May 15

Once upon a time a friend very proudly told me he felt sufficiently grown up to invest in white linen for his bed. I get it; it’s a big commitment and high maintenance. As someone who has not yet reached this level of maturity, my exposure to white remains limited to hotel rooms.

At the Marly boutique hotel in Camps Bay, those rooms are very white – from the bed linen to the towels to the furniture, and the umbrellas on the private balcony overlooking the sparkling blue ocean – matching the white sand of the beach.

To get to this prime location you drive up to the top of the parking lot to the private velvet-roped reception area to check in. There is a small lounge which leads off to the pool area. It’s all very intimate. And white. The lounge has shelves filled with books and during our stay I wasn’t getting on with the one I had brought so I asked if I could swop it for one of theirs. I must have been the first guest to make this request because it required much consultation between the staff, one of whom photographed the outgoing book with her cell phone. Sometimes it really is easier to apologise afterwards than ask for permission first. The deal was finally approved and I had a Margie Orford crime novel because I enjoy books set in Cape Town as much as I enjoy living in Cape Town.

The plush, luxurious Marly is part of the Kove Collection, which comprises several high end properties. As part of our 24-hour package in the playground of the rich, famous, and beautiful, we ate our meals at some of its restaurants, beginning with lunch at Paranga, one of the most enduring venues on the strip which has seen its fair share of celebrities across the threshold. We drank cocktails and wine, ate steaks, and finished with a divine liquid centred chocolate fondant with two spoons.

I suppose we could have spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach but we had a white room upstairs with a view of said beach, so sprawling on deck chairs with a new second hand book and more wine seemed like the more sensible option. Dinner was to be taken at Umi, also just downstairs, so we timed it perfectly to coincide with the glorious sunset. Camps Bay put on her prettiest outfit just for us.

Umi serves modern Japanese fusion and great sushi, and having been there several times, I am always – and still – impressed with the efficient and knowledgeable service. Before or after dinner, you can visit the glamorous whiskey bar to partake of a wide range of blends and single malts. While prices at these restaurants are not low budget, the whiskey bar does cover everything from the affordable to the frightening so even “normal” people can indulge.

The following morning we were back in the glass elevator from the Marly reception area to go down to La Belle for breakfast. You can get a great open omelette there, smothered in bacon, if you can resist the glassed counter filled with an array of cakes and pastries, which are a legal version of food porn (look it up, it’s A Thing). I highly recommend the salted caramel tart with golden nuts.


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