Charming Stanford

Amazingly Awesome Things about the Stanford History

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything.

You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”
Michael Crichton

I recently joined the Hermanus Historical Society on a Historical Stanford on Foot Tour.  It was an absolute source of delight to me.  And no, it does not make me feel old.  It makes me feel special to be living in history that others will one day read about.

There’s a particular joy, for me at least, to rummage through articles, books, websites and more to cure my need for more information on history and heritage.  And only like-minded people who have the same interests as myself will connect with me on that point.

And further reading brought me to the following amazingly awesome things about Stanford that I never knew about:

Charming Architecture

The original layout of Stanford dates to 1857 when De Kleine Rivier Valey Farm was subdivided into a typical rural village layout: a simple orthogonal (right-angled) grid with large erven and a central public square. This simple layout remains today.

Stanford’s architectural styles range from the late 1700s to the early 1900s, and include the following: the simple cottage; the Victorian barn (simple or adapted, and thatched); and the eclectic villa or gabled house (either Victorian or Cape Dutch Revival).

Stanford Architecture (Photo Credit: Stanford Conservation Trust)

Did you know?

In 1919 a municipality was formed in response to a threat to the village’s water supply.  The village received its water from “Die Oog”, a freshwater spring issuing 1 250 000 gallons (4,7 million litres) of water daily on the farm Oogbosch of Hendrik Taljaard, who lived in Caledon Street where he grew grapes for the making of wine and for distilling witblits.  When Halley Moore heard that Taljaard was planning to sell Oogbosch to a certain Mr Swart from Uilenkraal, he realized that something had to be done to retain the town’s water supply.  A municipality was formed, Halley was elected mayor and Oogbosch with its spring was bought for £2 000.

Born an Anglican

St Thomas Anglican Church proudly sits on the corner of Stanford’s heart – the commonage, or the “market square” as it is referred to by Stanford residents.  It is the oldest church in Stanford and was built around 1880.  The small building next to the church served as the St Thomas Mission School.  By 1914 the school had two classrooms and more space was needed.  In 1939 the school was moved to the present site of Die Bron primary school in Stanford South.  The building was still used as two classrooms for Sub A & B until 1983.

St. Thomas Anglican Church, Stanford (Photo Credit:  Stanfordinfo.co.za)

St. Thomas Anglican Church, Stanford
(Photo Credit: Stanfordinfo.co.za)

A long juicy tale

The Long House in Queen Victoria Street was purchased by Michael Walsh in 1903, and he converted the original cowshed into a house.  Mr Walsh’s parrot, kept on the front stoep, would often bring a passing horse-cart to an abrupt halt with his shrill, “Hokaai!”

Birkenhead survivors at De Kleine Rivers Valey house

The farmhouse on de Kleine River Valey was built by Christoffel Brand in the late 1700s.  Lady Ann Barnard stayed here in 1798 when she conducted her tour from Cape Town to the interior.  The house belonged to, among others, Sir Robert Stanford who leased the farm to another British officer, Captain Thomas Smales.  Ensign GA Lucas, one of the survivors of the troopship Birkenhead which was wrecked off Danger Point in February 1852, in a letter to his father from “Smails farm on the Kleyne River”, said that he could “never say enough of the kindness…where they were put up and cared for.  Had I been their own son better care could not have been taken of me.  Twice a day I was put into a hot bath and then rubbed with coconut oil…”

De Kleine Rivers Valey House  (Photo Credit:  Portrait of a Village by Annalize Mouton)

De Kleine Rivers Valey House
(Photo Credit: Portrait of a Village)

Alan Bennett of the ‘History Boys’ sums my curious nature up beautifully:

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”

Toodles

#stanfordheritage #overberghistory #visitstanford #capewhalecoast

Sources:  Stanford Conservation Trust;  A portrait of a Village by Annalize Mouton

 

A Walk by the Klein River

After a hard day’s work, nothing is more refreshing than a quiet walk along the bank of the Klein River. While walking is good for our bodies, the sight of the river seems to have a peculiarly peaceful effect upon our minds.  Every sight and sound inspires a spirit of rest and peacefulness.

“Gonuga Goggo” (meaning: Klein River) as described in Jan Hartogh’s Journal in 1707 – meanders through Stanford and is home to an abundance of fauna and flora.  And although the Klein River is 80 km long, it is the river with the shortest distance between its origin and mouth in the world (5 km as the crow flies)!

