For collection or delivery?

Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, Stanford’s selection of fabulous restaurants have only been able to either home deliver your meal order, or, more recently, make your take-away order available for collection. And the senses cannot but be tempted with the delights and variations of fresh produce meals on offer. Not only that, Stanford’s gorgeous cool climate wine route has been littered with specials …

Table 13 – Pizza Delivery/Take-Aways – 082 344 7012

Jolly Rooster – Delivery/Take-Aways PLUS spirit range on days/times permitted – 076 320 3092

Mosaic Lagoon Lodge – Family size meal deliveries – 072 172 9545

Zesty Lemon – Delivery/Take-Aways – 082 405 1280

 

Misty Mountains Estate – Pizza Take-Aways PLUS gin and wine range on days/times permitted – info@mistymountains.co.za or 082 973 5943

Madre’s Restaurant – early morning coffee and other delicious treat take-aways from the restaurant stoep – 082 901 4254

Ou Meul – Take-Away Bootlegger Coffees, baked breads and other favourites – stanford@oumeul.co.za or 028 341 0101

Stanford Valley Farm Manor House Restaurant – Take-Away contemporary country meal, or make yourself at home anywhere on our 480-hectare farm for lunch with a view – info@stanfordvalley.co.za or 072 198 0862

The Tasting Room, Stanford Hills Estate – Take-Away morning coffee and breakfast and lunch menu including door to door flower delivery – 072 603 3521

Martin’s Deli – Martin’s Deli on the R43, Stanford remained open during lock-down as an essential food supplier offering Stanford locals ongoing supply of their favourite deli meats, spices, nuts, seeds and fresh produce, flowers and more from surrounding farm producers – 028 341 0337

Klein River Cheese – You can now order Klein River Cheese online for national delivery! www.kleinrivercheese.co.za or 028 341 0693

Food4Thought Community Project – Deliveries of Fresh Produce Boxes – 072 866 8685

 

Wine Estate specials in the Stanford area

Stanford Hills – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ cellar@stanfordhills.co.za or 072 603 3521

Walker Bay Estate and Birkenhead Brewery – Winery and Brewery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Currently running a promotional case special. Order @ admin@birkenhead.co.za or 028 341 0183

 

Raka Wine Estate – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ info@rakawine.co.z or visit www.rakashop.co.za

Lomond – Winery open Mon-Thurs 10-4pm. Also participated in virtual event 5-part series with Marine Big 5. Order @ info@lomond.co.za or visit https://www.lomond.co.za/shop/

Giant Periwinkle – Free deliveries nationwide and winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ info@giantperiwinkle or visit https://giantperiwinkle.co.za/order-wine

Welgesind Wine Estate – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Contact Chris @ 082 572 5856 or Amanda @ 082 536 0062

Misty Mountain Wine Estate – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ info@mistymountains.co.za

Vaalvlei Wines – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ info@vaalvlei.co.za

Springfontein Wine Estate – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ info@springfontein.co.za or https://www.springfontein.co.za/shop/

Boschrivier Wines – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ drnjtdevilliers@mweb.co.za or https://www.boschrivierwines.co.za/order/

Sir Robert Stanford Estate – Winery open Mon-Thurs 9-5pm. Order @ info@robertstanford.co.za

The Small Village with the Big Heart

Community support, selfless volunteering of time and effort, generous donations, simple consideration for the wellbeing of others and ingenuity. This is the thread that runs through Stanford Village. So this is what Stanford Village has been up too since the impact of COVID-19.

Stanford Village Foundation, Stanford Rotary and Food4Thought Food relief scheme

These three foundations have been working in collaboration from the outset of lockdown, 27 March 2020 to relieve the reality of food shortages in the Stanford South Community. Food parcels were originally compiled of staple food items from funds generously donated by private individuals and companies. These food parcels (design to feed a small family for a week) were distributed within the poorer community, in alliance with community leaders, in order to ensure fairness. 390 food parcels for example were distributed on 30 April, the last day of hard lockdown alleviating hunger for 1500+ individuals.

Since the commencement of Phase 4, the focus has shifted, concentrating on a ‘Food Bank’ supplementing the municipal food kitchens operating both from the Universals Rugby Club and the Stanford taxi rank. Funds donated have also been used to set up additional daily (7 days/week) food kitchens at Die Kop and Thembelishle (Blombos, Compacta and Melkhout streets).

The ‘Food Bank’ is an extension of the food procurement and storage system set up in the initial 21 day hard lockdown and continues to be coordinated by the Stanford Village Foundation. The Food Bank offers support to food kitchens managed through Food4Thought and Stanford Rotary as well as supplementing the Overstrand Municipality’s efforts in Stanford. The Stanford Village Foundation is assisting Food4Thought with stock control, negotiating food prices and the timely ordering of stock. This helps to ensure that this complex operation runs as smoothly as possible.

