Tag Archives: durbanville

Kids Gumboot Birthday Parties at Gan Eden Farm in Durbanville (2017-12-09) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 04 JUL 2018

I have got such a massive backlog of photo galleries to post, that there are items popping up now that should literally have gone up a year or two ago – case in point – the girls had such a lot of fun attending Lizzy’s birthday party in December last year.

Hosted by Gumboot Parties on Gan Eden Farm at the back of Durbanville, the children were treated to all the staples of a farmyard party: a pony ride, a tractor trailer drive, feeding the hogs, feeding the horses, collecting fresh eggs from the chicken coop – basically just loads of fun for all our suburban/city kids.

The large playground also meant lots of running around and play time in between all the snacking and cake munching. (Even if we had to wait an extraordinary long time for the latter because Mike couldn’t get the birthday girl’s candles all lit!)

If the weather is good then this is such a great venue for kids birthday parties – so worth keeping in mind if you live in the Northern Suburbs and don’t particularly feel like cleaning up all the mess following a birthday party held at home! ;)

P.S. This was the very first time that Emily was brave enough to go into the chicken coop and collect her own egg. Jessica was super impressed by her little sister for a change!

Related Link: Gumboot Parties | Gan Eden Farm | Durbanville

Strolling around Sonstraal Dam in Durbanville (2017-08-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 02 MAY 2018

Going for an afternoon stroll around Sonstraal Dam whilst feeding the ducks is somewhat of an institution for any family with small kids in Durbanville, and seeing as this is something that we did back when we were kids, there is no reason not to continue the tradition with my own brood – even if I don’t exactly live in the area any more.

Although an inviting and scenic space, there is in fact no swimming or boating allowed in this small body of water, and in response to an outbreak of avian botulism in 2005, no fishing allowed either. (Although the bird flu has since been dealt with, the local council opted to maintain the fishing ban in order to protect the local birdlife, many of which use the dam for breeding purposes).

Another thing worth pointing out is that for a long time the dam area went into a real state of disrepair and neglect, thanks in large part to the inconsiderate nature of visitors who littered with abandon and in general just disrespected the facilities. Thankfully though this problem seems to have mostly been dealt with and the dam area certainly appears to be undergoing a productive period of rehabilitation.

Anyway, I’m kind of getting distracted now. Last year August I found myself in the area, and so invited my folks (who live reasonably nearby) to join us for a walk around the dam. It was, as always, a pretty pleasant affair.

Even if we didn’t actually feed any ducks for a change.

Oh, and after our stroll we grabbed a coffee and some cake from the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen, a neat little eatery/test kitchen for Deeghuys that is tucked away off main road Durbanville. It was rather nice as well.

Related Link: Durbanville

Coffee at the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen in Durbanville (2017-08-05) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 31 OCT 2017

Back in August the girls and myself found ourselves in the Northern Suburbs, and so decided to check in with my mom and dad and see if they wanted to join us for a stroll around Sonstral Dam. They said yes, we had a lovely walk, and then seeing as there was still plenty of time to be killed in Durbanville, I suggested that we head off and grab something to eat/drink.

So we did.

The Deeghuys group was started in 2012 and they focus on selling high quality, ready-made baked goods, both frozen and fresh – basically, quick to bake goods for those of us to lazy to make/mix from scratch!

From what I can tell, they’ve been quite successful, with stores popping up all over the place (in fact, we even have one out our way, near the Somerset Mall).

What  did however surprise me was to learn of the existence of the Deeghuys Taste Kitchen (in hindsight, makes sense, this is close to where their headquarters is based anyway), essentially a deli/restaurant that pretty much offers a taste of what Deeghuys sells in its stores (along with other more standard deli/restaurant fare of course).

Now my mom and dad have previously been here for a breakfast or two, hence the suggestion, and on the day it was a great choice given that it is relatively spacious, features loads of treats for those of us with an incurable sweet tooth, and is reasonably kid friendly. (They have a little kids play area corner which Jessica seemed to rather enjoy).

Unfortunately for us though, given that they close rather early on a Saturday (14:00), we kind of caught the tail end of service, meaning that we were pretty much restricted to a cup of coffee and whatever was already out on display seeing as the kitchen was now closed.

Luckily, these restrictions didn’t prove to be a complete bust because in the end we all enjoyed some rather nice treats.

Truthfully, service wasn’t fantastic because everyone was kind of bustling about trying to wind down operations for the day, and as a result, poor little Jessica’s order was somehow missed. Though once alerted to the problem, the friendly waitress quickly atoned for her mistake and gave Jessica a whole box of sausage rolls as opposed to just the one she originally wanted!

(Also, she was MIGHTILY pleased with her hot chocolate foam art).

It’s actually a surprisingly nice space tucked in at the back of Durbanville, and well worth a visit if you want to step away from the bustle of main road.

