Guests visit Bocce Dolce

Cornerway-Visitors

We were pleased to welcome back our Argetinian guest Mariela, who first visited Plett and Cornerway House in 2015 with friends from her gardening group. Cornerway House, with our country garden was a perfect stop for them on their South African tour.

Cornerway-Visitors

This year Mariela, who manages the parks of the Buenos Aires Zoological Garden and the parks of the Zoological Gardens of Cordoba, returned to Plettenberg Bay and Cornerway House for another visit.  Her group spent their time in our garden, marvelling at the birdlife, enjoying the sights and shopping up a storm. One of the hightlights of their trip, and one of Plett’s hidden treasures in our opinion, is Quarry Lake Estate and Bocca Dolce Coffee Shop.

Bocca Dolce Plett

Quarry Lake Estate is a farm found along the Bitou River towards Wittedrift (which is just outside Plett). Bocca Dolce is the popular coffee shop and restaurant on the estate. With a focus on organic, vegan and vegetarian, Bocca Dolce roasts and sells their own coffee in addition to bottled, dehydrated and baked goods – all vegan and grown on the estate. The Alla Carte menu at Bocca Dolce offers a variety of Breakfast and Lunch dishes suitable for vegetarians and vegan and their popular buffet style “Harvest Table” served on Saturday and Sunday lunch is a feast of healthy organic food containing no animal products. No alcohol is sold but patrons are welcome to bring their own.

 

Although the coffee shop at Quarry Lake was closed when Mariela and her friends visited, Italian owner Lello and his wife Lisa offer farm tours and Lello took some time to show them around, talk more about their organic products, including a wonderful crop of artichokes. The group thoroughly enjoyed their visit – so much so that they left these wonderful Argentinian chocolates for Lello and for Kathy, our guesthouse manager.

Cornerway Gift

Thank you Lello for giving our guests such an unforgettable experience and thank you Mariela for your visit – we hope to see you again soon!

 

Cornerway Spring Garden

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We live in a very beautiful part of the world. Sometimes it feels as if the Garden Route and Plettenberg Bay have almost every part of nature one could hope for. The Garden Route is home to the most beautiful endemic Fynbos and indigenous forests towered over by the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains, we have lakes, rivers and the blue Indian Ocean. In one day, a visitor can walk with elephants and watch whales jumping, can scuba dive a reef and hike a peninsula – there is a never-ending array of options for nature-lovers in Plett.

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But when you have finished exploring wide horizons, ocean depths and vast panoramas, its nice to come home to a peaceful sanctuary at Cornerway House B&B. We have worked hard to make the bed & breakfast an oasis of calm and natural beauty with our well-kept garden, jasmin and bougainvillea and beautiful roses.

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Spring is a special time of year for us, not only are we shaking off the winter chill, but the gardens at Cornerway House are coming to life – flowers blooming, sun shining through our fruit trees and the scent of jasmine in the air.

cornerway-verandah

Photo: Sergerius Bruce

Photo: Sergerius Bruce

We encourage guests to linger on the verandah and enjoy the sunshine after breakfast or upon returning from a day of exploring Plettenberg Bay. Exploring and travelling can be tiring, so take a moment to breathe in the Plett air at Cornerway House.

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Bring out the bubbly at Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival

Wine-Festival-Plett

Cheers! We’re a month away from one of our favourite events on the Plett calendar – the Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival!

Cheers-Plett-wine

Now in its third year, the festival celebrating locally produced wines, local foods and the good life in Plett, is taking place on 8th & 9th October 2016 on Plettenberg Bay’s glorious Central Beach. Ten of Plett wine estates will be showcasing their produce – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and our favourite Méthode Cap Classique! 

Wine-Festival-Plett

Book Tickets

Guests dress up in blue & white to celebrate the Plett lifestyle and in addition to tasting wines and bubbles from South Africa’s newest wine of origin region, you’ll get to snack on artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and breads, sushi, savouries and of course – beautiful, succulent coastal oysters. MCC bubbly & oysters? Yes please!

Sports enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the weekend of the Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival also includes the popular MTB race Tour de Plett on Saturday 8th October and the new Robberg Xpress trail run on Sunday 9th October – so you can indulge at the wine festival, guilt-free after a morning of outdoor fun in and around Plett.

You can also take some time to explore the Plett wine farms, which stretch from Harkerville in the west to The Crags in the east. Plett wines are receiving both national and international recognition and we can highly recommend the the Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival for a weekend as chilled as our wines!

Explore-Plett-Winelands

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:

Saafin-Plett-Wine

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

Hog-Hollow-Farmlands

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.

Plett-Horse-Riding

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.

Hog-Hollow-Farmlands

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

Harkerville-Ocean3

Harkerville-Ocean3

“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:

KRANSHOEK-COASTAL-WALK-370x250

Find our more on the SanParks website

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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Plett

OffshoreAdventures

“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.

autumn-special

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

GR4

 

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

ColorRunPlett

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!

ColorRunPlett

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.

Cottage 1

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”