Sep 15 2015

Summer’s on its way to Stanford

Patti Legg

The Whales have arrived in Walker Bay. Breaching, slapping, spyhopping, lobtailing and just being enormously magnificent. We are privileged to have these amazing visitors to our shores every year between May and December. Southern Rights, Humpback and Bryde’s delight and amaze us as they come close to our shores, reputed to be one of the twelve best whale watching locations in the world. Wow.

But, why don’t you escape the crowds and come on down to the little village of Stanford, and enjoy some country hospitality? Here a just a few of the things you can do while you’re visiting:

CELEBRATE NATIONAL BRAAI DAY: Are you an braai-meister and planning to stoke up the coals on Heritage Day, 24 September? Please contact Eben at Table 13 and be part of a community braai in the heritage heritage heart of Stanford. Call 079 580 0617

WALK YOUR DOG: 25 September 10:00 Walk your dog around scenic Stanford and raise funds for Stanford Animal Welfare Society. Start and Finish at Stanford Village Green. Registrations from 09:30. Tickets R30 per dog. Owners free.  Tickets from Stanford Vet Clinic or Annie Ranger 028 3410 984,  Lucky number prizes. All dogs to be on leash. See you on the Green.

SIP, SWIRL AND SPIT: on the Stanford Wine Route.  Pop into Stanford Tourism’s office in Queen Victoria Street and grab one of our useful tear-off maps. Designate a driver and take your friends and family on a self-drive wine route, experiencing and tasting your way through Stanford’s boutique and unique wineries. You won’t be sorry! *Keep an eye out on August 26th for the announcement of the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage Awards: Springfontein has been shortlisted with their Jonathan’s Ridge Pinotage 2012.
TAKE A FULL MOON WALK: ‘Not quite a Full Moon’ Stroll  at Sir Robert Stanford Estate. Join us as for this monthly stroll which is also a fundraiser for Stanford Tourism and Business. R20 pp, R10 for kids and dogs, glowsticks for sale. Beverages will be sold at the top dam, and kids will receive free refreshments. The tram will also be available for lifts back down from the dam for those who would like to make it to the launch of ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Gallery in the village. The Royal Oke will remain open so if you need to unwind after the working week, please stop by for a drink and a homemade burger.
APPRECIATE THE ARTISTS: Opening Night Exhibition at Through the Looking Glass Gallery (next to Graze) Open invitation to all Stanfordians, friends and visitors to come and enjoy a glass of wine or a sip of gin to celebrate the launch of this exciting new space showcasing both new and established artists.  We will be open for the Heritage Day weekend from 10:00 – 16:00, and Wed to Sun, 10:00 - 16:00. Contact Linda 060 487 7278 for more details
CELEBRATE OUR HERITAGE: All CapeNature reserves offer free access from 19-25 September. Make sure you get outside and enjoy the beautiful big open spaces in the Cape at no charge.

WEAR A HAT: Wear a vintage hat all day on Heritage Day and hang out in Queen Victoria Street. Lovely hats and scarves are available at Your Style Shop next door to the Stanford Hotel, and at the Village Emporium. Share a photograph of yourself and your gang on Instagram #visitstanford #thinkstanford #capewhalecoast

COOK UP A STORM: Tuesday, 27 September,  10:00 - 14:00 at The Royal Oke. Come and join us for another tasty flavourful morning. Else-Mari will show you how to make hummus, aubergine dip and tzatziki with poppy seed flat bread and tahini. Chermoula & preserved lemon silver fish with saffron couscous and baked chocolate mousse cake, honeycomb and sea salt caramel sauce. We will start with coffee and finish with lunch where you will taste the food that was prepared. R 250 per person. RSVP on 028 341 0647 or email

REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT: Get your fresh veggies at Graze Slow Food Cafe. Always seasonal, always fresh. Stay for coffee and breakfast. Tel: Tabby & Alex 076 243 1930 or at Saturday Morning Market on the Stoep of Stanford Hotel. Stanford boasts its own little Saturday morning market. Fresh goats cheese, ready-made meals, Scotch eggs, fudge, decadent gluten free cakes, caramel popcorn, sliced ginger, goji berries, cranberries, dried apricots, pitted dates, pecan nuts, pies, gluten-free quiche, veggie patties, hand spun wool died with natural ingredients, farm eggs, crunchies, shortbread, fresh farm grown vegetables, heirloom seedlings, jams & chutneys, pickles, chilli sauces, Erwin’s salamis and cold meat. Phone Ann 076 332 7490.

