Schoone Oordt Country House http://www.schooneoordt.co.za Swellendam Accommodation Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:43:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why we love Country Weddings in Swellendamhttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/country-weddings-in-swellendam/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/country-weddings-in-swellendam/#comments Wed, 18 Nov 2015 13:49:52 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1759 Why we love Country Weddings in Swellendam

Country Weddings in Swellendam

We love country weddings, especially ones in Swellendam.  Country weddings are like small private festivals.  Families and friends come from far and wide to spend, not just a few hours, but a whole weekend celebrating beauty, togetherness and the future.  Making for a wonderful sense of community and reunion as loved ones create a warm circle of happiness around the bride and groom.

Unlike a city wedding, guests are able to escape their own lives and re-connect, both with themselves and their ‘people’.  At Schoone Oordt, wedding parties can spend time before and after the ceremony exploring Swellendam’s restaurants and coffee shops, unwinding on the river – or treating themselves to a pamper at the Rain Forest Spa.

Schoone Oordt, for over a century, has been backdrop to numerous romantic and love-filled events and we feel that we are continuing this legacy by co-creating magical moments with our brides and grooms.  As hosts, we ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
Why we love Country Weddings in Swellendam

Country Weddings in Swellendam

We love country weddings, especially ones in Swellendam.  Country weddings are like small private festivals.  Families and friends come from far and wide to spend, not just a few hours, but a whole weekend celebrating beauty, togetherness and the future.  Making for a wonderful sense of community and reunion as loved ones create a warm circle of happiness around the bride and groom.

Unlike a city wedding, guests are able to escape their own lives and re-connect, both with themselves and their ‘people’.  At Schoone Oordt, wedding parties can spend time before and after the ceremony exploring Swellendam’s restaurants and coffee shops, unwinding on the river – or treating themselves to a pamper at the Rain Forest Spa.

Schoone Oordt, for over a century, has been backdrop to numerous romantic and love-filled events and we feel that we are continuing this legacy by co-creating magical moments with our brides and grooms.  As hosts, we feel so honoured to be invited to be a part of these precious times.

Swellendam Country Weddings

Schoone Oordt Country Hotel, proudly South African, of course

The first anniversary of one particularly magical story has just been marked. Maxine and Francois were married at our small hotel in October last year, with an elegant garden party to celebrate the occasion.  The wedding began with a loving ceremony overlooking the pool, then merged into a picnic-style high tea on the lawn with personalised picnic baskets and kikois.  Vintage lawn games kept both children and older guests enthralled.  Light music tinkled in the background amidst laughter and heartwarming speeches.

Country Wedding in Swellendam

Ceremony with a view

Swellendam Country Wedding

Gentrified & Gracious Lawn Wedding at Schoone Oordt

Lawn Weddings in the Country Swellendam

Vintage Lawn Games… too much Fun

An exquisite long table with twinkling fairy lights was set up under the trees for the wedding party to progress into an authentic, but sophisticated South African Braai for dinner…  Unfortunately, the weather didn’t quite play along, so we happily moved the long table into our light and airy Conservatory for an evening of dancing, love and much conversation and laughter.

Country Wedding Swellendam

We love lovely Long Tables

Beautiful Wedding venues in the Country Swellendam

Lovely Long Table, part two

My Pretty Vintage helped realise Max & Frankie’s glamorous 1920’s theme, which transformed the hotel into something reminiscent of Downton Abbey.  They were amazing to work with and we highly recommend them.  The Wedding Cake from The Cupcake Tarts added to the many savoury and sweet treats created   by our own Schoone Oordt kitchen.  These beautiful pictures were made by our beautiful Bruce Geils, based here in Swellendam.  A truly talented gent.

High Tea Country Wedding in Swellendam

Pretty & Pretty Delicious High Tea

 

Decor for a Country Wedding in Swellendam Country Weddings in Swellendam

As in true Schoone Oordt style, our brides and grooms become our friends, if they are not already close to our heart.  Max & I have walked a long road together and we couldn’t be happier that she has finally found Frankie.  Frankie is the ultimate gentleman, fiercely dedicated to Max, who is an extraordinary woman in every way. Their fairy tale is not a story without challenges but their love has truly conquered all.

Country Weddings in Swellendam Country Weddings in Swellendam South Africa

Dear Max & Frankie had this to say about their day:

The day (weekend!) was a truly, truly special time of deep joy and celebration for us.  This was perfectly complemented by your superb venue which provided a truly beautiful and luxurious setting for our vintage, 1920’s style wedding. Thank you Alison, Richard, Sonette, Wander, Fidiney and the entire Schoone Oordt Family for your passion and love which could be felt throughout the weekend.

