Category Archives: My Life

Things to See in South Africa: Montagu Nature Garden (2015-07-08) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 26 JUL 2015

One of the things that Jessica and I popped in to take a look at during our enjoyable week long Montagu holiday earlier in the month was the Montagu Nature Garden, a 61 year old indigienous wild flower garden dedicated to plant species representative of those in the Klein Karoo and marginal Fynbos biogeoghraphical zone.

(Chantelle and Emily decided this time would be better spent sleeping in the car).

IMG_20150708_143223 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

From the Internet: The Montagu Nature Garden was established in 1954, the year in which the village of Montagu celebrated its centenary. In 1961 the garden was proclaimed a Nature Reserve and placed in the care of the Montagu Municipality. Currently the Montagu Nature Garden Association “leases” the Nature Garden on a long-term basis. The association is also a member of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA)

IMG_20150708_141139 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

Montagu Nature garden is situated in the most southerly part of the succulent Karoo “biome.” It has the distinction therefore of having flora of 3 regions of the Western Cape – succulent karoo, fynbos and renoster veld. There are numerous species of succulents, fynbos, geophytes and a diversity of flowering shrubs and trees occur here. The garden is especially known for the excellent variety of Vygies (mesembryathemums), which sets the garden ablaze with colour during spring.

IMG_20150708_142410 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

A 1.7km circular walking trail within the garden includes a fairly easy climb with benches at strategic intervals. From the top of Bessiekop, magnificent panoramic views of the town and the Cape Folded Mountains can be seen. Bloupunt, one of the highest peaks in the area rises in the distance. One is sure to come across a geometric tortoise, a dassie midden and sunbirds enjoying the variety of aloes on the hillside. The dam, stream and intermittent areas of fast flowing water at the bottom of the hill provide a welcome break after the walk. The area is planted with lawn and benches are placed along the stream.

I suspect though that Jessica was more pleased with the fact that I was now letting her take photos with my camera than with the actual plant species themselves:

IMG_20150708_142925 jessica lotter takes a photo of craig

IMG_20150708_143001 jessica and craig lotter go to montagu nature garden

Related Link: Montagu Nature Garden

So the Playhouse Took Flight… My Life 25 JUL 2015

We were bashed by some serious stormy winds for the last while, wreaking massive havoc across the Western Cape shoreline. Apart from my garden shed that had its sides ripped out of their structural railing we suffered a far more serious/comical loss – Jessica’s pink and white playhouse.

I had just returned from work on the Monday evening, and was busy with Chantelle and the kids with the wind howling outside, when all of a sudden I heard a loud noise and saw something flash past the kitchen window, too fast and too dark for me to properly make out what it was.

I immediately made my way out via the backdoor, and despite the raging wind, I instantly noted that the playhouse – which I had just recently neatly tent-pegged down next to the sandpit – was gone. This triggered a whole lot of looking over the boundary walls behind and to the sides of us, but sadly no glimpse of the missing pink and white plastic playhouse was to be seen.

At this stage the theory was either the wind had dumped it over the back wall, or that someone had helped themselves to it and then ran off, and with that in mind, I grabbed my keys and set out on a jog along the canal behind the house.

It was dark, it was cold, and it was windy. I walked up and down in both directionse (freezing because I really wasn’t dressed for this), and still no sign of the house! Next, I got into the car and drove around the block a bit, straining to try and get a glimpse of the missing playhouse – again, no such luck.

Chantelle in the meanwhile was quite surprised to find Jessica taking this all in rather well. In fact, she wasn’t bothered by the missing playhouse at all, because, according to her logic, we can now simply buy her replacement trampoline instead!

I returned empty handed, and so Chantelle tagged in and also headed out to give the search a bash, but needless to say, she too returned without a clue as to where the house might have had disappeared to.

Indeed, a proper mystery on a particularly miserable night.

However, as fortune would have it, Chantelle turned out to be the one to crack the case and solve the mystery the next day – on her way out to work in the afternoon, she spotted something rather familiar peeking out at us from the roof two houses over:

IMG_20150721_123123 play house stuck on someone's garage roof

Yup, that was definitely our missing playhouse.

Although I don’t have a ladder tall enough to reach up there, as luck would have it, a stroll around the complex revealed that a friendly handyman by the name of Dean (Handyprop is the name of the business) happened to have a very long ladder tied to his work truck and more importantly was actually home at the time I was looking for help.

