Beyond delightfully lazy lunches, wine tasting, and let’s not forget the mountain views, lies a gentle, and mindful Stanford. With retreat centres, holistic practitioners, and a fair handful of yoga teachers, there’s more than gables and verandas in this historic town. Take a deeper look at Stanford’s soulful side –
If you haven’t yet uncovered our Instagram Account, you may just be missing out on some breathtaking Stanford snapshots.
Philippa Murray, local Stanfordian, has won the 2014 Homegrown Blogger competition organised by the Cape Whale Coast. The whopper prize was awarded at The Vine Restaurant in Stanford on the 5th of January over a glass of bubbles.
Phillippa competed with other bloggers in the Cape Whale Coast region to promote the area and it’s attractions to the larger online community. Her blogs include “The hunt for the perfect picnic” as well as how to host a great children’s party and as well as the beautiful Canola fields. To read Philippa’s blog click here http://philmurray.blog.com/
The holidays have rolled round again, and Stanford is gearing up for a very busy festive season! I vividly remember holidays as a child when my mom and dad used to take us for our annual holidays. They were probably impatient for the holiday to start because I can still recall being woken up in the middle of night, suitcase already packed, and told that we were leaving early (so early, in fact, that it was still dark).
That sense of excitement is still with me every Christmas and New Year; the wonder of going somewhere I’d never been before. December is also such a special time because there is so much goodwill this time of the year. Strangers wish you a merry Christmas, people look to see how they can help those less privileged, and everyone looks for that perfect present that will give joy to their loved ones. The whole world seems right again!
One of my absolute favourite things to do is to have a leisurely lunch in the countryside – for me, living in Stanford, that’s usually a 5-minute walk or drive to some of the best restaurants in the country. I have spent some heavenly afternoons having lunch in Stanford – laughing with friends, enjoying the unbelievably good food, and pairing it with Stanford’s breathtaking views.
The food art on the plate is so beautiful, and the views from the restaurants so inspiring, that we decided these views need frames! So we asked 11 local artists to decorate wooden frames in their unique style, and they’ll be placed around Stanford from 1 December! So the next time you’re in Stanford having lunch, take a photo with one of the frames and share it on your Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #StanfordFramed. We’ll keep our eyes out for these great moments and share it on the official Stanford Tourism platforms! There are weekly prizes up for grabs, so check our Facebook and Website for more info in the upcoming weeks.
Isn’t October a beautiful time of year? Apart from the carpet of purple and yellow flowers dusting the fields and slopes, tiny fledglings are testing their wings, tadpoles are investigating the river, and the swallows have returned (both feathered and non-feathered!).
Here in our little corner of the globe, we are getting ready for a very busy holiday season. There’s a real buzz in the air – the exciting news is that our much-loved Stanford Table will be re-opening on 31 October, serving delicious meals made with love by Jake and Esther Uys. A new coffee shop, The Stanford Harvest, is opening on 15 November selling breakfast, lunches and teas. Also new on our streets is the Stanford Treasure Trove, a shop with a difference full of beautiful fine furnishings and well-worth a visit!
September is heritage month and we celebrate all that we’ve inherited and that has shaped our little village.
Although South Africa has not always had an easy history, there are many traditions worth keeping. One such tradition is that in country villages, people used to gather on the Common or Village Square, to talk about the events of the day and to share local news (this was a time before newspapers and e-zines). Whatever stress or worry you had would disappear after some friendly banter and a few laughs with friends. Thankfully this is a tradition that Stanford has kept.
Spring has arrived. The bare trees with their knotted fingers are showing off their beautiful blossoms like jewels against the backdrop of the majestic Klein River Mountains. It takes me back to cherry blossom season in Japan and how the Japanese celebrate every seasonal event with great wonderment and enthusiasm, regardless of the fact that it comes around every year.
After the winter snow had melted, the cherry blossoms would appear; little pink dots on an otherwise bleak landscape. They would only last only a week and so everyone would be out, going for picnics or simply participating in cherry blossom viewing. The breeze would come and shake the blossoms from the trees, and it would be as if pink snow was falling from the sky.
‘Winter has a magical charm. You get to wear winter clothes; sit by the fireside, sip gluhwein and hot chocolate, and tell and listen to stories.’
Winter it is one of my favourite times to travel and explore the countryside. When I lived in London, my friends and I would often hire a car and spend the weekend in the countryside. We’d go on long walks, visit old houses, and cook dinner at night. Often we’d get caught in the rain and burst into the nearest pub, laughing and shaking the rain off our coats. Once we had ordered mulled wine, we’d warm ourselves by the fire while we waited for our clothes to dry.
‘Villages have always been a mystery to me. Most of my information came from the television series “Nommer asseblief?” and “Koöperasie Stories”.‘
I’ve had the privilege of living and working in three big cities in South Africa: Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. During my travels, I have visited London, Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and marvelled at the neon lights, boutique shops, and throngs of people.