Donations have made this possible and heartfelt appreciation must go to every individual and organisation that have reached out. Without this generosity the far-reaching response to flatten the hunger curve would not be possible. The joint effort of the municipality, Rotary and Food4Thought means that at least 1 500 people are fed daily. The vegetable garden at Die Kop provides organic vegetables to the kitchens over and above those purchased with donations. These food kitchens, assisted by chefs from Springfontein Eats, are open to EVERYONE in the community, which also includes the foreigners living in Stanford.

“The support from the entire village since lockdown has been incredible. We cannot thank you enough.” – The Stanford Village Foundation.

 

Feeding Station

Antjies Handmade Naturals – Public Hand Wash Station

A public vintage porcelain hand washing basin together with a supply of hand soap was installed by Antjies Handmade Naturals in Queen Victoria Street, Stanford, for any passers-by who feel they might need a hand wash en-route. Complimenting the basin, a purpose plumbed tap was installed and sponsored by Plumbtec. Outside of all the lovely smelly soaps and luxury bathroom supplies, Antjies has turned their attention since the advent of COVID-19 to manufacturing and supplying household cleaning products, face masks and sanitisers (both liquid and gel formats).

Antjies and wash station on Queen Victoria Street, Stanford

Kiwinet

During these uncertain times, Kiwinet partnered with talented artist Liezl Franken, producing and distributing masks to help slow the spread of COVID 19 under the banner Do Good Feel Good.

The masks are made with 3 layers of fabric, a soft inner cotton layer and an identifiable outer layer to ensure one wears it the right way around! They are made by local seamstresses and tailors either at Kiwinet or at their own home – thereby providing an ongoing income to staff and community by extension. Kiwinet have donated hundreds of masks to the community to date and will continue to do so both within the Stanford and Gansbaai clinics as well as the many soup kitchens.

Donations are welcomed by Kiwinet as there are still many less fortunate people in the local community that require masks but who cannot afford them. Please contact Kiwinet directly – popup@kiwinet.co.za or Liezl – liezlfranken@gmail.com  to order your mask or to help donate.

This is their story on Youtube.

Kiwinet have extended their production line to the public too, selling their masks Plain masks (retailing at R25.00) and Shweshwe masks (retailing at R50.00). They are available at the Kiwinet shop on Daneel Street, Stanford.

 

Fynbos Distillery

Just before lockdown, Stanford’s local distillery, The Jolly Rooster, turned their production line from white spirit distillation to hand sanitiser. Their bottled hand sanitisers are available at the OK Minimark, Daneel Street, Stanford, and refills can be obtained at Martin’s Deli on the R43, Stanford. Jolly good news for all locals and passers-by.

Hand Sanitiser

 

Some worthwhile local causes to get involved with or support with donations during this trying time:

Food Parcel Schemes in Stanford:

The Foundation is a Public Benefit Organisation (Non-profit Company) with the aim to facilitate and coordinate projects and programmes that will benefit the entire Stanford community and ensure overarching sustainability

Contact: 028 341 0430

Stanford Rotary:

Situated in the Overstrand area of the Western Cape, our small Club consists of 10 members and is active with Soup Kitchens, Swap Shops, Winter Warmth and Youth/Early Childhood Development Projects.

Contact: stanford@rotaryclub.org.za

 Food4Thought:

Food 4 Thought Community Projects NPC, runs a successful
and well-loved Xhosa pre-school in Stanford, Western Cape, South Africa.

We are an early child development (ECD) school for children aged 3 to 6 years old.
Our language of tuition is IsiXhosa. We also encourage the use of English as a second language.
Our day starts at 7.00am and the children go home at 4.00pm.
We feed breakfast, lunch and snacks.
We provide safe transport to and from school.
We teach using a curriculum accredited by the South African government.

Contact: food4thoughtstanford@gmail.com

Creative Works:

Creative Works aims to promote a nurturing, safe and stimulating environment for children and young adults to explore their creative potential

Contact: regina@creativeskillsfactory.co.za

Children’s Book Network:

Children’s Book Network (CBN) was founded by Gçina Mhlophe, Lesley Beake & Sindiwe Magona. Our purpose is to bring books to children and children to books.

Contact: info@childrensbook.co.za

Animal Welfare:

SAWS aka Stanford Animal Welfare Society are a group of voluntary Stanford citizens that devote our time to save and help our unprivileged Stanford animals.

Contact: mailto:sawsstanford@gmail.com

Meandering uncertain waters

Over the past few weeks, many of us have been wondering how Tourism in South Africa, and more specifically, Stanford, is planning to navigate the impact of COVID-19. It is difficult to forecast, but we can possibly scenario plan.

Of course, uncertainty lies ahead, which makes engaging and communicating with our partners, industry experts, members and associations is key as we scenario plan looking forward. Our primary market (overseas) continues to see exponential growth in infections and in all instances, the recovery of the tourism industry is entirely dependent on the reopening of all borders (theirs as well as ours) and the resumption of international flights once again.

We are aware that Tourism is the game-changer in our country for both community upliftment as well as wildlife protection. Tourism recovery therefore needs to spearhead any recovery plan. The chain of businesses that support tourism (travel agencies, tour operators, activity owners and accommodation and food providers) therefore need to ensure that they survive the immediate rough road in order to entice the return of travel demand in South Africa asap.

