September Specials at Cornerway House

Stay-Cornerway

Spring is in the air and we’re offering some fresh specials for the month of September:

September Special:

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Less 20% off on all direct bookings for the month of September. Normal price: R670pp sharing. Contact us for availability and bookings: cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za

And especially for our MTB friends…if you are attending the Dr Evil Classic 3 day stage MTB race from 14th – 17th September 2016

IMG_7537 Dr Evil 2015

R1000 per room per night (sleeping two). Contact us for availability and bookings: cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za

Happy holidays!

Horse riding in the Plett Winelands

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This has got to be one of absolute favourite Plett activities, especially for a sunny winter’s day; meander on horseback through the indigenous forest and vineyards of the Plett Winelands.

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Now, we can say that we’ve had the pleasure of  experiencing most of Plett’s activities and adventures and the versatility of Hog Hollow Horse Trails offers so many options, that we’re sure you will be back for more than one excursion.  Visitors can choose between a one hour farm trail that is perfect for families, a two hour trail through a private game reserve or a three hour Cruise-the-Crags trail that can be tailor-made to include The Plett Winelands, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, The Millwood Craft Centre and other nearby animal attractions – they choices are endless.

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We chose the Plett Winelands tour and a short farm ride to the most beautiful of hilltops overlooking the sea. It was a perfect combination for a group of largely inexperienced riders. Thankfully, the team at Hog Hollow Horse Trails were friendly, patient and experienced enough to make the trip an absolute delight.

Imagine this: you’re strolling, or the horse is, along a green hilltop with the ocean just peeking out in the distance, around you cows mill restfully and the exotic fallow deer scatter a short distance away. You stop for a brief chat to the farmer who stands languidly on the hillside, peeling an orange in his gumboots. As you move into the coolness of the forest, the trail narrows to single track and you’re walking through a mystical landscape towards the smallest of ponds – straight out of Arthurian legend – overhung by trees, sunlight cutting the early morning mist that has been left behind in this tiny vale. It’s perfection.

Autumn-Plett-Winelands

As you get into the Plett Winelands, the winter sun is warm and pleasant, you’re surrounded by vines and the Tsitsikamma Mountains are blue and imposing before you. This is a moment full of sunshine and bubbles.  The bubbles in the form of Bramon’s award-winning MCC Bubbly and paired with any number of delicious tapas from the menu. Eat a selection of cheeses, salads and pates served with fresh bread amongst the vines – we’re pretty sure you won’t want to go home after this.

Lunch-at-Bramon

To us, this Plettenberg Bay activity is the perfect combination of action and relaxation. So choose a slower (horse-power) pace and take in the beauty of The Crags. We can’t think of many better ways to spend an autumn or winter’s day in Plett.

Winter Special: Stay for 2 nights and receive 10% discount on direct bookings

Plett Hiking Kranshoek Coastal Walk

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“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” Barry Finlay

Today we’re going to share one of our favourite Plett secrets – the Harkerville Coastal Hike. If you’re a walker, birder, photographer, nature-lover, hiker or trail runner, then you will want to make time to explore the coastal area around Kranshoek.

Picturesque Kranshoek is an exceptionally lovely suburb of Plettenberg Bay, located along the coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. Kranshoek is home to one of the largest Griqua populations in South Africa and is home to both the Griqua National Heritage Monument and the Griqua National Conference, offering visitors a fascinating look into the rich Griqua culture.

Kranshoek-Coastal

With some of the most dramatic coastal views to be found on the Garden Route, you’ll stroll through indigenous Fynbos and forest, hike down the cliff and meander along untouched shorelines – the Kranshoek Coastal Walk is an amazing hiking adventure in Plettenberg Bay.

There are two walks – a 3km and 9km option (which should take about 2 hours or 5 hours respectively) with the 9km being significantly tougher than the 3km – so choose whichever suits your fitness level. There is also a two-day hike and a number of MTB routes to enjoy in the area.

