Garden Route Road Trip #2: Seaside Style at The Lofts Knysna

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Morning lovelies! It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for a little honeymoon dreaming in the next instalment of our Garden Route road trip.  This week we’re venturing along the coast to the beautiful coastal town of Knysna.  From Swellendam we followed the N2 through the farmlands of the Western Cape to Mossel Bay, stopping for lunch in this vibrant little holiday town and enjoying seafood watching families play on the beach.  From here, we followed the picturesque route along the coast into Knysna.

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The hotel we picked for our stay was hidden away in an old boathouse on Thesen Islands, a collection of man-made islands in the heart of the Knysna Lagoon.  Crossing over the bridge to the island, our surroundings were suddenly transformed from the quaint, yet somewhat jumbled architecture of a South African holiday town, to pristine candy-coloured timber clad New England-style buildings perched on the edge of the lagoon (and many with their own jetties!!).  Thesen Island itself has been inhabited for centuries, away from the forests where secretive Knysna elephants roam, the island was bought by Charles Thesen in 1904 and established a timber plant on the island.  He constructed the industrial buildings which today have been converted into trendy hotels, homes and businesses.

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We arrived at The Lofts Boutique Hotel,  in the late afternoon, climbing the stairs to our room up in the roof, with huge ceilings and exposed beams overlooking the hotel’s pool and outside honesty bar on the edge of the lagoon.  As we arrived we were treated to the most stunning sunset which we enjoyed from our waterside balcony before a huge winter storm rolled in, so we bundled into our jackets and headed out into Thesen Harbour for a cosy pizza and beer overlooking the windswept lagoon.  Returning to the hotel that evening it was a treat to discover fresh brownies and a nightcap in the lobby before heading up to bed!  The next morning, we had a choice of nearby restaurants for breakfast {using a hotel voucher as The Lofts has no kitchen facilities}.  We picked The Island Café a the Turbine Hotel, which served an amazing fresh breakfast in a converted power station, with most of the old equipments still in place it was a funky place to spend a few hours enjoying coffee and watching the world go by.

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With the weather closing in, we didn’t get much of an opportunity to explore further than the island, seeking shelter in the cafe’s, galleries and boutiques.  On a warmer day we could have ventured by boat to Featherbird Nature Reserve, or into the Knysna Forest.  For a lovely afternoon take a hike to seek out the areas most secretive inhabitant, the Knysna elephant, or the more adventurous can enjoy abseiling, paragliding, scuba diving or water skiing!  Knysna is definitely on our come-back-soon list!!

Follow our South African road trip story here


Photography: Louise Beukes for b.loved


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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