No questions asked, Dean helped me recover the playhouse from the neighbours roof.

Sadly though, the little house didn’t quite make it through its ordeal unscathed. (Plus, there seems to be tent pegs scattered all over the place.)

IMG_20150721_125712 damaged pink and white keter kids play house

Right, so no more lightweight plastic kids stuff for the garden going forward – cemented down wood structures only! :P

Jessica and her Pierced Ears My Life 24 JUL 2015

Last month Jessica came to us with a request straight out of the blue. She wanted earrings. Naturally, our first response was to inform her that of course she could get earrings, but explained to her that first the people would have to make holes in her ears, it would be sore, and there might be a little bit of blood.

Not put off in the least, and because her best friends at school all wanted to do the same (if not already so), Jessica was determined that now was the time to get her very first set of earrings in her ears!

IMG_20150620_120548 jessica lotter getting her ears pierced at ralo cosmetics in the helderberg centre shopping mall

So Chantelle did some asking about on Facebook, and Ralo Cosmetics in the Helderberg Centre came up tops – in particular because for kids they use two people at once, meaning that it’s a once off piercing that covers both ears.

Sadly for us (and by us I mean Jessica), come the Saturday that we took her, only one shop assistant was available on the day – meaning she would have to endure the pain of the piercing gun shot twice.

Again, not that this put Jessica off in the least.

She was quite determined to be brave and get it done, and despite Chantelle’s best efforts to dissuade her once we arrived at the shop (truthfully, Chantelle was WAY more nervous than Jessica), Jess stuck to her guns, chose a pair of beautiful, colourful little earrings from the display, and got comfortable in the chair.

IMG_20150620_120550 jessica lotter getting her ears pierced at ralo cosmetics in the helderberg centre shopping mall

A quick explanation, one form signed, and a showing of the piercing gun to Jessica, the first piercing was literally over in the blink of an eye, obviously painful, but nothing that a quick hug from Mommy couldn’t solve.

Truth be told, I was amazed that Jessica let barely a tear out (she cries quite easily, hence my shock), and just like that the second was done and dusted as well, leaving my gorgeous little girl with two rainbow-coloured gems in her ears!

IMG_20150620_120941 jessica lotter getting her ears pierced at ralo cosmetics in the helderberg centre shopping mall

Needless to say, she was more than just a little chuffed, and immediately had to let everyone know and show them off.

(This went on for more than a week at the school apparently! Also, the aftercare of new piercings was a lot worse than the actual piercing itself. That led to quite a bit of tears for the next week or two come cleaning time every evening!)

As a reward (but mainly because we still had quite a bit of the afternoon left and could do with a spot of lunch), we treated the girls to some pink milkshakes and outdoor play time at Bossa Social Cafe in Somerset West.

IMG_20150620_130235 jungle gym play area at bossa social cafe and bar in somerset west

Which wasn’t the last time we would eat out that weekend mind you.

Sunday was Father’s Day, and was delightfully kicked off with me receiving some awesome Father’s Day cookies from my girls in bed, followed by a trip through to The Bloemhof in Durbanville for a Father’s Day spitbraai lunch… the perfect opportunity for Jessica to show off her new shiny ear accessories to Ouma and Oupa of course! :)

IMG_20150621_083010 chantelle lotter with the girls and their father's day cookies

IMG_20150621_083207_1 craig lotter with his girls on fathers days

(If you aren’t familiar with The Bloemhof restaurant and guest house, this historical building is in fact a Victorian manor house which was built in 1899 by Phillipus Botha on the farm Bloemhof – and was later owned by Frank Kuffner who played a vital role in the wine industry of South Africa. These days, it is actually quite a ‘lekker kuier plek’.)

IMG_20150621_124435 father's day lunch at the bloemhof

Birds Paradise in Robertson (2015-07-08) Photo Gallery 19 JUL 2015

With Montagu our home for a week, every day was an adventure out and about in the Robertson, Ashton, Barrydaly, Montagu area. Our first real outing was to Birds Paradise, an exotic bird breeding operation in Robertson, one which does so well that they’ve even opened quite an impressive visitors centre, featuring a restaurant, kids play area, crocodile pit, and views of quite a large number of different animal and bird species!

IMG_20150708_121449 craig lotter and jessica at birds paradise exotic bird breeder in robertson

We headed out nice and early, arriving in time for a nice breakfast (on the premises) before grabbing our entrance tickets and heading in to see the birds.