Max and Frankie, thank you for the privilege of letting us take care of you and your guests on your enchanted wedding weekend.  More happy memories settle into Schoone Oordt as another beautiful country wedding in Swellendam is added to our album.

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/country-weddings-in-swellendam/feed/ 0
Swellicious Swellendam Wintershttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellicious-swellendam-winters/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellicious-swellendam-winters/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:52:54 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1731 Swellicious Swellendam Winters

Swellendam Winters

Now that we’re well on our way to Spring and Summer, which have their own treasures, of course, we’ve realised that we’re a little different to others when it comes to Swellendam Winters.  Towards the end of Summer, we sit and wait, patiently eyeing the chunky woollen jerseys at the back our closet, poised for the onset of our favourite season. You see, winter is the best, ‘seasonists’, it really is. It’s about regrouping, about resting and rejuvenating.  It’s about crunching red leaves underfoot, snuggling under blankets next to a crackling log fire, reading books that were collecting dust on your shelves all summer and clutching hot cups of tea. It’s when you get to wear your chunky woollen socks; eat comfort food (in silent agreement with your body that ‘everyone needs a few extra kilos for warmth’ over winter); it’s time to rediscover the childlike wonder of hot chocolate and stare ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
Swellicious Swellendam Winters

Swellendam Winters

Now that we’re well on our way to Spring and Summer, which have their own treasures, of course, we’ve realised that we’re a little different to others when it comes to Swellendam Winters.  Towards the end of Summer, we sit and wait, patiently eyeing the chunky woollen jerseys at the back our closet, poised for the onset of our favourite season. You see, winter is the best, ‘seasonists’, it really is. It’s about regrouping, about resting and rejuvenating.  It’s about crunching red leaves underfoot, snuggling under blankets next to a crackling log fire, reading books that were collecting dust on your shelves all summer and clutching hot cups of tea. It’s when you get to wear your chunky woollen socks; eat comfort food (in silent agreement with your body that ‘everyone needs a few extra kilos for warmth’ over winter); it’s time to rediscover the childlike wonder of hot chocolate and stare out at the winter-whipped countryside. To feel the wind against your cheeks as you stand on top of a mountain in the wild outdoors is surely one of the best things to feel…

Swellendam Winters

Looking over Swellendam, picture with thanks to Bruce ‘Flyinghorse’ Geils

We wondered whether there was anyone out there who shared our outrageous love for Swellendam Winters and we managed to track a few famous local wanderlusters down, between their travels. This is what they told us:

Gorgeous Lauren (instagram: @laurenfowler & twitter @laurenxfowler) of Lost is a Place Too:

“Swellendam is a picturesque town, rich with history and charm. The large tree-lined roads impart the historical feel perfectly and you can almost imagine yourself being drawn along in a horse and cart. Staying at Schoone Oordt extends this feeling, as the house is a beautifully restored Victorian. The food and wine at the country house is exquisite and masterfully blended tastes are modern and sublime. There’s something about the mountains in the Overberg that I love, especially in this area. Tradouw Pass, that links Swellendam and Suurbraak to Barrydale and Heidelberg, is a like visiting a nature museum. The pass snakes around the mountains, which feel like sleeping giants. Swellendam is a lovely corner of the Western Cape and Schoone Oordt is an absolute treat.”

 

Swellendam Winters

The Tradouws Pass that links Swellendam and Barrydale, picture taken by Lauren Fowler

The very very special Dawn (instagram: @dawnjorgensen & twitter @DawnJorgensen) offered us a snippet of her article about Swellendam, on The Incidental Tourist:

“The Drostdy Museum, a hike and time on the Breede River as well as game viewing in the SANParks – Bontebok National Park. And a visit to Rain Africa, where I enjoyed an incredible treatment called ‘Elephant Walk’. I also stumbled upon a very cool beekeeping shop with a working hive on display, reminding how much I admire these precious industrial workers of nature.”

Swellendam Winters

The Bee Shop in Swellendam, picture with thanks to Alexander Heyn

Lovely Linda Markovina (instagram: @movingsushi & twitter: @moving_sushi)  of Moving Sushi:

“As the seasons shift to colder cape winter weather most people love to curl up by fires, jugs of wine or under fluffy blankets, myself I’m the opposite. In Swellendam it often can reach some toe curling cold temperatures during winter, often snow can be pictured along the mountain ranges. Nothing is better than waking up early on a crisp winters morning and heading out bundled into a comfortable jersey on a horseback ride though fresh pine scented forests. Not only is the scenery spectacular but nothing feels better than slowly watching the day warm up as you move through the fynbos and proteas of the peaceful Marloth Nature Reserve shadowed by the Langeberg Mountains.”