The impact that this pandemic will have on our interconnected industry has to be understood from a few viewpoints looking forward:

Possible vaccination

  • As we’ve read, clinical trials are under way, but it is estimated that a vaccine may not be available for another 12-18 months. With such a high infection rate of the disease, ongoing, intermittent lockdowns could possibly become a norm in order to assist the health providers in coping with the load.

Opening of international borders

  • For our source markets to return, three things need to be in place: healthy travellers (our source markets however have the highest rate of infections), those with disposable income (all economies are taking a hit which will impact directly on individual disposable income), and international flights back in operation (good news … Emirates have just launched a rapid COVID-19 on-site passenger test program using finger prick blood testing and pre-flight testing will become the norm moving forward)
  • A plus for consideration however …. because our source market’s personal spending has been physically constrained (as ours have during lockdown), disposable income may be less impacted than initially thought, which could drive recovery demand for travel post the initial crisis.

SA’s potential to re-open and welcome tourists

  • Because of South Africa’s quick acting and decisive leadership (speared due to the vulnerability of a large number of our population), the slow uptake of infections and the lull in the projected curve (possibly due to the current BCG programs in South Africa), together with aggressive door-to-door contact trace testing, we can be cautiously optimistic that containment will not reach the explosive scale of the slower acting source markets we rely on, launching South Africa to the top of the list as a destination market when travel opportunities do return.

Interdependence between the tourism industry pillars

  • Flights: both regional and international routes will return slowly based solely on confidence in control of the virus by both airlines AND governments as ‘business returns to normal’
  • Tour operators: those offering the full package from flight to activity to accommodation, have been encouraged to practise postponement rather than cancellation (you’ve all seen the #postponedontcancel campaigns) in as many cases as possible, providing a measure of belief that travel will pick up more rapidly post crises than if new business were to be sought from scratch after travel restrictions are lifted, thereby providing an initial pipeline of business as travel confidence and health reassurance (from both airlines and governments as per above) picks up again over a projected 6-12 month lead time.
  • Accommodation and Activities: until the above two travel market suppliers are once again operating, we must rely on local and regional markets in the Western Cape for heads in beds and feet at our establishments. Pricing restructure is going to be key in this instance, together with COVID-19 safety measure reassurance to visitors, to entice local market travel to start the travel wave once again, and in time, due to our weaker (in this case, therefore more appealing) emerging market currency, possibly appeal to the international market sooner than others.

As we have all felt so longingly during lockdown, our desire to connect with both nature AND our fellow human beings is strong and runs to the core of human nature. This need for connectedness will drive travel tourism once again. It will be back. They will be back.

In the meantime however, our step up (individual, business as well as government) to support those in need during this crisis further emphasises the connection between tourism and poverty alleviation as well as education and wildlife preservation for which our future visitors will feel further motivated in support of when considering travel to South Africa once again.

 

So get involved.

Do what you can to help in the meantime.

We can only get through this by helping one another.

 

Some worthwhile local causes to get involved with or support through donations at this time:

Food Parcel Schemes in Stanfordhttps://www.facebook.com/Stanford-Village-Foundation-109780980691328/

The Foundation is a Public Benefit Organisation (Non-profit Company) with the aim to facilitate and coordinate projects and programmes that will benefit the entire Stanford community and ensure overarching sustainability

Contact: 028 341 0430

Stanford Rotary: https://www.facebook.com/groups/130813770283217/

Situated in the Overstrand area of the Western Cape, our small Club consists of 10 members and is active with Soup Kitchens, Swap Shops, Winter Warmth and Youth/Early Childhood Development Projects.

Contact: stanford@rotaryclub.org.za

Food4Thought: https://www.facebook.com/food4thoughtstanford/

Food 4 Thought Community Projects NPC, runs a successful
and well-loved Xhosa pre-school in Stanford, Western Cape, South Africa.

We are an early child development (ECD) school for children aged 3 to 6 years old.
Our language of tuition is IsiXhosa. We also encourage the use of English as a second language.
Our day starts at 7.00am and the children go home at 4.00pm.
We feed breakfast, lunch and snacks.
We provide safe transport to and from school.
We teach using a curriculum accredited by the South African government.

Contact: food4thoughtstanford@gmail.com

Creative Works: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeWorksSA/

Creative Works aims to promote a nurturing, safe and stimulating environment for children and young adults to explore their creative potential

Contact: regina@creativeskillsfactory.co.za

Children’s Book Network: https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensBook/

Children’s Book Network (CBN) was founded by Gçina Mhlophe, Lesley Beake & Sindiwe Magona. Our purpose is to bring books to children and children to books.

Contact: info@childrensbook.co.za

Animal Welfare: https://www.facebook.com/StanfordAnimalWelfareSociety/

SAWS aka Stanford Animal Welfare Society are a group of voluntary Stanford citizens that devote our time to save and help our unprivileged Stanford animals.

