Denise Cowburn-Levy invites us into her trio of beach houses in Yzerfontein and shares her love of West Coast seafood in her classic clapperboard houses along the picturesque coast.

The small fishing village of Yzerfontein is known as Pearl of the West Coast. It’s pristine white-sanded beaches, aquamarine ocean, and Cape Cod styled houses exude an air of barefoot-luxury and simple comfort. And when former international model and entrepreneur, Denise Cowburn-Levy, sunk her toes into Yzerfontein’s sands, she knew this would be her home.

Twenty years later, and Denise is now the proud owner of her little patch of paradise: The Beach House Collection – a trio of beach houses along the coast of Yzerfontein.

Denise has had a varied, full career and inspiring business journey. From running her own production company and opening a modelling agency, to becoming an author of her very own cook book, Around My Table.

To find out what this dynamic serial entrepreneur is up to now, The Insider SA met Denise in one of her classic clapperboard houses, directly situated on the beach to enjoy the R&R Yzerfontein has to offer.

Denise shares her story of how The Beach House Collection began 20 years ago, and the inspiration that motivated her design.

“We really needed a beach house as a location [for my production company]”, Denise explains. “There were none! So the logical thing to do was to build it”. In 2000, the Pearl Bay house was built and welcomed with incredible success. Next, was the White Sands house, built in 2009 on the plot next door. Once that took off, Denise added the Tide & Thyme house in 2017 as the third and final residence to join this magnificent collection by the sea.

The beach houses are constantly filled with guests and often used for film shoots, yoga retreats, family get-togethers, or as a secret hideaway for locals to escape to the seaside.

Situated only 85km outside of Cape Town, Yzerfontein is an easy commute to get away from the hustle and bustle of city living. Denise shares her favourite part of her little corner of the world saying, “Yzerfontein is just the best place. The wildness and the unspoilt beauty is still incredible”. And with more and more people discovering it, the little town is starting to buzz.

With baths that overlook the ocean and balconies to watch the sunset, Denise has moulded her homes to compliment the natural beauty of the coast. “I did all the interiors and the design of the houses myself”, Denise shares. “The character of each one if very different”. Denise has a keen eye for design and décor and each home has been built with a unique character – from the casual and barefoot to the modern and contemporary.

Simply put, “It’s paradise”, describes Denise. Tide & Thyme (where Denise has spent her lockdown) was designed with the kitchen in the heart of the home so that every space can be accessible while Denise prepares her traditional West Coast seafood marvels for her guests…and The Insider SA was lucky enough to be one of them.

Her cookbook, Around My Table, consists of a collection of Denise’s favourite recipes and anecdotes from her years of travel as an international model in the 70s and 80s. She loves the challenge of twisting things up and experimenting with the fresh seafood Yzerfontein is famous for.

Denise believes that food is the universal language that connect us to each other. It’s become a joy for Denise to share these beloved secrets of cooking and serving seafood – West Coast style.