I was admonished recently by someone I admire deeply, for thinking I needed a date to dine out.
‘Go on your own, dammit,’ she told me. ‘Dress up, put on your lipstick and go and have fun.’
I knew she was right but I find it hard dining alone. I feel a little insecure and a little awkward.
But when I had the opportunity to spend a night at the little boutique hotel, Pablo House, I decided to GO IT ALONE.
I’ve spent a lot of time alone in hotels and I’ve always loved it. When it comes to meals, I have no issue with breakfast, lunch, or hanging out at the bar.
But dinner is different. I either eat while reading a book, or I get room service.
My night at Pablo House included dinner.
But I had this!
I could do this!
I didn’t tell anyone I was going, packed a small bag (toothbrush, face mask, clean underwear) and headed off. Pablo House is five minutes from my home, a kind of oasis in the middle of a mad, big, bustling city.
Reader. It has to be one of the most spectacular little boutique hotels in Johannesburg. They call it a guesthouse but it’s much more than that. Built on a hill with a 180 degree view of the Melville Koppies and Johannesburg, the decor is divine, the art collection to die for, bar area is super cool and the outdoor dining area, where I was going it alone, fantastic.
Hip, funky, luxurious, elegant, on-trend and beautifully South African, all in one.
I was delighted to be there.
Especially in my very gorgeous boudoir.
The suites are divine. There are seven, as well as a penthouse loft apartment, all super inviting, with stunning textures, the best linen, a fabulous king size custom designed bed, lovely lighting and the cosiest of day beds.
Day beds everywhere! I lay on one bed. And then another. I sat at the bar and had a cocktail. Then a second. I wandered around the main area, looked through the telescope, and dipped my feet in the pool. I chatted a little to the owner who told me his plans to build up, even higher, and have a 360 degree Johannesburg view. And to have a Spa.
I picked out the table that I would sit at, alone, for dinner.
And then I had a shower and watched the sky change colour.
So divine, so lovely, so beautiful, so easy to be on my own.
EXCEPT FOR THE VIEW. AND THE ART. AND THE COUCHES AND THE COCKTAILS.
I called all my friends.
One by one.
Oh my god you have to come have a cocktail.
Oh my god you have to come see the sky.
Oh my god you have to come have a shower with me.
And my friends came.
Because of course they had to. The place is kind of irresistible.
I messaged my boys and suggested they join me for dinner. The restaurant at Pablo House, Pablo Dos Manos, has an excellent reputation. And I knew they would love the Mr Bellchazer pizza, with coppa ham, goats cheese, basil, and loads of extra mushrooms please.
I still haven’t had dinner alone.
But it was such fun to share this incredible experience.
Pablo House is is right here in Melville, Johannesburg. I would choose it for out-of-town friends. I would choose it for international visitors. And I would choose it for you. For a drink, dinner, a celebration, or if you can, an overnight getaway.
And if you don’t want to dine alone, I will join you!
You can arrange in-house Spa treatments. Breakfast is included at Pablo’s Eggs Go Bar. And the prices are astonishingly reasonable!