TAKE A SLOW BOAT: River Cruises by appointment. Take a cruise down the Klein River, put your feet up and relax with a picnic or get your binocs out and see the amazing birdlife. We have three river cruise operators to choose from: African Queen, Platanna, and River Rat. Call Stanford Tourism for more details: 028 341 0340. Cruises are only available on request while winter weather is unpredictable so please phone beforehand to confirm
TAKE A HIKE: Guided Botanical Walks. Would you like to discover more about the fynbos vegetation that makes the flora of this part of the world unique?  We also offer personalised guided botanical walks, suitable for any level. Your guide, Chris, is FGASA qualified and a world expert on the plants of South Africa, as well has having extensive knowledge on the local fauna and geology. See website or contact us on 073 621 1808 for further details Please phone in advance to check if the reserve is open for hiking: 073 621 1808.
(Because this is a conservation area, we regret no dogs are allowed)
Waterfall Trail (approx. 2 hrs) - an easy and relatively flat walk into a secluded valley to visit a small waterfall; suitable for all ages, with the bonus of the shady Picnic Tree on the way. Energetic hikers can also take a detour to explore our cave.
Rock Stacks Trail (approx. 2-3 hrs) - climb around the side of Phillipskop, with stunning views into the waterfall valley, enjoy the stream at the foot of the rock stacks.Optional return via the Waterfall Trail.
Saddle Trail (approx. 2-4 hrs) - hike up and around the western side of Phillipskop and onto the saddle behind the peak. Stunning views as far as the sea and into the Secret Valley behind Phillipskop. From the saddle hikers can climb further up to the summit of Phillipskop itself or up to the ridge overlooking Tesselaarsdal. Day access to the reserve is R30 per person
TAKE A DRIVE TO THE END OF THE WORLD: Wild Wanderer Adventure Tours: Southern Tip Trip. Take a scenic trip along the back roads of the Overberg to Cape Agulhas. Enjoy the lighthouse and museum, a walk to the the southern most tip, feed the stingrays at Struisbaai, stop to taste wine along the Agulhas Wine Route and meander through Elim. Pick up from your accommodation at 08:00. R1 500pp for a 9 hour excursion. Minimum 2 people, max 6. Contact Jero Revett 082 491 8317
GET SOME HONEY FOR YOUR MONEY: Taste 12 different types of honey. You can also try the new honey butter which is a huge hit with customers. The shop sells honey, honey comb, beekeeping equipment and health and beauty products all made from beeswax & propolis. Observation beehive. Factory tours. Open week days & public holidays 8:00 – 17:00 and Saturdays 10:00 – 15:00. Cel 072 325 6360.
STROLL THROUGH THE VILLAGE: Historical Stanford on Foot. Grab a copy of this booklet for R10 from Stanford Tourism and stroll through the streets of Stanford on a self-guided tour, reading about the homes and buildings that tell the rich story of Stanford.
HUNT DOWN AN ANTIQUE: TAT Antiques and Vintage Decor - TAT is open Fridays 10:00 to 16:00 and Saturdays 10:00 to 13:00 until further notice
The New Junk Shop - Have you ever seen a Gentleman’s Buggy from yesteryear? Come have a look. Open Mondays-Fridays 09:00 - 17:00, Saturdays 09:00-14:00 and Sundays 09:00-17:00
Stanford Trading Store (moved to the corner of Church and Queen Victoria Streets, opp. the church) Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 - 16:00, Sundays 10:00 - 14:00
GROWL AT A LION: Visit the Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary and take advantage of the September Special. The amazing big cats at Panthera Africa are so excited about going into spring and would love to celebrate this spring day with offering you 20% discount every week day – Monday-Friday – for the whole of September! This means that you as an adult can come for an educational visit for only R150 and children under 13 years old for only R 95! Looking forward to seeing you here, and hope you are as excited as our four legged friends!  Our visits have been very popular, so make sure you book at least a day or two in advance to ensure your spot! The Panthera Africa pride wishes you welcome!Book now:

