Voorkamerfest 2018: 31 Aug – 2 Sept

voorkamerfest2018.jpgVoorkamerfest is BACK with a passion and renewed energy to enchant and delight the lucky ones who manage to get a ticket.

Voorkamerfest is usually sold-out every year, so prepare yourself for the weekend-comeback of your life: Friday 31 August, Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September.

For those of you who have never experienced this truly South African cultural experience – this is what you are in for!

Festival-goers arrive at Evita se Perron 8 Arcadia Street in Darling, collect their colour coded tickets for various routes of different colours. They then queue for a taxi ride to their first venue where the first 25 minute performance starts, after which the taxi will take them to the second 25 minute adventure and then a third 25 minute surprise experience, returning thereafter, via the local taxi to Evita se Perron to enjoy the market vibes and connect with friends who have been on different routes, sharing their unique experience all over again! So within 100 minutes, three worlds of magic will be celebrated and new friends will be made. Owners of the homes are the theatre managers for those three days in September. After the years of experience, the people of Darling know how special each one of them has become to the success of this project!

Voorkamerfest was founded in 2004 by Inge Bos and Wim Visser, with help of Pieter-Dirk Uys and the inhabitants of Darling.

Founding sponsor is Stichting Doen (NL)

Voorkamerfest 2012 in Darling – 31 Aug, 1 & 2 Sept

Dear Voorkamerfest Fans

It’s that time of the year again!

Planning for VOORKAMERFEST 2012 in DARLING is in full swing!

Tickets are R195 pp for the Friday routes and R225pp for the Sat and Sun routes each, bookings open on 1 July.

Over the past year we have sent out numerous proposals for sponsorship to many organisations, corporations, banks, and government departments in both South Africa and the Netherlands.  However, we are finding that due to the restrictive financial climate worldwide, it has become necessary to seek underwriting support elsewhere.  We therefore appeal to all our faithful friends and offer the following to those able to give Voorkamerfest ongoing support:

As a Voorkamerfest Ambassador your donation of R200 a year will help to assure that this unique festival remains a definite date on the annual calendar. In return, you will be able to book your Voorkamerfest tickets 2 weeks prior to the official opening of bookings i.e. from Sunday 17 June.  Get in early because once bookings open, tickets sell out in a flash!


Your assistance as we move forward to assure the future for Voorkamerfest will be much appreciated!  We look forward to receiving your donation and your 2012 booking (any amount, although only donations of R200 or more will qualify for Voorkamerfest Ambassador status and priority booking)Here’s to another exciting line-up of artists for you again this year!

Please email the loverly Lizaan with your request and proof of payment for Ambassadorship – lizaan@evita.co.za



The Darling Festival / Standard Bank / Darling branch – (00)050111 /
account no. 083 273 689 / ref: surname, initial & AMB

Please eft for my attention or fax to 022 492 2851.

Festival Greetings!

Tasha St John-Reid

082 321 7542

I ♥ Darling Because…

This Q&A article was first published on the SA-Venues blog: http://blog.sa-venues.com/provinces/western-cape/love-darling


Hi, I’m Paul Martin from Aloe Cottage in Darling.

Darling IS BEST KNOWN FOR its won­der­fully diverse spring flowers, the Voorkamerfest Theatre and Arts FestivalEvita se Perron (the home of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout), great wine farms, art gal­ler­ies, country-style res­taur­ants and bis­tros, the Duckitt orchid nurs­ery, the friendly small-town atmo­sphere and relaxed coun­try life.
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT Evita se Perron where you can pose as “the most fam­ous white woman in South Africa” and take a humor­ous trip down South Africa’s memory lane at Boerassic Park.
THE BEST spring flower PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN AT the Tinie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve, Waylands Flower Reserve or at the orchid open days at Duckitt Nurseries on the first Saturday of the month from May to November.
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS CAN BE TAKEN while sip­ping wine at some of the local wine farms like Ormonde, CloofDarling CellarsGroote Post and Tukulu.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO cycle around the vil­lage and farm­lands with my cam­era. The Nguni cattle at Oude Post Farm are par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful with their speckled hides and long horns.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO browse the amaz­ing selec­tion of books at Book League.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS any time of the year, BECAUSE sum­mer offers trips to nearby Yzerfontein beach and long warm even­ings around the braai. The Darling Music Experience clas­sical fest­ival takes place in February. Autumn is ideal for wine tast­ing while the vine­yards turn to orange and gold. Winter brings misty morn­ing walks, and cosy nights with good food and wine. Spring brings the annual Darling Wildflower Show, Voorkamerfest, Rocking the Daisies music fest­ival and so much more …

MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS Chicory Cheese Café or Brig’s Barn.

FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST The Marmalade Cat.
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM Café Mosaic, known by the loc­als as ‘The Stoep’.
MY FAVOURITE bar­gain hunt­ing SPOT IS The Mantis Trading Store.
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY Kraalbosdam on a Friday night.
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO the Darling Country Market on the first Saturday morn­ing of the month at the Nitrophoska Building.

Darling’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS the local butchery, Darling Vleismark, per­fect for stock­ing up before return­ing to the city. And don’t miss the cheap homemade jams at the till!
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS enjoy the local beer, Darling Brew, avail­able at most res­taur­ants in Darling.

FOR SOME CULTURE , I LIKE TO GO TO the Voorkamerfest in September, where per­formers from South Africa and around the world give intim­ate per­form­ances in the ‘voork­amers’ (lounges) of houses in Darling. It is not to be missed.

TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO enjoy the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY mak­ing your own wine at the annual Darling Cellars Crush Day.
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS with my dogs at the Renosterveld Reserve at the top of the hill, where you have pan­or­amic views of the vil­lage and sur­round­ing farm­lands.
MY FAVOURITE gift and home­ware SHOP IS is the beau­ti­ful ware­house at the back of The Marmalade Cat.

MY FAVOURITE bird WATCHING SPOT IS from the kit­chen win­dow at Aloe Cottage, where the weaver birds put on a fant­astic dis­play build­ing their nests and show­ing off their dexterity.

IF YOU’RE HERE IN July, JOIN IN THE FUN AT Christmas in July at Evita se Perron.

MY FAVOURITE MUSEUM IS Darling Museum. Discover how Darling got its name and don’t miss the little shop; Ouma’s Treasures.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS Koekemakranka Backpackers, FOR ITS cre­at­ive and whacky interior, cre­ated by local artist and co-owner Omnia Grobler.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS Lelieblom Farm Restaurant where the kids can see and touch farm anim­als. Enjoy a lazy week­end lunch where you dine with your hosts and enjoy true coun­try hospitality.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS tak­ing a leis­urely drive around the coun­tryside.
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO go wine tast­ing, stock up my cel­lar with excel­lent local wines, then enjoy a cel­eb­rat­ory meal at Hilda’s Kitchen at Groote Post.

THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS the dif­fer­ence that one per­son, Pieter-Dirk Uys, has made to a com­munity by put­ting Darling on the map and giv­ing so much to sup­port devel­op­ment pro­jects in the area.

I ♥ Darling BECAUSE the people are friendly and wel­com­ing, the vil­lage is authen­tic and not overly touristy, and it’s an hour from Cape Town… but a world away!

Aloe Cottage

Aloe Cottage offers lux­ury self-catering hol­i­day accom­mod­a­tion in Darling, near to Cape Town, South Africa. We are pet-friendly! The hol­i­day home has been beau­ti­fully dec­or­ated with top qual­ity linen, fur­niture and art­work and enjoys pos­sibly the best views in Darling — over rolling hills and farm­lands to the dis­tant moun­tains. Aloe Cottage is the per­fect romantic get­away for couples as well as for week­ends away with friends or fam­ily holidays.

