Simply Sam Trading - Antiques.Brocante.Gifts

We stock a variety of vintage, antique and hand-crafted items. Available on our web store or select antiques and beautiful 'proudly South African' hand-made Gift items on sale or to view at VinLee Art Gallery Hilton College Road, Natal Midlands. Hilton off-ramp, N3, Kwazulu Natal

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I love my Shop - why not choose a gift for a friend in South Africa .....

You've heard it said that 'if you find your passion, you will never work a day in your life', and that is me and Simply Sam Antique Brocante & Gifts. I am so lucky to have Sharon Milella working with me at the shop, as this have given me the free time to travel far and wide and source some really lovely items, including some stunning and quirky gift items, all of which can be viewed in the shop (which is looking its best at the moment) or on our website
If you have friends and family in South Africa, why not purchase an item over our web and we will gift wrap, with a card, and post this on your behalf for that special occasion.
Hope to see you real soon.
Sam x

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Travelling from Fouriesburg to Ficksburg we came across the 'Hay Bale Family' just outside Clocolan where there is a great tea garden called 'The Cabin'. I was most impressed with the food, especially  in such an 'out-of-town' place. I definitely recommend a stop there.
Ficksburg is renowned for its 'Cherry Festival' which I think is in Sept/Oct, so we were a bit early for that, so we spent a bit of time in 'Die Blik Plec' which is a fascinating 'junk shop'. Here the owner has made all sorts of tin junk into saleable items including couches from Victorian baths, and even a matric dress which is made from old beer cans. When we arrived there she was giving a guided tour to a bunch of local African school children and educating them on the values of utilising 'junk' to make money.

Soccer World Cup

I really thought I didn't want to be part of the soccer world cup madness and even considered skipping the country for a few weeks, but I have to say it has been great fun. We watched England play Slovenia in Port Elizebeth and the atmosphere was phenomenal. The stadium in PE is awesome, as was the organisation getting us to and from, and we found the most amazing little local restaurant in the street (next door to Julie's cafe) which was great.
To see my team and all their supporters and to watch my children being 'British' for a day was well worth the trip.

What's cool at the Grahamstown Festival?!!

Shows to watch out for next time include 'Girl in the Yellow Dress', 'Eight' (CAPA), Kaput, Mike Sampson Feels Funny, Rump Steak, Khokho's Suitcase & The Adventures of a little Nobody (great kid's show), I have to say that some of the shows were greatly educational for our children, sometimes a bit 'too' educational?
We loved our accommodation on the old Bedford Rd, Hilton House, which was just perfect to accommodate our whole family. Their little pet Meerkat was sooo cute!
We found a little Indian curry restaurant in the main part of Grahamstown which was so authentic, even down to its plastic table cloths. At R18-R25 for a curry, who could argue.
My children were not impressed with the historical 'walking tour' I booked us on and still said they are going to get me back as they considered it 'sooo boring'!!!!

Shire Eco Lodge - Stutterheim

This is definitely worth a blog. I'm not really into eco places, or log houses for that matter, but the Shire Eco Lodge in Stutterheim, in the Eastern Cape (just off the N7), is definitely worth a visit,  if you need a stop over between Gauteng and East London. So much attention to detail and thought have been put into these little 'pods' that I'm adding their website for you to check out, so you can see for yourself. And at only R450 per night, per pod, it is not going to break the bank either. Our kids loved these places and because the 'pods' are close to each other, you could quite easily book your children into their very own pod. I've just realised I still haven't paid for my accommodation which says a lot about how trusting the owners are. Will get onto this immediately!!!! One tip if you are ever in Stutterheim and stocking up on groceries. There are two Spar grocery stores, almost next to each other, and they are worlds apart. When we found the nice one the next morning (too late she cried!) it had the most amazing fresh choice of groceries. Check out the Shire Eco Lodge -

On the road to the Grahamstown Festival

Destination was the Grahamstown Festival, which we'd fortunately booked accommodation for. However, where we were staying getting to and from the festival was another story. I had to go to a couple of places to delivery and collect stock, so this dictated the trip a bit. Anyway we found some interesting places which, if you are ever in remote areas of the Free State or the Eastern Cape, you might like to think of staying at.
Our first was a unique little hide away in the middle of no where, a 200 year old stone 'Kraal', we found in a place just outside Rouville in the Eastern Cape called  Iniklofie Lodge. Our accommodation consisted of a little stone cottage to sleep in, a separate cottage which was the bathroom (with a 'donkey' that had to be lit for hot water), another stone building which housed the quaintest kitchen, and then the old kraal which had been turned into a pub, come games room, with a pool table. Trouble was is was so dam cold that we couldn't wait to build a fire and jump into bed, so no playing in the games room for us! The pipes were frozen the next morning, but the stunning scenery that abounds, made up for the lack of warm water. At least we could boil an electric kettle and have a cup of 'Moer' coffee. The boys loved exploring the next morning and found a dead buck, proof of the wildlife in the area. What a pity we were only staying for one night.