Francois and I have a cute & cheerful house in Stanford that we rent out as a little guesthouse. We have spent years renovating, decorating and loving this house. Sometimes we have friends or family who stay at the house, so I thought I’d do a little post on *everything* you need to know about Stanford to have a really good time here. Here is your Helpful Guide to Stanford for Beginners:
Stanford is about 15 minutes drive from Hermanus (quaint seaside town famous for whale-watching and popular with holiday-makers), so about 2.5 hours from Cape Town. It’s a tiny little country village situated on the Klein River. It’s surrounded by beautiful farms and mountains. It is very quiet and very safe. One of my favourite, favourite places in Stanford is a farm called Stanford Hills Estate. It’s so GREAT for kids and dogs.
Stanford Hills Estate is about 3km before Stanford. It has a restaurant called The Tasting Room that overlooks a sweet little dam with rowing boats. My kids (and dogs) love to swim in this dam. The estate also has putt-putt for the kids, lots of things to climb and play on and loads of room to run around. They also have horses and offer horse riding through the vineyards & farm. Also look out for little buck, sheep and the resident pig called Crackling. You will love spending loads of lazy afternoons here; sipping wine, having lunch and watching the kids play.
The estate also offers loads of accommodation on the property. From the big Manor House with swimming pool to the sweet cottages and the gorgeous Afri Camps camping sites. We have stayed at all their accommodation options over the years and love them. In fact, we love this farm so much that we got married here. Here are some pictures of their Afri Camps ‘glamping’ sites. Please note that the entire estate is dog friendly!
There are other super fun things that you can do inside Stanford Village. A few of my favourites definitely include booking a boat cruise on the African Queen! The boat can take loads of people (I had a birthday party on it) and they have a braai on-board. They also have tubes so you and your kids can swim, float & cruise along the river in style and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Just pack your meat, cooler box, a towel and drinks!
Other things that I really love in Stanford is that they have a Sunset Market on the Village Green on the last Friday of every month. They also have a little farmer’s market outside the Stanford Hotel every Saturday morning with fresh produce, pies, brownies, cheeses, meats and all sorts of delicious treats. I also really love riding my bicycle around the village and taking long walks along the river!
If you feel like taking a drive to Hermanus for lunch or an early dinner – there is a fantastic little restaurant there called Fick’s. It’s situated around Fick’s Pool – a famous tidal pool in Hermanus. It’s dog friendly and the kids can swim there too! Perfect for hot days. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, so you might wait for a table. It’s totally worth it though!
Other things to do in Stanford: Eat Italian food at La Tattoria. Great Gelato bar next door, too! Have lunch, wine and chocolates at Oliilo Coco. Visit their only pub: Table 13 for great pizza, sport and sometimes live music. Find great coffee and pies at Ou Meul Bakery. If you love animals, you might want to venture out to Panthera Africa for a big cat experience. If you’re super adventurous, you can book Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai around the corner. Marine Dynamics are the best and it’s actually a very kid-friendly activity! If you have kids who love gaming, you can drop them at Stuffed Creations for an hour or two while you explore the village. Stanford really has something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a dog and child-friendly guesthouse in Stanford, then you can even book our own house, The Dragonfly! It’s a 2.5 bedroom house with a big garden, kids play room and it’s dog friendly! You can mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about dates and rates! I’m really proud of this house because Francois and I decorated, furnished and renovated it together while we were still dating. Here are some pictures.