Here’s a couple of really interesting ways to spend a few hours as a family. Join Anne Williams (a local birding expert) on her Three Sisters Saunter on Sunday 13th July 2014. This is a guided walk covering many aspects of the environment, birds, shipwrecks and historical tales of the area. @ R80 per person it is wonderful value, walking on a beautiful stretch of beach, taking in clean fresh air and learning something interesting in the process!
On both Wednesday 16 July and Saturday 19 July, Anne will be leading a 2 hour birdwatching tour in diverse habitats, starting from Kleinemonde at about 08h00. Also R80 per person.
Booking for all tours is essential. Contact Anne on 046 675 1976 or 083 719 4950
I’ve just picked up a brochure for the Morgan Bay’s Footprints Festival this weekend. Wish I’d heard about it earlier. It looks innovative and has something for everyone – young and old. Everyone is looking for a ‘point of difference’ these days and this attempt by the Morgan Bay community to do just that deserves success. Well done ….will definitely look out for a repeat event next year and will book early.
The Eastern Cape ‘dorps’ are definitely taking a page out of the Western Cape’s festival manual – what with Cradock’s recent Slow Food Festival adding to a host of wonderful “weekend away” opportunities now in our Province. Another one I heard about which will take place on 12/13 and 14 September this year is the Hogsback Reforest Fest. Here the plans is to plant thousands of trees to starts re-growing the area’s indigenous forest. Forest Walks, eco-workshops, yoga sessions, live music and delicious food will all be on offer. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Spending time recently with friends in St. Francis Bay we were introduced to two great ‘foodie’ finds. The first we didn’t have time to sample – but the reviews speak for themselves and we shall definitely plan another visit soon to sample some of their highly rated cuisine. Charles Black’s Five Elements is a custom designed restaurant nestled amongst new vineyards, indigenous forest and olive orchards just on the outskirts of this small coastal resort. Check out their website www.five-elements.co.za – how tempting is that?!
The second find was a small eaterie in Jeffreys Bay called inFood in Schelde Street just a few hundred yards from the beach. Wonderful coffee, a fantastic range of artisan breads, patisseries more at home in Parisian cafes and an interesting breakfast, lunch and vegetarian menu filled with fresh and innovative ideas. Packed to capacity on a Saturday mid-morning (evidence of its growing reputation) we enjoyed a 4 cheese flatbread embellished with avocado, chorizo and a delicious tomato chilli chutney, decorated with a handful of freshly picked rocket. We followed this with one of their zany little individual lemon meringue pies. Delicious – all served with a smile and at speed.
A sandwich with a difference @ inFood in Jeffreys Bay
Their website www.infood.co.za is well worth a visit. You’ll need little else to tempt you to get travelling to this gem on the Eastern Cape coast.
The ‘girls’ celebrating a birthday at Kingston Farm!
A recent blog post in The Global Table reminded me of a wonderful dining experience to be had at Kingston Farm, a beautifully restored Edwardian villa, just outside Bathurst. Booking is required and their contact details are 046-625-0129 or 083-262-4813 or email – email@example.com
This is fine dining in elegant surroundings – reminiscent of days gone by. Celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or a special occasion by savouring Carla’s superb cuisine and presentation. Log on to their website www.kingstonfarm.wordpress.com for details of the great Anglo Boer War Sausage War they are hosting on 27th October 2013 as part of the Bathurst Country Affair that weekend. It should be fun – who will win – the English Banger of the South African Boerewors? They have also developed a very special delicious sounding fixed price menu for the evenings of 26/27/28 October 2013.
The news that 4 rhinos had been slaughtered two nights ago on the Lalibela Private Game Reserve near Grahamstown has saddened us all. These majestic animals have become the bounty of unscrupulous, greedy individuals feeding the insatiable appetite for rhino horn in the East. We need to be supporting all the organisations that are trying to prevent these tragic events from occurring and bringing the cowardly perpetrators to book. Check out the website www.savingrhinos.org for some very interesting facts about this escalating problem.
