A weekend getaway is something all of us desperately long for, to recharge those batteries and take a break from our hectic everyday schedules. But somehow we just never get the time, there’s always something keeping us from just making that booking, getting in the car and leaving our lives behind. This past weekend I found the perfect reason to leave my life behind – Pontac Manor Hotel in Paarl!
I decided to take my mom along for some long overdue mother /daughter time and on the Saturday afternoon we set off on our little adventure. It was a mercilessly hot day and we couldn’t wait to get there. As we approached the gates, we were greeted by the grand yet welcoming façade of one of the most beautiful old manor houses I have ever seen. The veranda wrapping around the house looked cool and inviting and we hurried up the stairs to get checked in and settled, already tasting the gin and tonics we were going to indulge in a bit later on that very veranda.
The friendly receptionist showed us to our room overlooking the front walled garden with its cherubic fountain cascading cool water and the beautiful old oak trees swaying in the late afternoon breeze. I was immediately transported to a bygone era, all the woes of everyday life forgotten. I felt like I had crossed an invisible bridge in time to a grander, yet simpler age, when life was slower and the beautiful things in life appreciated.
After unpacking our belongings, we ventured down stairs like two intrepid explorers embarking on a journey of discovery. I was impressed at the amount of care that was put into doing the grand old house justice. It was furnished appropriately and sensitively without being ostentatious and the interior decorating allowed the original architectural features and finishings to shine, creating a comfortable yet luxurious atmosphere. We headed straight for the veranda and those gin and tonics, the colonial drink of choice, to relax and soak up the special atmosphere and admire the view of the Paarl Berg. The views are beautiful, especially in the morning when the light catches the surrounding mountains just right and it becomes obvious where Paarl got its name from.
We spent a lovely evening in the restaurant, indulging in all sorts of yummy goodness. My mom and I are both die hard foodies and totally into eating! But we weren’t disappointed as the food was great and the atmosphere lovely. On returning to our beautiful l room, we crept into the huge bed and I slept more soundly than I have in weeks, dreaming of grand ladies in crinoline skirts and dapper, charming gentlemen of a different age.
It was with reluctance that we left the next morning after our delicious breakfast, but we were already planning our next visit. And with feet dragging we packed our car and set off on the drive home. I’ve always loved the charm of old manor houses, with all its history and atmosphere, but never have I come across a hotel with so much old world magic as Pontac Manor!
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