#sunset #nature #beauty #visitstanford Photo Credit:  Stanford Tourism Facebook Page

#sunset #nature #beauty #visitstanford
Photo Credit: Stanford Tourism Facebook Page

Oh, and what a delightful time I had by the river!  Walking along the bank of the river I enjoyed the rippling surface of the water, the birds singing their delightful notes in the trees.  The lovely bushes growing all around, the tall trees waving their branches and a lonely boat sailing smoothly on the surface of the river filled with me deep joy.

Clearly Stanford is giving you a taste of village life.  It is real.  It is safe.  It is tranquil. It is vibrant. It is authentic. It is unpretentious.  It is charming.  It is green.  It is scenic.  It is a lifestyle.  More importantly, it is easy and not the big city!

I enjoyed especially the beauty of sunset over the river.  The spectacle presented by the setting sun as it sinks beneath the surface of the water, is one of the greatest charms of an evening walk by the riverside.  The clouds are lit up with a thousand brilliant colours. And the rays of the setting sun were touching the high branches of the trees.  I even saw children playing around on the grassed area against this beautiful background.

I returned home full of impressions, rich and vivid, gathered during my walk by the Klein River.  Surely, Stanford offers us as residents and visitors so much more…

#visitstanford #capewhalecoast

#sunset #nature #perfection #visitstanford #capewhalecoat  Photo Credit: Anton Duivestein

#sunset #nature #perfection #visitstanford #capewhalecoat
Photo Credit: Anton Duivestein

Stanford hills 2

Winter Wonder Winelands in Stanford

The Stanford Wine Route was recently launched, and there is no shortage of wines and entertainment on this fantastic little route. There are 8 wine farms on this route, and while they are close enough together to complete in one go, I would really recommend taking more time! I recently took the opportunity to explore the different wine farms on this route to see how they are in winter. Many of the wine farms have wonderful welcoming log fires, pleasant restaurants and spectacular views, and there are lots to do for kids on some of these wonderful farms. I’m certainly not a wine connoisseur, but it was definitely an experience to taste some of the outstanding wines that are made in this region! Here I discuss the estates and what they have to offer in the order in which I visited them over a period of two days.

Boschrivier Wine EstateBoschrivier compile

Set at the foot of the Klein River Mountain range and about 17 km from Stanford on the R326, this picturesque wine estate belongs to Dr NJT De Villiers and his family. The estate bottles between 5 000 and 6 000 bottles per season. 6 Hectares are used for Cabernet, and 3 hectares of Shiraz is grown on some of the finest terroirs in the area. Wine consultant Mike Dobrovic and his able support team ensure that the grapes are always of the highest quality and that Boschrivier is a true competitor in the Overberg wine industry. This relaxing wine farm also provides a restored charming, luxurious 4-bedroom farmhouse with a spacious stoep from where the surrounding vistas can be taken in with a glass of Boschrivier Shiraz, while soaking up the stunning Overberg winter sunset.

What we loved: The small home kitchen provides outstanding toasted sandwiches and is the perfect place to stop for a rest. The shop sells crafts, jams and other produce home made by the local residents, and these are all top notch! The spacious yet cosy farmhouse is the perfect place for a luxurious country winter break with the family.

Raka WinesRaka Wine Farm

About 14 kilometres outside Stanford you will find the statuesque Raka wine estate.  Here, 16 different wines are created from 70 hectares of vines. The farm is a huge 600 hectares but they also plant wheat and other produce here. Piet Dreyer’s first love is the sea, and when he bought this farm he named it after his black fishing vessel. Now, his son, Josef Dreyer, is the winemaker, and he has made some serious inroads in the wine making industry over the last few years. I tasted five of the wines which included the 2 flagship wines – the Bordeaux and the Shiraz. With prizes being awarded and a mention in the Platters 2016 wine guide, these are some of the best wines on the route. The estate itself is picturesque and welcoming, and even though there is no restaurant here, it is possible to purchase a range of snacks and nuts to go with the wine tasting.

What we loved:  The place is beautiful and views of the vineyards nestled in the value are charming. Melanie, the hostess, is super friendly and knowledgeable about the wine and the estate, and her wine tasting was enjoyable and interesting. The wines are also superb!

