Overnight at the foot of Table Mountain
Tucked away among trees on the slopes of Cape Town’s famous mountain, the Platteklip Wash Houses offer the peace of nature within a stone’s throw of the city centre. By Rita van den Heever
Ask the average Capetonian about the Platteklip Wash Houses, and chances are you will be met with a blank stare, because Table Mountain guards her secrets. But for those in the know, this is a secret to be shared.
The historic Wash Houses next to the Platteklip stream, where the washer women of the mid to late 19th century did Cape Town’s laundry, have been carefully restored and now offer self-catering accommodation for up to 24 people. The Wash Houses lie at the foot of Table Mountain and form part of the Table Mountain National Park. I spent an enchanting week there in July, with various bits and pieces of my family and friends joining me at given times.
My daughter, on a home visit from France, joined me for the first three nights. We loved the feeling of being totally secluded in the middle of a big city; of ‘owning’ Table Mountain; of being so close to everything Cape Town has to offer; all in the comfort of our very well equipped little unit. The next two nights I spent totally on my own, relishing the quiet, the sound of rain on the roof, and the constant sound of the stream.
The Platteklip Wash House also has a spacious communal dining area and lounge, with a warm wood-burning stove, great décor and long table. This venue can cater for up to 30 people, making it much sought after for small weddings, functions and conferences.
The communal dining area and lounge are ideally suited to intimate functions.
Being in the middle of Cape Town there is so much to do and see. Best for us was going for long hikes on the mountain paths. This is the start of the famed Hoerikwaggo hiking trail that traverses the length of Table Mountain, and we happily hiked the first few kilometres, wishing that we had the time to do more. (The full hike can take five days!) Watching the full moon rise above the pine trees is a memory I will cherish, as I will the feeling of total peace that surrounds this special place.
You can book online at www.sanparks.org. Alternatively, contact the very friendly and efficient staff at the Wash Houses on 021 701 8692. One word of advice – finding the Wash Houses can be tricky, so best ask for accurate directions.
Posted on: July 20, 2012, 10:51 AM
Posted on: November 22, 2012, 3:52 AM