This December I've had a guest make the booking and then mention as an afterthought that she had a little Yorkie; surely I would not have a problem with that? My reply: " If your little Yorkie can handle my big Bull Mastiff then we do not have a problem... ". I've had guests threatening to sneak our one-year-old Bull Mastiff into the bedroom and I've had guests reeling back in horror at the sight of a dog.
Bull Mastiffs turned out to be perfect guest house dogs: they are non-territorial, not unnaturally aggressive and hardly ever bark.
(Text and photographs by Alex Cremer)
Because it was partly hidden behind high boundary walls, the true beauty of Fairview only became obvious once I drove through the new gates. Then the regal proportions and straight-lined design of the double storey dwelling, built around 1865, could be properly viewed.
To me, the old place had a rather Georgian flavour that was further enhanced by the symmetry of the quite formal front garden, or perhaps I simply sought a scenario where traditional European elegance blended with the typical colonial style of the Victorian era.
This morning I found an envelope with 2 photo's of the Knysna Dwarf Chameleon that was taken in our garden in 2004 by British guests - herpetologists Alan Francis and his wife Heather. I could not resist adding the recent photos of the bright green Chameleon that my son found on the same day as he spotted the tiny little frog hiding in an agapantha flower.
As the once proud owner of a 1958 Volkswagen and belonging to the local Old Car Club, I am forever encouraging guests to visit the local Railway Museum just up the road, where private vintage car owners can display/store their vehicles amongst the Railway exhibitions. I chanced upon the following passage in the delightful book by Victor Smith called 'Open Cockpit over Africa' in which he tells of his adventures flying more than 13 000 miles from George to London and back. Arriving back in George he was welcomed back as a hero by the locals. (Fairview is, of course, the Mayoral home mentioned...)
Uncle Jack Smith (JK), who had once claimed expenses from the tax-man for 'lubrication of the best machine in the factory' (brandy for himself), arrived in great style in his new six-cylinder Studebaker. But, despite his weakness, never let it be said that uncle Jack was not a man of his word. I think the reader will agree when he or she reads the story which I will now have to tell.
Older residents of George still remember raids into the apple orchards at Fairview -when it was finally decided to develop the suburb of Bergsig there was much debate whether to call the suburb Appelboord or Bergsig! We still have one apple tree left. I would like to share the easiest apple crumble recipe you will ever try. Foolproof, with such basic ingredients that you'll be able to whip it up in a flash.Delicious served with custard, cream or ice cream.
The following article appeared in Tourism News.
"Beer is made of barley and hops. But why is a hop called a hop? No-one on the Hop Route in George was able to tell me, and even a dictionary of etymology (the history of words, Miranda) was tantalisingly vague. Seeing that hops were first grown about a thousand years ago in the area of Europe now called Bavaria, it is likely that it comes from a Teutonic word 'hoop' (heap) which indicates the way in which hops were left to dry.
Secrets first: we cook apple slices in a small quantity of water with one heaped teaspoon of sugar. These apple slices go into the bottom of the cake tin. This is how Probst Bakery used to do it in Walvis Bay and the Benkies love cheesecake this way. Bake a day before you want to serve it to allow the flavour and texture to develop.
Geheime eerste: ons kook appelskywe (so 2 appels) in bietjie water met 1 opgehoopte teelepel suiker in en sit dit onder in die koekpan. Dis soos Probst Bakkery in Walvis dit maak by en vir die Benkies net 'n lekker ekstratjie. Bak dit ten minste een dag voor jy dit wil bedien sodat die geure/tekstuur kan ontwikkel.
George wat nie veel geskiedkundige argitektuur het om mee te spog nie, kan gelukkig nou tog groots wees op die Kaapse Georgiaanse styl woning, Fairview wat met groot sorg en toewyding gerestoureer is deur die huidige eienaars, Mev Philda en Dr Desmond Benkenstein.
Alhowel reeds in 1841 tot stand gekom het, is meeste van die dorp se karaktervolle en geskiedkundige huise gesloop. Fairview wat terugdateer na 1861, dien vandag as 'n gesinswoning en as smaakvolle ingerigte gastehuis. Die gasteboek getuig daarvan dat toeriste vanoor die wêreld dit 'n verruklike ondervinding gevind het om hier tuis te gaan.