And birds they have by the dozens.

Exotic birds from literally all over the world can be found here, and it is a absolute explosion of colour and squawks. However, these guys are bird breeders, meaning that birds are kept in breeding pairs in relatively small cages, bare to allow for easier capturing of the birds.

Honestly, it is not something that I could really enjoy at all, seeing as I am very much against the keeping of birds as pets in the first place. (Plus, I’ve been to the fantastic dome aviary that is Birds of Eden before – once you’ve been there, you can never really look at birds in cages ever again!)

IMG_20150708_115349 green bird at birds paradise exotic bird breeder in robertson

Still, the girls were entertained by all the colours on display, the tame owl in the curio shop was a hit, there was a massive variety of animals and birds to see, and Jessica was particularly excited to take her very first photo – using my phone, and pictured below:

IMG_20150708_115118 jessica lotter's very first photo

And of course, the play area was a great way for them to burn off all the energy following our stroll amongst all the birds.

IMG_20150708_125907 emily lotter on trampoline

Needless to say, such a large variety of things to see made for quite a bit of photos on the morning!

Related Link: Route 62 Birds Paradise

Springbok Pie at Platform 62 in Ashton (2015-07-07) Photo Gallery 18 JUL 2015

On our way through to Montagu for our little holiday at Rainbow Glen, we drove past an interesting little spot in Ashton, fronted by a rather large and impressive historic steam locomotive!

IMG_20150707_134126 decommissioned locomotive at platform 62 in ashton

Platform 62 is a tourism centre associated with Route 62, and hosts impressive antiques and wine sales sections, as well as a restaurant area.

IMG_20150707_134140 at platform 62 in ashton

There’s an outside eating area as well, stocked with all kinds of kiddie activities, guaranteed to entertain the little ones. Chickens run wild (which you can buy feed for if your kids are into that), and then of course there is Fanie die vark (Fanie the pig) who wanders about both inside and out!

(As it turns out, both Jessica and Emily were more than just a little terrified of Fanie the pig!)

IMG_20150707_140019 fanie die vark pig at platform 62 in ashton

Something however to look out for at the restaurant is definitely their delicious springbok (venison) pie – definitely worth every penny! :)

Related Link:

Rainbow Glen in Montagu (2015-07-07) Photo Gallery 17 JUL 2015

We enjoyed one of our first holidays away together as a family (just the four of us) this July, with a four day long adventure in the Montagu area.

IMG_20150709_103348 emily lotter at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

We were originally booked in to stay at the Montagu Springs resort, but Chantelle got a little spooked when Andy and Albert returned early from their break a lot less than impressed, plus some of the information we were receiving from Montagu Springs in regards to their warm pools wasn’t helping either. So instead, Chantelle made a last minute switch to Rainbow Glen, a quaint little self-catering guest farm setup run by a family of rock climbers (Montagu is after all heaven for South African rock climbing!).

We rented the Garden Cottage, which although being a little sparse and not particularly modern, housed the four of us easily enough, with access to a great little braai lapa, a big lawn for the kids to play on, kids toys like slides, a trampoline, and a jungle gym, a rabbit hutch, a chicken coop, and a cool little paddock with two horses roaming about in it.

Jessica immediately made friends with some of the other kids staying there and what followed was a particularly enjoyable week away from home and work.

IMG_20150709_102048 kids feeding horse at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

We built each day up around a primary focal point (Robertson Birds Paradise, Viljoensdrift River Cruise, and Montagu Guano Cave) and spent quite a bit of time driving around and taking in the sights of the Robertson, Ashton, Montagu, Barrydale area – made particularly easy by the fact that we got a great mobile data signal throughout plus a Google Navigation app that works really, really well!

IMG_20150710_090838 feeding the rabbits at rainbow glen accommodation in montagu

Even the odd power break or two couldn’t quite dampen this great week of out and about with the family! :)

Related Link:

Breakfast at Vergelegen Wine Estate (2015-07-06) Photo Gallery 16 JUL 2015

Our first day of our official July week of holiday saw Chantelle and I take a day for ourselves, leaving the kids in school while we got to gallivant around. Sure, we did have some great coffee at the Daily Coffee in Somerset West and installed the kids sandbox back home, but the best part of the day was actually the morning, which we decided to kick off with an impromptu breakfast at the historic (and now Anglo American owned) Vergelegen Wine Estate.