The “wildside” coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna is characterised by seaside cliffs overlooking rocky shores and coves. The clifftop meander takes hikers through coastal Fynbos, endemic to the Southern Cape region; this flora plays home to some beautiful local birds including Orange-breasted Sunbirds, Southern Double-collared Sunbirds and the  Knysna Loerie.

We recommend packing a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way or at the picnic spot that serves as the start and end of the hike.

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MAP:

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Find our more on the SanParks website

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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Plett

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“There is nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realise that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean.” Dave Barry

Plettenberg Bay is probably best known for kilometres of pristine beaches, whale and dolphin watching and sublime summery days. We are fortunate to host 4 International Blue Flag beaches, hold the title of International Hope Spot and border the magnificent Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area, the oldest MPA in Africa.

If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, then this stretch of coastline is not to be missed as it offers a unique look at the South African coastline and the vast differences between the Cape South Coast and the Northern, more tropical, coastline. While Cape Town has kelp forests and Durban has tropical fish – the Southern Cape coast is a dramatic mix of vibrant soft corals, anemones and sponges and offers divers, and in particular macro photographers, an endless canvas of colourful reef to explore.

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

While the fish generally aren’t tropical and the water temperatures may be on the colder side of 20°C, the positives far outweigh the negatives with common sightings of Ragged-Tooth sharks, endemic shysharks, large schools of fish and nudibranchs covering reefs with delightfully dramatic topography.

The shallower reefs off the Beacon Island can be reached by shore entry and they, especially in summer, act as a nursery to all sorts of juveniles including Red Roman, Blacktail and Butterfly fish. Rays are common sightings on the sandy patches between reefs and lucky divers may even encounter a school of passing dolphins.

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

The deeper reefs are accessed by boat and feature the more interesting topography of the area including walls, pinnacles and drop-offs. Sharks and pelagic fish are common and the reefs offer a fireworks display of colour in sponges, fans and anemones – a treasure trove of soft coral waiting to be discovered.

If you aren’t a scuba diver, you can still enjoy the underwater world of Plettenberg Bay including a snorkeling excursion off the Beacon Island to the shallower Red Bait Reef. For an unforgettable marine experience, hop on a seal swimming boat to the Robberg Peninsula where you can snorkel surrounded by hundreds of playful Cape Fur Seals in the shallows off the peninsula.

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Seals Plett

Photo: Offshore Adventures

TIPS:

  • While the water is generally warmer in the summer months, scuba divers will be delighted to know that the winter conditions are highly recommended with calm, clear conditions.
  • 5mm wetsuits and booties are recommended throughout the year
  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling visit: www.prodive.co.za
  • Swim with Seals visit: www.offshoreadventures.co.za

See the Fynbos in Plett

Plett-Proteas

“Earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plett-Proteas

A huge floral attraction of South Africa’s Southern Cape coast is our endemic Fynbos. Fynbos, from the Dutch fynbosch, directly translated as “fine bush” is actually a shrubland found only along a small coastal belt of the Southern Cape coast from the Cape to Port Elizabeth.

This puts Plettenberg Bay in the heart of Fynbos country. Known for its exceptional biodioversity – some 8500 species, nearly 6000 of which are endemic – the Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest and most diverse of the world’s six floral kingdoms.

Hikers, birdwatchers and walkers along the many trails around Plettenberg Bay will be amazed to find the majestic King Protea growing wild next to the trail. The King Protea might be the largest in the family, but it is by no means the only Protea on this coastline, blooming at different times of the year and adorning the Fynbos region with a beautiful and unusual flower.

Another very popular export of the Fynbos region is Rooibos, also known as “bush tea”.  Brewed as a tea in South Africa for centuries, Rooibos is now available internationally, but efforts to grow Rooibos outside of our Cape coastal region have reportedly failed.