❀.°.✿✿✿.°.❀ OVER THE HERITAGE LONG WEEKEND ✿ SOMETHING FOR THE FAMILY ✿ ENJOY AN OUTING TO NATURE’S SPRING GARDEN VISIT THE HOGSBACK SPRING SAUNTER ❀❀❀❀❀❀ ✿.°.❀HOGSBACK 2012❀.°.✿✿ .°.❀HOGSBACK 2012❀.°.✿ SPRING FESTIVAL PROGRAM
✿ FRIDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER✿ 9.30am for 10am GUIDED GARDEN VISITS (R60) with tea. Tickets/booking essential, at Information Centre 9am-5pm Pottery & Art Exhibition at “STARWAYS” 9.30am-5.30pm “ECO SHRINE &STUDIO” 9.30am-3pm “HIDDEN AWAY” Tea & Crafts Garden 10am-5pm Amatole Crafts at “KINGS LODGE” 10am-5pm Free Slideshow “Hogsback through the Year” at “MIRRORS ¸.•´ GALLERY & CRYSTAL CORNER” 5pm Movie at “FEATHERS CINE CAFE” “Lord of the Rings” Film 1 – The Fellowship of the Ring 8pm Poetry Reading Live at “THE ROSE, STARWAYS” ✿ ✿❀*•.¸.｡ :*❤ *❀ *❤ *:｡ ¸.•*❀✿ ✿
❀SATURDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER❀ ❀SPRING SAUNTER SELF GUIDED GARDEN VISITS❀ Tickets at the Vistors Information Centre 9 am-5 pm Demonstration of Hand Spinning at “MISTLEA” 10 am-12 Noon Hogsback Morning Market; Bouncy Castle & Face Painting at “BUTTERFLYS” 9 am -5 pm Pottery & Art Exhibition at “STARWAYS” 9.30 am-3 pm “HIDDEN AWAY” Tea & Crafts Garden 9.30 am-5.30 pm “ECO SHRINE & STUDIO” 9.30 am-5.00pm Biblical Theme Flower Arrangements at the Church – St Patrick’s on the Hill 10 am-5pm Flower Arrangements & Bonsai Display at “THE EDGE” 10 am-5 pm Free Port & Muscadel Tasting at “THE EDGE” 10 am-5pm Lynn Wynn Crafts at “KINGS LODGE” 11 am-5pm “Hogsback Through The Year” Free Slide Show at “MIRRORS GALLERY &CRYSTAL CORNER” 11am Pottery Demonstration-Throwing Teapots-by Anton van der Merwe at “STARWAYS POTTERY” 2.30 pm Jam Making Demonstration at “MISTYFELL” 3 pm Sacred Knotting Workshop, Create Your Own Talisman Necklace, at “MIRRORS GALLERY & CRYSTAL CORNER” 5 pm Movie at “FEATHERS CINE CAFE” “Lord of the Rings” Film 2 – The Two Towers 6 pm Build your own hamburger at “SWALLOWTAIL COUNTRY ESTATE” with live 80‘s music entertainment by JQN, dancing and Pub 8 pm “Simply Broadway” live at “THE ROSE, STARWAYS”
❀SUNDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER❀ ❀SPRING SAUNTER SELF GUIDED GARDEN VISITS❀ Tickets at the Vistors Information Centre 9 am-5 pm Demonstration of Hand Spinning at “MISTLEA” 9 am-1 pm Potjie-Kos competition at “SWALLOWTAIL COUNTRY ESTATE” 9 am-5 pm Pottery & Art Exhibition at “STARWAYS” 9 am-6 pm Bouncy Castle & Face Painting at “BUTTERFLYS” 9.30 am-3 pm “HIDDEN AWAY” Tea & Crafts Garden 9.30 am-5.30 pm “ECO SHRINE & STUDIO” 9.30 am-5.00pm Biblical Theme Flower Arrangements at the Church – St Patrick’s on the Hill 10 am Jam Making Demonstration at “MISTYFELL” 10 am Sacred Knotting Workshop, Create Your Own Talisman Necklace, at “MIRRORS GALLERY & CRYSTAL CORNER” 10 am-5pm “Hogsback Through The Year” Free Slide Show at “MIRRORS GALLERY &CRYSTAL CORNER 10 am-5pm Flower Arrangements & Bonsai Display at “THE EDGE” 10 am-5 pm Free Port & Muscadel Tasting at “THE EDGE” 10 am-5pm Lynn Wynn Crafts at “KINGS LODGE” 10.30 am-1 pm Raku Firing at “STARWAYS POTTERY” 5 pm Movie at “FEATHERS CINE CAFE” “Lord of the Rings” Film 3 – Return of the King 8 pm “Vinyl Evening” Dance up a storm at “THE ROSE, STARWAYS”
❀MONDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER❀ ❀SPRING SAUNTER SELF GUIDED GARDEN VISITS❀ Tickets at the Vistors Information Centre 9 am-5 pm Demonstration of Hand Spinning at “MISTLEA” 9 am-5 pm Pottery & Art Exhibition at “STARWAYS” 9.30 am-12.30 pm Heritage Day Market; Bouncy Castle & Face Painting at “BUTTERFLYS” 9.30 am-3 pm “HIDDEN AWAY” Tea & Crafts Garden 9.30 am-5pm “Hogsback Through The Year” Free Slide Show at “MIRRORS GALLERY &CRYSTAL CORNER” 9.30 am-5.30 pm “ECO SHRINE & STUDIO” 9.30 am-5.00pm Biblical Theme Flower Arrangements at the Church – St Patrick’s on the Hill 10 am Jam Making Demonstration at “MISTYFELL” 10 am-5pm Flower Arrangements & Bonsai Display at “THE EDGE” ❀❀❀❀❀❀
If you are anywhere near the Tsitsikamma on the evenings 29 September 2012 or 6 October 2012, why not take advantage of two very special culinary evenings being put together by talented chef Louise Utermark. Special prices apply: 29 September: The package includes a 5 course meal complimented by Remhoogte wines from Stellenbosch and of course wonderful accommodation either in The Fernery Chalets at R1070 pp or in The Fernery Lodge suites at R1300 pp with a full breakfast the next morning. 06 October : This will be a Music Hall evening with pianist Marie Skeen on the baby grand accompanied by a guitar and saxophone. The meal that evening also under the guidance of Louise will be a 4 course menu d’hote preceded by canapes. Accommodation that evening and breakfast the next morning is included in the package. Staying at The Fernery Chalets the price will be R950 pp and at The Fernery Lodge R1180 pp.
