I’ve been to Darling a few times, but always for day trips. But now that I’ve discovered Darling Lodge Guest House, I think I might visit more often, and stay for longer stretches at a time. It’s nice to have a place to rest your head, after exploring all that Darling has to offer. And, for a small town, it offers more than you’d imagine.
Darling Lodge Guest House
We were greeted by the lovely, Stephan, owner of the lodge, who made us feel immediately welcome in the beautifully restored Victorian country home. The main house offers three country-style rooms, while a further three rooms can be found in the garden annex. Each room is dedicated to a local artist, whose work is on display and can be purchased. This is something I loved most about my stay in Darling – there’s a sense of community where everyone enjoys showcasing each other’s talents.
Our room was beautiful. The patio was covered in bougainvillea, aloes and vines, which made it look like a cottage right out of a fairytale. And when the storm took out the electricity for a while, we sat inside with our lanterns, which added to the fairytale feel.
The room was clean and comfortable, with a big bed, tea/coffee making facilities, and a generous sized bathroom (I’ll take that shower home please). We were welcomed with little Darling Sweet toffees on our bed, and Stephan took his time to take us through the most interesting things to do in the area. It’s these small details that always impress me when I go away.
Dinner and lunch can be organised by prior arrangement with the owner, and a generous breakfast is served each morning. Which, after a previous night of wine tasting at Ormonde Wine Estate, we were looking forward to. The breakfast room was one of the happiest rooms I’d ever seen, with its bright yellow wall, its fireplace, and the array of food and drinks on offer. The first thing we did was make ourselves a cup of coffee from the pod machine. We could choose between the stronger coffee and the milder version. Guess which we chose? After that, we had an assortment of cereals, cheese, fruit and yoghurt to enjoy, while Stephan made us a hot breakfast of our choice. After a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, we took a stroll through the area.
The lodge is situated right in the heart of Darling, which made it easy to walk from one place to the next. We ambled through the streets, taking photos and enjoying the warm morning. Stephan gave us a map which highlighted all the different amenities on offer from cafes to book shops to museums to wine estates, and much more.
Stephan was on hand to answer any questions and to point us in the right direction. But, if you’re looking to explore Darling in four days, their website has the perfect itinerary to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Visit their website and start planning.
Thank you to Darling Lodge for making our stay such a happy one.
Find Darling Lodge Guest House on the West Coast Way Culture Route
Written by: Christine Bernard
Photos by Warren Bernard (www.flatwhiteimages.com)
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. South Africans and visitors can explore a unique collection of themed routes to do adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Tractor Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many. For more information on West Coast Way’s #WestCoastTwist and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.