Photo: Plett Tourism

Photo: Plett Tourism

We’re most excited to tell you about a product, grown in Plett and closely related to Rooibos, that is gaining popularity – Honeybush Tea.  Plettenberg Bay has a Honeybush Tea industry that is just 15 years old (much the same as the Plett Winelands) and it is widely accepted that the area from Tsitsikamma to Riversdale is the ideal place to cultivate honeybush – again putting Plettenberg Bay right in the middle of this area. Honeybush is quite similar to Rooibos, although it is sweeter and the plant gets its name from the honey-scented flowers.

Would you like to try Honeybush and visit a Honeybush Tea farm in Plett? In 2000, local community owned, government sponsored Honeybush farm was opened at the Griqua settlement in Kranshoek. The farm is named Ericaville and 84 families from this community benefit from sale of the crops 95% of which are exported to Europe and Asia.

Ericaville farm tours include a brief history and plant classification including medicinal properties and harvesting. Visitors can harvest by hand, chop the tea by hand and drying and flavouring the tea.

As you can see – Fynbos including Proteas, Rooibos and Honeybush is an essential part of the Plett experience.

Adventurous Plett Easter

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” Barry Finlay

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Plettenberg Bay is located right in the middle of one of the most adventurous stretches of land in the world. Between Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth, visitors can bungy jump, sky dive, zipline, scuba dive, swim with seals and view Great White Sharks and this really is just naming a few. The Garden Route could certainly stand up to competition as the Adventure Capital of the World.

Easter is an excellent time to visit Plettenberg Bay as the weather is still extremely pleasant but without the frantic crowds that visit Plett in full summertime. In addition to the awesome weather, this Easter Plett will again play host to trail runners, mountain bikers and paddlers for the Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend and, for the first time, Plett will welcome the new Garden Route Walking Festival.

Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend:

The Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend is held over the Easter Weekend on the dates of 26-27 March 216. This year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever before with the Pennypinchers Trail Run, the Pennypinchers Cairnbrogie Trail Park Fun Ride, the Pennypinchers Cairnbrogie MTB Nite Relay, the Pennypinchers Surf Ski Challenge and the newest addition of the Pennypinchers “Round the Bliners Dash for Cash.”

There will be something for everyone from serious athletes to family fun and everything in between. Runners, mountain bikers and paddlers will enjoy a fun weekend exploring the wonders of nature in and around Plett.

ENTER HERE

Promotional Video:

Garden Route Walking Festival:

At Cornerway House, we are huge fans of the hikes and walks in and around Plettenberg Bay and we literally jumping up and down in anticipation of the first Garden Route Walking Festival. This is South Africa’s first dedicated walk festival of its kind and will offer 52 walks over 5 days during the Easter Holidays.

This festival is going to be a unique event with walks conducted in areas from Sedgefield to Tsitsikamma – providing the opportunity for visitors and locals to explore the area, meet like-minded people and learn more about the conservation opportunities in this magical area that is the Garden Route. Plettenberg Bay will play host to many of these walks including the following to name a few:

  • Nature’s Valley and Salt River
  • Kranshoek View Site
  • WESSA Frog Walk
  • HArkerville Forest Walk
  • Robberg Peninsula
  • Birding Walks
  • Plett Heritage Walk
  • Nature’s Valley to Robberg Rocks
  • Peak Formosa

REGISTER HERE

Video from Garden Route Walking Festival founder, Galeo Saintz on why he simply loves walking:

New Year at Cornerway House

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Happy New Year to you from Plett! We have had such a wonderful Christmas time in Plett and the summer season looks to be continuing. This summer Plettenberg Bay has had absolutely lovely beach weather and our guests enjoyed many days of fun on Plett’s beaches. We had so many visitors and the town was full of South African and international holidaymakers.

The Plett Summer Festival, organised by Plett Tourism, was brilliant and you couldn’t have asked for a more colourful summer with the Color Run, Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge, Plett Polo tournament, ClemenGold Hobie Regatta, Good Luck’s Get Lucky Summer concerts and Castle Lite’s Republic of Extra Cold. There is no better place to be in summer than Plettenberg Bay!

