Notes from the Editor

After a stormy start to the week Clarens has been intermittent weather wise, and constant good time wise. Street Cafe’s grand opening party saw Slipstream unplugged, Denzl on Banjolin, being upstaged by thunder so loud we thought the roof was going to cave in. Near heart-attacks were kept at bay by exotic cocktails in innovative Consol Glass jars, and the thunder seemed to continue all the way into the next day for many of us… (click HERE to see some of their cocktails). Later they were joined by visiting blues legend Brian Finch, and we were very lucky to see and hear such a group of virtuosos and Rick on the drums (turns out he’s good at everything…)  Wednesday night at Friends was Ben Dover in their basic 3 piece format, and wow, it was great. The crowd got up and boogied to an amazingly spirited and fairly wild sound, at times almost punk folk jazz rock reggae blues. Thanks guys. In less cheerful news, this Newsletter is only out on Friday (that’s today for those still recovering from the Street Cafe party), because your editor (I checked by the way, and no, Anon, it’s not spelt Idiotor…) has been busily dismantling his dreams. Specifically the Henn’s Tooth Toyshop. If you would like to book a clown or entertainer for you kid’s party, wedding or maybe just to dance on the grave of a nemesis, you can now email me on Remember, in some parts of the world a marriage is not legally binding unless you have a juggler present at the ceremony. Jumping castle available at your home or place of your choice (within reason – I’m not carrying it up Horeb). If you are coming to Clarens and having a birthday celebration, call, call now. SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

Veggies are a big part of this issue, you will find pics of the gardens at Bruce’s place, the Artichoke, of the veg gardens at Tshepong orphanage, and some of Toni Walters’s (author of the book Cultivating Flavor) raised beds. If you would love to have your own organic vegetables, but don’t have growing space or energy to put into the ground, you can call Annalie Bossert from the Gourmet Shed and have her deliver mixed organic veggies from her gardens directly to your door. Says Annalie: ”We have huge vegetable gardens (all Organic). We sell crates of mixed veg (what ever is available for that week), and deliver is to your house.R70/R100 crates are available.”

Veggies from the Gourmet Shed GardensOrganic Veggies from Gourmet Shed Gardens Tshepong Orphanage Garden Vegetable Garden at Tshepong Orphanage Artichoke Restaurant Garden Artichoke Restaurant Garden  Toni Walters’ Raised Bed Garden

Green Tips

Reel  Gardening at Clarens Go Green Reel Gardening is a biodegradable colour coded paper strip that encases organic fertilizer and seeds at the correct depth and distance apart.  The paper strip prevents birds from eating the seeds, water cannot push the shallow seeds to the surface and it can save up to 80% water.  The paper decomposes to create mulch and a nurturing environment for the seeds. About Reel Gardening  Reel Gardening was developed in 2002 by Claire Catherine Reid at the age of 16 to solve the problems she encountered when starting her own vegetable garden. Claire was encouraged by her teachers to enter her then newspaper and flour invention into the Eskom expo for young scientists. Claire won a gold medal at the national finals in Pretoria. She was asked how much water the product saved so she conducted a series of tests which concluded that Reel Gardening saves 80% water in the germination phase. The department of Water Affairs selected Claire as the South African Youth Water Prize winner and she was sent to Stockholm in 2003 to represent South Africa and The Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Claire was the first South African to win the international award, beating 28 other countries and receiving the award from HRH princess Victoria of Sweden. Claire then went onto win the Women in water award for scientific research below the age of 35. Claire was also a finalist in the Shoprite Checkers woman of the year award in the science and technology category. Claire secured a start up loan through Anglo Zimile and Reel Gardening began research and development in 2008. you can find out more from Jack and Karlien at Clarens Go Green at Shop2, The Rosemary Centre, behind Clarens Brewery, or phone them on 0582561921


David Mofokeng News that the world’s number one golfer Rory McIlroy has just signed a ten year sponsorship deal worth £155 million raised the eyebrows of golfers all over the world. £155 million! That’s R2,170,000,000! And he’s already a multi-millionaire! Clarens golfer David Mofokeng would be eternally grateful for even one tiny crumb from that particular table.  The 32 year old turned professional a few months ago and is desperate to try his hand on the ‘Sunshine Tour’, this continent’s pro golf circuit. Most of its 25 events per calendar year are staged in South Africa and several are co-sanctioned by the European PGA Tour giving TV exposure throughout Europe and the UK. (click HERE to read the full story) David can be contacted at 073 338 5430 or by email at


LATEST Update from the Sector Police Forum has just landed in my inbox, and thanks to the lateness of me sending out the Newsletter, it can be read by clicking HERE CLARENS FISHING As mentioned earlier, my scheduling has resulted in me not being able to go fishing this week with Greg, so my review will only be coming out next week. As experienced anglers know, patience is everything, so bait your breath my lovelies, something will sure to be on the end of the line eventually.


The next printed version of the News will be out in time for Valentines day. Please send your Valentines specials and info to EDITOR@CLARENSNEWS.COM As for the surprise part, well, look forward to sports, news, poems and art from the greater community around Clarens. That’s all I’m saying for now… For day to day events, updates, info and snippets, please visit the News on Facebook and like it. (click HERE)

Craft Beer Festival News

As a precursor to the main event a number of Clarens restaurants are having food and beer pairings on the Thursday night before it opens officially.

