Rose Gardens at Cornerway

Roses8

Our gardens are one the best features at Cornerway House. Robin grew up with a love for gardens and flowers. His mum was a keen gardener and passed her love of roses onto her son. This passion led him to open a flower shop in Marlbrough, Wiltshire England. So when Robin relocated from England some 12 odd years ago, naturally he started to create a charming English sanctuary in the heart of South Africa, Plettenberg Bay.

With all the love and attention the gardens at Cornerway House receive from Robin and our two very special gardeners, it is no wonder that every year the blooms are brighter, bigger and more rewarding.

We have special roses that have been delighting us year after year, and some new ones that are blooming terrific. Earlier this year Robin ordered a variety from Ludwig’s Rose. Ludwig Roses was established in 1971, just north of Pretoria. From humble beginnings, lots of hard, dedicated work and passion this Ludwig has grown a specialist nursery which has become the strongest rose brand in South Africa. They offer an amazing, huge variety of superior quality roses and will post to just about anywhere in the world.

Rose

We have grown one particular rose that is so beautiful, blooms quickly and then sadly fades. I think the scent of this bloom is so heavenly and truly depicts what a roses should smell like. The ideal rose from which to make rose water…

Rose Water:

Fill a saucepan with petals from strongly scented roses, include red ones.

Add enough water to cover petals. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Allow to cool leaving lid on to keep the perfume in.

Strain into jars with good tight lids.

Use rose water as a delicate perfume on your skin or sprinkle a little on your clothes.

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.’ Ruth Stout

 

 

 

Walking the Dogs

Hecule Solar beach

Looking after the pets of Cornerway House has been fun and rewarding. Robin has been away in the UK visiting family and I moved in to take care of the four legged creatures. The great advantages are that you get to exercise, walk on the beach every day and enjoy the beauty Plett has to offer.

At various times of the day you experience such vast differences in the surrounding landscapes. The Tsitsikamma mountains always offer such a wonderful backdrop!
The small disadvantage, which really isn’t too bad, is having to share the bed with little Zebedee and Cynthia the cat. Most nights are fine, except when Zeb has the need to be right up close to my face. Thank goodness Hercule is happy with his bed on the floor.

There is another big black dog that walks often on Robberg Beach with his owner and looks rather similar to Hercule.  Both myself and some others walking on the beach have thought Hercule is this Giant Schnauzer who is also black and very similar to Hercule who is actually a Bouvier des Flandres.
The other day while  walking along the beach,  we came nose to nose or (rather bum to bum) with Siska, the Hercule look-alike. I was a little wary of  how they would react and in the beginning so were they. Hercule stopped and watched and Siska took a roundabout way in the water, both eying each other out. They then came together and did the smelling bit with little Zeb in the mix. Us humans connected and started chatting but Hercule & Siska were a bit more bashful! Although, they have met before on the beach – clearly they were having an identity crisis. They kept a careful eye on each other as we walked back along the beach with Siska’s owner. We hope to see Siska again on the beach, as we would love to get some side-by-side pictures to show you how alike they really are.

As you can see we have well behaved, curious and friendly pets, so coming to stay at Cornerway House with your pets is always a memorable experience. Check out our Mid Year Special Offers to enjoy a walk on Plettenberg Bay’s famous Robberg Beach with your best friend!

Plett Agility Club

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Cornerway House is one of Plettenberg Bay’s pet-friendly establishments and we really do love animals!  Plettenberg Bay now has its very own Agility Club. Plett Agility is a newly affiliated SADAA (South African Dog Agility Association, established in 2011) club and hosted its first dog show at Kurland Pavilion in … Continue reading

Radical Raptors

Spotted Eagle Owl

Radical Raptors is a real treat for those who are interested in birds and even those who aren’t; because you will certainly be left intrigued! Radical Raptors is a must visit- located at the Heath on the N2 about 7km out of Plettenberg Bay towards Knysna .

Adult raptors have few predators and can live up to 20 to 30 years in the wild. Unfortunately because of their slow breeding rate and high mortality (only about ¼ survive their first year), population is reduced. Human impact,  poisoning, illegal trade and hunting, inexperienced hand raising, also contributes to further drops in survival.

