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

 

 

 

Spring has Sprung in Plett

wild freesia 5

From the time of our earliest forefathers, we have gazed in awe and wonder at the magic that is conjured by flowers and foliage – the colour and beauty of their shapes, their markings and the intricacies of their form. Plants are miracles of nature providing sustenance for the body and the soul. It is little wonder that we continue to celebrate their existence.”

wild freesia 5

Taking a stroll along Plett’s beaches, it was with great excitement that we stumbled upon the wild freesia growing in the crevices of the Lookout Rocks on Wedge side of Central Beach. How they get to be there is truly a miracle. There is hardly enough space to contain their bulbs. They are mostly pollinated by bees. An excellent sign that spring has sprung in Plett!

Freesia alba are endemic to Southern Africa with over 16 species, they are found growing in sandy or stony soils, alongside dunes or on the edges of forests. They seem to like damp places and grow mainly along the coast from Hermanus to Plettenberg Bay. They are deciduous, so we have beautiful blooms now in spring and then they lie dormant in summer.

Colourful freesia growing in flower box

Colourful freesia growing in flower box

 

Cornerway House Garden

Cornerway House Garden

Spring Special at Cornerway House

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 in July

Mad festival

Plettenberg Bay is bursting with wonderful things to do at this time of the year.

We are in the middle of the July holidays and Plett is having a MAD Festival.

The Plett Music Arts & Drama Festival is all about showcasing our heritage and culture.  Everybody can get involved and everybody benefits with profits been ploughed back into the community.

The Whitehouse & Kids of Kurland brought us the 3rd Plett Fringe Festival which ran from the 26th June to the 1st July. We got to see poetry, drama, magicians, musical comedy and theatre at its best. These superb well-polished Fringe acts continue on their way to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

The first South African Food Film Festival was also being presented here in Plett as part of the part of the MAD Festival. Plett Tourism and iKasi Media have worked hard to bring us The Plett Food Film Festival. We believe it will become a national event.  Over a period of 3 days our senses were delighted with a feast of exclusive screenings of local and international movies and documentaries about everything to do with food and passionate foodies preparing their food.

We were privileged to be entertained by well-known chef Karen Dudley with her creative “love sandwich” that made her famous. She has also published two recipe books and is a fire ball of passion and fun.

Plettenberg Bay the perfect place to chill out in the July holidays and have all your senses spoilt.

love sandwich Karen Dudley the kitchen Karen Dudley

 

Adventure and Passion at AfriCanyon

This gallery contains 18 photos.

  One of our guests had the opportunity to try out kloofing,  a good local name for canyoning, right here in the  Garden Route, specifically the Crags near Plettenberg Bay. This is his story….. “As everyone knows trying out new things can be a bit daunting. I was pleasantly surprised … Continue reading

Plett Rage Student Festival

Plett Rage

PLETT RAGE is the longest running student festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It started with a couple hundred students coming to Plett for a few days in the early 80’s to celebrate summer. Now the Plett Rage Student Festival is a 10 day non-stop party, attracting students from all over the country. Time to say good-bye to school and hello to freedom and the summer holidays in Plett!

About 15 000 students will descend on Plett on the 29th November 2013. Organisers have been hard at work and this year promises to be awesome with a great line up of bands, 10 days of partying, 6 epic festival venues, and amazing sponsors. Most of the day time activities take place on Central Beach; where ragers will get to play volley ball, touch rugby, beach soccer, and 360 Ball – a new ball and racquet sport sponsored by Carling Black Label. The atmosphere could not be more perfect to chill out, listen to cool tunes, work on the tan, relax and soak up the good sunshine!

Rage Tip 1: Red Frogs are the good guys and they will be there to help and support the students. Providing a very necessary service, Red Frogs are an internationally recognised student holiday support network aiming to provide a positive presence in the partying environment. Look out for their Chill Tent when the partying gets too much; you will be in good hands.

Rage Tip 2: Remember if the going gets tough, take time out and explore our beautiful Plettenberg Bay. We have the best beaches and our forests are full of stunning hikes. Check out our adrenalin sports, like Bungi Jumping  or  Sea Kayaking  The new guys on the block would love to show you Canyoning, which is a lot more than abseiling and  kloofing! 

Rage Tip 3: Students are to take responsibility and care and not put themselves into dangerous situations. Its all about having fun in a responsible manner! Remember to keep your emergency contact numbers, and local transport numbers somewhere safe, in case you lose your cellphone.

