Winter is a very special time of year in this part of the world – not only are our hills covered with carpets of colourful fynbos flowers, site but our very beautiful Walker Bay becomes a vast playground for hundreds of Southern Right Whales (the above photo was captured by African Wings just recently). Every year, around June, these magnificent creatures start to arrive, one by one, and very soon newborn calves will be frolicking, and proud parent whales will be breaching. As we head into whale season things will start to get very busy around here, so plan your escape from the city now and spend a weekend with us enjoying all we have on offer.

With the school holidays coming soon, we have some great winter specials for you. Sit around the fireplace at night, play board games with the kids, go hiking or watch the whales just a few minutes’ drive from beautiful Stanford. The 16 June is Youth Day so why not make it a long weekend? Join us on the evening of 16 June for the opening of the Stanford Local Art Harvest, an art exhibition at Stanford Harvest which will run until 19 July.

With Father’s Day coming up why not treat Dad with a surprise weekend getaway. We are running a great Father’s Day Competition where and you can stand a chance to win a meal with Dad at The Vine Restaurant – just click here to enter because it will surely be a treat for any dad. Mosaic Lagoon Café also has a great Father’s Day lunch, check out their special for this day.

We have some great activities planned for the month. For your diaries – a note about an important annual Stanford ritual – on Saturday, 20 June, the annual Penguin Plunge will take place. On a day close to the winter solstice, the locals jump into the freezing river to raise money for charity. It’s a riotous and enjoyable event for the whole family, and Springfontein will be on hand with warming Gluhwein and hot chocolate. So you choose – are you Penguin, or are you Chicken?

Lastly, you are invited to join a house concert on 26 or 27 June with two outstanding musicians – Lara Kirsten, pianist and poet and Thomas de Bruin, flautist. This is a rare opportunity to hear these world class musicians perform in a warm, intimate setting – not to be missed!

That’s all for now, folks. And remember, if anyone asks where you got your news… tell them you heard it through the Grapevine!