2015 Voorkamerfest bookings open

2015 Voorkamerfest

BOOKINGS OPEN!!

BE SURE TO SECURE YOUR VISIT TO DARLING FOR AN EXPERIENCE YOU’LL NOT FORGET
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN BEFORE, YOU NEED NO INTRODUCTION TO THIS ONE-OF-KIND FESTIVAL.

BOOKINGS: CLICK HERE   http://voorkamerfest.cramgo.net/programmaview.aspx
or contact: Chanda: 082 321 7542 / bookings@voorkamerfest-darling.co.za

As wild flowers start budding in and around the west coast town of Darling, organisers of the Voorkamerfest are busy preparing for the town’s unique annual performing arts event to take place during the first weekend of spring… with flowers in full bloom!

The Voorkamerfest, now 12 YEARS OLD! sees 21 original performances staged in residents’ homes – whether or not they have a ‘voorkamer’ (sitting room) – being invited into residents’ homes to see a world-class show is not the only unique aspect of this festival.

The entire event is designed around the element of surprise as ticket holders do not know what shows they are going to see. Even the homeowners who volunteer their sitting rooms as a venue don’t know which artist they are to host for the weekend until a few hours before the first performance.

Rather than buying tickets to see specific shows, promoting a spirit of serendipity sees audiences buying a ticket for a performance routes.  A maximum of 26 people are accommodated on one of seven routes and are picked up by a local taxi that transports them to a series of three different shows in three different homes before returning them to Evita se Perron (restaurant/theatre) at the old Darling train station which forms the festival hub.

The small town becomes a hive of activity as local taxi owners buzz audiences from show to show on their set routes between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon as diverse acts by nationally and internationally recognised artists are performed.
Shows range from mime to cabaret and comedy to drama, national and international adds to the diverse flavour of this one-of-a-kind experience…

R5 of every ticket of R195 & R10 of every ticket of R235 sold is donated to The Darling Trust (www.thedarlingtrust.org) which works toward education and upliftment in the local community.

The festive, child-friendly atmosphere of the Voorkamerfest weekend is enhanced by outside entertainment and arts, crafts and food stalls at Evita se Perron, where each route departs and ends. The town also has a number of restaurants and coffee shops all supporting the festival and welcoming all who are ready to soak up the good ole country hospitality!

This year Voorkamerfest takes place over the weekend 4, 5 & 6 September 2015.
Tickets are R195 per person for the Friday evening route and R235 per person for all other routes.

A free concert will be staged on Sunday 6 September at 16h00 when the participating artists come together for a final bow in Darling East, directions available when you collect your tickets on the weekend.

BOOKING INFO

  • Fri 4 Sept 2015 @ 17h00 @ R195 ea
  • Sat 5 Sept 2015 @ 12h00 @ R235 ea
  • Sat 5 Sept 2015 @ 17h00 @ R235 ea
  • Sun 6 Sept 2015 @ 12h00 @ R235 ea

(Please note: R5 of every R195 ticket and R10 of every R235 ticket sold goes to The Darling Trust in Darling, www.thedarlingtrust.org – thank you for your contribution!)
BANKING DETAILS:

  • The Darling Festival Trust
  • Standard Bank
  • Darling branch: 050111
  • Account no.: 083 273 689
  • Ref: surname, initial & VKF
  • Please eft for my attention or fax to 022 492 2851 to secure your booking.

It is essential for you to be at Evita se Perron no later than 1 hour before the show to collect your colour coded tickets at the booking office and start absorbing the weekend’s festivities! Please be sure to read all the information below to help make your weekend a relaxed and unique experience.

Thank you for your support!

Don’t forget:

  • No alcohol or smoking permitted on the taxis or in the theatre homes
  • The colour coded tickets are dated – please check your tickets when you receive them.  NB If an incorrect ticket is used on the day, the finely balanced system of dividing the audience into the taxis/routes will collapse.
  • To ensure that you don’t see the same shows twice, stick with the tickets you are allocated.

OTHER ACTIVITIES ON THE WEEKEND

  • The Voorkamerfest food & crafts market at Evita se Perron will be even more vibrant this year. Relax & absorb the local spirit & Darling fare.
  • Chanda Barrows will also take your booking & payment for the popular Perron Festival Party on Saturday 5 Sept @ 21h00 – tickets @ R85pp & sell out fast every year – cash bar available – (no meal included but please support all the many food stalls at the Market)
  • Sunday 6 September 16h00: All the artists who have performed over the weekend, graciously do 5 minutes of their show free at an open air performance  in Darling East – this ends up being a vibrant event with the artists … jamming and sharing.  A great way to end an exciting weekend – open to everyone!

Did you know you can ‘jump the queue’ and book 2 weeks ahead of regular bookings opening?

As a Voorkamerfest Ambassador a minimum 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. Get in early because once bookings open, tickets sell out in a flash!

Make sure you are in line for this priority booking and subscribe today to become a valued Ambassador for 2016.

Please email  tasha@voorkamerfest-darling.co.za with your request and proof of payment for Ambassadorship…

BANKING DETAILS:

  • The Darling Festival Trust
  • Standard Bank
  • Darling branch: 050111
  • Account no.: 083 273 689
  • Ref: surname, initial & AMB
  • Please eft for my attention or fax to 022 492 2851.

See you there
Festival greetings!

Advertisements

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

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.

Education

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.

Health

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.