Page 1

MISSION TO THE EDGE OF SPACE The Manufacture Zenith congratulates Felix Baumgartner on having beaten three records by jumping from the stratosphere during the Red Bull Stratos mission

EL PRIMERO STRATOS the first watch to break the sound barrier in a near space environment

Shop 106. Garden Route Mall. Knysna Road. George 6530. South Africa. Tel. +27 (0)44 887 0055. Fax. +27 (0)44 887 0057


COPENHAGEN to STOCKHOLM 14 to 21 August 2013 Seven Seas Voyager Cruise Fares from US$4,199 per person ROME to VENICE 29 August to 8 September 2013 Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Fares from US$5,287 per person MONTE CARLO to ATHENS 18 to 25 September 2013 Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Fares from US$3,586 per person

Elegant Ships With All Ocean-View Suites, Private Balconies and No More Than 700 Guests • FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions • FREE Luxury Hotel Package • FREE Unlimited Beverages Including Fine Wines and Premium Spirits • FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities • FREE Open bar and lounges plus In-suite bar set-up and mini-bar replenished daily • FREE 24-hour room service and no additional charge for specialty restaurants

General Sales Agent: Janine Pretorius Tel: 012 664 0925  Email: Offers expire March 31, 2013 and their availability is limited. At the time of your purchase, fares may be higher. For current fares and promotional offers, please call your local travel agent. Fares listed are in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy. All fares listed are per person and bonus savings listed are per suite. All fares and offers are for new bookings only, are capacity controlled and subject to availability, may not be combined with other offers and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. 2-for-1 Fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares; fares may not include Personal Charges, Optional Facilities and Services Fees as defined in the Terms and Conditions of the Guest Ticket Contract. FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Package applies for guests 1 and 2 only. Seven Seas Voyager June 1, 2013 voyage is not eligible for the FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Package. FREE Unlimited Shore Excursion reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and number of shore excursions are subject to availability. Restrictions apply and cancellations received 36 hours prior to shore excursion start date may incur penalties. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares or promotional offers at any time. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the Guest Ticket Contract at Hermès® is a registered mark of Hermès International. L’Occitane® is a registered mark of L’Occitane, S.A. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas ©2012 Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

• Up to four gourmet restaurants, including the iconic steakhouse Prime 7, plus haute French cuisine at Signatures, Continental dining at Compass Rose, casual indoor and outdoor buffet dining at La Veranda, our new Tuscan-inspired evening restaurant Sette Mari at La Veranda and the al fresco Pool Grill





Live RY



















Paardevlei, Heartland’s mixed-use development in Somerset West, offers convenient access to the N2 and is situated 20 only minutes away from Cape Town International Airport. The Helderberg, Hottentots Mountain range and beach form a magnificent backdrop to the De Beers Precinct, which is already 50% sold. Land with rights for office and residential development is available for purchase and the existing heritage buildings offer exquisite tenant accomodation. Recreational offerings include the recently relocated Cheetah Outreach Centre, Flagstone Winery and Triggerfish Micro-Brewery, Somerset Mall located within walking distance of Paardevlei offers access to a one-stop shopping experience.

Somerset West • South Africa

For letting or development opportunities.



Work Play Grow Nature Shop

Create Design by G Studio Branding Agency













Benvenuti a casa.*

Johannesburg, Shop 4 Design Quarter, Cnr William Nicol & Leslie Dr, Fourways 2191

Sandton: B. Italian, ShopFax:+27(0) 1, ILLOVO Square, +27(0)11 268 6677, Fax: +27(0)11 5077 Phone: +27(0) 11 465 4300, 11 467 3676,Tel: Email:, Web: 268 Fourways: Casa,The Shop 68b72 Design Quarter, Tel : +27(0)11465 4300, Cape Town, Modus Shop B1 Vivendi Cape Quarter Piazza, Waterkant St Greenpoint, Cape Town 8001Fax: +27(0)11 467 3676 Phone: +27(0) 21 418 1834, Fax: +27(0) 21 418 1834, Email:, Web :

Cape Town: Modus Vivendi Casa, Shop A17 Old Cape Quarter (La Piazza), Tel: +27(0)21 418 1834 Email: modus_2.indd 1

10/31/11 2:26 PM

R16999 R9999





56 42

C o n T E n Ts 16 10

Editor’s letter and competition winners



14 16

26 36

L imelight–FineFynbosfood A sensory indulgence


 irections D Best of the new from across the Garden Route


E xperience–CangoCaves What lies beneath  usiness–Homegrown B The Garden Route’s own businessmen and women  in–Shakennotstirred G Delicious gin with an indigenous flair

TastingEden–Afeastofchefs Meet the winner and finalists

56 67

L ifestyle–EddiedaSilva Architect of his own destiny  earup–Golfing G 10 Must-haves for a good game of golf


70 76


4 fabulous reader give-aways up for grabs




PhotogRaPh MELAniE MAré

70 76

D estination – Conrad Pezula Living in luxury

Special Report – Beyond Polo Horsing around in the Southern Cape


M otoring – New cars in 2013 Make the right choices

93 95

Socials Seen out and about

Subscribe and WIN A two-night stay for two in an ultra luxurious deluxe junior suite, full English breakfast for two in Café Z (both days), a full resort experience with a dinner for two at Café Z (one night only), a Spa neck and shoulder treatment or a round of golf at Conrad Pezula in Knysna.


Last Word The red Ferrari

T H E GR A S S I S A LWAY S GR E E N E R W H E R E Y O U WAT E R I T The truth seems obvious in a simple, sensible saying such as this. Yet in today’s fast-paced lifestyle of instant gratification and overnight success, a slow, nurturing, long-term, dedicated approach has become a rarity. Self-actualisation is seen to be achieved by those for whom change is the answer to any obstacle. Don’t get me wrong, it often is. We just seem to have forgotten that there are times too when the opposite is required instead. Perhaps you don’t need a new house, car, job, hobby, partner or friends. Perhaps you just need to try once more, slightly differently this time. Add a bit of tenacity, laughter, energy, focus, forgiveness – something you haven’t tried in that particular combination before. After all, inventor Thomas Edison insisted that he never conducted a failed experiment but that, instead, he had discovered endless ways of how something didn’t work. Perhaps 2013 is the year to say: “Yes, in my back yard. That’s where it’s happening and where I’m making it happen.”


Follow South on


Here are the lucky South readers who walked away with the Summer prizes:

A Fancourt Spa Splendour package voucher for two, worth R2 660 – Monica Soer An Oue Werf Country House accommodation voucher for two, including breakfast, worth R1 000 – Dawn Walsh

Two Dolphin Paragliding South Africa tandem jumps with video included, worth R1 500 – Elbie Bernadie Subscribers prize: A two-night stay for two, including breakfast, dinner, a couple’s spa treatment and a round of golf at Simola Hotel, Country Club and Spa in Knysna, worth R10 000 – Stuart Baird


NLR Wines, worth R1 000 – Renee Moll

EDITOR Liesl Hattingh | 021 424 0792 or 082 777 5746 ASSISTANT EDITOR Itha Kieser | 044 873 2771 or 082 333 7407 ART DIRECTOR Sean Robertson | 083 446 0478 COPY EDITOR Janine Oelofse | WRITERS Fawa Conradie, Timothy Twidle, Richard Webb, Nikki Ridley, Colleen Blaine, Marliza van den Berg, Winnie Yanioglou, Dale Morris PHOTOGRAPHERS Dale Morris, Christy Strever/Showme Plettenberg Bay, Charlene Harte, Desmond Scholtz, Glenn Murray, Melanie Maré, Rudy Koen ILLUSTRATIONS Fawa Conradie ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Eugene Hugo | 021 424 0792 or 071 672 3545 SALES ExECUTIvES Lino Vermaak, Steph Minwalla, Nimray Kruger 021 424 0792 FINANCIAL DIRECTOR Juan Hugo | MARkETING AND EvENTS CO-ORDINATOR Shyne Murray | | 044 873 2771 OFFICE ASSISTANT Charlotte Ngubane | 021 424 0792 ACCOUNTS Eldri Lombard | PRINTING Paarl Media Paarl DISTRIBUTION On the Dot | 011 401 5881 SUBSCRIPTIONS See page 95, visit, send an email to or call 044 873 2771 Website: PUBLISHERS Young Africa Publishing 2009/000077/23 Cape Town: Studio 2, 2nd Floor, 6 On-Pepper, 6 Pepper Street, Cape Town, 8000 Postal: PostNet Suite 38, Private Bag X3, Roggebaai, 8012 Tel: 021 424 0792 | Fax: 021 424 5292 George: 3 Rand Street, George Industria, George, 6536 Tel: 044 873 2771 | Fax: 044 873 2784

© SOUTH 2010. All due care will be taken with material submitted but the magazine and the publishers cannot be held responsible for loss or damage. SOUTH assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial, graphic, photographic or other material. All rights in letters and unsolicited material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to SOUTH’s unrestricted right to edit, crop, adjust and comment. SOUTH is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part with the written permission from the publisher, Young Africa Publishing. While reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information given to the reader, the editor, the publisher and the proprietor cannot accept responsibility for any damage or inconvenience which may arise therefrom. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Contributors Meet some of the people who made this edition so special: Dale Morris, originally from England, settled in the GR 8 years ago. A dedicated naturalist, he writes about and photographs nature, and leads wildlife photography tours around the world. What did you learn last year?

To strike a balance between work commitments and travel, and to spend quality time with my family. Name one new thing you want to do this year? To swim with

and photograph manta rays or whale sharks. Name one favourite place or activity on GR. To walk my

dog through forests or along our beaches.

Christy strever is 29, runs a community website called ShowMe Plett and has lived in Plettenberg Bay for 3 years. She was previously in London working as a chef for the Lawn Tennis Association. She has a passion for photography and art. What did you learn last year?

I learnt that I’m really good at writing rhymes and I even want to publish my own children’s book. Name one new thing you want to do this year? Go skydiving. Name one favourite place or activity on GR. Poortjies

Lagoon in Plettenberg Bay.

Glenn Murray is a travel/ commercial photographer based in Plettenberg Bay. He is happiest when photographing in third world destinations.

Winnie yanioGlou has been living in Herold’s Bay for 8 years with her family. She works for Meridian Wines and represents 25 of South Africa’s top wine farms.

What did you learn last year?

What did you learn last year?

I learnt that health and fitness are paramount to happiness.

That every person I deal with knows something better than me – if I listened for long enough I have the opportunity to learn.

Name one new thing you want to do this year? A photo-essay

on Cuba.

Name one new thing you want to do this year? Slow down

Name one favourite place or activity on GR. The

and plan.

walk to Arch Rock on Keurbooms beach.

Name one favourite place or activity on GR? An early

morning walk with the crisp air tingling my face and being surrounded by Fynbos fragrances.

Bright young things an eye for detail and a menu that delights the senses have helped a passionate couple win recognition for their revival of mossel Bay’s Fynbos Gourmet Restaurant. W O R D S

m a R L I Z a

V a n

D E n

Emilé and marisa nel, owners of Fynbos Gourmet Restaurant in Mossel Bay, are the type who can turn a town around. Since taking over Fynbos just over a year ago, they have made their mark, earning rave reviews on Trip Advisor and winning an award for Best Newcomer in an annual Garden Route culinary contest. The restaurant is in the older part of Mossel Bay in a conservatory room decorated in soft colours that create

14 |

| autumn 2013


p h O t O G R a p h S

D E S m O n D

a relaxed ambiance. One instantly realises that offering guests an unforgettable experience is what life is all about for this husband and wife team. Chef Emilé is responsible for the signature dishes while Marisa runs the restaurant with a keen eye for detail. The couple gained valuable experience in the hospitality industry while working abroad. In England they worked in three and four star hotels, trying their hand at everything from

S c h O Lt Z

housekeeping to working in the sculleries. Marisa completed the Silver Service course which laid the basis for her eye for detail and precision. Upon their return to South Africa, Emilé enrolled at the Warwick Chef School in Hermanus. Thereafter they spent a year in America where Emilé worked as chef while Marisa worked her way up from waitress to junior banqueting manager.


