Swellendam Accommodation

The Delicious Monster

plant

Growing right now all over Augusta de Mist is this rather exotic flower. This member of the Arum family is an epiphyte with aerial roots, able to grow up to 20 m high with large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 25–90 cm long by 25–75 cm broad. Young plants have leaves that are smaller and entire with no lobes or holes, but soon produce lobed and holed leaves. Common names include Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plant (or just Cheese Plant), Fruit Salad Plant,Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, split-leaf philodendron, Locust and Wild...

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A night with Bill Ashton OBE

BP ASHTONS OBE

If you were having dinner at Augusta de Mist last night you would have heard the soft crooning of a septuagenarian after the dessert course, first in English and then in French. The singer was Bill Ashton, a living jazz legend and the song was one he composed for his gorgeous wife of 40 years, Kay. She smiled right through both versions and gently reminded him when he mixed up a few words. It was magical. Best of all was when Bill surprised us by giving us a copy of the sheet music, which he dedicated to us and signed it. He also gave us a copy of his latest cd, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra...

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Barrydale Cellars does it again

JosephBarry

We discovered this little gem a few days ago, an answer to our prayers if you will, because just last week I made a mental note that we need to get grappa urgently as my last drop of Dalla Cia Grappa was finally had. Enter the team at Barrydale Cellars Building on the Klein Karoo's legendary distilling prowess, Barrydale Cellars launches Joseph Barry Husk Spirit, a welcome addition to the region's rich bounty. “Husk spirit – or grappa as it’s known in Italy - is gaining ground world-wide as a trendy lifestyle drink,” says Riaan Marais, CEO of Southern Cape Vineyards. “That’s...

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When Auntie Liz visited Swellendam

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This image has been around for a while, and I only recently got verification that it is indeed authentic. Their Royal Highnesses Princess Margaret Rose and Princess Elizabeth, (now Queen Elizabeth ll), with The Rt. Hon F.C. Sturrock, (South African Minister of Transport), on the footplate of the Royal Train engine at Buffeljagtsrivier, near Swellendam, Cape Province, during the Royal tour of South Africa, Feb-Apr 1947. Princess Elizabeth sounds the whistle of the Beyer-Garratt locomotive. The three month long British Royal Family tour of South Africa in 1947 saw the ordering of eight...

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Fire

fire on the mountain

A fire raged in the mountains above Swellendam after coming dangerously close tohomes in the area and destroying swathes of fynbos.Two houses were slightly damaged in the Marloth Nature Reserve on Thursday but fire-fighters and a water-bombing helicopter brought that front of the fire under control.   Overberg fire chief Reinard Geldenhuys said firefighters had been battling the fire for two days and hot and windy conditions had hampered efforts to extinguish the blaze. “We’ve contained all the lines north of the town. We still have a very strong fire line in the mountain...

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It began in Africa..

Khoi-Traders

Southern Africa has one of the longest records of human activity anywhere in the world. The Swellendam region in the Overberg is rich in historic sites dating from over 1 million years ago to more recent colonial settlements. The later Stone Age can be linked to the Khoi Khoi who, in the Swellendam region was known as the Hessequa. This name translated means “people of the trees”. The Hessequa Khoi Khoi entered the Overberg region some 2,000 years ago. They were a clan of herders; farming fat tailed sheep and long horn cattle. The Hessequa’s moved freely across the western area of the Overberg...