Swellendam Winters

King Proteas flowering beautifully up in the mountains of the Marloth Nature Reserve, picture thanks to Alexander Hayn

The terrific Theresa van Gruenen (instagram: @FinePlaces & twitter: @FinePlaces):

“Swellendam is a place where time stands still, cradled by rising mountain peaks in a corner of lush farmland. It’s a place you can still walk down Main Street and reminisce at the site of historic church steeples, visit a humble pottery with the artist at work, taste local berries and jams, enjoy a quiet coffee next to a gurgling stream, and hear the rustling of oak leaves on the breeze.”

what to do in Swellendam

The iconic Swellendam church, picture with many thanks to Bruce ‘Flyinghorse’ Geils

And lastly, the wonderful Sean Robertson (instagram: @lifeintrips & twitter: @ThisLifeinTrips), offered us this from his recently penned article on his blog, This Life In Trips:

“Although I was more than happy to read a book by the fire, Swellendam has loads to see. Much of it is at Schoone Oordt’s door. Just down the street you will find the “Golden Mile,” a concentration of the towns arts, crafts, history and restaurants. Schoone Oordt’s huge Conservatory doubles as the hotel’s restaurant. Included in your stay is a well-stocked breakfast buffet and afternoon tea. At night the tables are set for fine dining. I sampled springbok Carpaccio, Karoo lamb, and a peanut butter soufflé… All of it amazing.”

Swellendam Winter

Overlooking the Gardens from The Conservatory at Schoone Oordt

The best part? Winter rates plummet and we still have a month left, so, bring your wellies and come splash in the splendour of a Swellendam Winter Weekend Away.

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellicious-swellendam-winters/feed/ 0
Too much beauty on our doorstep – Marloth Nature Reservehttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/marloth-nature-reserve/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/marloth-nature-reserve/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 12:00:46 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1702 Too much beauty on our doorstep – Marloth Nature Reserve

Marloth Nature Reserve

In the spirit of beauty, we thought we’d share one of our favourite creative soul’s view of The Marloth Nature Reserve, literally on our doorstep here in Swellendam, South Africa.  Bruce ‘Flyinghorse’ Geils draws much of his creative inspiration from the beauty around us and is so evident in his work…

The Marloth Nature Reserve has the most spectacular walks for both adventurous hikers and afternoon strollers.  A trip up to the Waterfall is a must.  You can reach the Reserve within an easy walk of us at Schoone Oordt, so pack a water bottle and your camera and find peace and tranquility within.

The peaceful reserve, which is 14 123 hectares in size, is managed together with 16 532 hectares of privately owned land.  Marloth Nature Reserve is named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents, petitioned the Minister of Lands ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
Too much beauty on our doorstep – Marloth Nature Reserve

Marloth Nature Reserve

In the spirit of beauty, we thought we’d share one of our favourite creative soul’s view of The Marloth Nature Reserve, literally on our doorstep here in Swellendam, South Africa.  Bruce ‘Flyinghorse’ Geils draws much of his creative inspiration from the beauty around us and is so evident in his work…

Marloth Nature Reserve, Swellendam, South Africa

The Langeberge

The Marloth Nature Reserve has the most spectacular walks for both adventurous hikers and afternoon strollers.  A trip up to the Waterfall is a must.  You can reach the Reserve within an easy walk of us at Schoone Oordt, so pack a water bottle and your camera and find peace and tranquility within.

Marloth Nature Reserve, Swellendam, South Africa

Perfect Waterfalls

Marloth Nature Reserve

Secret Glades and Waterfalls

The peaceful reserve, which is 14 123 hectares in size, is managed together with 16 532 hectares of privately owned land.  Marloth Nature Reserve is named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents, petitioned the Minister of Lands and Forestry in 1928 to set aside part of the mountain as a nature reserve. This included the forest patches of Koloniesbos and Duiwelsbos and thus protected some of the land.  During 1981, the reserve was enlarged to include the rest of the State Forest and the Swellendam hiking trail was opened.

Marloth Nature Reserve, Swellendam

The beauty of trees

Marloth Nature Reserve

Hiking and Wandering in the Marloth Nature Reserve

The reserve’s vegetation is predominantly mountain fynbos, with isolated patches of yellowwood, stinkwood, wild olive, hard pear and ironwood forest. There are several species of protea and more than 25 species of erica, most of which flower in November and occur nowhere else in the world. Marloth, like the rest of the southern Cape, has hot summers and cold winters. The higher mountain peaks are occasionally dusted in snow during the cold winter months.

Marloth Nature Reserve, Swellendam

Fynbos and Freedom

The Marloth Nature Reserve, Swellendam, South Africa

Indigenous Fynbos Flowers

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail… Ralph Waldo Emerson

Marloth Nature Reserve

Mountains and Peace

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again – Joseph Campbell

Marloth Nature Reserve

Swellendam from the Marloth Mountains

Thank you, Flyinghorse Photography for sharing with us.

