Category Archives: South Africa
A Place, a Painting ,a Drink and a Platter. No 9 South Africa
The joy of visiting South Africa is terrific and we long to return there as soon as we can!
It is a wonderful place to stay, with great friendly people, delicious food and some of the World’s finest wines. Now that is a recommendation!
Here are a few specific spots here that we love, starting in Fransceok, about an hour and a half from Capetown.
The accommodations in and around Fransheok are very good, and it is a lovely town surrounded by mountains and Vineyards. We really enjoyed staying at the Franschoek Country House and Villas, where the rooms are delightful and the food and service is great. We took a great half day wine tour that they organised for us taking in some really excellent local wineries all run by the nicest of people.
We really love Thelema red wines but there are so many great wines to choose from all over the area. One small but brilliant vineyard was Stony Brook and a wine there called The Max, wow!
Restaurants in Franshoek are all good but we did enjoy an evening especially at The Restaurant at The Grand Provence Estate, but everywhere we ate was terrific. If it is special occasion I cannot recommend highly enough a great Jewellers Shop in Franschoek too. It is called Tracey’s Diamonds! Just the most helpful people.
Wherever you look the scenery is stunning ,so here are few of watercolours of the area and the distinctive houses..
If you can drive over the the Franshoek pass Route 45 , or take the road to Thelema Vineyard and visit Stellenbosch Town.
THE GARDEN ROUTE
Travel East from Capetown and head for Hermanus(enjoy lunch at “Burgundy” restaurant if you can), from there you will be beginning the beautiful and spectacular Garden Route. It is a long journey to George and beyond and there are many diversions to extend your journey but it is very worthwhile and from George the coast is beautiful with great places to stay and see.
We love staying at the Fancourt Hotel, but then we are golfers and it has three great courses and views to make them very spectacular to play.
The Town of George boasts some great Restaurants too, two of our favourites are The Town House, and Fat Fish.
From George Herolds Bay and Knysna are not to far and Wilderness beach is amazing.
We have eaten a few times at a fabulous restaurant at Wilderness called “Serendipity”, one of my all time favourites, well worth a visit.
CAPETOWN AND THE CAPE
There is so much to see and do in and around Capetown, including the must do visit to Robben Island and to find out more about the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the father of modern South Africa.
There are great restaurants too, at the Waterfront and all around the area. We especially liked “96 Winery Road” at Somerset West where the Kudu and Steaks were amazing and great value too.
A visit to the Cape area is well worthwhile , maybe to see the Penguins at Boulders Bay or to see the Twelve Apostles Mountains towering over Camps Bay
South Africa is vast and a superb holiday location,. I haven’t even mentioned the Safari opportunities, more of that some other time.
My Virtual Travel Journal – Part 3 – Weeks 8 and we are still in Lockdown!
I am glad that you have been enjoying my virtual travel. It is certainly a lot less expensive than the real thing , but oh, how I yearn for the REAL thing!
Hopefully soon we will be able to travel about if only in the UK and once again meet friends and family.
Anyway you will recall on my previous virtual travel post I was in New England and Nova Scotia.
Now we are off to South Africa and then on to Mauritius.
It must take about 20 hours to fly from Boston to Capetown but hey ho, here we are in a couple of seconds!
First of all a watercolour painted during an early visit to the wonderful Capetown in South Africa. The warm welcomes, great food, stunning wine and amazing scenery make this a fabulous place to visit. Lets hope I can get there again soon.
And here are two paintings of Boulders bay near Capetown and the delightful penguins.
This week I painted this rather impressionistic painting of The Twelve Apostles Mountains at Camps Bay near Capetown. It hasn’t entirely come out as I had planned (like so many!) but Virtual travel was expecting it so here it is.
If we now drive 5 hours East of Capetown we find the lovely Knysna and the resort and golf courses of Fancourt, a really lovely place to stay, with superb restaurants in nearby George and my favourite restaurant in all of South Africa at Wildernesse called “Serendipity”. When in the area make sure you visit it ,you can even stay there too!