A trio of desserts ensures a memorable end to dinner at Fynbos gourmet Restaurant

“A year in America was equal to a few years’ experience in England,” remarks Emilé. “They are extremely focused on service.” Marisa says: “We believe in investing in our staff. Training them and giving them the opportunity to develop. It is a process.” Emilé’s versatility as a chef is evident in the Fynbos menu. Start the day with breakfast, order tea or coffee with delectable cakes by mid-morning, enjoy lunch and from Tuesdays to Saturdays experience fine dining. The breakfast menu includes bacon and eggs or homemade muesli with fruit and yoghurt. Fynbos has become famous for its apple crumble while other sweet treats include individual lemon meringue pies, New York and fridge cheese cakes, muffins and scones. Lunch specialties include deboned braised pork neck with honey and

mustard sauce or grilled chicken and pineapple paninni with sweet chilli cream cheese. The dinner menu boasts marinated chicken supreme served on wild mushroom pesto risotto and white wine velouté sauce, or braised lamb shank with garlic and cherry tomato mashed potato. Five spice duck breast with stir fry rice, teriyaki sauce and kumquat puree is also on offer. The lamb curry with rice, homemade apple chutney, coconut shavings, pumpkin tart, coconut foam and lemon yoghurt has become a firm favourite while fresh seafood from the Mossel Bay harbour gets a new twist under Emilé’s creative hand. Try the seafood bourride – a rich creamy garlic soup with prawns, mussels and flagiolette beans topped with garlic hake. Be wise and leave space for dessert as this comes in a trio: apple crumble

with vanilla ice-cream, vanilla crème brûlée and cheese cake with berry coulis – all on one plate. Emilé believes in having contact with the guests and makes time to chat with them after dinner. The overall experience at Fynbos is exactly what Emilé and Marisa are dedicated to. Emilé shares the sentiment of his favourite chef, Thomas Keller of the famous French Laundry Restaurant in California’s Napa Valley: “He believes that there is no such thing as perfect food. When the food makes the people happy, then you have reached perfection. “It is all in the experience and we want to treat people,” he says.

Fynbos Gourmet Restaurant 31 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay 044 691 1366

directions the best new products, shops, restaurants, services and events.

16 |

| autumn 2013


THE PINNACLE OF OUR HERITAGE The archaeological sites at Mossel Bay’s Pinnacle Point caves, which have revealed some of the earliest evidence of modern human behaviour, have been declared Western Cape Heritage Sites. The declaration was recently published in the Western Cape Government Gazette. “This is a significant step towards having Pinnacle Point declared a World Heritage Site,” says Prof Curtis Marean, who heads the South African Coastal Palaeoclimate, Palaeoenvironment, Palaeoecology, and Palaeoanthropology (SACP4) Project, which is studying the finds at Pinnacle Point. The site is significant because it has a uniquely dense concentration of well-preserved archaeological sites which contain a record of human occupation over a period of about 170 000 years, from the time when modern human behaviour first emerged to the pre-colonial period. Pinnacle Point will now be put forward for National Heritage Site status before applications can be made to have it declared a World Heritage Site. The site is already drawing visits from a large number of scientists and students. Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm welcomed the declaration. “We’ve been following the progress of the SACP4 Project with growing excitement, and we’ve posted a number of articles and videos about it on


trust your food!

Hayshed vegetable farm – home of the Hay family Charles, Gill, Stuart and Josie – lies at the foot of the Outeniqua mountains, where avocado orchards, fields of chillies and vegetables, and a small herd of Nguni cows add to the picturesque setting. The family’s passion is farming vegetables as closely to nature as possible, so they follow organic principles. Vegetables, fruit, herbs, dairy, bread, chicken, eggs as well as prepared meals are part of the product range. Everything is sourced locally or grown on the farm and it’s always deliciously fresh. Look out for their very popular veggie and salad boxes. Order on a Wednesday before 12 noon and they will deliver at Fancourt, in the parking shed behind Holy Cross School or in Great Brak River. Also find them at the Outeniqua Farmer’s Market. Call 083 997 1754 or visit


Yuli Handmade is the creative escape of Russian Yuliya Nilssen, who lives with her family in a Garden Route coastal town. Since her childhood in the Ukraine, Yuliya has been making clothing and accessories for her dolls and soft toys. Having developed her skill from a need in the USSR when luxury items were scarce, she now makes a wide range of crochet and knitted beanies, Laska dolls, Shwe-shwe elephant toys, “Forget me not” blankets, mini bags and bracelets. On her website Yuliya shares patterns and tutorials which will inspire creativity. Especially the adult slippers have proven to be a hit – a must have this winter! Available in sizes 3 months to 4 years – R110; sizes 5 to 10 years – R120 and adult – R130. Call 082 257 4313 or visit

18 |

| AUTUMN 2013



U R S E L F, T H Y M E & A G A I N

Savoury or sweet treats, aromatic coffees or crisp wines, Tessa de Kock and Kirstin Falk’s farm stall café will have you returning time and again. Customers can relax in the garden at Thyme & Again while enjoying a variety of scrumptious savoury and sweet homemade delights, local delicacies and an excellent collection of fine wines, freshly brewed coffee or a light meal. This year Thyme & Again will also launch their castle playground, kiddies menu and birthday party packages. A larger variety of bakes and café meals for diabetics, vegetarians and vegans is on the cards, all focusing on locally sourced, home-made, healthy treats. Donations to local charities on specific items sold in the farm stall and café as well as environmentally friendly initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint are also high on the agenda for 2013, including recycling, solar energy and rain watered gardens. Call 044 535 9432, visit or find Thyme & Again off the N2 opposite Keurboomstrand turn-off, Plettenberg Bay.

something worth celebrating

Hennie and Anita Kritzinger’s Luka Wines near Plettenberg Bay, of which 1,5 hectares is under Sauvignon Blanc grape, has been awarded a Michelangelo International silver medal, a Veritas bronze medal and a Platter’s Wine Guide 3-star rating for its 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. Originally from Zambia, the couple emigrated to “semi-retire” in the Garden Route. The enjoyment of family, friends, entertaining and good wine bought about the birth of Luka Wines. Congratulations to both Hennie Kritzinger and winemaker Anton Smal. This was only Luka’s second harvest from its vineyard in Harkerville overlooking the Knysna Elephant Park. Look out for the Luka Sauvignon Blanc in good local restaurants. Call 082 332 3299 or visit

20 |

| AUTUMN 2013

COFFEE AND ROCK ART If you are interested in art and looking for cosmopolitan coffee bar culture, look no further than Caloroso Espresso Bar in George. They feature the work of different South African artists who exhibit over 8 weeks. In March it is the turn of Canadian anthropological photographer Kevin Crouse, who is based in South Africa and specialises in rock art. Kevin is a technical photographer with an intense, creative eye. He captures footage in some of the most scenic spots sacred to the San people. Interestingly, there is an incredible range of sand and rock art in the Southern Cape. View his work at the opening of the exhibition on 7 March and onwards at Caloroso. Call 074 1977 646 or 044 874 0482, visit or find Calaroso in Meade Street, George.


The harvesT Table is back! lunch is always a fine affair at the meade café, and the Harvest table is back by popular demand. with the emphasis on seasonal and locally sourced produce, you can expect to see an array of vegetables and salads with meat as an accompaniment rather than the main focus of the meal. it is a healthy, low carb option. meade café has a different, fresh approach to food. in true Bistro style, the offerings of the daily, quick “serve yourself” luncheon Feast are decked out between 12pm and 2pm on weekdays and chalked on the blackboard. For those with a limited lunchtime, this is the perfect choice for a quick sit-down or take-away meal. Call 044 873 6755 or visit

yoga – nothing beats it

the new knysna yoga shala centre offers daily yoga classes and workshops in a beautiful, stress free environment while creating a sense of community. classes are kept small in order to provide individual attention from qualified, experienced and patient teachers. all props and equipment are provided. the centre is set in an original heritage building (wychling, built circa 1926) from the Victorian era, and the shala’s charm and grace are enhanced by its surroundings – a beautifully maintained indigenous garden. they have a small library in the solarium and a store selling a range of yoga clothing and props as well as an assortment of specially selected gift items. a complimentary tea tray, and extended opening hours all add to a harmonious experience. the mission at the knysna yoga shala is to provide, educate and teach good yoga classes and workshops. Call 076 190 9823 or 044 382 3077, visit or find the centre at 2 Bond Street (Corner Gray & Bond Streets), Knysna.

Hetta’s HealtHy takeaways

Johan de Jager named the George-based Hetta’s Home Foods after his grandmother. Passionate about cooking, Johan fills the need for a wholesome, affordable take-away meal. He only uses the best and freshest local produce. in addition to using free-range meat, Hetta’s use stone-ground flour to make their own pastry and pasta, and dairy straight from the farm. no preservatives, msG or colorants are added. Call 082 859 5579, visit or, or find Hetta’s at at Shop 2, Golden Harvest Centre, George or the Outeniqua Farmers’ Market.

22 |

| autumn 2013


W H AT ’S ON 2 & 3 MARCH Pine Lakes Off-Road Festival/Get Dirty Adventure/Mole Rat Night Trail Run 9 MARCH Tortoise Tuff Challenge 23 MARCH Kingfisher MTB Enduro Race 29 MARCH-6 APRIL KKNK and Wild Goose Chase Mountain Bike & Trail Run 30 MARCH Goukamma Traverse 5 APRIL Sedgefield Slow Festival 6 APRIL Santos Summer Tri 26-28 APRIL Prince Albert Olive Festival and Swartberg Marathon 1-5 MAY Pink Loerie Mardi Gras

be a smart cookie

There’s no substitute for the smell and taste of freshly baked cookies, and now even a busy mom can become a domestic goddess thanks to Aasem Lekker’s frozen cookie dough range. Sarina Labuschagne, Mare Lombard, Ina le Roux and Brechie de Meyer first launched their product in October 2012, hoping to become a household name in the Garden Route by allowing even those who break out in a cold sweat at the thought of a spatula to bake their own cookies. It’s as easy as taking the dough out of the freezer, slicing it into disks and popping it in the oven – 10 minutes later you have wonderful, warm, home-baked cookies for tea! The cookie dough is preservative free and keeps for about four months in the freezer. The range consists of an awesome chocolate chip, coconut and decadent shortbread range. There is a lavender shortbread for spoiling, a plain shortbread full of buttery goodness and their famous espresso shortbread, which has a lingering taste of freshly grounded coffee. Call Sarina on 076 940 3525 or Ina on 071 182 8492, visit www.facebook/com/aasem or find Aasem products at the Outeniqua Farmers’ Market or Pink Tree Market every first Saturday of the month.


Current affairs, politics, adventure, mystery and a dash of cuisine are the themes of the fourth annual Knysna Literary Festival from 19-24 March 2013. Not only does the festival celebrate the written word, but also literacy. “Our goal is to expose locals and visitors alike to South Africa’s literary talent, as well as stimulate the children of Knysna and encourage them to read and write more,” says Ling Dobson, founder of the festival. “We have a writers’ competition and theatre activities intended to inspire young people.” The Knysna Literary Festival gives back to the community. Beneficiaries include the e’Pap Children’s Feeding Project and the TSiBA Eden Campus library. Renowned authors and raconteurs include Deon Meyer – 7 Days; Rob Caskie – Rorke’s Drift & Shackleton Expedition; Riaan Manser – Around Iceland on Inspiration; Sarah Graham – Bitten; McIntosh Polela – My father my Monster, Shaka Sisulu – Becoming. Call Sasha Campbell on 082 450 9301 or Viv Segal on 082 442 6995, or visit

24 |

| AUTUMN 2013

look good, feel great these t-shirt bra options are also available in-store

great fashion essentials. great prices. 365 days a year.