Bonus: It is a little hidden away, so in this case, a map is rather handy for a change:

Related Link: Deeghuys | Deeghuys Taste Kitchen

Flower Gazing at the Durbanville Rose Garden (2017-02-12) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 MAR 2017

First opened in 1979, the award-winning Durbanville Rose Garden stands as one of only three trial rose gardens in the Southern Hemisphere. Jointly cared for by the Friends of the Rose Garden society and the Durbanville Municipality, this lovely garden stands at 3.5 hectares big, with around 4,500 bushes representing about 500 rose varietals!

Situated along one of the main arteries into Durbanville, the R302, it is impossible to miss this colourful, open patch of green land with its distinctive white entrance building standing proudly out front and center.

The rose garden itself is partly planted on land from the original Old Eversdal Estate, donated to the town by the Schabort family. Notably the Schabort family burial ground and memorial are in fact situated in the rose garden as well, a slightly somber addition to this otherwise brightly coloured affair.

Entry to the garden is free, with the occasional Sunday afternoon tea being served in the clubhouse from October through to May (often hosted by different groups and societies).

Naturally, picking of the roses is strictly prohibited!

Although the surrounding Durbanville vineyards have slowly given way to housing and other commercial developments over the years, this particular patch of green has become quite popular with the locals, and you will often find full-on wedding shoots happening in among the roses come just about every other weekend!

Funnily enough, I lived most of my life in the Northern Suburbs without once ever stopping to stroll about these fragrant pathways, a mistake that I at long last rectified by making the drive through and dropping in with the girls one quiet Sunday morning in the middle of February.

Beautiful flowers, a well cared for garden, fantastic views of the mountains in the distance, and of course a tranquil atmosphere makes this a particularly charming and slightly unexpected little stop in the middle of Durbanville suburbia.

Especially if you are into your roses!

Also, a map to the rose garden, just in case you don’t know where Durbanville actually is:

Related Link: Durbanville Rose Garden | Facebook (Unofficial)

Kids Birthday Parties at Gan Eden Farm in Durbanville (2016-11-26) Photo Gallery 22 DEC 2016

By sheer chance, we discovered this great little kids party venue in Durbanville thanks to two of our friends independently deciding to host their child’s birthday there – meaning that in the space of a couple of weeks, Jess and Emily twice got to ride on a tractor trailer, feed the horses and grab an egg from a chicken!

First up was Logan’s dress-up party which the girls thoroughly enjoyed, followed a couple of weeks later by Lizzy’s birthday celebration.

Both Michelles (yes, both Logan and Lizzy’s moms are named Michelle) opted to have their kid’s party at Gumboot Parties which are based at Gan Eden farm in Durbanville (just past where the new Reddam school is being built).

They cater for the younger kids (that said, they do have an Amazing Race or Boeresport party offering for the older kids), with their farm party being held in a nice little closed off play area that has loads of jungle gym and play equipment scattered about, as well as a big tented area for the food/presents/adults.

The basic party package entitles the kids to a tractor ride (which they all love!), a chance to feed both the pigs and horses, as well as to collect a fresh hen’s egg from the chicken coop.

None of our kids grow up on a farm so of course this is great fun for them all, so needless to say, both parties were a big hit for both Jessica and Emily. (Although Emily wasn’t necessarily that comfortable around the big horses!)

Also, Logan’s party had a Piñata – and you can never go wrong with a Piñata.

A handy map for when your kid gets invited to a party there:

(Also, seeing as you are in the area anyway, you might want to pop in to the new Xpresso takeaway coffee shop in Durbanville – their gimmick is that absolutely everything in the shop is priced at R10! Even more amazing is that even at that price point, the coffee and pastries are actually very good!)

Related Link: Gumboot Parties | Gan Eden Farm

Book Your Spot for Oom Piet’s Christmas Party 2016 Event News 23 SEP 2016

Last year Chantelle and I took the girls to our very first Oom Piet’s Christmas Party, which is in annual fundraising project brought to life by the Durbanville Rotary Club. It was an absolute treat and certainly one of the best ways to kick off the festive season if you have young ones like we do!

IMG_20151205_193705 singing elves at oom piet's christmas party at durbanville race course

The Rotary Club itself has been serving the local under-privileged communities for more than four decades, and all funds raised from these Christmas parties are used for community service projects in and around Durbanville.

If you are not familiar with Oom’s Piets Christmas parties, essentially a section of the Durbanville Race Course gets transformed into a magical castle where a host of storybook characters entertain children between the ages of 3 to 8 with pantomime, carol singing and of course, a visit from the all important Father Christmas himself!

It’s an absolute feel good evening event which is guaranteed to leave you and your youngs ones with a big grin on the face.

Applications are now open, so it is probably a good idea to book your place with an e-mail to oompietsparty@gmail.com, as this popular event sells out pretty fast!

oom-piets-christmas-party-2016-advert

Related Link: Oom Piet’s Christmas Party | Facebook

Trees in Vink’s Arboretum in Durbanville (2015-11-14) Photo Gallery 21 NOV 2015

Jessica, Emily and I stumbled across Vink’s Arboretum last weekend, which is a lush green belt that runs parallel to Majik Forest on the border between Bellville and Durbanville.