Now we are off over the mountains via Villiersdorp to Beautiful Franschhoek with it wonderful Wineries and scenery. The Franschhoek Pas on the last bit of this longish journey is spectacular.
The wine tours in the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch area, (get a driver don’t take your car!) are just great. Lets stay at The Franschhoek Country Hotel ,a lovely place and so good to be back!
Back in Capetown for the plane and then a long car journey car to get to the Limpopo Region almost 2 hours north of Pretoria and a visit to the marvellous Legends Resort, Safari Park and Golf Course with the highest Par 3 hole in the World. You have to get a helicopter to the top of this Mountain and the Tee! The green, in the shape of Africa is 400 metres below at the foot of the mountain.
Time to leave Africa and head for Mauritius via Johannesburg. A wonderful Island in the Indian ocean awaits.
But that will be in the next update!
Get ready for more virtual travel soon!
If you are regular viewer of this site then my thanks for your continued visits, comments and likes.
If you are new here then you are most welcome and I hope you will find some watercolours that interest you.
It has been a busy year with a fair amount of travel to many lovely places and I hope that the Posts that have resulted from these travels have been of interest to you all.
Our visits to South Africa, Tenerife, France, Portugal, Devon and around our lovely County of Kent have given me many opportunities to paint and sketch, and to meet other artists too.
We hope to travel quite widely in the New Year and especially our planned Rhine river cruise at the end of the summer will take us to many new places in Europe and the opportunity to paint some watercolours as I go.
To end the Year I have included above this winter scene of Horsmonden in Kent, which I have just finished painting today. Although we haven’t had any snow as yet, it seems seasonal to paint a winters scene and to use it to wish everyone my Best Wishes for the Christmas holidays and the New Year.
I have a few ideas for posts in the New Year and so I hope before long to be posting again.
In the mean time, Happy Travelling!
The Warmth of South Africa
It is a long journey to Capetown from the UK, but well worth it to enjoy the warmer weather of March and to experience great food, stunning wines and wonderful hospitality.
We have been before and each time we have a lovely holiday there with very good friends.
Our primary aim is to find some sun to play golf in but the overall experience is always great.
Eating in restaurants is a delight with very, very good wines at affordable prices and super food and service too.
I would especially mention three restaurants from this recent visit which were very enjoyable.
In Constantia “95 at Parks” was very good and most accomadating.
In George the Restaurant called “Fat Fish” where the quality off the food and the service is great.
In Wilderness there is a real “Star” of a restaurant called “Serendipity”. It has to be one of the most enjoyable places to eat that I have ever experienced in South Africa. Lizette and Rudolf take delight in describing their food and they and their staff produce food of the highest possible quality in their lovely Guest House and Restaurant. I think you get the picture – Go There !
We started our holiday in the Western Cape staying at Steenberg Vineyard near Constantia. A great location for visiting Capetown and the area.
From there to Fancourt in George for golf and the lovely scenery of the Outeniqua mountains. The golf courses at Fancourt are really great and in beautiful condition.
So along with all this eating and drinking and golf I also managed to fit in time for a few watercolours. We that is what this Blog is all about after all!
Here ore my efforts, some just quick sketches in the notebooks and other larger paintings.
I hope you will enjoy them all
NB Some of these watercolours can be seen on my shop sites at
Escape to the Sun – South Africa and Mauritius
While the chills of February continued in the UK we have been lucky enough to have been travelling , and mainly golfing, with great friends, in South Africa and then relaxing, with a bit more golf in Mauritius.
The weather, the food, the wine and the people were all fantastic and we all had a great time.
Now you can’t golf all day so I have had a few hours to paint some quick watercolours along the way. For the first time in many years I decided to take little sketch book of 9 inches by 7 watercolour paper to do most of the paintings. The book, made by Khadi Papers proved ideal and not too large to use sitting on the beach too! The larger painting are 14 by 10 on Arches Cold pressed paper.
