Bathurst explored and more

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The quirky, quaint and sleepy hollow of the Sunshine Coast, Bathurst, has much to be proud of.

Recently, I have spent a day trip around the town and came across some interesting businesses which for the greater part of things may never be found.

Here are some of them, Langholm Eco Estate, Hanger 572 on Route 67, Just off Centre Studio GalleryManetamers, Takatala, Relix & Thingz, The Village Bistro, The 60s Pub and Pic-kwick’s Restaurant but keep coming back as the list is bound to grow as we explore the area more.

Click on the images to see the gallery.

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Alpacas have been introduced to the new Animal Touch Farm at Langholm Eco Estate. Image: Hennie Marais

Langholm Eco Estate opens animal touch farm, farm stall and coffee shop

Langholm Eco Estate on the R67 towards Grahamstown will reopen their much-improved animal touch farm after an absence of nearly seven years on Thursday, December 21.

A new coffee shop and farmstall where numerous homemade preserves, cookies, and many other items will be on sale will also for the first time, open its doors.

A new art gallery that supports local South African artists now also forms part of the venue and many prominent artists’ works can currently be seen on exhibit.

Parents are encouraged to take their children to the touch farm where they can interact with the animals. Currently, you will find chickens, ducks, budgies, quails, goats, sheep, pigs, alpacas, zebra, nyala, blesbuck, grysbok and duiker at the farm. “Interacting with the animals can be a life-changing experience for young ones,” said owner Johan Blom.

The coffee shop/farmstall and the touch farm will be open from 9 am to 4 pm, seven days a week in season and the entrance fee is R25 per person.

The venue is fully licenced and the massive pub is well-equipped for sports viewing or parties and is open to the public from 12 noon to late.

An African-style potjie restaurant will also open early in 2018.

Contact Johan on 083 528 1816

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A collection of peace and blessing teddies. Image: Hennie Marais

Hanger 572 on Route 67

Soon after the opening of Hanger 572 on Route 67, owner Lihani van der Merwe realised that there were many highly-talented women around town making quality homemade products so she struck a deal with them and today the business is a thriving treasure trove.

And Lihani is confident that if you can’t find what you want in the store one of the ladies would most probably be able to make it for you.

Lize contributes high-quality children’s clothing and shweshwe fabric handbags to the product range while Barbara has a fantastic line of baby clothing which she carts from the Free State for sale in the store.

Barbara is also a recycler of note. She uses old books, boxes and metal cans to produce a stunning and unique array of gift packaging and Christmas decorations. Her butterfly wind chimes are among the best sellers in the shop.

Dee expertly produces crocheted and knitted items. Among those are the most lovable peace and blessing teddy bears, each with a unique peace or blessing message attached to them; a great gift for anyone.

Sam supplies homemade handbags, purses, key holders, and hubby, Clint, a stone mason, makes concrete ornaments and miniature rock gardens and other planters.

And the list just carries on.

Catherine makes earrings while Ula and a pal knit toys and crochet the most delicate baby booties; one of the best sellers too.

And not even the doggies are left out as Shane’s wooden dog beds are selling well and if you want to have a coat or jacket for your pooch, just ask at the front desk, and someone will make it for you.

Then there is Hannes, who makes some great looking wooden planters and picket fences. These items can also be made to size, just ask.

Queen of the Castle, Lihani, is a qualified fashion designer cum seamstress with a multitude of talents. Men’s and women’s clothing, various types of blinds, upholstering, wedding dresses, interior decorating, woodcuts, pottery, and doggie gear are but some of what she can make and supply so next time when in Bathurst, stop at the shop; chances are that you will leave with something unique made by the ladies of Hangar 572 on Route 67.

Contact Lihani on 071 349 9010

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Children having some fun in the Just Off Centre Studio Gallery. Image: Hennie Marais

Just Off Centre Studio Gallery

Sandy and Brian Thomas retired from running a very successful business in East London to open Just off Centre Studio Gallery in Bathurst some 18 months ago.

Sandy, a professional artist, spends the better part of six hours per day producing art which is inspired by her immediate environment. This is evident in other works of hers which depict farm-scapes, seascapes, mountain plateau studies, people from the area within which she lived, and many others. She also likes to paint subjects or scenes where the interplay of a kaleidoscope of colour captivated her imagination.

But she still favours etching as her number one love and when looking at her work it is easy to see why.

Stain glass design, manufacture and repair also count as some of her talents.

When not doing her own art Sandy teaches art to anyone who is interested be they young, old or just ready to learn a new skill, like mosaic work, which she normally teaches to a few ladies at night while all are enjoying a glass of wine. Interesting works are forthcoming after such sessions.

She exhibits in Grahamstown, East London, Cape Town, Franschhoek, Knysna and Stellenbosch.

Brian, on the other hand, restores old documents to preserve their historic value. He also does picture framing, flat glass and glazing.