IMG_20151114_125935 jessica lotter with a sausage tree at vink's arboretum in durbanville

Managed by a partnership between Cape Town City Parks and the volunteer group Vink’s Greenbelt Association, the popular walking and picnic spot is home to more than 500 indigenous trees – most of which were planted by the eponymous Mr. Vink van Zyl (who passed away in 2005) himself.

IMG_20151114_125118 vink's rock at vink's arboretum in durbanville

A local Geocaching enthusiast (Gr8Scot) posted a rather nice piece on the arboretum which is worth repeating here:

During 2001 Vink van Zyl – a retired engineer known for his work on the ABSA building in central Cape Town and the (then) new Groote Schuur Hospital, approached the Parks department with a request for an area where he could plant a large number of indigenous trees. It was agreed that the most suitable area for such a project would be the corner of Jip De Jager and Van Riebeeckshof road, an undeveloped park area, where road-building material was stored and levelled.

Vink approached contractors carrying excavated material from local developments, and negotiated with them that if they were permitted to dump fill in the area, they should in return loan machinery for levelling and shaping the area and for digging holes. He then surveyed the area and set levels for filling, the first phase of which began in about November 2001 and was completed by autumn 2002.

He then began planting trees, most of which were obtained from the Bellville municipal nursery, where he spent many hours choosing them. A gravity feed water line made from irrigation piping supplied by the municipality was laid from the dam to the park. From connections in the line, hose pipes could be used to water the trees.

While Vink was planting the first stage, filling continued in the second stage. After planting in the second stage was completed, he then began filling the final stage, which was the northern corner next to the river. By now more then 20 000 cubic metres of soil had been dumped.

Vink also collected indigenous shrubs and plants from various nurseries, and planted them around the arboretum. Together with the help of Dr. Christi Kloppers, a vet with a keen interest in nature, he also collected Renosterveld seed from the area where the Vineyard Office Estate is now, and planted it to add some colour.

He was working on beautifying the lower entrance between the river and pathway when he passed away.

IMG_20151114_125345 jessica and emily marching along at vink's arboretum in durbanville

As you can well imagine, the range of trees to be found is absolutely amazing, and the place itself is well worth a stroll.

Of course, my girls got rather bored, rather fast, which is a pity because I was kind of enjoying working through all the tree name boards…

(Note: We accessed Vink’s Arboretum by going through the entrance situated on the corner of Jip De Jager Drive and Van Riebeeckshof Road in case you’re keen on finding it yourself. 33°51’35.2″S 18°37’36.3″E)

Related Link: Vink’s Arboretum | City Park’s Partnership | Geocaching

Tarryn and Robert Announce their Marriage (2015-10-10) Photo Gallery 14 OCT 2015

The Bakesh Food and Wine restaurant in Durbanville seems quite a nice little place to stop for a bite to eat, but now thanks to Rob and Tarryn, it will forever be associated with something much more special.

You see, last weekend we were invited to a hush hush, secret surprise lunch organised by Rob, where on arrival the two of them announced that they had secretly got married three days earlier in Paarl.

Needless to say, there was a moment of stunned silence for both the Botha and Montgomery parents, followed by a LOT of jubilation and tears.

IMG_20151010_172525 mr and mrs montgomery cutting the cake

Congratulations Rob and Tarryn – may this be the start of a wonderful life together! :)

P.S. It was a good lunch.

Dutch Haven Bistro and Bastille Day at Blaauwklippen (2015-07-18) Photo Gallery 07 AUG 2015

A couple of weekends ago we got to experience two very different bits of European culture – On the Saturday we found ourselves out and about in Durbanville, and ended up enjoying some food at the kid friendly Dutch Haven Bistro, situated in the Garden Court of High Street.

IMG_20150718_132442 playing outside of dutch haven bistro in high street garden court, durbanville

Needless to say, they specialize in Dutch cuisine – and I have to say, their food is particularly excellent and well worth a recommendation!

(Hot Tip: Another gem to be found in the High Street shopping complex is the fantastic little shopfront of The Velvet Cake Co. – modern, funky and with cupcakes and cake to die for! Naturally, Chantelle was in seventh heaven when she finally did get to stop there!)

IMG_20150719_121256 jessica lotter on pearl the pony at blaauwklippen family market

The Sunday saw us head out to Blaauwklippen Family Market for some pancakes and pony rides, and whilst both those were indeed on offer (by this stage Jessica is particularly fond of Pearl the pony), we were pleasantly surprised to discover that they were actually celebrating France’s Bastille Day on the day, meaning everything was naturally in tri-color – and they had both the music and the dancing to match!

IMG_20150719_131002 chantelle lotter at bastille day at blaauwklippen family market

As always, loads of fun and lots to see, and Jessica in particular surprised us by being taken so in with the music that she went up and danced on the stage all by herself!

Mommy and daddy could only but stare with our mouths hanging wide open! :)