So here are the best of the paintings that I produced over the two and a half weeks away and I do hope you will enjoy seeing them. They were fun to produce, often only taking 30 minutes of so. You can see that in some of them!
First of all we were at a lovely Golfing hotel called Fancourt near George on the Garden Route in South Africa. A very nice place to stay and three lovely courses, so we played 5 times there.
In George and in Wilderness on the coast we found stunning restaurants. The Town House in George, probably the best steak I have ever eaten! The Fat fish in George, really good fresh fish and super wine, and maybe the best restaurant I have ever eaten in in our 4 visits to South Africa. It is called Serendipity it is in Wilderness on the coast. Truly magnificent and hosted by the most delightful Rudolf and Lizelle! Go there is you can!!
Enough of food, here are some watercolours.
The Golf courses provide lovely views of the Outeniqua mountains so here are my interpretations.
After a week golfing at Fancourt we then drove to Franschheok for a few days before flying on to Mauritius.
Franschheok is a delightful town and in the heart of the wine region of South Africa. We did some tasting, and too much swallowing, the highlight being the small but beautiful Vineyard of Stonybrook. Again lovely meals in Franschheok where all the restaurants we tried were really good. (Ryan’s Kitchen, Grande Provence, and Monneaux)
So time for a few more watercolour paintings there too.
And so on to Mauritius. The climate in Mauritius is delightful, hot , sometimes sultry and warm seas to swim in. Once again we stayed at the Shangri-La Le Touessrok which has access to the Bernhard Langer designed Golf Course -Ile Aux Cerfs.
These watercolours were produced there, painted exclusively whist lying on a sunbed!
These sketchbook watercolours painted there from photos or memory.
And so back home to the UK, but wait , in the meantime Spring has arrived in Kent, how good is that!
Golf and a Wedding at Legends Golf and Safari at Entabeni, and then a few days in Mauritius!
We have just returned from a wonderful holiday at Legends Golf and Safari where we enjoyed some golf and the opportunity to go to the Wedding of our good friends Ian Godleman and Lynnette Brooky.
We have been travelling with them (Pro Golfing Tours) on great golf trips for many years and this one was no exception, made even more exciting by being the venue for their Wedding. You can see more about Legends Extreme 19th hole at http://www.legendgolfsafari.com/extreme-19th
Theirs was the first Wedding to have been held on the Extreme 19th Hole at Entabeni. The tee has to be reached by helicopter and is over 400 metres higher than the green below which is in the shape of Africa.
The Wedding ceremony was held on the mountain top and after the ceremony we all teed off to see how good a score we could achieve on this totally unique, and very tricky Par 3 hole. It is the highest Par 3 tee in the world and was such a fantastic venue for the Wedding.
All the guests enjoyed the unique experience and we all wish them Good Health and Happiness for the future. You can see more about the Wedding on the Ladies European Tour Website.
I managed to paint a few watercolours whilst there and I hope you will like them. The views and the animals at Entabeni are really spectacular. I used some web images to help with the animal paintings on this occasion but we were lucky to see Lions, Giraffes, Elephants, Cheetahs, Rhinos and lots of Wildebeast, Antelope and Zebra. The trip to the golf course is daily safari, and one morning the Lions had made a kill just upside of our Lodge!
After our great week there we then travelled to Mauritius for some more golf and relaxation at le Tousserok. The location by the Indian Ocean and it’s fine golf course on an island is a really terrific destination. Not much time for painting, but here are two , one of which I painted quickly on the return flight of 12 hours from Mauritius to London. Painting in the cabin was a first for me and a bit tricky with the slight turbulence.
The last painting is one that I painted in 2008 showing the Bernard Langer designed golf course at Le Tousserok. I thought it was worth including it here.
Anyway please enjoy these paintings and if you ever get the chance, golfer or not do go to legends at Entabeni,it is really great place to go!