Swellendam Guesthouse

‘Moulin Renaudiots’ visits Swellendam

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If you are in the market for a little trip to Burgundy we can highly recommend 'Moulin Renaudiots', the wonderful guest-house owned by Evelyne & Trevor Morgan. The house is set in a 17th century watermill and has been totally renovated, offering a high level of comfort and modern facilities. Five large guest rooms combine wood and stone with contemporary rural furniture & overlook peaceful gardens and surrounding hills. And just like at Augusta de Mist you can join Evelyne & Trevor for 'table d'hôtes' – dinner served on the terrace or in the main lounge. The guesthouse is the perfect...

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A Minor Public Figure…

We are so priviigded to get some amazing guests. From movers and shakers in the jazz world to journalists, chefs and fashion designers. We were very honoured to have the wonderful Des Wilson and his gorgeous wife Jane with us this week, and to also cook dinner for them. We were surprised and touched when Des left a copy of his very recent book Memoirs of a Minor Public Figure in the suite after they checked out. But what a book! Choc full of information on the transformation of British politics and the people behind it. As Sir Harold Evans says in the forward: "Every country needs a Des Wilson." Des...

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Yebo Gogo

And just when you think we have had all sorts of cool and fabulous guests, we are visited by the Wakefield Grannies, a group of women from Wakefield in Quebec, offering support to AIDS Orphans and their Grandmothers in Alexandra Township, South Africa. They are also affectionately known as the Alexandria Gogos. On a visit to Quebec in 2004, Rose Letwaba spoke about her work to a small audience in the Wakefield United Church. Rose is a nurse in the health clinic in Alexandra Township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. The picture she painted was of a whole generation of South...

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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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Wisteria Arch

Invasive, non-indigenous, loud, and beautiful. Our garden has always had a small Wisteria here or there but unbeknown to us, the Wisteria has spend the last few months annexing one of the garden arches and surprised us one day by just coming out in full bloom. And what is wrong with that? We love it. It has a Hong Kong garden feel to it and is just incredibly luxurious. We hope it will stay in bloom for a while still...

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Cape of storms? You bet…

Snow Lion

...and another weather update today. Here are some images from friends in Swellendam to illustrate a few things that have been witness to during the current cold snap. We all think that it is much colder this year than last, with more rain and much more snowfalls across the country. Bev Missing of Rain, our Swellendam Superbrand took this shot in the Hermitage, which is part of Swellendam. Johan Kriek, manager of the Drostdy Quarter and all-round curator of note caught the Sugar Bridge at Buffeljachts almost engulfed with water, and this river is normally fairly tame... by the way: the name...

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Daytrip notes: Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas Lighthouse

Swellendam is an amazingly central place. It is a much under-publicised fact that we are always about an hour & a bit from anything that you could want. Really - try it. Brandy, Karoo, whales, wine, and so on... And of course, Swellendam is equally central to some impressive landmarks, and few are as significant as the very tip of our great continent. Cape Agulhas, the very most southerly point on the African continent, was given its name by the Portuguese explorer and navigator Bartholomeu Diaz, as he rounded the Cape for the first time in 1488. At Cabo L’Agulhas Diaz and subsequent...

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Swellendam Saturday

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Some weekends are busier than others, even in Swellendam. This weekend is exceptional even by busy standards with some interesting things in and around town. Friday night was the SwellenGlam party in aid of the Swellendam Bursary Fund, and it was just great to see so much support from the community for this project. Mr Basil May was there, looking dapper; local drag queens were looking chilly in their skimpy outfits, several Swellendammers of recent European origin dressed 70's glam and it was altogether a loud, fun evening. Saturday saw the anniversary of the Swellendam Republic with a market...

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Organic in Paradise

Greg in his restaurant

Suurbraak is a quaint village situated 19km east of Swellendam, also known by the ancient San as 'Xairu' meaning beautiful or paradise. One of the villages charms is its isolation, being situated off the Wine Route R62 and busy N2, but this is not without its pitfall as this limits the financial resources for its residents. For this reason there are many people working hard to put Suurbraak on the map, hoping to make Xairu a place to stay and enjoy the sights, rather than a passing place. Found at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, the village has a lot to offer the discerning traveller, including...

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Heart of the Matter

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Somehow Augusta attracts just the nicest people. Take this week as an example: it was a quiet day with only one check-in expected. Also, fairly grey being at the onset of winter, but as soon as David and Ruth Aird checked in, they brought with them a sense of warmth and light. The highlight of their stay was to have them for dinner in the African Kitchen and they both delighted in the goodies which we brought for them! This week we made a REAL breyani, the royal kind with sultanas, almonds and saffron milk. They loved it. And we loved having them. To make things even more special was when...

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