Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in work and life in the city that we lose sight of what makes us human. We sleep as little as possible, do as much as possible and schedule our friends into our diaries if and when we can. I was feeling particularly tired and stressed out last week, so I was super relieved to be heading off into the mountains with a few of my favourite people.
Three and a half hours outside of Cape Town, nestled in a valley in the Langeberg mountains, lies Akasha Mountain Retreat. We arrived late evening after fighting through the Friday afternoon traffic to find that our friends had already cooked the meat, prepared the salads and laid the table. A glass of Chardonnay was in my hand before I’d even unpacked the car and it finally felt like the weekend.
“Wait until you see the view”, my friend Julia, who had arrived earlier in the afternoon said as we headed off to bed. She didn’t oversell it. I woke up just after 7:30am, opened the curtains and immediately woke Keenan. From the bed, we looked over rolling green hills and down onto a full, snaking river.
The property sleeps eight in total – six in the main house and 2 in the cottage not far away. This ended up being perfect, since Jes and Mark were there with their little baby Thomas and had their own space in the cottage. Breakfast was cooked for us by the owner, Chris and we all ate together around the dining table in the large living area, before heading down to the dam with Chris.
That afternoon, the house fell completely silent and we all napped for two whole hours. I can’t even explain what a luxury this was for me and I woke up so pleased I could have cried. We snacked on platters for lunch and later headed back down to the dam, where we jumped on board Chris’s red and white boat for a sundowner cruise down the river. We spotted some beautiful birds (Keenan is an avid birder) and I trailed my hands in the inky water as the sun set behind the mountains.
That night, we played 30 seconds while Tamsin cooked us a Moroccan tagine and a fire crackled in the corner. Later, after a lot of food and a few glasses of wine, Chris and his gorgeous wife Elana came down to the house and Chris played some guitar while I sat in a haze of love, happiness and wine.
We decided to check out late on Sunday so after breakfast, I picked some fresh mint and lavender from the garden and relaxed for over an hour in the bath. As I lay there reading, wild horses ambled up and started grazing right outside the bathroom window! I mean, I couldn’t have written a better ending.
Once we were good and relaxed, we took a slow drive back to city. I can’t tell you how much a weekend away with friends at this beautiful place did for my soul. I had been feeling really anxious, tired and disconnected from the people I love and one weekend with a few of them was just what I needed to find inspiration and peace.
Akasha is very special, with an energy that can’t be captured by words or pictures. Chris built the house by hand and he and Elana have an incredible eye for detail and decor. They have beautiful taste and their Cape/Moroccan style creates something magical. Somehow you feel both at home and very far away from everything that gets you down at the same time.
The house is spacious and warm with mega views. There are crystals and Moroccan touches all around the property – everywhere you look there’s a colourful stained glass window, intricate mosaic or original Moroccon door, shipped all the way from Marrakech. The patio area houses an outdoor bed and large mosaic table, as well as an outdoor shower. There’s a braai area and a hammock, which was well used throughout the weekend. Down by the water there are chairs and a kayak.
It was only as we left for home that I realised there wasn’t even any wifi. Akasha is the kind of place that just sucks you in and slows you down. It’s the perfect place to just be.
I cannot recommend Akasha highly enough. For booking enquiries, email Chris at email@example.com and tell him that you’re a friend of Tails of a Mermaid 🙂