Reunion with my cousins in Somerset West

Reunion with my cousins in Somerset West

My apologies for being a little quiet on my blog.

Hubby and I returned a week ago, from six days in Somerset West, visiting my Mum and having the most amazing time reuniting with my cousins Barry and Gavin.   Unfortunately we only had one day together with Barry, who had spent the Christmas holidays with his family, before he flew back to Ramsgate in KwaZulu Natal.  Gavin and his wife Kathy on the other hand came out from the UK to enjoy our sunshine and our beautiful Cape scenery and as much as they could enjoy from everything the Cape has to offer.  We also had an extra special and the most memorable family time together, all staying at Ian and Kathy’s beautiful home.   Many thanks to you both for opening your home to us all 🙂

We had fun!  Loads of laughter and a few tears.  It was fabulous!

Gavin is a minister at an Elim Christian Fellowship Church in the UK and his main aim for their visit to SA was to see, pray and read scriptures to my Mum.  I have always wondered if she sees me and listens to my voice.  In my heart I know she does.   Well she does.  She knew who he was and what he was saying.   It was very emotional for me to watch him speak to her.  Her face changed completely.  She was talking back, we just couldn’t hear her

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View from Mum’s room in Frail Care ..

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When in the Cape winelands, what better way to enjoy these beautiful surroundings than to do some wine tastings followed by scrumptious lunches.  A perfect place to start and as it’s not far down the road from Mum’s Frail Care, is one of my favourite places .. Lourensford Wine Estate

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Big smiley face here …  I spotted the book ‘The Wine Kingdom’(top right of photo above) in which I have a double page spread of photos taken on our walk through the vineyards of Bouchard Finlayson.    Lourensford is one of the farms committed to conservation and is a member of the biodiversity and wine initiative

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Delicious lunch at Lourensford’s, Millhouse Kitchen.   I had the ‘catch of the day’  which was Red Roman served with chilled Lourensford Chardonnay.  To be precise, Ian and I shared our fish as there was only one serving of Red Roman left (we had got there a little on the late side).  Between the two of us we had half hake and half Red Roman – both yummy !

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My two very special cousins … Gavin

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…  and Barry

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It was sweltering in the Cape while we were there.  I had the perfect dessert – rose water and strawberry sorbet

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Our two families were very close and, as children, we grew up together  (a great pity Richard, our eldest brother wasn’t with us 🙁 )   One day we’ll all be together again

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Vines at Lourensford …

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Every evening we sat on the deck of Ian and Kathy’s home watching the scorching sun go down, dipping the temps only a fraction … chatting, heaps of laughter all round and enjoying simple dinners served with loads of salads .. and wine 😉

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A stroll on The Strand Beach, the following morning, to dip feet in the sea (False Bay)…

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From The Strand we drove through Gordon’s Bay and along Clarence Drive (R44).   It is a beautiful winding road that hugs the coast all the way to Kleinmond.  We drove as far as the spot where we scattered my Dad’s ashes and onto Rooi-els for coffee ..

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I have taken many photographs from here of the mountain range and sea which I’ve included in various blog posts on our Cape visits.

My Dad must have the biggest and best tombstone ever 🙂  (midway in pic is the area where his ashes were scattered)

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On our way to Somerset West’s,  Vergelegen, another one of my favourite wine estates, we stopped at Ian’s corrugated cardboard box factory, Keay Trading, to show Gavin and Kathy.  It seems a simple operation to make a box, but it isn’t when many specifications with innards are required by customers.  A box isn’t always a basic square or rectangle 😉

Vergelegen’s herb garden and Stable Restaurant

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Scrumptious lunch served with chilled Vergelegen Chardonnay.  It was lovely and cool inside .. hot as hades outside !

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Kathy and I had a simply delicious calamari salad …

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Vergelegen was Mum’s favourite place.  I always took her for light lunches, with wine, and a walk around the beautiful gardens which she loved

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The Library is housed in the old wine cellar built in 1816 …

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Manor House built in 1700 by Willem van der Stel, Governor of the Cape, under the shade of the immense Camphor trees planted by van der Stel in 1705 …

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Through the door, above, and through the door beyond, is the other side of the Manor House 😉

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Another one of our favourite wine estates is Rust en Vrede, Stellenbosch where we introduced Gavin and Kathy to the most scrumptious, tender and succulent steaks.  Coming from England, they were in awe !!

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Our charming waitress 🙂 serving Rust en Vrede’s 2012 Estate Wine which accompanies the sirloin steak lunches.  There is a salmon dish for those who don’t eat red meat.

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Wine tasting room behind large wooden doors ..

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Cappuccinos served with miniscule koeksisters – a traditional South African version of a doughnut soaked in syrup.  Terribly sweet but these tiny ones were yum!

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We mentioned to our waitress that Gavin and Kathy were from the UK (originally from Rhodesia/Zim) and Kathy was dying to taste her micro morsel of a koeksister as she hadn’t had one in many, many years.  Our waitress came back with a plateful !!


Finger licking good !!!

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Superb dinners are served in the main restaurant at night.  Hubby and I experienced an incredibly delicious food and wine pairing dinner there a few years ago…

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Stunning view from the lawn and garden  ..

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Unfortunately, unbeknown to me – as I didn’t check – my camera was on the wrong settings so the landscape photographs didn’t come out as well as I had hoped

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Lunch with our dear friends Ray and Carol at The Goatshed, Fairview Wine and Cheese, in Paarl …

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Ian and Kathy’s stunning stone garden.  Ideal for the Cape’s Mediterranean climate

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Our last glorious sunset from the deck ..

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Golden hues turned to reds, pinks, and purples …

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So sad to leave and even sadder coming home to Max’s blankets, beds, collar and toys, which I hadn’t had time to wash and put away before we left 🙁

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