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At Cornerway House we are ringing in the new year with some wonderful changes:

We have revamped our charming Cottage Room with a more contemporary feel.

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Our swimming pool has been re painted and with the new salt water filter it looks and feels like a brand new pool.

Pool

 

We are so fortunate to have wonderful staff who have been with Cornerway House for some time and made our busy season run smoothly! Thank you!

Happy Staff

Cornerway House wishes you a wonderful New Year and hope that this year brings you many exciting new adventures, laughter and good memories.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson”

Top Tips for Plett Rage students

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Plettenberg Bay is gearing up for the longest running student festival in the Southern Hemisphere – Plett Rage! With around  15 000 students expected to arrive in Plett in just over a week – the Destination Freedom festival is set to be a fun, frantic time for Matrics to celebrate their graduation and the start of the Plett Summer season.

While the town and Plett Rage organisers have been working hard to ensure that not only do Plett Ragers have the party of their lives, but that they can celebrate in a safe and positive environment in our beautiful Plettenberg Bay.  Here are some of our top tips for Plett Rage students to have the best time in Plett – and keep coming back year after year!

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Plett Rage Tip 1: Accommodation – whether you are staying at a bed and breakfast, private home or camping – know the address and contact information for where you are staying. Be sure to give this information to your loved ones back home, in case of an emergency.

Plett Rage Tip 2: This is your time – don’t waste a second of it!  Make sure that you know the full schedule on the Plett Rage calendar so that you don’t miss your favourite acts or activations from Main Beach to the nightclub. The Plett Rage schedule and lineup can be found here: www.plettrage.co.za or follow them on Twitter for the latest news #plettrage2015

Plett Rage Tip 3: Remember to eat! There is so much to see and do during Plett Rage that you may be tempted to try and do everything. Plett restaurants have a number of special offers for Plett Rage students including “All Day Breakfast“, Pizza Specials and more. Check out the booklet in your Plett Rage Student Pass for more information.

Plett Rage Tip 4: Look out for the Red Frogs if you’re feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed. The Red Frogs are an internationally recognised student holiday support network aimed at providing a positive presence during festivals such as Plett Rage. You’ll be in good hands if you visit their Chill Tent – they even visit the guesthouses in Plett to make pancakes for ragers.

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Plett Rage Tip 5: Plett is an incredible place to visit – make time to get out and explore. A hike on Robberg Nature Reserve is a must do as it is a National Monument and Nature Reserve with some of the best views in the country!  If you would like to get active – why not try a surf or scuba lesson, the world famous Bloukrans Bungy or the new AfriAbseil adventure?  There is so much to do and see in Plett, you won’t regret taking some time out to explore.

Plett Rage Tip 6: Be prepared. Keep emergency contact information on your phone and somewhere else safe (in case you lose your phone). Don’t put yourself into dangerous or solitary situations and make sure you know how you are getting home each night (see Tip 1 🙂 )For important numbers and more info go to http://www.plettrage.co.za

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and unforgettable Plett Rage from Cornerway House in Plett!

Photos: Plett Tourism

Rose Competition – Win a Weekend at Cornerway

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RoseName the rose in the photo above and stand a chance to win a 2 night stay at Cornerway House in Plettenberg Bay.

To celebrate Spring, we took a snapshot of the sweetest smelling of rose in the garden; can you tell us the name of this rose?

How to Enter:

1.Email your entry to cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za with your name, answer & contact number – please title your email: Cornerway Roses

2. Only entries submitted via email will be entered into the draw. Responses on the Facebook page or post, will be deleted and disqualified.

