6th June 2013: Crisp, Clear, CLARENS

 Crisp, Clear, CLARENS

Crisp, Clear, Clarens

Star gazing is romantic. Star gazing is fun. And I can’t think of a better place to star gaze than Clarens. It’s worth putting on a few extra clothes to go out and look at the Southern Cross riding high above the horizon on these clear, crisp winter nights. Nearby are the very bright stars known as the Pointers.  To Sotho and Tswana cultures the Pointers and the two brightest stars of the Cross represent dithutlwa, the giraffesYou can also spot Venus (also known as the Morning or Evening Star and associated with all things romantic)  low in the west just after sunset, right alongside Mercury (the messenger of the Gods)  – another planet which features in many myths and legends.  

Mid-week wining and dining

No more blue Mondays, or mid-week woes.   Monday madness at the Phatt Chef and the Wednesday Winter Warmer at 278 On Main  are events not to be missed. Where else can you get a  three-course meal and glass of wine, beautifully presented in a wonderfully warm atmosphere for just R60?  On Monday this week (10th June) Simon is preparing Sweet and Sour Pork at The Phatt Chef. (To book phone Simon: 082 4593883)  and on Wednesday ((11th June) Sue is serving up Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato mash at 278 On Main.  (To book phone Sue 082 5565208)     
So that leaves Tuesday and Thursday?  No problem, we’re going to try Clarens Sushi – available on (you guessed) Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  And of course, we still have our Clarens Restaurants, and a wonderful selection of delis.  Just look at those listed on the CLARENS NEWS website.  I suspect that quite a few of  us are going to put on some weight this winter.

Local News 

Clarens news would like to extend a warm welcome to Enrica, Franlize and Bosjan who have taken over Clarens Destinations. Enrica and Franlize have lived in the area for over 6 years and between them have vast experience in the hospitaltiy industry.  Bosjan – whom I suspect relies mainly on charm and cuteness – is the third member of the team.

We would also like to extend our best wishes to Caroline Rossouw who now owns and manages Friends.  Caroline grew up in Clarens and has fond memories of Friends being the venue where locals of all ages would meet. It is not surprising therefore that Caroline intends to focus on attracting more local busniness.   Friends will also continue to host live music, and whilst there won’t be any live music this weekend, Van Smith will be back next weekend.

At last, Clarens  has a new unit manager:  Peter Reed.   Peter grew up in Bethlehem, and worked for 20 years in the Bethlehem Parks Department, before becoming the unit manger at Rosendal. He lives on a small holding between Clarens and Bethlehem where he breeds horses – his other passion being endurance riding. Welcome to Clarens, Peter.  

The Clarens Village Conservancy rangers have been hard at work upgrading the Nature Reserve trails, eliminating alien vegetation, and tackling erosion problems.   Head ranger Damien Coulsen has also started identifying and listing plants in the nature reserve. Everyone is encouraged to enjoy our Nature Reserve. (Afer all, hiking is a good way to loose weight.)  Cyclists must however get a permit (available from Clarens XTreme) and quad-bikes are not allowed.  Trail Maps are available at the Bibliophile, The Old Stone Bottle Store, and The Village Grocer. You can also phone Toni on 082 4492 082 to order maps for your guesthouse, restaurant or shop. 

Tourism News

FEDHASA Free State Hospitality Workshop Road Show 2013 

Venue: Protea Hotel Clarens
CnrMain & Van derMerwe Street, Clarens
Date: Tuesday, 11th June 2013
For further details on the subjects to be covered at this workshop as well as registration details PRESS HERE




Weekend Weather

Cold – crisp and clear nights – and sunny days.   But when is it going to snow?  One of the first questions that people planning to visit Clarens seem to ask.  If anyone out there knows -please pass on the information. (My crystal ball is a bit foggy on this.)   Snow – or the possibility of snow – attracts a lot of visitors to Clarens, which is also a logical stopping point for visitors planning to go to  Lesotho.  I suppose it’s because Lesotho is on our doorstep that visitors often forget that Lesotho is not part of South Africa, and forget to bring a passport!  Remember – if you want to visit Afriski – you need to take your passport!

Clarens Country Market   NOW RUNNING FROM 10AM TO 3PM

Clarens Country Market
Be sure to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday. Please note that the market is now starting at 10 am and going on until 3pm –  so there is no need to break ice in order to get there.  
The Clarens Country Market is for local people to exhibit and sell local produce, arts and handicrafts. It is held in the front garden of the Bibliophile Bookshop in Church Street, between Van Zyl and Market Streets, every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, weather-permitting.
For more information or to book a stall, contact Debra 083 765 8901 or Megan 082 469 2072.

