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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another of Sam's Favourites

If you have already had the pleasure of lazing at Blue Berry Hill , then you'll need no introduction to this stunning gem situated on a hill with the most amazing (and I mean amazing) views over the Natal Midlands and their Nguni and Blue Berry Farm. And if the views, food and art & sculptures weren't enough, their new decor shop is sure to have you re-arranging your home to find space for a piece of something you'll fall in love with. A must stop for anyone visiting the beautiful Natal Midlands. Their wedding venue, due to be operational within the next few months, is already taking bookings. Check them out opposite Fordoun Health Spa on the R103. Tel Liza on 033 2666899

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What are you looking for?

I get people coming into the shop daily looking for the most interesting of things, many of which I manage to source on my travels, if we don't have such an item in the shop. Then I have those people with gorgeous items they want to sell. So what are you looking for?
I have just had a lady in the shop who has an Art Deco lounge suite for sale. So if you're looking for such an item, let me know. Any item I source on your behalf will be sold to you on a commission basis only, as long as it does not come into my shop and is paid for beforehand.

Friday, February 26, 2010

One of Sam's favourites

If you're in the Midlands this weekend, remember St Verde Succulents will be open as it's the last weekend of the month. I love this place!
And in the words of Sharon and Neville  "We have returned to the origins of what gave birth to Saint Verde. The very best of our succulent collection is now for sale along with pots, table and glassware. Guest Artist - every open weekend one or two guests artists are featured along with their work. The Food and Drink - Go hungry because although the menu is small, there is always something special to eat as well as beer, wine, homemade lemonade and St Verde famous coffee & tea.
Call them on 0824491938 or 0332344356 - Open Sat & Sun

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wow what entertainment Ian Von Memerty and Roelof Colyn were last night at the Michaelhouse Theater in 'Handful of Keys'. Yes, this much-loved show was back for the third time at the theater and was entertaining from beginning to end. Its hard to imagine that these guys can play the likes of Bach and yet joke and entertain up there with the best comedians. Add to that the most outstanding singing voices and you have 'Handful of Keys'. This was 2 hours of musical and comical entertainment on two grand pianos, various costume changes in between, and so well put together! Where do they get their energy from? Well done, outstanding performers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cycling, Decorating & my neighbours

I had a lovely cycle into work this morning, though the hills are still a challenge. However, I push myself and grit my teeth when muscles start to burn and I focus on the down hill I know is just ahead. Then, like a female version of 'Superman', in my illuminous lime green jacket, I stand up on my bike and 'fly' down the hill like a raving lunatic, the breeze cooling my burning cheeks. My apologies to all those on the Fort Nottm road this morning who may have gotten a fright!

Cafe Bloom is arguably the most popular stop for refreshments on the Midlands Meander, especially with the parents from the local schools, and I am lucky to share the centre with such a wonderful establishment and people. This morning I popped in to find Wendy's grandson, Jo, eating home-made veggie soup and a freshly baked roll for breakfast. Now that's what I call healthy eating.

A lovely set of ball & claw 'shabby chic' beds have just been set up in the shop, made into a king size bed, though are perfect as twin beds for a child's room. I'm still debating whether to cover the headboards with lively retro fabric, to bring them to life, or to leave them in their pared down French shabby chic style. What do you think?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pony, hearts and stunning scenery

Driving to work this morning I am reminded how absolutely blessed we are living in this stunning area. The scenery is crystal clear, like viewing a 360 degree oil painting.What a pity I couldn't cycle into work today.
The shop has been really busy with early morning shoppers and browsers and when I went up to the car park earlier, to load items to be delivered to Gauteng, I see there is an extremely anxious white pony in the garden of a residential home opposite our centre. Have our neighbours acquired a pony whilst I've been away or has this little master jumped the fence of the neighbouring farm? Whatever the answer, he is neighing at the top of his lungs and charging around the garden like a raging unicorn.
Some of my new gift stock has just arrived. I love the excitement of un-packing the boxes. Hand made pottery from the Cape with little pink dotted hearts, reminds me of brail when I run my finger over. Large round platters suitable for cheeses & things, when entertaining, matching dinner & side plates, mugs and then the cutest little bowls which can be used for anything from serving olives, to a breakfast bowl for eating your yoghurt and museli in the morning, perfect as gifts, and it matches my kitchen perfectly! Guess what I'm getting for Christmas!
Talking of ceramics, to end our afternoon I quickly nipped out of the shop to take my son to pottery lessons with Louise who runs a course in Nottingham road (for children and adults alike) at her shop Aladdins Delight. Courses in Stained glass, Raku and other Ceramics are presented and team building workshops are facilitated. (Phone 0332666460 if you are coming especially to meet the artists.) I haven't thrown a pot for years and this was great fun. Even more fun watching my son achieve something in such a short space of time and feel so proud of himself. His smile just said everything.

