We went back to Kolkol in August ’17. It was even better than our visit in 2016.

Kolkol Mountain Lodge comprises a handful of cabins scattered up the mountain-side of a Botriver farm. They’re all positioned so that you don’t see the other cabins, nor the humans visiting them. Famously, each one has a wood-fired hot tub on the deck. It’s isolation with comfort. My kind of place.

We rented the largest cabin and asked Luke and Nicole to join Amy, Ben and I for a few days off the grid.

The cabin is surrounded by a large, private garden which extends into the remains of a pine forest. After a fire two years ago, the indigenous fynbos has sprung back into life and is beautiful. Ben loved exploring the place with, as always, Bunny in hand.

My Kolkol experience is always about maintaining the various fires. There’s something quite meditative about tending to them. We’d light the hot tub early each morning and it would be hot by 10am. The indoor fireplace provides warmth as the days get colder, and the pizza oven is just fabulous for cooking almost anything.

There's nothing like sitting in 40℃ water while the rain drizzles down.

Our first few days were overcast and rainy but the skies cleared later in the week. We took the opportunity to walk off the food!

Luke was our designated chef for the week. When I say designated I really mean that he wouldn’t let anyone else in his kitchen. And just as well – we were treated to gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and supper.

After several exhausting months we really needed a break and Kolkol was just perfect. It’s just an hour from Cape Town, yet you feel a million miles away. While the cabins are designed to look rustic, they are anything but basic. The rooms, multiple en suite bathrooms, kitchen and lounge are impressive. You’re really getting a luxury self-catering getaway at an affordable price. Kolkol sells out months in advance, so be sure to book early.