‘We just love having a swim, shower, sauna and a nap… ! It’s a meditative space,’ says Josh, who has been coming to his family’s beach bungalow on the most sought-after beach in South Africa for 30 years. But this Clifton hideaway (slap-bang on 4th beach) has recently been renovated and is now the most charming beach house we've seen in years – complete with candy-striped awnings and manicured postage-stamp lawn. Not to mention the smartest use of space and a curatorial talent that extends not only to works of art but tapestry, glassware, ceramics and more .... All-white walls, floors and linen are a calming foil for favourite works, many adding bolts of bright colour to the walls. From the first Jack Vettriano, the catalyst for the collection, and a Montserrat Gudiol - a lucky junk-shop find in Kalk Bay - to the Kirsten Sims and bold works by Mustafa Maluka hanging side-by-side in the living area, this is an intensely personal collection. Each one has a story, each one given a place to be enjoyed quietly in-between invigorating swims, reading books or sipping cocktails.
Heaven on Fourth bungalow is completely Alice-in-Wonderland-fantasy and it's no surprise to find a kitchen with glass jars chock-full of marshmallows and jelly babies. Or a drawer stocked with speciality teas and easily 100 collected cups to choose from (we didn't count, but loved the choice!), whether you're in the mood for a Cortado or an uplifting tea. Glassware is in equally plentiful supply, tinkling softly, softly in the breeze above the handcrafted, amethyst-inlaid kitchen counter that doubles as a fun cocktail-hour gathering space for friends in the balmy late-afternoon sun. At times it feels more Cuba or Caribbean, yet glimpses of LIon's Head through the skylight and the Southern Cross from the outdoor shower at night are reminder that this is indeed the tip of Africa. Life here is meant to be lived and loved to the fullest and it's happy, carefree and cocooned - something we all crave today.
Memories of a stay will include barbeques on the deck at sundown (even in the wind, Clifton is blissfully protected), sleeping to rhythm of the waves, stepping out of the front door straight onto the beach. Toes in the sand before breakfast and ice-cold dips in the water leaving skin tingling. Enjoying a healthy Scandi sauna. But mostly that every inch of this romantic little seaside retreat invites complete escape.