Food, local culture, the beauty of the countryside… this and more will be part of the 6th Fragrance Fest on Saturday 14 March. The only day when all venues on the circular Fragrance Route open their doors!
This is an outing for the whole family: bring walking shoes, sun hats, umbrellas in case of rain, and come and explore the numerous stops on the 40 km scenic Fragrance Route. Don’t forget a cooler bag, picnic blanket and camping chairs – you might want to linger along the way.
There are 12 stops to visit, open from 07h00 to 17h00. Please note that venues choose their own hours, so plan your Fest trip accordingly! Toilets are available at almost all venues and, in case of bad weather, indoor facilities as well. CASH only at stalls, no credit cards.
BOOK IN ADVANCE
- NEW! Hakuna Matata Trail Run – moderate to tough (hills): 10 km @ 08h00 @ R100 and 5 km fun run @ 08h10 @ R50, registration 06h30-07h30. Contact Jakhals Events, www.jakhalsevents.co.za, Corne 074 260 2871.Online entries www.entryninja.com/events/65702-hakuna-matata-tr. More info: Hakuna Matata Game Farm Facebook, Events.
- NEW! Molenrivier Farm Forest Walk – medium to tough: 45 minute hike @ 09h30 @ R30. Countryside walk in a valley with abundant bird life. Contact Jerry 082 854 8805.
- NEW! Late afternoon intimate musical affair hosted by KamerKonserte at Hakuna Matata Game Farm cottages. Contact Kate 082 932 4492 or Mariaan 072 710 7081 regarding tickets and more information.
- Kobus Halliday Car Museum – guided tours @ R50 (no children under 10) @ 08h00, 10h00 and 16h00. Contact Nelma 082 9707 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NO BOOKINGS ON FEST DAY.
- Hakuna Matata Game Drives – view the lions, buffalo and antelope; learn more about macadamia farming. Limited seating, advance booking essential. Pre-order picnic baskets to enjoy at the dam. Whatsapp Lustine 079 743 2800.
GETTING BIGGER AND BETTER
- NEW! Wolwedraai Farm will host walks and talks where you can learn everything about avocados – and taste and buy products, of course.
- NEW! DIY historic walk at the Searle Memorial Church – their first event leading up to the 90 year anniversary in June.
- NEW! Lunchtime entertainment in erstwhile mission station Friemersheim – Great Brak brass band, Friemersheim drum majorettes and local diva Zanah-Lee Erasmus will entertain the crowds.
- NEW! Tea Tent in Friemersheim, managed by Cinty of Friemersheim Sewing and sponsored by the Great Brak Business Forum.
COMING IN 2021!!
- Family Fun Cycling Event and Village 2 Village Walk, starting and finishing in Friemersheim. A Great Brak Business Forum project – contact Elsabé Malan 071 303 2570 or email@example.com.
WHAT TO EXPECT
This year the Searle Memorial Church (08h00-15h00 – 072 908 6495) will be a first stop for those interested in culture and history. Collect a pamphlet at the entrance for a DIY tour of this quaint Great Brak River church: there will be a 90th anniversary celebration on 29 June. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and pristine gardens before visiting their Outreach project exhibition in the hall. Fragrant teas served (donation towards project).
Visit the Great Brak Museum (08h00-14h00 – 044 620 3338) for Fest programmes, information regarding the Friemersheim church and Volkwyn chair, and free slide-shows on the history of shweshwe and the PROEbag. Good coffee and eats served on the stoep.
At the Kobus Halliday Car Museum tours will be conducted by owner Kobus at 08h00, 10h00 and 16h00. R50, no children under 10. Bookings until Friday 13 March at noon, NO BOOKINGS ON FEST DAY. Contact Nelma at 082 9707 213 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start your PROE safari at Hilltop Farm Stall (07h00-16h00 – 044 620 2668) with tasty chicken bites on offer and farm fresh chicken to buy. Enjoy freshly roasted coffee, gourmet pancakes and cake at Brothers Coffee Roastery, open 08h00-17h00(Sunel 073 159 6734). The once a year traffic jam at SA’s 2nd best coffee roaster (in 2019) has become part of the Fest day experience… if you are young and fit, please park along the gravel road at the top and walk down! Unique “coffee bag” bags and other products for sale, sand art stall for the kids where they can be creative at a small fee.
Next stop is at Die Vlakte turn-off, where a short travel of 1 km will bring you to Avant Garden (084 500 2023) with owner Maryna’s art gallery and “On Pond” accommodation. Market with 20 stalls and ample space to relax (10h00-16h30 – contact event organizer Liezl 083 623 2475). A variety of tasty foods (sweet and savoury), jewellery, leather, plants, artists and their art, baby products and much more. Fishing fun with “catch and release” at the dam, and lots of space available for kite flying – bring your own!
