Summer is when Langebaan lagoon really comes alive, says Carla de Fondaumiere, who with husband Marc has a holiday house on the edge of this West Coast gem. But they and their kids Chloe, 12 and Alexander, 7 go there whenever they can. It’s in a part of Langebaan on the beach to the north that’s fast becoming a bit of a little shoreline hub, with everything a visitor could want – places to party, eat, get gear for watersports and sleep. Plus there’s a new pizza restaurant going up.
“One of our best hangouts,” says Carla, “is Kalmer Karma beach bar when our friend DJ Snake is playing on a Sunday afternoon and you can see all the kite surfers and windsurfers out there enjoying the howling gale. DJ Snake is great. He plays the psychedelic dragon at AfrikaBurn.” Marc says it’s the best Ibiza beach vibe in the country: “Okes having a real jol in their plakkies and takkies.” In summer Karma has craft beer tastings and a quiz two or three nights a week. It’s located above the Cape Sports Centre run by Esti and Antony Teale. “This is where you can buy or hire all the watersports gear you could possibly need,” says Carla. The centre also offers lessons in windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Alongside it on the beach is Friday Island, the heart and soul of Langebaan, in Carla’s view. “Every year from 16 December to mid Jan the same families come and stay in the beach bungalows. The kids play on the lawn in front, there’s a communal braai and the restaurant gets packed with families – kids and dogs and Daddy watching rugby on the TV. It’s next to our house so our guests always go there for breakfast.”
Windtown Lagoon Hotel in the town centre is another favourite hotspot. “They put a bedouin tent on the upstairs deck in summer,” says Marc. “It’s very cool for sundowners, with a DJ a couple of times a week. Nice rooms, a pool and a great restaurant.” He’s also a fan of Wings Coffee Roasters. “If you love coffee, this is the place. Justus is a specialist – roasts his own beans, started in his garage. He flies fighter jets. That’s why it’s called Wings.”
Langebaan’s longest established restaurant Pearlys is where they always eat on their last night when they don’t feel like cooking. “It looks over the lagoon,” says Carla. “We have pizza, steak, fish or calamari. The kids always meet kids they know. It’s an institution.”
And on the other side of the lagoon in the West Coast Nature Reserve there’s Kraalbaai, where the beach sand is very white, and squeaks, Carla says, and the water is warmer.
Carla de Fondaumiere’s lagoon holiday house is featured in HL December 2016.