11995 shelley 2-pack t-shirt bras

4940 Edgars KVI Shelley 2-Pack.indd 1

2013/01/22 10:15


26 |

| AUTUMN 2013







For over a century the cango caves near Oudtshoorn have delighted tourists with their magical formations, but even as exposure to human activities has robbed the complex of its initial splendour, kilometres of underground wonderland remain yet to be explored in this and many other systems in the Swartberg. autumn 2013 |

| 27


ow this is the infamous Tunnel of Love,” sounds the disembodied voice of Johannes, our Cango Caves guide. I can’t see him; only hear him, because I am well and truly jammed into a tiny crawl space with no more room than an elephant’s colon. “It’s where a very large lady got stuck back in 2007.” I read the newspaper articles about that one! “Vast woman traps 23 in tiny cave”, “Obese woman does splits and gets stuck in show cave”, and my favourite “Whale lady wedged in cave tunnel for 12 hours. Vaseline and pulley used to get her out. Tourists trapped behind survive ordeal”. I can see why it happened. The section of smooth walled tunnel through which I am shimmying is tight to say the least, barely 30 inches high, and for a while there I feel an icy grip of panic as the earth appears to close in on me. Lord only knows how that poor lady must have felt. “I think I’m stuck,” I call down into the subtly lit chamber below. “I can’t move my foot.” But Johannes, like all good caving guides, has seen it all before and knows just what to do. “Your entire body has less mass than that woman’s bottom. Just push with your feet and you’ll soon pop out the other side.” And of course he is right. Once out, I slide down the glassy surface of a rock face to find the other members of my caving group sweating and smiling in the clammy warmth of a relatively spacious chamber. The Cango complex is a system of caves found deep in the Klein Karoo’s Swartberg Mountains that has been a popular tourist attraction since the caves were first discovered way back in 1780. Kilometres of tunnels and vast chambers – formed over millennia by flowing water – snake their way into the very bowls of the earth, creating a wonderland of formations and organic looking passageways. Columns reach from the floor to the roof; translucent

28 |

| autumn 2013

the Swartberg mountains are riddled with many many cave systems (most of which are probably unknown).

mike Lombard hard at work in his office

Spiders, bats, scorpions, rats, cavers and other unpleasant creatures are all found in caves. Fortunately though, the further in you go, the less wildlife you will encounter


“ethereal shapes hang from the walls and ceilings; glassy monoliths and delicate formations rise like a sculptor’s art from a glittering floor.”

A huge flow stone stalagmite rises from the floor of one of cango caves’ large public chambers


buttresses grow from walls while spiny teeth hang ominously from strange waxy ceilings. It’s all very beautiful and a trip to the caves is made all the more fascinating by well trained guides. Cango offers the visitor a choice between a sedate standard tour which takes you along concrete pathways and well lit steps or an adventure tour that goes through tight spaces, small crevices and the villainous tunnel of love. A replica cut-out of the Tunnel’s dimensions is clearly displayed in the foyer so that portly prospective potholers can judge for themselves whether or not their wobbly bits will cause them problems. A visit to Cango is well worth doing, but you only get to see a tiny fragment of what is in fact an enormous system. “And the thing you must understand,” says expert caver Mike Lombard as we stand outside peering down into a tiny hole in the ground, “is that 200 plus years of tourism have had an effect on the formations there.” The walls once sparkled with radiant colours and angelic ice like formations, and the ceiling was alive with spidery white filaments. Sadly, the early hordes of visitors who flocked

to the caves treated this splendor with very little respect. Entrances were hacked open to allow more and more people in, and once there, they proceeded to scythe away at what they saw. Piece by piece the delicate details vanished into the pockets of callous souvenir hunters. Artificial lights added to the destruction and unsightly green algae began to coat what was once a jeweler’s paradise. Greasy skin particles and destructive Carbon Dioxide from millions of respirating lungs smothered the snowflake formations. These days, visitors are not allowed into the caves without a guide, nor are they permitted to leave the designated paths or touch any of the flimsier formations. Lights are turned off between tours to prevent algae growing and the cave environment is well looked after. But as amazing as it all looks to the uninitiated eye, Cango’s formations were once far more beautiful than they are today. “There is a Cango 2 system which I am led to believe is still stunning,” says Mike. “And there is a Cango 3 system too which is more delicate and beautiful still. I think there is also a 4 and perhaps a 5 as well.”

a B O V e L e F t Beware of what lurks in darkness aBOVe a great many caves are considered to be sensitive environments because they are fragile places where rare species of bats can sometime be found

autumn 2013 |

| 31

“Luxury Summed up in Three Words”

FOR RESERVATIONS, RATES, SCHEDULES AND SPECIAL PACKAGES, PLEASE CONTACT US: PRETORIA: TEL: +27 (0) 12 334-8459/60, FAX: +27 (0) 12 334-8464/8081 CAPE TOWN: +27 (0) 21 449-2672, FAX: +27 (0) 21 449-2067 E-MAIL: INFO@BLUETRAIN.CO.ZA

BlueTrain.indd 1

2012/05/03 9:11 AM


a stunningly beautiful “carrot” formation. Such a thing could take hundreds or thousands of years to form, and can be broken with a sneeze

a caving group at rest in a seldom visited grotto known as the Fairy chamber

All in all, there are over 5kms of known passages and caverns, many of them covered in such delicate crystal finery that just to touch them with a fingertip would be to destroy them. “Nobody goes down there,” says Mike. He goes on to explain that Cango is not the only cave in the Swartberg, but one of more than 60 known systems. “Very few people know about these caves but part of my job of running the Team Building Institute at Rust en Vrede near Oudtshoorn is to take groups of participants down into some of them. And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing here today,” he says. He has a bright and boyish glint to his eye. “Team building activities are always lots of fun, but spelunking, in my opinion is the very best of the bunch.” Spelunking (or pot holing as it is sometimes known) is a very popular activity amongst bats, earthworms, mole rats and tree roots. But it’s not caving – not in the traditional sense. One doesn’t follow a well trodden tourist path, but rather explores a subterranean network of tunnels and caverns that are never visited by the layman, and only very occasionally by the pros. The entrance to the Efflux cave system into which Mike is about to lead us is unimpressive – no wider than a steering wheel, it drops down into an inky darkness where dripping water can be heard. “Jeesh, its looks tighter than a ducks bum,” I say in disbelief. “Are you sure we’ll all get in there?” But Mike is sure and in we go; crawling and shimmying in the style of caterpillars through passageways that make Cango’s Tunnel of love seem spacious. Panic grips the mind again but Mike talks us through with soothing words of encouragement. “It’s nice down here, cozy and comfortable as if the earth itself is giving you a hug,” he says, and

autumn 2013 |

| 33


One of the magnificent sights that await the tourist to cango caves

34 |

| autumn 2013

before long we were all having fun, contorting our bodies, helping each other through tight spaces and succumbing to fits of giggling. After an hour or two of muddy crawling, we arrive at a small chamber that Mike has named The Fairy Grotto. It isn’t high enough to stand upright in but nonetheless it seems palatial in breadth compared to the tunnels from which we have just emerged. There are delicate helictites (straw like structures) growing from a low slung ceiling and stalagmites and stalactites galore. It’s a magical place but Mike has more to show us. We slip, crawl and wriggle some more until finally we enter a small chamber, the beauty of which is absolutely breath-taking. Words cannot adequately describe the loveliness of the place. Ethereal shapes hang from the walls and ceilings; glassy monoliths and delicate formations rise like a sculptor’s art from a glittering floor. Jagged teeth of pure bone bristle out from every angle imaginable. There are flow stone formations that sparkle as if encrusted with diamonds and there are drape arrangements which more resemble lace curtains than rock. Diamond carrots hang from sparkling filaments, delicate blue transparent helictites grow from the walls,

translucent straws dangle, coral reefs bulge and ice pools shimmer like winter’s frost. I can almost hear a heavenly choir, it’s so beautiful. We are speechless… Even Mike. We sit there a long while in silent serenity amongst the prehistoric structures, knowing full well that very few people have seen this before, but Mike snaps us out of our reverie with a suggestion that we leave due to our failing torch batteries. The following day my back feels as if it has been put through a mangle while my shoulder blades feel as if a narwhale has been lodged between them. It is a small price to pay for a new found passion – I now love spelunking and can’t wait for the next opportunity to squeeze myself into a tight dark hole.

Team Building Institute Mike Lombard 083 625 5848 Cango Caves 044 272 7410


Even as the local economy sets them free every year, some of the Garden Route’s brightest young graduates return to plough back some of their spirit and enthusiasm into their home towns. W O R D S

R I G H T Renate & Sandra Roodt




ver wondered what the Southern Cape’s best export product has always been – ostrich feathers, timber, dairy? Much like the Free State rugby teams, sadly our best export product is our people. Our raw, energetic, intelligent young people armed with starry eyes and big dreams, bursting with potential. Clutching a Matric certificate in one hand and optimism in the other, they set off year after year in search of a good life where the grass looks greener. Yet despite the massive exodus of young talent from the Garden Route every year, a few unique individuals bubbling over with energy, passion and enthusiasm have returned to the fold to give back to the communities that nurtured them.



R E N AT E & S A N D R A R O O D T T R AV E L B U G S , G E O R G E

Renate and Sandra are sisters who both attended Outeniqua High School in George before they left to study in Stellenbosch. Returning to George, they could not shake off their passion for travel and cooking. They schemed up a combination concept that they themselves would find attractive – a travel bureau in a restaurant environment where patrons can research travel destinations while enjoying a good meal. Travel Bugs, born 13 years ago, is one of the busiest establishments in George and has featured in the Garden Route Culinary Awards’ top 10 restaurants for the past four years,

AUTUMN 2013 |

| 37



Albert Wiffen B r U o f t h E B ay One of the Garden Route’s most prolific entrepreneurs, Albert’s laid-back demeanor belies his strong work ethic. So what brought you to the Garden route? my dad, when I was four. I am a yorkie. And then? Went to Cape town to study. It lasted four days. And then? I was a runner at mike’s Kitchen. Good tips? I only got tipped by the waiters whose tables I cleaned.

making the A-list “Garden Route Legends”. The sisters obviously love what they do; and do well. Their client list, both local and tourist, supports that. Perhaps, they say, they would have liked to see more theatre or shows that places like Cape Town and Johannesburg offer, but they simply adore the Garden Route. They have easy access to the mountains, the sea and golf courses. Then, of course, their family is here and their mom bakes their cakes. For everything else that they need, they make use of local suppliers: fresh chicken and free-range eggs come from Sedgefield; fresh fish from Mossel Bay. WorDS of WISDom: Firstly, to follow your

then? Back to the Garden route. after a stint in oudtshoorn, I got involved at Saddles in George and invested in mossel Bay.

passions. Then produce quality to the best standards possible, no matter what your business is.

And also some other restaurants? Delphino’s, King fisher mossel Bay, Sea Gypsy, Kaai 4, Café havana... and some others.

J A S O n S A Ay m A n & r e n i e r V e l d m A n SoL IDEo mEDIa , GEorGE

Only restaurants? No. Point Village hotel, oceans hotel, a guesthouse. that it? Some used cars, second hand furniture. Property. DhL agency. the aquarium at Point. Wow. How do you find the time to manage all of those? Good managers. most have shares. And employees? all together more than 300. and then the suppliers and service companies. the knock on is huge. How do you make it? Balance. So i suppose you surf? I haVE a surfboard. (He laughs, looking wishful.) Was it tough to start? Sure. Still is. But there are opportunities. Don’t look for the bright lights elsewhere. It’s all here. you can make a good living in Van Wyksdorp. How? Well, I have another bag full of ideas. I wish that the bag would leak some. So it comes easy? No – 99% perspiration. I started with nothing. I work hard. I am busy from 7am every morning. What do you miss about bigger cities? Nothing. I’d rather stay here and visit there than stay there and visit here. Advice to youngsters? Develop your entrepreneurial skills, and business skills. then look around. It’s all there – and work hard.

