Swellendam Guesthouse

Deli delights

MInt deli launch

The Mint Deli is a known factor in Swellendam and they are a most reliable source of excellent goodies and a ever-changing menu. Now, to welcome the season they are bringing us a new look and a small but well chosen range of gifts and apparel. Taste is another new addition to the town and is located in the SwellenMark. It is a small deli and supplier of spices, packing solutions and other interesting items. The range of deli meat is quite impressive and is all produced on Voorstekop farm.  Voorstekop, just past Swellendam on the way to Heidelberg comprises many hills and valleys of two special...

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Shebeen.

Shebeen front-1

Playing this month at Augusta’s African Cafe is a little gem we found in our ongoing search for South African sounds that are largely unknown and yet familiar as they reflected the times and trends. Like its more famous contemporary ‘King Kong’, the recording of ‘Shebeen’ gives the listener well crafted stand-alone songs that do not succumb to the “group-sing” tendency of some musicals. Set in Cape Town’s District Six (before the apartheid government tore it down) ‘Shebeen’ fuses African jazz, kwela, marabi, and some great vocal performances from Ben Satch Masinga and,...

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High Flyers alert

Hi-Flyers Magazine Sept 2011

Hot off the press. We were interviewed by the wonderful Katherine Graham for High Flyers magazine. It is always nice to read about Augusta in the news. A SHORT EXTRACT FROM THE ARTICLE When it comes to preserving historical buildings, you won’t find anyone as passionate as Henk Klijn. The co-owner of Augusta de Mist Country Estate in Swellendam is familiar with the joys and challenges of living in a home with a history – the oldest part of the guest house dates back to 1802 and is a national monument. ‘A heritage homestead is not cheap and easy; the whole structure needs constant...

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Sheepish

Sheep Excursion by George Irwin

A great pic by George Irwin of the event at Sandkraal. Visit the Swellendam Heritage site over the next few days to see more of George's pics from the excursion. The Swellendam Heritage Association celebrated Swellendam's historic link with wool by having a Sheep Shearing Day at Sandkraal, a farm just 10km from the original Rotterdam yard belonging to Magistrate Faure. A short talk on the history of the wool industry was followed by observing the shearing process, accompanied by an expert who delivered commentary and answered questions. The outing ended with the most delicious tea and snacks...

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Shear HERITAGE

sheep shear

Today we attended a most informative excursion to the beautiful Sandkraal farm just outside Swellendam. Sixth generation farmer on Sandkraal, Hansie Swart gave an informative talk sketching the background to Merino farming in South Africa with specific reference to Swellendam. The actual shearing was a sight to behold. In a 1940's barn, in soft spring midmorning light, the shearing by old-fashioned shears was quiet and peaceful. A gentle rhythm ensued as the shearers felt there way around the tufty wool and the sheep waited patiently for their turn.  

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Wine Advocate

mfw straw

We were proud this week of our friends Chris and Andrea to be included in Neal Martin's first ever serious review of South African Wines for Robert Parker's THE WINE ADVOCATE – essentially the most respected Wine Publication in the world. The Mullineux range performed exceptionally well - all rating "Outstanding" as follows 2010 White Blend 91/100 "exquisite... racy... a superb Chenin Blanc blend" 2009 Syrah 92/100 "classic in style, reserved but ambitious" 2010 Straw Wine 94/100 "a ravishing straw wine and completely irresistable" The value for money (Retailing for below...

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So romantic, Augusta should come with a warning

The future Mr & Mrs Willemse

Kevin and Debbie were two carefree youngsters from Holland on a sponsored fact-finding mission. As restaurateurs they came to SA to learn more about our food and attitudes to cooking as well as service. They did find that SA is setting a high benchmark when it comes to service & food preparation and that Europe could learn a thing or two from our style and attitudes. But we knew that... But thats not all. So inspired by Augusta de Mist and her seductive gardens, Kevin popped the question and Debbie is soon to be Mrs Willemsen. In a mail sent to us later the same day, Kevin mentions that...

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The Rooster on the Roof

Rooster on the Roof

The old Augusta de Mist coach house has had a minor new arrival in the shape of the most attractive weathervane. Any self-respecting structure such as this ex-barn deserves a weathervane and it was a matter of finding the right one. And it did. Our beautiful new rooster on the coach house is a fine specimen by Heidelberg artist Andre Kluyts. Star Nation Art Studio in Heidelberg is the brainchild of Andre and Louise Kluyts who relocated to Heidelberg from Cape Town and have established a thriving hub of art and craft. Getting to Heidelberg is a pleasant experience. The N2 is one way of course,...

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Koornlands lives!

koornlands

Like a cat with nine lives, Koornlands has survived and is back in full force. Steve and Marianne bought a very ordinary Swellendam building which had been victim of several deeply insensitive renovations over years and had lost all but a few of its once-beautiful Victorian feel. Seeing past all that, they renovated, painted, remodeled and landscaped until the building was just perfect and then filled it with the most gorgeous art and photography. Koornlands is ready to serve its loyal patrons once more and attending the launch afternoon was a pleasure. We wish Steve and Marianne all the best...

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Monteverdi Jazz

front

If you were to read the sleeve notes for this Monteverdi disc from the early music group L'Arpeggiata, then you might be forgiven for being scared off. Director, Christina Pluhar, devotes much of the space to discussing Monteverdi's use of ostinato and walking basses, which is fine if you have a music degree, but scholarly gobbledygook to most. Don't be put off. Don't be. The packaging is a red herring, and this disc has to be one of the most exciting Baroque performances to hit the record shelves this year. The group's aim is to show off the variety of Claudio Monteverdi's secular compositions,...

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