Check out this venue on www.isikotours.co.za – it is one of the highly recommended destinations featured in their portfolio of experiences.
The Hogsback Spring Saunter promises to be a colourful and fun affair with plenty on offer for the whole family. Glorious gardens both formal and wild – a R60 ticket will afford you entry into all the magnificent private show gardens. For the artistically inclined there will be a bevvy of crafters displaying their wares and as well as a host of local artists’ pottery, jewellery, art and landscape photographs. For the adventurous – there will be a guided mountain bike cycle trail through the forest, or if a horse ride is more you thing – then that’ll be on offer too. All this activity needs to be nurtured – so the local eateries and hostelries will be putting on their best for the hungry and thirsty. Pub screens will be showing the weekend sport and if you’re a Tolkein fan – the three films of The Lord of the Rings Epic will be shown on a big screen on on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. The Rose Theatre will host a candelit Poetry Reading on Friday evening and on Saturday will host a performance of the musical Simply Broadway – a Grahamstown festival hit.
For more information on booking a craft stall email Ansie on firstname.lastname@example.org
For accommodation enquiries visit www.hogsbackinfo.co.za
For general Hogsback information visit www.hogsbavk.co.za or www.hogsback.com
Bathurst will be celebrating Spring in style at the end of October – with food, wine and life style attractions to compliment the talent of a myriad crafters. Crafting demonstrations, galleries galore, great dining opportunities, fun for the whole family. If you’ve already got the Bedford Garden Festival pencilled in for that weekend and you live near Port Alfred give Bathurst a ‘look in’ on your way up or on your way back.
Having seen the creative talent of a young man at the National Arts Festival this year trading under the name Pewter-it, I decided to order a couple of items from him as gifts for overseas friends. These beautifully crafted wooden covered books adorned with pewter work of my choice can be filled with paper of your choice and used as photo albums, wedding albums, travel diaries, guest books or merely as a very smart note book. That I can support ‘South African’ and even better support ‘Local’ really makes me smile. To view the type of work undertaken by Pewter-it, check out their website www.pewter.webs com. A great little company to deal with. Thank you Kyle.
Travelling home to the Eastern Cape from Natal last week we journeyed through a winter wonderland. The Drakensberg skirting the R56 Matatiele/Mount Fletcher/Maclear route was covered in snow – a scene very different from what a tourist to South Africa would expect – even though it was mid-winter. This route makes a change from the East London/Umtata one normally taken by folk travelling between the two Provinces. The scenery is spectacular, the road is less travelled and the condition of the road is good. Just a very short 2 km patch going through Lady Frere is concrete and a bit uneven – but otherwise it is a joy to drive. Elliot, Ugie and Maclear offer good stopping off points for a coffee and a break. These areas all offer wonderful fly fishing, great hiking, plenty of rock art sites, lots of accommodation options and hopefully when Tiffindell re-opens next year a variety of winter sports.
Whether you’re looking for something literary, something flowery or even just a great day out in celebration of nature’s abundance there are some wonderful of events to diarise in the upcoming months. The economies and communities of these Eastern Cape ‘dorpies’ benefit hugely from attendances at these Shows and a huge amount of work goes into their organisation. Let’s all get out there, support their initiatives and have fun in the process
Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival 9 -12 August 2012 (www.tuishuisie.co.za/olive_schreiner_festival.htm)
Hogsback Spring Festival 21-24 September 2012
Naartjie Festival, Loerie 24 September 2012
Shell Festival , Jeffreys Bay 28 – 30 September 2012
Grahamstown Flower Festival 6-7 October 2012
The Addo Rose and Garden Show 12-14 October 2012 (www.addorose.co.za)
The Eastern Cape offers plenty of opportunity for hiking and canoeing enthusiasts – but an offering that has caught my eye recently are the three trails marketed by a company called Shipwreck Hiking and Canoe Trails (www.shipwreckhiking.co.za). The Kleinemonde West River Canoe Trail features a 9km paddle up river and a 2km hike through the Nyala Valley Game Reserve where you will overnight at the delightfully named Lily Pad hut. The other two hiking options are a 5 day, 4 night option or a 6 day, 5 night option, the latter which will include the Kleinemonde West River Canoe Trail described above. The coastal hikes are from Port Alfred to the Fish River Mouth – hiking along the beach, over dunes, through farmlands and riverine forest. Your nights will be spent at Milkwood hut, Tree House, Three Sisters hut and Stone Cottage. Check out their website and contact Dave Marais for more information. With Spring and Summer just round the corner – why not plan a fun few days with family and friends in the great outdoors. Its birdlife, its wildlife, its history, its exercise, its comraderie……