B&B of the week: Purple House in Cape Town’s De Waterkant

Posted on 5 June 2012

They say that in today’s crazy world, the best way to stay sane is to keep it simple. Which is exactly what this home-turned-guesthouse in the Cape Town’s De Waterkant has done. It’s called the Purple House because it is indeed purple – a very bright purple! Which we found rather endearing because we like quirky places that make us feel a little bohemian. Turns out our abode for the night was the best of both worlds, bohemian on the outside, but chic on the inside. We stepped through the door and got transported into a rather stylish world of wooden floors, mirrors, retro fridges and chez lounges. Along with a cat, a fabulous pair of red heels and a framed necklace…

Guido and Henk, showed us to our room, complete with its own chez lounge and a home theatre system with satellite channels. The en-suite bathroom with bath and a shower housed divine snugly bathrobes and heavenly-smelling bath goodies which got us rubbing our hands together in girly glee. After that we inspected the bookshelf which held the usual tourist books on Cape Town and Mandela along with a selection of DVDs. Some of which are little, er, interesting! After a giggle, we joined our hosts for a glass of wine on their flower-filled rooftop terrace before going out for the evening. The sun was setting over the city and if we hadn’t known any better, we would’ve thought we were somewhere in Europe.

The next morning we awoke to the sound of orange juice being squeezed and the smell of fresh croissants. When we opened the curtains we looked down on cobbled streets and a scooter. Italy? France? Cape Town? After a hot shower we scampered downstairs to breakfast in the courtyard. Fruit salad with real raspberries, yoghurt, croissants, cheese, jams, freshly squeezed orange juice and cappuccinos were the order of the day. The sun was shining and the Cape Quarter was awakening to the sound of church bells. We could’ve spent all day there, sipping coffee, nibbling on croissants and listening to Guido and Henk’s amusing stories about their lives and Cape Town.

We found out that the house was originally Ruby Wax’s holiday home and she occasionally pops in to visit. In fact, Guido, Henk and The Purple House were on Top Billing recently when Ruby decided to pop by. We also found out the story behind the fabulous red heels and the framed necklace in the entrance hall. But that is a story for you to find out if you ever visit The Purple House on Jarvis Street. Which you should if you are looking for a slice of Europe in the heart of the Cape Quarter.

Purple House Bed & Breakfast

You cannot miss this bright purple building in Jarvis Street in the De Waterkant. Situated within walking distance from Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village and the many restaurants, art galleries and interesting shops in the area, you can park your car when you arrive and not use it again until you leave. Guido and Henk are welcoming hosts who make sure you are well taken care of and have a good time in the area. They also care about your safety, so don’t be surprised to find out that they know exactly what time you got in after a night out!

What to expect
The Purple House is a guesthouse where you are made to feel at home, but with creature comforts you probably don’t have at home. Access to the courtyard and roof garden is through Guido and Henk’s bedroom, so you really do feel as though you are staying with good friends. The bedroom is stylish and fully equipped with an en-suite bathroom. Expect cotton linen, fluffy towels and snug dressing gowns. There are books, dvds and a home entertainment centre with satellite channels so you can choose to spend the night out or a night in. Breakfast is served in the courtyard at a time convenient for you, using fresh and organic produce where possible.

What we loved
Being girls we especially loved the snugly robes and bath products! Another highlight was waking up feeling like we were in Europe with a view over the cobbled streets and scooters and having croissants with breakfast. The rooftop terrace is absolutely charming and perfect for sundowners with a great view over the city. Just be aware that you have to get down again.

Need to know
Jarvis Street is a one-way street, so make sure you approach it from the right direction! Parking can be a hassle in the area, but once you are parked, you are unlikely to need to move your car again until you leave. Although you may be lucky and get parking right outside, like we did.

Where to eat
The De Waterkant teems with restaurants and coffee houses. We found La Petite Tarte delightful, the burgers (and waitors) at Beefcakes scrumptious and the cocktails at Café Manhatten were delicious. We also enjoyed being part of the café societe at the quirky Zabad Food Boutique and felt like we were in New Orleans whilst having a nightcap at Madame’s. The Village Market @ Cape Quarter on a Sunday brims with food choices for every taste and pocket, whilst The Spar is also worth a visit for sushi, deli delights and gourmet condiments.

Who to contact at the Purple House
Tel 021-418 2508, email [email protected], www.purplehouse.co.za.

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