IMG_20150706_121235 chantelle and craig lotter at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

If you aren’t familiar with this historic wine estate, Wikipedia gives us this (much less lyrical than Vergelegen’s own website of course!):

“The estate was settled in 1700 by an early Governor of the Cape, Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Van der Stel used the resources of his employer, the Dutch East India Company, to improve the estate, and in 1706 a number of free burghers at the Cape drew up a formal memorandum complaining about van der Stel’s illegal activities. This memorandum contains some of the earliest images and descriptions of the estate. As a consequence of the free burghers’ complaints, van der Stel and other officials were sacked, and three-quarters of the original Vergelegen estate was sold off, drastically reducing the size of the property.

In 1798 the estate was sold to the Theunissen family, who planted extensive vineyards and concentrated on the production of grapes until an infestation by the phylloxera louse in the late nineteenth century wiped out most of Vergelegen’s grape production.

In 1917 Vergelegen was purchased by the millionaire mine magnate Sir Lionel Phillips as a present for his wife Florence. She remodeled aspects of the house and planted the magnificent gardens, but removed the few remaining acres dedicated to grapes.

IMG_20150706_123459 vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Following the death of Lady Phillips the estate was purchased by the Barlow family, and Charles “Punch” Barlow oversaw the reintroduction of limited planting of grapes. However, by the time Anglo American bought the property from Barlow’s son in 1987, no grapes were being cultivated.

Anglo American concentrated on the production of high-quality wines from Vergelegen. The first vintage under the company’s stewardship was harvested in 1992. Within ten years the estate was recognised as producing some of South Africa’s finest wines, with the cabernet sauvignon blend Vergelegen, single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon Vergelegen V and semillon/sauvignon blanc blend Vergelegen White regularly achieving a maximum five stars in John Platter’s annual Guide to South African Wines.

Vergelegen’s Cape Dutch house, gardens and winery are open to visitors. Interesting features of any visit include a trip up the mountain to the winery plant, and a walk under the vast Camphor laurels (Cinnamomum camphora) planted by Willem van der Stel in about 1705 which have been declared a protected provincial heritage site. The winery is uniquely shaped in an octagon form that is mirrored on the vineyard’s labels.”

IMG_20150706_105052 breakfast at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Breakfast was of course amazing (always is – as is the lunch which we enjoyed on our wedding anniversary last year!), but this was the first time that we took the time out to wander around the estate, visit the museum house, ponder over the slavery issue highlighted by the fact that this was once one of the largest slave populations outside the Cape Town castle, stroll over the bridge and through the small forest, and take in the beautiful, ancient and majestic trees dotted around the estate.

IMG_20150706_124645 chantelle lotter in the forest at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

What a truly enjoyable morning out and about, and certainly a great way to start one’s leave! :)

Related Link:

Waiting for the Milkwood Tree Lights… My Life 13 JUL 2015

As the official website says: “Gordon’s Bay hosts the spectacular Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights from 19 June to 19 July 2015. The highlight is the Carnival Weekends from 26 – 28 June & 3 – 5 July 2015. Come join us for music, markets and merrymaking!”

As it stands, other than seeing Geon’s magic show on the last day of the last carnival weekend (very entertaining), and strolling through the fairy light lit up milkwood tree walk along the beach at night, we kind of missed it all – even the kids rides.

We did however for a change entertain friends (who joined us for penguins, botanical gardens and then a big braai) and family (pizza evening!), which kind of was more fun anyway! :P

And besides, the kids had a blast regardless:

IMG_20150627_163329 emily lotter toddler playing in the sand on gordons bay beach

IMG_20150627_163412 jessica lotter kids playing in the sand on gordons bay beach

IMG_20150627_163754 friends playing in the sand on gordons bay beach

(My phone’s camera can’t really take pictures at night, hence a complete lack of awesome fairy light photos!)

IMG_20150627_185851 gordons bay winter wonderland festival of lights milkwood trees

IMG_20150627_191112 playing with sparklers at winter wonderland

As you can see, Emily definitely reckons I should get a better camera! :P

IMG_20150628_140749 emily lotter at gordons beach lodge

Next year we’ll make more of an effort to attend this awesome Gordon’s Bay event. Promise!

Visiting Stony Point Penguin Colony with Friends (2015-06-27) Photo Gallery 12 JUL 2015

Despite the annual Gordon’s Bay “Festival of Lights or “Winter Wonderland” being in full swing, Chantelle and I saw fit to have fun in a different way, by inviting some friends over to our side of the world for a guest house braai instead!