Contact: mailto:sawsstanford@gmail.com

Image

Finding Positivity

We’re all filled with feelings of confusion, concern and uncertainty of what to do not to mention general anxiety since Coronavirus COVID-19 burst onto the scene! Our norm is no more our reality and everything is rather surreal at the moment, filled with uncertainty and crazy scenes like bulk buying – directly from out of what seems like a sci fi movie. The recent government mandate for lockdown has been a tad overwhelming, there’s no denying it, especially if you’re the type that loves to be out and about. Cabin fever is real, together with the threat of failing businesses and peoples livelihoods being directly affected.

HOWEVER, we need to reflect and focus on the POSITIVES, to make the most of the downtime … not only is it for the greater good of all, but by doing our bit for our families, our community, our planet, a lot more good can come out of it. We live in a world where we have become far too busy, our diaries (and those of our children) are constantly jam packed, we’re working too hard and stress and exhaustion is real. So back to the positive … we should see this forced downtime to have quality time with our families, to be creative together, to get around to sorting out our cupboards, decluttering for charity, get around to those shelved projects, cook and bake, play board games, have evenings of long conversation with those significant others, instead of either rushing to another social engagement or feeling too exhausted to connect with those nearest and dearest. Exercise … go for long walks, take in the sunsets and picnic on the beach. We just need to get more inventive and creative during this enforced down time. And who knows, perhaps these practises will then become our new norm.

∼ Mother Earth too needs this time to recover ∼

So while we are extra vigilant for our families and have empathy for those who have been affected so far or will be in future, let us do our bit and make the most of this down time and see the positives it can bring. Focus on the most important things – health and wellbeing of our families and everyone including Mother Nature to take this time to recharge. For now, take care, stay safe and let’s face these new challenges both collectively and with positivity. With love, Stanford Tourism Manager

Home deliveries and online orders in our area have been set up to make things simpler for us during these trying times. Take advantage of these fabulous adaptive initiatives by our local businesses …

And of course … don’t forget to wash your hands and not to touch your face …

 

 

The Stanford Wine Route’s Harvest in Pictures

It’s #Harvest2020 time and the members of the Stanford Wine Route have been hard at work harvesting their yields to make more of the amazing cool climate wines visitors to our region have come to love.

Did you know that South Africa ranks 9th amongst the biggest wine producing countries in the world? (source) It goes without saying that wine tourism is an integral part of the South African Experience for visitors – and the 8 members of the Stanford Wine Route are certainly playing their part in delivering some innovative and award winning wines into the mix. Along with the wines themselves, tasting experiences coupled with country restaurants and kid-friendly facilities at many of the venues adds to the appeal of the still fledgling route, now entering its 5th year.

“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.”

– Michael Broadbent, British wine writer (1927–)

Let’s take a peek behind the scenes at this year’s harvest via Instagram:

 

Come for the day, stay for the weekend, explore during school holidays or pool your leave for Christmas – it’s not a question of “if” you need to come stay and explore the Stanford Wine Route, but “when”. Cheers!

Do you have a favourite Stanford wine? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram the next time you open a bottle of Stanford’s best – #visitstanford

“With wine and hope, anything is possible.

– Spanish proverb

Find out more about the Stanford Wine Route < HERE >

 

 

 

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Written By Rishi, Goodwill Mountain Farm

 

In Stanford, life is lived close to nature.

We are farmers and gardeners, dog-walkers and mountain-bikers, tree-huggers and flower-smellers. Our intention to live sustainably is a natural extension of our love and enjoyment of the environment that surrounds us. As a visitor, you can experience this by eating a farm-to-table meal, buying hand-made crafts at our markets or meandering through town and peeking in on the many vegetable patches and worm farms that adorn the gardens of the residents. But did you know that Stanford and surrounds is also home to a good handful of reforestation projects? Throughout our beautiful valley, an increasing number of farm owners, organizations and individuals are joining hands to clear alien vegetation and plant indigenous trees, pledging to conserve and protect their young forests for years to come.

This is great news for many reasons. As we face global and local challenges of rising temperatures, loss of biodiversity and desertification, it is becoming ever clearer that we as humans need to act quickly and efficiently to not only mitigate but in fact reverse our negative impact on the environment. And while we are often told about what to do less of – using plastic, flying and eating meat for instance – planting trees is one of the things we can and should be doing much more of.

So why should we plant trees? One of the main reasons is for carbon sequestration. Whereas an average South African will be responsible for 9 tonnes of carbon being emitted per year, an average tree will sequester about 20 kg per year. This means that only 450 trees being planted in your name could offset your carbon for the entire year! Carbon sequestration is only the first chapter of the feel-good story, however. Trees provide us oxygen, they create habitat for animals, insects and other plants and they are wonderful producers of topsoil; a resource that we are losing at an alarming rate both locally and globally. Furthermore, by planting a tree we align ourselves with something far greater than us: by pouring physical effort and personal intention into something that will outlive us, we enter a kind of immortality. When we join with the network of a forest, in which no single element or function can stand alone, we are reminded that we, too, are never alone, but part of a greater whole.