3. View a High Resolution Version of the rose: Name this Rose

Prize:

A 2 Night stay for 2 people at Cornerway House Bed & Breakfast, including breakfast valued at R2300.00

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Terms & Conditions:

1.  The winner must be available to redeem the prize and travel to Plettenberg Bay.  If unable to do so, Cornerway House  reserves the right to reissue the prize to an alternative entrant. Air travel and other transport is not included in the prize.
2.  The promoter of this contest is Cornerway House Bed and Breakfast  in Plettenberg Bay.
3.  Anyone throughout the world may enter this contest, but the winner must make themselves available in Plettenberg Bay to claim the prize.
4.  There is no entry fee and entrants are not required to purchase any product to be eligible to enter this contest
5.  Closing Date for all entries will be Sunday  30th November 2014.
6.  No responsibility or liability will be accepted for entries not having been received by the closing time whatever the reason for non-receipt may be.
7.  Cornerway House reserves the right to cancel or amend this contest and these terms and conditions without notice to potential and actual participants in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law, regulation, pre-existing right or any other event outside of the reasonable control of  Cornerway House. Any such changes to the contest will, however, be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the same means used to communicate the contest.
8.  No cash alternative to any of the prizes will be offered. Prizes will only be transferrable at the sole discretion of Cornerway House and be subject to written confirmation by Cornerway House. Prizes are subject to availability at Cornerway House during the prize redemption period.
9.   Winners will be notified within 10 days of the contest closing date. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, Cornerway House reserves the right to withdraw the prize or select a replacement winner.
10.  Cornerway House will notify the winner when the prize can be redeemed and such prizes must be redeemed at times that are suitable for both winner and Cornerway House, depending on availability. Not to be redeemed in December 2014 or January 2015. Valid until 30th November 2015.

 

Land Art 2013 in Plettenberg Bay

Land-Art-Plett

AndreaSPlettenberg Bay was recently privileged to play host to the 2nd Site-Specific International Land Art Biennale as the landscape of Plett was transformed into a canvas for the land artists – our terrific landscapes, stunning ocean and beautiful beaches making it the ideal location for this event. Cornerway House’s Dee contributed to the 2011 event, so we were really looking forward to seeing what the artists produced for 2013.

Plett welcomed South African, international and our local artists and offered our large, protected landscapes as their “blank canvas” and we weren’t disappointed as each artist expressed their creativity using natural materials to create their masterpieces. We saw the greater Bitou communities, like Kurland, Harkerville and Kwanokuthula, come together and learn from great artists. There were a variety of workshops that the public could attend. Andrew van der Merwe”s Beach Calligraphy workshop was so inspiring. The Youth from New Horizon Youth Project wrapped trees in red ,pink, white and green, representing Hiv, Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and looking after our Environment.

margie ford land artWe started our tour at the Beacon Island car park and were fascinated by the beauty and simplicity of Margie Ford’s and Ken Heyn’s installation “Go with the flow!” Definitely one of my favourites, and it endured the bad weather and went on for days.

A meander up to the Hotel was full of surprises, Diane Victor ‘s Whale Bones laid out majestically on the lawn. A tribute to and reminder of the whales that were once hunted and killed during the days of the old whaling station, the site on which the Beacon Island Hotel is built.

Carol Sach’s installation on the rocks, close to the swimming pool, depicting Whale Tails and their sperm was so creative and blended so well with the surroundings . The big nest precariously perched on the rocks by Anja Wiehl, took us by surprise. Gordon Froud’s series of figures on the rocks , made out of wattle, beach sand and AB glue were sybomlic of the silent protest … we all go through daily.

Back down on Central Beach, the sand art & calligraphy: razor sharp cut outs in the sand were amazing. The child in me came alive and was truly delighted by the huge labrinthes . Sadly the tides did take their toll and these creations were lost. We saw amazing installations on Look Out Beach like the “Sea Urchins” and the “Earth Pods”

Another of my favourites was “Genius Loci” by Andrea Cristoforetti and driftwood man, Roger Trebilcock.

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Those are just some of our favourites of the Land Art Biennale 2013 in Plettenberg Bay. We really enjoyed the show and look forward to welcoming the Land Artists back to Plettenberg Bay soon!

Head over to the Site Specific Pinterest Page for more of the artworks