Visit Aloe Cottage
View Rates or make a Booking

Desirable Digits

Chicory Cheese — +27 (0)72 852‑6644
Brig’s Barn — +27 (0)22 492‑2451
The Marmalade Cat — +27 (0)22 492‑2515
Bistro Seven — +27 (0)22 492‑3626
Café Mosaic — +27 (0)22 492‑2307
Kraalbosdam — +27 (0)22 492‑3803
Lelieblom Farmhouse — +27 (0)82 573‑7736

Introducing the Darling Stagger

Are you a hardcore mountain lover, a twitcher, or botanist, do you want to take your family on an easy walk to appreciate nature? Do you see yourself as a  modern-day strandloper?

The Darling Stagger (launching September 2011) :- A slow-paced, mouth-watering hiking trail from the hills of Darling through wine and olive farms to !Khwa ttu San Cultural Centre and down to Yzerfontein on the coast.

It’s great to see South Africans finally picking up on what the Italians have known for centuries; that this is the way life is meant to be lived – slowly and simply, with good food and wine and good company, in a natural, outdoor setting. This is a trail for those who know how to experience the good things in life.

This 2.5 day, 25km trail begins in Darling. Tucked away between hills of vineyards and golden wheat fields, the trail winds through olive groves and wine farms up to the highest point in Darling where you will take your time sampling local fruits of the vine direct from the farmer.

The trail then meanders through renosterveld and fynbos full of flowers, game and birds, en route to !Khwa ttu where you spend the first night at the unique San Cultural Centre. After a leisurely breakfast, we continue downhill through the strandveld to Tygerfontein Farm along the coast to Yzerfontein, sampling local seafood along the way.

These new 2.5 day slackpacking trails, without the schlep, are guided and catered, comfortable and safe.  Hikers carry a small daypack, lifts and luggage are organised and local folk and restaurants prepare meals in traditional West Coast style.

For more information, full itineraries and prices and to book please call or email.


The Darling Stagger Slack Packing Trail

Review by Louise de Waal

Courtesy of http://baobabtravel.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/the-darling-stagger-slack-packing-trail/ 


Earlier this month (July 2011) the Cape West Coast Trails were launched within the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR). The CWCBR, with the West Coast National Park at its centre, is one of the 6 UNESCO recognised Biosphere Reserves in South Africa.

Paul and I were invited to explore the brand new Darling Stagger, a cycling and walking slack packing trail between Yzerfontein and Darling. The Darling Stagger is one of the five trails planned within the CWCBR. The other four include the Eve’s Trail (a walk mostly along the West Coast National Park beach), the Five Bay Trail (a coast hugging walk between Paternoster and Jacobsbaai), Wheels of Time (a cycling tour from Mamre via West Coast National Park to !Khwa Ttu), and the Berg River Canooze (a kayak trail from Hopefield to Velddrift).

Why a Biosphere Reserve?

With Cape Town rapidly expanding north, West Coast communities recognised that action was required to ensure that conflict between urban expansion and the diverse ecosystems on the West Coast would not get out of hand and appropriate development plans were put into place. Hence the CWCBR was proclaimed in 2000.

The idea behind the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme is a sustainable and balanced approach between human development and nature conservation. Part of the sustainable development of the CWCBR is enhancing its tourism potential and the Cape West Coast Trails are part of this philosophy.

The Darling Stagger Stage 1

At lunch time we left Cape Town on an unseasonally warm & sunny day. The meeting point just outside Darling at Alexanderfontein Farm was also the first activity of the weekend. Olive tasting at the home of Darling Olives is an all-round olive education on growing, pressing, and use of these originally Mediterranean fruits. As a non-olive eater, I was fascinated and partly converted. A total surprise to see how many uses olives can have. From your simple virgin olive oil and cured olives to olive pastes and olive cooking & bath salts. Maybe I am pretty ignorant when it comes to these little fruits, but the biggest revelation was to learn that black olives are just ripe green ones. Always believed these were different types….

After this olive experience we set off to !Khwa ttu, San Education and Culture Centre and home for the night. We worked up a bit of an appetite with a cycle from the Bush Village Camp to the Atlantic Ocean for a traditional African sundowner. Staying in locavore style, we had a Darling Brew, a slow beer inspired by the rare geometric tortoise. Although a reasonably light beer, the return cycle was far more challenging than the first leg. Or maybe it was more due to the fact that we ended up cycling in the pitch dark, under the most magnificent night sky? The Scorpio constellation was a gentle reminder that it really still is winter in South Africa.

Returning to camp, a typical West Coast dinner was awaiting us, mussel soup, grilled snoek, and several traditional deserts prepared by Natasha and Cariline from Langebaan. All flushed down with the lightly wooded Quercus Gold Chardonnay from the Darling Cellars.

Was this setting the standard for the rest of this slack packing weekend? Can it get even better?

The Real Darling Stagger

Waking up after a chilly but comfortable night, I bumped into yet more great cooks. Natasha & Kyle from Chefs on the Move in Scarborough, although not quite Darling local, were here to show our guides, Morgan and Jacky, what can be achieved with some TLC and fresh ingredients. For a change I was not the odd one out, the lonesome vegetarian, the one declining a full cooked breakfast. This time breakfast consisted of Mobi’s organic granola with fruit & yoghurt, a vegetarian spicy Lebanese take on a cooked breakfast and good quality coffee. Basically I was in heaven.

Coming down to earth with a bang, I realised why this weekend was called the Darling Stagger. After all this fabulous food, walking is no longer an option. So we just staggered to !Khwa ttu, where Ivan gave us an introduction to San medicinal knowledge of the Fynbos vegetation. Fynbos is not only the most diverse vegetation types known on earth, it is also rich in medicinal purposes.

From !Khwa ttu we walked through the fields, vineyards, and olive groves of Ormonde and Alexanderfontein with stunning views of Table Mountain, Dassen Island, and the Atlantic Ocean behind us. The terrain varies from sandy & grid tracks to some tarmac roads or just through the fields. The trail is not hard, you only carry your day pack and the distance is limited to about 15 km. I had no problems at all, so basically anybody in reasonable shape can do it.

After about three quarters of the hike, we arrived at an idyllic setting in the olive groves, where a Bedouin type tent was erected, straw bales set out to give the old legs a good rest and a delicious light lunch of salads ready to be devoured. Natasha, Kyle and Morgan had done an sterling job!

The last stage of the stagger was fortunately mostly downhill, a good thing as drinking wine at lunchtime and climbing hills is not a good combination. Little did we know however that more wine was on the itinerary with a full blown Ormonde wine tasting. For some strange reason, nobody seems to quite remember how many wines we tried, but I can tell you we sampled the whole Alexanderfontein, Ondine, and Ormonde ranges.

The evening programme was the cherry on the cake – Evita Bezuidenhout’s Christmas in July show and babotie at Evita se Perron in Darling. Having heard so much about Evita se Perron and Pieter-Dirk Uys’ character Evita Bezuidenhout, I can confirm that all the praise is well-deserved and more. She is not only funny, but very sharp and willing to stick her neck out by tackling political issues in a way that everybody, regardless age, gender and race, will listen to and take note off. In addition, she does amazing work raising funds for the Darling Trust. Girl you totally rock!

The Darling Stagger finale

The second night we stayed in the heart of the sleepy village of Darling in Trinity Lodge. Here you don’t need an alarm on Sunday, as the church bells, calling Darling’s community to the early morning service, wake you well on time for breakfast.