One of our local projects, Trees for Tourism, is a wonderful example of this. An initiative of the non-profit organization South African Reforestation Trust, it brings the whole community together as it acts as a platform for various stakeholders to plant and extend indigenous forest eco-systems. Trees are funded through donations and planted on private properties where the landowners have committed to clearing, reforesting and protecting demarcated sites. Local businesses and organizations, such as Graze Café and African Horse Company among others, have joined as partners and ‘sell’ trees that will be planted out on various sites. One of these sites is located on Goodwill Mountain Farm – a permaculture community, guest farm and retreat where residents and volunteers work together to rehabilitate an invasive forest. Guests are invited to join weekly alien clearing efforts and events are hosted to raise funds for trees. Other forest sites include Farm 215 and Klein River Cheese Farm, where tourism activities and care for the environment go hand in hand in similar ways. To date, Trees for Tourism has planted 16,137 trees at their various sites with the help of donations from locals and visitors alike, showing that we can achieve so much when we come together as a community.

 

Similarly, forest projects at Bodhi Khaya and Platbos also offer visitors the opportunity to get involved. When donating to the newly started project at Bodhi Khaya, one can choose between several packages. Some of these even include other benefits such as accommodation, long-term memberships and donations to the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. At Platbos, the project is unique in that the site is an ancient indigenous forest being expanded, rather than a disturbed area being regenerated. Here in Africa’s most southernmost forest, some trees are estimated to be over 1000 years which, when experienced first-hand, gives one a true sense of the immortal nature of the work being done.

 

Working with the land is not a simple or linear process. A forest, or any piece of wild nature, is comprised of a myriad of connections between different elements, so it makes perfect sense that we organize ourselves in a similar way when attempting to rehabilitate these systems. All the projects mentioned have one thing in common: they leverage the energy of tourism inflow into our area to create a more sustainable future. As a member of the tourism sector, this makes it so that conservation and rehabilitation are part and parcel of running a business, rather than a mere activity on the side. As a visitor, it gives a cohesive experience of the place one is visiting. Rather than seeing just the polished façade, by donating a tree or lending a hand, one is directly in touch with the fundamental workings of that place. Imagine how exciting it is to leave that place even better than how you found it!

Where and how to get involved:

https://saforesttrust.com/

https://www.goodwillmountain.com/

http://www.platbos.co.za/index.html

https://www.bodhikhaya.com/important-initiatives

https://www.stanfordconservationtrust.org.za/

Overberg’s Hidden Gems Revealed by Stanford MTB Classic

The 2020 Stanford MTB Classic, an Overberg MTB Events race, is set to take place on the 29th of February and 1st of March this year. In order to ensure that newcomers and returning riders alike are treated to a spectacular weekend of mountain biking the event’s route has been revamped. It now boasts more singletrack than ever and more opportunities to immerse oneself in the stunning Stanford Valley Guest Farm and Paardenberg surrounds.

 

Offering two days of riding, with a longer (±50 kilometres) and a shorter (±25 kilometres) route options, the Stanford MTB Classic is the perfect active family getaway. Located just 155 kilometres from the Cape Town city centre the race village is an easy Friday afternoon drive away. All entry options include lunches at the Stanford Valley Guest Farm race village and accommodation be can booked separately through Stanford Tourism.

The Stanford Valley Guest Farm and Paardenberg farms have been building new singletracks at a frantic pace since to 2019 Stanford MTB Classic to ensure the riding is better than ever in 2020. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Off the bike the atmosphere is one of relaxed country life. The vast lawns of the race village are dotted with oaks under which riders can unwind in the shade post-stage, sharing stories from the trails or revelling in their shared love of the outdoors. Family members are welcome too with extra meal tickets available to purchase for non-riders. Alternatively, tables can be booked at the venue’s Manor House restaurant; allowing supporters to relax in comfort over a scrumptious meal and a glass of award-winning local wine while the mountain bikers take on the trails. As well as being open for lunches throughout the race, the Manor House will also be open for pre-race breakfasts and sunset dinners.

 

On the bike the riding at the Stanford MTB Classic has been refined. The opening day now features a 40-kilometre loop, which takes in 630 metres of climbing. It starts at Stanford Valley Guest Farm, before heading south towards Óak Grove Farm and the first of the event’s Strava sections, Lucerne Sea. After passing through the Vaalvlei vineyards the route turns towards Stanford itself, passing through the Sir Robert Stanford, Welgesind and Stanford Hills farms. From the highest reaches of their vineyards the valley floor spreads out in an emerald carpet to the south east, showcasing natural fynbos, flower farms and vineyards bordered by mountains to the north and low hills, which separate the valley from the ocean, to the south. After passing the high fences of Winding the route crosses the Kleinrivier and heads for home at the Stanford Valley Guest Farm. The day’s short route option is 27 kilometres in length.

