Kid friendly Stanford school holiday fun

With the school calendar turned topsy-turvey this year, holiday plans with the kids must have gone a-muddle. Never fear, Stanford is near. A gem of a village tucked between mountains and ocean, with a river running through it, this wonderful family destination (only two hours’ drive from Cape Town) has it all and more!

Full of good clean fresh air, clouds draping over the Klein River Mountains promising a beautiful warm day for morning strolls along the rivers’ edge, quiet streets for cycling and skateboards, and a leiwater system filled with evening platannas and the promise of wild, free and innocent old-fashioned childhoods that make country life for children sublime. This is what Stanford promises for family time:

  1. Cycle down a lane

Bring your bikes because there are many flat roads and gentle slopes to explore in Stanford. Cycling down to the King Street slipway is a favourite, and usually ends in an unplanned dip in the Klein River. Meander along the Wandelpad – a well maintained walk along the rivers edge under ancient milkwoods and towering blue gums where there are artistic treasures to be discovered. Or how about a leaf boat race down the village’s ancient leiwater system. At the top end of Queen Victoria you’ll find a secret BMX ramp track in amongst the blue towering gums. This is an excellent spot to while away an afternoon and from which to see and hear our local fish eagles.

  1. Go on a river cruise

There are a few boats from which to choose, depending on the size of your group. For smaller families the River Rat can handle two families for an afternoon braai and also hire out canoes for a bit of paddling fun in the sun. For multiple family get-togethers, the African Queen offers a gentle trundle down the river with a braai and inflatables for energetic kids and enthusiastic adults. And for the more sedate, the Lady Stanford. All possible to be booked at the Stanford Tourism Office.

  1. Have a low-key lunch just outside town

There are a few family-friendly places to eat in and around the village. The Tasting Room at Stanford Hills includes a play area, tame animals, kiddie’s menus and meals for adults. The Harvest Basket has picnic baskets which can accommodate children and has a farm atmosphere with sheep, while the Lagoon Cafe at Mosaic also has a light lunch menu and sprawling outdoor spaces shaded by ancient milkwoods which children love to climb. The Birkenhead Brewery on Walker Bay Wine Estate serves cheese and meat boards together with their beer and wine tasting offerings (while their restaurant is currently being renovated so what this space). They boast one of the best views of the Klein Rivier Mountains with loads of romping space for children. Mosaic Lagoon Lodge are running a ‘Mommy and Me’ Spa package for R750, and a ‘Daddy and Me’ Quad Biking package for R600. Book a lunch at this beautiful venue too and make a whole day of it! And lets not forget The Zesty Lemon which serves breakfast and lunch all weekend with a play area for kids ideally located on the other side of a beautiful lily pond.

  1. Picnic under a tree

If building your own picnic and finding a secret place is up your street, make sure you catch the Morning Market on the hotel stoep or the Stanford Junktique Market outside of the Stanford Tourism Office every Saturday morning for local produce and baked goods, hire a bike from the Stanford Tourism Office and tootle off down to the river banks of the Klein River on the north side of the village.

  1. Explore the heart of the village

Families love walking Queen Victoria Street on Saturday mornings. Many stoeps offer pop-up tables of fundraising food, like pannekoek for the NG Kerk, or boerewors rolls for the Junior School koshuis and of course, the much-loved rooster koek from Maryke at the Stanford Junktique Market.

  1. Play on the Market Square

This is the last untouched market square in South Africa and its geography in the centre of the village makes it perfect for bringing people together. Bring your own soccer ball or frisbee to make use of the space or come to one of the Sunset Evening Markets (last Friday of every month and if raining, at the Birkenhead Brewery). A small municipal children’s play park is also available on northern corner of the village green for younger children to enjoy.

  1. Birdwatching at Willem Appel Bird Hide

Pop into the Stanford Tourism Office and put down a deposit on the key to the bird hide. A short stroll to the hide in the morning or evening always grabs the attention of children who sit quietly for a few moments, watching moor hens, ducks and dragon flies darting over the water lilies.

  1. Visit the big cats at Panthera Africa

Families must book in advance but a visit to Panthera Africa just outside of town always moves visitors. The beauty and majesty of the rescued and retired big cats is a conservation lesson in itself. Kids are always excited to see lions, leopards, tigers and caracals up close.

