Clarens News 4th July, 2014: It’s a holiday somewhere?
Contents: It’s a holiday somewhere?; We have a Kokkedoor winner!;  Gauteng Adventure & Outdoor Expo 2014 – Report back; Save our Horses  AHS Campaign; Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Delosperma lavisiae; CRA, CVC and CVFA Membership appeal; N3 Gateway:  Bon Appetit keeping Clarens in the limelight; The Platteland Preview – Report back; Music : This weekend; It’s time to plant your fruit trees; Restuarant Specials; Coming Events: Always something happening in Clarens; Rugby; Classifieds; Something useful to know; An information tool; Making Clarens News Work for you; Congratulations



Clarens News header photo Freestate scene

Unfortunately, it’s business as usual in Clarens.   Our obsession with snow – will it or won’t it – continues.   Keep an eye on our facebook page where we will post all relevant snow reports as they come in.   It seems that there is not enough moisture in the air for there to be good snow falls (and the Freestate winter scene above which was photographed last week certainly looks dry.)   Even so, there seems to be some snow on its way and even a sprinkling would be fun.

We have a Kokkedoor winner!

ELSA BUYS - Clarens Kokkedoor winner


As anyone who has  ever stopped over at Cafe Moulin (on the road from Clarens to Golden Gate) knows – Elsa Buys is a great cook, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that she together with Johnny Hamman won the Kyknet Kokkedoor competition.

The Kokkedoor competition ran over 13 weeks culminating in a giant midnight feast where the prizewinners were announced. And what a feast it was – just watching it on TV was enough to make your tummy rumble.

Congratulations Elsa –  you’re simply the best!    Kokkedoor on facebook    Kokkedoor website

 Gauteng Adventure & Outdoor Expo 2014 – Report back

Clarens Tourism Forum logo


Fran Zaaiman and Louw van Biljon ” two Clarens soldiers” represented Clarens at the Gauteng Adventure & Outdoor Expo held at Waterfall Estate, Johannesburg on May 30, 31 and June 1, 2014.   Louw has submitted a report on their experience and how they went about marketing Clarens.   It makes very interesting reading but sadly, despite their very brave efforts,  highlights our shortcomings when it comes to marketing our town.   Click here to read the full report.  Since we are all dependent on  people visiting this town this report is a MUST READ for all our business owners.   We have a lot of work to do if we want Clarens to remain The Destination.

Save our Horses  AHS Campaign

Horses in Clarens - African Horse Sickness Campaign

There are 4 major viruses killing our horses in SA. : African Horse Sickness, West Nile, EEV and Middelburg Virus.   In an effort to stop our horses from dying  Fund raising rides  are being planned throughout the country to create awareness and to raise funds to vaccinate horses belonging to those communities who cannot afford to vaccinate their horses.  (The blanket vaccination of horses  is no longer done by the State.)   The rides are due to take  place in August, just before the major vaccination time which usually takes place in September.  The first ride is to take place on  16th August, 2014,  when riders will ride from Shumba Valley to a beautiful historic farm just outside Fouriesburg.   Click here to read more.

The Twitcher

Clarens News The Twitcher

Don’t you love a mystery?  A real one, I mean, involving a disappearing stream and sinking monuments.  Well of course you do.  Unless you are particularly fond of the Clarens village square, which you will note I have avoided terming a green for now.  At least for the next month or two, anyway.

So here’s the plot: Once upon a time, in a bygone era of creaking leather bridles and the clatter of unshod hooves, there was a tiny settlement hard by what we shall call Stone Mountain (well, they couldn’t spell ‘Horeb’ in those far off days).  The population, if that is not too formal a title for an unruly assortment of mountain people in veldskoens, spent their days wondering where they were and experimenting with new ways to render themselves insensible with Sotho Mountain Cabbage.  Entertainment was limited, apart from a one-legged duck, and their limited attention span was focused on the natural phenomena of the district.  The predominant feature, a mountain rising sharply to their west, presented a perfect profile of a well-known Boer Republic President, eyebrows and all, which of course they didn’t know, since there was no golf course to stand upon to contemplate the great man’s visage.  Nor did they have a street café to disport themselves in.  Or art galleries by the dozen.  In fact, all they had was what Oom Koos wistfully called two-thirds of bugger all.