BECOME A LOCAVORE: Shop at the village market on Saturday morning 9:00 - 12:00: Stoep of Stanford Hotel. Stanford boasts its own little Saturday morning market. Bring along a basket and buy your ready-made meals and picnic ingredients at the market. Fresh breads, pates and prepared dishes, delicious decadent cakes and pastries, banting friendly chicken pies and frittata muffins, gluten-free quiches, and fresh farm grown vegetables, salads, heirloom seedlings, jams and fresh homemade mozzarella, halloumi & ricotta.

TASTE GOOD CHEESE: Take the children for a drive out along the beautiful R326 to the Klein River cheese farm to visit the farmyard and enjoy a cheese tasting weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 9-1. Picnics on the lawns are offered between November and April, but the cheese tasting room is open all year. Contact 028 341 0693. The most popular Cheese Boutique in the Overberg has moved down to the Picnic Shed! There’s a range of delicious goodies, picnic bits, cheese tastings and farm-fresh warm soup available at the new cosy Cheese Boutique. The art of cheesemaking and the cheese maturing process can still be viewed. PLEASE NOTE NEW SHOP TIMES: Weekdays: 09:00 – 16:30 & Saturdays 09:00-13:00. Tel: 028 341 0693

VISIT THE GHOSTS: 1892 Spookhuis offers a range of activities: Guided Quad-bike tours will take you exploring magnificent flora of the Fynbos biome, birds and wetlands. You can ride along the edge of the lagoon or up to high points on Mosaic with 360-degree views of the ocean, lagoon, and mountains. Bike Rentals: Mountain bikes and Fat bikes are available for rental.  Riding can be done on Mosaic or to the sand dunes of Walker Bay Beach. Boat Cruise on the Hermanus Lagoon Board the ‘Spirit of Agnus’ from the jetty at Mosaic’s 1892 Spookhuis. Wet your feet and taste buds among a myriad of water birds and the beautiful towering Overberg Mountains. Includes snacks and beverages on the boat.  Guided Nature Walk You will be guided along the lagoon edge and wetlands to discover intricate plant-animal relationships and the importance of conserving this unique floral kingdom.  Mosaic Rain Spa Enjoy spa treatments in the indoor or outdoor spa in an ancient milkwood grove at Mosaic’s Lagoon Lodge.

ENJOY A SCRUMPTIOUS FREE RANGE BREAKFAST: at Graze Slow Food Cafe on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9am. Stock up on freshly grown organic veggies at their produce market. Plan your weekend menu using fresh organic veges. Dinner on Fridays. Contact Tabby and Alex to book your spot 076 243 1930

SINK A PINT: of the fantastic Black Snake or Honey Blond Ale from the local microbrewery, Birkenhead. Monday - Sunday. Brewery Tours: Available Wednesday to Friday through advanced booking. 11:00 or 15:00 Wine and Beer Tastings: Monday to Sunday 10:00 till 17:00 (New Tasting area). Booking and contact number is 028 341 0013

BE BRAVE, TASTE GRAPPA WITH YOUR WINE: At Robert Stanford Estate Open Thursdays - Tuesdays from 08:30 - 16:00. Pick up supplies at the  Stanford Padstal. Fresh farm produce available, juicy naartjies & oranges. Rusks and jams, and much more. Our winning recipe biltong and droewors is available - you have to try it. Then drive on down to the Wine Shop and  taste our Sir Robert Stanford and Cutters Cove wines. Also catch up on the History of the farm and the area. Free wine tasting Thursday - Monday at our boutique wine shop. We are the only Pinot Noir farm in the Stanford region. Group bookings welcome. Contact Stef 028 341 0441, Indulge. Taste. Experience. Since 1855. Sir Robert Stanford Distillery Come and taste our grappa and cocktails. Various products available to buy and taste.