  1. Take a flip with African Wings

A flight over Walker Bay in a small 4-seater aeroplane is a nerve-rattling experience for some but for others a splendid adventure. During whale season (July-Dec), African Wings guarantees sightings of whale pods, and sometimes even albino calf, shark and dolphin sightings are thrown in as added extras.

  1. Hike along Die Plaat

For those who like to keep their feet firmly on the ground, the Wortelgat road out to Die Plaat, part of the Walker Bay Conservancy, is a 15km drive to a beautiful untouched piece of wild coastline. You can slide down the dunes or watch the sun set over the backs of Southern Right whales. A 4×4 is necessary unless your family is happy to walk the last 2 kilometres.

Of course, there is lots more to do. There are friendly restaurants in town, and a couple of very fancy restaurants too, for which you may prefer to hire a babysitter to watch the kids. The Stanford Wine Route includes 9 fabulous estates surrounding Stanford. Our neighbouring villages also boast beautiful beaches, caves, hikes and restaurants. The whole Cape Whale Coast experience bursts with moments to treasure this time of year.

For the love of reading

There are so many organisations in Stanford doing good work that goes such a long way. This is just one of those stories that we trust you’ll enjoy.

Creative Works aims to promote a nurturing, safe and stimulating environment for children and young adults to explore their creative potential. The Creative Works project was founded in 2012 by Regina Broenner, a qualified Occupational Therapist who offered after school workshops in the local community with the support of David Krut Projects and local community mothers.

In collaboration with Star Literacy, they have started distributing their Small Book and Toy Libraries into the communities and to date, there are 7 boxes in homes in the streets of Stanford and Masakhane.

They are aiming to place one hundred of their libraries into the under-resourced communities in Stanford and Masakhane as well as in the farming communities of the general Overstrand region, as soon as possible.

Did you know, in 2016 (four years ago) the Overstrand statistics recorded 7,665 households reliant on free services and 20,410 children under the age of 14 years old, these figures do not include Masakhane.

This is really something to think about.

With Star Literacy, they have filled large boxes with educational books, puzzles and toys suitable for children from 5 to 13 years old and the custodians of their small mobile book and toy libraries are parents, caretakers, grandparents or young adults living in the streets of Stanford and Masakhane.
The custodians receive training on how to manage the mobile libraries and how to present the books and toys to the children to maximize the benefit to the children.

Children have started Reading Clubs. Here are 2 that have started up in Stanford.

They have also put copies of their Creative Skills Factory activity resources into each library for the children to borrow and enjoy the activities at home with their parents or caregivers.
Their resources are available to download and print from their website, www.creativeskillsfactory.co.za

Follows is a little story written by Ethan who lives in Stanford and one of the children who participated in the Creative Works activities every day during the COVID-19 Lock Down, we bring you a story.

Written at home by Ethan during Lock Down

THE RUBBISH!

Hundreds of people came to see the zoo each year.
When they left, there was always rubbish everywhere.
“Come on animals” said the Keeper, “time to clean the rubbish”.
The animals grumbled amongst themselves.
“Rubbish gives me a pain in the neck” said the girraffe.
“Rubbish gives me the humps” said the camel.
“Rubbish makes me hopping mad” the kangaroo replied.
“Rubbish drives me bananas” said the chimpanzee.
“It makes me squirm” said the snake.
“I can’t bear it” said the koala.
“You’re right” said the hookadaburro.
“It’s no laughing matter”
The Keeper heard the grumbling. “We’ve got a problem” he said, “but I don’t know how to fix it”.
The Keeper got some board and some paints and made a huge sign; “Don’t rubbish our zoo!!”

And with World Clean Up day on 19 September isn’t this just the most appropriate and relevant poem ever?!

During the month of July Creative Works handed out 1,571 activity packs to the children in our communities – 1,013 in Stanford and 558 in Masakhane.

These packs were handed out by their facilitators from their homes every day of the week and in the packs are activities specially prepared for the children to do safely in their own home.

Their amazing team: Tuliswa (Stanford), Bulelwa and Nombulelo (Masakhane), Nicole and Rachel (Stanford)

Donations of educational books, children’s story books, paper, crayons, puzzles and games for their libraries, anything you think a child would enjoy – would be greatly appreciated. Everything is appreciated and used!

Link: https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/creativeskillsfactory

Winter Line-Up

Well, that was an interesting last six month was it not? Thank goodness our tourism leisure travel business sector is starting to open up again both around the country but more specifically around the fabulous venues of Stanford Village and surrounds.

