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

Evita Bezuidenhout wins The Johannesburg Press Club Very Special Award!

The Johannesburg Press Club today announced that it will be making a Special Award to the very much organised and internationally acclaimed Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, former Ambassadress (Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Emeritus) to the former bantustan Bapetikosweti of the old South Africa. Mrs. Bezuidenhout is getting this Very Special Award for her contribution to winning awards and creating news over many decades.

Evita Bezuidenhout

In the new South Africa Evita is still the most famous and busiest white woman as she juggles family, a challenging career and a demanding social calendar. In 2010 her best-selling cook book Evita’s Kossie Sikelela was shortlisted for the Gourmand Awards in Paris.

“In the spirit of being both a former and a contemporary personality”, says JPC Chairperson Clare van Zwieten, “we were pleased to accept the generous offer from Dimitri & Debra Vardopoulos, owners of one of Greenside’s most charming restaurants, now known as Milos but, formerly, by the name of Mandragora, to host this very special lunch for the JPC.”

During lunch this award-winning writer and diplomatic power broker will speak to JPC members about Evita’s BlackBessie, a common-sense practical journal, and your perfect organiser. In the age of BlackBerrys, iPods, iPhones and such, Evita Bezuidenhout presents her own version of surviving electromagnetic blackout, or just a technologically challenged state of mind: Evita’s BlackBessie is a journal with a difference that includes an abundance of entertaining photos, wisdoms and very practical advice from the most adored white woman in South Africa.

Evita Bezuidenhout's BlackbessieTaking a page from Tannie Evita Blackbessie, as well as advice from their many patrons and media food critics, Dimitris and Debra, realised that their excellent food had to be complemented by an even better name. Mandragora was simply more than any mouth could chew! So, to make things more palatable, it was decided to name the restaurant after the beautiful Aegean island of Milos. “The Greek island of Milos in the Cyclades is a surprise for those who are adventurous enough to take a detour from the other popular islands. Milos, in Greenside, also always will be a place of excellent food, great fun and good-hearted people.”

After having been bestowed the JPC Very Special Award Mrs. Bezuidenhout will officially be known as The Rt Hon, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout, Esquiress: Rt because she is always right but not right-wing; honourable because she has always been such; and, an Esquiress – a title of dignity which ranks way above that of gentlewoman!

*      *      *

Signed copies of Evita’s BlackBessie are available from Book League in Darling (they also post nationwide and internationally). Cost is R180.00. E-mail bookleague@telkomsa.net or phone 022 4923153.

Book details

Evita Bezuidenhout releases ‘Evita’s BlackBessie’ book & journal

Evita's BlackBessieThe most famous white woman in South Africa helps you to organise your life in a fun way with EVITA’S BLACKBESSIE / EVITA SE BLACKBESSIE.

In the age of BlackBerrys, iPhones, iPads and such, Evita Bezuidenhout presents her own version of surviving a technologically challenged state of mind: a notebook focused on organising one’s life with enjoyment and humour. This is much, much more than a journal and includes photos and sayings of Evita.

In the old South Africa, Evita Bezuidenhout had been the very organised ambassadress of the bantustan Bapetikosweti. In the new South Africa she is still the most famous, and busiest, white woman as she juggles family, a challenging career and a demanding social calendar.

Click to view Evita Bezuidenhout's promotional video

Click to view Evita Bezuidenhout's promotional video

Pieter-Dirk Uys lives, like Evita, in Darling. He is a well-known playwright and has for decades created memorable characters for one-man shows here and abroad.

Signed copies of Evita’s BlackBessie are available from Book League in Darling (they also post nationwide and internationally). Cost is R180.00. E-mail bookleague@telkomsa.net or phone 022 4923153.