 

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/marloth-nature-reserve/feed/ 0
Stealing Beauty… Oh, what to do in Swellendamhttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/what-to-do-in-swellendam/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/what-to-do-in-swellendam/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1649 Stealing Beauty… Oh, what to do in Swellendam

what to do in Swellendam

One of the things that we love most about Swellendam is that it’s not one-dimensional. It’s not just a foodie destination, nor is it just about mountain biking or berry-picking. Swellendam leaves itself open to interpretation.

If you’re looking for a pit stop on the way to somewhere else, you might miss it because this town is subtle, revealing itself slowly. You’ll often find that artists, creatives, writers and musicians are attracted to Swellendam, not only because it offers a sense of serenity and idyllic isolation, but also perhaps because these sensitive types know that ‘stealing’ beauty from their surrounds is so vital to their work.

 

If you care to see it, it’s everywhere. Swellendam drips with beauty. The beautiful Dutch Reformed Church that takes pride of place in the centre of town. The restored Victorian homes lining the lanes and the hug of mountains that blush red ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
Stealing Beauty… Oh, what to do in Swellendam

what to do in Swellendam

One of the things that we love most about Swellendam is that it’s not one-dimensional. It’s not just a foodie destination, nor is it just about mountain biking or berry-picking. Swellendam leaves itself open to interpretation.

If you’re looking for a pit stop on the way to somewhere else, you might miss it because this town is subtle, revealing itself slowly. You’ll often find that artists, creatives, writers and musicians are attracted to Swellendam, not only because it offers a sense of serenity and idyllic isolation, but also perhaps because these sensitive types know that ‘stealing’ beauty from their surrounds is so vital to their work.

what to do in Swellendam

The iconic NG Kerk, Swellendam – picture by Bruce ‘Flyinghorse’ Geils

 

If you care to see it, it’s everywhere. Swellendam drips with beauty. The beautiful Dutch Reformed Church that takes pride of place in the centre of town. The restored Victorian homes lining the lanes and the hug of mountains that blush red with sunset. The river that runs through it. The waterfalls hidden in crevices in the mountain. The lush, cascading delicious ferns that seem to flourish in every nook.

what to see in Swellendam

Flourishing greenery in every corner

 

Swellendam is romantic. A novel aching to be written. Cycle down the streets on a vintage bicycle and you’ll seem like you belong. One can almost hear scratchy records played by gramophones or slow tinkling pianos as a soundtrack to a slow Saturday evening. It appeals to romantics; with its shuttered windows, wrap-around stoeps, dusty old books and dark wooden staircases. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a romantic, prepare to be seduced.

what to see in Swellendam

Romantic Victorian filigree lace & inviting stoeps

play in swellendam

Slow tinkling pianos

 

Swellendam is also blessed with enough natural beauty to make your heart burst, if you’re as into nature as we are. The two nature reserves, Marloth and Bontebok National Park, transport you to places in yourself that you’ve never visited. Marloth Nature Reserve stretches along the Langeberg Mountains, blessed with natural fresh water pools, lush forest and dedicated hiking paths. The waterfall walk is a slow, steep climb, which can be accomplished by most members of the family, so please take your children along to splash in the pools and climb the gnarled branches of old trees. Fit hikers will be rewarded when climbing other paths leading to the top of the mountain, which offers unforgettable views. If hiking in Marloth Nature Reserve were your only reason to visit Swellendam repeatedly, it would be wholeheartedly understood.

what to do in swellendam

Bontebok Park, Swellendam

 

On hot days, Bontebok National Park offers reprieve in the form of the Breede River – easily accessible from dedicated picnic spots. The white sandy banks of the river give it a beach feel, yet with the calm waters of a river. Take lilos, a picnic basket and sun umbrellas and spend the afternoon floating on the waters of this private piece of paradise. Of course the bonus of seeing buck only a metre or two away from you as you’re driving is even more of a delight. Upon leaving, you need only travel a few kilometres up the road to catch a legendary sunset over Umshanti at the Buffeljags Dam, or one better – you could book a sunset cruise aboard their Mississippi-style boat, and be pulled behind the boat on tubes!

what to do in swellendam

Beach Sand on the Banks of the Breede River

 

We wrote about cycling in Swellendam in our previous post but the majesty of the town can be also be enjoyed from a kayak, a slow boat, a mountain path, on horseback or sitting on top of a mountain.

Whether you’re a culinary tourist, an adventure-seeker or merely looking for a relaxing place to read a book, Swellendam really does offer it all – even a beach.

