A few years ago I became obsessed with getting a holiday home. I wasn’t well and I needed somewhere to retreat to on weekends after a long week at the coal-face of fashion. Somewhere that it was quiet and I could hibernate. But with enough spice to make it interesting when I was feeling better. After all I am NOT an ‘outdoors’ kind of person. I needed what I have come to encapsulate in the phrase, “the perfect blend of cappuccino and country.”
When I approached my sister to share the cost of the new house and create a family holiday home, she was very specific about what she wanted too. Nowhere that was really windy. There must be things to do for the kids. It mustn’t be more than two hours drive away – because of the kids. It must be somewhere other than Hermanus. Well. We pretty much went through every small town within the two-hour drive limit and kept coming back to Hermanus. Until I remembered. Stanford. Ten minutes the other side of Hermanus. We went to go and have a look.
I have to say we had the best introduction to the town. Food. In between looking at properties, we managed to squeeze in several delicious meals all made locally and with fresh ingredients. It has come to be one of my favourite things about my breaks in Stanford. The food. And the people of course who provide the food.
My stories about the people of Stanford in the past two years could fill a book. And just as I start to think that a village can be a bit invasive, I am smacked about the head by the warmth and care that the villagers show each other. There have been some tough times in the last short while that truly shows one the value of being a part of a community.
Make no mistake, there is no shortage of fun there too. I love the monthly night markets. The multiple Christmas events. The village am-dram production I watched last year – and loved. The music nights in the Speakeasy. The braais and breakfasts and coffees and dinners and drinks on the patio that I have shared with visitors and locals alike. It has all been amazing.
There may be mostly dirt roads in Stanford, but the village has the heart of a fashionista. The coolest things are all available there. But within walking distance. And in the quiet. There is nothing so peaceful as a morning walk by the river. A night under the stars. Or a rain-soaked weekend in the country. You should try it sometime.
All photos by instagram.com/JustineSeymour