Jason is fresh from the York High School benches. He is studying B.Com through Unisa, has done a two year stint at a large George auditing firm where he did more computer networking and systems than accounting articles, and so discovered where his skills and interests overlap. Together with Renier, a designer who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, they set up Solideo Media 18 months ago. Both cycle and run, hate queues and prefer the great outdoor life the Garden Route has to offer. Their company offers a one-stop solution to corporate design needs, including website design and maintenance, and print design. Although most of the clients are local, Johannesburg inquiries are showing potential. The key to their success is building relationships, having integrity and fostering trust. WorDS of WISDom: Don’t rely on a job at a salary

for too long. Look out for a niche. Be aware and be ready when opportunity comes knocking, but put in the hours to achieve success. WAy n e C r A i G t h E ta B L E a N D o f f t h E h o o K , P L E t t

When Wayne Craig left Plettenberg Bay after school and started reminiscing about his childhood, he realised that it would be exactly the kind of childhood that he’d like his daughter to have. After high school in York High School and being part of the first Matric class at Oakhill in Knysna, Wayne left the Garden

L E f t albert Wiffen

aU tU m N 2 0 1 3 |

| 39



After completing Matric at Outeniqua High School, Deánne studied architecture and spent three years in London where she came into contact with Italian furniture designers. On her return to George, she started working at an architectural firm that soon offered her a move to their furniture design and manufacture company. Today, 16 years later, Deánne has invested and owns 50% of the De Steyl furniture company where she is manager and chief designer. She’s also on the committee of the Garden Route Furniture Manufacturers Association as well as on the board of the Western Cape Furniture Initiative. She feels a strong sense of belonging in George and appreciates the natural beauty around here. Although George lacks some creative stimulation, she thrives on collaborating with other creatives like architects and interior designers. She seeks to provide distinctive quality products and solutions to building projects. De Steyl has an impressive list of clients, amongst others Fancourt and Simola. Deánne believes design is an ever-changing art and the South African scene is becoming more and more design literate. WORDS OF WISDOM: Follow what you are

passionate about, not what is expected of you. BRAD THOMAS P I N N A C L E PA I N T E R S , P L E T T Deánne Viljoen

“Follow what you are passionate about, not what is expected of you.” – Deánne Viljoen.

Route to study marketing. He spent a year in California but soon realised he wanted to return home. Wayne now owns two restaurants in Plett (The Table and Off The Hook). He is also involved in the community and was chairman of the Restaurants Association, Guest Accommodation Association and started the annual Wedge Classic body boarding event. Wayne believes in collective buy-in. You don’t have to clean up your town, just clean up in front of your own house and encourage your neighbours to do the same. The philosophy has worked wonders for Wayne, who is now also the appointed DA councilor for Ward 2 in Plett. Wayne says he learns from various mentors, from his small daughter to elders in the community. WORDS OF WISDOM: Anything can be done,

but you have to have entrepreneurial blood and work at it.

40 |

| AUTUMN 2013

Young Brad is a real Home Bru – his family’s ties with Plettenberg Bay go back a hundred years. There was never any way that he was going to leave the place where he grew up riding little peewee 50cc motorbikes in the bush as a toddler, then skiing and fishing on the Keurbooms as a young teenager. Brad matriculated from York High School and waited tables at a local restaurant until an opportunity came up to paint a factory in Plettenberg Bay. Pinnacle Painters was established soon after and today services the high end of the market with specialist paint finishes for floor and wall coverings. They are amongst others the Marmoran licensed applicators for the Garden Route. Brad gives back to the community too through his involvement with the National Sea Rescue Institute. He is a rescue coxswain and was selected to train with the USA National Guards and the SA Sea Helicopter Unit, part of the SA Coast Guard. Plett, as Brad says, is not just home. You fall in love with Plett for life.

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED the charming village of Still Bay on the southern Cape shore has become the unlikely home of an innovative and exciting new independent distillery where a Scottish husband and South african wife are crafting a delicious range of gins with an indigenous flair guaranteed to shake up your martini. W O R D S

42 |

| autumn 2013

W I n n I E

Ya n I O G L O u


AUTUMN 2013 |

| 43


Michael a n d Lo r n a S c o t t had no clear goal in

mind when they first arrived in Still Bay from Scotland other than renovating their newly acquired property and making a beautiful home for their family. However, their experiments with the indigenous plants growing in abundance in the area soon led to the birth of Inverroche Distillery where they now make gin uniquely flavoured with local botanicals. With no vision of agricultural potential at the time, the couple were surprised when their neighbour successfully planted olives and produced award winning olive oil. Lorna became involved in sustainability projects for the Hessequa Municipality and investigated potential farming opportunities unique to the area. Mellow summers and misty winters created the rich Cape Floral Kingdom of the region and with some help from local botanist Dr Tol Pienaar and his wife Annette, a horticulturist, Lorna identified Fynbos plants that had the potential to be used in gin and had been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In search of ingenuity and to create local job opportunities in aloe production, Lorna also discovered the unique flavour of toasted aloe after many fascinating culinary attempts,

44 |

| autumn 2013

including aloe jam and dried aloe. Being a native Highlander, Michael brought the art of distilling to the already unfolding mystery. Soon the couple decided to try their hand at a quality niche alternative to mainstream gin brands, incorporating the unique flora of the region. Many a night were spent with Lorna and Michael firing their miniature still on the kitchen table as they perfected their gin infused with Fynbos. Inverroche, which includes the efforts of their son Rohan and daughter Lauren, was born out of seeing potential in the unique resources of the area, logical conclusions, heaps of passion, bounds of enthusiasm and applying their unique heritage. Inverroche’s architecture is like nothing else in the area. The distillery, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and Fynbos, is built from local limestone rock. Ancient Milkwood trees mark the boundaries of the estate and a stone tower with pagoda shaped roof keeps watch over the limestone buildings. The couple says team work provided a solid foundation for their project and locals Eric Mpini and Arnold Bell have played an integral role since the distillery’s inception. Together


The hisTory of Gin it is rumoured that 11th Century italian monks invented gin for medicinal purposes. As the science of distillation advanced through the ages, juniper was one of the many botanicals used to add flavour and gave the unique character synonymous with gin today. in the mid-17th Century, Dutch and Flemish distillers sold their re-distilled malt or wine spirit flavoured with juniper, aniseed, caraway and coriander to pharmacies to treat various ailments, including gall stones and gout. Gin became popular in England after government allowed unlicensed gin production and imposed a heavy duty on all imported spirits. in tropical British colonies, gin was later used to mask the bitter flavour of quinine that was dissolved in carbonated water as an antidote for fever during malaria. The resulting mix became the origin of today’s popular gin and tonic combination. Tonic water was granted an English patent in 1858 and Schweppes brought it to the united States in 1953.

Since the construction of the distillery, Eric Mpini and Arnold Bell – Michael’s left and right hands – were part of the team.

with Michael they constructed the distillery and are still part of the team today. Stone masonry, a Scottish skill, is a hobby of Michael’s and hence the limestone construction of the distillery and other buildings on the estate. Originating from Lorna and Michael’s heritage, French Huguenot and Celtic words were interwoven in an attempt to define the extraordinary interaction which takes place between the water and limestone of the region. “Inver” depicts Michael’s Scottish roots and refers to the confluence of waters in the area, while “roche” is in honour of Lorna’s French origin and translates to rock, referring the limestone rocks in the area.

The distillery’s unique floral shape logo symbolises the interaction between the water and rocks that supports the flora of the region. Rohan says gin production needs a neutral spirit to start with. A grain or sugar cane spirit with a base alcohol of 97% is broken down using distilled water to 57% pure alcohol. This is believed to be the optimal extraction point for the botanicals used in gin making. The gin goes through a double or triple distillation process in a uniquely designed still specially made in Stellenbosch. The Scotts named their still Magnanimous Meg after Meg Dods, the irascible landlady in Sit Walter Scott’s famous novel St Ronan’s Well. With job creation and fire prevention in mind, they use invasive alien acacias to stoke the fire. Meg is made from copper as it has unique conducting properties and results in a slower and more gentle process of extracting complex flavours and oils. The reason behind this unique design being the Scott family’s future endeavours of branching out and producing rums, brandies and liqueurs. The design of the still can accommodate the various distillation processes required by these spirits. The base alcohol is pumped into the tank and a specially designed gin basket is carefully rigged up inside. The cylinder shaped core of the gin basket suspends the dried, hardier botanicals such as juniper and many types of seeds and barks in the base spirit. The alcohol facilitates the extraction and infusion of the flavours. Perforated trays attached to the cylinder host the more


Items on display include steam locomotives, carriages from a bygone era, crockery, cutlery and silverware, a collection of steam locomotive number plates, model trains and vintage cars. There is also a maritime exhibition as well as paintings and photographs. The Museum can also be booked for product launches, dinner functions, exhibitions and for wedding photos.


Tel: 044 8018 289/247 • Fax: 044 8018 286 • Email: •

THe InveRROcHe RAnGe cLASSIc made in a traditional classic gin style. an elegant, crisp and complex gin made from a flavourful blend of african and traditional botanicals. Juniper and citrus top notes are followed by hints of spice and subtle perfumed undertones. veRDAnT it means “green” and gives rise to lemony, liquorice type flavours with hints of almond and subtle juniper. a brief infusion of late summer blooms adds an alluring aroma and imparts the delicate green hue to the spirit.


AMBeR a distinctive, aromatic gin. earthy base notes are followed by fresh citrus, subtle juniper and fragrant top notes. after distillation, this spirit is mellowed with tannin rich coastal botanicals, transforming it into an amber coloured, full-bodied gin. HOW TO SeRve GIn the seasons can play a distinctive role in choosing your gin. the Classic style lends itself to drinking in summer, served on ice with tonic and a curl of grapefruit peel. Verdant’s satin soft texture and fragrance can ease you into autumn or warm up to spring. it is best enjoyed with tonic and ice, with a twist of lemon or lime zest. Harmonious amber, on the rocks, is best in front of a cosy fireplace on a cold winter’s night.

delicate botanicals, berries and peels, and allow the spirit vapour to gently extract aromatic oils and aromas. A mushroom shaped helm captures all the flavours and oils. The vapour is then collected in the condensing unit which consists of spiral-like pipes running through cooled water. These pipes lead to two taps where they capture the clear spirit in buckets and put it to rest or “mellow” it for two to three weeks. Inverroche produces three distinctively different styles of gin. Lorna says after pouring the gin, gently roll your glass and take note of the droplets sticking to the surface on the inside. These droplets run down and are referred to as legs. The narrower the legs, the higher the alcohol content. By raising your glass to your chin, you will be able to enjoy the nose, looking out for hints of juniper, spice and lemon. To taste the gin, take a small sip and coat the inside of your mouth with the oils of the gin, then carefully blow out the alcohol before you swallow. The botanical oils give a soft and silky mouth feel, and depending on which gin you taste, expect flavours ranging from almonds, lemon and orange to grass and nutmeg flavours. The next step is to add tonic and see how it can change the flavour of the gin. More dimensions are added by experimenting with adding lemon, orange or grapefruit zest, each giving a unique new flavour to your gin. However, Lorna does not recommend adding lemon juice to your gin as the citric acid separates the oils and the flavours of the gin will be overpowered. 028 754 2442 or 072 447 4211 

autumn 2013 |

| 49





SUPERIOR SKI LS Close finish in final cook-off of South’s Tasting Eden competition

50 |

| AUTUMN 2013

autumn 2013 |

| 51


ore than a year since launching the search for the Garden Route and Klein Karoo’s most talented untrained chef, Danelle Barnard of Great Brak River took top honours in the final cook-off. Competition was tough though, with Johan de Jager of George and Alexandra Durrer of Wilderness also proving that passion, dedication and practice result in outstanding culinary skills. “The standard of the competitors was very high and the quality of the products presented in the final was truly of a professional class. I really see it that there were three winners,” said chief sponsor, celebrity chef François Ferreira. “Danelle, who is already working in the industry, will now be able to obtain a much desired qualification.” Barnard, an employee at Transkaroo restaurant in Great Brak River, has won a distance learning Diploma in Culinary Arts from the François Ferreira Academy worth R40 000, a qualification accredited by the international City & Guilds. She was overjoyed, describing how she repeatedly tried to secure funding for training over the last 15 years. “When I heard about the South Tasting Eden competition, I realised I had to grab the opportunity with both hands. It really is WOW in capital letters for me,” she added. She started the year-long course immediately and finds the classes “very interesting and informative. Because I have a few years’ experience already, I believe the course will set me apart from other students, some of whom have only just finished high school. I hope to use this to my advantage to go even further. While I have a good foundation, I can already see that there’s still a lot to learn.” South editor Liesl Hattingh said: “Tasting Eden was both an opportunity for a deserving local hobby cook and a celebration of the

From the judges’ table South deputy editor itha Kieser joined nine Sa chef’s association accredited judges to select the overall winner. “i am so glad i was a judge. normally food judges and critics are highly qualified, experienced chefs – as indeed they were during this competition with the exception of me. i don’t walk in the footsteps of foodie gurus, master chefs or connoisseurs. i can only claim that i love cooking anD eating; that i appreciate a plate with beautiful food compositions and flavours. “the Tasting Eden competition was an exciting, sumptuous affair. i judged by heart, astounded by the brilliance offered on a plate, by one chef, in such a short period of time. it was a real feast for the palate and a pleasure to watch these creative locals cooking so superbly despite the pressure. “You could see from the moment they stepped into the kitchen that it was competition time. they each love what they do and can cook up a storm – the results tasted as good as they looked, and they looked indescribably beautiful! “it was difficult, but a privilege to be a judge.” – itha Kieser South extends sincere thanks to all judges, starting with François Ferreira, who selected the finalists with the help of Karin du plessis, local unilever representative, and foodie trudie niehaus. the judging panel at the final cook-off comprised: itha Kieser, Dylan Heydra, pieter Wicht, Quinton Hewitt, Heno du plessis, carol Wicht, Karen du plessis, trudie Swanepoel, pieter Swanepoel and anne Hadley.