CRUISE DOWN THE RIVER: Pack a picnic basket, and chug along the Klein River on the River Rat spotting birds and otters and stunning views of the mountains. Or board the famed African Queen for a braai on board while gliding down the river. Bookings 028 341 0929

SPOT A WHALE: in the inviting waters of Walker Bay, where you could spot up to 30 or more whales at one time. Best viewing is from the cliffs at De Kelders, a short drive away from Stanford. And after you have ooohed and aaaahed at their antics, enjoy a great lunch or cake at Coffee on the Rocks.

WATCH SPORT ON THE BIG SCREEN: Table 13  Open Tues - Saturday for Lunch and Dinner; Sunday Lunch. Great pizzas and a warm welcome. 3 big screens for sport

ENJOY COFFEE WHILE YOU CATCH UP ON EMAILS: Coffee STOP Monday - Saturday 09:00 - 17:00 Serving delicious coffee, tea, milkshakes, fresh juices daily, Monday - Saturday 09:00 - 17:00 Free WiFi on the verandah.

Jul 2 2015

Wining and Dining in Wintry Stanford

Patti Legg

Winter is the time for comfort food, and Stanford is just the place to be comforted! Plan your holiday escape to Stanford to include the Wednesday morning market at Graze Cafe. Stock up with locally grown fresh produce and stay on for breakfast at one of the friendly tables that spills out onto the pavement. Tabby and Alex never fail to amaze your taste buds with their innovative menu and delicious dishes.

If you start getting peckish at lunchtime, a short drive out of the village will lead you to Sir Robert Stanford Estate, where you can taste grappa, brandy and wine followed by a superb country meal overlooking the peaceful dam at Madre’s Kitchen. Continue along the country road to Stanford Hills, where you and your children will be welcomed to relax, unwind and enjoy the views, the wide expanse of lawns and the great food and wine. You may be joined at your table by a lamb and most definitely, a friendly dog.

A morning stroll up to the village could lead you to Don Gelato’s for a fresh croissant and cappucino, or you can plan a lunchtime visit for handcrafted pasta. This is the home of delicious Italian gelato, and you’ll be back for more once you’ve tried one of their fresh flavours.

If you’ve brought your canine companions with you on your holiday, you’d be welcome at Coffee Cornerfor a hearty breakfast, plat du jour at lunchtime, or a decadent carrot cake and great coffee at any time during the day.

On a wet day, you could choose to stay indoors at a roaring fire, reading a good book, or you could venture off to the nearby wine estates or the Birkenhead Brewery for an ale. The local tourist office will provide you with a route map, and you should seek out the local favourites; Raka and Boschfontein, Springfontein, Sir Robert Stanford and Stanford Hills. If you have the energy to venture further, Brunia and Vaalvlei in Sandy’s Glen or Black Oystercatcher on the Elim route.

Stanford also boasts its own Saturday morning market. Bring along a basket and buy ready-made meals to stock your fridge for the week ahead. Fresh breads and pates, decadent cakes and pastries, banting friendly frittata & muffins, farm grown vegetables and salads and homemade mozzarella, halloumi, ricotta and raw milk yoghurt.

Your choice for Sunday lunch could include a buffet at Stanford Harvest table, where you can admire the talent of the local artists at the in-house gallery. Just down the road in a quaint old building, chef Bryden will provide you with a sublime Sunday lunch at Havercrofts. Roast beef and yorkshire pud, traditional dishes with fresh and exciting twists. The views you’ll enjoy with your superb meal are jaw dropping.

After all this eating, you may want to embark on a robust walk along the beach. Take a drive to De Kelders, park at the Nature Reserve, and scramble down the cliff path to the beautiful sandy beach, watching for breaching Southern Right Whales as you go. Klipgat Cave is a fascinating reminder of the civilisation that inhabited these shores about 85 000 years ago.

No excuses for a boring winter holiday. Slow down your pace and let Stanford embrace you.

Mar 20 2015

Autumn and holidays coming soon!

Patti Legg

The evenings are cooler, the leaves are beautiful and the days are getting shorter. Holidays and the celebration of Easter is coming soon, and Stanford is gearing itself for its visitors.

Have a look at the ‘Things to do‘ page, or explore the ‘Restaurants‘ to plan your weekend.