Check them out at

Friday, February 19, 2010

Op Pad - Johannesburg to Nottingham Road

For anyone hankering over a trip to Tuscany to experience the golden fields of Sunflowers, look no further than our very own Villiers, right on the N3, where fields abound with golden sunflowers graciously nodding their huge faces to the sun. You just have to pull over, have a cuppa, and appreciate the beauty of what South Africa has to offer on our very own doorstep.

One of my favourite places to visit when driving between Pretoria and Natal is Louise's antique shop, Olde Worlde Antiques – in the Bergview Complex, in Harrismith. Besides the lovely array of items to choose from, and there are lots of stunning pieces, her prices are very competitive.

Then there's the smallest 'Roman Catholic church in the world' in van Reenen. A small chapel with only eight seats built by a father in memory of his son. A magical place to visit with the Littlest Church Tea Garden next door, at the top of Van Reenen’s Pass, which has a little Antique and gift shop. Arguably a much more convivial stop for coffee and a snack than the run-of-the-mill road side cafes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our piece of Europe in Pretoria

Our home in Pretoria is a quaint stone house built in 1914 with double volume high ceilings, thick walls (cool in summer, warm in winter) Oregon doors and windows, a park like garden with a pool to cool off, and an atmosphere that oozes charm. Whenever I return I wish we could pack this spacious airy home into a suitcase and take it will us, back to Nottingham Road.
Alas, it is time to look for the new guardians of this wonderful home and put it up for sale, hoping to find someone who will fall hopelessly in love with it, the way I did. You see vintage homes cannot be built, they evolve with time and, like a good piece of antique furniture, sometimes need to be restored to recognise the beauty of the diamond within. We have lavished many laboured hours of love on this home to bring out the diamond of this little gemstone. Its now time to pass it on to someone who can buff it to shine a little more....
So today i'm saying adieu, farewell, adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, bye bye, to 'Sherwood Forest', my little piece of England in Pretoria, trusting that the right buyer will come along. I'll have a last dip in the pool, a last laze about in the lounge (as I read 'Almost French' by Sarah Turnbull), a last sleep in my 'rondavel' style bedroom tonight and then later this evening, walking around this stunning garden in the cool night air, I'll remember memories of times gone by.....
I'll walk to Bicccs a bit later, with the kids, to indulge in Italian ice cream and then buy the best fresh bread rolls at our local bakery, maybe pop into our local Woolies food store for some pate' and fresh salad. All the things we take for granted here and probably never really appreciated whilst we lived here. The fact that some of Pretoria's best restaurants such as Al Dente and Ritrovo are within walking distance, more shopping centres than I care to mention are mere minutes away, the tax office is right on our door step!
Tomorrow we'll return to our piece of heaven in Nottingham Road where the air is fresh, the mist is cosy and the only traffic jam we know is the occasional  herd of cattle in the road.
Check out our website for details of our Pretoria property for sale

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A day in the life of a down shifter in Nottingham Road, Natal Midlands

Ah ha, my first post, but alas I am not in the Midlands, but on a little sojourn back in Pretoria. Down shifters sometimes need a top up of 'city life' and coffee with my favorite friend Sandy this morning at Tribeca, Brooklyn, sure hit the note. There's nothing like continuing where you left off, with a good friend you've not seen for so long ......

I've checked out and compared just about every price ticket at all the hip decor and antique shops and 'wow' do the 'Gautengers' pay a lot for their goods (stunning goods, mind you)! More reason for you to meander to Nottingham Road, in the beautiful Natal Midlands with its gorgeous rolling hills and majestic mountains, to do a bit of 'fresh air' shopping. See you there .....  Country Courtyard R103 Nottingham Road - Au Revoir