Tag Archives: ronnie lotter

Sand and Waves at Oyster Bay Reserve Beach in Mossel Bay (2017-03-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 09 AUG 2017

On the outskirts of Mossel Bay, tucked between the residential townships of Dana Bay, Kwa Nonquaba, Pinnacle Point and Heiderand, is the Oyster Bay Reserve, a 330 hectare botanical nature reserve.

Established with the intention to conserve, preserve and educate through a variety of community projects, the Oyster Bay Reserve is also home to a number of hiking trails, the most famous of those running through it being of course the St Blaize Hiking Trail, the 13.5  kilometer long trail that stretches from the St Blaize Lighthouse (Mossel Bay) all the way through to Dana Bay.

The Pinnacle Point Estate (my dad has a fractional ownership in one of the gorgeous houses there) has direct access to the tiny, tucked away Oyster Bay Beach (complete with a 24 hour guard station), a sliver of friendly sand in between the otherwise rugged (and often misty) coastline.

Accessible via golf cart (as is pretty much everything else in Pinnacle Point), this quiet, unspoiled little bit of sand is the perfect escape if you have little kids, and want to avoid the often more busy beaches that come along with a drive through to Mossel Bay.

Jessica and I joined my mom and dad for a long weekend away at their place in Pinnacle Point back in March this year, and of course, play time in the sand with Grandpa and Daddy was very much in demand from my little girl.

(And yes, as always, Jessica remains terrified of the actual sea – meaning that when it came to building a moat around our sandcastle, fetching buckets of water was very much left in dad’s and my domain!)

A tiny, hidden little gem then.

Related Link: Oyster Bay Reserve | Pinnacle Point | Mossel Bay

Spring Flower Season in the West Coast National Park (2016-09-04) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 OCT 2016

The West Coast National Park is not the best SANParks national park to recommend visiting if you are looking for some big game to spot. However, with the idyllic Langebaan lagoon as its focal point, the 27,500 hectare large West Coast National Park is certainly more public friendly than most, with it being one of the few national parks where you can cycle, jog, braai, suntan, swim in the sea, picnic, swim in a lagoon, or even camp out on houseboat!

(Plus, there are actually antelope and smaller creatures to be spotted, and of course plenty of diverse bird life for the enthusiast).

dav

Spring however is when the park really comes to life, where the annual carpets of colourful wild flowers show their faces and turn the area into an amazing sprawl of delight.

Naturally, SANParks immediately hikes the entry fee to take advantage of this surge of interest in the area, but it is money well spent, believe you me (unless of course you own a Wild Card, because well then entry is free) – if you haven’t yet witnessed the incredible carpeted fields of colour that the private Postberg Flower Reserve unveils come Spring, then you simply have to make a plan for next year.

dav

Capetonians (i.e. people from Cape Town) descend on the park in their hordes, with lengthy queues at the entrance gate quite the norm. (Tip: If you don’t enjoy waiting in queues, you can go the long way around and enter via the Langebaan gate – usually a much less busy gateway into the park!)

Apart from these few weeks in Spring, the Postberg Flower Reserve section of the park is closed to the public, meaning that it remains unspoiled for much of the year. Every year this then pays dividends when the hills literally start exploding with colour as the flower season begins.

dav

Chantelle and I had seen this spectacle for ourselves for the first time last year (we even overnighted in Hopefield of all places!), and this year we were quite eager for the girls to also see this wonderful sight of nature at her best.

Having enjoyed a big family bash in celebration of Cheryl’s birthday the day before, Sunday saw us head out down the N7 and then R27 to Langebaan, where we met up with my Mom and Dad for a day of flower watching.

dav

This turned out to actually be a great plan, because we knew that the girls would probably become bored quite quickly (and thus start annoying each other in the back), so we split them up, with Jessica riding in Mom and Dad’s car while Emily stayed with us (on Chantelle’s lap).

dav

We spent the next couple of hours driving through the park, admiring all the colours and of course getting slightly flustered with all the traffic. As you would imagine, cars were parked everywhere, with pretty much anyone with even the slightest inkling of calling themselves a photographer spilling out to capture as much of the flower covered landscape as possible.

dav

We were treated to some amazing sights, and explored a bit more of the area than what we did last time around (this time I made sure I had enough petrol before going in!), and after our visual senses were properly sated, we headed down back to the lagoon for a bite to eat at the park’s Geelbek Restaurant.

dav

At least, that was the plan until we quickly realized that perhaps they were simply too busy to actually give good service, and so opted to abandon our table and rather exit the park to grab a now very late lunch from the nearby Beulah Farm Deli instead.