Well, not entirely true: They had a stream of rushing water which tumbled down from a spring to the south, which was ironically (but lovingly) named the kleinJordaanstroompie. Read more


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Delosperma lavisiae

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve Delosperma lavisiae

Damien Coulson head ranger Clarens Village Nature ReserveDamien Coulson

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-monthly Plant of Interest”. This week we’re focusing on a succulent of the Mesembryanthemaceae (Vygie/Ice Plant) family.

Delosperma lavisiae (Mountain Vygie in English, Bergvygie in Afrikaans and Mabone in Sesotho), is a perennial succulent herb which tends to form mats in higher attitude rocky areas. This succulent is endemic to the Eastern Mountain Region and grows at altitudes of up to 2650 m A.S.L.

D. lavisiae can be differentiated from similar spp. such as D. sutherlandii (covered in an earlier issue) by comparing characteristic features such as the number of flowers/plant (several vs. 1-3 for D. sutherlandii) as well as leaf morphology, size and colouration. The photos below were taken on a top of a mountain ridge in close proximity to a section of the Kloof Mountain Trail during the summer of last year. Most plants die when exposed to too much salt – D. lavisiae thrives in these conditions and it’s believed that the salt-content of the leaves lowers their freezing point to reduce the likelihood of frost forming  in winter and damaging them.  Read more


CRA, CVC and CVFA Membership appeal

Clarens News has been asked to to send out another one of those nagging reminders:
It is half way through the year, and it is disappointing to see that very few subs have been received for the three Clarens organisations – Ratepayers Association, Village Conservancy and  Village Fire Sector.  Most of you know how hard these folk work, tirelessly attending the dreaded meetings and physically getting stuck in with all the things that need doing in and around our Village, keeping it attractive, nagging the Municipality and keeping the Village safe from fire.
All that is asked is for you to support them with a subscription of R300.00 per year (until 31 December 2014) with 50% discount for pensioners.
They really do need all the support and help from these subs to keep these organisations going.  The list of things they do and continue to do is endless.
Please join up, but please ignore this if you have paid!
An EFT or cash would be preferable, as cheques have to be taken into Bethlehem.
CRA, CVC and CVFA    

Click here for your membership form, bank details etc.

N3 Gateway:  Bon Appetit keeping Clarens in the limelight

Clarens Bon Appetit Recipe: Melkkos

Bon Appetit is featured in the latest N3 Gateway blog with their recipe Melkkos a la French.  It looks absolutely delicious.  Click here to see the recipe.

When N3 Gateway’s representative Elsa Human was at the CTF AGM she mentioned that sending in recipes was a good way to stay in the limelight.   Well done Valerie for taking up the challenge.

Elsa Human can be contacted at

The Platteland Preview – Report back

Clarens News Platteland Preview  Smithfield

Last weekend’s Platteland Preview event at Smithfield was an eye opener: Fantastic Art, Amazing Theatre, Music, and a chance to meet and mingle with artists, actors and musicians on their way to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.   It was a fun-filled and enlightening event and a fine example of what can happen when a community comes together to do something special for their town.  The organizers were also clever enough to make use of the Preview Program to insert snippets of information and a map of the town so that it would continue to be used long after the event. We’ve taken the liberty of putting Carmel Rickard’s  (Festival director) Festival welcome notice on our website.    It provides an interesting insight into how the festival came about, the benefits for the town, and the amazing network of Smithfield residents that help to put it together.   Click here to read it.

Good news for us in Clarens is that many of the actors and musicians we spoke to sounded keen to do some shows in Clarens, so keep an eye on the Events page on the website.

Music : This weekend

Amigo’s:  OB is playing both Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The Grouse and Claret:  Ric will be playing on Friday evening.

Follow us on facebook where we’ll post any other music events, as and when we get to hear about them.

It’s time to plant your fruit trees


De Leeu  Fruit Tree Nursery in Clarens

Right now is the best time to plant your fruit trees.   De Leeu Fruit Tree Nursery has a variety of fruit trees available.

