Wine tasting at Creation Wines, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hermanus

Along the now tarred R320 through the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley linking Hermanus to Caledon there are several wine estates, one of which is Creation.  I have been wanting to do a wine tasting there as I often buy Creation’s Syrah/Grenache blend and not tried any of the other varieties.  It’s a stunning drive through the valley with vineyards and natural vegetation.   A modern building awaits diners and wine enthusiasts set in beautiful surroundings dotted about with extraordinary wire artworks

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I walked down to the ‘wire woman’  to take photos of the valley and spotted a Cape Sparrow building his nest …. within the lady’s upper back🙂

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Room with a view ..

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Not the best pic of this graceful ballet dancer.   I should have stood on her right hand side ..

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Choosing wines to taste …

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Our Sommelier, Ethan ..

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Between the four of us, we had a number of varieties but all ended with a Pinot Noir.  Two actually .. 2015 Pinot Noir and 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir.  Both a bit young but we much preferred the Reserve😉

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For the Pinot Noir, a large glass is used.  When I asked why, Ethan asked me to tell him after pouring the Reserve in both glasses.   I didn’t realise how the shape and size of the glass changes the taste of a wine!   The wine was soooo much nicer in the larger glass.   Creation uses beautiful Riedel glassware for their dining and tastings ..

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Stunning views while dining and/or tasting…

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Food pairing for kiddies !!   I like this :)   We saw a couple of children having a pairing meal .. it looked like fun !  Small bowls of yummy food with a fancy drink each served on a wooden platter

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Tubs of herbs ..

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What a great place !!!  .. and another to return to on our next visit

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Posted in birds, Cape, countryside, dining out, food, Hermanus, holiday, Landscape, mountains, restaurants, sculpture, South Africa, travel, wine, wine estates | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dutchies at Grotto Beach, Hermanus

Continuing from my previous posts on places of interest in Stanford which included Klein River Farmstead for their delicious cheeses, a quick visit to Raka Winery to purchase a new wine bottle opener, and a short walk-about at The Royal Oke,  hubby and I, with Cheryl and Bob,  drove back to Hermanus for their scrumptious calamari strips at Dutchies, a beach restaurant at the magnificent Grotto Beach, a Blue Flag beach

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Perfect accompaniment to calamari … a chilled glass of Chenin Blanc from Barton Vineyards …

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Toes in the sand and feet in the sea …

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Dutchies is on Facebook too

Posted in beach, Cape, dining out, flowers, Hermanus, holiday, restaurants, sand, sea, South Africa, travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Royal Oke in Stanford

Here is yet another place hubby and I need to re-visit when next in the Hermanus/Stanford area … The Royal Oke.   Cheryl and Bob have had a breakfast there which they said was very good.

We had a quick walk-about …

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Before we flew down to the Cape, our lawn at home was patchy and brownish, crunchy under foot as well.  I just had to take off my shoes and walk on The Royal Oke’s thick, lush green lawns🙂🙂🙂

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Walking back to the car we noticed this lemon tree with the largest lemons I’ve ever seen !!  They were enormous !!

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Calamari on the beach washed down with a chilled glass of white wine was next, on this day

Posted in Cape, countryside, food, Hermanus, holiday, mountains, Outing, restaurants, South Africa, travel, trees | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The best wine bottle opener at Raka Wine Estate

Well ….. I like it anyway!   It’s easy to use and fits neatly in a drawer.  With a couple of twists of the foil cutter then screw the screwing thingie into the cork, lift cork out with ease and voilá … wine bottle open !!  Raka Wines is the only winery we’ve come across that has this type of waiters friend bottle opener.   We’ve had ours for some years now and needed another, as a stand-by.  The original is still perfect !

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Hence the visit to Raka after Klein River Cheeses.  We’ve done wine tasting here before and decided not to do it again, but make our way back to Hermanus for a calamari lunch on the beach after our purchase and a few piccies …

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I like Raka wines especially the Biography Shiraz, with the Quinary .. a blend, coming a close second …

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We stopped at The Royal Oke, also in Stanford, for a quick look and a few pics before heading back to Hermanus.  We could have had lunch there .. it is very pretty … but calamari on beach beckoned !

