When I had been running the B&B for close on 15 years I told myself that it was time to start writing down all these stories about the restoration process, the day to day joys and frustrations of running a guest house and of course all the recipes and tips that I’m forever dishing out. Two of our children regularly contribute – our daughter Nelleke Elston, a chef specializing in food styling, as well as our son Alex Benkenstein who shares a love for the ocean with his dad and oldest brother and has an ease with words that his mom stands in awe of. In the category “My B&B Life” I share the stories of a house and garden, lovingly restored and shared with our guests.
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.
We feed the hard outer leaves to the chickens and find that the egg yolks are very yellow - I always feel I need to explain to guests that these are eggs from chickens fed on Kale and Spinach leaves. For nutritional value you can google kale and come up with a million sources of information.
When we lived in Namibia (1982 to 1995) no visit to the capital city of Windhoek was complete without a visit to Weylandts.* As newlyweds, Desmond and I could only drool over the beautiful furniture and occasionally buy a small item. As we set up...