At this Birds of Prey Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre – they rescue, rehabilitate and release these magnificent birds of prey. The centre trains the raptors to ensure they are able to hunt and take care of themselves, then releases them as soon as possible. If the birds are non-releasable they are trained and free flown in order for us spectators to experience their amazing abilities in their natural surroundings. You can watch their outstanding flying performances, some will even land on your gloved hand. These birds play a huge role in creating community awareness of the impact of humans on their environment. It definitely stopped me using poison to eradicate mice.

Our beautiful gardens at Cornerway House are often alive with local birds so we really appreciate the work of Radical Raptors towards the survival of indigenous birds in the Plettenberg Bay area.

Radical Raptors, which is run as a non profit organisation, was opened 4 and ½ years ago by Janet and Dennis. They are both passionate about their raptors and educating the public. Every visitor contributes to the excellent work that is done here.

So if you are looking for a special experience with these majestic raptors – a visit to Radical Raptors in Plettenberg Bay is a highly recommended.

Plett welcomes the Whales

Humback Whale Tail

Humback Whale TailEach year with great anticipation we welcome the first appearance of whales in our Plettenberg Bay. They are such welcomed visitors, crossing thousands of miles of ocean to visit our coastline and bask in our warmer Indian Ocean water.

Southern right whales were almost hunted to extinction, because they were the right whales to hunt – hence their name. They visit Plettenberg Bay between June and November to mate and calve; who wouldn’t want spend time in our beautiful bay?  A fully grown Southern right whale can weigh up to 80 tons – almost 12 african elephants and can live up to 50 years. A close encounter is something not to be missed , they are truly massive and magnificent. They are easily identified by their black colour and callosities on the head: “little bonnets”. It is difficult to distinguish their sex but if you happen to see them mating and are fortunate enough to be close, the 4 metre male organ makes identification relatively obvious! :)  The female’s gestation period is approx. 12 months and the calf’s birth occurs in the same waters of Plettenberg Bay a year later.

whaleHumpback whales pass our shores on their way to their breeding grounds of Madagascar and Mozambique. They are the most energetic of all the large whales and are well known for their spectacular breaching, lobtailing, flipper slapping and skyhopping. Bryde Whales, smaller and slender are seen all year round, their large upright dorsal fin makes them look like huge dolphins.

So jump at the opportunity to go out with one of our local Whale watching boats and get really close to these mammoth mammels. Boats with permits are allowed to approach whales within 50 metres. Plettenberg Bay has several species of whales, dolphins and marine birds. Along Robberg Nature Reserve Peninsula you can see our large colony of Cape Fur Seals, the peninsula is also a great place for viewing whales.

whales

Whether you prefer the close encounter, on a comfortable boat, an energetic kayak trip, a stroll on one of our beautiful beaches, or rather a bench perched at one of our look-out points with binoculars, take time out to watch the whales. Plettenberg Bay is known as the whale capital of the world!

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.

Land-Art-Plett

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

Welcome to the New Year!

One thing that we can always be sure of: change. Nothing stays the same; here at Cornerway we have experienced change. Just as we had to say goodbye to the old year, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Caroline. Caroline had to relocate to the city of Johannesburg and, although she will be well missed, we wish her all the best and are grateful for the time that she spent with us here at Cornerway House.

Garden

We welcomed in 2013 along with our newest member of the Cornerway family, Kathy. Kathy comes to us from a catering and foodie background – so watch this space for some super recipes! She will be handling our bookings, office and enquiries and assisting with the day-to-day running of the B&B.

Through the passing of years some things manage to remain the same, like life at Cornerway House – here you can still experience the same friendly, efficient service that you have come to expect, the same warm and welcoming ambience and, of course, owners Robin & Dee Pelham-Reid.

Sage

Just another Winters Day!

 

Plett is well known for having four seasons in one day, and that is putting it mildly. The day can start off with a beautiful sunrise and only a light breeze keeping the hair from your eyes.

 But within minutes you will see the clouds rolling in over Robberg and the ocean turning grey as the bright sun disappears and becomes a faded memory. Suddenly the rain will come pounding down and you will most likely be caught without your brollie!

Just as soon as you manage to find a dry spot to hide from the rain, all the clouds will clear and you will be met by the most amazing rainbow you have ever seen.  And this is Plett, never a dull moment………

Herewith a few calm before the storm photos taken by Cornerway House.