 

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/what-to-do-in-swellendam/feed/ 3
Cycling in Swellendam – MTB Western Capehttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/mtb-western-cape/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/mtb-western-cape/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:34:15 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1593 Cycling in Swellendam – MTB Western Cape

MTB Western Cape

Goodness, this post has been a long time coming…  August last year was the last!  It has been an amazing season (although not quite over yet!) and we are so grateful.  Thank you to the wonderful people that stay with us, we look forward to seeing (a lot of you) again next year…

Swellendam is fast becoming a MTB Western Cape dream destination, with events like the TransCape MTB, routes in the Bontebok & Marloth Nature Reserves and the road cyclist’s Coronation Double Century beginning and ending in Swellendam each year, more and more cyclists, both professional and leisure are coming to stay…

Even if not a serious cyclist, exploring the village and surrounds is an ideal way to fully experience the natural beauty of Swellendam and work up an appetite for the gorgeous food available ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
Cycling in Swellendam – MTB Western Cape

MTB Western Cape

Goodness, this post has been a long time coming…  August last year was the last!  It has been an amazing season (although not quite over yet!) and we are so grateful.  Thank you to the wonderful people that stay with us, we look forward to seeing (a lot of you) again next year…

Swellendam is fast becoming a MTB Western Cape dream destination, with events like the TransCape MTB, routes in the Bontebok & Marloth Nature Reserves and the road cyclist’s Coronation Double Century beginning and ending in Swellendam each year, more and more cyclists, both professional and leisure are coming to stay…

Even if not a serious cyclist, exploring the village and surrounds is an ideal way to fully experience the natural beauty of Swellendam and work up an appetite for the gorgeous food available on almost every corner.

MTB Western Cape

MTB available for hire from Swellendam Tourism to explore the beautiful natural surrounds

Owing to its central location, only a hop and a skip from some of the most tranquil lunch spots, coffee shops and easy mountain walks, Schoone Oordt Country Hotel is the perfect accommodation choice.  Best of all, you don’t even need to lug your own bike along, because Swellendam Tourism hires them out for the day. They have put together a brilliant little cycling map, which highlights all of the places along an easy loop around town. Why not cycle to your massage at Rain before a long lunch at Tredici?  What a way to get to know our town more intimately.

MTB Western Cape

Exquisite mountains and captivating scenery just minutes from Schoone Oordt Country Hotel in Swellendam South Africa

We tested out one of their bicycles one perfect Sunday morning, accompanying Sonette (manageress extraordinaire)  and @shadowthehoteldog (yes, he has his own Instagram account) on their morning walk into the Marloth Nature Reserve. It was such a pleasure heading off into the crisp morning at 6:30am, cycling directly from the hotel. We would recommend the experience to everyone!

MTB Western Cape

Shadow the Hotel Dog loving the farm dam just before the Marloth Nature Reserve in Swellendam

Little could compare to the feeling of elation, when after only a few minutes of cycling, a resplendent scene unfolded before us. The magic of those Swellendam mountains must really be felt to be understood. The rising sun imbued them with a red-tinged hue as Shadow swum around in the dam like a hippo. We sat and admired the grandeur of nature – almost disbelievingly. Swellendam sure knows how to show off!

MTB Western Cape

Spectacular scenery and soul food for humans and dogs within easy reach of Schoone Oordt Country Hotel Swellendam

After half an hour of gentle cycling, gorgeous views, soul food and some feel-good exercise, we were very happy that the road went slightly downhill towards Schoone Oordt.  “Coffee. Orange Juice. Three course breakfast,”  thoughts taunted as we freewheeled back to the celestial comfort of Schoone Oordt.  Isn’t cycling before breakfast the perfect way to start the day?  It was 8am and we’d had our eyes so chockfull of beauty, it felt like we were harbouring a secret at the breakfast table.

MTB Western Cape

Tree-lined quiet village roads for easy cycling or walking from Schoone Oordt Country Hotel Swellendam South Africa

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/mtb-western-cape/feed/ 1
#SwellenBLOG Swellendam South Africahttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellenblog-swellendam-southafrica/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellenblog-swellendam-southafrica/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:28:22 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1497 #SwellenBLOG Swellendam South Africa

Building (from scratch) a small country hotel in Swellendam South Africa came with some challenges, a large one being, nobody really knew where Swellendam was.  It’s one of those underrated and extremely beautiful South African country towns with a huge amount of history, beautiful architecture, awesome adventure, wonderful warm people and only a two hour drive from Cape Town.  We’ve realised over the many years of passionately sharing Schoone Oordt Country House with guests, that from the start, we need to market Swellendam and the fabulous things to do before marketing our fabulous hotel.  And fabulous they both are.