Art equipment including the Winsor & Newton paint range and canvasses of various quality are also available at Just off Centre Studio Gallery. They can be contacted on 082 571 6194 or at sandyart.thomas@gmail.com

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Debora Gibson, owner of The Manetamers. Image: Hennie Marais

Manetamers, the hair specialist in town

Not every town has its own hair specialist but Bathurst is lucky to have Manetamers to do the job when needed. Being around for ten years Debora Gibson, owner of Manetamers, thrives on cutting the villagers hair whether they men, women or child.

And she does it all; colours, perms or haircuts with undivided attention. “I do it all, from washing the client’s hair to the final cut and without the assistance of anyone,” she proudly said.

And she is capable of doing hair for wedding parties or any special occasion but only on appointment.

Debora is also a highly qualified cosmetologist so on request can do much more than hair. Makeup, pedicures, manicures and even pain management massage fall within her expertise.

House calls can also be arranged with Debora especially to Hospice patients or anyone who is recuperating at home from surgery.

The Manetamers is open from 9 am to 5 pm on Mondays to Saturdays, even on public holidays, by appointment only.

Contact the Manetamers on 076 291 2144 for your next hair treatment or cut.

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The popular Takatala sauce is now also available in sprinkle form. Image: Provided

Takatala, the King of Sauces

Takatala sauce creates a taste sensation so divine that the only limitation is your imagination, something only the converted fully understands, but this is about to change.

Available in three variants, all with the same delicious, piquant, hot, mild and tangy flavour, Takatala sauce will enhance the flavour of any food. It really comes into its own when you cook with it but is equally at home on your steak or burger, or in a salsa or salad. On a toasted cheese its divine, your imagination being it’s only limit.

Born in Zimbabwe, Takatala made it onto the South African shelves under the SAD label and was sold nationally under licence until they tried to copy it.

After months of negotiations and kitchen trials in Zimbabwe and the USA, Takatala was branded under licence to Heinz and trialled in Zimbabwe with a view of being bought out by Heinz after successful sales

Land invasion during a rapidly deteriorating political landscape put an end to the development of the product as the developer, being a journalist, was requested to leave the country and like many lost everything.

Founder of the Takatala brand, Gavin Johnstone–Robinson said that drawn-out negotiations have finally culminated in securing the future of this magnificent product.

“We now have resuscitated Takatala and have just introduced the product in sprinkle form, for chips, burgers and salads. It was developed from my recipe by an American International company that does development for some of world’s leading brands. Takatala is now also a registered brand,” Johnstone-Robinson said.

So, why wait? Rush off to your local store and get it.

Gavin can be contacted at 082 558 6402

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A glimpse of what is waiting for you at Relix & Thingz in Bathurst. Image: Hennie Marais

Relix & Thingz, a rare shopping gem

Six years ago, Liz Briggs and Lynette Corbett opened a unique and very different shop in the Village Green in Bathurst with a catchy name, Relix & Thingz. The shop after all these years had recently been given a makeover.

Situated a mere fifty meters for the 4-way stop on the R67 it’s hard to miss, just look for the numerous signs and an array of bric brac on display outside, a lot of it part of the shop’s décor.

To list just what has been placed outside in the garden, on the outside walls, and in the shady tree, would take up lots of space. One new addition to the outside is the Settlers’ photo booth, complete with props. Anyone who uses the facility may make a donation which will end up at the local SPCA.

Lynette, who runs the shop, is an imaginative, artistic, creative, and laid back person and these are required traits to run a shop like Relix & Thingz.

So, what’s new? The bookshop has been moved. It is divided into sections, like Africana, fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. At the end, there is a small but comfortable reading room, a very nice hiding place to say the least. Here you will also find a puzzle-on-the –go and you are allowed to fit some pieces is so pleased.

The vinyl LP section had a complete makeover with its own record player and the record collection had grown considerably.

Relix & Thingz now also links up with The Village Bistro which is due to open on Monday.

Upon entering the shop, one is met with an array of stuff that boggles the mind, from antique glass bottles to many ranges of collectables. Do they have a speciality, yes, but many, as no one can fully explain in a single word what is in the shop.

The ever-popular ‘man-cave’ is still there and is stocked with Weatherstar barometers and many interesting new and old collectables and items of interest, obviously, more for males.

Still looking for something to fill those Christmas stockings? Then look no further than Relix & Thingz. They have an absorbing range of books, collectables, a music section, antiques, old bottles and more. You name it, and it’s probably there. They even have a room with a sign that reads ‘Junk & Disorderly’- my recommendation is that you stop by because you won’t regret it.

And if you cannot make up your mind, visit the adjacent, The Village Bistro, where a good cuppa may just help you in making your decision.

Contact Liz or Lynette on 076 349 2246 and 046 625 0015 or at relix@moyapark.co.za

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The Park Off outside area at The Village Bistro in Bathurst. Image: Hennie Marais

The Village Bistro awaits you in Bathurst

The Village Bistro with “Real food for Real people” is opening its doors in Bathurst on Monday and is expected to become a favourite eating spot in the town.

