De Hoop Collection Koppie AlleenYou know how sometimes you can care with a devotion bordering on obsession? Well, I’ve had a crush on De Hoop Nature Reserve since the first time I saw a photograph of Koppie Alleen’s beach. The only thing that might not make this a real crush, is that it has been everything but brief. I fell head over heels in love – online – and dreamt we would be ‘married’ within the month.

When Dawn Jorgensen wrote about the reserve earlier this year, I idealised it even more. For weeks I nagged on CapeNature to please play matchmaker and choose De Hoop as the next reserve I should film, but like the rich and strong and wonderful husband I ordered though South Africa’s Postal Service, I never got the green light and I always ended up elsewhere.

So, eventually, De Hoop become like someone unattainable and I moved on.

De Hoop Nature Reserve

Very few people actually fall head over heels in love with each other, let alone places.  I also think even fewer people meet up to each other’s high expectations, so when we eventually did have a ‘date’ a while back, I coyly put on my straw hat, grabbed my sunglasses and packed my camera gear – as I would for any other occasion – like the strong-minded, not going-to-get-her-hopes-up-woman that  I am.

De Hoop Collection Crossing Vlei by BoatDe Hoop Collection Vlei OverbergNothing could prepare me. Nothing.

I know you’ve properly heard this tune a thousand times, but De Hoop flirted with me. I played hard to get. I wasn’t going to fall for age old tricks. On my word, I was practically aloof.

And then I saw the Vlei. I’ll be honest, I was prepared for charming, even attractive, but not  this view and certainly not for the warm hearts and history that fill the rooms of the Melkkamer Manor House.

11889986_864084997011544_5884525795416256242_oMelkkamer De HoopThe Melkkamer Manor House is a timeless tale. Once you cross the waters, you turn the page and read a whole new chapter of your own story as if for the first time. You are in your own movie, and it is romantic and soppy and beautiful and real. 

11958208_864084750344902_1835287360815799207_oIt rained for the entire weekend we spent together and I got drenched. It was cold. Some might even say miserable, but De Hoop just kept filling and inflaming me with love.

I used to have a crush on De Hoop, but that was a very long time ago. I don’t anymore. Now, I’m certainly enamoured of it.

The Manor House comprises four magnificently appointed bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. You can choose between catering for this important date yourself, as there is a wedding ring of a fully equipped kitchen or you can opt for an onsite chef with fully catered meals.

Michelle Nortje Rooi Rose

Three last pieces of advice: ONE: Stop wasting time. Pick up the phone and set a date. As far as you know you only live once and life is too short. TWO: Don’t play hard to get.  Accept De Hoop’s offer of guided birding, vlei and marine walks. You will fall in love. It is wonderful!  THREE: Believe the popular literature when they refer to De Hoop Nature Reserve as ‘the jewel of the Western Cape’ – there truly are few places to compare with it in the entire country – if not the world.

Words and Pictures by Daréll Lourens | © 2015

My visit to Melkkamer and De Hoop Nature Reserve was organised by De Hoop Collection and Theresa Gibbon Public Relations.

Opinions expressed are my own.




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  1. Smoorverlief op De Hoop - Reismier /

    […] kon my voorberei op hiérdie uitsig of die warm harte en die geskiedenis wat die kamers van die Melkkamer Manor House vul nie. Die Melkkamer Manor House is ’n tydlose verhaal. As jy eers die […]

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