I’ve often written in these columns about the stunning natural beauty and the wonderful setting that truly marks our village as a top destination in the Western Cape. But there is an often-overlooked aspect of Stanford that should really be mentioned as an attraction in its own right. The best thing about Stanford is the locals.

It’s the people who live here who really make Stanford the charming, atmospheric, warm and inviting place that it is. I have been living here now for two years and am still surprised and delighted at the many colourful characters I meet every day, who have made their home here. Stanfordians look like your every day folk, but sit down with them for a cup of coffee and you’ll be amazed at the incredible life stories they relate.

I have never seen a more eclectic group of people in such close vicinity, except perhaps on the London Underground. In this little old melting pot there are retirees from high-powered corporate careers who have now chosen tranquil Stanford as their home. There are previously city-slickers who wanted to raise their children free-range and many opt to home school. And then there are the creative and talented artists, writers, poets and musicians who have found that Stanford gives them the perfect space and freedom to live and create. Last but certainly not least are the practical farmers who just shake their heads at the whole lot!

If you haven’t visited us yet, you should come to Stanford and meet a local! TheOverbergers are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and can spend the good part of an hour giving directions and getting sidetracked with a story about how they once got lost in the Amazon.

There are lots of opportunities to meet the locals. The Saturday morning market is the perfect place to meet them, or breakfast on a Saturday morning at one of the delightful coffee shops. Later one, you can find them at the local watering holes orwalking their dogs along the Wandelpad. Join the crazy Stanford twitchers on Friday, 31 July, for the Blue Moon Birding outing where they will be birding by moonlight.

Enter our Woman’s Day Competition here and you could win two mains at Havercroft’s Restaurant, run by our much-loved eccentric locals. Havercroft’srestaurant proudly held the number one position on Tripadvisor in the Western Cape for over 12 months, recently moving into second position, graciously handing over the baton to another of Stanford’s expert foodies, Springfontein Eats.

And we’ve just had some great news. Stanford Classics is back on Friday, 4 September with another stunning performance in the NG Church. Book your tickets now and make a weekend of it.

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