(Back row, from left) South’s itha Kieser, Liesl Hattingh and Shyne murray with carol Wicht and François Ferreira from the François Ferreira academy. (Front row, from left) Runner-up alexandra Durrer, winner Danelle Barnard and runner-up Johan de Jager

autumn 2013 |

| 53


the judging panel at the final cook-off:(back row, from left) François Ferreira, itha Kieser, Dylan Heydra, pieter Wicht, Quinton Hewitt. (middle row) Heno du plessis, carol Wicht, Karen du plessis, trudie Swanepoel, pieter Swanepoel and (front) anne Hadley.

goodness of the area – its talented people and its quality produce.” All entrants had to devise a unique threecourse meal that showcased the exceptional bounty available in the region, which the finalists then had to prepare and present to a ten-member panel at the François Ferreira Academy on Saturday, 19 January. The two runners-up were worthy finalists with the results showing a close finish between the three. “It was a great experience. I’ve been cooking for a long time, but have never competed against anyone else,” said Johan de Jager. “It was nice to see the end result and to know that you can produce it under pressure. The environment was ideal and I can’t wait to start the short courses. “I’ve also been trying out the Snappy Chef induction cooker and it is ideal for travelling and for dishes that require long, slow cooking times as it can be set at a lower temperature than electric or gas plates.” Johan will continue to practice his skills at Hetta’s Home Foods, which offers quality home-cooked frozen meals at Shop 2, Golden Harvest Centre in George, the Outeniqua

Farmers’ Market and Farmfresh Direct online shop. He is currently developing a range of healthy, ready-to-eat lunchtime meals that will especially suit office workers. Along with his wife, Alicia Wilding, he also runs the Orange Kitchen at home, a bistro style pop-up restaurant where he creates a four-course meal with optional wine pairing on request for a maximum of 12 people. or 082 859 5579

Alexandra Durrer describes herself as “real hobby cook” in that she’s only ever prepared meals – however creatively and skillfully – for family and friends. “I enjoyed the challenge, and it really was a challenge for me as I am a perfectionist and we had to cook under a lot of pressure. But it was fun too. “I enjoyed the fact that everyone took the competition very seriously and really did their best. The master class on knife skills, bread making and more that we had with François in the morning, was very good and the short courses will be convenient for me too. “Cooking is my passion, but not as a profession, so I am very happy for Danelle. It was great to get the recognition from the judges though.”

A show of generosity thank you to all our sponsors for making Tasting Eden a reality. françois ferreira Academy – a distance learning Diploma in culinary arts worth R40 000 that is accredited by the international city & Guilds, along with uniforms and a set of professional knifes. in addition, the finalists took part in a master class and a copy of François’ book Occasions – Make every meal a special occasion. the two runners-up also received vouchers worth R6 000 for short courses presented at the François Ferreira academy.

54 |

| autumn 2013

snappy Chef – each finalist received a travel size Snappy chef induction stove with a carry bag valued at R999. the final cook-off was sponsored by: Hayshed vegetable farm for all all fresh produce Gastao Foods for dry ingredients South cape Vinyards for wine eureka mills for flour olive pride for hampers


a brilliant idea, a gap in the market and the talent and drive to succeed have made architect Eddie da Silva’s new Bespoke interiors shop an outrageous success. the Da Silva home in Wilderness reflects both a keen eye for good design and the family’s laid-back ways. W O R D S

56 |

| autumn 2013

n I K K I


p h O t O g R a p h S

m E L a n I E

m a R é

autumn 2013 |

| 57

ash timber cladding on selected walls create warmth and provides a textured backdrop for pieces available from Bespoke: (previous pages, left) a standing lamp by arbeidsgenot, (previous pages, right) meyer von Wielligh server and light stand, (above) colourful beanbags, (bottom right) black and white artwork by Peter Pharoah and white floating shelf. (top right) Oscar the labrador epitomises the family’s fun and energetic lifestyle.

58 |

| autumn 2013

ourteen years ago Eddie and Claire da Silva came to the Garden Route with a dream of raising their children here. Driven and talented, Eddie soon became one of the Garden Route’s success stories, proving that it just takes a bit of patience, direction, a dash of faith, the eye to see opportunity in what is apparently established and the guts to try something new – all with a large helping of talent and a sprinkle of good luck, of course. That rare “success on the Garden Route” came to the Da Silva family first through Eddie’s architectural business, Eddie da Silva and Associates, which he moved from Johannesburg, and recently through that of his interiors shop. Eddie opened Bespoke in George late in 2012 and so far it has been a runaway success. The Da Silvas come across immediately as a very relaxed, warm and happy family, consisting of two happy adults, two happy kids – Sebastian and Ella – and two happy dogs – including Oscar, the white Labrador who can’t resist swimming in the pool with the children and dives like a champion. The children have grown up in Wilderness, and enjoy an active outdoor

life; Sebastian has taken to surfing and Eddie enjoys kite surfing. “It’s my only vice” he says. They have been living here for 12 years, according to Eddie, and 14 years according to Claire. “Ok, 14 years,” Eddie concurs. It’s easy to lose a couple of years when you are busy and having fun, and they are. “We love it here,” says Eddie. “It took a couple of years to get established as an architect in Wilderness, but we had always planned on moving down here as we had a property here and we loved the lifestyle Wilderness offered. We were determined to come down here before we started a family as we really didn’t want to raise kids in Johannesburg. We have never looked back; we are here for life, but when we first completed the house, it was a case of, well, the house is finished, and we have no more cash, so now what?” Claire says she found the first year a little difficult as it was so quiet, but after that she adjusted and even opened a sandwich shop in George for a while, though she has since sold it and now assists Eddie with sourcing goods for Bespoke, between the responsibilities of looking after two almost teenage children.


“We were determined to come down here before we started a family as we really didn’t want to raise kids in Johannesburg. We have never looked back; we are here for life.” – Eddie da Silva

a uT u m n 2 0 1 3 |

| 59

A little city A little wild Never compromise on comfort or capability again. The Nissan Pathfinder’s luxurious interior with the versatility of 64 different seating configurations gives you all the flexibility you need. While impressive pulling power harnessed by intelligent 4x4 and on-road technology will take you on just about any adventure you want. Get the family the best of both worlds with the Pathfinder and go anywhere, anytime.

Nissan. Innovation that excites.



Eddie explains that though he felt at home right away, it took a while to settle in. “I’m lucky,” he says, “I can take my profession anywhere, but I encountered a little bit of resistance when I started building houses here. People didn’t like seeing small, old houses on the dunes being replaced by new, bigger ones, even though they were being built in the exactly the same place. That only lasted a year or so though.” All resistance evidently crumbled, most likely thanks to Eddie’s trademark use of unobtrusive materials and colours, and the benefit to the Garden Route today is not only Eddie’s architectural skills but also Bespoke, which has become a much appreciated local outlet for the talents of Garden Route artists, artisans and designers.

The pool overlooks the lakes and is set in silver balu decking on lower level among milkwood trees. (Right) Eddie da Silva

a uT u m n 2 0 1 3 |

| 61

L I F E St Y L E

Bespoke’s instant success has taken Eddie by surprise. “It actually blew my mind,” he says. “It’s something I always wanted to do, but I just needed to find the right spot for it.” The shop has done very well, with many pieces exported to homes outside the Garden Route and even overseas. Eddie explains that Bespoke is unique in that all of the items are produced in very small quantities – so they are not necessarily one-off’s, which would of course make them very expensive, but they are as close to exclusive as possible. Almost everything in the shop is sourced in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo, including items Eddie designed, complemented from selected items from other designers elsewhere. All are distinctive, unique and eclectic – the giant beanbags, ottomans, floating shelves and lamp shades, for example – many of which are on display in Eddie’s signature home. In addition, the shop features the works of some outstanding local designer-makers – irreplaceable contributors to the décor of any home.

(above and below) Handcrafted items abound in this interesting home.

62 |

| autumn 2013

he Da Silva’s home is typical of Eddie’s style. Overlooking the magnificent Wilderness lakes, earthy colours predominate in an open layout with plenty of free-flowing space, wide entrances and the bold use of glass, wood and rock. The taupe, browns and creams are broken by colourful décor pieces, such as the massive multi-coloured chandeliers that hang in the lounge and in the stairwell, and the even bigger and more colourful beanbags that invite you to a blissful reverie above floor-level and below couch-level – in the kind of space where you are not expected to do anything except relax, and this atmosphere infuses the home. The house is partially built around natural rock and within the spaces defined by several protected Milkwood trees, none of which were removed. Though the house is modern and angular in layout, it fits remarkably well into the environment. “It’s the


Outside in: with views such as this, nature becomes another member of the family.

64 |

| auTumn 2013

only house you can’t see if you look up to the ridge from the lakeshore,” says Eddie. Eddie says that it was not so much a singular passion for interiors that inspired Bespoke, but the fact that interiors and architecture go hand in hand, as “you need to consider the final finishes from the start of any project”. That, his experience as an architect and a background in Industrial Design – which he studied for a year before moving on to architecture and which brought home the ergonomic design of home décor pieces and appliances – gave him the knowledge and incentive to open Bespoke. “The interiors side is a great creative outlet for me. About 70% of the pieces in Bespoke are designed by us and then manufactured locally.”

Eddie continues to work as an architect on homes and development projects along the Garden Route, in other areas of South Africa, and abroad. He is currently involved in a project in Mauritius and has completed a number of overseas projects. He is a busy man, and his success, despite the economic downturn, is an inspiration to others on the Garden Route – both locals and potential residents.

Bespoke design store and Eddie da Silva and Associates, architect 044 873 2454 or 082 895 2760



Golf is the closest game to the game of life – you get bad breaks from good shots, you get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play the ball where it lies. It’s a year-round sport in the Garden Route, a golfing haven where players can experience all four seasons in one day. Val Holland, Golf Director of Kingswood Golf Estate in George, shares her top 10 items for a successful eighteen holes. W O R D S



BUSHNELL RANGE FINDER The Bushnell Range Finder Pro 1M is the ultimate laser range finder for avid golfers and tournament play. It has a compact design and is used in horizontal orientation.

GOLF BALLS TITLEIST PRO–V1 These golf balls are engineered to deliver exceptional distance, consistent flight, very soft feel, Drop-and-Stop™ greenside control and longer lasting durability. VA L HOL L A ND

66 |

| AUTUMN 2013

HEAD PITCH REPAIRER/ MARKER It’s an ideal and inexpensive way to leave your mark – a pocket sized gift for the golf enthusiast.


CLICGEAR 3.0 PUSH CART This Clicgear cart is compact and cool. It’s the winner of the 2007 Best New Product Award at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, it folds up incredibly small and the handle console now has almost double the storage room.

CALLAWAY GOLF BAG Any good set of golf clubs in a sufficient golf bag will do, as long as you have a driver, woods, wedges and a putter, you’re off! The entire Callaway lineup offers a variety of innovative options that are light on weight and heavy on features and storage.

