Tag Archives: Dutch Reformed Church

Art and Architecture in Stellenbosch (2020-08-16) Historic Attractions | Photo Gallery 10 APR 2021

Last year was of course filled with many quiet moments and even more quiet spaces. It doesn’t happen very often, but every now and then I get the opportunity to leave the girls behind with Chantelle and venture out on my own little photo walkabout – which is exactly what happened on one pleasant Sunday afternoon back in August of last year. So hello to the naked oak trees, classic architecture, and the oh so many pieces of art on public display of Stellenbosch and its university campus grounds!

Established along the banks of the Eerste River in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, the then Governor of the Cape Colony, the achingly beautiful Stellenbosch is recognized as the second oldest town in South Africa. Surrounded by mountains, filled with ancient oak trees, and home to much of South Africa’s historic wine industry, the relatively wealthy Stellenbosch is a town well worth visiting.

It is also worth mentioning that although technically Stellenbosch isn’t a university town as such, the reality is that it very much is, with the Stellenbosch University campus, faculty buildings, and student residences occupying much of the heart of this old town. What this then translates to is that when the students aren’t on campus then the town becomes a LOT quieter – and because the university is integrated into the town, you are able to casually stroll around these magnificent examples of old architecture whenever you like. In other words, there are a lot of pretty buildings waiting to be seen!

My casual stroll with camera phone in hand took me past the grandiose Dutch Reformed (NG Moederkerk) church, the eye catching red of the Stellenbosch University Museum, through the Jan Marais Square (Red Square) and over the underground Stellenbosch University Library, and past the majestic faculty buildings and large residences that so many students call home during the academic year. I walked alongside the surging Eerste River, down the historic Dorp street, and past so, so many art galleries just stuffed with the treasure of artistic endeavour. Seventh heaven for someone like me then!

Lemon Meringue at the Rambling Rose in Montagu (2020-10-28) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 08 MAR 2021

It is funny, but when we did finally manage a Covid-19 escape to Badensfontein in Montagu, I was so in need of a break that we didn’t actually do a heck of a lot while away on holiday – which as anyone who reads this blog would know, is a rather strange thing for us indeed. So although we did drive around the town for a bit of sightseeing, fulfilled an order for Monty at Drie Berge Winery, poked our noses in at Capedry home of the Cape Dried Fruit Packers, petted the bunnies at Guano Cave Resort, and watched the nesting sacred ibises from the Leidam bird hide, most of our holiday time was spent back in the cottage, sitting on the stoep and admiring the view.

That’s not to say though that we didn’t nip out for a treat to eat every now and then, and on the day that Chantelle left us to go back home and bake, we finished off her stay with a little sightseeing jaunt around the town, followed by some coffee and lemon meringue at Tripadvisor darling, the Rambling Rose. Situated in an old building along the main road (technically part of the R62 route) that runs through the small town of Montagu, the Rambling Rose describes itself as a country kitchen – a mix of a coffee shop, a farm shop, a bakery, and given the amount of curios and gifts on offer, a little dose of treasure shop as well.

We sat down to tuck into our lemon meringue, chocolate brownies, coffee, and waffles with ice cream treats in the comfortable courtyard, where the girls immediately busied themselves playing with the various cats walking between the tables. While we were suitably impressed with Rambling Rose’s Covid-19 protocols, we did unfortunately hit them on a day when the baked goods were unfortunately a little on the old/dry side of the scale, which was a pity because overall the setting was cozy and very welcoming.

In any event, it did get us out of the house and allow us to bid a fond farewell to Chantelle as she hit the long road back home to Gordon’s Bay, leaving the girls and I to pick up supplies and head back out into the hills to Badensfontein, so that I could set up yet another evening braai while the girls entertained themselves with a refreshing splash in the splash pool.

Simply Bee and a Church in Hopefield (2015-09-12) Photo Gallery 03 OCT 2015

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves overnighting at the Merry Widow in Hopefield as part of our whirlwind flowers in the West Coast National Park adventure.

Needless to say, these days Hopefield is but a fraction of its former size (and glory), and in terms of things to see – well there isn’t all that much.

However, two sights do stand out. The one being the very informative Simply Bee bee farming/product business and the old Dutch Reformed church that dominates the town (it is after all, the very reason that the town originally exists in the first place!).

IMG_20150912_150648 at Simply Bee in Hopefield - West Coast

Simply Bee is in the beeswax products business, specializing in all manner of natural skin and fragrance products, actively managing thousands of bee hives.

Their base of operations happens to be in Hopefield and their public premises are split into two parts, namely the shopfront which caters to all manner of bee-related products (Chantelle was in heaven), and the bee observation centre which hosts a gigantic amount of bee information, features a glass observation bee hive that allows you to view the bees going about their normal everyday business, and also a small museum room that features all manner of historic items from the surrounding farms on a display.

Informative, interesting and well worth a visit!

[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”34033,34034,34035,34036,34037″]

The Hopefield Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk) was built in 1879, and is home to one of only 10 Forster and Andrews Organs imported into South Africa. The organ, which was installed in 1911, is still used every Sunday, and can be viewed by appointment.

Because I was wandering about Hopefield on a Saturday, I couldn’t exactly stroll inside, but as expected from these farmland towns, the church is a beautiful and imposing structure, surrounded by a beautiful garden and featuring some gorgeous stained glass artwork.

[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”34038,34039,34040,34041,34042,34043,34044,34045,34046,34047,34048,34049″]

Related Link: Simply Bee | NG Kerk Hopefield