Swellendam Guesthouse

Another Classic Retreat

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We are so very proud to be part of Classic Retreats. The agreement has been finalized and our page is live on their site. http://www.classicretreats.com/members/overview/48/august-de-mist Classic Retreats is a fine portfolio of handpicked, elegant and charming accommodation experiences in Southern and East Africa each providing passion and personality together with outstanding value. CLASSIC RETREATS was launched in 1993 and acquired by Suzanne Bayly-Coupe in 1999. Since its inception, Classic Retreats has been responsible for the international positioning and branding of many of Africa’s...

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A night with Bill Ashton OBE

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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

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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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Canadian Bach

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Thanks to their abundant tunefulness, exuberance and virtuosity,Bach’s concertos for solo keyboard and string orchestra remain widely popular with audiences and performers. Written originally for harpsichord, they are performed today equally often on modern piano. From 1729 to 1741, Bach was director of the Collegium musicum in Leipzig, a student musical society, founded by Georg Philipp Telemann in 1703 and run before Bach by Balthasar Schott. The Collegium musicum often gave performances at Zimmermann's coffee-house. It was for these occasions that Bach produced his harpsichord...

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Passionate Pomegranate Co

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Recently we have been serving delicious pomegranate juice which I am working on rebranding and then launching. Below is an extract from the current website: Intriguing, refreshing, delicious pomegranate juice is all-natural. To ensure that you get the most wholesome product possible, we only use fresh juice. We do not add any preservatives or additives, nor do we apply any heat treatment (pasteurizing). Pomegranate juice is one of nature's most powerful antioxidants - molecules that protect the body from the harm done by free radicals that cause heart disease, premature ageing, Alzheimer's...

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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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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.

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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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Coronation Double Century ’11: Results and some Pics

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Congratulations to Cape Town Market Team for winning the Coronation Double Century in 5hours,13 minutes and 05 secs! “With guys like Jaco Venter, Jeremy Maartens and Tiaan Kannemeyer in our team, there’s no doubt that we’re aiming for a win,” said Cape Town Market/Noble Energy’s team captain Hannes van der Walt. The Cape Town Market team has emerged as one of South Africa’s top cycling teams.Two members of the team have been awarded their national colours, and now support their country at numerous international events. The team is sponsored by Altius Holdings, acknowledging...

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