At new stop Wolwedraai (08h30-16h00 – Madeleen 071 473 0526; René 082 338 2364; Franus 079 421 3085) Fest goers can learn more about avocado and macadamia farming. Join an informative 1 hour walk amongst the orchards at 09h00, 11h00 and 15h00 – R20 per adult, children free. Throughout the day: demonstrations on the use of avocado oil and guacamole, and a short informal cycle route for smaller children, no cost. Products for sale: Westfalia avocado oil, fresh avocados, “Avo dog” (Boerewors roll with guacamole), guacamole dip with snacks, non-alcoholic drinks.
Further down the road at Hakuna Matata Game Farm the day begins with a Trail Run and ends with a KamerKonserte performance (see details under BOOK IN ADVANCE, also for their game drives). From 08h00-16h30 (Lustine, Whatsapp 079 743 2800) they host a mini pop-up farm market with numerous stalls – pancakes, vetkoek, farm produce etc. Live lunch-time entertainment. Wine and Craft Gin tasting (bring your own glasses); cheese platters to buy; order picnic baskets in advance. Jumping castle, face painting, colouring competition and feed the chickens for kids. Picnic at the dam – bring along blankets, chairs and come and enjoy the farm atmosphere. Find all details on the Hakuna Matata Facebook.
Turn off opposite the Hakuna Matata exit, drive 500 m, and you will reach the tranquil setting at lush camping area Molenrivier(08h30 -16h30, Jerry 082 854 8805). This pretty stop next to the water will offer a small but enticing menu: taste a brand-new Craft Beer plus a variety of famous Leeukloof Cheese – locally produced just off the Fragrance Route. And the smell of braaivleis will greet you all day long! Book in advance for the guided Molenrivier Farm Forest Walk @ 09h30 @ R30. Medium to tough: 45 minute hike in a valley with abundant bird life. Contact Jerry 082 854 8805.
Travel on the newly tarred road towards the mountains and you will see export protea farm Forest Hill (09h00-16h00, Adine 083 553 1500) on your right. Always busy and popular – here you can buy gorgeous bunches of proteas and fynbos, protea plants and more. Fynbos exhibition; “protea packers” pancake stall, coffee and tea.
Continue towards erstwhile mission station Friemersheim founded 150 years ago, and also the birthplace of the Volkwyn chair. Kretzen Street entertainment 12h00-14h00: Great Brak brass band, Friemersheim drum majorettes and local diva Zanah-Lee Erasmus. Feast on traditional fare at the Friemersheim stalls in Kretzen Street (08h00-16h00, Gert 063 360 7085). Ready from 09h00 for take-aways: afvalpot, braaivleis and pap, Christo’s volstruispotjie and groentepot. Freshly made pancakes, roosterkoek, vetkoek, waffles. Home-made gemmerbier and baked and bottled goodies. Gonna honey, ice-cream, a stall for the kids with face painting and more. “Made in Friemersheim” Shweshwe Stop articles at the Fest pop-up shop (Nelma 082 9707 213).
Tea Tent sponsored by the Great Brak Business Forum (08h00-16h00, Cinty 073 4557 346): Enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee, seating and a delicious selection of eats available.
Volkwyn Family Reunion stalls in Kretzen Street (08h00-16h00, Melvin 082 860 1853): Coffee bar from 08h30, roosterkoek from 09h30, annual spitbraai (roasted pig) and salads from 11h30; gifts, handicrafts and Kaapse koeksisters from 09h00.
Lavender @ Hester Uithaler’s Garden (08h00-16h00, Hester 081 313 5084): Petra’s lavender nursery can now be found at Hester’s colourful garden. Lavender plants (10 varieties) sold close to Kretzen Street (see map).
Travel further on gravel road to the Botlierskop Bellevue Restaurant @ The Village Lodge (044 333 0291/044 696 6055). Bookings essential for lunch (12h00-15h00) and dinner (18h00-22h00). The road between Friemersheim and The Village Lodge is probably the most scenic part of the Route, and – depending on the time of day – you have a good chance of spotting game along Kleinvlei Road on the way back.
PROGRAMMES AVAILABLE AT THE GREAT BRAK MUSEUM, various businesses in the Midbrak area, at Mossel Bay Tourism and at the George Library by late February.
HERE IS THE PRINTABLE 2020 FRAGRANCE FEST MAP AND PROGRAMME