Live Music

The Soutie from Toti  will be playing at Artichoke (5.30- 9.00pm)
Slipstream are playing at Street Cafe from 8.00 pm onwards

Slipstream are playing at Street Cafe from 9.00 pm onwards


Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!

Springboks vs  Italy
The Springboks will host Italy at Kings Park, Durban, on Saturday, 8 June 2013.    Kick Off:  17h05
Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Vodacom Cup
Friday 7th June, 11h30 – 14h00:  Brumbies vs Rebels
Sunday 9th June: 7h45 – 10h00: Western Force vs Waratahs

This weekend also sees the French Open Tennis Finals
Friday 7th June, 13h00  Men’singles semifinals

    v       v  

David Ferrer v Jo-wilfried Tsongo   and  Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal.   The final is on Sunday 9th June, at 15h00

Sat 8th June at 15h00  Women’s final:
Maria Sharapova v Serena Williams

Bethlehem Kine

Movies showing 6-13 June 2013

WON’T BACK DOWN   PG:  121min – Drama
Two determined mothers­, one a teacher, look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children   DIRECTOR: Daniel Barnz  Writers: Brin Hill, Daniel Barnz
STARS: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,WED: 14:30, 17:30
SAT, TUE, THUR:11:00,20:00
SUN: 12:00
STOKER   PG:R  99min – Drama/Mystery/Thriller
After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.   DIRECTOR: Chan-wook Park   Writers: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson (contributing writer)
STARS: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode
SHOW TIMES:  FRI,WED: 11:00,14:30, 20:00
SAT, TUE, THUR:11:00, 14:30, 17:30
SUN: 15:00

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION  PG:13  110min – Action/Adventure/Sci-fi
The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.
DIRECTOR: Jon M. Chu  WRITERS: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick  STARS:  Dwayne Johnson, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki,Bruce Willis
 SHOW TIMES:  FRI,WED:11:00, 17:30, 20:00
SAT, TUE, THUR:14:30,17:30,20:00
SUN: 12:00,15:00



In Clarens

Sanlam Cancer Challenge
 5 June 2013  The Clarens Golf Estate
Support this worthy cause by taking part in the biggest amateur golf tournament in South Africa:  Sponsor a hole; Give a donation or register your four-ball and join the fun.  There are also big prizes up for grabs.
Contact Maryna Swart:  082-520 8909 or Fracois Schoeman 058 256 1270.
Incidentally, The Clarens Golf Estate now has recently added a new blog to their website. This blog is open to the public and updated as news and events become available.  The blog address is www.theclarens.co.za/news.

8th Clarens Quilt Festival  
26-28 June 2013
Quilt in Clarens is the only annual quilt festival in the Free State, and over the last eight years has grown from 7 to 261 participants.  The festival offers small classes (7 per day) and personal attention, as well as courses (both novice and advanced) in quilting, creative knitting, crocheting and embroidery. The festival offers ann ideal opportunity for all those who want to quilt in a relaxed environment.  For more information contact the organiser Alae Grabe on 082 5772232 or email quiltinclarens@gmail.com

Chrismas in July
12 -14 July right here in Clarens.
Those of you who can’t wait for Christmas will be happy to know that it’s only a few months away. We will soon be able to celebrate Chrismas right here in Clarens.
The Tourism Forum are working on a varied program:  music, huskies, and lots, lots more. To see the draft program PRESS HERE


Fouriesburg Polar Bear Plunge
29th June  (2pm)
Meet at the Arpa Dam (at Arpa Adventure Farm S325 off the R711, 7km outside Fouriesburg
Swim 50m in the dam. Change   rooms available.  Bring your own blankets!
R100 perentrant (includes a T-shirt “first come first served”- and a boerewors roll.
Boerewors rolls, pancakes and cooldrinks for sale at the dam before, during and after the plunge!
Entra free to spectators!!!
In aid of Cluny Animal Trust.   

Afriski – Lesotho
July 11 – July 14  A ski slalom and giant slalom race 4 children , juniors, seniors and masters. For accomodation and details contact Stephan at Gone skiing 0861754669
Ski racing is a fun way to improve your skiing.

BUT WHY WAIT until then to visit Afriski, when you can have fun in the snow NOW.  Phone Dean: 072 133 9615/082 921 3894
Remember to bring your passport.

Other news:


2005 Citröen Picasso 2.0 diesel in exceptional condition.  
One owner from new with full service history, available in Clarens.
Excellent value at R62,500.  Contact Peter on 0828510484 or 
Email peterbw@eastcoast.co.za