After breakfast it was time to burn some of those calories with a short cycle through the village, a visit to the fascinating Darling museum and Nicolaas Maritz’s Studio Gallery.  Nicolaas, a well-established local artist, decided it was time to have a proper Studio Gallery, so people can have a look ‘behind the work’ and understand it better. He created the most incredible house full to the rafters with art, mostly his own but also some of his fellow South African artists. You roam from one room into the next, into his waterwise garden and his studio, and lose yourself in his intriguing work described by art critics as zippy, post-modern ethno-centric punk, naive, and challenging. No idea what that means, but I love his work.

The finale to the Darling Stagger is wine tasting and lunch at the historic Groote Post wine farm. I have always liked their wines, but the Groote Post Chenin Blanc 2011 is exceptionally good and great value for money. The mini ‘Ice Age’ last spring led to a very late harvest of this cultivar and the beautiful guava and green-apple flavours.

Overall the Darling Stagger slack packing trail was a great success with fabulous food, wine tasting to make anybody’s mouth water, mixed with a good amount of calorie burning of walking and cycling, and great company. Thank you guys for hosting us!

tel: 086 187 2457 (TRAILS)
Cape West Coast Biosphere Central Office: 022 451 2648
Cape West Coast Biosphere Hub R27: 022 492 2750
083 261 7960 (Ivan)
083 628 3426 (Sheryl)
email: trails@capebiosphere.co.za
web: www.capebiosphere.co.za/trails
notes: Special offer! Ask about reduced prices on initial exploratory trails.

Tannie se Tuin

Tannie se TuinOn a wet and windy Friday afternoon, volunteers turned up from all corners of Darling bringing with them a wonderful variety of plants from their own gardens to ‘Tannie se Tuin’, for a community planting day!

After a rainy morning, the clouds parted just in time for the volunteers armed with spades and other implements, to start the planting. Within an hour, this veritable army of volunteers under the guidance of Will van der Merwe had the whole garden set out. More rain over the weekend was a bonus in giving these new additions to Tannie se Tuin life and a fresh start!

Thanks to Pieter-Dirk Uys for this wonderful initiative and gift, Will for the implementation, Rika and Loretta (the newest volunteers at The Darling Trust, this being their first project) who mobilised more volunteers, The Darling Angels for yet again ‘mucking in’ and all the other budding gardeners who braved the weather giving their time for the community. As Tannie Evita would say: “ If the people lead, the government will follow!”

Something of great beauty for the Darling community to enjoy

Something of great beauty for the Darling community to enjoy


Darling Angels

Darling Angels

creating an artwork

creating an artwork

Anna organises the troops

Anna organises the troops

All smiles for a good cause

All smiles for a good cause

Armed with tools of mass production

Armed with tools of mass production

Coenie en die Tannie: 24 September 2010

This unique show with these two acclaimed South African celebrities should not be missed – the show is exclusive to Evita se Perron & will not be repeated. Please see this as your donation for the year to a very active and worthy charitable cause – The Darling Trust  – in return you will enjoy an evening of top class entertainment right on your doorstep!

Coenie de Villiers is doing this show free, so please help us give him a warm & full house to thank him for this wonderful contribution to our Darling community via The Darling Trust www.thedarlingtrust.org

Phone Beryl now on 022-492 3930 bookings@evita.co.za

Ons het Luciano Pavarotti saam sien optree met Sting. Nataniel en Mimi Coertse. Madonna en Lady Gaga. Maar nou is daar een aand van unieke vermaak.

Coenie de Villiers en Evita Bezuidenhout saam op die verhoog op Erfenisdag 24 September – singend en skertsend.
Ons Suid-Afrikaanse erfenis is ryk aan musiek en liriek, aan kook en geniet.  Daarby is Coenie de Villiers ons geliefste komponis en kunstenaar, hierdie keer saam op die verhoog met die Tannie wat al vir 30 jaar die land se bekendste wit vrou was, en is.