Day 2 now starts with a climb which takes riders past the Stanford Valley Guest Farm dam and along a new singletrack to a spectacular view point. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Stage 2 is the race’s action-packed play day. On the Stanford Valley Guest Farm and Paardenberg farms in particular trail building has been taking place at a frantic pace since the 2019 Stanford MTB Classic. In 2020 it is 53 kilometres long and features 950 metres of climbing. Starting and finishing at Stanford Valley Guest Farm once again; Day 2 begins with a climb, turns left at Lucerne, and takes riders around the Stanford Valley Guest Farm dam and up the new singletrack to the bench. From there it flows down to the start of the new Slipstream singletrack which takes riders over three bridge crossings and snakes all the way up to the Beloftebos Bitterbal Bult singletrack. This features beautiful fynbos and rock formations overlooking Stanford Valley Guest Farm and the Raka wine farm. The trail drops towards Beloftebos to follow the Wabooms River. Skirting the Paardeberg farm lands the route loops south and then west, traversing the Hartebees and Protea Link singletracks on the way back to Stanford Valley Guest Farm.

The existing trails on the Paardenberg farm are still included in the event to ensure there are familiar favourites to reward returning riders. Photo by Oakpics.com.

“It is important for us to showcase the spectacular riding, in a region not traditionally associated with mountain biking” event director Anneke Jacobs explained. “Stanford Valley Guest Farm have put in an exceptional amount of work, building new trails, which mountain bikers will now be able to visit throughout the year. Permits to ride the trails can be purchased at Stanford Valley Guest Farm; which also boasts a restaurant which is open for breakfasts and lunches, as well as accommodation options. The Stanford MTB Classic is thus a first taste of the adventures the Stanford area offers and we hope that participants in the event return for weekends in the platteland later in the year.”

Each climb in the Stanford MTB Classic is well worth the effort as it provides rewards in the form of thrilling downhills and breath-taking views. Photo by Oakpics.com.

“The distances in the Stanford MTB Classic may be short” Jacobs continued. “But the terrain is deceptively tough at times. The longer route option is certainly not for inexperienced mountain bikers. We believe it is perfect though for long-time riders to take part in for the simple pleasure of riding their bikes and for experienced mountain bikers who have yet to take part in a multi-day race to experience their first stage race in. The short distance routes feature much of the longer route’s best scenery, but with less of the exertion. They are ideal for riders with competent bike handling skills but who find themselves short of the fitness required for a three hour, plus, ride.”

The new singletracks wind through pristine fynbos and marvellous sand stone formations. Photo by Oakpics.com.

The Stanford MTB Classic is not a race, in the traditional sense. Times are taken via Strava for designated sections on the route. Each day the man and woman with the fastest combined time for the day will be rewarded with a prize, as will the fastest man and woman, overall, after the two stages.

 

Entries to the event are open, and will remain so until Wednesday the 26th of February. Thereafter riders can enter at registration, but a late entry fee will apply. To enter the 2020 Stanford MTB Classic, which takes place from the 29th of February to the 1st of March, please visit www.stanfordmtbclassic.co.za.

Top 5 Reasons to say “I do” in Stanford

1. Local is very Lekker

Choosing to wed in a small hamlet like Stanford really does become a village affair. From food and wine sourced locally (think farm to fork options and homemade goods), a bouquet of Fynbos and Proteas (abundant in the winter/spring months), to opting for a local baker to design your cake, your wedding can have true country charm from the ground up. Artisanal products made by locals also make the perfect, authentic thank-you gift for guests. Hint: Visit Antjie’s for homemade soaps ideal as small tokens of appreciation or visit the Saturday Morning Market to enquire about homemade fudge or treats as gifts.

We challenge you to return home without knowing the names of your hosts’ dogs as well as three interesting facts about their venue or the village! You might even score one of their grandmothers’ jam recipes.

A gorgeous wedding cake by Caro of Divine by Design & Divine Cupcakes

 

2. Venues Accommodation options for almost every pocket

With a choice of venues and accommodation options scattered in and around the village of Stanford, couples can design their dream wedding according to their budgets. While some parties may choose to stay onsite at the location, the village also offers a number of more affordable overnight options for guests who would like to be close enough to the venue to walk, drive or shuttle to the location. Weddings out of season are also a popular choice for budget-conscious couples and thankfully Stanford’s a “go” all year round –

“In the past, a country wedding was reserved for spring or summer, but so many venues and establishments in and around Stanford have tented options and indoor facilities, so couples can plan a winter or autumn away wedding with confidence,” says Philippa Murray, a Stanford local and volunteer member of the Stanford Tourism Committee.

 

3. Gorgeous Backdrops for your Photographs

From the mountains to the water’s edge, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to wedding photography in and around the village. It’s probably pretty difficult to take a bad wedding photograph what with the abundance of scenery on offer. For some old-world charm, snap some of your photographs in front of some of the quaint heritage houses or Stanford’s oldest church – St Thomas Anglican Church.

 

Wedding alongside the Lagoon captured at Mosaic Private Sanctuary

Beautiful backdrops at White Water Farm

4. Kick off the Honeymoon right away

There’s no need to dash off to a remote destination when you’ve tied the knot in Stanford – you’re already surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty, fantastic food and wine, and plenty to do. Go horseriding on the beach, pamper yourselves at the Rain Milkwood Spa, book an exquisite lunch at Havercroft’s or slow it all right down and stroll hand-in-hand through the village admiring the architecture, wrap-around stoeps and the local wandelpad.

