Even for born-and-bred Capetonians, there are days when this extraordinarily beautiful coastline delivers on another level. Discovering Sea Lion is one of those. Bordering Table Mountain National Park, this is as high as you get by road. The air is heavily fragrant, redolent with the unmistakable scent of fynbos coming off the steep slopes of Lion’s Head as it ushers you through the front door. Ahead lies a vast yet welcoming double-volume living area with stupendous sea views across the heated 13m-pool. Feel those shoulders relax already? There’s more…
Large-scale artworks bursting with vibrant colours and raw African energy were the starting point for the contemporary interiors but because this space was primarily designed for self-confessed foodies who love entertaining friends, it is the glam gin bar and sleek black kitchen that draws the eye next. And who doesn’t love sharing good food on holiday? No matter where you’re cooking here – whether indoors or out – the space draws people together and makes the best of the Cape’s sunlight and views. Pivot around, and you’ll see why the architectural design links both mountain and sea so seamlessly: glass roofing and walls reveal Lion’s Head again along with wind-protected courtyards, each one creating peaceful havens or focal points for drama: the Angus Taylor sculpture in the water feature is particularly striking.
Walls are adorned with Nelson Makamo, Kilmany-Jo Liversage and Charlotte Gerrard, and many works were collected while travelling – including ‘Blue Marine’, one of the Doggy John series by Julien Marinetti and ‘Massimo’, the arresting bronze figure by Bruno Catalano – both from Megève where the owners love to ski. The most recent addition was South African sculptor Anton Smit’s ‘Faith 11’ at the pool edge. And, as you sink back into a lounger to take in Heatherwick’s fun purple Spun chairs and the metallic lamps over the beautifully crafted walnut dining table with inlaid copper detailing, an unmistakably salty sea breeze drifts up from the bluest Atlantic below. It’s no wonder that most guests spend most of their time here, even though there’s a gym, state-of-the-art media room and dry Finnish sauna to enjoy.
Every room has a view and there’s nothing better than waking to the dawn over the sea, before swivelling round with a cup of coffee to enjoy the sun gently lighting up the mountain behind. So, despite being in a thoroughly modern, architecturally striking home, the experience is one of being connected to nature and the Cape’s ever changing weather patterns. Cape Town’s fabled ‘four seasons in a day’ has never looked better from this hillside eyrie!
Read more about the collection in our Q&A