I try to book regular little getaways so that we can just calm down and rest and appreciate life a little, to recover from feeling frenzied and chaotic. And Sondagskloof proved to be the perfect getaway to achieve this. The two timber chalets (Forest and Vlei) are situated on Sondagskloof about 20 km outside of Stanford. It’s off the electricity (solar and gas powered) and water (fed by a spring) grids, has no telephone reception or wifi and feels like a little secluded spot in heaven.

We chose the Forest chalet because I loved the idea of being in amongst the trees. And we were delighted with our choice. The chalet is cool, the poplars’ leaves rustle in the breeze and it feels very private. We sat out on the giant deck both days, simply reading or painting or sitting. And we loved it when Lulu (the owner’s dog) came to visit and simply lay with us for a while.   (If you prefer a warm, sunny and light spot, then Vlei Chalet may be for you – and it also sleeps 4 instead of 2).

The chalet design is genius – there’s a huge window in nearly every corner of the chalet so no matter which direction you look in, there’s the perfect framed view. And the entire front facade of the chalet is a series of glass panes and doors. You can close curtains or shift some wooden shutters across the bathroom windows if you prefer, but there’s nobody to peak in. The chalet is simply but beautifully styled and kitted out and has all the amenities you need. The bed has lovely linen and is super comfortable.   There’s fresh flowers throughout, there’s mozzie spray and a hot water bottle. The kitchen has loads of sharp knives (my necessity) but also loads of thoughtful items. Some Tupperware, foil and clingwrap, many different pots and pans. You can see someone who enjoys cooking has thought it through. But my favourite little touch was a generous bunch of fresh herbs placed in the kitchen (I used them in every meal) as well as a fresh lemon, some fresh garlic and chillies.

Cathy also grows all her family’s vegetables and she encourages a little visit to the garden and you are welcome to pick a few goodies for your dinner. And of course we greeted the ducks and chickens.  Makes me want to move to the country and have loads of farm animals.

We loved every minute. I want to rush back as soon as I can.

(PS Cathy is adding a fireplace to Forest Chalet for cold winter nights, but until then it has a gas heater for when its colder).