Local photographer Annalize Mouton captures weddings, matric farewells and other special occasions in and around Stanford with the village and river as ideal backdrops.

 

5. Spend quality time with friends and family

Destination weddings allow couples the opportunity to spend additional time with their guests, rather than trying to squeeze it all into one afternoon and evening. Meet up for a wine tasting the day before (Stanford boasts its very own wine route) or go on a cruise down the Klein River – a proudly-Stanford experience and a tourist favourite.

“There is so much on offer in Stanford, something for oldies, young children and families,” Murray says. “A wedding can be a whole weekend experience for guests, and it is a perfect place to come back to, so couples can relive their experience.”

Top wedding venue choices in and around Stanford include:

Reliable shuttle and transport options, including LesP Enterprises and Shuttle Service, for day-trips in the Overberg and along the Stanford Wine Route.

HOT TIP: For bachelor or bachelorette parties – try the area’s vibey wine farms and craft-beer breweries, such as the Jolly Rooster, Misty Mountains Estate, Birkenhead Brewery or Stanford Hills Estate.

 

Stanford: What’s in a name?

In Stanford we just love uncovering history – whether it’s a building’s architectural past, or something about its tenants, function or its geographical positioning. It comes with being a heritage village – we have a natural curiosity for ‘what was’, a curiosity we so enjoy sharing with visitors and friends of our little part of the Overberg. Let’s take a look at the origins of some of the names of establishments, wineries and natural gems in and around Stanford.


Did you know, Springfontein Wine Estate is named for a natural spring found on the property (responsible for keeping the 25 hectares of vineyards irrigated). Follow them on Instagram here.

Just down the road from Springfontein at Mosaic Private Sanctuary, the 1892 Spookhuis is named for well, yes, being haunted (Spook is the Afrikaans for ghost). Follow them on Instagram here.


Blue Gum Country Estate
owes its namesake to a 150-year old Blue Gum on the property. The estates farm roots date back to 1839. Follow them on Instagram here.

Platbos Forest . This ancient forest is named after the Afrikaans word for ‘flat forest or bush’ – when looking down on the property from an elevated road, the forest resembles a “flat green swath of fynbos”. Follow them on Instagram here.

Bodhi Khaya Retreat. A combination of the words enlightenment (or perhaps ‘awakening’ translates closer to the original meaning) coupled with the Zulu word for “home”. Follow them on Instagram here.

White Water Farm. If you think this name dates back to cascading waterfalls, think again. The farm’s chapel is “converted from the old distillery barn, where Witblits (a local liquor like Grappa) used to be made, hence the historic farm’s name – Witwater or White Water.” Follow them on Instagram here.

Bugler’s cottage in the heritage part of the village was one of the original labourer cottages on Sir Robert Stanford’s Farm. Dating back to the early 1860s, it “is the only cottage in Stanford that is still true to its original form, except for internal changes and the addition of a bathroom at the back.”

If you’re looking to supersize your historical knowledge on Stanford, pop into the Tourism Office for a copy of Historical Stanford on Foot (for just R10), then head on to one of our local wine farms and grab a few bottles of their finest, and you’re on your way to being the most interesting person at your next dinner party!

 

 

Hidden treasure and a fynbos adventure in Stanford

Stanford, the place where fynbos, family and freedom are abundant.

By this we mean the freedom to explore the vast landscapes we have filled with the most incredible display of indigenous fynbos.

Did you know that we are even fortunate enough to have two unique species of Fynbos, found nowhere else in the world: The Erica irregularis, growing on the foothills between Stanford and Gansbaai, a gorgeous pink species, and Erica aristata, growing on the Klein River Mountains between Hermanus and Stanford.

Erica aristata. Image: Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

So, what better excuse to gather family and friends and set out on a Fynbos adventure?

We start this series of exploration with a highlight on an activity that may entice even your tech-addicted teenager to join you in the fresh mountain air.

If you’ve never tried geocaching, or you’re looking to stay and explore Stanford’s newest hiking trail, crossing over the Klein River Mountains, pack your hiking boots and head to Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, a sho’t left from the historic village centre.

Adding to an already jam-packed list of activities and near-by attractions, Phillipskop Mountain Reserve’s new Haarkapper (Hair Cutter’s) Hiking Trail route connects the private reserve with Tesselaarsdal, nestled behind the Klein River Mountains, via Elzaksa Farm.

The Haarkapper Trail will take you over the Klein River Mountains. Image: Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

The unusual route name honours the weekly journey of the famous Tesselaarsdal barber, Jannie Willemse. Jannie was a farmer from the valley and walked 20 km over the mountains to Stanford every Saturday to cut the villagers’ hair.

The 15-km trail follows a figure-of-eight route, offering visitors the option of a longer fynbos-filled mountain hike, says Phillipskop Mountain Reserve owner and manager, Chris Whitehouse. “You can also hike just one way over the mountain if you arrange transport on the other side. Or enjoy a delicious lunch in the historic village of Tesselaarsdal at De Poskantoor (The Post Office),” he says.