Die aand vind eksklusief plaas by Evita se Perron in Darling en dis alles ten bate van The Darling Trust (www.thedarlingtrust.org)

Bespreek by Beryl 022 492 3930 /

Coenie en die Tannie

Coenie en die Tannie

Official opening of The Darling Health, Sport and Education Centre

Underneath a scorching hot sun, more than 400 people arrived to attend the official opening of The Darling Health, Sport and Education Centre. Close to 200 children waited patiently while the tension and temperature was rising. Evita Bezuidenhout, the most famous white woman in South Africa, welcomed everybody with the words “In Darling we don’t wait for things to happen, we make things happen”.

The community choir, conducted by Bryn Juliana-Jones sang for the guests followed by a dance routine performed by Jikeleza Dance Company. Finally the big moment arrived. Riaan Neethling, chairperson of The Darling Trust, started the countdown and Evita Bezuidenhout, Sabine Plattner and Maude Goliath approached the ribbon. The second they cut the ribbon all the children jumped into the pool. What a beautiful moment! There was not a dry eye or child on the premises!

Courtesy of The Darling Trust and Evita se Perron.

Concerts in Aid of The Darling Trust

As of 2010 concerts will be held at Evita se Perron in aid of The Darling Trust. Outstanding artists will be invited to perform at Evita se Perron, from classical music to cabaret, drama to comedy. The following concerts are the first of our series.

27 February 2010
19h00 at Evita se Perron
Entrance fee: R 70
“My man, Jacques Brel”

Performed by Naomi Morgan (narrator), Herman van den Bergh (vocals) and Matthys Maree (piano). Songs which will be performed include:
  • Die grysaards (Les vieux)
  • Mathilde
  • Moenie uitmaak nie  (Ne me quitte pas)
  • Marieke
  • My lae land  (Le plat pays)
  • Vlamingvrou (Les Flamandes)
  • Amsterdam
  • Drinklied (La bière)
  • Die sterwende (Le moribond)
  • Jojo
  • Die lied van die ou minnaars (La chanson des vieux amants)
  • Om met liefde alleen (Quand on n’a que l’amour)

Lees meer oor hierdie produksie by: My man Jacques Brel
Lees meer oor die kunstenaars by: Herman van den Bergh
Naomi Morgan

Upcoming shows:
13 March 2010
19h00 at Evita se Perron
Entrance fee: To be confirmed
Cello and Piano

27 March 2010
19h00 at Evita se Perron
Entrance fee: To be confirmed
Owen Britz-van Ryneveld (flute) and Pieter van Zyl (piano). The programme includes pieces
by JS Bach, CM Widor, O Messiaen and Enescu.

For bookings, please contact Beryl at tel 022 492 3930 or e-mail bookings@evita.co.za

The Darling Trust – supporting our little Darlings

The Darling TrustSince its inception in 2003, The Darling Trust has been running various projects which benefit the community of Darling. The main beneficiaries of these programmes are children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Their work includes:

The Outreach Projects

This includes the Community Garden, music, art and drama lessons for children of the community and outings for the senior citizens.


Darling Early Literacy Programme
Darling AHA-Read Programme
Darling Parenting Project

The Darling Craft Cooperative

The Craft and Skills Development Centre trains unemployed people in the art of beading, embroidery, sewing and quilting. The centre has now evolved into a cooperative.


Providing free transport every day for children living with disabilities to a day care centre in Atlantis that provides them with professional care and therapy. People living with HIV/AIDS are also transported to a clinic in Malmesbury to receive vital ARV treatment and medication. Food parcels are provided to families in need.

Special Project: Health and Sport Centre

Darling Health & Sport Centre website

Darling Health & Sport Centre website

The new Health and Sport Centre will offer a swimming pool for the community as well as an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre and an activities room. Please visit www.thelittletrustthatcan.org.za for more information and to make an online donation to this project.

How you can help

With your help The Darling Trust can continue their excellent work. The easiest way to help is to make a regular monthly contribution by signing this debit order authorisation form. For more information visit our website at www.thedarlingtrust.org.

Join now and stand the chance to win 6 bottles of superb wine from the Darling region! The first lucky draw is the end of March 2010.