So in the end it was a day well spent, and I therefore suspect that next year we will probably be back again. Though perhaps this time even more prepared to make an even fuller day out of it! (In other words, remembering to pack a picnic basket for a change…)

Oh, and once again, taking pictures of fields of flowers doesn’t really work all that well when all you have is your Huawei cellphone for the job. Nevertheless, I tried my best:

(Oh, and sadly we did see less animals than what we did last time around. Not a big train smash though, so long as you go into the park knowing that animal spotting is not the big drawcard here!)

Related Link: West Coast National Park | Wikipedia | Postberg Flower Reserve

Lunch at Beulah Farm Deli outside Yzerfontein (2016-09-04) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 29 SEP 2016

Having spent a lovely Sunday chasing wild flowers in the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park with Chantelle, the kids, and my folks, we decided to end off a successful day with a bite to eat. Unfortunately, the Geelbek Restaurant inside the park was a little too busy for our liking, and so we exited the park, put in some petrol at Yzerfontein, and then popped into Beulah Farm Deli for a (very) late lunch.

sdr

Interestingly enough, this visit to Beulah came almost exactly a year after we had first discovered it, and there have been some subsequent changes to this quaint eatery that Chantelle so immediately had fallen in love with the first time around.

Most noticeable is of course the fact that the pork charcuterie specialists Eighteen94 CureSmiths have moved out, rebranding themselves as The Flying Pig cureSmiths and setting up shop in Darling instead – though their cured meat is still available in the deli section of Beulah. In their place is now a bakery operated by Brett and Anli Nortier of Rosemead Artisan, meaning that all of a sudden Beulah Farm Deli now sports a lot more baked goods on the menu!

dav

Honestly, I’m a little less excited about the place than the first time we experienced them. To me they’ve lost a bit of that sense of being hip, a sort of place that would sit perfectly in somewhere trendy like say Obs (Observatory) in Cape Town, and have instead embraced a more practical, West Coast farm stall eatery approach. Nevertheless, the interior remains ‘interesting’, and the food and coffee were perfectly good.

(Of course, I could be talking rubbish because Chantelle still seems to like it very much. Plus, the place seems to be very popular with both the locals and travelers alike!)

dav

Anyway, after a pleasant sit down bite to eat, refreshed and ready for the road (it had after all been a very long day of driving), we said our goodbyes and headed back down the R27 – because if you live in Gordon’s Bay like we do, then you still have quite a long road ahead of you in order to get back home! :)

The deli itself is essentially right next to the more well known West Coast Farm Stall. I’ve submitted the location to Google Maps, but it might not be showing up for everyone just yet. Nevertheless, here is the map as it currently stands:

Related Link: Beulah Farm Deli | Rosemead Artisan

Catching The Bats at Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay My Life | My Reviews 04 JUL 2016

Back in May my dad turned the big 60 (and became a pensioner shortly after – just to sweeten the deal you know), and to celebrate the big event even more, a couple of weeks ago he invited 30 of his close friends and family to join him and mom for dinner and a show at the always entertaining Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, Cape Town.

dav

Supper was to be had in the charming onsite SideDish restaurant, which is run by the Dish Food & Social catering group.

Having already pre-selected our meal choices the previous week, we were treated before the show to some delicious food in an equally exquisite (and intimate) venue – with my three course meal consisting of Prego chicken arancini, rocket, peri-peri aioli for starters, followed by a main course comprised of aged rump, sauteed greens, lazy potatoes, and bearnaise. Finally, dessert came in the form of sticky toffee pudding, with a side of amarula ice cream.

Brilliant!

Anyway, a quick cup of coffee to round off the meal, finished literally just in time as the bell below started to ring – heralding the imminent start of the evening’s show downstairs. What show you might be wondering? Well in this case, a surprising performance by one of the more entertaining South African bands from Dad’s era – The Bats!

the bats south african band eddie eckstein paul ditchfield pete clifford derek gordon

The band was originally formed way back in 1964, when Eddie Eckstein, Paul Ditchfield, the late Jimmy Dunning and the late Barry Jarman, burst onto the local scene and became, to many ardent followers, South Africa’s answer to the Beatles. They toured extensively, both locally and internationally, generating more than a hit or two along the way!

Part of their charm was of course the mix of comedy and music that made up their performances, and 50 years later you can still very much see just what an entertaining bunch the lot must have been in their heyday.

the bats south african band electric guitar

The current lineup features Eddit Eckstein (Telly Fun Quiz anyone?), Paul Ditchfield, Pete Clifford and Derek Gordon, and despite the fact that pretty much all these guys are in their 70’s now, they had us completely entertained from start to finish.

Their musical abilities are fantastic, the songs impossible not to like, the chemistry and energy on stage is beyond surprising, and throw in a lot of laughter (and yes, that includes a couple of cringeworthy and sometimes not quite PC jokes) and you’re pretty much guaranteed in walking away from a brilliant evening out with the added bonus of having a massive smile on your face.

