of a deep and warm tub, I would. Raisin hands not­with­stand­ing. Add a glass of crisp Sau­vi­gnon Blanc, a good book and a view of the sea – sold, for life. You too?

At the risk of sound­ing boast­ful, I think I re­cently dis­cov­ered the mother of all bath­tubs at the Tintswalo At­lantic five-star lux­ury lodge at the foot of Ta­ble Moun­tain near Cape Town.

The tub was perched next to a floor-to­ceil­ing win­dow that was prac­ti­cally in the sea. Milk­wood branches and bam­boo rus­tled in gen­tle waves out­side, tinged fiery and pink by the sun set­ting over the Sentinel, the sharp moun­tain stand­ing guard across the bay.

Re­clin­ing in the tub at Tintswalo, I watched the fish­ing vil­lage of Hout Bay twin­kle to life – breath­ing in slightly soapy, salted air. Ves­sels were bob­bing back to­wards the har­bour, pre­sum­ably steered by wiry men with gnarled hands and tongues barbed with Afrikaans ex­ple­tives.

I was read­ing an es­say called Big Red Son by one of my favourite au­thors, David Foster Wal­lace. It de­tails his 1998 cov­er­age of Amer­ica’s an­nual adult en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try awards in Las Ve­gas – ba­si­cally the porn in­dus­try’s Os­cars – which was some­how apt, given my sur­round­ing can­vas: a lan­guid, sen­sual as­sault best de­scribed as view porn.

Next to the bath was a small ta­ble with bot­tles of salts, oils with metal tops and a scat­ter­ing of seashells. There were white, fluffy tow­els and the floor was heated.

The tub was large and oval, and hugged my body in a com­fort­ing embrace that was painful to leave. But it had to be done, for din­ner awaited.

Light, white cur­tains lapped the breeze as I dressed, step­ping around the huge bed and two plush, vi­o­let, sea-fac­ing chairs; over­head

The popular Bay Har­bour Mar­ket of­fers food stalls and live mu­sic on Fri­day evenings, Satur­day and Sun­days. Call them on 083 275 5586

Kitima Restau­rant does a kick-ass East-Asian Sun­day buf­fet at R250 a head. Call them on 021 790 8004

I love the World of Birds, an an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary that houses pri­mates and birds, many of them res­cued. It costs R85 for adults and R40 for chil­dren. Call 021 790 2730

Drive up beau­ti­ful Chap­man’s Peak. It will cost you R38 for a toll fee dan­gled a mod­est crys­tal chan­de­lier.

Sup­per was served in a room with a lit fire­place over­look­ing the now-dark sea. There were can­dles and a large protea on my ta­ble.

Soon, there was a starter of ox­tail swirled in pasta, a main course of lamb rack and, the high­light, a red brownie cheese­cake dessert with honey-brit­tle ice cream and berries.

The wine list with ex­cep­tional lo­cal wines and some choice of­fer­ings from abroad was note­wor­thy, although only An­thonij Ru­pert Wines’ every­day Protea range was avail­able per glass.

The high­light of the evening was yet to come: an after-din­ner sherry while I stretched out on the Per­sian rug in front of the ca­st­iron fire­place back in my room.

That night, sleep came easy and was ex­tra dreamy – a bit like a magic car­pet ride ad­dled by sea winds and shore sounds, per­haps slightly laced with Shi­raz.

The next morn­ing, a gazil­lion-course break­fast was served on a wooden deck that ran around the lodge. I’m talk­ing choco­late pas­tries, fruit pas­tries and pas­tries; Melba toast, sal­mon, cream cheese and capers; Parma ham, Brie cheese, sug­ared figs; and ev­ery con­ceiv­able va­ri­ety of egg.

A short saunter along a wooden walk­way led to a heated swimming pool where a gen­er­ous scat­ter­ing of set­tees and deckchairs re­minded me of the lu­di­crous lux­ury that is the norm at Tintswalo. The pool deck of­fered an ex­cel­lent van­tage point from where to watch the day break over the fyn­bos-clad moun­tains.

I’m told Tintswalo At­lantic has housed and pam­pered the likes of Char­l­ize Theron and Al Gore. As can be ex­pected, th­ese premises come at a price. Okay, a small for­tune. A suite like mine is charged at R4 260 a night in peak sea­son, in­clud­ing break­fast. The pres­i­den­tial suite can be yours for a whop­ping R26 750 a night.

The great news is that Tintswalo At­lantic is open to us mere mor­tals for meals. At R250 a head for break­fast, R350 for lunch and R550 for din­ner, you too can be treated to a feast at the foot of glo­ri­ous Chap­man’s Peak.

Huis­man was a guest of Tintswalo At­lantic. For more info, call 021 201 0025 or visit

tintswalo.com/at­lantic

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