Fairview Homestead | Blog
17534
paged,page-template,page-template-blog-large-image,page-template-blog-large-image-php,page,page-id-17534,paged-2,page-paged-2,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,boxed,,qode-title-hidden,qode-theme-ver-10.1.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.9.2,vc_responsive

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.

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.

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.

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.

Both Desmond and I grew up with mothers who made Ginger beer and Grenadila 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!

In 1994 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. We embraced the challenge to restore this historic George landmark – always bearing in mind that the challenge in restoring and maintaining any old building remains to stay true to the authenticity of the structure. We are so thankful that the grounds remained large enough to give the house a garden it deserves too.

... 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 cloth napkins with the golden stars that my children helped me to stencil on when they were small. There is always a small Christmas tree - often one concocted with thorn tree branches. In Namibia ( where we lived for 13 years) this is quite a traditional Christmas tree - the thorns are perfect to hang the tree decorations from and I also find the thorn tree symbolic of the thorn wreath that was put on Christ's head during the crucifixion. Our friends in the northern hemisphere probably find it incomprehensible that we can have Christmas without snow, but yes that is our reality: Christmas day temperatures average about 25 degrees Celsius. Some people do the whole hot meal with turkey and gammon, others prefer to go the more sensible route of salads and cold meat or salads accompanied by meat grilled over the coals (a braai).

 

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.

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.