Car shows, morning markets, sunset markets, art exhibitions, breakfast runs …certainly something for everyone to enjoy. Stroll along the main road and fill your basket with delectable home grown, baked or made produce. Pop into an Art exhibition, or arrange a wine tasting at a local estate.

Upcoming events to lure you to our special corner of the Overberg;

Sunday 29 March, 10am – 2pm Art in the Park Hermanus Cricket Grounds
Food, drinks and coffees will be on offer and we hope guests will enjoy a picnic  in the fresh air while experiencing the art on display. Stanford artists will be exhibiting.

Stanford Treasure Trove Flash Sale from 2 - 4 April
We are open on Good Friday. Some really special prices for really special stuff. For more see for prices as from Thursday 2 April till Saturday 4 April. 10h00 to 14h00 daily! For more info please call Royd: 071 128 5533.

3 April (Easter Weekend) Panthera Africa
From Easter Weekend – the 3rd of April 2015 - Panthera Africa will finally be open for you to come and enjoy our magnificent Big Cats! We offer different types of visits for you and your family to enjoy! You have the chance of capturing the animals in their beautiful homes, and even see them in their true element on one of our enrichment visits. The choice is yours, and we are excited to share our dream with you! Please see for more details. In order to not overcrowd the animals, we have put a limit of 20 people per visit, so it is always good to book in advance to ensure your spot!
Educational visits - @ 10, 12 and 2pm. Price: R 190 per adult, R 120 per child (under 13)
Feeding & Enrichments visits – pre-booking essential.  Price: R 290 for adults. All are welcome. We regret no children under 16 allowed. Book:

4 & 5 April, 14h00 till late Stookhuis Opening at Sir Robert Stanford Estate
The Stookhuis (Distillery) at Sir Robert Stanford Estate is opening. For brandy and grappa tasting, live music, exotic cocktails and beautiful views! Sir Robert Stanford Estate is the place to be. Come and celebrate with GiGi and her girls. To book, please contact GiGi on 082 441 0709 or

8, 10, 11 April, 7pm Silver Screen Songs in Cabaret at Raka Wine Farm
“Silver Screen Songs” in cabaret by the Jazzfordians. 7:00pm. Booking absolutely essential. Wine, Beer and  tappas platter. R150. Bookings:  Bea Whittaker

9 & 10 May Flight for birders couorse to be presented at the Community Hall, Mollergren Park, Hermanus on 9 and 10 May 2015.

Dec 18 2014

Christmas is coming!

Patti Legg

Stanford is preparing to welcome all for the December holidays. The restaurants are stocking up, the wine is chilling, the beers are brewing. Come and join the festivities and get a feel of Country Life.

Start off with a visit to the Stanford Christmas market on the Village Green on Friday 19th December from 18:00 Enjoy the atmosphere and watch the sun sink behind the mountains while you join the locals showcasing their products and listen to live music. If you miss it, you can always catch the Saturday morning market on the stoep of the Stanford Hotel. Bring along a basket and buy your ready-made meals and picnic ingredients at the market. Fresh breads, pates and prepared dishes, delicious decadent cakes and pastries, banting friendly chicken pies and frittata muffins, gluten-free quiches, and fresh farm grown vegetables, salads, heirloom seedlings, jams and fresh homemade mozzarella, halloumi & ricotta.  Cold smoked salmon trout, pates and terrines!

The Stanford Players present “We are the World” on Saturday 20th at the DR church.

Sunday 21 December on the Village Green, the community of Stanford is coming together to listen to the Christmas Story, celebrate with dance and Carols, and in unity give thanks for the Christmas Gift. Angels and shepherds welcome.

An Art Exhibition is offered daily in December at The Stanford Table, where local artists exhibit their best pieces of the season.

The restaurants have extended their opening hours, and come up with some new exciting goodies to entice your tastebuds:

Marianas will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday 18 - 22 December from 12h00 to 16h00 and is closed on Christmas day. Call on 028 3410 272 or send an e-mail to to make a reservation.

The Tasting Room at Stanford Hills is now serving oysters and sushi. Check out our new cocktails on offer – fresh watermelon martini or Sauvignon Blanc and fresh pineapple blitz. Open daily in December, except for Christmas and Boxing Day. Thursday 1 January 11am Join the New Year’s Day chill out gourmet braai  or build your own mezze board or choose a pre-packed picnic basket. Live entertainment. Booking essential.

