An Ode to May

A personal Paternoster love story in words and photos by Fran Hepburn


I first arrived, following my heart, to live permanently in Paternoster in early May 2012. So I guess I am somewhat biased when I wax lyrical about this time of year in our beautiful village. But after a few years of living here, I know that it is not just me who loves the absolute perfection that is May in Paternoster, all the locals whisper about it being a secret special season only we know about. This is my effort to share a little snapshot of this magical time with you.

From December to April the village is full and bustling, so it is a stark contrast in May when things get all mellow and laid back – like a soft sigh of relief. The days start later as the sun only peeps over Kasteelberg to the East well after 7 am. There is a cool chill in the air and the village is often covered in a misty blanket serenaded by the distant hooting of the fog horn. As I make a cup of coffee and snuggle back into bed, I tend to daydream of Brigadoon and the misty moors of Scotland.









The days are still busy, which I know all you city folk will scoff at, but we do need to stack the wood in the fireplace & stock the wine rack! We don’t ever have traffic per se but in May, it is often just me and the street dogs heading to our respective daily toils.

The afternoons are a true blessing. The blustery winds of Summer have died away and the faintest salt-tipped breeze comes off the Atlantic ocean. Almost every day is the perfect day to take my Labrador Lula for a walk on the beach and luxuriate in the whole expanse of Langstrand all to ourselves.


There is said to be a special kind of soft light – the kind that the renaissance masters in Italy captured so beautifully before the advent of modern day photography. This is the light we see in May, most noticeably at sunset. It touches everything with an ethereal glow and because of the changing season, we get cloud formations that help create a spectacular frame for a Magical May West Coast Sunset.

IMG_0563 (Copy)

As the sun disappears over Bekbaai to the west of the village the evening chill sets in. It is time to slow down, light the fire and enjoy a glass of red wine while we wait for the bredie simmering in the oven. I exhale and am grateful for all my blessings.




New & Delicious in Paternoster

While we all really do love the old world fishing village charm of this little dorpie we are not complaining about some very welcome & delicious additions around town! From fresh baked Ciabatta, Croissants, Sourdough bread daily to locally cured bacon and handmade choriso to delight you on your next visit to Paternoster.

Your first stop should be right across the road from the Stay in Paternoster office at Junk and Disorderly. Locals, Peet and Camilla have created the wonderfully quirky deli and gift shop. They serve delicious Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch from Weds – Sunday under the shady Manatoka trees.  You can also buy fresh farm eggs and Sourdough bread with a wonderful array of charcuterie meats and sausages perfect for a beach picnic or al’fresco dinner. They serve Truth coffee and be warned the freshly baked croissants and Pastéis de Nata sell out early!


Quirky and Rustic, the Junk and Disorderly Chef Peet is on hand to help

Your second stop should definitely  be at the Paternoster Express. Since taking over in July 2016 the new owners Stefan & Ingrid have lightened & brightened it up and, to the delight of locals & visitors, have brought in some wonderful deli-style foods. Fresh baked Ciabatta, to die for Chocolate Cheese Cake, Muffins, Quiche and Pastries can be found in the bakery while in the fridges there is a good variety of fresh veggies, gourmet cheeses, quality meats and much more. The shelves are so well stocked we no longer have to go to Vredenburg and this makes us all very happy! So apart from your basics like ice, coke and niknaks you can also find everything for your braai, potjie or cold meats and salad for Saterday lunch just as you come into town on the left hand side.


Served up at the Paternoster Express with a smile 🙂

Another must stop, for a little more of the family-friendly farm feel, is called Mondvol Coffee Shop. Alex, Charmaine and little Lika relocated just a few kilometres up the road from Trekoskraal where many people knew and loved their picturesque Coffee Shop with a view. They are now situated on the small holdings called Pelgrimsrust just on your left about 100m before you come into Paternoster Village. Everything is homemade and the delicious cakes, breakfasts and lunches can be enjoyed on the farm-style stoep or inside near the fire. Charmaine also has a delightful range of children’s clothes called Likalief for sale, as well as yummy take home treats like nougat, jams and biscuits. If you are lucky enough to be here on a Wednesday it’s Coffee and Cake day for R45 and Fridays are Milkshake day for R25. We guarantee you will enjoy every Mondvol!

You are welcome and tell them we sent you 🙂

Written for Stay in Paternoster by Fran Hepburn

New logo 2016


Just like Ouma used to make…

Do you know what I miss? I miss Sunday Lunch with the whole family around my granny’s dining room table. It was noisy , messy and delicious. We ate wholesome, hearty meals prepared with love and spent hours eating, debating life, teasing, sharing and laughing. It is sad now that this family tradition happens less often due to families living so far apart and the busy pace of modern life.