Walker Bay WineWalker Bay

Walker Bay Wine Estate is situated at the beautiful Birkenhead Brewery, and here I was lucky enough to be given a personal wine tour and tasting by Reinhard Odendaal, the winemaker. In addition to the tasty beer created here at the brewery, they also produce 5 outstanding reds and 3 white wines, and I believe they now have a bubbly in the pipeline, which I’m looking forward to! I found it very interesting to learn how the different wine making methods and the different yeasts they use create exceptional flavours and textures in the wine, and I had a chance to taste wine from the tanks in various stages of maturation. I was fascinated to learn that a Merlot could be stressed or relaxed! Reinhard believes in drinking his Cabernet only after 5 – 6 years, whereas other winemakers tend to sip and sell them earlier. I tend to agree with Reinhard.

What we loved: While the wine is great, you should also do a beer tasting for some exceptional artisanal tastes. Birkenhead has a lovely bar with a huge fireplace – perfect for winter! They also serve a basic bar menu with delicious food which is reasonably priced, and if it is sunny enough it is a pleasure to dine outside to admire the magnificent views while the kids run about.

Springfontein Wine EstateSpringfontein Wine Estate

A wine tasting in Stanford is simply not complete without a visit to Springfontein! Dr Johst Weber started out here with virgin soil in 1994, and realised his dream of creating a wine estate that involved, in his own words, “a combination of nature and human craftsmanship”.  Here, the wine is matured in Hungarian, French or American wood barrels, and the elegant flavours developed here are something to behold. Only 28 hectares of vines are planted, and these grapes are minded and pressed with all the love in the world to create wines that are truly exceptional. Winemaker Tariro Masayiti hails from Zimbabwe and is one of the jewels in Springfontein’s crown – his passion for winemaking is intoxicating and evident in everything he does – and it shows in the bottles produced at this wine estate! Many of the wines are imaginatively titled by Jennifer Weber, the marketing Director and co-owner, and the names echo her and Johst’s love for rock music. Here you can find the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and a ‘Whole Lotta Love’ in a bottle!

But Springfontein is not just known for fascinating wines. Springfontein Eats is a gastronomic experience on a grand scale, and if you are a fan of locavore food, with a hint of molecular gastronomy and fascinating imported wines, this is the place to eat! Then there is also the informal Springfontein Barn where they host wine tastings and serve hearty German fare or cheese platters in front of a crackling fire in the cosy, rustic barn. Simply divine for winter!

What we loved: The fine food and wonderful country atmosphere of the Barn is hard to beat on a cold winter’s day. They also have stunning cottages that have been lovingly renovated with all the mod-cons and romantic fireplaces for the perfect winter country break. And the food rocks!

Sir Robert StanfordRobert Stanford

With about 120 hectares of vines, this is one of the biggest wine estates in the Overberg, and is also a biodiversity site. Here you will find 4 Cutters Cove and 2 Sir Robert Stanford wines, and these are created off-site by the expert winemakers at Kleine Zalze Wine Estate. Their market is mainly local, and is a firm favourite amongst visitors and locals alike. Named after Sir Robert Stanford who founded the village of Stanford, this estate has a long history and manages to produce inviting flavours from their excellent terroir. For those who are hungry, their Royal Oke restaurant next to the tasting room is the perfect place to enjoy fabulous family country fare in a stunning setting. There is also plenty of space and a playpark for the kids. The Grappa distillery stokes an interesting range of Grappa and Witblits, and a visit to this wine estate would not be completed without a Stokehouse tasting. At the large gated entrance of the estate you can also find the brightly coloured candy-striped Padstal, a farm stall that stocks everything from biltong to home-made produce, as well as organic vegetables from the estate and locally-grown fruit.

What we loved: This is a great place for kids! Lots of space to run around, a pond, ducks, fish, trampoline, and wonderful food for old and young. Kids can learn to squeeze their own orange juice up the road at Die Padstal. For adults there is a roaring outside fire, a cosy seating area and the Grappa is the Greatest!

Vaalvlei Vaalvlei compile

When the Terblanche family moved here to purchase this small estate in 2005, they quickly realised how special the varied soils on the farm were. As a result they were able to produce some outstanding white and red varietals that are more classic than modern. Vaalvlei, the smallest wine estate on the route, it consists of only 3 hectares, which gives the wine made here a real boutique feel. Only 2000 bottles of white and 3000 bottles of Shiraz are produced by Naas Terblanche, and they are the only wine farm on the route that produces their own version of Port – which is special indeed! The rest of the farm is dedicated to the two cottages and numerous fly fishing dams where guests can angle for bass and trout. Naas is an avid student of frogs and is the resident expert on all the species of frogs that can be found in the area. He also knows practically everything about the endangered Western Leopard Toad and other rare species of Western Cape.