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Café Zimmermann

Located in Saint-Catherine street in Leipzig, Gottfried Zimmermann's coffee house would host weekly concerts by theCollegium Musicum back in the XVIIIth century. The ensemble, founded by Georg Philipp Telemann, and conducted by J. S. Bach between 1729 and 1739, performed secular cantatas and instrumental music for an audience of experimented music-lovers. At the time, Leipzig and the neighboring town of Dresden drew numerous musicians eager to meet the famous Cantor or participate in the rich musical life of the Saxon capital.  Hence, Zimmermann's coffee house offered a broad spectrum from the repertory : music written by Bach and his sons, by Telemann and the vituosos, also composers of the Dresden Chapel Orchestra...  It was this spirit of open-mindedness and conviviality uniting the audience, repertory and musicians wich drove Pablo Valetti and Céline Frisch to found in 1998 the Café Zimmermann Ensemble.  They assembled six musicians - five bow instruments and a harpsichord (Pablo Valetti, Nick Robinson, violin: Patricia Gagnon, alto; Petr Skalka, cello; Ludek Brany, double bass and Céline Frisch, harpsichord). Other strings or wind instruments would be added depending on the programme.  The ensemble Café Zimmermann is one of the new breed of Baroque groups offering lean, high-energy performances on historical instruments. Imagined in the Leipzig coffeehouse where Bach's Collegium Musicum instrumental ensemble might have performed in the 18th century, the one-instrument-per-part performance here is plausible, although evidence that such performances occurred in Bach's time does not indicate that such performances were desirable. Bach himself requested an orchestra of 24 players from the Leipzig city council, and a piece like the Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068, echoes French ensembles of that size.  Tempi are quick, with the suite's famous Air on a G string taken at an unusually brisk clip, but the textures remain unusually transparent, and the overall feel is lively and clear. The Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1063, the most troublesome of the set of six with its unusual double-viola scoring, gets a rich, complex reading. Another attraction comes from the Alpha label's practice of pairing musical works with detailed art-historical essays on a painting of the period; the work by Antwerp artist Peter Jacob Horemans, though only tangentially related to Bach, is full of fascinating details such as a cup of coffee or tea being dumped into a bowl, perhaps to be given to one of the four dogs appearing in the painting. As always, buyers of Alpha's series can give themselves a decent grounding in art history at no additional cost.

Located in Saint-Catherine street in Leipzig, Gottfried Zimmermann's coffee house would host weekly concerts by theCollegium Musicum back in the XVIIIth century. The ensemble, founded by Georg Philipp Telemann, and conducted by J. S. Bach between 1729 and 1739, performed secular cantatas and instrumental music for an audience of experimented music-lovers. At the time, Leipzig and the neighboring town of Dresden drew numerous musicians eager to meet the famous Cantor or participate in the rich musical life of the Saxon capital. Hence, Zimmermann's coffee house offered a broad spectrum from the repertory...

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Recital-time in Swellendam

benatar

An exciting programme of music to suit all tastes is in store for visitors on 22nd January at 4 p.m. in the beautiful setting of Red Roan Ranch, Hermitage, Swellendam and on 29th January also at 4 p.m. in the welcoming and intimate atmosphere of 41 Tennant Road, Barrydale. The artists who will entertain you are Brad Liebl (baritone) and Sylvia Schulman (pianist). Brad is a superb singer, master of his art. Dr. Brad Liebl (summa cum laude from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) is an Associate Professor of Classical Voice and Co-ordinator (from 1998 to 2003) of that division...

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Tart of the week: Apricot

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  This rustic Karoo-style Apricot Tart shows how good perfectly ripened apricots can taste. Fresh apricots are such a treat so when we use them in our baking we want a dessert that brings out their sweet and acidic flavor. I believe this tart does just that. It takes fresh apricots, with their skins still intact, cuts them into thick wedges, gently tosses them with sugar and a little salt, and arranges them on a platform of buttery crisp pastry. I love how this tart looks after it is baked, the golden brown pastry and the apricot wedges with their caramelized...

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1 DECEMBER Emancipation Day.

slave-collage

1 December 1838 is the anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves. There will be commemorative events at the slave memorials at Elim and at Pniel (near Stellenbosch). The slave monument at Elim, unveiled on the centenary of the emancipation of the slaves,  1 December 1938, was until recently the only monument of this nature outside of Cape Town. The one at Pniel was erected three years ago. In Cape Town, the full carillon (bells) of the City Hall will be rung at 12h00 on December 1, and all other facilities with bells are encouraged to ring them for 5 minutes at 12h00. Here is a simple...

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