Thu 21 Feb 7pm
Food and Beer Pairing evening with:
• 278 on Main and Darling Brew
• Adamo and Drayman’s Brewery
• Clementines and Cockpit Brewhouse
• Phatt Chef and Three Skulls Brew Worx
        Bookings are essential and I will try to get their menus for that night for the next edition

The Clarens Craft Beer Festival caters for those who would like something else than beer and cider to quaff…. There are such good folk!  Drayman’s Craft Distillery:  A festival first is the introduction of SA’s most exciting commercial craft distillery – Drayman’s. Situation in Pretoria, Drayman’s happens to be the second oldest craft brewery in the country and a progression to distilling was a natural step for the owner-brewer-husband-and-wife team, Hester and Moritz Kallmeyer.  The fabulous wares they are  bringing are:  Highveld Single Malt Whiskey, Solera Whiskey, Honig Jäger Honey Whisky Liqueur, Obstler Schnapps, Cherry Liqueur, Masinko T’ej. Make sure to stop off at Drayman’s for a taste sensation and a chat with the ever-knowledgeable Moritz and find out what T’ej is! Boutique Wines: In another beer-fest first Anton Grobler from the Art and Wine Gallery is bringing three boutique wineries, namely  Cederberg from the Cederberg, De Grendell from Durbanville and Saronsberg from Tulbag who will all be exhibiting their premium wines and sparkling wines.  Think Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Shiraz, Merlot.. all multi-starred Platter rated and all of them winners of prestigious awards such as the Winemaker’s Choice Diamond Award, Michael Angelo Awards, VERITAS Awards, Top 100 Award and SA Wine Winners Award. Local juices: The Clarens Primary School will be offering local sparkling apple and cherry juice, lemonade and ginger beer.  Other fizzy drinks will also be available SAB Hydration station: SAB is sponsoring the popular  hydration station where the visitors can obtain and refill bottles of cool, fresh water This update brought to you by Natalie Meyer from the Brewery Join the event on Facebook by clicking here To read more about Beer and the festival please click here for the full program of events and beers and bands and breweries who will be participating.

Live Music and Specials

Clarens Interiors is celebrating their 7th birthday this weekend, so go and see Anel to get special prices and discounts this weekend 

Street Cafe has Dion on Saturday afternoon and don’t forget their Monday night Happy Hour. Artichoke always has live music and entertainment Friends Restaurant will have live music over the weekend, band to be confirmed (you can click HEREfor updates as I get them) Stefan Dixon will be the year’s opening artist at the Grouse and Claret on Feb 1st, to hear his sound go to

Things to do


Twitch if you can see him On your return trip from Clarens to Durban or Johannesburg (via Harrismith) you should consider turning off on the R722 and driving 45k to Verkykerskop. This quaint little “boere” town is full of surprises, and the Sunday lunch buffet at Smiley’s is a must. As you enter, via the store, you are transported back to the “good old days.”  The general store at the entrance is full of antiques and artefacts – you’ll just have to buy something (even if it’s only a bag of sugar and some tea.) While you’re waiting for lunch you can enjoy drinks on the stoep. This is the place to meet the locals. (It seems that everyone in Verkykerskop and the surrounding area converges here.)  The buffet comprises a huge spread, and the food is so tasty you’ll find yourself lining up (tin plate in hand) for a second (and even a third) helping. No matter if you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater – there is a very wide selection to choose from – all for only R110 per person.  (Such good value that I can see this becoming a regular outing for Clarens residents.) If you have a chance, chat to your hosts Matt and Beth. They are a mine of information on Verkykerskop and can tell you all about the area and future plans for its development. Booking is essential: Phone (058) 625 0071 or 079 8730470

Coming Up

 Scooter Addicts are 4 guys on scooters, visiting 14 Children’ hospitals, over 8 months, covering 35000km’s from Cape Town to Dublin – all in aid of raising funds for the Children’s Red Cross Hospital. – read more about them. “We are sponsoring Dinner,bed and Breakfast at Witsieshoek on Monday 11th February and would like to offer a special for anyone to join them at R400 per person sharing. This includes dinner, bed and breakfast and we will donate R50 of this to  the Childrens Red Cross Hospital. Please, we would like you to be our guest and bring as many as you can!.  They have put so much effort and planning into this trip and are fantastic company, it would be great if we have some interested supporters.” To find out more about Witsieshoek (top of the Drakensberg and a stunningly beautiful place), clickHERE 9 March 2013 – The SPF Macnollie fund raising challenge. Are you a hunting, shooting fishing kind of person? Compete to raise funds for the Sector Police Forum and keep Clarens safe. ClickHERE for more details The Sandstone Gorge in Ficksburg has their Steam Heritage Festival which runs from the 4th to the 12th of May this year, and promises historic trains, a Sherman Tank, vintage tractors and dozers, as well as a Model T Ford grain truck, all of which are in operation and function in conjunction with the agricultural nature of the area it inhabits. Well, maybe not the Sherman tank (I hope), but all the rest. In the meantime, to read their latest Newsletter click HERE

2013/05/04 MTN National Marathon #4 Clarens Clarens Freestate
2013/05/05 Nissan National Half Marathon #4 Clarens Clarens Freestate

Ornithological Notes

219 shopping days to Christmas and counting.   Not even an unexpected win by the national football team has countered the pervading gloom of a village bereft of its post-Christmas tourist flocks, so drinking continues unabated in the local hostelries as anticipation of the February Craft Beer Festival mounts.    Talking of local hostelries, there has been a welcome flood of postings on the ‘Creature Wall’ in the Clarens Brewery, confirming widespread sightings of our own missing link… (to read the rest of last week’s Twitcher please click HERE)