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Riebeek Kasteel – a perfect little Swartland town
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Riebeek Kasteel – a perfect little Swartland town

One thing you need to know about Riebeek Kasteel is that it's no longer a secret. Which isn't to say that you won't enjoy yourself immensely in this gorgeous little town nestled up against the Kasteelberg Mountain roughly an hour's drive from Cape Town, but if the cost of homes is anything to go by (and there are at least four estate agencies jostling for attention on the square as you enter town) then people are lining up for their spot in the sun in this rural, Tuscan-style village. Riebeek Kasteel literally is a sight for sore eyes. The scenery is intoxicating, and vineyards, olive grove...
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5 GREAT day trips around Cape Town
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5 GREAT day trips around Cape Town

5 GREAT day trips around Cape Town Pick your own grapes at De Doorns House Estate If you haven't already experienced what it is to pick your own food, then head off to De Doorns Homestead in the Hex River Valley. Not only is this one of the most gorgeous valleys known to man, it is also very accessible and an easy day trip from Cape Town. De Doorns lies between Worcester and Touws River on the N1, about one and a half hours' drive, nestled in amongst the Hex and Quado Mountains - snowcapped during winter, and incredibly lush and fertile during summer. Harvest season is typically betwee...
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Rugby Festival at Green Point Stadium (photos)
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Rugby Festival at Green Point Stadium (photos)

A few photographs of the Green Point Stadium (now officially called the Cape Town Stadium) taken on Saturday 6th February at the Rugby Festival. The Stormers won 47-13 after leading 18-13 at halftime ... Photographs with thanks and © Iain Gibbin. Useful Green Point Links Green Point Attractions Things to Do in Green Point Green Point Hotels Cape Towns Hotels Save Save
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Back to basics at Beaverlac
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Back to basics at Beaverlac

Last weekend I succumbed to peer pressure and went camping.  I did a 39 day trip through Africa at the beginning of 2000 and after camping for most of those 38 nights I vowed I would never, ever camp again!  But the group invite for a weekend away was sent and I don’t like to miss out ... so I saw the inside of a tent again. Our destination was Beaverlac in the Cederberg and my goodness it is beautiful.  The entire journey was less than three hours including missing a few turnoffs on the way out of the Mother City and the bathroom break so it’s a completely do-able trip for after work on a ...
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Arderne Gardens – greenery in the midst of Claremont
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Arderne Gardens – greenery in the midst of Claremont

Say 'Main Road, Claremont' and the picture most people conjure up definitely doesn't include greenery. It's a bustling hubbub of activity, the air consistently rent with the hooting of taxis soliciting business, and the irate response of drivers looking for parking. But in the midst of all of this is Arderne Gardens, the garden of weddings, a 4.5 hectare garden filled with some 300 incredible trees that is just crying out for use ... Arderne Gardens started life as Ralph Henry Arderne's 'The Hill' (also known as 'Arderne Dorp') where the Arderne family set out to create a garden represen...
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The Mt Moreland Swallows
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The Mt Moreland Swallows

I first heard about the Mt Moreland Swallows from a friend whose wonderful husband had organised a surprise birthday picnic for her at the Lake Victoria Conservancy.  She raved about how spectacular it was to see the swallows and I’ve been dying to experience it myself ever since.  Although I now live in the Mother City, I am originally from Zululand and am normally ‘home’ for Christmas. So this December I made a concerted effort to get to Mt Moreland ... Witness the spectacle of the Mount Moreland Swallows. (Barn Swallow - Hirundo Rustica). Every evening from mid October to mid April At t...
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Middle Earth explored – what they’re getting up to in Hogsback
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Middle Earth explored – what they’re getting up to in Hogsback

There was something about Middle Earth being sign posted as an organic nursery that had us driving down a little obscure driveway whilst in Hogsback recently. Besides, we couldn't let the Tolkienesque name of 'Middle Earth' go unexplored, and so it was, on a rather hot morning (the warmest we'd experienced so far) we found ourselves falling out of our car in a rather ramshackle driveway to clasp the firm handshake of Dennis. Dennis is a treasure. A slight bearded man with twinkling blue eyes, he is both unassuming and quietly spirited, with a slightly off-the-wall sense of humour. Whilst...
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Bainskloof Escape
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Bainskloof Escape