What we loved: The port is exceptional in winter! And do take the time to go through the fascinating presentation about the frogs in the area – it includes clear photos, frog call sounds and lots of interesting information. Kids love it. Vaalvlei has two rustic farm cottages for guests and their pets, and if you are looking for a rural country getaway with some fishing, country vibes and good wine, this is the place to be. In addition to this there is also a wonderful variety of Bonsai trees that are for sale.

Misty Mountainsmisty mountains compile

Set on the R43 between Hermanus and Stanford, Misty Mountains is 46 hectare estate produces about 5 hectares of grapes, and most of the rest is dedicated to olives and also honey. All the reds are created in French Oak barrels, and the rich, mature taste appeals to the huge Chinese market to which most of these are exported. Other wines like the Sauvignon Blanc are very popular with the UK market. Tastings are free and done in a spacious and stylish tasting room/ladies bar by the estate manager Robert Davis, and delicious cheese platters are for sale to go along with the tasting. Winemaker Neil Patterson ensures that all the wines coming from this estate are well balanced and creates a delicious French style Rosé – it is light in colour with a fruity nose, yet divinely dry. They are currently working on producing their first MCC which is very exciting.  You will also find a variety of olives for sale here, and the honey from this estate is out of this world!

What we loved: They create a very unique product called Vino Cotto, which is basically a concentrated grape reduction with the most distinctive flavour! It can be used in savoury or sweet dishes, as a cordial, in cocktails, for marinades and salad dressings, and it is so popular that they simply cannot keep up with demand. Get your hands on a bottle if you can!

Stanford Hills Wine FarmStanford hills compile

Stanford Hills was well known for excellent Jacksons Pinotage which was initially made in small quantities, but since Peter and Jami Kastner bought it, this estate has grown exponentially to produce more award winning stuff. They now make an additional two whites, an excellent rosé, a saucy Shiraz and a firm local favourite – the Veldfire range under the Stanford Hills label. They have also recently come up with the most fabulous MCC, which my friends fondly describe as ‘biscuity’. A tasting here takes place in the Tasting Room, which was initially just a small little tasting area but has exploded over the last 3 years to become one of the most popular eating spots around. It is immensely family friendly, and on cold winter days warm fires provide a cosy atmosphere in the basic but very comfortable restaurant. The magnificent views are very hard to beat, and during the autumn and early winter there are often one or two hand-fed orphan lambs running around, and bottle feeding them brings great joy to any city kid. The outstanding wine, together with great food, happy kids and a warm and welcoming atmosphere makes this one of the best seasonal wine locations. There are also several rustic cottages and a magnificent manor house to choose from for the perfect, romantic midwinter break. And they grow the most awesome Proteas for export and the local market.

What we love: One of the best wine farms around for children during the winter. A well-equipped play park, super hiking trails, horse riding, rowing on the dam, lots of space, great views, kid-friendly menu, good food, roaring fires and great wine all help to keep everyone superbly satisfied. And the very friendly, hands-on hosts and staff are delightful!

The Stanford wine Route is popular all year round, and it is really worth a visit any time you are in the Overberg!

 

 

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Going Green with Greenpop Family Fest Weekend

HeaderI have always wanted to attend the Greenpop Family Festival at Platbos Forest Reserve, and finally this year I got around to it. It was wonderful! This festival is all about bringing kids and adults closer to nature and to foster a better relationship with the natural world around us. There is also a Greenpop Friends Festival that takes place at Platbos a couple of weeks later, and this weekend draws more adults, even though children are allowed.  Greenpop is an organisation that plants trees and educates people about best practice tree care in many different areas in South Africa and Zambia, and in March they were reforesting at Platbos Forest Reserve.  This ancient, wizened forest still exists for the enjoyment of all because of the green fingers and passion of special people.  You can visit Platbos all year round, or even better; book your extra special GreenPop experience for next year!

Volunteers who attend the festivals spend a day planting trees, and during the weekend there are a lot of interesting talks, workshops and other fun activities to participate in.  Unfortunately I could only attend on the Sunday, but we had so much fun that I would definitely recommend spending the whole weekend! This year, 437 happy campers descended on Platbos to take part in planting and festivities.

Images courtesy of Jay Badenhorst (47 Sundays)

Images courtesy of Jay Badenhorst (47 Sundays)

Festival goers usually bring their own tents and camp in demarcated areas, but it is also possible to rent a tent at the festival.  Those who prefer not to camp may choose from a variety of self-catering options at Platbos and a variety of establishments nearby.