Luckily, both ourselves and Swellendam Tourism work very well together and we have been putting huge efforts into spreading the ‘word’, online and in social media.  With this in mind, we assisted in putting together a small group of local travel bloggers on an adventure weekend of note!  Playfully ‘piggybacking’ the very successful #Stellenblog campaign in Stellenbosch, we instigated a ‘#Swellenblog’ 4-day event that showcased a myriad of ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
#SwellenBLOG Swellendam South Africa

Building (from scratch) a small country hotel in Swellendam South Africa came with some challenges, a large one being, nobody really knew where Swellendam was.  It’s one of those underrated and extremely beautiful South African country towns with a huge amount of history, beautiful architecture, awesome adventure, wonderful warm people and only a two hour drive from Cape Town.  We’ve realised over the many years of passionately sharing Schoone Oordt Country House with guests, that from the start, we need to market Swellendam and the fabulous things to do before marketing our fabulous hotel.  And fabulous they both are.

Luckily, both ourselves and Swellendam Tourism work very well together and we have been putting huge efforts into spreading the ‘word’, online and in social media.  With this in mind, we assisted in putting together a small group of local travel bloggers on an adventure weekend of note!  Playfully ‘piggybacking’ the very successful #Stellenblog campaign in Stellenbosch, we instigated a ‘#Swellenblog’ 4-day event that showcased a myriad of ‘Things to Do in Swellendam South Africa’.

Here is Amanda Shackley, our Swellendam Tourism guru, Des Haakonsen from Travelground, Jon Meinking from ishotimages, Luke Bresler from a Gorgeous Life, Lisa Huang & Ovidiu Pacuraru from foodandchatterThaya Bedford from LoveOverberg, Linda Markovina from Moving Sushi and Andrea Weiss from SA Tourism enjoying our Afternoon Tea as part of their whirlwind tour of Swellendam.

Swellendam South Africa

Every day during our busy Summer months, we serve Afternoon Tea at Schoone Oordt to guests.  If you’re not staying with us, but would still like to visit, then please give us a call or drop us an email, we’d love to share with you.  Here is some of the deliciousness produced by our very talented Chef Wander and thank you, as always to Bruce ‘Flyinghorse’ Geils for the spectacular pictures!

Swellendam South Africa Swellendam South Africa Swellendam South Africa Swellendam South Africa

These lovely people have written such wonderful things about Swellendam on their blogs, in their twitter & instagram feeds – if you’d like to follow, readup or simply oggle all there is to do in this part of South Africa, then google #Swellenblog.  You’ll be amazed.

 

 

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellenblog-swellendam-southafrica/feed/ 0
We carehttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/schoone-oordt-cares/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/schoone-oordt-cares/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 09:07:39 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1433 We care

Cancer care

We’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, as its an important part of our heart at Schoone Oordt Country House. Not only do we care about the environment, sourcing local and ethical products, but we also care about people… Last year we supported two major causes (as well as a few little ones). The one was Action Against Hunger’s ‘Too Many Critics’ event and the other, an especially personal one, was the Breast Cancer Care Show in the UK.

We met Sue Stannard in 2003 when we bought this grand old house in Swellendam and became very good friends over the years of planning, renovating and building. Sue and her husband, Phil, are ‘swallows’ (spending summer months in England and South Africa). Around the time that our little Swellendam country hotel was getting busier and we could do with a spare pair ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
We care

Cancer care

We’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, as its an important part of our heart at Schoone Oordt Country House. Not only do we care about the environment, sourcing local and ethical products, but we also care about people… Last year we supported two major causes (as well as a few little ones). The one was Action Against Hunger’s ‘Too Many Critics’ event and the other, an especially personal one, was the Breast Cancer Care Show in the UK.

We met Sue Stannard in 2003 when we bought this grand old house in Swellendam and became very good friends over the years of planning, renovating and building. Sue and her husband, Phil, are ‘swallows’ (spending summer months in England and South Africa). Around the time that our little Swellendam country hotel was getting busier and we could do with a spare pair of hands, Sue was at a bit of a loss with what to do with her time. She’d just undergone rigorous and traumatic chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and targetted hormonal therapy for breast cancer and was unable to play the sports or exercise as she used to. She began to assist us with chatting, hosting guests and sometimes even waitressing over busy days, a bit of a step away from her corporate work as a lawyer, but fulfilling and very enjoyable nonetheless.

When Sue applied to be a model for the Breast Cancer Care Show in the UK, we offered to assist with her fundraising and offered a luxurious stay at Schoone Oordt, that became the beginning of a fabulous South African holiday with generous stays offered by the Inspirational Places properties (including flights secured by the charity) to be auctioned at the show. The charity holds a huge gala fund-raising event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London at the start of October every year, to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After a champagne reception, gala dinner and entertainment, the highlight of The Show is a catwalk parade by 24 models all of whom are current or former breast cancer patients, and this is followed by a fund-raising auction. Sue looking absolutely radiant here.