Book details

See also: Evita’s Kossie Sikelela

‘The Delta’ book launch: 25 Feb 2011

Please join us


The Mantis Mall

on Friday 25th Feb 2011

at 17h30 for 18h00

when we welcome

Tony Park

who will talk about his new book

The Delta

RSVP: Anne 022 4922667 or Wendy 0836587581

E-mail: bookleague@telkomsa.net


About The Delta

Ex-soldier turned mercenary Sonja Kurtz is on the run in Africa after taking part in a failed assassination attempt on the life of the president of Zimbabwe. Elsewhere, groups of revolutionaries are plotting to destroy the dam being erected on the Okavango Delta and simultaneously bring about a regime change.

About the Author

Australian writer Tony Park was born in 1964. He fell in love with South Africa on a short trip in 1995 and he and his wife now divide their time between their home in Sydney and a tent in the Kruger Park. He is a qualified military parachutist and a major in the Australian Army Reserve.

He has written several best sellers set in Southern Africa.


Order your signed copy of ‘Evita’s Kossie Sikelela’

Evita's Kossie Sikelela cookbookThere have been numerous enquiries, especially from overseas, regarding how to order a copy of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout’s new cookbook ‘Evita’s Kossie Sikelela’ (ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans as ‘Evita’s se Kossie Sikelela’).

Well Darling’s much loved bookshop, Book League, has come to the rescue. They will post you an autographed copy of the book anywhere in the world! Or pick up a copy in-store (they are located in the Mantis Mall, next to the Darling police station).

R150.00 + R30 postage in South Africa
For worldwide delivery contact Book League at bookleague@telkomsa.net or tel +27 (0)22 492 2667.
(Alternatively, unsigned books will be for sale in leading bookshops throughout South Africa.)

Tannia Evita launches cookbook: ‘Evita’s Kossie Sikelela’

Evita's Kossie Sikelela cookbookYou are invited to the launch of Evita’s Kossie Sikelela/Evita se Kossie Sikelela – the South African cookbook that only Tannie Evita could have produced!

At: Evita se Perron, Arcadia St, Darling
Date: Saturday 6th March
10h30 for 11h00
RSVP: Book League, tel 022 4922667

The launch will be followed by the show A Koeksister for Zuma @14h00
To book please phone Beryl: 022 4923930


If the road to reconciliation runs through a country’s belly, Evita’s Kossie Sikelela cookbook provides its recipe for peace. She invites the whole country, the whole world, to her table where everybody can feast on dishes like green bean bredie and cumin chicken with sweet potatoes. Who’ll be able to moan and groan between mouthfuls of walnut balls and pampoenkoekies, or baked apple clowns? Truly, there’s nothing like a generous helping of rabbit in red wine or guinea fowl with sultanas & hanepoot to bring forth brotherly love.

And liewe aarde, you will definitely want to be best friends with the orange trifle and Tannie’s melktert. Evita is always well prepared and includes recipes for diabetics and vegetarians, Halaal and Kosher dishes, and even recipes to keep as fit as she does.

Whether she entertains her grandchildren, caters for a picnic or plans a Christmas menu, Evita cooks up a storm.

Richly illustrated by artist Linda Vicquery, the expert behind the dishes.

Also included: many photographs of Evita and a preface by none other than Sophia Loren. Unfolded, the dust jacket is a laminated full-colour poster.

Also available in Afrikaans as Evita se Kossie Sikelela.

About the authors

For many years in the old South Africa, Evita Bezuidenhout had been the ambassadress of the bantustan Bapetikosweti. In the new democratic South Africa she is still the most famous white woman in SA and often finds herself in the company of the powerful and famous.

Pieter-Dirk Uys lives, like Evita, in Darling. He is a well-known playwright and has for decades created memorable characters for one-man shows here and abroad. He is also an Aids activist and promotes safe-sex to teenagers.

Linda Vicquery is a chef and painter. She used to design books for Tafelberg-Uitgewers. She now lives in the south of France.

(Review courtesy of http://umuzi.book.co.za/blog/2010/02/10/get-stuck-into-evitas-kossie-sikelela)

See also: Evita’s BlackBessie