Perfect Hideaways: A West Coast Getaway at Flamingo, Churchhaven
For years and years, the remote, rugged and raw little hamlet of Churchhaven has been something of a closed book. A best-kept secret to any local or honorary frequenter of the whistle-stop. With its nature conscious community of fisherman’s cottages settled down gravel roads, embedded in the wild fynbos vegetation and perched on the edge of the tidal lagoon’s beautiful blue waters, the locals’ wishes to keep this secluded sanctuary on the down-low are entirely warranted. Especially given it’s just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, in the untamed terrain of the West Coast National Park.
Eternal Bliss at Flamingo Cottage
Yet, fortunately for us exploring folk – with our hell-bent hankering for the roads less travelled and the not so battered paths – there are a handful of lovely homeowners in this utterly unique and sacred place, that believe in the sentiment; sharing is caring. Less than three minutes’ walk from the warm water’s edge, settled along the footpaths of the marshland, where the wilderness abounds, Flamingo Cottage opens its contemporary yet intrinsically rustic doors, and escorts you into a very cleverly considered space of eternal bliss. In keeping with the village’s stringent architectural vernacular, this hideaway boasts vibrant open living, dining, lounging and secret hiding spaces, that pivot from the helm of the home – the kitchen, and its magnificent marigold backdrop.
As you unbolt the antique wrought iron gate and enter through the vintage wooden doors, the property reveals itself to you in a gentle unveiling of a never-ending canvas of cream soda. The views are so breathtaking it’s almost as if turquoise is a forgotten favourite on your colour palette. All four of the bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms. One of these bedrooms is a bunk room with two bunk beds in. All rooms encompass views of the lagoon and the marshland. A long governing stoep beneath the pergola – with its ample outdoor seating, swinging hammock, pizza oven and fire pit – a shady courtyard for some quiet reading beside bonsais and citrus pots, an old olive tree and views of the flamingoes in the shallows all add that next level element of a bounteous existence beside the blue.
A base for exploration
However which way you fancy your days unfolding in Churchhaven depend entirely on you and your clan. You might begin with a hot brew and a rusk on the stoep, watching the sun rise and the colours of the water turn from pink to golden to blue. Then onto the walking, cycling and running trails that lead you towards Kraalbaai for another beautiful change of scenery. Greeting the odd ostrich or antelope or tortoise along the way. Back home for a late brunch and light snooze in the hammock. Then into the water again for some Hobie sailing, kayaking, swimming and gentle wading in the warm waters. Working up an appetite for the evening’s pizza-making missions, cordon bleu braais and fire-pit storytelling beneath the stars.