I think the word Serendipity is used all too seldom, don’t you? For those unacquainted with the word, it is NOT the happy discovery of a good hair product – which is Serendipity-Doo – and something else entirely.
Could the reason for our infrequent use of the word be because there are fewer fortunate happenstances in our lives, or occurrences that develop in a happy way? Is it because we are so taken aback by the joy of the happy incident that we want to keep it to ourselves? I confess it was this inner conflict that has partly delayed me from giving you all some more good information – until now, that is.
Last year when we were photographing the flowers in Namaqualand (about which you will be reading more in the future, I hope), we sojourned in Cape Town for a few days to escape the unseasonable wind, rain and snow; the main ingredients for discord and argumentativeness when camping
Approaching Cape Town, we began searching the Interweb for a likely place to stay that would not cause our bank manager to suffer undue stress (the poor chap is apparently having sleepless nights with our overdraft as it is).
Previous experiences with the disagreeable hubbub of very pedestrian hotels and the ever-present threat of crime in the central city, we opted for accommodation in the more outlying areas. We began our search in the quaintly named Fish Hoek. This is a little town in the bowl of False Bay, just outside Cape Town, but within easy reach of all that the Mother City has to offer.
Thus it was that, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at other establishments, we dialled the Tranquility Guest House….providing me (and you, dear Reader) with the definitive example of a serendipitous discovery. This enchanting establishment stands proudly on the slopes of a mountain side that gazes out over False Bay and Fish Hoek in a paternally protective manner.
Desiree’s greeting on the phone was as bubbly and refreshing as a fresh mountain stream; and in no time we were booked in and ensconced in the ‘Romantic Room’. It is at this point that I’d like a quick word with my male readers, if you don’t mind. Excuse me ladies, you’re welcome to skip to the next paragraph.
[Listen okes, if you bought your better half a birthday present and she thinks a cordless drill or a “His & Hers” biltong dispenser is not thoughtful enough (yes, I know, some high-maintenance girls are ungrateful like that); but if you need to get back on her good side, this is the place to bring her. Ask for the Romantic Room. It’s secluded, there’s subdued lighting, a balcony with a view of the bay and twinkling lights and everything.] …..aaand we’re back. Thank you for your indulgence ladies.
Tranquility is a delightful combination of hospitable comfort and old fashioned charisma. The owners, Ron and Gill Taskes, with daughter Des, provide an idyllic refuge from the City that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the heart. As a most synergetic team, they lead a tiny group of polite and capable workers who wash, clean and tidy up behind the scenes, making your stay as smoothly enjoyable as possible. The utterly charming and effervescent Des sees to it with painstaking care that every room always has fresh flowers, homemade soap and posies to brighten your day and to make your stay just that bit more pleasant.
Somewhat more reserved, the dependable Ron successfully manages the building as a whole, maintaining the place in tip top condition and ensuring all drains, plugs, windows and things behave themselves in front of the guests.
Knowing that every tourist worth his/her salt requires sufficient sustenance before setting off to do battle in the boardroom or to discover Cape Town, Gill has set herself the task of making sure that, not only will he/she not go hungry, but that all subsequent offerings at the food franchises will seem depressingly monotonous by comparison. We can confidently assert that Gill accomplishes her task with admirable proficiency.
Her enormous and absolutely scrumptious breakfasts have become so well known amongst travellers that she is documenting her culinary delights and I for one, hope they will see the published light of day.
Now it’s all very well to have a great experience once; but could Tranquility do it again – and at short notice? Well, almost a year later, we repeated our booking, and I am most happy to report that it was as wonderful as ever – it was like coming home.
For those who need proximity to Cape Town’s CBD, airport and other commercial areas during the day, while revelling in the….er….Tranquility of the guest house after hours, there is none better. Although the traffic congestion caused by the seemingly interminable road works along the coastal road make for a time-consuming trip into town, there is the eminently more pleasing alternative route over the historical “Ou Kaapse Weg” or Old Cape Road. This is in excellent condition and, depending on your destination, can get you there even faster.
On the other hand, if you want a base from which to take exploratory drives in the Cape area, discovering our rich and diverse history, perhaps experiencing some of the Wine Route or the Makaron, a Michelin Star rated restaurant in Stellenbosch; or indeed The Tasting Room in nearby Franschhoek which is rated the best restaurant in Africa!
Either way, the Tranquility Guest House makes for a most pleasant place to which to return after an exhausting day out; and be assured of a friendly welcome and a good night’s rest.
It just remains for me to find an excuse to return.
For more information – their website is here