It’s a rare thing to step through the doors of your hotel and into a place where you feel just as comfortable as you would at home. But such is the experience that greeted us when we recently arrived at the beautiful Residence William French guesthouse in Simon’s Town.
Run by William French himself, this luxurious residence offers an experience that many seek to achieve but few manage. You immediately get the feeling that you have entered a place, not just to sleep, but into your own little world where you can truly relax and unwind. Large white sofas overlook a turquoise infinity pool and over and out towards the bay, where the sea was softly brewing a storm on our arrival. Upon those puffy couches, sat a friendly little dog, eager to greet her new found friends, and William himself lazed with his parents over a cup of coffee.
There was no reception desk or forms to fill in, William simply showed us our abode and invited us to make ourselves at home. And that’s exactly what we did. With just five gorgeously individually decorated rooms, the residence is never busy, even when it’s full, and William is able to devote his time to the individual needs of everyone staying with him.
Our evening consisted of enjoying a glass of wine while chatting to William as he prepared our meal and his gorgeous doggie danced circles our feet. Here we learnt that food and hospitality are a passion that William has shared for much of his life. After studying hospitality in his home country of France, William worked in the top restaurants in France and London before discovering Cape Town on a holiday with friends. Ten years on and William has firmly settled in the Cape. Here he was running front-end operations at the prestigious La Colombe restaurant before embarking on the dream to run his own guesthouse at the beginning of this year.
While William cooked and we chatted, we also enjoyed the opportunity to meet the other guests that were so lucky to call the residence their home for a brief period before settling down to enjoy the home-cooked meal. Dish after delicious dish inticed our senses with homemade springbok tagine, giving way to fresh fish on a bed of wilted chard and chorizo, while a delicious grapefruit desert sang it all home.Sinking into the handcrafted bed at the end of the day, while an angry storm drove over the sea, bringing in much-needed rain to the Cape coast, I knew that no hotel could ever compare and I was already looking forward to the next time I would return home.