Now we can’t really solve the problem of family proximity but I can offer a delicious solution to get you some food like Ouma used to make! Right here in Paternoster 🙂 And while you might not have a noisy family around the table you can watch the comings and goings of this always interesting little village from the stoep.


Local sisters, Vanessa Abrahams and Carmen Jordaan have opened a wonderful little eatery at Stone Fish Studio called Ouma se Kombuis. Here you can get the hearty, homemade Weskus Kos that you have been craving.

It is a matter of pride that the local women of Paternoster cook their traditional recipes for Ouma se Kombuis with fresh, local ingredients and a generous pinch of love. There is a homespun cosy style in the friendly welcome, colourful decor right through to the sweet koeksister koebaai. Meals range from simple toasted sarmies and sweet baked treats to traditional Oxtail, Tamatiebredie, Groenboontjiebredie, Pêrevoetpie, Smoorsnoek and Afval specialities.









Lekkkeeerrrr Groenboontjiebredie!                                       Freshly baked sweet goedjies

Dishes are prepared fresh daily based on seasonality and availability. So next time you visit us in Paternoster take some time to kuier, enjoy the food and warm hospitality at Ouma se Kombuis.



* Ouma se Kombuis offers a special service for visitors to pre-order meals that can be put in the fridge in the holiday accommodation booked so there is a delicious home-cooked meal waiting on arrival.

Contact details for Ouma se Kombuis Carmen 082 534 9225 or Vanessa 084 800 1991

Located at Stonefish Studio, St Augustine Road, Paternoster.

Open every day except Thursday. HOURS: Daily 9:30am – 4pm, Sundays 9:30am – 2pm

Written by Fran Hepburn for Stay in Paternoster. Photos by Marina Enslin & Fran Hepburn

A breath of fresh air & a touch of class


This was my lasting impression when I popped in for coffee & a chat with the lovely Doret, owner and hands-on manager at the new De Linden Boutique Guest House in Paternoster.

With the recent addition of Guest Houses and B&B’s to our Stay in Paternoster website and the wonderful competition we are running to win a weekend at De Linden, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

There is an overwhelming feeling of peace as you walk into the recently opened guest house, with a focus on several spaces for guests to spend time relaxing or gazing at the ocean view. There are seven luxuriously furnished rooms with special attention to the little details and comfort. This includes the beautiful Protea Suite with its own outdoor fireplace & private patio facing the sea.







Doret has created a beautiful space for guests to feel cared for and spoilt. She has left behind a high pressured career in the city to start a new life in this sleepy little fishing village.  Her passion for design, creativity and people is brought together perfectly at De Linden and is tangible in the décor and stylish atmosphere. So while it is a guest house that provides all you could wish for as a guest, it is also a well-loved home that leaves you feeling like family.


De Linden is situated perfectly in the centre of the village within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops and the beach.

After a  friendly chat and look-around it was time to get back to the office and as I walked back down Mosselbank Street, I felt relaxed and charmed by this stylish new addition and its lovely owner. Our little village is certainly delighted to have you here!

For more info and to book have a look at our website

Photo’s by the uber talented Kusjka du Plessis


Exploring our hunter-gatherer past & palates in Paternoster


Dune vegetation behind Langstrand in Paternoster and in the distance is Kasteelberg.

A few weekends ago myself and a group of friends got together and with the generous guidance and knowledge of local, Hedwig Slabig, we gathered edible strandkos, then prepped and cooked it together.

For more than 95% of the last 100 000 years, most of the inhabitants all over the world had a hunting and gathering way of life. For the two months (August & September) that follow winter approximately 250,000 hunter/gatherers would make the temporarily abundant dunes of Paternoster below Kasteelberg their home, forage for food and leave behind interesting clues to their nomadic lives. There are many middens (refuse heaps) buried in layers of sand dotted all over Paternoster that reveal much about this culture and time.

We combed the dunes for *piet snots* which have pale carrot like tubers, nibbled the sour/citrusy wild sorrel and munched the nutlike potato bush/kiesie blaar pods that are left over after the flowers finish blooming. Some of the interesting edibles we identified, tasted and collected included dune spinach, tulbaghia (wild garlic), milk thistle, slangbessiebos (cousin to Goji berry), veldkool, sout slaai, boetabessies and spekboom.


Then we scrubbed, chopped and sauteed together in Hedwig’s kitchen. Finally sitting down around her large dining table to share a well-deserved lunch. The flavours are unusual, more earthy and delicate than our palates are used to. An open minded attitude and curious spirit are essential.


It was a great day spent with friends and I was reminded of the importance of community. The hunter-gatherer societies  centred around this strong sense of shared co-operation and it certainly felt like we experienced some of this spirit as we laughed, learned and cooked, the way women have been doing together since forever.

