Fairview Homestead | Philda Benkenstein
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My Guest House Life / 01.07.2016

Our children were all three still in primary school when we moved into Fairview. Within months I received my first paying guest and our children  had to learn a new set of rules: ask before you take fruit out of the fruit bowl, tell me when you finish the juice or milk, no sport equipment lying around,  no loud music, no loud shouting and the one that drove them to distraction -  no telephone calls on my dedicated guest house telephone number! This was prior mobile telephones and even though we had a private number too, their friends would phone on the guest house number and that would not be tolerated as their teenage calls could go on for hours.

My Guest House Life / 18.05.2016

Even in the midst of winter we have green lawns and flowers to brighten the garden. It does look less luscious and green with many of the trees dropping their leaves, but there is still beauty to be enjoyed -  the winter bulbs, Arum Lilies,Irises and camellias are out in full bloom. Local photographer, Cathe Pienaar took these lovely photos of our winter garden.
Food and Feast / 29.12.2015

Because of the huge Australian Flowering Gum tree at the front of our property, the soil in those formal beds is dry and poor. That is why we have planted the hedges of Soutbos. We find that lavender can also cope with the soil and an added bonus is that it gives off the most amazing scent as you walk through the path toward the front door. There is such a lot to do with lavender flowers: I love making small posies using lavender and roses; I also tie small bunches on a ribbon and hang it in the wardrobes or I tie it around the bath taps and it gives off its perfume as the hot water runs over it. Ten sprigs of  lavender in about 500 gram of castor sugar gives you a delicious lavender sugar (I sprinkle it on French Toast which I then serve with bacon, garnished with a lavender flower) I also would like to share a recipe for Lavender Jelly:
My Guest House Life / 19.12.2015

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Twenty-one years ago, just before we bought Fairview, we made an offer on another heritage property in George, but the owner decided to withdraw Whispering Oaks from the market. We were quite heartbroken, but then we found Fairview - and the rest is history...

I am happy to announce that our daughter Nelleke and her husband Michael just bought Whispering Oaks!

Fairview Homestead / 02.08.2015

Some text obviously came from our website, but whoever wrote this definitely had to have stayed here - I wonder who?

Built in 1861, Fairview Historic Homestead has been sympathetically restored to its original Cape Georgian splendour, and invites guests to experience elegant accommodation in the heart of the Garden Route.

On arrival, the gardens make a spectacular first impression and are undoubtedly the showpiece of the property. Lovingly curated into a fairy-tale expanse of arches, flowerbeds, flowing lawns, water features and clipped hedges, this magnificent space will steal the hearts of all guests, whether they have an appreciation for gardening or not. The striking Georgian house fits beautifully into this pretty scene and has been furnished with a collection of antiques and artwork that, together with the high ceilings and wooden floors, perfectly capture the grace of old.

Fairview Homestead, My Guest House Life / 02.08.2015

This article, titled 'Paul Ash plays lord of the manor' appeared in the travel section of the Cape Times :

''I'm tired of boxy hotels, and I've had enough of drek little B&Bs owned by poxy, unhelpful pinch-faced landlords and stuffed with décor from hell. There, I've said it. Running a B&B should require a license, where applicants are subjected to the same rigorous scrutiny as those who wish to own automatic weapons. Sadly, that is not the case, which means I spend an inordinate amount of time sifting through the dross.

George, as you may well imagine, is overstocked with B&Bs. The town has more accommodation options than Jo'burg has Tuscan palazzos, so I was well pleased, on my very first troll of the web, to stumble across Fairview Homestead, a former farmhouse built some time after 1864 and sold to one Koos Stander in 1894. The family farmed apples and cattle until 1974, fending off the urban creep. Today, the homestead is an island of beauty in the middle of George's spreading metropolis.

Food and Feast / 28.01.2015

In the Western Cape, we eat kerrievis during Easter. If you are not as lucky as I am to be married to a fisherman and to have two sons and a son-in-law not too shabby with a fishing rod either, then hake from your fishmonger will have to do. Over the years I have tried many traditional recipes, but I promise you that we have now honed it down to the best.

Food and Feast / 23.01.2015

Both Desmond and I grew up with mothers who made Ginger beer and Grenadilla cordial as a summer cool drink. The drink was only allowed to brew to make it fizzy and non-alcoholic (although I do remember becoming quite tipsy once because I scoffed down the delicious swollen raisins that I was supposed to discard!) Desmond's mother often made Grenadilla Cordial and looking at our harvest this year the guests will be treated to Grenadilla cordial in a big way: For every 2 cups of Grenadilla pulp, you add the juice of 3 oranges and 1 lemon. Heat 3 cups of water and dissolve 2 cups of sugar to make a thin syrup. You then add the fruit to the syrup and bottle it. It is very good diluted with soda water and ice. And a shot of Vodka and a mint leave will turn it into a summer Cocktail!
My Guest House Life / 09.01.2015

The grounds on which Fairview stands was first registered in 1864 in the names of Messrs. Swemmer and Meyer, directors of the first bank in George. When these two gentlemen found themselves in financial difficulty in 1894, they sold the farm to Koos and Miems Stander. The Standers had sold their...

My Guest House Life / 05.11.2014

 

It is countdown to the annual Garden Route Open Garden Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Desmond is gardening before work and I hardly get greeted before he is off into the garden again after work (he jokes that he actually goes to rest in his air conditioned medical practice during the day as the real work starts when he gets home!)All the hard work shows - our garden is looking spectacular. I am excited about a little collaboration with Of the Earth Catering  -  delicious French pastries and healthy lunches will be served at Fairview Historic Homestead's Pop-up Tea Garden.