Cancer Care support by Swellendam Hotel Cancer care donation by Schoone Oordt Swellendam Hotel

We must thank Alison and Rudi from our spectacular Inspirational Places portfolio of properties for assisting us with organising the accommodation (and extras!) donations. Also huge thanks to these stunning properties:

Manna Bay, Kensington Place, Mosaic Private Sanctuary, Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa, Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel, Kichaka Private Game Lodge, The Residence, Walkersons Hotel & Spa and last, but not least the amazing Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge

Sue has just left Swellendam again to go home for the summer (our winter), so we say a fond farewell and look forward to her kind assistance again on her return in November!

If you would like to show your support for Sue and her breast cancer care fundraising efforts, then please follow this link

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/schoone-oordt-cares/feed/ 1
And so we join the Swellendam Restaurantshttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam-restaurants/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam-restaurants/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:55:09 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1406 And so we join the Swellendam Restaurants

Swellendam Restaurants

As you know, we’re constantly growing and evolving at Schoone Oordt and we’ve spent a bit of time trying to find our way with offering dinners. Some aspects have worked, some not. We’ve learnt, listened, taken our precious guests’ feedback to heart and from the 1st November last year, we officially launched ‘The Conservatory Restaurant’ at Schoone Oordt Country House, soon to be recognised as one of the top Swellendam Restaurants. We constantly strive to keep our offering fresh and original and feel that the light and airy Conservatory fits it’s name rather well. What do you think?

We’ve started with a small a la carte menu, such as: Dukkah spiced kingklip with marinated tomato, pickled cucumber, potato mousseline; Sweetcorn velouté with ginger, coconut, chilli, coriander, popcorn; Potato gnocchi with beetroot, buffeljachts goats cheese, sage; Overberg beef fillet with potato puree, trio of onion

and my very own personal favourite…. Fynbos honey ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
And so we join the Swellendam Restaurants

Swellendam Restaurants

As you know, we’re constantly growing and evolving at Schoone Oordt and we’ve spent a bit of time trying to find our way with offering dinners. Some aspects have worked, some not. We’ve learnt, listened, taken our precious guests’ feedback to heart and from the 1st November last year, we officially launched ‘The Conservatory Restaurant’ at Schoone Oordt Country House, soon to be recognised as one of the top Swellendam Restaurants. We constantly strive to keep our offering fresh and original and feel that the light and airy Conservatory fits it’s name rather well. What do you think?

One of the most beautiful of Swellendam Restaurants Swellendam Restaurants

We’ve started with a small a la carte menu, such as: Dukkah spiced kingklip with marinated tomato, pickled cucumber, potato mousseline; Sweetcorn velouté with ginger, coconut, chilli, coriander, popcorn; Potato gnocchi with beetroot, buffeljachts goats cheese, sage; Overberg beef fillet with potato puree, trio of onion

Swellendam Restaurants The Conservatory at Schoone Oordt Country House, best of Swellendam Restaurants

and my very own personal favourite…. Fynbos honey pannacotta, chocolate soil, seasonal berries.

Our dishes change according to seasonal produce and Chef Wander’s inspiration, but we try to keep the ‘winners’ available always. Our wines are sourced by Sonette (wine enthusiast and manageress extraordinaire) from the local Robertson valley and suggested with each meal. Obakeng Mholo, who worked with us as a sous chef for 6 months then travelled for extra experience in the States for a year, has come back to join our kitchen on a full time basis. Obie loves to bake. We love this. A lot. During the summer months, we are offering complimentary Afternoon Tea in The Conservatory for in-house guests in place of our usual arrival cheese platter. There are sweets and savouries, homemade iced tea and lemonade. We have also introduced a specialised coffee menu. Yes, my mouth is watering too.

Afternoon tea at one of the top Swellendam Restaurants Herbs for the Conservatory, one of the best of Swellendam Restaurants

Obviously, with the introduction of full time food, we have expanded our staff compliment and renovated the kitchen (AGAIN). In the Schoone Oordt spirit of care, we’ve begun to assist the Swellendam Community Action Partnership with training of previously disadvantaged youth as well as employing students from the Hotel School in Bloemfontein. This brings an exciting energy. We’ve also completely overhauled our veggie garden and planted beautiful salad, veg, herbs and garnish bits as well as showering the rest of the garden with some serious tender loving care. It was a busy Winter followed by an even busier Summer…

So far, it’s been going rather well and we’ve been receiving such amazing feedback. Thank you to the wonderful guests that have given us a chance, some constructive critique and those that have showered us with praise. Your appreciation fills our soul.

With love and care.

