A time of the year full of secret surprises. Winter is well worth considering for a quiet getaway to the country for low season deals.
Winter is the time for comfort food, and Stanford is just the place to be comforted! Plan your holiday escape to Stanford to include the Wednesday morning market at Graze Cafe. Stock up with locally grown fresh produce and stay on for breakfast at one of the friendly tables that spills out onto the pavement. Tabby and Alex never fail to amaze your taste buds with their innovative menu and delicious dishes.
If you start getting peckish at lunchtime, a short drive out of the village will lead you to Sir Robert Stanford Estate, where you can taste grappa, brandy and wine followed by a superb country meal overlooking the peaceful dam at Madre's Kitchen. Continue along the country road to Stanford Hills, where you and your children will be welcomed to relax, unwind and enjoy the views, the wide expanse of lawns and the great food and wine. You may be joined at your table by a lamb and most definitely, a friendly dog.
A morning stroll up to the village could lead you to Don Gelato's for a fresh croissant and cappucino, or you can plan a lunchtime visit for handcrafted pasta. This is the home of delicious Italian gelato, and you'll be back for more once you've tried one of their fresh flavours.
If you've brought your canine companions with you on your holiday, you'd be welcome at Coffee Corner for a hearty breakfast, plat du jour at lunchtime, or a decadent carrot cake and great coffee at any time during the day.
On a wet day, you could choose to stay indoors at a roaring fire, reading a good book, or you could venture off to the nearby wine estates or the Birkenhead Brewery for an ale. The local tourist office will provide you with a route map, and you should seek out the local favourites; Raka and Boschfontein, Springfontein, Sir Robert Stanford and Stanford Hills. If you have the energy to venture further, Brunia and Vaalvlei in Sandy's Glen or Black Oystercatcher on the Elim route.
Stanford also boasts its own Saturday morning market. Bring along a basket and buy ready-made meals to stock your fridge for the week ahead. Fresh breads and pates, decadent cakes and pastries, banting friendly frittata & muffins, farm grown vegetables and salads and homemade mozzarella, halloumi, ricotta and raw milk yoghurt.
Your choice for Sunday lunch could include a buffet at Stanford Harvest table, where you can admire the talent of the local artists at the in-house gallery. Just down the road in a quaint old building, Brydon will provide you with a sublime Sunday lunch at Havercrofts. Pork belly, roast quail, and a mouthwatering array of starters and desserts using fresh seasonal produce, prepared with exciting twists. The views you'll enjoy with your superb meal are jaw dropping. They are also open for lunch on Friday and Saturday.
After all this eating, you may want to embark on a robust walk along the beach. Take a drive to De Kelders, park at the Nature Reserve, and scramble down the cliff path to the beautiful sandy beach, watching for breaching Southern Right Whales as you go. Klipgat Cave is a fascinating reminder of the civilisation that inhabited these shores about 85 000 years ago.
No excuses for a boring winter holiday. Slow down your pace and let Stanford embrace you.