A trip to the seaside village of St. James is like jumping into a classic novel where romance, wander and antiquity is at the core of each chapter. Hunky stately homes preside amongst clusters of coastal bungalows adjoined by bougainvillea pathways that meander their way up rugged stairways, carved from the cliffs, overlooking the beaches, the tidal pools, the sandy coves and those famous colourful beach huts. A gentle amble fifteen minutes south along the main road to where the art, the antiques, the books and the bakeries of Kalk Bay spill out onto the streets – adding desire and indulgence to the novel. It’s unique and exhilarating, quaint and historical. Something undeniably charming, that this jovial little seaside village has to offer its occupants.
Cushioned into the bosom of the mountain, overlooking the abounding blue ocean – all the way out to False Bay and beyond – St. James Bungalow earnestly shares its humble old soul, accompanied by its youthful bones, and cradles you with colour, comfort and creativity. Set on one level of open living and entertaining spaces, three gorgeous bedrooms, indoor and outdoor showers – all encompassed by a vast deck that draws in those breathtaking views – this hideaway is the perfect anecdotal narrative of a long, dreamy weekend away in St. James. Beautiful collectables of art and furniture compliment the running theme of the home where windows have been repurposed to become wall-dividers, timber floors have been lifted into ceilings, wooden beams into benches, chair legs into towel hooks, and a potted tree planter into a custom-made hot tub. The joys of this hideaway’s prime positioning allow for endless hours of reading and reclining on the deck, watching the ocean’s wildlife, chirping along to the tunes of the birdlife, without a breath of wind.
Morning’s will begin with a salute to the sun from the secret little garden at the back of the Bungalow, where vegetable and herb gardens grow, and the succulents thrive amongst natural stone. A quick cycle down to Olympia café for a big brown bag of the best freshly baked goods, returning to a hot brew with that view. Afternoon strolls down a nature-garden walkway, passed the natural springs – where you’re welcome to collect your daily drinking water from – across the road and into the tidal pool. Evenings gathered in the kitchen, around the tables or out on the deck, listening to the waves whistle with the night. After which the fireplace calls for one last tipple and a game of cards, perhaps, before those beds beckon your dreams of doing it all on repeat, for the days to come. Oh yes, how we do love a jolly jaunt to St. James.
What we love!
- Although the property is only 100metres from the main road, it is completely secluded and private, with uninterrupted views of the ocean. There will not be another passer-by, car or train in sight. St. James tidal pool is only a 5-minute walk away.
- For those nights that you feel the need to cocoon yourselves from the ocean breeze, the fireplace, underfloor heating throughout, and double-glaze windows keeps the cold out and the calm in.
- The outdoor showers are, quite frankly, the best way to freshen up. Works of art to appreciate too.
- The laid-back, friendly community adds to the charm of the whole experience. You feel as if you’ve travelled an intercontinental journey with culture and heritage by the time you’ve reached the ice-cream shop.
What you need to know…
- The glorious little town of Kalk Bay is only a 15-minute walk down some steps and along the main stretch – is home to some of the quirkiest shops, delicious delis and sublime bakeries the Cape Peninsula has to offer.
- Danger Beach – not entirely adequately named – is on the lower doorstep for those white waves to surf, and sand to lay on and applaud from.
- Behind the property, up a few flights of stairs, and across Old Boyes Drive road, is the start of a walking trail up the mountain, into nature that offers phenomenal look-out points over the Peninsula.
- Parking is only available on the street
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie