Diary of a Grand Dame

Diary of a Grand Dame

Cape Trade Market

cape trade market

Craft Markets in South Africa have undergone an exciting revival in the last few years with new markets springing up in almost every park and shopping centre.   Now online craft markets have started expanding the platform for a variety of talented crafters.  Cape Trade Market is one such online craft market but with a difference, of course.  Specialising in hand-crafted goods made from locally sourced, sustainable materials by crafters in (mainly) the Overberg region.  A wide variety of unique crafts are sold on the Cape Trade Market’s online store and each month new crafters join the wonderful initiative.  We spent an inspiring afternoon at Umshanti with a handful of these talented crafters as well as the masterminds (or creative minds, really) behind Cape Trade Market. Initiators, Amanda Shackley and Graham Mutyambizi, are both talented marketers who share a passion for crafts and a deeply rooted love for (and knowledge ...

Swellendam Skou

The annual Swellendam Skou (Swellendam Agricultural Show) took place over the past weekend and was one of the biggest and most successful shows yet. This year Swellendam Agricultural Show celebrated the 185th show making it the oldest continuously running agricultural show in South Africa. For 185 years the show has brought together the community to celebrate agriculture with events like livestock exhibitions, saddle-horse championships in the arena, auctioning of top-class stud livestock and poultry and exhibitions of agricultural machinery. In recent years an array of food and crafter stalls, musical performances and a mini amusement park was added to the show to attract and include the entire community.

A wonderfully festive vibe prevails all over town in the days before and during the show. The Show Grounds are the center of the joyous atmosphere and on arrival there you can’t help but feel a bit like a child again – ...

Would you believe that the Overberg is home to one of the most pioneering Wine Estates near Swellendam, Sijnn Wines is making headlines and breathing new life into the South African wine industry with rare and interesting cultivars. So with grape harvest in the Western Cape in full swing we thought it appropriate to share (and brag a bit about) this pioneering Wine Estate near Swellendam.

As you cross the bridge over the Breederiver when driving from Swellendam toward Cape Town a turn-off on the left hand side leads you onto a gravel road. What might seem like a lonely gravel road is really a main route for local farmers and during grain harvest time in the Overberg (October to December) you might be surprised to find quite an overload of harvesters and large trucks carrying grains to Protem and Swellendam. The route takes you through the Napky District toward the small, unscathed town of ...

Bontebok National Park

For us, this time of year is a time of gratitude.  A time to reflect on the wonderful people that are our Schoone Oordt Family & Friends, without whom, Schoone Oordt, just simply wouldn’t be.  Thank you to our truly beautiful guests (read friends) that choose to stay with us when there are so many brilliant options available, not only in Swellendam, but all over South Africa.  Thank you to our staff (read family) that give of their time so passionately and eagerly and strive for perfection in their work every single day.  And thank you to our suppliers (also read friends) that deliver on their promises and yield ethical and quality products.  Every single one of you contribute to our precious Schoone Oordt Country House and we are more than grateful.

Each year around this time, we like to say thank you to our staff for their dedication and effort ...