Rage Tip 4: Treat the place where you’re staying as you would your own home.  Be considerate of your neighbours – you are on holiday, they are not!  Familiarise yourself with your neighbours and look out for each other.  Don’t walk alone at night, stay in groups, use the designated taxis! Have a blast! But do it responsibly.

Freedom is just beginning, you don’t want to wreck it.

For important numbers and more info go to http://www.plettrage.co.za

Plett Downhill Rage

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Since the birth of skateboarding in the early fifties, downhill skating has been transported to another level and in the last 10 years has become a phenomenal culture attracting the adrenalin junkies. It is both dangerous and fun and has to be the most thrilling experience on four wheels. Along with the growth of the sport we have seen incredible technology and there are a wide range of wheels and boards that are highly functional and innovative.

Last year we saw the final leg of the world series – Hot Wheels Africa 2012 – held in Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve, close to Cape Town. It proved to be the right type of hill – long enough, fast enough and technical enough! It was a huge event attracting the largest crowd to date. We saw downhill gravity racers from all over the world competing. Douglas Silva from Brazil won the world title.

corners

On the 29th November – 1st December we will get to experience this amazing sport right here in Plettenberg Bay. Plett Downhill Rage Longboarding Event is set to take place over three days, we will get to see gravity powered longboard racers speeding down Plett’s very own Oddland Drive. The skaters are excpected to reach speeds of 100km per hour… there is no room for error. Top riders from around the country and our very own locals will get the opportunity to skate legally down Oddlands. Plettenberg Bay has such awesome hills, Natures Valley offers a scenic forest stretch that is full of turns and excites most skaters.
This event forms part of Plett Rage Student Festival and the organisers Nature Sport Company have made every effort to ensure the safety and well being of both participants and spectators. Sector 9 is one of the many sponsers and there is R40 000 worth of prizes up for grabs.

We are so excited to be hosting an event like this in Plettenberg Bay, allowing people the chance to experience the adrenalin rush of this sport. we trust it will become an annual event, just like Plett Rage has. For a taste of whats to come visit:

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.

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

Land Art Plettenberg Bay

Land art KeurboomsIn 2011, Plettenberg bay hosted South Africa’s first international Land Art event presented by Site Specific. The artist–led project was conceived by Strijdom van der Merwe and Anni Snyman in an attempt to create more opportunities for Land Art in South Africa.

Cornerway House’s Dee, was a “Gorilla” Land Artist for this site-specific week in 2011 in Plettenberg Bay. Her concept was an installation in the Square outside a popular Coffee Shop, Liquor Store, not a very sophisticated Supermarket and an Arty Video Store. This evoked the need to display THE DICHOTOMY of BITOU.
Dee used the tree in a giant planter situated in the middle of the Square and draped it with opposing items. The one side represented the beauty and natural resources including items of learning. The other side contrasted enormously with 3 mobiles hanging off the branches made of syringes, a condom circle and a large pomander of beer cans, wine and brandy bottles. This representing the destructive elements of our society! Needless to say we had no neutral comments passed on this installation!.Dee Land Art

Dee Land Art 2011

 It is with great excitement and anticipation that we will be hosting the 2nd International Land Art Biennale event in Plettenberg Bay. Between 10 & 17 August2013 our landscapes and open spaces will be artistically transformed into a visual ecstasy. This land art event celebrates the beauty of our natural environment and our rich cultural history. It allows the community spirit, that is in all of us to be enhanced and transported to another level….
This promises to be an awesome event, as we will have such influential artists from South Africa and overseas, sharing with our very own local artists. This year we see the inclusion of the Site Specific side artists, which allows artists to take part at their own exspense.

One of these fringe artists is Adriaan Augustyn who, together with Pletts phenominal Malcom Solomens, will create a work that has been inspired from their observation of the way man has become, through ignorance, arrogance and greed, unconscious and conscious agents in the destruction of nature. “The chain of ‘trash’ is suspended within the forest
tunnels and along the paths symbolizing the vortex nature of water going
down the drain. The aim is to raise awareness in those that witness this
work at how each action has a reaction. The days of dumping waste far
away, are gone and each individual is now challenged to evaluate his part in
the creation of the vortex drain of our natural resources. At this point
lies the opportunity for change and creating a new and inspirational vortex
with the potential to uplift rather than destroy.”  They will be sourcing their materials from the Win Win Swop Shop, a recycling initiative started last year.site specific

site specific

site specificFor more information on the International Land Art Biennale 2013, events and artists visit   www.sitespecific.org.za

If you would like to visit Plettenberg Bay for this exciting event, please contact us on cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za or visit our www.cornerwayhouse.co.za