Being Director of Golf at Kingswood Golf Estate for the past six years, Val Holland is also head coach at the Louis Oosthuizen Academy at Kingswood (2011 to date) as well as national coach for Woman’s Golf South Africa (2005 to date). She is a well-known golf commentator and a keen cyclist and golfer herself. 086 172 7170


K INGS WOOD GOL F E S TAT E Kingswood is an urban lifestyle golf estate with a championship golf course in George, the centre of the Garden Route’s golf Mecca. The Sally Little signature golf course, designed by Danie Obermeyer, is the prime attraction, but the residential estate hosts various other leisure activities in a breathtaking setting. TECHNIBLOCK SUN PROTECTION SPRAY Ideal for any golfer, this spray has broad spectrum SPF 15 and 40 (UVA and UVB) protection, is non-greasy, non-sticky, non-fragranced, water resistant and invisible on the skin within 30 seconds of application. A single application lasts for many hours. EMTHUNZINI HATS A fashionable range of sun hats for men, women and children that has been approved by CANSA and meets UPF 50+ requirements. Find shade with an attractive, colourful, customised fit – it’s crushable, washable and has a hidden drawstring.

SRIXON CABRETTA LEATHER HAND GLOVE & SRIXON ALL-WEATHER (RAIN) GLOVE Srixon gloves use high grade Cabretta leather for the ultimate fit and feel along with Lycra knuckle inserts positioned across the knuckles to provide flexibility with a comfortable fit as well as a maximum grip in all weather conditions.

PUMA SHOES Along with style, Puma added comfort to their shoes, cushioning your feet while you’re out on the green for long hours. These shoes are sleek and stylish.

68 |

| AUTUMN 2013

PUMA CLOTHING You need a shirt, pants, cap/beanie and belt. Step onto the course with this women’s top from the Puma clothing range – colourful and invigorating, the range hits hard and sets trends.


RUDI PROJECT GOLFING SHADES These shades have Revolutionary Impact X TM Photochromic golf specific lenses, adjustable Ergo V nosepiece and temples, balanced ergonomics, astonishing optical clarity, unparalleled eye protection, extreme visual width, wrap-around frame designed for golf, and cutting-edge 180˚ optical clarity, plus is ultra-light and comfortable.

A singulAr

Pezula Resort & Spa’s rebranding as a Conrad property at the end of 2012 marks the arrival of Hilton Worldwide’s internationally acclaimed luxury portfolio in South africa. W O R D S

70 |

t i m O t H y

| autumn 2013

t W i D l e

D E S t I n at I O n


autumn 2013 |

| 71


Rooms are stylish, spacious, vibrant and comfortable with service attuned to your needs because at Conrad, it’s all about you.

72 |

| A u T u mN 2 0 1 3

he Conrad Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa in Knysna is the very essence of comfort and style. The only one of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, the iconic resort hotel is perched on top of the eastern head, one of the two mighty portals that stand sentinel over the treacherous entrance to the Knysna Lagoon. The hotel offers sweeping views in every direction, taking in the spectacular Outeniqua Mountains, the Indian Ocean, hills swathed in dense indigenous forest and the sweep of the famous lagoon. The green sward of the ninth hole of the 18-hole golf course runs close to the hotel, but golf is just one of the many activities that the complex’s Field of Dreams sports venue has to offer. There are facilities for tennis, archery, hiking, bird watching, mountain biking, horse riding and canoeing. Within the main building there is a games room, while the lavishly appointed spa offers a range of treatments in luxurious surroundings. The hotel’s architecture is finished with dressed blocks of sandstone and a subdued mix of ochre hues. The Conrad Pezula is a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and is a holiday destination of choice.

Accommodation is provided in 78 suites and five villas. There are three kinds of suites to choose from: 56 De Luxe suites with a floor space of 58m2, 20 Superior suites each boasting 68m2 and two Grand suites, both of which run to 137m2. The De Luxe and Superior suites have a luxurious bedroom, spacious seating areas, a log fireplace, private patio and bathroom. The Grand suites have a spacious bedroom, separate lounge and dining areas, two log fireplaces, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom. Each of the five villas covers an area of 250m2, is similarly appointed and has two bedrooms. For an entirely different choice of accommodation, the Conrad Pezula has three sumptuously furnished Castles on Noetzie beach. The Castles are built from local stone and crenellated to provide the effect of a fortified stronghold. The three castles are known as Pezula Castle, Beach Castle and Cliff Castle – the former has six beds and the latter, two beds apiece. All are furnished in understated elegance, have fabulous vistas on to the beach and ocean, and each has the services of a butler, a chef, housekeeping and a driver.

AmaWaterways brings you exciting new itineraries for 2013, exploring the Seine in France and the Douro in Portugal. Debuting in the spring of 2013, the new AmaPrima will join the brandnew AmaCerto as AmaWaterways’ largest and most imaginative ships on the great waterways of Europe. Inspired by classic luxury yachts, the ships feature a “Twin Balcony” stateroom design; multiple dining venues; heated swimming pool; stunning glass elevator and more.

11 Days Russian Waterways, Moscow to St. Petersburg 06/08/2013 – 17/08/2013 onboard the AmaKatarina Category E - $3878pps

7 Days Blue Danube Discovery, Budapest to Nuremberg 17/07/2013 – 24/07/2013 onboard the AmaPrima Category D - $2998pps

7 Days Paris and Normandy, Paris Return

7 Days Port Wine and Flamenco, Porto to Vega Terron

28/06/2013 – 05/07/2013 onboard the AmaLegro Category D - $3398pps

23/04/2013 – 30/04/2013 onboard the AmaVida Category D - $3098pps

Whether you join us on the great waterways of Europe, Russia or the storied Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia, you are sure to capture an experience of a lifetime with an AmaWaterways river cruise holiday. From our exclusive Twin Balconies to multiple dining venues and complimentary Internet and Infotainment System with Hollywood movies, AmaWaterways sets the standards in river cruising each year. Including daily shore excursions with personal headsets, complimentary bottled water and unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner on board. * Terms and Conditions apply, prices are per person sharing subject to availability, excluding port charges and gratuities.

contact Cruises International on 011 327-0327 or visit



The resort can offer several dining experiences. Zachary’s serves formal fare in delightful surroundings, whereas Café Z is a funky bistro with a casual atmosphere. Noah’s Champagne and Cocktail Lounge affords a variety of cocktails and whiskies and has a separate cigar lounge. A boma, set amongst hills swathed in indigenous forest, provides an alfresco dining experience with panoramic views. The cuisine at Pezula is traditional and regional, and the food, for the most part, is organic. The Pezula Spa and Gymnasium are a haven of peace in which to recharge the mind and body. The facilities include nine treatment rooms, a hair salon, a hi-tech gymnasium, heated indoor pool, a medi-spa, sauna, steam room and rain shower. The Conrad Pezula has a conference room that can seat up to 140 delegates and is an idyllic spot to host wedding receptions. The staff can advise visitors on local attractions such as art galleries, music concerts, whale watching excursions, visits to ostrich farms in the vicinity of Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo and game parks. At Pezula, there are guided walks through indigenous forest. One of the most popular activities is a hike to the Noetzie River followed by a canoe trail to the beach; a luncheon at either Montrose Castle or on the beach greets

participants, who are then transported back to the hotel. Children will enjoy visiting The Barnyard, home to a number of small animals. The Pezula Golf Course is a test for both high and low handicap golfers. From tee to green, the holes are immaculately manicured and part of the back nine runs along the top of a cliff, offering a glorious outlook over the ocean. The clubhouse provides welcome solace after a challenging test. Pezula Estate has been stripped of alien vegetation and planted exclusively with South Africa’s natural flora. Any journey through the extensive estate allows visitors to view a wide diversity of flowers, shrubs and trees indigenous to the Garden Route. There are 26 Conrad Hotels and Resorts across the world and the hallmark of the brand is luxury. “Conrad aspires to be the fastest growing contemporary luxury hotel company in the world,” says Gert Venter, General Manager of Conrad Pezula. The majority of visitors to Pezula are from within South Africa, while about 40% come from all parts of the globe, including mostly Brazil, Russia, India and China. 044 302 3333

Au Tu m N 2 0 1 3 |

| 75

BEYOND POLO Horses have been a part of man’s life for centuries. Winston Churchill once said “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man�. there is something about the inside of a horse that irresistibly draws man closer. In the Garden Route, the abundance of horse-based activities provides ample proof. W O R D S p H O t O G R a p H S

76 |

| autumn 2013

C H R I S t y

C O L L E E n

S t R E v E R


B L a I n E S H O W m E

p L E t t E n B E R G

B ay




r ac e . B e a u t y. S p i r it. These elements are

The polo scene survives in Plett, with it’s international reputation intact.

78 |

| AuTumn 2013

what inspire my thoughts as I watch the horses thunder across the field below. I imagine even the grounds men at Kurland feel motivated by the effortless stride of the thoroughbreds as they charge over the immaculate polo field. The clack of the mallet and a cheer erupts around me as the ball coasts through the goals. A tied match is edged out at the last second and the winners are hailed by friends and family. Often referred to as the “Sport of Kings”, polo is a luxury pursuit that was first played by the Persians as far back as the fifth Century BC. Initially used as a training game for the King’s cavalry, it was later formalised and popularised by the British. Alicia Wright, the manager of Plettenberg Bay Polo, says that although polo is a luxury sport, it is a family game that is played, watched and enjoyed by families. Despite being fairly hard hit in the current economic climate, the Plett polo scene has managed to keep its head above water and enjoys an excellent reputation. Kurland is amongst the top five polo venues in the world.

The unification of the sport in the area by combining the two venues – Kurland and Stonefield – has resulted in Plett becoming one of the most popular destinations for polo players and supporters alike. The unique climate, free of extreme temperatures, coupled with the attraction of the Garden Route has cemented Plett’s reputation internationally. Polo, however, is not all about crisp white pavilions and champagne. The business of polo and polo tourism is hard work and it is people like Alicia who will ensure that Plett polo continues to move forward. This includes facility management, horse breeding and training, and polo schools and camps. It is also the support of the community and locals who attend the matches throughout the season – running from October to the end of April – that continues to make the Plett polo family bigger and better. International games are events not to be missed. When Argentina, the world’s top polo playing nation, visits it would be a loss to not be a part of the action, champagne or tea in hand. However, international and local polo

autumn 2013 |

| 79


80 |

| AuTumn 2013

RAinbOw RideRs – equine THeRAPy The joy of riding horses is a unique and effective tool in therapy. One of the many successes has been in the treatment of special needs children. Rainbow Riders is a non-profit organisation that specialises in equine assisted therapy. The organisation offers therapy to all special needs children, especially those with autism, attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Rainbow Riders has enjoyed overwhelmingly positive results, including improvement in muscle tone; general balance; hand-eye coordination and profound behavioural changes. The way in which children react to the grace and intuition of horses is significant and brings about calmness. Their speech improves, sensory integration takes place, tactile stimulation occurs and the child experiences spatial and body awareness. Currently offering their services to almost 45 children in the George area from various special needs schools, Rainbow Riders can be found at the George Riding Club. As a non-profit organisation, it relies on donations.


SeaHorse Eco Safaris

matches are just a drop in the bucket when one considers the abundance of horse-based activities throughout the Garden Route. Visiting a handful of the many operators, it becomes evident that this is a popular activity amongst many international and South African tourists. More than 22 horse-based operations can be found from Mossel Bay to Oudtshoorn and along the coast to Storm’s River. The experiences on offer cover mountain scenery, Fynbos, coastal reserves and dunes, forests, waterfalls and game reserves. Vicky Rowlands of Equitrailing, who has been in the business for over 20 years, says horse activities are popular because people are drawn to the idea of riding an animal, and being able to do it amongst spectacular scenery is a wonderful experience. Having a vast farm amongst the hills behind Plettenberg Bay, she offers trail rides that climb through the Fynbos, kiss the edges of the hills and gaze out over the pristine bay in the distance. Her horses have all competed and as a result are perfectly trained, allowing her to offer her visitors not only a few hours’ ride but also an education in horses, riding them and communicating with them.





furniture. decor. gifts. upper LeVeL, MiLKWood ViLLAge, BeAcon rd. WiLderness teL: (044) 877 1509 fAX: (086) 659 8250 ceLL: 082 457 2270 And

S P E C Ia L R E P O Rt

“Whether you are sitting in a deck chair watching skilled polo players manoeuvre thoroughbreds effortlessly around a small ball or riding a horse through magical forests in Wilderness, you will experience the draw of these animals.”

