Forget chocolate, flowers and jewels (OK, maybe not jewels), but what women want is time. Do you agree? Time to just be, to do something for ourselves with no limpets attached to us, to escape reality and just be (did i say that already?!). Which is why my invitation to experience The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel was a beacon of light in this pregnant Mama-of-a-toddler’s life. When i told The Captain i was checking into The Cellars a few Wednesday nights ago, he asked what time he should join me. I then explained, as patiently as possibly, that this was not a plus one occasion. Oh no, this was a me-time, selfish extravaganza and i intended to make the very most of it. His face was crestfallen. But i got over it. You see Wednesdays are very precious in our home. Our incredible nanny Pummie spends the night and we almost always go out on a date night. But lately since i’m battling with pregnancy pain issues and sleep is a long ago phenomenon, even our Wednesdays haven’t been cutting it. But this Wednesday was going to be different! And i was pretty sure we’d all be better for it. Grumpy is a bit of an oft used adjective in our house lately.
LEAVING REAL LIFE BEHIND
So, on a wintry afternoon, i cruised through the avenues of leafy Constantia and made by way to this magnificent historical property that dates back to 1693. I checked in just after lunchtime, first had a hot chocolate in the hotel’s sunny lounge and was then shown to my room. Oh yes please! My suite, one of 45 beautifully decorated rooms, was situated in a formal garden courtyard and came with an elegantly decorated bedroom and spacious bathroom upstairs and a downstairs floor consisting of a lounge, little kitchen and a burning fireplace. So far, so swanky. This was just the beginning!
After giving my beautiful suite a once over (demolishing the chocolate in the mini bar within minutes of arriving), i made my way to the Fresh Wellness Spa at the hotel. I’ve visited the Spa a few times since the hotel is relatively close to us – they’re one of the few places in the Constantia Valley that offer QMS facials that i love, and coming here just feels like such a spoil. It was my first time experiencing their tailored pregnancy massage though. As anyone who has had a baby knows, the aches and pains that come with carrying another human are real, so the promise of a massage that specifically deals with these niggles is absolute heaven. My therapist tucked me under a soft and warm blanket and proceeded to warm up pregnancy-friendly oils, setting to work on my neck and shoulders which are wrecked! Because you can’t spend a lot of time on your back when you’re pregnant, she worked on my lower back where i have the most pain, all while i was lying on my sides – i wish i could tell you what she did and how long it took, but i fell asleep almost immediately – it was that soothing. The 75-minute treatment also included, hand, arm, feet, leg and best of all, a head massage – a long one! I’ve since returned to have another pregnancy massage because the first really, really helped to ease the pain i’ve been plagued with these last few months and i seriously cannot recommend it enough – girls, if you’re wanting to get a friend whose having a baby something special, the pregnancy massage at Fresh is it!
So that was my afternoon. After my decadent Spa spoil, i ventured back to my suite, sat in front of the fire and worked for a bit and revelled in the silence. I decided before it got dark to venture out into the hotel’s famous gardens and i’m so glad i did. The hotel is situated on over 9 acres of land – it’s big! And gardens are utterly magnificent! Centuries old oak trees create a beautiful overhead canopy with the result that this enormous property feels it belongs on the set of The Secret Garden. Pockets of Delicious Monster groves appear out of nowhere, squirrels scurry across your path and there are so many little surprises to be discovered – benches hidden in little copses, ducks waddling on their way to ponds and unexpected sprays of flowers, despite the wintry season. This was exactly what my toddler weary soul needed, a stint in a chlorophyll rich environment – in the heart of the suburbs yet seemingly far, far away. I spent 45 minutes wandering around – it felt like a few hours.
TIME TO DINE
As i said above, one of my main objectives of my #EscapeFromReality was to get a good night’s sleep. So i asked for an early dinner to be delivered to my suite. So far so fabulous! A 3-course meal was duly delivered to my room promptly at 6pm and set out on the table with silverware and heavy linen napery. While i would have loved to eat at The Greenhouse (it is The Captain’s favourite restaurant in Cape Town), i really love the food at The Conservatory and i was very keen on eating in my suite too – and they are more than willing to accommodate that. The Cellars Hohenort currently have an insane special at the The Conservatory Restaurant. A 2-course five-star meal is a mere R180 per person, while a 3-course meal is R210 – it’s brilliant value and SUCH a spoil. Confession: it was a beautifully plated meal and each dish had such elegant and subtle flavours but i am afraid i ate it all like a bit of a caveman! In about 30 minutes flat i had cleared my plates. It was beyond a treat to be able to eat a decadent meal without one interruption. Without having to share even one morsel with a small person and in total silence! Selfish i know. But beyond blissful. And just what the doctor ordered.
Someone needs to give me a selfie lesson – that is a scary pic!!
TIME FOR BED
After moving my now very cumbersome body to the couch in front of the fire where i read for an hour (aren’t you jealous of my dream escape?! I’m not sure when last i settled down with a book in front of a fire!) and finally padded my way upstairs. Of course i had packed a mask and the therapist at the spa had given me a Theravine bath soak. 45 minutes later, after my bath and more reading in said, scented bath, i was in a suitable semi coma and fell into bed. The Captain phoned to say goodnight and i mumbled my way through our conversation – being spoilt to this extent was clearly exhausting work. As i said above, one of my main objectives was for a great night’s sleep. I’ve been plagued by pregnancy insomnia since i was about 6 weeks pregnant and well, would you believe it – i slept a full 10 hours without waking once – miracles never cease!! Take a look at the beautiful bedroom – are you surprised i slept like the dead?!
BRAND NEW DAY
I may have only spent 20 hours at The Cellars Hohenort, but honestly i felt like i’d been away for an entire weekend. I woke up the next morning completely and utterly rejuvenated. Ready to carpe the diem, with a spring in my step and joy in my soul. Best of all, i felt so, so rested and ready to face real life again. Of course i headed to The Conservatory, took a table with an uninterrupted view of the gardens and started my day with a perfectly poached egg with salmon. All this and i was at the office by 9.15 – a perfect start to the day.
If this #EscapeFromReality taught me anything is that checking into The Cellars-Hohenort by yourself is the ultimate indulgence. I had been feeling somewhat burnt out and a little overwrought and the time spent wandering the gardens, enjoying my Spa massage and enjoying the quiet of my beautiful suite, really helped reset things. Couple that with decadent edible indulgences, luxurious surrounds – a fire in my suite, beautiful linen, a soak in a scented bath and the BEST night’s sleep ever – well i know what i want for every birthday and Mother’s Day here on out!