Monday, August 18, 2003
Phone: +27 14 576 1258
Service: * * * * *
Food: * * * * *
Ambience: * * * * *
Babe Count: * * * * *
This is about my fifth visit to Quiet Mountain, and there will be many, many more beautiful weekends here. I haven't experienced anything better, and this statement includes the time I was put up by Intel in some five-star hotel in Dublin at fifteen-hundred pounds a night a couple of years back when I was editor of Gadget Magazine.
"So," I say to Jacqui, while Samuel carries all of our bags to our room, "did I oversell it to you, or is it better than you could have imagined?"
"Wow!" she says, running her hand along the hedge. "You're my love-buckle!" And before I can check whether or not Samuel has overheard this term of endearment, Jacqui stops me, throws her arms around me, and plants a vast and grinning kiss across my chops. This is destined to be a seriously lovely weekend.
Our room is very big, with a super-duper double bed, easy armchairs, lamps, heater, candle-holder mounted on the wall, stable-door. It's luxury. A door at the end of the room leads into a bathroom around twice the size of most peoples' bedroom. A huge bath on ball and claw feet on one side. Toilet with wooden seat in the centre. Antique dressing table with mirror opposite that. And a cherry-wood wardrobe near the door.
Jacqui leaps onto the bed. "Wow!" she says. "Feel this!" I join her. The mattress is firm, and moulds itself to my buttocks. I bounce up and down, trying to make it squeak. This one's the strong, silent type. Not the kind of bed that advertises the activity that may or may not take place upon it. We're not going to have any neighbours complaining about us this weekend.
"Let's have a snooze before supper," says Jacqui.
And the glint in her eye means I'm very quickly going to forget about the fact that poor old Mrs Hampton was utterly horrified about my paltry offer on her precious flat. It means I'll forget that Joburg is only one hour away. And I'll probably even forget that I own a cellphone, cos it's going to be switched off for a good four days.
THIS QUIET MOUNTAIN WRITEUP TO BE CONTINUED. Watch this space.
As I promised... a continuation...
Right. Where were we?
Luxury. Joy. A bath with Victorian feet. Bubble bath. And... a picnic hamper! Now... how can I be delicate and non-revealing about this...? Let's just say that it's an ambition to make love out in nature. And let's just say that Jacqui and I are in a great mood here at Quiet Mountain.
So we take the picnic hamper and take a hike towards the mountain. There's a trail, and about a third of the way along there's a nice spot with a windmill and trees and stuff.
We lay the blanket out on the scrub, under a nice bunch of overhanging trees. This would be a GREAT place to make love out in nature. Except for a few things. (1) Jacqui's averse to spiders, and there are spiders EVERYWHERE. (2) We're pretty close to the path, since the spots off the path are kinda in the open, with only small scrubby bushes to hide us from prying eyes. (3) The damn blanket is just not thick enough. And the ground is covered in vicious stubbly grass and sticks that poke through. Whoever lies down on this blanket ready to receive the joy of love is going to get serious lacerations as a result.
So we kinda sit as well as we can and eat our gourmet sandwiches, prepared specially by Terry. Delicious.
So. To be delicate about this rather private matter... let's just say that it's still our ambition to make love out in nature.
The food. I'm writing this now a while after we were there, so I don't have details to mind anymore. But I have to say that the food is everything I remember it to be. Unbelievably beautifully presented. Gorgeous colour and flavour combinations. Impeccable place settings. Candles. Super wine choice. And all hand cooked by Terry, and finessed by John. What a team. And Samuel is an excellent presence too.
One of the things I love about Quiet Mountain is that they have a policy of no day visitors and no children.
It's no accident that Quiet Mountain is a favoured spot for romantic getaways. But maybe they can get thicker blankets for their picnic hampers, and have someone go out with a tractor to clear some outdoor lovemaking spots? John? You listening???