What a fun experience.

Neither Chantelle nor I would ever have dreamed that we would have enjoyed seeing someone like the Bats perform – but my goodness, am I glad that we did! :)

the bats band comical cover with eddie eckstein as batman

(Oh, and the girls were pretty chuffed in having Rob and Tarryn as babysitters for a change – just in case you were wondering where the two of them were for the night…)

Related Link: The Bats | Theatre on the Bay | SideDish

Celebrating Dad’s 60th with Cake and Table Tennis (2016-05-29) Photo Gallery 08 JUN 2016

My dad, Ronnie Lötter, hit the big 60 eight days after I hit 36, but seeing as he was first off for a fabulous weekend of golf in George with his social golfing club, we had to wait a good couple of days more until we could enjoy a small family get together in order to celebrate this big milestone with the man himself!

dav

That said, turning 60 wasn’t the only milestone being celebrated – the end of May marked dad’s official retirement, meaning that at long last he could achieve his dream of retiring early, a very exciting prospect for mom and dad both!

To celebrate, Mom organized a braai at their place, with Ryan, Claire, myself and our respective families all present, and with a beautiful warm winter’s day in place, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of good food, chatter, and of course cake.

To mark the occasion, Chantelle came up with this fantastic safari-themed two tier cake that pulled in all the important loves in dad’s life, namely the great outdoors, squash and badminton, family, and of course golf.

(I in particular loved the reference to dad’s dead goose – an Egyptian geese that he once accidentally felled on the golf driving range back in the day!)

sdr

Obviously everyone had quite a lot of food on the day, which is probably why it was best that we then spent the rest of the afternoon playing it off with some competitive attempts at table tennis. (The games weren’t particularly great, but boy were they fun!)

Happy birthday Dad. Thanks for everything that you did for us as kids, and enjoy your retirement – you certainly deserve it!

An Easter Egg Hunt and an Easter Friday Lunch (2016-03-25) Photo Gallery 20 APR 2016

This year we had our Easter Egg hunt a little early, setting the girls loose in the garden on Friday the 25th instead of the normal Easter Sunday. This was not intentional mind you – both Chantelle and I had completely forgotten when Easter Egg hunts are actually meant to take place! (No wonder no one else on Facebook were talking about Easter Eggs on the day!)

IMG_20160325_083934 emily and jessica hunting for easter eggs in gordon's bay

Nevertheless, the girls thoroughly enjoyed their early morning hunt in the garden, which is just as well as we had gone to great lengths not to actually HIDE the Easter Eggs. Little girls are TERRIBLE at finding things – even if said thing is literally lying out in the open!

(Also, we decided not to go big on the number of Easter Eggs handed out this year. A change of tactic which instantly yielded results as for a change, no one actually suffered a chocolate overdose over the Easter period!)

We followed up the morning’s egg hunt with a trip through to my folks’ place in Oakglen, Bellville, where we joined Mom, Dad and Ryan for a delicious traditional Easter Friday lunch of homemade pickled fish.

IMG_20160325_114839 ronnie and ryan lotter on the roundabout with emily and jessica at the park in Oakglen, Bellville

And because there was plenty of free time before lunch, Dad and Ryan took Jessica and Emily to the big park for some playtime, whilst I hobbled on behind! (At this point I was still walking with a fair bit of difficulty, so I eventually just parked myself down on a bench and let the rest of them play!)

Visiting Redberry Farm in George (2016-03-12) Photo Gallery 10 APR 2016

I’ve already mentioned that back in March, Chantelle, the girls and I enjoyed a brilliant weekend away break with my folks at their holiday place in Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay. What I haven’t yet talked about was the great Saturday afternoon outing that saw us enjoy a leisurely, scenic drive out to George, where we paid a visit to the tourist friendly Redberry Farm.

IMG_20160312_124203 chantelle lotter with teddy at redberry farm in george

Redberry Farm is both a commercial strawberry growing farm and a popular family entertainment venue and as such makes for a perfect family outing if you’ve got a bunch of little ones running around.

There are loads of activities for the kids to do, including pony rides, bumper and paddle boats, bubble orbs, jungle gyms, and even a mini Redberry Express train, which takes kids for a quick spin around the maze.

IMG_20160312_124149 kids play area at redberry farm in george

Talking about the maze, Redberry Farm is also home to the Hedge Maze, the largest permanent hedge maze in the Southern Hemisphere! Grown from over 30,000 Syzygium Paniculatum plants, the maze consists of seven strawberry stations, a 25m underground tunnel and a look-out point to be found within 10,000m of pathways.

Oh, and don’t forget about the strawberry picking either!

