Prince Albert is one of the most romantic towns to visit in the Western Cape, especially when you’re looking to celebrate everything that’s romantic this Valentine’s Day.
Drive over the rainbow and the top of the Swartberg Mountain Pass; or follow cupid and his bow along Route 62 and there, nestled in the dell where the cool waters run off blue-tinged mountain peaks, you will discover this simple village with roots that travel back in time.
Towering at the top of Church Street, at the very entrance to the town, De Bergkant Lodge has sheltered lovers and paramours, traditional marriages and second time around nuptials in its luxury heritage buildings bolstered by every conceivable modern amenity and Swiss-precision orderliness.
Step out your car and pass under the elegantly draped Fig tree at its entrance and you enter another place in time where you are pampered, protected and charmed by an air of refined style. It’s a place to put down your bags and sink into your own private space together, to lounge with ease, find deep slumber and intimate moments to laugh and cuddle.
With an in-house masseuse, sauna room and three sparkling swimming pools spread out over lush manicured lawn under fresh mountain air, there is simply no excuse not to let all your cares melt away on a romantic Valentine's Day weekend away.
Lessons on Romance
Not everyone is schooled in the pleasures of romantic love so we take you on a quick walk through history to where it all began and how you can keep it very much alive in the 21st Century.
Cupid was the ancient Roman god of love. Son of Mercury (the winged messenger of the gods) and Venus (the goddess of love) Cupid represents desire, attraction and affection. To be shot with his bow and arrow was to be filled with uncontrollable desire for the person of your attention and represents the saying ‘love conquers all’.
Sometimes Cupid has been depicted with a blindfold on to represent that love can be blind. No matter what you look like, love comes from the heart and soul and is unconditional in its giving. Those stuck with Cupid’s bow are blind to another’s flaws.
Valentine’s Day traditionally reminds us to show those special people in our lives how much we care. And, while the media encourages us to share flowers, cards and chocolates, showing our true heart’s desire should not have to cost you in material gifts – it’s all about how you choose to express your love in a personal way.
Expressions of Love
There are five ways that we traditionally give and receive love, beautifully explained by Dr Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages – The Secret to Love that Lasts. The five ways are:
Words of Affirmation
Some of us like to be told often that we are loved. That our partner has been thinking about us and that they are able to verbalise their love through words.
Acts of Service
This might be waking up late on a Saturday morning to find your partner has tidied up the kitchen and put a load of washing in the machine. They show understanding towards you in your daily life.
This might be as simple as your partner giving you a flower they picked from a garden or a shell they chose off the beach.
For some of us, love feels at its most openhearted when we have time to simply share space alone together whether it’s on the couch, in bed on a Sunday morning, or on a mountain side looking out on a spectacular view together.
Taking your partners arm while on a stroll or kissing them hello and goodbye everyday are important expressions of love and affection for those that need physical touch.
Another influential book which gives guidance on the act of love is the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 it describes what love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
Valentine’s for Your Man
Some men have been heard to complain that they don’t get the same treatment as women on Valentine’s Day and ask why they should have to buy all the flowers, chocolates and cards.
Ladies, here are some ideas and activities you can be inspired to gift your significant other with this Valentine's Day.
Our first one is inspired by one of our most loyal guests. Well into their seventies Jourina and Bernard book a weekend away @ De Bergkant Lodge every Valentine’s Day to celebrate their almost 50 years of marriage – and they bring along their parrot! De Bergkant Lodge is pet-friendly; we would hate for our guests to have to leave their furry loved one’s behind while celebrating a Valentine’s Day weekend away!
Take him to the mountain. We mean this literally too. The town of Prince Albert is surrounded by the towering Cape fold mountain range of the Swartberg which is an adventurer’s playground for hiking, cycling and 4x4 self-drive tours. There is also the Swartberg Game Reserve for a day of game viewing, braai and fishing while you to listen to the Fish Eagles call overhead. Or discover safari and bird-viewing adventure.
Speak to Michael or Renate at reception and book a champagne and chocolates welcome basket in your room on arrival and daily sessions with the in house masseuse @ De Bergkant Lodge. Then put on your fluffy in-room robes and sauna, spa and relax together by the blue sparkling pool.
Valentine’s for your Mom
Our Mothers are the very first impression and connection to love that we learn. When we entered the world, bare and alone, she was the first gate we passed through.
Whatever your current situation may be with your mother, take a moment this Valentine’s Day to honor all mothers with love. It may even mean sending your mom in law a Valentine’s Day greeting or someone else’s mother who may sit alone in an old age home.
A teacher shared a beautiful story of how her class of school children had made Valentine Day cards for entry into a national art competition. When they discovered they had missed the entry date, the class agreed to send them to the local old age home.
Handing out the hand made Valentine’s Day cards, the room of old people came alive with delight, with the residents laughing and sharing them with each other. One said it was the first valentine they have received in more than 50 years.
We would like to wish Happy Birthday to all those past and future guests who are born on this International Day of Love and to remind you of the saying by the wise prophet Kahlil Gibran: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
We would love to hear you share your Valentine’s Day story on our TripAdvisor page.
To book your romantic Valentine's Day weekend away over any month of the year visit www.debergkant.com.