Hands up who is excited to finally be able to travel and book accommodation for leisure again as per latest level 3 intra-provincial travel permissions?

Winter is the ideal time to plan a getaway to Stanford and surrounds as a jewel nestled within the Cape Whale Coast. A mere 1.5h drive from the bustling city centre of Cape Town. Think crisp days spent hiking, strolling, or cycling fynbos flowering mountain ranges, whale watching our ocean swells at local whale watching spots or booking a river activity such as paddling or riverside picnicking. Our local restaurants will fill your tummies and are stocked up on non-alcoholic drinks since on-consumption sale of alcohol is still not permitted. Of course there is always the option of just curling up in some cosy local accommodation nook with a good book and an evening beside a warm fire. Only thing missing might be a glass or two from one of our local estates along the Stanford Wine Route.

If your cellar is in need of stocking up after several months of lockdown however, then the we’re happy to inform you that our wine route is open for orders and tasting. Wine Route details here. Snap up the chance to take advantage of some current local special offers and exclusive releases available for order right now.

The Stanford Wine Route Includes

Boschrivier Wines – R326: Contact drnjtdevilliers@mweb.co.za or visit www.boschrivierwines.co.za/
Misty Mountain Wine Estate – R43: Contact info@mistymountains.co.za or visit https://www.mistymountains.co.za/
Raka Wine Estate – R326: Contact info@rakawine.co.z or visit www.rakashop.co.za
Sir Robert Stanford Estate – R43/Old Akkedisberg Road: Contact info@robertstanford.co.za or visit www.robertstanfordestate.co.za/
Springfontein Wine Estate – Wortelgat Road: Contact info@springfontein.co.za or visit https://www.springfontein.co.za
Stanford Hills – Old Akkedisberg Road: Contact cellar@stanfordhills.co.za or 072 603 3521 or www.stanfordhills.co.za/
Vaalvlei Wines – Papiesvlei Road: Contact info@vaalvlei.co.za or visit www.vaalvlei.co.za/
Walker Bay Estate and Birkenhead Brewery – R326: Contact admin@birkenhead.co.za or 028 341 0183 or visit www.walkerbayestate.com or www.walkerbayestate.com/birkenheadbrewery
Welgesind Wine Estate – Old Akkedisberg Road: Contact Chris 082 572 5856 or Amanda @ 082 536 0062

There is so much to enjoy, both indoors and outdoors, at this time of year, that it may be worth putting aside the entire weekend … or perhaps even an additional day either side to make the most of the visit and fit in as much as possible.

Any assistance with what’s open and where to stay, our Stanford Tourism Office is always available to assist.

A little birdie once told me …

A little birdie once told me …

A walking tour around Stanford Village will reveal a wide variety of bird habitats right on its doorstep, offering those with a sense of curiosity in nature, a diverse and rewarding birding experience. Prime areas within the village confines are the Willem Appel Dam and the Wandelpad meandering along Stanford’s water courses.

Outlying areas include the Wortelgat Road, the Klein River Bird Sanctuary and the Akkedisberg Pass. The Willem Appel Dam Hide, right in the village centre, is best visited just after sunrise. Sighting specialities include Little Bittern, African Purple Swamphen, Black Crake, Malachite Kingfisher, Levaillant’s Cisticola and White-backed, African Black and White-faced ducks. The reed beds are a good place to look for Little Rush and Lesser Swamp Warbler, whilst Reed Cormorant roost in the dead trees. The picnic site under the Milkwoods on the opposite bank of the dam is a good spot to find forest species such as the elusive Knysna Woodpecker, Cape Batis, Southern Boubou, Fiscal and Paradise Flycatcher and Bar-throated Apalis. The area along the Mill Stream and Vlei Rd can reward the patient birder with Buffspotted Flufftail, its distinctive call drawing attention to its presence. The Willem Appel Dam has a floating island loved by birds. There are many opportunities for taking excellent photographs from the cover of the Bird Hide (keys available from the Stanford Tourism Office).

A further stroll along the Wandelpad provides excellent birding through a small Milkwood forest to the Klein River and along the river path. A variety of Weavers can be found in the reed beds. Sombre Greenbul is heard in the Milkwoods, along with Olive Woodpecker. Grey and Black-headed Herons roost in the blue gums and in summer the Paradise Flycatchers nest in the poplars.