Footnote* Foraging, seasonal produce, sustainability and slow-food are buzz words in the culinary world at the moment. The good news is that there is a wonderful way to experience this trend in Paternoster. We are fortunate to have one of the maverick foraging chefs, Kobus van der Merwe, right here. In September he opened a wonderful new restaurant called Wolfgat that has our town and foodies from all over the world very excited. Lunch and dinner are  served by appointment only. Reservations can be made via email

Written by Fran Hepburn for Stay in Paternoster





Forever Flowers ♥


What makes flower season so very special on the West Coast is that for approximately 10 months of the year (give or take) we see very little colour. The surrounding veld is various shades of grey/brown/beige and maybe dark green and then for a limited time the riotous colours of wild flowers paint the fields and parks all around us and we are charmed! The fact that the season is so short and so fierce makes it all the more precious.

The good news is that because of the extended rainy season (every week or two we have some good rain) the season should last well into September. Don’t forget to look out for new varietals popping up as the rain daisies and gousblom fade.


Darling’s veldt is unique in that it consists of a very interesting variety of veldt types including Sandveld, Strandtveld, Renosterveld & Rietveld. Darling contains more than 10% of the total species of Cape floral kingdom in less than 1% of the floral kingdom area.
Name:                     99th Darling Wildflower Show
Date & Time:         16 – 18 Sept 2016 – 9am – 5pm
Venue:                     Darling Golf Club
Admission:              Adults R50/Children (U18) R30
Children (U13) free
Pensioners (Friday only) R30
Contact detail:       084 916 1111


*Most towns along the flower routes haqve fuel stations, ATM’s and mobile reception

*The further north you travel the greater the distance between the towns become

*Stop and ask the friendly locals for advice on flower hot spots and distances

*Namakwa/West Coast Flower maps are available at all tourism information offices

For more info contact WEST COAST FLOWER HOTLINE 072 938 8186 (Available from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week)

Get the Lastest Flower Updated 22nd August here




This past weekend myself and a colleague from Stay in Paternoster went to The West Coast National Park in Langebaan. Therefore this week instead of focusing on one beautiful flower I want to tell you about our visit and share some of my pictures from this special place.

There are two entrances to the park and because we knew it would be a busy day we went in the lesser known one from Langebaan side – there are currently road works so depending where you are coming from it may not be a good option as it is closest to Paternoster – it took us about 40mins by car. The main gate is on the R27 West Coast Road about 10 kms from Yzerfontein on your left hand side and is approximately 1 hours drive from Cape Town heading North. You will receive a map of the park when you enter which will direct you to the places of interest. In the case of flower season you will want to head to the Postberg area which is a privately owned piece of land (about 6000 hectares) inside the West Coast national park which is normally not open to the public. Every year however, between August and September the area is opened to the public to visit and marvel at the wonders of nature as it puts on its spectacular wild flower show.

The Postberg shelters the Langebaan lagoon from the sea. It was along this piece of land that the Dutch and the French posted their countries flags in an effort to claim the land for their respective countries way back in the 1600’s. After a number of skirmishes and removing each other’s flags the Dutch finally took control of the area in the early 1700’s. The area became an outpost of the Dutch colony at the Cape and the mountain’s name stems from that, being a mountain outpost.

Saturday was a very busy day due to the perfect weather. I suggest that if you want to picnic or braai (there are two designated areas for this in the Postberg section) go early, set yourself up then relax and walk amongst the flowers! It was very busy and there was some traffic congestion. We took a picnic and nibbles so mostly just snacked in the car while staring wide-eyed at the vast fields of beautiful, bright flowers!

The photos and words do not do this natural spectacle justice…it truly must be experienced. Apart from beautiful views, the abundant flowers and striking rock formations there are also ostriches, zebra, as well as eland, gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest and bontebok.

This season is a bumper one so if you are yearning for a road trip to somewhere beautiful this should be at the top of your list!



The West Coast National Parks website is very extensive and useful

TEL: 022 772 2144
Entrance Fees:South African Adult Citizens – R64 / Kids under 12 – R32
International Tourist R136 per adult / Kids under 12 – R68

Open Week: 12 – 16 September FREE entry for South African Citizens!!
(Bring ID Book)


The weather changes all the time, especially along the coast, so please check for an update on

FRIDAY 26th August              11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 14⁰c

SAT 27th August                      11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 18⁰c

SUN 28th August                     11:00 to 16:00             Cloudy 13⁰c

MON 29th August                    11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 16⁰c

TUES 30th August                   11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 15⁰c

WEDS 31st August                   11:00 to 16:00             Rain 16⁰c

THURS 1st September            11:00 to 16:00             Cloudy 13⁰c



Download and print this useful map courtesy of Cape West Coast Tourism website.


Map Studio are publishing a stunning Visitors Guide to the Flower Region and I have one one more copy to give away for Flower Friday!