Owners Annie Katz and Liz Briggs said The Village Bistro’s menu will be quite simple but really good food will be offered. “This will allow us to forever make regular changes to the menu.”

Patrons can also build their own meals. “We want them to be as versatile as can be.”

Only fresh herbs and veggies from their own garden patch will be served.

Freshly baked bread, rusks, delicious apple crumble pies, homemade pasta and proper old-fashioned jaffles, made in real jaffle irons, are also awaiting diners.

Vegetarians will also find some delicious meals at The Village Bistro.

A self-service filter coffee station, serving the Jacobs brand, is another handy addition. “Get your own, pay less” is the concept behind this innovation.  Of course, coffees like cappuccinos can still be ordered from the menu.

Set in a lovely garden, the “Park off” outdoor section of the bistro is sure to be very popular be it for a quick breakfast or coffee or the catch up with the latest news. With free Wi-Fi available, it’s more reason to visit.

Décor borders on the eclectic. It’s bright, colourful and happy with many interesting twists. A hint is in the table numbers. They have mounted thermometers to which a small poster of a famous artist or famous person of your choice can be affixed so you can sit at the Marilyn Monroe table or whoever you had chosen. This, of course, could lead to a great discussion.

Being set in a happy and friendly environment on the village green, the owners, in true bistro style, plan to support local South African musicians.

Other exciting plans are also in the offing but for now get to The Village Bistro for a great new dining experience.

The Village Bistro is open from 9 am to 4 pm during the season and the venue is not yet licenced. Diners are welcome to bring their own wine and no corkage will be charged.

The Village Bistro can be contacted on 072 460 4823.

The Village Bistro is also directly linked to Relix & Thingz so do not give it a miss.

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The 60s Pub is a colourful joint. Image: Facebook

The 60s Pub, not to be missed in Bathurst

The 60s Pub is a very popular spot in Bathurst and not to be missed as this is where locals and visitors meet and mix as if they are long, lost friends.

The pub is open from 10 am too late and anyone is welcome to get the party going. All that’s needed is your musical instrument and your willingness to perform; there is an open buskers’ stage waiting for you. Sometimes though you may not get any response from patrons, this has nothing to do with your ability; that’s just the way it is. Afterwards, however, you will be an accepted member of the 60s clan, that is a promise, not a threat.

The 60s Pub will host August 44, a blues and rock outfit, on Friday, December 22, and the New Year will be celebrated in style, according to the owner, Hans van den Nouweland.

Entertainment on Friday nights is rather flexible. There could be an Open Mike evening and once again anyone is welcome to join in the jamming sessions. Then again, it may turn out to be a karaoke or a Jukebox Request evening. The latter is a rather fun event where requests are selected from YouTube’s never-ending video collections; the requests are played strictly in the submitted order so you will have to wait your turn. The evening normally brings back old memories or introduces listeners to new music and invariably leads to interesting discussions about music groups of yesteryear or the newbies.

When on, sports events are available on big screen TV and free Wi-Fi is also available, just ask the bar staff for the code.

Of course, if you are not prone to share the sometimes noisy indoor pub area a lovely outdoor area,   set in a huge garden with lots of shady spots, is available. This area sometimes also doubles up as an exhibition/market or music venue.

And when a bit peckish, you can order light meals from the bar.

Excellent pizza and other dishes are also available from Pic-Kwick’s Restaurant, just next door to the 60s Pub.

The 60s Pub will be closed on Christmas Day.

The 60s Pub can be contacted on 046 625 0350 or at hans@pkrbathurst.co.za.

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Pic-Kwick’s Restaurant is situated on the corner of York Road and Trappes Street in Bathurst. Image: Facebook

Pic-Kwick’s for South Africa’s best pizzas

The centre of Bathurst is a treasure trove of popular venues so it is not strange to find Pic-Kwick’s Restaurant, known for being voted as having South Africa’s best pizza, smack-bang in the middle of the town, a place they well-deserved.

Food at Pic-Kwick’s, like all good things, take time, as all the fare is lovingly and freshly prepared.

Pizza is the house speciality with a great variety on offer. Looking through the menu, it becomes rather noticeable that the dishes have been named after something local, like farms, surnames and or regular supporters. More often than not you may just find one or a few tables occupied by some of those who were honoured in this manner, just ask, Maria, the owner, to point them out.

But a variety of pasta, meat, and seafood dishes, and delicious open sandwiches and desserts are also available.

A covered outside area is also available from where you can sit and watch the world go by and it’s a great spot to see who is out and about, especially if you know the locals.

Pic-Kwick’s is fully licenced and a small but excellent wine selection is also available.

During the season, Pic-Kwick’s is open from 11 am to 8.30 pm from Mondays to Saturdays, and from 1 am to 4 pm on Sundays but will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s day. Out of season, the venue is closed on Mondays.

To avoid disappointment it is advisable to book a table.

Maria van den Nouweland, the owner, can be contacted at 046 625 0350 or on maria@pkrbathurst.co.za

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