Overhead, a wonderful variety of Swallows, Swifts and Martins hawk for food and raptors are numerous. These include African Harrier-hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Jackal and Common Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite and the ubiquitous African Fish Eagle — all can be found along the open stretch on the Wandelpad. A boat trip down the Klein River is a typical must for spotting a host of riverine species and the occasional special such as Honey Buzzard. Cape Siskin, a shy and elusive fynbos endemic, can usually be found in the Casuarina (Beefwood) avenue along the old Akkedisberg Road up to Stanford Hills Estate. If one continues along this road (in a high clearance vehicle) there are a number of fynbos species to be found; Orange-breasted Sunbird, Protea Seed-eater, Cape Sugarbird, Karoo Prinia and Cape Bunting are but a few. Wood Owl have been known to breed in the poplar thickets near the Klein River Cheese Factory. The surrounding farmlands are well stocked with Blue Crane and Denham’s Bustard and the endangered Black Harrier can usually be found quartering low-lying fynbos.

There are also a wide variety of day walking hikes available just outside the village from Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, Stanford Hills Estate and also from Vaalvlei Farm Estate which make for excellent bird watching. The Klein River Mountains and Akkedisberg Pass (on the R326) which follow the route of the river are home to many birds, and the farms along the Papiesvlei Road embrace outdoor life and nature. When the pristine fynbos is in flower late winter, the birdlife and insects, along with other natural wild inhabitants such as caracul, riverine hare, klipspringer, common duiker, cape bushbuck, honey badger, porcupine, wild cat, bat eared fox, cape fur fox and even the elusive leopard (if you’re one of the lucky ones) is a sight to behold.

For guided tours, access to the Willem Appel Hide and Klein River boat trips for you future visits, contact the Stanford Tourism Office Tel: 028 341 0340, email: ask@stanfordinfo.co.za, website: www.stanfordtourism.co.za.

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

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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 >

 

 

 

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.

 

Cheers to Whales!

The donning of jerseys and thicker socks marks more than the arrival of winter – it’s whale season and we invite you to combine the best of Stanford’s village atmosphere (think Victorian architecture, antique shopping, foodie hot spots, our own wine route, family fun destinations, river activities and outdoor fun) with whale spotting at our neighbours on the coast.

As the only inland destination on the Cape Whale Coast, Stanford’s body of celebrated water is the Klein River, and although you won’t find whales in her depths, Southern Right Whales can be spotted as close as a 20 minute drive from the village.

These magnificent annual visitors usually arrive around June and can stay as late as November, birthing their young and enjoying our warmer coast before heading home to sub-Antarctic waters. As they frolic and splash visitors flock to watch the spectacle, and who can blame them? The sight of a male Southern Right propelling himself out of the ocean and landing back with an almighty splash (called a breach) is a thrilling sight and kids love waving to the whales as a giant flipper waves back – an action known as pec-slapping.

Image and blog cover image via Cape Whale Coast.

Call ahead to local tourism offices like Kleinmond, Hermanus and Gansbaai, and easily reach wherever the whales are lolling and waving from Stanford. Land-based whale watching can be done at Die Plaat (Cape Nature) if you have a 4×4 or willing feet, or book a fatbike ride or Sundowner Beach trip with Mosaic Private Sanctuary. Many of the Stanford guesthouses and the Stanford Tourism office will help to make you a boat-based booking, or even pack you a picnic basket as you set out on your whale watching expedition. You could even pack your own picnic basket with goodies from the Saturday Morning Market, yum!

Stanford Saturday Morning Market Goodies. Image via: Stanford Saturday Morning Market Facebook

For a sure thing, book aerial whale watching with African Wings. For water-based whale watching, Ivanhoe Sea Safaris (from Gansbaai harbour) and Marine Dynamics (Kleinbaai) offer excellent, ethical whale trips, while many boat operators launch from the Hermanus New Harbour.

Last year’s Mammal Research Institute’s survey yielded some amazing results regarding whale numbers along our coastline, nearly three times the amount counted in 2017. With the impressive total between Hawston and Witsand exceeding 1000 (source), it’s good news for the species, which is recovering after heavy hunting in the 1900s.
Map data copyright 2019 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd – Google Maps

After time spent admiring the leviathans of the bay, unwind back in the village with a celebratory meal, beer or glass of wine and join us in saying Cheers to the Whales this winter! Share your adventures with us online #visitstanford. Stay snug and happy whale spotting!