Where do you find yourself in just an hour and fifteen minute drive outside of Cape Town? Well on Saturday morning I found myself at a friends holiday home in Bainskloof, and no I wasn’t teleported there, it was an easy drive. Three good friends and I decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and head to a family holiday home that has enjoyed many happy moments over the years. We had decided to indulge ourselves in a complete girly weekend and what better way to spend it than right on the river, in a magnificent setting with our favourite magazines, chilled white wi...
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Eight at Spier – a definite ‘must’ for brunch
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Eight at Spier – a definite ‘must’ for brunch

Before the word gets out, I thought I'd share my addiction to the latest restaurant to open on the Spier Wine Estate in Lyndedoch Road, Stellenbosch. Eight at Spier serves good wholesome breakfasts, brunches and lunches on the grounds of the popular weekend destination. The restaurant is child-friendly, affordable, and one of very few restaurants with a green ethos where environmental consciousness and commitment to the Earth is a high priority. Most of all, the restaurant lacks pretentiousness, and easily ranks as one of the best places to get  a decent, healthy breakfast over a weekend .....
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Beautiful, not-so-peaceful, Stilbaai
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Beautiful, not-so-peaceful, Stilbaai

Stilbaai, also known as Still Bay, is well known amongst Capetonians as a peaceful, seaside getaway on the Garden Route, perfect for weekends. It has, to a large degree, managed to maintain an unspoiled and natural environment that is particularly beautiful during spring, with a pretty beach village atmosphere on the eastern side of the village, and beautiful beaches. But come here during the festive season, and you begin to wonder whether the residents may not have been a little hasty in calling their bay 'still'. It has become so popular and so busy at this time of year that 'hectic' is p...
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Just what they’re getting up to in Hogsback
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Just what they’re getting up to in Hogsback

Starways pottery and the Rose theatre - You don't expect to find a theatre in Hogsback. Not only is it a theatre, albeit a little one, but it's open air, in the middle of a glade of pine trees, and named after the Elizabethan theatre of the same name. The Rose was London's most historic theatre, built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe on Bankside in Southwark and home to many of Shakespeare's productions. The Rose at Starways is similarly built mainly of timber, with earth for the walls and, although I would imagine this version is a lot smaller, it is anchored securely by two pine trees convenien...
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I Love Mossel Bay because …
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I Love Mossel Bay because …

Hi, I’m  Petra du Toit from Linkside2 Guest House in Mossel Bay in the Garden Route. MOSSEL BAY IS BEST KNOWN FOR its moderate climate, beautiful white beaches and the Dias Museum. GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT the Post office Tree, because of its historical Value and you can still mail your postcards from there. THE BEST SUNRISE PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT The Point early in the morning, breathtakingly beautiful! OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT Linkside2 with the most beautiful view of the bay, mountains and the town ... WHEN THE WEATHER'S GOOD, I LIKE TO go to Santos beach ... blue flag sta...
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The Heath in Plettenberg Bay
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The Heath in Plettenberg Bay

We stumbled upon The Heath, the Garden Route's bohemian farm store, whilst on our way to Stilbaai from St Francis Bay. Now many of you may know about this fantastic find, but I was immediately entranced by the stop and couldn't understand why no-one had bothered to inform me of what definitely qualifies as my 'best shopping experience of the year' before! It turns out that mostly everyone who travels this route knows about it. In fact my sister has mentioned it to me numerous times but usually prefaced with the words 'we stopped at this shop' whilst foregoing the obviously vital inclusion o...
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Oh I do want to be beside the seaside of St Francis Bay
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Oh I do want to be beside the seaside of St Francis Bay

Set on the shores of the Indian Ocean, just south of Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape, St Francis Bay has to be one of the most beautiful spaces on this part of the coast. We arrived there on a wind-swept afternoon knowing little about the pretty resort but that we had managed to nab ourselves a cottage with sea views within walking distance of the beach! We arrived in the village in the late afternoon, tired from our journey and gasping for a day or so of sun-filled beach time, as we had just descended from the Amatola Mountains and the little town of Hogsback, where it had been rather chi...
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