Monday, January 3, 2011

Peacocks and Magnolias

What a beautiful creature I am!  How's this for my pose?

YIPPEE!!!!!! We awoke to a cloud covered sky and a few spots of rain today.

I know many of you have been inundated with more rain than you can handle and others have been battling heavy snowfalls and all that this you might well be thinking I'm a little crazy to be rejoicing about our inclement day.  

My regular readers will of course know by now that summer rainfall is a rare and precious commodity in the South Western Cape and so, for us, any hint of drizzle, however slight and any drops that make their way into our thirsty rainwater tanks, is truly a BLESSING.  More so to me, as I interpret rainfall as a good omen and rejoice even more exuberantly, especially with it falling right at the beginning of a brand new year. Please click the read more button below to continue...

We had arranged to take my 94 year old father-in-law out to lunch today.  Our destination was Skelligs Pub at the Erinvale Estate Hotel and Spa. 
One of the entrances to the hotel from the parking area. 
The setting is lovely...gracious old oak trees, charming water features, pretty rose gardens and a delightful indigenous garden in which to enjoy a stroll.  Unfortunately, today I was not able to take  photographs of any of these areas.  My FIL has to use a walker and needs to be supervised when it's wet and slippery as he has just recovered from a fall in which he broke his pelvis.  It was raining fairly steadily by the time we arrived and so we made our way straight to the dining area adjacent to Skelligs Pub. 
A clever wall feature at the side entrance to the hotel from the parking area.

This is reserved for non-smoking patrons and is a more refined version of the seating area within the pub itself.  We ordered a bottle of the Ghost Tree Pinotage, one of the wines produced by Sylvanvale Winery, which belongs to the hotel group of which Erinvale is one of the portfolio establishments.

A view across the parking area towards the little private chapel which is used for weddings.  Very popular venue.

My FIL ordered the grilled linefish served with chips (French fries) and a green salad; my husband braved the chicken curry (too hot for my taste!), served with rice, poppadoms and a selection of sambals and I had the fillet steak, with a blue cheese sauce topped with sliced green figs.  This was accompanied by an assortment of steamed veg, a small side salad and a portion of chips.  A basket of freshly baked breadrolls had kept us happy while we were waiting for our meal to arrive and sipping our wine.  I was the only one to opt for dessert - my favourite, creme caramel served with fresh strawberries.  We all had coffee to round the meal off afterwards.

We saw these beauties on our way back to the car after our meal.  The hotel rooms/suites are off to the right.

It was still drizzling by the time we'd finished our leisurely meal, and was too wet to walk around the gardens, so we opted for the shortest
route back to the car, which was the way we'd come in. 
Looking down the path from the side entrance of the hotel's parking area - the guest  rooms/suites are situated in the buildings to the left and centre of this picture.  The hotel's public areas (dining rooms, pub, lounges) are off right, in an extremely gracious old Cape Dutch building under thatch.  The gardens and huge oak trees are around the front of the hotel, at the main entrance.

I had not taken my camera with me, as it was raining.  Miraculously, the drizzle abated once we were outside and I was able to take a few pictures with my mobile's camera, of a grouping of peacocks and a quick look back down the pathway area we'd just walked along.

On our way out of the gate, my husband stopped for me to snap a couple of pictures of the huge magnolia trees in flower, but unfortunately, I was not able to zoom in as my mobile (cellphone) does not have that function, so you aren't really able to see the blooms.  They looked so beautiful, huge creamy cups against the dark green foliage. 

Magnolias gracing the driveway of the hotel. 

This magnolia must be very old!

A roughly sculptured, bronze leopard poses at the base of the magnolias.  A section of the main hotel is visible in the background.

Unfortunately, I was not able to take any pictures of the gracious front entrance and main hotel facade.  I hope to do so when we visit another time.

Now and then it is a joy to have one's table red with wine and roses. 
~Oscar Wilde ~


  1. Sounds like you'll be out singing and dancing in the rain. We get plenty of it, and it's easy then to take it for granted, when it really is, as you say, a blessing.

  2. To be able to take your father-in-law out for such a fun meal, he is blessed to have you both in his life.p.s. why don't you put your picture on instead of a bunch of flowers for your profile ? take care, Gina

  3. Jenny:

    I wanted to dance in the rain but my FIL was concerned I was getting wet. Truth be told he was also eager to get back home to watch THE CRICKET!!!!


    Yes, we are lucky too - at 94, he is still quite remarkable. Maybe I'll do a post about him sometime ;)

    Will work on the self portrait suggestion...


    Gracious me! I'm speechless! I am not on facebook, so not sure I'll be able to take a peek. Thanks for letting me know and for organising this. I'm really quite overwhelmed!

  4. Nice of you to take him out with you and what a beautiful place to be !!...that peacock reminds me when we lived in our previous home that was on appartment on the third floor....their he was on the edge of our balcony a big peacock !! nice to see it here.......happy dat darling enjoy the rain ! love Ria...

  5. Hello Ria!

    I would LOVE to have a peacock strutting around my garden...such magnificent creatures!

    I hope your Mom is doing very much better!!!


    Des xo

  6. More rain here and it went on all night. California is going to have a gorgeous Springtime.
    I get so tickled when I think of it being Summer for you in South Africa! Amazing..

  7. Oh, don't make me envious, Mona. Our few spits can't compare :(

  8. What a beautiful place! I love the colorful peacocks and to see Magnolias in bloom how lucky! Living in a place where it rains so much it's always funny to think about being excited to see it. We actually have been dry here for days other than the snow last week, it's still frozen on the ground.
    PS Maybe your daughter should sign you up for Facebook now :)

  9. I don't think either of my children is on Facebook, Catherine :) and I've never felt I'd want to join, either. Maybe at some future date...?

  10. I love to see magnolias in bloom. Over here, it is around the beginning of April and I always associate it with the birth of my eldest son because the magnolia trees in the hospital courtyard were in full bloom when he was born.

  11. What a lovely story, H! It was raining on the day my son was born and, to me, that added to the absolute miracle of the day. He is now 27, and it quite often rains on his birthdays!

    Magnolias are such breath-taking flowers!


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