Friday evening is all about setting up camp and settling in.  There is a food court with a selection of food trucks and vegan vendors that provide fresh, delicious meals.  The Family Weekend provides the option of a catered Meal Plan ticket that provides 6 vegetarian meals throughout the weekend (Friday dinner through to Sunday lunch), but this option has to be purchased in addition to the festival ticket. Meals are prepared in the common kitchen for those on the Meal Plan and the meals looked utterly delectable!  No self-made fires are allowed in the camp, so there are no cooking facilities, and campers can choose between the food plan and purchasing food from the vendors.  Boiling water is provided free of charge.Food stalls combined

Friday evening is very relaxed – think crackling campfires and gentle tunes, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.  People with musical instruments are highly encouraged around the campfires, and other fun stuff such as hula-hoops, drums, mad hats, crazy outfits and face paint help to create a really fun atmosphere.  Mornings start with a yoga session open to all.Images courtesy of Jay Badenhorst (47 Sundays)Images courtesy of Jay Badenhorst (47 Sundays)

Saturday is action packed and thousands of trees are planted by teams in different areas around the forest to help restore the very rare and delicate ecosystem. This year they planted a total of 2,420! At around 16:00 the planting is done, and teams head back to camp for a shower, tasty food and a forest party to celebrate! Great musical acts are lined to perform on the intimate main stage and a talent show provides many awesome moments.  Everybody loves this celebration and there is plenty of entertainment for old and young. We arrived early on Sunday morning when the camp just started to wake up and started the day with delicious freshly pressed fruit juice and a vegan burger from the food trucks.  At the common area a delicious looking breakfast was being served to those who booked the meal option activities combinedand we were more than a little jealous!

During the morning we were entertained by a variety of interesting talks – I attended one on bees which I found particularly fascinating.  There is a range of workshops for old and young – my 11 year old did the Improvisation workshop and loved it.  There were also guided forest walks and yoga classes, and the meditation session under the 1000-year old Milkwood tree was the best!  Kids are also kept busy with a variety of activities ranging from woodcarving to beading.  Wonderful stalls provided a variety of colourful items for sale.stalls

The program for the weekend comes to an end at 14:00 on Sunday after lunch has been served, although some people choose to pack up and start the journey home during the course of the morning to avoid the Sunday afternoon traffic.  We had a lot of fun and decided that next year we will certainly camp and use the meal plan.  Can’t wait!

Points to note:

  • Take warm clothing and extra blankets – it gets chilly at night!
  • There are no shops or ATM’s nearby, so bring all the food and cash you need.
  • No self-catering facilities – the Meal Plan option works very well, especially if you bring children
  • There is no drinking water, so bring around 2litre per person per day – rather bring tap water from home than buy bottled water.
  • Cellphone signal is not very reliable and there are no charging facilities, so bring a car charger if you need to charge your phone.
Enjoying the views

My Big Fat(Bike) Summer Sunday

Seeing as my new year’s resolution was to participate in as many activities in and around Stanford as possible I recently read about the new fat bikes at Mosaic and was keen to spend a Sunday with my 11 year old son to give this a try.  It was fabulous!  Not being much of a bike person I viewed this as a daunting adventure and sincerely hoped I could have a decent run without having to involve the paramedics.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Meeting our fatbikes

Meeting our fatbikes

The Fat Bikes can be likened to the Rolls Royce of mountain bikes – its fat wheels cushion shock and are made to deal with particularly sandy conditions, and as a result the ride was a lot less bumpy than riding on a normal mountain bike.

Big Fat Daddy

Big Fat Daddy

Even though they look quite intimidating they are easy to steer and ride, and my 11 year old had no problem propelling himself around at high speeds and tut-tutting at me pushing the bike up the steeper parts of the road (they aren’t steep – I’m just incredibly unfit).

Enjoying the views

Enjoying the views

Upon arrival we were met by Mosaic’s manager, Marcelino, who patiently fitted our helmets and explained the best routes to ride and where everything on the bike was – including a puncture kit.  (In the end I just took his phone number and said that I’d call him for help if needed as I am incapable of fixing anything more complicated than a sandwich).  And then we were on our way.  We rode out towards the beach, about 5km away.  First on a dirt road and then into the Walker Bay Marine reserve where a comfortable sandy path led us towards the beach.  The road was easy to follow and the natural beauty was magnificent – and I had plenty of time to admire the flowers and the mountains because I had to stop to rest quite often (to the great disgust of my son).

