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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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History

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in History | 0 comments

History

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 farm at Victoria Heights and bought Fairview so that their 8 children could go to school from home. In those days it was a big apple and cattle farm on the outskirts of George. Fairview circa 1890 Fairview Homestead in 2012 Koos Stander Miems Stander...

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A foodie wandering in the desert (a blogpost by our daughter Nelleke)

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Trips and travel outside S.A. | 0 comments

A foodie wandering in the desert (a blogpost by our daughter Nelleke)

I’ve been on a family holiday in the small coastal town of Walvis Bay for the past two weeks and am really settling into the slow rhythm of life in Namibia. It’s a country that holds a special place in my heart as I was born here and lived here for the first ten years of my childhood. Coming back, after not having been here for three years, I am shocked at the development and change this little town has gone through, but also am pleasantly surprised by the culinary secrets I’ve discovered with the help of my local friends....

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Lavender at Fairview Homestead

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Food & Feast, Garden | 0 comments

Lavender at Fairview Homestead

We initially planted a rose garden in front of the house ,but because of the huge  trees, the ground is quite dry and they did very poorly. The lavender can cope with the dry and poor soil and 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 give off its perfume as the hot water runs over...

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7 days to Christmas…7 guests a-parking, 6 agents phoning, 5 children swimming, 4 people sharing, 3 drop ins knocking, 2 couples asking, 1 guest-house owner multitasking

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in about my B&B life, Food & Feast | 0 comments

7 days to Christmas…7 guests a-parking, 6 agents phoning, 5 children swimming, 4 people sharing, 3 drop ins knocking, 2 couples asking, 1 guest-house owner multitasking

… and no golden eggs. Yes, it’s that time of the year again… You have to understand – as much as I hate the start of blaring ‘Jingle Bells, jingle bells,jingle bells’ rocking in my ears while I’m shopping for our daily bread, eggs, bacon,mushrooms… IN OCTOBER! As much, do I love the advent of Christmas. I light my 4 candles  in anticipation of the last candle – one on each Sunday and the last candle we light on Christmas eve. I hang an advent wreath on our front door, I use my navy blue...

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Summer garden 2014

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Garden | 3 comments

Summer garden 2014

After 20 years at Fairview  our garden can now be described as  a mature garden. It amazes me that Desmond still finds space for new plants and flowers. The latest being rare vegetables grown from seed given as a birthday present by our son Alex. We have candy striped beetroot, 3 different varieties of kale (also Russian curly kale) , coloured carrots and 12 different varieties of tomatoes. Desmond’s trellis for the broad beans and tomatoes are up and ready for the new season.     Share...

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Romance of the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Reasons to stay a week! | 0 comments

Romance of the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train

  As the Guest House closest to the Railway Museum and departure point of the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe train, we had many guests who stayed at Fairview Homestead because we are within walking distance to the Railway Museum. Hard to believe, but the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe had been steaming along for almost a century, when it was eventually stopped in its tracks by the devastating floods of 2006 which caused mudslides along the scenic route of Kaaimans Pass and rendered the tracks impassable. The estimated repair costs were so prohibitive that the...

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Open Garden 8 November 2014

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Garden | 0 comments

Open Garden 8 November 2014

What an amazing Open Garden Festival 2014 – we collected just over R6000-for BADISA. We not only opened our garden, but had a pop-up   tea garden with delicious cakes and healthy lunches on offer.  Desmond was there to do the rounds of our garden with local gardening enthusiasts and Michelle van Heerden was not only photographer on duty, but supervised the third generation of best buddies – babies Amelie and Luella (Helen and Andries are our best friends and to our delight our friendship extended through our children and now the...

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Visit to our Garden by the British Royal Horticultural Society

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Accolades, Garden | 0 comments

Visit to our Garden by the British Royal Horticultural Society

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...

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Trees

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Garden, Reasons to stay a week! | 0 comments

Trees

Our garden is graced by big trees – most were here when we bought the property 20 years ago, some were lost in storms over the years and some were planted by Desmond from small cuttings and now stand proudly and tall. Desmond’s father was a forester and their 6 Benkenstein boys grew up on Forestry stations and learning about trees and forests from their dad. Desmond’s brother Leon remembers life at the Jonkersberg plantation: “It was in the late fifties. Our nearest town was George, about 30 km away. Apart from life at...

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Owls at Fairview – a spring baby owl

Posted by on Oct 12, 2014 in about my B&B life | 1 comment

Owls at Fairview –  a spring baby owl

Much excitement – first when we realised that the owl house that the Benkenstein boys built last December  had occupants and this week the Fluff-Ball made his/her appearance:   Venturing out bravely into the world   Mommy owl just before she dive bombed Juno!   Mom and Dad both keeping an eye on us Share...

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