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam-restaurants/feed/ 0
The Hidden Letters in Swellendam South Africahttp://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam_south_africa/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam_south_africa/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 10:06:22 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1315 The Hidden Letters in Swellendam South Africa

Swellendam South Africa

This is a very special romantic story and one I’m so happy to share.

Even before we’d discovered Swellendam South Africa, Richard found this old couch on one of his antique store trawls in 2002. He bought it. It sat in a pile of building rubble for the many years that we’ve been restoring and building our Schoone Oordt country hotel. This past winter, whilst breathing new life into the rooms, kitchen and garden, Richard also found the time to ‘potter’ on restoring the couch in his workshop.

This is what it looked like lying outside Schoone Oordt and pre-restoration:The restoration project of this beautiful old piece of furniture is perhaps a story enough, but what makes this truly memorable, is that two old letters dating back to World War Two were found hidden down the side. Obviously stuck there in anger or pain and forgotten. They conjure a story of ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
The Hidden Letters in Swellendam South Africa

Swellendam South Africa

This is a very special romantic story and one I’m so happy to share.

Even before we’d discovered Swellendam South Africa, Richard found this old couch on one of his antique store trawls in 2002. He bought it. It sat in a pile of building rubble for the many years that we’ve been restoring and building our Schoone Oordt country hotel. This past winter, whilst breathing new life into the rooms, kitchen and garden, Richard also found the time to ‘potter’ on restoring the couch in his workshop.

leather antiques Swellendam South Africa Antique couch Swellendam South Africa Swellendam South Africa

This is what it looked like lying outside Schoone Oordt and pre-restoration:The restoration project of this beautiful old piece of furniture is perhaps a story enough, but what makes this truly memorable, is that two old letters dating back to World War Two were found hidden down the side. Obviously stuck there in anger or pain and forgotten. They conjure a story of love, of hurt, of betrayal and leave us wondering whatever happened to the people in the story. For privacy reasons, we haven’t posted the letters so that you can read them, but if you recognise the writing, do let us know, we’d love to return them to their rightful owners.

antique letters in couch Swellendam South Africa World War 2 letters Swellendam South Africa hidden letters in couch Swellendam South Africa

And after many hours of pottering in Richard’s true perfectionist style, here is the finished couch proudly displayed in our beautiful Honeymoon Suite. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures Wander & Sonette Bester (our management couple extraordinaire!).

We so look forward to your comments.

Romantic Getaway Swellendam South Africa Honeymoon in Swellendam South Africa

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam_south_africa/feed/ 8
Swellendam House Concert : Baroque 2013http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam-house-concert-baroque-spring-2013/ http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam-house-concert-baroque-spring-2013/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:33:23 +0000 http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/?p=1284 Swellendam House Concert : Baroque 2013

We are SO excited about the inaugural Swellendam house concert for the well-deserving Swellendam Bursary Fund…  The Swellendam Bursary Fund identifies high skilled learners in the Greater Swellendam area and enables them to continue with specialist studies in the fields of their choice.  It has been in existence for 8 years and continues to support and encourage young people to reach their full potential.  The fund relies solely on donations and fundraising and we’d love for you to join us in supporting this truly worthy charity.

Celebrate the arrival of Spring with Baroque 2013 at Schoone Oordt Country House on the 1st September at 17:30.  Only 60 seats available and selling out fast!

Of course, the concert wouldn’t be without the passion of the co-ordinater, Judi Rebstein and the generosity of the musicians, Carin van Heerden, Marion Truepel, Lyndon Watts and Olga Watts.  A big thank you to Augusta, Aan de Oever and de Companjie ...

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
Swellendam House Concert : Baroque 2013

We are SO excited about the inaugural Swellendam house concert for the well-deserving Swellendam Bursary Fund…  The Swellendam Bursary Fund identifies high skilled learners in the Greater Swellendam area and enables them to continue with specialist studies in the fields of their choice.  It has been in existence for 8 years and continues to support and encourage young people to reach their full potential.  The fund relies solely on donations and fundraising and we’d love for you to join us in supporting this truly worthy charity.

Celebrate the arrival of Spring with Baroque 2013 at Schoone Oordt Country House on the 1st September at 17:30.  Only 60 seats available and selling out fast!

Of course, the concert wouldn’t be without the passion of the co-ordinater, Judi Rebstein and the generosity of the musicians, Carin van Heerden, Marion Truepel, Lyndon Watts and Olga Watts.  A big thank you to Augusta, Aan de Oever and de Companjie for generously hosting the musicians. Thank you to all.

Swellendam House Concert at Schoone Oordt Country Hotel

Schoone Oordt Country House - Swellendam Accommodation

]]>
http://www.schooneoordt.co.za/swellendam-house-concert-baroque-spring-2013/feed/ 0