IMG_20160312_125119 inside the farm stall at redberry farm in george

The premises also include a fantastic farm stall and tea garden, as well as the Red Shed Coffee & Berry Bar, which serves a variety of treats.

As you may well by now imagine, Jessica and Emily had an absolute blast of an outing, and I have to say, so did I. A genuinely fantastic family outing spot that I’m sure I’ll be visiting again the next time I find myself up in the area!

IMG_20160312_144551 onboard the strawberry express mini train at redberry farm in george

Some more photos from the excursion:

P.S. The food on offer was pretty good as well!

IMG_20160312_132938 jessica making her own ice cream sweets treat at redberry farm in george

Related Link: Redberry Farm

Weekend Away in Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay (2016-03-11) Photo Gallery 06 APR 2016

In February we managed to take a weekend break in Jacobsbaai with Chantelle’s folks, and pleasingly, in March we managed to slip in another weekend away break with my folks, joining them for a stay in the Pinnacle Point house in Mossel Bay.

IMG_20160312_164106 chantelle, jessica and emily lotter at pinnacle point, mossel bay

My leg was already a fair bit stronger than what it was back in February, meaning that this time around I was a little more mobile and could thus enjoy my weekend that little bit more than what I did back at Jacobsbaai.

(That said though, I developed mumps right before we left, meaning that I did spend the weekend looking rather ridiculous with my comically swollen face!)

IMG_20160312_170154 ronald and craig lotter on the golf cart in pinnacle point, mossel bay

This particular weekend was characterized by an invasion of giant rain spiders, with the final count of spiders discovered in the house up to something like 12 or so by the end of our stay!

Dad became the de facto spider wrangler, successfully capturing and relocating all but one (Chantelle got this one before it could get her) of the spiders back to the outside world – though one frisky one that dropped down at him did almost give him a heart attack and probably shaved 5 years off of his life expectancy in the process!

IMG_20160313_093839 grandpa ronnie lotter colouring in with jessica

The girls had a blast spending some time with granny and grandpa, and of course the occasional easter egg didn’t hurt matters either. Saturday saw us make the most of some great weather and travel out to George to spend some quality family time at the Redberry strawberry farm (I’ll post the pictures later), while Sunday the weather cooled its heels a little, allowing for a more relaxed approach to entertaining ourselves.

Jess enjoyed her trips on the golf cart (which I didn’t even attempt to drive this time around), Chantelle enjoyed the peace of sleeping without snoring (she was downstairs across from the girls, whilst I slept upstairs with 85% of the weekend’s spiders in my room), and Emily loved all the extra attention she was getting all weekend long!

IMG_20160313_094206 granny cheryl lotter reading story to toddler emily lotter

We enjoyed a braai, watched the Stormers lose a narrow game of Super Rugby, and I discovered Canary Melons for the first time – thanks Fruit & Veg for that!

It was a short and sweet weekend away, with us leaving for home on Sunday afternoon already, but it was jam packed with loads of quality family time – so no complaints there! :)

(Oh, and on the way home, we finally stopped and popped in by the fabulous Tredici bakery/coffee shop in Swellendam – well worth the effort mind you!)

Mondeor and a visit from the Folks (2015-07-25) Photo Gallery 06 AUG 2015

Two weekends ago we were out and about on the Saturday furniture shopping (Chantelle was working, so it was during her split), a completely pointless task if you have a toddler and a four year old tagging along, because invariably they quickly get bored and you end up being more busy getting them to stop touching things than actually looking at the furniture and making a decision!

Needless to say, we didn’t buy any furniture. (Though I do think that I may have spotted the lounge table I’m quite interested in buying. Plus, I continue to shudder at the thought of just how much money Poco must be losing in that horribly located new megastore of theirs… yeah, not so sure about that one.)

Anyway, in the end, we settled for a nice coffee break and play time with the kids at Mondeor Restaurant instead:

IMG_20150725_144301 chantelle lotter with emily mondeor restaurant in somerset west

We don’t get to see my Mom and Dad that often, so it was quite a nice surprise to get a phone call from them asking if they could pop in for a visit on Sunday. Instead, I suggested that they join us earlier for a nice Sunday afternoon braai, which pleasingly they accepted.

Needless to say, Jessica was particularly thrilled to have Grandpa and Granny around for the day in her own backyard! :)

IMG_20150726_130717 grandpa ronnie lotter with the girls

And although we kind of forgot to take some nice pictures on a Sunday well spent, I thought it worth including these couple that I got when we popped in at Mom’s house a week or so earlier when we were in the area (Dad and Ryan were out playing golf):

IMG_20150712_131439 granny cheryl lotter with jessica

So yeah, always nice when the family drop by here in our little corner of the woods! :)