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In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa – we found this wonderful property, first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends…

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engagement photo shoot in our garden

Posted by on May 9, 2015 in Garden | 0 comments

engagement photo shoot in our garden

Cathe Pienaar took these beautiful engagement photos in our garden last week – you have to agree with me that this  young photographer’s photos are  just beautiful: Share...

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Pickling Peppadews

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Food & Feast, Garden | 0 comments

Pickling Peppadews

      The peppadews growing at Fairview self-seeds and we find ourselves in 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 ice cold beer. When we lived in Shoal Lake in Canada, I had an Ukranian neighbour (Baba Stech) who taught me a thing or two about pickling, but a word of...

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a trip through Baviaanskloof

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in about my B&B life, Trips and Travel in South Africa | 0 comments

a trip through Baviaanskloof

Over Easter weekend 2015 we made use of the service of Locum Solutions (Sandra and Mullin de Placido tel 082 6999 271) to run our guest house and we joined Jannie and Thea Malherbe on a trip through the Baviaanskloof. The Malherbes own Futro Paints and have been our painters of choice for the last 20 years. Over the years we have developed a lovely friendship – cemented by the men’s love of fishing. We entered Baviaanskloof from Willomore; after a quick stop for coffee and cake at Sophie’s Choice. We stayed two nights at...

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networking over a cup of coffee

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in about my B&B life | 0 comments

networking over a cup of coffee

I organise networking get togethers on behalf of the local Outeniqua Tourism Association – for our March 2015 get together a few of my B&B friends accompanied me on a visit to the local coffee roasters who supply me with freshly ground coffee on a weekly basis. Root Coffee is a Micro Roastery in the heart of the Garden Route, run by husband and wife team Andre & Tanya Prins. They share a passion for great coffee, and have made it their goal to always supply the FRESHEST coffee, clearly stating the roasting date on the packs....

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Camino Frances – walking solo from St Jean to Santiago

Posted by on Mar 8, 2015 in To hike the Camino de Santiago | 0 comments

Camino Frances – walking solo from St Jean to Santiago

“I left thinking I knew who I was, only to return with the knowledge that I am so much more…” I started my first Camino on the 5th of  July 2005. Subsequently I have walked again in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014, covering sections of the Camino Francés, the Via Podiensis (the section from Le Puy en Velay to Moissac) and the whole of the Camino Portugués (from Lisbon to Santiago.) I flew with Ryan Air to Biarritz, then took the airport bus to Bayonne and from there the train to St Jean. Shockingly effortless! I was bowled over by the pretty...

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Hike while you can

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Reasons to stay a week!, To hike the Camino de Santiago | 0 comments

Hike while you can

Today I met a young man from George who is starting a new tourism venture: Outeniqua Mountain Trail Walks. Elton Olivier will take visitors to George on guided trail walks through the Outeniqua Mountains. His contact number is 0798539306 and email eltanolivier@gmail.com This afternoon we already had the first guests who told us that they planned to come back to George so that they can join  Eltan on some of his guided hiking trails! The main routes are: Forest Buzzard trail through indigenous forest and plantations (2,2 – 5 km)...

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the make-over of Shanty 21

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in about my B&B life, History | 2 comments

the make-over of Shanty 21

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 store room 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...

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Security / right of admission reserved

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in about my B&B life | 0 comments

Security / right of admission reserved

We can now say ‘secure parking offered’ – we just had 2 sets of beams installed to protect the cars at night. The beams are activated at 11.30 at night which will help with another problem that we guest house owners have to contend with: After more than 17 years in the business I have found it necessary to have the following notice made for every bedroom: NO VISITORS AFTER  6 PM WITHOUT PRIOR ARRANGEMENT WITH MANAGEMENT Yes, you guessed correctly: a man booked in as a single but I saw his ‘friend’ walk up the...

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the Old Car Show 14+15 February ’15

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Reasons to stay a week! | 0 comments

the Old Car Show 14+15 February ’15

  The 19th George Old Car Show took place on 14th and 15th February 2015 at the PW Botha College in York Street, George. I have owned my 1958 Volkswagen Beetle for more than 12 years. People often ask me why my Beetle is not exhibited at the annual Old Cars Show – the answer is simple : I drive it every day! The main purpose of the show is to allow like minded old car enthusiasts to share their passion with each other as well as with the public.  In addition to the large selection of vintage and veteran cars, the George Old Car...

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Hiking the Camino

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in To hike the Camino de Santiago | 0 comments

Hiking the Camino

In 2005 I walked the Camino by myself from St Jean Pied ‘d Port to Santiago in 31 days, averaging about 27 km per day. And since then Desmond and  I have walked various sections every second year and I regularly host Camino workshops at Fairview.  In 2013 we were accompanied by our daughter and son-in-law from Le Puy to Figeac. Nelleke wrote a blog post entitled  ‘Flavours of the Camino’ that I would love to share with you: ‘… The Camino was such a surprise to me on so many levels. We had decided to camp most of...

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