Notes

Thou shalt not covet…

We had the great pleasure of hosting the hottest name in Dutch furniture design, Nic Roex, who is on a honeymoon trip through South Africa. Nic is extremely impressed with the African use of color and pattern as well as the found objects movement. He confided in us that as a designer he is always looking for color inspiration and that what he has experienced in the Western Cape will be quite influential in his design and he admired our Haldane Martin pieces. Upon discussion I heard how much Nic's extraordinary Motorkapbank would be in ZAR I had a slight dizzy spell. But we live in hope that...

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Hope

Jacques Marais is an amazing photographer  who shoots for some pretty high profile magazines and companies. He recently visited De Hoop and took these truly wonderful images of a place which possesses such natural beauty that all our guests who return from the reserve after a day trip declare it to be a deeply satisfying, spiritual even, experience. Only three hours from Cape Town lies a special nature reserve situated in the Overberg region, near the southern tip of Africa. De Hoop Nature Reserve is approximately 34 000 ha in size and one of the largest natural...

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Strike a Pose

Summer is almost here and we are in the midst of producing a new brochure for Swellendam Tourism. When we say brochure, we mean map. This will be a very carefully planned document striking the right balance between the visual attractiveness and practical  use. We immediately decided to organize a shoot in the surrounding fields and pastures and what a great afternoon that was. Fleur van Eeden, super stunt woman and extremely kind person, and Braam du Toit, composer, bon vivant, writer and also a truly nice person were photographed expertly by Bruce 'Flying Horse' Geils down the road on the way to Suurbraak....

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Solomon’s Lily

Once a year, quite by surprise, this little beauty awakes for a few weeks and just takes your breath away. Our spectacular specimen is quite hidden away at the top of the garden next to a footpath and you do feel a sense of reward when you see it - it is in my opinion the best arum species. The spectacular  Arum palaestinum, flowering in spring on stems 50-60 cm's tall, with large decorative leaves slightly similar to a cardiocrinum or a hosta with a superb fragrance which is a bit similar to roses. Which is also  a nice fragrant part of the Augusta de Mist gardens. But that's not all. Arum...

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Scouting for the perfect shot

Part of the Swellendam Tourism goal for the 2013 season is to place more emphasis on the unique and custom designed. To this end the committee is a streamlined affair with all members choosing a workgroup which they identify with and which could also utilize their skill sets to best advantage. Suffice to say that the creatively minded Communications group is a pretty rag-tag bunch with A.D.D. in their D.N.A. Part of the immediate deliverables we have decided on is a map of the region with all the members listed and represented. We are very lucky to have access to some amazing talents in the Swellendam...

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Eco Retail in Swellendam

Fresh Swellendam produce

Seon Eco Village is a familiar participant in most markets around Swellendam, regularly appearing at the Farmers market on the R60 as well as the Under the Oaks market on Church Square next to Old Gaol. It was with much joy that we learned of the opening of the Seonae Eco Centre opening this week right here in Swellendam. The team from Seonae provide the freshest produce, grown locally (often organically) and where conventionally produced, the eco benefit is the fact that the produce did not travel for hundreds of kilometers subject to refrigeration. They will also retail the most unusual...

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A Whale of a Time

whale tale

Explore the magic of the SA coastline with its abundant marine life up close and personal in a stable kayak in the company of an experienced guide. Glide across sparkling water while enjoying a view of the majestic mountain, sea cliffs and marine life. After a thorough briefing on kayaking techniques and safety you paddle from the historical Old Harbour and do a round trip, the direction dependant on winds, swells and paddling abilities. A knowledgeable guide shall open up the wonders of our ocean to you, as we explore the beautiful natural surroundings. Kayaks are paddled in a Marine...

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So what if it’s just a mention?

Home Chef

The first little blurb about the Passionate Pomegranate Co and the totally useable products that they produce has appeared. Because of print real estate being what it is, the Augusta mention went from a nice substantial amount to a sentence. But we are not complaining. All that is needed is the mention, by name, to keep us happy. Watch the press and online media for lots more coverage as our two week PR blitz starts to pay off! When we in collaboration with Judi Rebstein from Old Gaol started to outline a launch plan earlier this year it all seemed so distant and somewhat unachievable but here...

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Meetings, launches and clear directions

This way...

It has been a busy few days at Augusta de Mist with the first of the Passionate Pomegranate Co launch dinners and the Executive Committee meeting for Cape Country Routes, also here in Swellendam. The Pomegranate range is a hit and the media people who attended absolutely loved the product and promised to send us updates of their progress with the goodie bag products the received upon leaving Swellendam. Watch the press for details! The next launch evening is this coming weekend and again promises to be a sensory feast of flavors and bold applications of these incredible products. Fun...

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Suurbraak Van Gogh

suurbraak town

On a recent visit to Suurbraak I picked up a leaflet about the village and found the address of the groups that creates the hand-crafted "Van Gogh" chairs, which we have in our dining room at Augusta. One of Van Gogh's famous paintings, titled Vincent's Chair, features a chair which takes up most of the canvas. This is the style that is being hand-crafted at the 'Suurbraak Skrynwerkers': the wood is canary pine and the seats woven sea-grass, both growing locally. The old "bodging" method is used. To quote from an arts and crafts magazine: "Workers seat themselves on a shaving horse, clamp...

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