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Posted on: Thursday, 19 August 2010

Rosendal – the “new” Clarens?

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Rosendal, Free State

Rosendal, Free State

I’d heard that Rosendal is the “next” Clarens and seeing as we were en route from Ficksburg to Clarens and Rosendal is only a teeny bit off track we used this as our opportunity to pop in and see the village for ourselves.

One is greeted by a fairly large ‘map’ of Rosendal when arriving but to be honest we drove down a dusty track and thought to ourselves ‘what the heck is all the fuss about’ – in fact we couldn’t even find a shop of any kind!  We spotted a church steeple and being the intrepid, seasoned explorers that we are made our way towards that landmark …

Aha – good move that was.  Almost directly opposite the church is Turvsy Trading; a cauldron of enamel signs, antiques, bicycles, woollen goods and just about everything else you could think of.  I walked into the shop and my jaw hit the ground!  It was like walking into a regter egter trading store 100 years ago; in fact I was about to start snapping away with my camera but the owner of the store stopped me; that particular section of the shop was to be made into a museum and a film company had all the photo and filming rights.

I got into conversation with the store owner and she told me that she had befriended an elderly gentleman who owned a trading store in Lesotho.  His store was packed to the brim with everything we still find on our store shelves today; Vaseline Lip Ice, Frisco coffee, Oros cordial, Lux soaps, Lexington cigarettes etc but these items dated back many many years (for instance Vaseline Lip Ice was only 15c!)

He also had reams and reams of fabric brought straight from the United Kingdom still with the price tag in yards and shillings! It was all fascinating. When this elderly gentleman passed away she bought a lot of his stock and filled Turvsy Trading with these items.

We wandered around the yard, also filled with enamel signs, wooden tables and various other things before strolling down to the coffee shop.  This huge shop was also filled with enamelware, loads of porcelain antiques, light shades and an entire closet of never worn 1960’s clothes!  The coffee shop also doubles as a theatre and the owner puts on a delicious three course meal so it’s a real theatre and dinner extravaganza.  Seating 120, bookings are snapped up and in fact most performances are sold out.

Rosendal is a quaint little village and I can see the attraction of spending time there; I don’t think it’s quite the next Clarens but if peace, quiet and beauty are what you are after then Rosendal is the place for you.

Photographs of Rosendal & The Turvsy Trading Store:



Rosendal Links:
Rosendal Attractions
Rosendal Accommodation
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Helen Rushton


After living in London and travelling the world for many years and more recently living in the Mother City, I now reside on a tranquil sugar cane farm in Kearsney; an area steeped in the history of South Africa’s sugar industry. During the summer months I get involved with the community by assisting the local primary school with swimming lessons at our country club. Some of my favourite things are reading or picking freshly grown vegetables and Iceland poppies in our garden. Milly, my boxer loves her walks to the river that runs through our farm and sometimes, Sandy the cat I hand reared, joins us for a stroll!

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