Fire bursting from the scorched earth

Fire bursting from the scorched earth

We passed an area where it recently burnt and from the scorched earth burst most beautiful blood red flowers.  Once we reached the beach we climbed up and over the huge dune and had a swim in the sea and took a short walk on the vast Walker Bay beach that stretches from Hermanus to Gansbaai.  Other guests from Mosaic were already there on a game drive and offered us cold refreshments from the Mosaic cooler box.  It was heaven!

The lovely Walker Bay Beach

The lovely Walker Bay Beach

After a decent rest and a small picnic, it was time to get back.  By now it was sweltering hot but somehow the road back was easier than the road in – except for my backside getting a bit sore.  Once we got back to Mosaic Lagoon Lodge we stopped for a snack and a cold drink in the shade of the thick milkwood trees and it was blissful.

Cool shade of the Milkwoods

Cool shade of the Milkwoods

We returned home exhausted and agreed that we had the most fantastic adventure and a lovely bonding session.  There is nothing like doing something outdoorsy and physical with your child!  I highly recommend this adventure and am certainly keen to do it again as soon as possible.

Points to note:

  • Remember to put sun lotion on your hands, arms, neck and shoulders. The back of my hands and my neck got terribly burnt because I forgot about these areas!
  • Ask them to help you adjust the bike to your height before you pull off – I was too impatient to get out there and didn’t have my seat adjusted. As a result it was too high and I got neck-ache from looking up all the time.  Rather take the time and have a more comfortable ride.
  • Wear a swimming costume or take one along for a dip in the sea
white water fish

A Country Fare Christmas

The upcoming Festive Season allows many of Stanford’s restaurants the opportunity to put their best foot forward with innovative Christmas Menus and merry delights. This also highlights what is, for many Stanford food creators and lovers alike, the philosophy of food itself – from farm to table. Perhaps it’s the setting of the village that lends itself to this attitude – rolling farmlands and vineyards side by side, a quaint historic village boasting weekly fresh produce markets (both Graze Slow Food Café’s Wednesday morning market, and the Saturday morning market on the stoep of the Stanford Hotel are great for weekly greens and delights), and a monthly Stanford Sunset Market that also tickles taste buds.

Many local wine farms are also represented at the market so guests looking to explore the flavours before heading out to the farms can do so on the village green each month. A group of foodies have formed a collective called the Stanford Food Heroes, who work to promote and “increase community access to fresh, sustainably-grown foods.” Members can be spotted at the Saturday Morning Market or contacted via their website.

There is no shortage of restaurants in Stanford – here you have lots of options ranging from a quaint coffee shop to award-winning country restaurants in the middle of ‘suburbia’, or a lazy lunch at one of the nearby vineyards or farm-style restaurants. On the road leading out of Stanford towards the beach you can find a Michelin-star chef’s restaurant, and beyond that, a daytime café on the banks of the Hermanus Lagoon. No matter the location, farm fresh produce, with a small footprint, is top of mind for many of the village’s dining establishments.

Food should be fresh, plentiful and shared at a table with lots of laughter, friends, family and wine. – Jami of The Tasting Room, Stanford Hills

Join the merriment this Christmas with the villagers of Stanford and dine on local cuisine while soaking up the sights and sounds of one of the Overberg’s best-loved villages. Read about Christmas specials HERE.

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Stanford Wine Route is open

This September the wineries in the Stanford region had the privilege of launching their very own, now publically recognized, Stanford Wine Route. The 8 farms that form the Stanford Wine Route are Boschrivier, Misty Mountains Estate, Raka Wines, Sir Robert Stanford Estate, Springfontein, Stanford Hills, Walker Bay Vineyards and Vaalvlei. They pulled out all the stops to showcase what they had to offer in a 3-day long media launch. With the financial assistance provided by the Overstrand Municipality, for which the Wine Route members are deeply grateful, the launch was a roaring success.

by Lela Stubbs Continue reading

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10 Things to do in Stanford with the kids

Stanford is a wonderful family destination which is only two hours drive from the Mother City, and those lucky enough to have shrugged off city life for country simplicity are happy to share the secret good life with visitors.

by Philippa Murray

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Mathilda and her grandchildren in her garden in Longmarket Street.
(photo published in Portrait of a Village by Annalize Mouton)