To qualify please send an email to and tell me which edible flower was featured on last weeks blog post! Subject line should be I ♥ Flower Friday…Make sure to include your Postal address so I can arrange to send you the book if you win!



If you require Accommodation on your Flower Safari please contact us at Tel : 022 752 2048 (Office Hours) OR book online at

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

Blog post compiled and written by Fran Hepburn for Stay in Paternoster

 New logo 2016


Stop…and smell the flowers


While researching and learning about the wild flower extravaganza I have discovered some extraordinary facts about the unique flower kingdom we are lucky enough to have in our (almost literally) back garden!

  • South Africa has more species of plants in one square kilometre than in the whole of England!
  • The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the oldest plant kingdoms in the world with some species dating back 60 million years.
  • 70% of the 9600 plant species found within it are not found anywhere else in the world (Endemic)
  • Apparently there is more money made on the world market selling flowers from SA origin than the annual gold production value.
  • Europe’s total floral species number 10 000 where as a small country like South Africa hosts 23 000 species.
  • The Cape Floral Kingdom has been singled out from 25 world ecological hotspot areas as being of “irreplaceable value.”

So seeing the Wild Flowers is truly one for the bucket list of all nature lovers.

Name:                     Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show

Date & Time:          26 Aug – 3 Sept 2016
9am – 6pm (Daily)
Venue:                     Clanwilliam Church
Admission:              Adults R50 / Pensioners R35
Children R10
Contact detail: or
(027) 482 2024

It is said that the greatest variety of wild flowers in a single district in the world appear in the area around Clanwilliam; their annual Wild Flower Show lasts for 10 days.

Clanwilliam is approximately 170 – 200kms from Paternoster depending which route you take.


*Make sure you set out on your drive with a full tank of fuel & enough drinking water.

*Many outlying areas do not have mobile phone reception.

*Wear long pants/trousers and comfortable walking shoes for walking in the fields.

*Insect repellent is essential

*It is advisable to book your accommodation in advance.

For more info contact WEST COAST FLOWER HOTLINE 072 938 8186

For the latest West Coast Flower update (11 August) click this link


veldkool_marie viljoen


Or if you prefer Trachyandra ciliata is a common, seasonal herb/vegetable that is best known for its edible flower buds.

Locals and food foragers eagerly await the sight of these buds to make traditional stews or soups for a very limited season. The flowering stalks should be harvested before the flowers open or they are too bitter. Veldkool can be steamed or boiled in much the same way as asparagus.


*Taken from the Paternoster Heritage-tyd booklet produced by Paternoster People’s Party and available to purchase at Oep ve Koep opposite Stay in Paternoster office.

For each portion: Blanche 2 small bunches of veldkool tips for 1 minute in salted water. Drain and chop finely. Saute garlic leaves (wild if you can find them) and a 1/4 onion finely chopped, 2 small baby potatoes, chopped or a small sweet potato, chopped, in 20g of butter until golden brown. Add half the veldkool tips and a few stalks of sorrel, 5ml each of chopped wild sage and wild rosemary, plus a pinch of salt. Add 250ml stock and cook gently until very soft and pulpy. Saute the rest of the veldkool tips in butter and scatter over the soup before serving. You can serve it topped with chopped bokkom/ biltong or feta cheese.

Variation: Stir 50ml plain yoghurt in before serving. The Khoikhoi were herder-gatherers and kept sheep, goats and later cattle so milk products were often used.



I have an wonderful gift for you!

Map Studio are publishing a stunning Visitors Guide to the Flower Region and I have another copy to give away this Flower Friday.

To qualify please send an email to and tell me which town’s flower show was featured on last weeks blog post Subject line should be I ♥ Flower Friday…Make sure to include your Postal address so I can arrange to send you the book if you win!



The great news is that this Saturday look like it’s going to be a Fantastic day for Flowers!

Please do check for updates on

FRIDAY 19TH August               11:00 to 16:00             Cloudy 16⁰c

SAT 20th August                        11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 15⁰c

SUN 21st August                       11:00 to 16:00             Rain 14⁰c

MON 22nd August                    11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 14⁰c

TUES 23rd August                     11:00 to 16:00             Partly Cloudy 14⁰c

WEDS 24th August                   11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 16⁰c

THURS 25th August                  11:00 to 16:00             Sunny 19⁰c


Download and print this useful map courtesy of Cape West Coast Tourism website.

13958239_1368400449854218_4533309003240744527_oBlousporie picture courtesy Namakwa Toere

If you require Accommodation on your Flower Safari please contact us at
Tel : 022 752 2048 (Office Hours)
OR book online at



“Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.” ~ Kahlil Gibran


Blog post compiled and written by Fran Hepburn for Stay in Paternoster