Choosing your aCtivity provider Your operator should exhibit necessary safety precautions. all riders should wear a helmet. Check the quality of the horses and their behaviour. Check the quality and condition of tack used (saddle, bridle). Look for tears in your equipment or chafe marks on the horse. Your provider should be aware of your ability. Your provider should be strict on weight and horses should be matched to people. Your guide should be experienced and have a first aid level 1 qualification. Your guide should have a mobile phone or radio and first aid kit. If your party has more than 5 people, you should have two guides.

82 |

| autumn 2013

In order to gain first-hand experience, I travel to Vleesbaai to visit Cornelia Kruger at Seahorse Eco Safaris for a three-hour ride through Fynbos, farmlands and coastal dunes. I can’t help but be jealous of the natural ease and grace with which Cornelia goes about getting the horses ready. The intuitive nature of the animals is evident as they respond to her touch and voice. Her passion for her business and every animal in her care makes me feel instantly at ease. As I mount my ride for the morning, she meticulously takes me through every step of safety, riding, equipment and even the unique nature of my horse, helping me to establish a bond. Cornelia chooses bitless riding and all her horses are remarkably easy to control with a bitless bridle. In spite of never riding in this manner before, I feel surprisingly confident and Grafiki, my horse, responds easily. Cornelia’s advice while on the horse is to relax and let go of tensions, allowing myself to feel the horse’s natural movement flow through me. Whether you are sitting in a deck chair watching skilled polo players manoeuvre thoroughbreds effortlessly around a small ball or riding a horse through magical forests, you will experience the draw of these animals. As Lyndsay Main, owner of Black Horse Trails says: “Horse riding is not a crazy adventure but rather a therapeutic, relaxing experience.”

I feel moved by these animals and the free spirited people who work with them. Spending time around them, I can’t help but agree with a well-known phrase coined by author Helen Thompson: “In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.”

Plettenberg Bay Polo Alicia Wright 044 534 8056 or 082 560 1260 Seahorse Eco Safaris Cornelia Kruger 079 883 5386 Equitrailing Vicky Rowlands 082 955 0373 Black Horse Trails Lyndsay Main 082 494 5642 Rainbow Riders Andre Lewarne Kalma Hayes 082 778 7820

FIJNBOSCH NOOITGEDACHT HORSE STUD is situated on the spectacular Garden Route, between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. This area is fast becoming the ‘horse centre” of South Africa and is often referred to as the “South Africa’s French Rivera”. The sweeping Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains are the backdrop to our 64 ha farm which was especially chosen as a home for the rare, precious, indigenous Nooitgedacht Horses!

PLETTENBERG EQUESTRIAN ACADEMY situated on Fijnbosch Nooitgedacht Stud is an educational facility offering an internationally recognized education over 10 months. The course covers all aspects of the equestrian industry as required by EQASA (previously SANEF) and Stud & Stable Management. On completion of the course students achieve EQASA Modules 1 & 2 and the FETC in Equine Practices (SAQA ID 71469; level 4).

For more information on the stud & academy call us on 044 532 7590

new on the block Henry Ford once said there is only one boss. the customer. and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman right down, simply by spending his money somewhere else. He was talking about choice. W O R D S

R I C H a R D


a B O V E Rolls Royce Wraith

84 |

| autumn 2013


ant electricity? Only Eskom can help. Want a landline? Stand in a queue at Telkom. But when it comes to the quality, range, performance and economy of the cars on offer this year, we are living in an abundant era. The choices are bewildering, with over 50 brands and around 1500 models to beguile us. 2013 is going to be an epic year of new car launches.

the shooting break and the dinky sports utility vehicle, the GLA. But if you want your A-class flaming hot, hold out for the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged A45 AMG. The dual-clutch seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT delivers the 261kW and 450Nm of torque to all four wheels, dispatching 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, easily rivaling the BMW135i and Audi RS3.


Mercedes-Benz is intent on being the number one premium brand by 2020, aided by a string of new models boasting their attractive “three-pillar design philosophy”. Keen to attract a new generation of customers, they are moving away from the “same sausage, different length” design philosophy by creating cars with different characters, evident in the company’s new A-class. Aimed squarely at a younger generation of buyers, it will be launched with a range of petrol and diesel engines. Lower, longer and wider, it’s more striking than their archrival Audi A3 and arguably more attractive than the quicker BMW 1-series competitor. The five Euro NCAP stars come thanks to a stunning array of safety equipment cascading down from the S-Class. The “MFA small car platform” that the A-class sits on is shared by the B-class, the CLA four-door coupe,


The facelift XFR-S will be Jaguar’s fastest ever saloon car. It’s a more powerful, more focused version of the already brilliant XFR. The ground-rocket gets the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 from the range topping XKR-S, unleashing 100km/h from standstill in 4.6 seconds and the top speed is “limited” to 298km/h. Mike Cross, Jaguar’s chief vehicle engineer, has overseen this and Jaguar’s other new sensation, the F-Type. Common to both is the “quickshift” eight-speed transmission, which allows quicker and smoother gearshifts than the standard automatic. It’s a clever cat, this, featuring what Jaguar calls corner recognition. It detects when the car enters a corner and holds the perfect ratio for bounding out of the bend. Not since the impossibly fabulous 1960


E-Type have we seen a true Jaguar sports car. The aluminum-bodied, front-engined, rear wheel drive Jaguar F-type will arrive this year to much fanfare. Thrust is via a range of V6 and V8 power plants, with the six cylinder versions expected to win the most sales. Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director, reckons it’s a true Jaguar. “The car has to feel alive in your hands,” he says. Proper analogue twin instruments measure out the supercharged 3.0-liter V6’s acceleration from 0 to 100km sprint in 5.3 seconds, while the V6 S cuts that by 0.4 of a second and the V8 S takes just 4.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 298km/h. Expect even hotter R and RS models in due course. Roll s Royce

Since 2003, Rolls Royce have sold 7000 Phantoms and whilst their MkII version needs a second look to spot the difference, subtle changes have been made to give credence to widely held “finest car in the world” sentiments. The new Rolls-Royce Phantom II is powered by BMW’s 6.75 litre V12, affording it near-silent “waftability” and 0 to 100km comes in a highly spirited 6.7 seconds. Otherwise, the sublime ride quality and regal experience is much as it always has been.

Modern electronics include a mighty Harman Kardon stereo and huge screen linked to the navigation system. A much-needed 360-degree camera system helps parking maneuvers. Subtle changes to the coachwork almost imperceptibly soften the lines without offending existing customers who do not want a new car coming to market too often. The Rolls-Royce Wraith hints at a profound sense of darkness, a name that alludes to something more menacing. Scary or not, this is the coupé version of the Rolls-Royce Ghost and will debut at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. Set to duel with the Bentley Continental and the MercedesBenz CL Class, the Wraith has the “boldest design, the most dramatic performance and the most powerful Rolls-Royce that has ever played host to the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine,” says Torsten Muller-Otvos, Rolls-Royce CEO.

CLOCKWISE FROm tOP LEFt toyota RaV 4, mercedes Benz CLa Class, JaguarXFR-S BMW

Something to look forward to in May is the facelift BMW Z4, with a new entry-level engine, the 115 kW sDrive18i. Tweaks include new 3-dimensional LED headlights and new side gills to emphasize the flowing side profile of the car. The faster Z4 sDrive 35is retains its 7 speed DCT gearbox and accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds.

autumn 2013 |

| 85


The best-looking BMW of modern times, the M6 Gran Coupe is the four-door version of the M6 Coupe, and uses the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. It chirps the rear wheels via the seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox, needing just 4.2sec for the 0-100km/h dash. Lash out on the optional performance package and the limited top speed is elevated to a heady 303km/h. The Gran Coupe’s interior is beautifully executed. It’s an elegant riposte to the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and Audi RS7.


T O y O TA

The new Toyota Auris is a well-made, practical and frugal addition to the worlds’ top selling car brand. It delivers impeccably reliable motoring, using well-tested 1,3 and 1,6 litre engines. An elevated window line and slanted roofline, fusing at the rear with a rooftop spoiler, help its sharper ‘keen look’. Much better than before, it is also lighter and quieter at motorway speeds. Ride and handling balance is enhanced, however, it is not overtly sporty when compared to its rivals. There’s loads of safety kit, including seven airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP rating. The Auris is amongst the most economical cars in the segment, making it cheaper to run than many small hatchback rivals. The Toyota RAV4 pioneered the small SUV segment years ago and the fresh redesign will be a solid offering with its 2.5-litre four-cylinder power plant and six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive helps the RAV’s dynamics, particularly when off-roading, which is enhanced by a lockable centre differential, respectable approach and departure angles, and good ground clearance. Inside, the stitched leather on the dash and gear stick create an ambient, comfortable cabin. The RAV4 has plenty of cargo space and is comfortable even when fully loaded.

Performance is a little pedestrian but it delivers all the things an SUV of its type should do.

aBOVe leFT Ford ecosport concept aBOVe RIGHT BMW M6 Gran Coupe


Based on the Fiesta platform, the dramatic styling of the Ford EcoSport is loud and extrovert; a stunning looking car with a massive, open-mouthed grille, high bonnet line and a heavily raked windscreen to create an arresting character. C-pillars and wrap around rear-screen fuse together well, creating a well resolved look for a car just under four metres in length. The car’s interior is from the latest Fiesta and there’s loads of space to add comfort as you sit in the higher rear seats. Ford has engineered the Ford EcoSport as a global car. It’s attractive, fantastic to drive, comfortable, well equipped and just the right size for busy streets. The appeal will be universal. The second generation Ford Kuga SUV cheer-leads Ford’s ambition to dominate world sales in the SUV market, but will have to do battle with likes of Honda, Nissan, Toyota and others to top the throne. The original Kuga had more individuality, but the latest model boasts better practicality, value and refinement. Buyers will be able to choose between 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and 1.6-litre turbo-charged Eco-boost petrol engines. The cabin is businesslike and uses high quality materials. At higher speeds, the Kuga’s handling is impressive, providing a great dynamic balance.

Contrasts are common in South African society and we have scant choice in some consumer decisions. But we have a salivating range of options to choose from when making car-buying decisions. Henry Ford would have approved.

a uT u M N 2 0 1 3 |

| 87


GRID-TIED TECHNOLOGY OFF-GRID LIVING SOLAR MODULES SOLAR WATER PUMPING GRUNDFOS WATER PUMPS INVERTERS BACKUP POWER REGULATORS BATTERIES BATTERY CHARGERS LONG BACKUP UPS SYSTEMS WIND TURBINES MICRO HYDRO OMNISOLAR has decades of experience in design, integration and installation of grid-feed and off-grid systems. We have designed, sold and installed thousands of successful water pumping systems. OMNISOLAR specialises in alternative electricity supply for residential and commercial properties from farms, holiday cottages and eco-resorts to communication systems. We focus on the supply of turnkey alternative electricity systems where a stable and reliable electrical supply is critical. Instead of just selling components we sell solutions.

34 Albert Street PO Box 4818 George East 6539 TEL: 044 884 1514 FAX: 086 670 9999 E-MAIL:



to keep abreast of Garden Route news and receive South competition reminders, join us on Facebook. Find out about events on


t his q u a R t e R , w e h av e F ou R w onde R F u l p R i z e s t o Gi v e away. s m s e n t R ie s c l o s e on m ay 1, 2 0 13 .

eight bells mountain inn, situated in the Ruiterbos Valley at the foot of the Robinson Pass on the R328 between Mossel Bay (35km) and Oudtshoorn (50km), is renowned for its hospitality, superb service and range of recreational facilities amidst magnificent mountain scenery. The inn’s proximity to the green coastal belt of the Garden Route and the timeless Little Karoo allows for easy exploration of the natural wonders, scenic mountain passes and diverse attractions these two regions offer. Feel at home in 25 tastefully decorated en-suite bedrooms, family units, air-conditioned log cabins and thatched rondavels set in enchanting gardens shared by an abundance of birdlife.

