ST FRANCIS’ HIDDEN TREASURE: Comfort and tranquillity at Dune Ridge Country House

BY GRAEME LUND - AUGUST 5, 2014

Hidden away in a thick fynbos bush behind St Francis Links, Dune Ridge Country House offers visitors the peace and tranquillity of a remote farmhouse but with modern hospitality and service.

Conveniently situated within a few minutes of St Francis Bay’s famous beaches, scenic village and estuary, Dune Ridge happens to be one of my family’s favourite getaway destinations.

With six double rooms and one family cottage, its Cape homestead-styled buildings, which feature high roofs, spacious rooms, polished wood and large verandas, symbolise charm and comfort from a bygone era.

While the bedrooms are spacious and sumptuously equipped - I always sleep like the dead each time we visit Dune Ridge, the bathrooms have huge tubs and showers as well as under floor heating - which is such a pleasure in the cold winter months.

Each room has a well-stocked minibar, a tea and coffee station and DSTV. The comfort carries through to the main lounge area which, with its huge stone fireplace, is furnished with large, deep kudu leather couches.

While a fire crackles away, you can sit back and enjoy a selection of publications or reference books from their mini-library. The library leads out onto a deck, which is a communal gathering place, as is the adjacent bar. The overriding atmosphere at Dunes Ridge is one of total relaxation!

There is also plenty to keep you busy at Dune Ridge itself - from their Bush Spa, large swimming pool to nature walks. Birdwatchers and other outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy the abundant wildlife within the estate. Dune Ridge also offers a unique sunset Frogging Safari which takes enthusiasts around their private nature reserve.

Close by, there are also ancient middens left by some of the first human inhabitants of the area.

My wife and I always enjoy relaxing on our private patio, reading or watching the Nyala graze, while the kids explore the ample grounds, play on the swings or have a dip in the pool.

Sarah, the manager of the lodge, is also an accomplished chef and you should order her fresh wholesome African cuisines in advance.

Breakfast is served in the dining area where each table is set with crisp linen, sparkling cutlery, warm muffins and freshly squeezed orange juice. Eggs to your liking and bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes are on order too.

I found Dune Ridge ideal for private small weddings, romantic honeymoons and secluded family holidays. For more information, visit www.duneridgestfrancis.co.za or call 042 294 1560.