Fairview Homestead | Blog
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The peppadews growing at Fairview self-seeds and we find ourselves in a constant supply of these deliciously piquant little peppers. The green shaped ones will all turn red at some stage – I quite like the look of a combination of green and red in one jar. I use it in omelets, pasta dishes, in salad and stuffed with creme cheese it makes a lovely snack served with an ice-cold beer. When we lived in Shoal Lake in Canada, I had a Ukranian neighbour (Baba Stech) who taught me a thing or two about pickling, but a word of special thanks have to go to David Elston who got the plants from us, but took the pickling process to the next level. I gladly share my recipe with you:

In July 2018, three days before my 60th birthday the green-fingered doctor became a patient. As I sat next to his bed in the intensive care unit, watching him fight for every breath, I knew that I had to do something about his garden.

I phoned a landscape designer, whom I knew he trusted, to come to Fairview and prune the roses, prune the trees, do whatever he thought necessary to ensure that the garden would be in shape for whenever Desmond would be discharged. Ten days in intensive care was followed by a six week recuperation period during which time he sat on the back porch, looking at his beloved garden and “gardening” by giving orders!

More than six cubic meters compost got worked into the soil, a new vegetable garden was planned, the raised beds built and the vegetables planted. Gradually he regained his strength and started physically gardening again.  This summer I can honestly say that our garden has never looked as good – and let’s face it, it has been pretty awesome all along.

Copyright ©       Philda Benkenstein    All Rights Reserved

When our children were still in school they formed a band and, as you know, a band needs to practice. When you grow up in a house that is your home as well as a guest house that proves to be a problem. Our children’s solution was to claim a small storeroom below the swimming pool as their little music den. They called it Shanty 21. I asked Alex: ‘why 21?’ and he answered: ‘ every abode needs a number…’ I suppose when you are 16 years old 21 sounds like a grand number to be. Shanty was kitted out with seating – discarded rickety chairs, logs covered with old carpets, lots of candles and cobwebs for ambiance – the perfect music den. The words ‘herein lie the sound of music’ were added next to the crude signage of ‘Shanty 21’.


We bought Fairview in 1994 and took up the challenge to restore this historic George landmark. People often express their surprise that we had the property listed immediately after we bought it. There is a general misconception that when you buy a heritage property you will not be allowed to alter your home or to add modern conveniences. Heritage properties adapted to modern-day function will ensure that they are preserved for future generations. Tips for living in a listed building:


George is renowned as the Western Cape’s Golf Capitol, with over 9 different golf courses within a  60 km radius of George.



Tell: 044 873 6116                                           info@georgegolfclub.co.za

The George Golf course is a beautifully manicured, 72 pars, 18-hole course, with bent greens


Tell: 086 172 7170

The Kingswood Golf Course consists of 18 holes over rolling fairways with undulating green


Tel: 044 804 0030                          golf@fancourt.co.za

Originally designed by Gary Player, Fancourt’s Montagu course has developed into one of the finest 18-hole parkland layouts


Tel: 044 804 0030                                golf@fancourt.co.za

Designed by Gary Player and named after the mountain range that forms its breath-taking backdrop, the course is pristinely conditioned to accommodate a large volume of players


Tel: 0448040844                                      thelinks@fancourt.co.za

Private membership to the Links Club affords the course and its facilities with a sense of exclusivity that befits a world-class golfing destination

  • GLENWOOD SHORT GOLF COURSE  Tel: 044 871 3656

Distances – 90m to 292m. Driving range


Tel: 044 851 1234

Ernie Ells course designed 18-hole championship golf course and driving range.




Tel: 044 691 2379

Designed by Bob Grimsdell that was built over a period of two years.

Mosselbay is an 18-hole, par 72, links-style golf course with a 71 rating.  Length: 5940m

  • PINNACLE POINTTel: 044 606 5300    enquiries@pinnaclepointestate.co.za

Designed by Peter Matkovich and 2011 Open Champion, Darren Clarke. In 2016, Pinnacle Point was named South Africa’s Best Golf Course at the 3rd Annual World Golf Awards and just received it’s 2017 nomination in the same category.

  • KNYSNA GOLF CLUB    TEL: 044 384 1150
  • PEZULA CHAMPION GOLF COURSE   TEL: 044 302 5307  18-hole golf course, designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA

TEL: 044 302 9600   Simola’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, 18 holes


TEL: 044 533 5082  Gary Player designed 72 pars, 18-holes


Copyright ©       Philda Benkenstein    All Rights Reserved

As a Guest House I joined   www.swopandstay.com  , which is a bartering group for accommodation providers – I love the look of the website and cannot wait to start swopping. Which brings me to the topic of my blogpost – why are we so adverse to bartering?

If there is one thing that gets me hot under the collar it is when a prospective guest wants to bargain me down.  In the winter it actually costs me more to run my guest house – the rooms need heaters, electric blankets and the linen have to be tumble dried- so why should I lower my rates in the off-season?  Is it even fair to lower my price and in that way take the business away from another establishment and forcing them to lower their rates to the point where it is actually costing them to fill their rooms? (I’m not exaggerating – I know of one B&B that cut her prices to the point where she was actually subsidizing the guests sleeping over – how crazy is that?)



Before starting my guest house blog I had planned to start a blog where a few guest house owners could share stories and recipes, but it turned out that I was the only one who ever posted!

Because I blog regularly I changed to a blog-based site, where my blog posts form an integral part of my website content. I have kept the Blogspot blogging going even after the development of my new blog-based guest house website as it attracts a different readership. I am still humbled by the number of people who read my blog posts – my monthly unique visitors are a constant surprise to me.


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.


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.