With Adventure Horse safaris you will get outstanding hospitality and quality horse riding holidays – a true therapy of nature! Some of their trails will take you along the beautiful Moordkuyl River in the heart of the Outeniqua Mountains where you will discover the ultimate feeling of pleasure as you ride with the crisp morning breeze, moving gradually up the mountain. Expect a good nights’ rest in tastefully decorated chalets equipped with Satellite TV as well as the necessary cup of coffee early in the morning. A continental breakfast will satisfy the appetite while you enjoy the idyllic setting alongside the river before your sunrise ride. A well deserved Buffet Lunch will await the hungry rider at the beautifully designed Yellowwoods.

Win two nights accommodation (bed & breakfast) at eight bells mountain inn for two, valued at R2 400. Prize subject to availability, valid until end of november 2013. excluding cape school holiday periods. 044 631 0000 To enter sms southbells to 33742. sms costs R1.50.

Adventure Horse safaris is giving away a horse safari including an evening ride followed by a braai around the campfire. includes overnight accommodation, breakfast and buffet lunch, all to the value of R3 180. alta coetzer at 083 287 6861 To enter sms southhorse to 33742. sms costs R1.50.

TuRn TO PAGe 95 fOR mORe infORmATiOn On OuR excePTiOnAl subscRibeR’s PRize: win a two-night stay in conrad pezula in Knysna in an ultra luxurious deluxe junior suite, a full english breakfast for two at café z, a full resort experience with a dinner for two at café z, a spa neck and shoulder treatment or a round of golf on the famous pezula championship course, worth R11 000.

autumn 2013 |

| 89


Ezi-Tunnels are giving away a worm-bin worth R750. 081 392 6048 To enter SMS southworm to 33742. SMS costs R1.50.

Bespoke, owned by local architect Eddie da Silva, recently opened its doors in George. The store stocks a small modern range of furniture and decor items – all designed and manufactured in South Africa. Route 66 is the 3940km-long byway between Chicago and Los Angeles that is today closely associated with the Harley Davidson motorcycle tours. Products from this range will work equally well in contemporary or more rustic homes, from kids’ rooms to living rooms. Bespoke is giving away a Route 66 Bean Bag, a Route 66 Cushion and a Route 66 Door Step together with an adjustable Ash Desk Lamp, total value R3 450. 044 873 2454 To enter SMS southbespoke to 33742. SMS costs R1.50.

YOUR WORLD MADE SIMPLE Energy Management • Security • Climate • Entertainment Enjoy the ultimate entertainment and smart home experience with one simple interface that sets it apart. Throughout your house and around the world with every app you want, organised just for you. +27 (0)44 382 1484


Ezi-Grow Tunnels are the suppliers and manufacturers of affordable, self-sustainable and easy to assemble DIY green house tunnels throughout South Africa. It is ideal for backyard urban garden enthusiast and rural emerging farmers and nurseries. Grow your own all year round. Amongst their product range is their fantastic Ezi-Worm Bin, a complete starter kit with all the worms you need to turn that unwanted kitchen waste into amazing compost. Enjoy the whole cycle of having a tunnel, growing your own and using the waste from what you have grown to make the perfect compost tea. The starter kit includes a double worm box; worm treats to speed up reproduction; pipes (coupled); rain jet valves; shredded bedding; mist spray bottle, worm farming booklet; 200g live worms and an empty collection bottle.

+27 (0)83 608 5810

A home is more than just a space, its a place where memories are made. A place to be yourself, to make your own. At Caesarstone, we are here to help you make that possible. Our quartz surfaces are available in dozens of colours, are exceptionally durable and come with a lifetime warranty, for your peace of mind.

Come home to Caesarstone

Ivory 2220


social scene out and about in the Garden Route

p h o t o G R a p h s R u D y

K o e n

D e s m o n D

a n D

s c h o lt z ,

s u p p l i e D







P a r l o t o n e s  s i g n i n g  s e s s i o n



top south african band the parlotones met with fans at the Garden Route mall ahead of their summer concert at Fancourt. in addition to a signing session, they also entertained fans with a few songs. cheri-lynn speelman was among the many who queued to meet them.

Runners, walkers and mountain bike enthusiasts converged on the sleepy town of Great Brak River to participate in the 10th Grootbrak Grabadoo cycling event. organisers of the day’s events, interface by Goji, were praised by participants for the safety of the event, the water points along the routes, as well as for the incredible new routes. alewijn Dippenaar & mimi Finestone from interface by Goji with Victor matfield.



s e v e n s  P l  r u g B y


 a t a s h a  s u t h e r l a n d n Breakfast

the 7s premier league rugby tournament brought several famous faces to the Garden Route, including former proteas bowler makhaya ntini, who was part of the Kaizer chiefs 7s team’s management. local lad pelser maloney, 11, got his hero to sign his autograph book.

actress natasha sutherland shared her life’s lessons at the Garden Route mall ladies breakfast. George airport manager Brenda Vorster was among the guests.



 C C  w h e e l C h a i r  r a C e o mediaBuild-uP local kids participating in the annual outeniqua Wheelchair challenge got an opportunity to meet with the event’s main sponsors. Front from left: leshaan heunis, 7, nomfundo Joyi , 7 and Kaylin august, aged 5. Back from left: acsa client service manager Viona puley, acsa airport manager Brenda Vorster and Rotary George president Donald Goldfain.

B o o B  r u n  2 0 1 3 andrew King and zoog hayens were part of 44 athletes who ran the every BooB counts 100 (mountain) miler, organised by Running Wild, during which they raised R96 000 in aid of breast cancer research.

autumn 2013 |

| 93




Subscribe to South for a chance to win a two-night stay for two in an ultra luxurious deluxe junior suite at the newly rebranded Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa in Knysna, breakfast and dinner all at Café Z and a full resort experience with a choice each day of either a round of golf on the famous Pezula Championship Course or a neck and shoulder treatment at the Spa. Sometimes a short trip can offer as much joy and food for thought as a long journey. In the same way, an armchair journey can sometimes be as satisfying as a real-life break, or simply serve as motivation to actually get out there. Be sure to get South magazine for stories on places, people, businesses and experiences from the Garden Route and Klein Karoo that will inspire and transport you. Subscribe to four issues of this quality publication for only R80, a 20 percent discount on the store price. As a subscriber, you also stand a chance of winning a fabulous two night stay for two, breakfast and dinner, a round of golf or a Spa treatment at Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa worth R11 000. Hilton Worldwide recently announced the official opening of Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa located in the picturesque town of Knysna, the first Conrad-branded luxury property in sub-Saharan Africa. It is surrounded by rugged cliffs, ancient forests and sheltered beaches. With sweeping views of the 18 hole Pezula Championship Golf Course, the distant Indian Ocean and the Knysna Lagoon, it is

a haven of peace, privacy and luxury. Imagine long, lazy days on a secluded beach, pure indulgence in a sensual spa, exquisite organic cuisine, or for the more energetic, playing tennis, swimming, archery, bird-watching, canoeing, cricket, softball, football, hiking, mountain biking or horse riding through ancient indigenous forests. Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa is a place that understands the subtleties of style and the subtleties of you – a place that will provide you with a one-of-a-kind experience and inspire you to discover local culture, and discover yourself. Rooms are stylish, spacious, vibrant and comfortable with service attuned to your needs because at Conrad, it’s all about you. The hotel offers 86 rooms and a Private Castle on Noetzie Beach. You can choose from a wide selection of authentic dining experiences – Zachary’s, Café Z, Noah’s Champagne & Cocktail Lounge, The Boma (an authentic African experience), and Montrose Castle (a relaxed venue for picnic lunch on the Noetzie Beach). Pezula Spa & Gym provides a superior health, beauty and wellness experience with a contemporary approach to rekindle

your energy and rediscover your spirit. Children (from 4 years old) are well catered for. THE PRIZE INCLUDES: Two nights’ accommodation in an ultra luxurious deluxe junior suite A full English breakfast at Café Z (both days) A dinner at Café Z (for one night only) A neck and shoulder treatment at the Spa OR a round of golf on the famous Pezula Championship Course (choose on both days)

*The prize is valid for a year from publication (until February 2014), excluding peak season (December 16th to January 12th) and subject to availability. Dinner at Café Z excludes beverages. Booking is essential. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. The original voucher must be produced on arrival. Contact Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa 044 302 3333 for reservations, email conradpezula.reservations@conradhotels. com or visit for more details.

F O U R E A S Y WAY S T O S U B S C R I B E T O S O U T H 1. Call 044 873 2771 2. Mail your contact details to 3. Visit 4. SMS southsub to 33742 AUTUMN 2013 |

| 95

last word

THE RED FERRARI Just a few words can change your destiny.

w o r d s

a n d

i l l u s t r at i o n

f a w a

c o n r a d i e

a gut tural roar followed b y a s h a r p s c r e e c h and six heads jerk around to look. Parked on the red line directly outside a Knysna restaurant door, a bright red Ferrari ticks loudly while a mirage forms over the bonnet in the intense summer heat. The door opens and a foot appears, clad in an Australian Outback boot and skinny Levis. A lithe figure slinks out and blinks into the sunlight, his aviator sunglasses on top of his forehead – the man from the advertising agency. It could only be him. Most of the others are already here. I know, I set the table and put out the nametags earlier, served their drinks. There’s Gerbrand in his short-sleeved shirt and red tie, neatly trimmed moustache. Castle. “On the red line. Typical. Who does he think he is? JR Ewing? I hope they tow it away.” “Wow!” Lee Yang Shi says, deeply impressed. Coca Cola. To his right is James in shorts, golf shirt with an NSRI logo and Docksiders without socks. Chilled sauvignon blanc. “Mmm ... wonder how he manages to drive that?” Next to him is Boet. Nothing to drink yet. In front of him is a trophy for Best Port Picked with Left Hand only as chosen by the South-West Route 62 Quilting League in case somebody has a camera. “Waste of money. No boot space for marketing material.” The open seat next to Boet is marked “Skye”. Werner, in a XXXL khaki shirt with blue pockets, brandy and Coke Zero, is not impressed by what he calls Swank. “Won’t do for the dirt roads anyway.” As he takes his seat at the head of the table, a waft of aftershave precedes Slinky from Livingstone, Henry, Bloomingdale, Smythe, Hammond & Hammond. An account continuity executive phoned me to check the

96 |

| autumn 2013

spelling and the spacing both sides of the &. “So, we are here to plan the RMSC – regional marketing strategy campaign?” he says and checks his flat watch before checking his flat car outside. “Can I continue without the ABs – absent parties?” “Right then, er ... Werner. One short sentence. Describe your town’s strength.” Without hesitation Werner says: “Ostriches and sandstone and Cango Caves and croco ...” “Thank you. Next!” James gets up. “Natural beauty, South Africa’s own Riviera, playground of the ri ...” “Next.” “ … Plett,” says James, unable to resist. The others roll their eyes. Boet clutches his trophy. “Route 62, best ruby port for two years in a row in ’94 and 5, fourth best placing at Karoo weekly get toge ...” “I get it. Next.” Lee Yang Shi flicks his black hair from his face: “We have best climate, beaches, sharks, harbour, Post Office stone. Best known for the fact that nobody from George ever comes here.” “Did you know that one in every six people in the world is Chinese?” asks Slinky.

I count five around the table plus myself. Slinky doesn’t count because he said it. Six. I decide it must be Boet. The door opens behind Slinky. A wispy figure with loose dreadlocks floats in and whispers in a voice delicate as a butterfly’s wings: “I am Skye. I’m not late, am I? There was some dreadful traffic ...” Slinky gives her one look: “Lagoon. The Heads. Sea horses,” then looks at Gerbrand. “Well, uh ... we are near to all these other great towns.” He realises how lame it sounds. “The gateway,” he says and smugly wipes his neat moustache. “OK,” says Slinky after a short, awkward silence. “And I have a letter from a town that could not be present – a town between the Leentjiesklip beach and the Touw’s River. It says they will agree with everything we decide as long as it does not happen in their back yard.” I can’t help myself. “’Scuse me, meneer. Do you know other people with Lamborghinis like yours? And Harleys and old cars? Maybe we can get them all to come to this restaurant ... maybe wash their cars while they also have a quiz like you guys?” It’s amazing how it works in the Garden Route. I was a waiter once, now I am in advertising.

Issue 15  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you