Visiting Cape Town? Tranquility and Serendipity.

Cape Town 036

Part of your warm welcome to Tranquility Guest House

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.

L74A0321 Cape Town Marine Drive

Cape Town and the surrounding region has much more to offer than restaurants, night life and thrills…. Some of the most spectacular scenery in the world can be found here.

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.


Tranquility Guest House from street level

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.

Cape Town - Tranquility6 FH Dawn

A photograph taken from the balcony of the Romantic Room – complete with twinkly lights and the splendour of the heavens. Oh yes, we also saw whales.

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.

Cape Town - Tranquility1

Not too many folks can brag about whale watching while soaking in a bath.

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.

Cape Town - Tranquility6

Part of the staggering assortment on the breakfast table.

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.

Cape Town Tranquility sideboard

A sideboard that will make many older South Africans very homesick. We removed the Mrs Balls Chutney, Marmite etc for the photograph.

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.

Cape Town 018

The lounge where guests can read, snooze, watch birds feeding or simply engage in idle chit chat.

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

Fish Hoek and False Bay in a more dramatic mood.

Fish Hoek and False Bay in a more dramatic mood.

About Freud Fission Chips

Despite the banality of the name, FFC has led an intensely varied life. Grateful for surviving almost three years as a 'troepie' (soldier for non-South African Readers) in the Angolan war, he determined to wring as much out of life as possible. Currently providing Business Analysis services, trading on the stock market and developing web pages to pay the bills, FFC also dabbles in wildlife, landscape and people photography, writing, and far too many interests for his own good. He has also travelled extensively in southern Africa (working on the sound theory that a moving target is more dificult to hit). These peregrinations also include over 1500kms on foot through some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. It hasn't all been plain sailing, beer and skittles, and endless beds of roses... Chief amongst the prerequisites for surviving Africa, with its mind-bending characteristics, is an appropriate sense of humour.... So, for now, he will be recounting the amusing among the annoying, the frustrating wrapped in the funny and extracting the mirth from the melancholy... Oh yes, there might be some alliteration too.
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5 Responses to Visiting Cape Town? Tranquility and Serendipity.

  1. de Wets Wild says:

    Thanks for the tip Alan, Vishoek’s one of Marilize’s favourite places.

  2. Fat Gary says:

    Al, next time you’re literally in my hood, give me a shout! We can grab a beer together?

    • ‘Twould be an honour and a pleasure. Welcome back mate. I’m really chuffed you popped in again. I thought I’d lost your URL – but I see that you have changed addresses.

      We are indeed saving for a pilgrimage to the forebears’ homeland (Scotland). We are given to understand there is a small pile of rocks somewhere in Huntley bearing the surname. So, when we’re there – a darkening of your portals will take place.

      Good to hear from you again – please keep in touch.

      • Fat Gary says:

        No need to travel that far Al, I now live in Noordhoek – ie about 5 minutes drive from where you stayed in Fish Hoek!

        I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a while as my life has changed somewhat in the last two years. I have traded the cold weather and warm beer for quite the reverse in my own, stunning country 🙂

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