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Klein River Cheeses in Stanford

Hubby and I spent a few wonderful days with his sister Cheryl and hubby Bob in Hermanus … the place where Southern Right Whales frolic in the bay, Walker Bay.  They come to warmer waters at this time of the year to have their babies.  Sadly, they were hiding :(  .. not one did we see !  Next time.   In previous years, we’ve seen many .. an amazing experience.

One thing I wanted to do whilst in the Hermanus/Stanford area was to buy a new wine bottle opener.   We have searched high and low for the same opener as the one we bought several years ago from Raka Wine Estates.   ‘Searching’ as in every time we visit a winery we ask if they have them .. or when we remember to ask in a bottle/liquor store.   It has an easy to use foil cutter on a simply designed waiters friend opener.  I will reveal this functional opener in my next blog

Half an hours scenic drive from Hermanus is the village of Stanford where the Klein River Cheese farmstead is situated.  We decided to stop for a cheese tasting and cappuccino on the way to Raka

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What a lovely place !!!!  There are cheese tastings, a lush gorgeous picnic area (picnic baskets are available from the Picnic Shed) and the super duper playground .. oh yes and roosters, hens and chicks running around and other petting farm animals …

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If you get there early enough .. which unfortunately we were not .. you can watch cheeses being made through large windows.  Here the equipment was being washed down after the morning’s cheese making …

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Certificates and awards adorn every inch of the walls …

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Yummm … cheeses we tasted were really good.  Naturally we bought some🙂

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We have to have a picnic next visit  …

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Cappuccinos and happy faces🙂 ..

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We’ll be back for more cheese tastings and an awesome picnic !!!

A countryside scene🙂 …

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Ooooh .. I was excited to see Klein River cheese on the Woolworths shelves this  morning and of course had to buy some😉

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Posted in Cape, travel, animals, holiday, food, awards, countryside, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flying into Cape Town

I seldom sit at a window but on this flight to Cape Town a week ago, I did.  Often flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town the plane comes down straight onto the runway.  No messing about.  Descends and lands screeching to a halt!    And sometimes it cruises over the coastline, banking over the sea.  Even those not sitting at a window can see the sea, depending on which side of the plane you are seated of course.  Sometimes it’s windy when the surface is tossed with white-horses .. and sometimes it’s calm when you see shades and shadows of blues and sea greens with little white dots that become canoeists as you descend towards landing.

On this day we banked over the sea.   Window seat .. yay!  I can see clearly now!  Except a dirty window was between camera and view … and only thought of taking pics once we had cruised passed Robben Island and Table Mountain.  Cape Peninsula is seen in the haze right down to Cape Point hugging False Bay …

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Banking over the sea with Table Mountain and Lions Head in the distance and the Cape Flats in the foreground ..

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Heading straight for the runway with Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountains, Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay in the blue haze …

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Posted in Cape Town, clothes, holiday, Landscape, mountains, sea, Somerset West, South Africa, travel | Tagged , | 2 Comments

This little cutie is Georgia

She is the nearly-8months old baby girl of Robyn and Mark (Elaine and Bryan’s good friends) and I have a playdate most Thursdays with her and coffee with her Granny Sandy :)  Last Thursday I remembered to take my camera in order to get better photos than those taken with my cellphone which end up on Instagram and Facebook.

Isn’t she just too adorable ?!!!!    She is getting used to my visits …  after a Nova class at the gym … and greets me with her gorgeous smile, big blue eyes and chubby cheeks :)  She’s a contented and happy little soul

I had difficulty choosing photos  .. so there are many🙂

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Love the way she screws up her face ..

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I was playing peek-a-boo behind the camera ..

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Robyn is a working mom and fortunately her mom, Sandy,  is able to be a full-time/hands-on Granny like me🙂

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Babies favourites … a pot  and wooden spoons

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Ouch !!!   One on the forehead!!!

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Nap time …

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I shall miss her on Thursday as hubby and I are leaving on Wednesday to the Cape for a few days

Posted in babies, friends, grandchildren, Grandparents, play | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments