Recently we were lucky enough to escape to the country with a weekend away in Stanford.
Now, we’ve driven past and through this small village but never really spent any time staying in the town and exploring it in depth… Two days staying right in the heart of the town allowed us plenty of time to find out more about what there is to do in this country town and we were pleasantly surprised!
This small Overberg town may not look like much on the surface eg. a quiet Sunday afternoon drive through the town, but we discovered that it has a whole host of character and some amazing activities, wonderful restaurants and even a big cat sanctuary on it’s doorstep. Plus the quiet streets and slower pace of life meant that even just 2 days felt much longer and we left feeling really refreshed and like we’d had a much longer holiday…
We drove through late on a Friday afternoon and arrived at our accommodation, The Blue Cottage, after dark which meant we didn’t get too much time to appreciate the village but had a quick whiz through the house before heading out to find a spot to fill our empty bellies at Coffee Corner – a coffee shop that usually operates during the day but has recently opened for Friday nights! We received a warm welcome and really enjoyed the buzz of a this village hangout where all the locals get together regularly.
After a hearty meal of fish pie and vegetarian quiche it was time to head back to our Victorian cottage.
Located mere meters from the main street of Stanford this home has a comfortable farm-house feeling. There is sleeping space for 8 with 3 bedrooms – 2 with double beds and one with 2 sets of bunk beds which my kids through was the business… Pushing the two beds together so they could BOTH sleep on the top was probably the highlight of the weekend for them!
We made good use of the large fireplace in the lounge to create a cosy atmosphere at night and the kids enjoyed playing amongst the bamboo in the garden during the day.
A really lovely touch was the basket of farm eggs, lemons, and guavas on the kitchen table along with a bottle of pancake mix for breakfast the next morning! We made swift work of that before heading out the door to explore the town.
I loved getting out the door for a short stroll as the sun’s first rays started to hit the quaint country buildings including our own spot…
Saturday mornings are when the village comes alive with people and the sun certainly helped to draw the “crowds”. I wandered up and down the high street enjoying all the sights, sounds and smells of country life….
The morning market vendors were setting up their offerings – assortment of baked goods, homemade pesto and freshly picked salad greens, the church ladies were setting up their pancake stall, families arrived by foot to enjoy the first coffee of the morning at the authentic Italian gelateri and everyone had dogs… My dog-loving son even made mention of this fact stating “Mom, everyone here has a dog”
Surrounded by food smells it was time to enjoy a breakfast and I had it on good authority that Graze Cafe was THE place to head to for delicious farm fresh food. The owners, Tabby and Alex, were on hand to take our order and make our meal PLUS they even grow most of the produce that they use in the cafe – including the honey! This little cafe is super popular, so much so that people queue to get in or even share tables with strangers just to get a seat. Opt to sit inside the cafe which is crammed with character or, if the weather permits, sit out on the veranda and watch the world go by as the market is located just over the road.
And as you know if Eggs Benedict is on the menu I will order it so there was no other option really for me! It certainly didn’t disappoint…
After a filling breakfast it was time to slow things down a bit and the fast flowing leiwater channel right in front our of house was the perfect place for my boy to get back to basics with a good old stick race down the side of the street. Leave kids to their own devices long enough and they will find the fun! (Or step backwards into it – boots and all – as my daughter did a bit later!)
There was so much to see in Stanford and this was only our first morning! Come back over the next few weeks as I share more of our exciting discoveries in the area including a kid-friendly farmyard, lunch with view of the valley, lions, tigers & more plus a walk along the Wandelpad…
Coffee Corner Contact Details
Tel: 083 441 0105 or 083 441 0105
Stanford Tourism Contact Details
13 Queen Victoria Street
GPS: -34.439292, 19.455573
Winter hours: 1 June – 30 August
Mon – Friday 08:30 – 16:30
Saturday 09:30 – 16:00
Sundays and non religious public holidays 10:00-13:00
Images: Kathryn Rossiter