Peaches, Apricots, Plums, Prunes, Pomegranates, Quinces, Ornamental Apple trees, Mulberries …@ R30 per tree.

Cherry and Apple trees:  R55 per tree.

Phone Florette Naude: 083 3205 077 or Abraham Mokoena:  072 537 0473


Restuarant Specials

Brambleberry@The Ash (Old Cranford) 4TH OF JULY SPECIALS.  10 % OFF on all food and drink tonight.Steaks, Pizzas, Salads, Curry, Oxtail, Fish,Pork .  Please phone Michael At 0812701029

Monday:  Protea Hotel: 
17h00 – 19h00:  Soup and Sherry specials (R35) includes assorted breads and and the 1st sherry free.We also have periodic cake specials at R35 for cake and coffee/hot chocolate/cuppachino.Monday – Friday:  The Posthouse breakfast! Sart the day on the right note.  The Posthouse Breakfast ranges from R22 – R30, and includes tea and coffee.


Friends Happy Hour from 20h00 to 21h00.  Live music.

Wednesday:  Brambleberry @ The Ash (Old Cranford):  Burger and Pizza Specials

Thursday:   Golden Age Day at Bon Appetit Bistro: (Rosemary Centre) Every Thursday (except Public Holidays) is now “Golden Age Day” @ Bon Appetit Bistro. If you are in the Golden Age (over 65 years old), come enjoy Breakfast (served all day), a light lunch, tea, coffee or cake and get 10% discount on your bill.  Open from 9.30am till 4.00pm.

Thursday:  Brambleberry:  Happy Hour 17h30 to 18h30 followed by two-course meal special

Friday:  Courtyard: Specials at the Cafe every friday from 12 noon, and at the Restaurant every friday evening from 18h00

Friday:  The Highlander: Happy Hour from 17h30 to 18h30. Need to make a booking?   Click here for a list of Restaurant telephone numbers

Sunday: Protea Hotel:  First Sunday of every month, carvery at the Protea Hotel. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Price R125  (Ph: 058 256 1212)

Quiltin Event ClarensComing Events: Always something happening in Clarens

Remember to visit the Martie Lotz Hall where Quiltin Clarens are hosting their event.   This event finishes tomorrow.

Click here:  For more information on what’s  happening in Clarens.


Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game!




The Classifieds page on the website has some very interesting ads.   Need a washing machine, a house to rent, or a carpenter to fix up that old furniture?  Click here to have a look

email: to place your ad on this page.

Something useful to know

Yes – we know it’s the fourth of July.  Yes – we should probably done some sort of story on this day in history.  Yes – we did trawl the web in an effort to come up with an interesting twist we hoped would rivet all our readers.  Well – instead we tripped over something useful for people from Clarens trying to overcome traffic and parking problems when visiting one of our cities. Watch this video before you go – and even if you’re not going anywhere you it could be fun to try it out right here in Clarens. (Something the kids could do.)

An information tool

The Clarens News website is an information tool.   Our objective being to give you  Everything you need to know about Clarens.   Since we do not have a dedicated info centre inClarens we all need to step into that role and be in a position to give Clarens visitors the information they need in order to keep them coming back. We also need to keep abreast of what’s happening in our community – and it is hoped that by visiting the community pages on the website everyone will be in a better position to lend a helping hand where necessary.  If you have information you would like to add to the website or our facebook page, please feel free to contact us:  email:  In the meantime, please make use of the website – accommodation owners especially well find it a useful resource to answer questions such as how do we get to Clarens, what should do whilst we’re there, and even…. when is it going to snow?

Making Clarens News Work for you

Clarens News is here for you to enjoy, use, and to promote all things Clarens.  Click here to have a look at our new website:  You may notice that we haven’t got all the listings loaded yet, but in the meantime you can get a good idea of what the website is all about. to discuss how to go about getting your business listed.


Tammy Hancock - Old Stone Bottle Store Winner

Congratulations to Tammy Hancock! She is June’s Old Stone Bottle Stores lucky Wine Club winner!

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