Birkenhead Brewery: Opening hours on 18, 19, 20 December are 10h00 – 21h00 with some scrumptious lunch specials on the board. On Tuesday 23 December they present “Sons of Settlers” in the amphitheater at 19:00.

Madre’s Kitchen & Gift Shop is open every day in December until 6 January van 8h00 tot 15h00. Closed 24 and 25 December, as well as 1 January.

Stanford Harvest, Farm Kitchen and Art gallery will be closed 23, 24, 25, 26 December but open for supper on New Years Eve 31st December

Graze will hold their weekly farmers market on Wednesday 24th December. Reduce your carbon footprint and get your fresh veggies at Graze. Always seasonal, always fresh. Stay for coffee and breakfast.

Barke restaurant at Blue Gum Estate will be open for Christmas lunch. Bookings essential. 028 341 0116

Stanford Boxing Day Cricket will be happening on Friday, 26 December, 8am – 8pm on the Village Green. Food stalls, and the usual potjiekos competition. Proceeds go towards Stanford Animal Welfare Society and the Children’s Cricket Fund. Come and see some famous sportsmen enjoy a friendly game of cricket. See you all there!

Jul 1 2014

Winter in Stanford

Patti Legg

If you’re heading Stanford’s way for the winter holidays, there’ll be plenty to keep you busy, well fed and entertained. Contact Stanford Tourism for bookings and more information.

27 June - 31 July: Art Exhibition at Stanford Table.  Tues - Saturday 10:00- 15:00, Sunday 10:00 - 13:00

Saturday 28 June: Art Auction at Stanford Tablewith Harry Poortman. 18:00 German cuisine with Martin Sauer 19:00

Wednesday 2 July: Sundowners and live music with Gerrie at Stanford Table. Dinner with guest chef, William, from Mosaic Sanctuary. This promises to be a treat, as William worked with renowned South African Chef, Reuben Riffel at Franschhoek Country House and was his executive chef for seven years. Venison bredie, coffee and brownies. R95/head

Friday 4 July: Sax, soup and sherry with Miso Markovima and Andrew Herriot at Stanford Table 18:30

Saturday 5th July: Craft beer festival and live music at Stanford Hills Estate 12:00

Sunday 6 July: Literary lunch with Diane Awerbuck at Madre’s Country Kitchen 12:15

Tuesday 8 July: Soul food and Banting (Tim Noakes inspired food) at Stanford Table 10:00 - 15:00

Tuesday 8 July: Spicy food and swinging 70″s music at Stanford Table 18:30

Wednesday 9 July: Birding talk with Peter Chadwick  and food by guest chefs Esther and Jake Uys at Stanford Table

Friday 11 July: Soul food and Banting at Stanford Table 10:00- 15:00

Saturday 12th July: An evening with violonist Ivo Ivanov at Stanford Table 18:30

Sunday 13 July: Literary lunch with Daniel Jardim at Stanford Table 12:00

Tuesday 15 July: Soul food and Banting at Stanford Table 10:00- 15:00

Wednesday 16 July: The wonders of De Hoop Nature Reserve with Peter Chadwick at Stanford Table 18:30

Thursday 17 July: Talk on ‘Panthera Africa’ with Catherine Nyquist and Lizaene Cornwall at Stanford table 18:30

Friday 18 July: Soul food and Banting at Stanford Table 10:00- 15:00 Talk on Sir Ernest Shackleton: ‘A Snowball’s Hope in Hell’ with James Gray 18:30

Sunday 20 July: Literary lunch with Emmaleen Kriel and lunch with guest chef Marcelle du Preez 12:00 at Stanford Table

Tuesday 22 July: Soul food and Banting at Stanford Table 10:00- 15:00 Talk on Queen Victoria street rejuvenation project 18:00

Friday 25 July: Christmas in July dinner at Stanford Table with guest chef Sanity Farm 18:30

Tuesday 29 July: Talk on Whales with Katja Vinding Petersen at Stanford Table 18:30