First activity for the day though: a visit to the penguin colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay.

IMG_20150627_133710 kids jumping at the stony point penguin colony in betty's bay

As it turned out, we were blessed with the perfect winter’s day weather for the trip, and Dean, Zania, Evan, Natasha, Michelle and Michael all tagged along with the little ones for a fun trip down the wooden walkway, surrounded by both adult and baby penguins on either side.

(Funnily enough though, this was the least amount of penguins we’ve ever seen there before – I can only assume our timing was a bit off on the day – must have been out hunting is all that I can come up with!)

IMG_20150627_130021 craig lotter at the stony point penguin colony in betty's bay

Nevertheless, the kids had a ball, and of course as any parent to a little one knows, that is literally all that counts! :)

Visiting Harold Porter Botanical Garden with Friends (2015-06-27) Photo Gallery 11 JUL 2015

The annual Gordon’s Bay “Festival of Lights” or “Winter Wonderland” has now come and gone, carnival weekends and all. As it turned out, Chantelle and I didn’t really end up spending too much time on it, primarily because we were busy with other things – like inviting our friends out to our side of the world for a change! :)

IMG_20150627_151701 emily lotter in harold porter botanical garden in betty's bay

With a braai organised at the guest house in the evening, and a visit to the penguins already done, Evan, Natasha, Dean and Zania joined Chantelle and myself for a little stroll around the beautiful Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay (our second ever visit there), on what proved to be quite a beautiful winter’s day.

IMG_20150627_140904 crossing the bridge in harold porter botanical garden in betty's bay

As it turned out, a troop of baboons had decided to visit the gardens while we were there, meaning that we were treated to quite a few spectacles – from little baby baboons tumbling about on the grass, all the way through to adult baboons lounging around on the park benches!

IMG_20150627_141346 baboons on a bench in harold porter botanical garden in betty's bay

Quite a sight indeed! :)

(And of course, a walk in the sun simply had to be followed up with some refreshments at the Red Disa restaurant…)

Related Link: Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

Kids wooden pallet Sandbox Installed! My Life 10 JUL 2015

So happily, the Gordon’s Bay Lotter Clan Stronghold now sports its very first sandpit/sandbox – a cute and clever custom design from the Strand-based Pallet Couch team.

IMG_20150706_171803 emily and jessica lotter playing in their new sandbox from pallet couches

R850 nets you a 1200mm x 1000mm x 244mm unpainted, open bottom sand box with a lid that cleverly opens and folds back into two little chairs. (Throw in another R100 and it will get a nifty weather resistant varnish as well.)

We filled it with building sand purchased from Builders Warehouse and needless to say, the kids are absolutely thrilled with this new addition to the garden! (We’ve also plonked Jessica’s pink and white Keter playhouse down next to it)

Not bad work for a day off that started off with breakfast at the Vergelegen wine estate and then coffee and cake at the Daily Coffee Cafe!

IMG_20150706_132548 chantelle lotter in the daily cafe in somerset west

Related Link:

Jessica’s Fourth Birthday Party (2014-11-16) Photo Gallery 02 JUL 2015

So somehow we’re already in July now. Which of course means that we are hurtling towards the end of the year, which in turn then means that we’re hurtling towards Jessica’s fifth birthday party this coming November!

IMG_20141116_142233 jessica lotter birthday party at mondeor restaurant

Which completely reminds me – other than the post detailing my bad knee injury (but with a spectacular fall) on the day, I never actually got around to posting the few photos I hastily snapped on what was the perfect day for my perfect little girl.

So let’s rectify that then shall we?

IMG_20141116_142254 the lotter girls at mondeor

The party was held at the fantastic Mondeor Restaurant in Somerset West (next to the new Cape Garden Centre) who kind of specialise in hosting kiddies parties.

Lots of our family and friends, and friends’ kids, joined us on a very My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic themed day, and thanks to the gorgeous sunny weather, everyone had an absolute ball.

(Jess was particularly proud of the fact that as far as she was concerned, she was dressed exactly as Rainbow Dash would be!)

IMG_20141116_144340 kids birthday party at mondeor restaurant

The snacks and food were great, Chantelle’s two tier My Little Pony cake was a hit, and of course, the kid’s treats were spot on.