Haarkapper Map courtesy of Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

The Haarkapper Hiking Trail is billed as “straightforward but still challenging for anyone with reasonable fitness”. There is an initial steep climb up from the reception at Phillipskop but, after that, the path takes a more gradual ascent towards the ridge before descending via Elzaksa Farm. The return climb follows the same route up the mountain as the 2017 Cape Epic bike ride. On a clear day, views stretch from Sir Lowry’s Pass across to the Langeberg above Swellendam.

“Beginning in 1926, Jannie did this walk every Saturday for over 20 years without fail, faithfully serving his Stanford customers, and clocking up 42,000 km on foot – more than the distance around the Earth,” Chris explains.

Caring for flora and fauna at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, a 246-hectare (608 acres) privately-owned property, is a labour of love for owner couple, Chris and Anna. English-born, the married pair both completed their doctoral degrees in South Africa – Anna, a Zoologist, specialising in the study of the Addo elephants, and Chris, a botanist who qualified at the University of Cape Town.

Anna and Chris, who have three young sons and bought the farm four years ago, converting the chalets to self-catering accommodation and creating activities to get guests out and exploring. On a hot day, cool off in the reserve’s lily pond or upstream in the Nerine mountain stream pool, visit the picnic tree and play on the rope swing.

More than 700 fynbos species have been identified on the reserve so far. Walking paths range from a four-kilometre picnic option to a six-kilometre route around Phillipskop peak. There’s also an eight-kilometre hike to the highest point on the property, Haarkapper Peak, or scramble up the shortest path to the summit of Phillipskop if you don’t mind a steep climb.

In 2016, ancient rock art was discovered in Phillipskop Cave, the only recorded rock art on the Cape Whale Coast. The site is open to the public.

In the rainy season, a small waterfall flows on the reserve, and there are a pair of fascinating rock stacks, which the family have called ‘David’ and ‘Goliath’.

“We produced a series of bi-monthly guides, which shows 20 common flowers of plants that guests will find on their route at that time of year. Even children can do it and love ticking them off!” adds Chris.

That’s just one way Phillipskop engages young explorers. There’s also geocaching – a GPS-enabled treasure hunt and international craze drawing millions of followers (called ‘geocachers’) around the world.

Using GPS technology, participants find their way to certain points around the reserve. At the location, a watertight plastic container is hidden, containing a logbook to record the finder/finders’ name and the date. A small trinket or souvenir is also hidden inside. If you decide to take anything away, participants must leave something of equal or greater value for the next person to discover.

Geocache box. Image: Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

“It has been interesting seeing the engagement,” says Chris, of the concept. “We aren’t avid geocachers ourselves. However, we set up a little loop with six geocaches on the trail via the waterfall and back via the rock stacks. The first day we made it live, two geocachers turned up within two hours in torrential rain.

“What we have found, is families come here, and they’ve never done geocaching before, but they love the experience,” he continues. “It used to be a bit ‘specialist’, and you needed a dedicated GPS unit, but, now, most smartphones have GPS.”

Chris says plenty of geocaches are hidden near Stanford, which opens up even more possibilities for hobbyists to explore more of the village and the Overberg region.

“If you say to the kids, ‘we’re going on a walk’, they might plod along. But, as soon as they’ve got an objective, they run on ahead… they want to get on and find the next one. They’ll want to visit David and Goliath because there is a geocache there. Families really enjoy that aspect.”

Day visitors are welcome at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve (conservation fee R40 per adult, R20 per child) and there are guided walks of approximately two-hours, from R125 per person (minimum four people). Gates open from 08h00 until 17h00.Due to the resident wildlife, dogs aren’t allowed on the reserve. You might see Klipspringer, Black Eagle, or baboons, and keep an eye out for leopard spoor on those trails!

To hike or trail run the new Haarkapper trail, permits need to be purchased in advance at https://www.phillipskop.co.za/permits. These cost R60 per adult and R40 per child under the age of 18.

For overnight stays, Phillipskop offers five self-catering chalets that sleep six adults comfortably in three separate bedrooms. Each unit has a large dining room and kitchen with a living area. Rates are from R1,400 for up to four people and R200 per person extra.

There are regular updates via the Phillipskop Facebook page (@Phillipskop). “We try and educate visitors about fynbos each month via our blog,” Chris adds.

Chris talks excitedly about the future of the business but, conservationists at heart, the family’s priority is clearly to maintain and care for the land. They aim to educate others about responsible fynbos management.

“Apathy is one of the biggest dangers to fynbos,” Chris maintains.

“In the past, fynbos was a self-sustaining ecosystem, but, because of invading alien plants, without correct management we will lose this amazing flora. A lot of what we do here is clearing alien vegetation from our property. We will never be totally clear, but we have made great progress since we arrived.”

For more information about Phillipskop’s range of activities, over-night accommodation and permits to explore the trails and new Haarkapper route, visit www.phillipskop.co.za. Share stories from your stay on Instagram (@PhillipskopSa), Twitter (@PhillipskopSA), and Pinterest (Phillipskop).