Thorn & Feather

Temporarily Closed

Welcome to the direct booking site for Thorn & Feather
African Spaces is the appointed caretaker of this property, guests booking direct are guaranteed a meaningful discount off the rates quoted on accommodation sites.

What makes this property special?

A true getaway / escape into nature. “Vermaaklikheid” is under-developed and governed by an agricultural municipality prohibiting residential developments. The Duivenhoks River is protected by a conservancy. There are no lodges or hotels, just a few houses every km along its banks.
Off grid eco design. No load-shedding (renewable energy system) and no water shortages (an abundant natural spring). A unique “Rustic-Lux” design – the property is integrated with nature and super comfortable.
Estuary fishing, boating and swimming. Recreational fishing is accessible from the property. Take a slow drift to the river mouth where you picnic on a wild, totally unspoiled beach.

Rustic meets luxury with this off grid eco-compound complete with two plunge pools, uninterrupted 360 views and private access to the beautiful Duiwenhoks River. The maximum capacity is 6 adults (2 sharing per cottage) and 3 children.

3 – 4 hrs drive from Cape Town, mid-way to the Garden Route. Thorn & Feather is set on a ridge of coastal forest overlooking the Duiwenhoks river, 6 km upriver from San Sebastian Bay. The property consists of a cluster of white stone buildings interlinked by well-maintained walkways. There are two separate sleeping cabins (stone cottages): “Annabelle”: 1 x Queen bed + 1 x single; “Astrid”: 1 x queen + 2 x singles.

The “Bathhouse” is a separate building where the guest can experience piping hot water (originating from two “donkeys” (Boilers)) flowing into a stone bath and shower. Each space is partially open to the bush with views of the river. There is a second bathroom located next to Cottage Astrid.

The main building contains a fully equipped kitchen and dining room spilling onto a large porch/stoep; that leads to an open deck with open fire-pit, plunge pool and magnificent views of the river and mountains. From the deck, via the milkwood forest, a walkway flows down to the river passing a larger pool and reading / chilling space, ending up at the water’s edge where a selection of watercraft available await the guest.

  • 2 bedrooms (each a separate cottage).
  • Two separate bathrooms.
  • Drinking Water is supplied from a filtered rain system.
  • Guests wishing to drink bottled water are encouraged to bring with them.
  • The kitchen consists of a two plate gas stove with a small gas oven; a traditional cooking hearth; 300 litre plus fridge freezer. There is a closed door free standing fireplace in the dining room; a small bar fridge; and an indoor braai on the stoep.
    WIFI. There is negligible to zero reception in the area – good news for guests wishing to tune out properly. For guests that need to be online, the property has an optional WIFI service.
  • The solar system may not power appliances or equipment with heating elements such as portable heaters, electric kettles, microwaves, hair dryers and power tools. The system comfortably powers lights, fridges, laptops, moderate sound systems, cell phones and other devices.
  • The boiler hot water system is made daily by Thorn & Feather respecting guest privacy
  • There is a small gas oven. Guests are encouraged to make use if the indoor and outdoor braai facilities and the traditional hearth in the kitchen.

Vermaaklikheid Bakery: Located on the same property as the restaurant. This initiative was founded by local residents, Guy Tillim, Hannah Loewenthal and master baker, Chesslin Michaels. Orders are taken on site. Country loaf + Rosemary rock salt breadsticks + Dark Chocolate breadsticks. Sourdough, no preservatives additives or sugar.

Biking: The Blombos road to Stilbaai is popular. There are many dirt roads in and around the hamlet of Vermaaklikheid. Mountain Bikes only – no tar roads. Look out for mad drivers.

The Duivenhoks River: A placid, meandering river with spectacular scenery on all sides. The best way to explore it is on a kayak, paddle board or canoe. Travel downriver with the tide and picnic on a wild, unspoilt beach (San Sebastian Bay). Travel upriver for quiet waters and more majestic scenery.

Vermaaklikheid Restaurant (open ad hoc / rare occasions!) Laurence Jones, owner-manager-chef at the Troyville Hotel, does, on occasion, open the doors to prepare sumptuous country fare using local ingredients.

Local Wine and olive oil producer. Baleia Wine & Olive Oil – The only winery on the Lower Duivenhoks rivier in Vermaaklikheid. Winemaker, Gunter Schultz, emigrated from Cape Town bringing a ton of energy and experience to the brand and product. They also sell superb olive oil, balsamic vinegar and serve a great lunch.

Nearby Blombos and Stilbaai

Blombos cave: Blombos is a strip of coastal vegetation running between Vermaaklikheid and Stilbaai, beginning on the edge of this farm. Southern Africa contains a few world-famous archaeological sites representing the earliest anatomically modern humans.

The Press Room Café, 0287542568. A few KM out of town, east side of the river, is Olyven Houdt Olive farm. The beautiful white stone building was designed and built by the Anderson family to house their very popular restaurant, olive press, and legendary Anderson pale ale.

The SA Pioneer Gin Producer: Across the road from the press room is the Inverroche Distillery. A local success story involving Michael and Lorna Scott who pioneered the craft gin sector in South Africa with their original fynbos-fused gins: Verdant, Classic and Amber. Pernot Ricard purchased the business in 2019. It is still run by the Scott family who are finding additional success with their aged rum project.

Surfing: Great surf lies within 30 minutes’ drive via the Blombos road to Stilbaai and Jongens. The breaks are relatively uncrowded, with exception to holiday periods. There is a relatively small and dedicated local crew who are relaxed and happy to share waves with visitors. Give the locals respect, and you’ll have your fair share.

Pets may not enter the property without consent of the Host. Guests wishing to bring their dog (s) should communicate their intentions at the time of booking or on receipt of this document. The property cannot receive more than two dogs per group. There is a moderate additional charge – this fee goes towards additional cleaning.

Dogs that have an aggressive nature / have the potential to be hostile towards our staff; have tendencies to roam; dogs that may harass livestock in the area … cannot be accommodated.

Guests bringing a dog (s) are requested to bring their bedding / baskets and ensure they do not use the furniture and the beds at any time during their stay. There is a poop scoop provided in the garden. Guests are asked to please remove turds to help reduce flies and to keep the wild garden as they found it.

Thanks …we love dogs by the way …. It’s just more complicated than that!