Naturally, loads of fun was had (and time spent) in the splash pool, and so as it is pretty plain to see by now – Jessica’s fourth birthday party was definitely a big hit on the day! :)

Needless to say, Jessica was also pretty chuffed that her My Little Pony collection grew a little in the process…

IMG_20141115_145628 fluttershy, pinky pie and jessica eating ice cream

Wine Tasting at La Couronne Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 01 JUL 2015

The third stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the La Couronne Wine Estate.

IMG_20150510_134948 chantelle lotter wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Originally named Champagne Farm and farmed by seven generations of the Le Roux brother, La Couronne is now named after the famed French warship of the French Navy built in 1636 by Cardinal de Richelieu. La Couronne was the first man of war built by the French themselves in accordance to Richelieu’s plans to renew the French Navy, after a series of ships built by the Dutch. The construction was overseen by the famous carpenter Charles Morieur, from Dieppe. The ship was one of the most advanced vessels of her time, equipped with 68 heavy guns, 8 firing to the bow and 8 to the aft.

Needless to say, the wine estate doesn’t really feature any heavy guns, no.

IMG_20150510_130845 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Instead, they offer a fantastic wine selection, as well as quite a well thought out wine and chocolate pairing, something Chantelle and I quite enjoyed. (By this stage of the morning, we kind of felt like wine experts already! :P)

As luck would have it, we ended up there on Mother’s Day, and because pretty much no one else other than Chantelle and myself were present for lunch, we were treated with a personal tour around their vats, operations and more importantly, barrel cellar – a definite highlight for any wine newbies like us!

IMG_20150510_132547 la couronne cellar barrel tour in franschhoek

In fact, we got on so well with the tasting expert that we ended up staying there for a hour longer than planned, enjoying cheese, chocolates and more wine than any person should be tasting in a single sitting! :)

Not a bad way to end off what had been quite a long morning of tasting wines then! :)

IMG_20150510_142759 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: La Couronne Wine Estate

A Cake Pop Class in the Making (2014-07-15) Photo Gallery 30 JUN 2015

Before Chantelle finally made the decision to wind down her little baking business and its unreliable income in favour of a job back at the guest house where things worked out financially a little better, we toyed about with quite a few ideas on how we could boost Chantelle’s Cupcakery’s profits/business in order to keep it alive as a viable option.

One of the more interesting plans we had was for Chantelle to start offering various cake/baking themed classes under her Chantelle’s Cupcakery banner.

Chantelle settled on Cake Pops as being the best class to start off with (they were super popular at the time), and so to test everything out, we roped in friends Michelle and Natasha to pop in and learn how to make cake pops.

IMG_20140715_094647 natasha granger, michelle oosthuizen and chantelle lotter do a cake pops class together

The end result?

Techniques learned, skills taught, and well from the look of it, lots of fun! :)

Even Teddy Bear and Barbie weren’t going to miss out on this “how to” lesson!

IMG_20140719_125751 big stuffed monkey sitting on a tub chair

Looking back at it now, it’s kind of a pity that this one didn’t quite work out in the end. That said, having two small kids at home is work enough thank you very much!

Wine Tasting at Grande Provence Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 29 JUN 2015

Grande Provence Estate wears her 300-year history with dignity. Sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape, her lush vines spread across 47-acres with gentle vistas over the valley floor, with the rugged mountains beyond. This is heartland South African wine country at its very finest.

IMG_20150510_122414 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

The second stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the majestic Grande Provence wine estate.

This old estate has a contemporary, artsy feel to it, and its stunning French Huguenot-style buildings are complemented by loads of interesting modern art and sculpture pieces dotted all around its stunning restaurant and tasting centre areas.

IMG_20150510_115250 chantelle lotter wine tasting at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

We opted to have our tasting session outside, and with weather as perfect as it was, this was the right choice. Shady trees, stunning art – an absolute treat for all the senses!

IMG_20150510_115411 craig lotter wine tasting at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

The wine was great (as expected), but sadly the lady taking us on our wine tasting tour not so much, struggling with a lot of the questions that we asked of her. Sadly, if it wasn’t on her script then it wasn’t going to be forthcoming.

IMG_20150510_122140 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Nevertheless, Grande Provence was an absolute treat and I’m certain we’ll be finding ourselves there again in the near future! :)

High class indeed.

IMG_20150510_122312 sculptures and art at grande provence wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: Grande Provence