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

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dalton Private Nature Reserve open day - Eco Saturday

If you're in the Midlands this weekend, the Dalton Private Nature Reserve is open to the public for the first time for the enjoyment of children and families when they have their Eco Saturday on 17 April   
Admission includes Game drives to view Rhino, Zebras, Eland, Cape Buffalo, Oribi and more. Organic food and animal garden, indigenous nursery tours and activities including: Pony rides, guided nature walks, craft demonstrations, Zulu dancing and fresh catered lunch. Price per adult R70, per child R50

As this is an NGO, 5-10% of proceeds will be donated to the Dalton Education Trust

Dalton Private Nature Reserve
Tel: +27[0] 36 352 0100

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hair raising stylist makes a move

Quite a different experience recently to have my hair cut out in the 'open air' on the deck at Simply Sam Antique Brocante & Gifts, as Brian and Rave, of Deco Hair, were in between salons.

Their hair and make-up Salon will be re-locating to the Wine Cellar on the R103 where they will offer hair styling and make up for locals, as well as special occasions such as weddings, as before. Enjoy a glass of wine and a light platter at the wine cellar whilst you wait for your hair to be done. They will open for business tomorrow and can be contacted on 072 215 7559

Thursday, April 8, 2010

People in the Midlands

Lisa Nicholas who owns our local photographic studio, 'Snaps', recently re-located her studio to 'The Junction' in Nottingham Road. She specialises in personal photographic portfolios including family portraits and, of course, weddings. I couldn't think of any where nicer to snap the family album than in the stunning setting of the Midlands and as lisa says in her own words:
The Facts:
· Art is personal, as is style· Each individual has different likes and dislikes.  · Each booking or session is tailored to suit the client.
Photography is probably best described as ‘the art of light capture’. Here’s hoping that you enjoy my style of ‘light capture’.Best regards,
Lisa.  Tel:  +27 (0) 724 555 905
Check out some of her work on

This morning I had Barbara pop in with freshly picked organic lettuce from her farm which, besides other things, she is growing and selling as part of her down shifting experience away from the madness of Johannesburg. What a simple, but lovely gesture, from a neighbor. Its the kind of thing we want to experience in the city, but it just doesn't happen.

Then Elena popped into the shop to say she was collecting her new puppy and my Son, who is crazy about dogs, went along for the ride and arrived at our house with little Zoë who is the most adorable cuddly puppy. Just look at those eyes!

I have to say that I haven't looked back since moving to the Midlands and now, in our third year here, feel this really was the right choice for us. My friend Belinda left the Midlands, after what she says was 'the best year of her life'. She is making plans to return here, once she has sold her Durban based transport business, to pick up where she left off. Her children were the happiest they had ever been, with space to run around and be children and, as she says, life was so simple here, stress just wasn't part of every day life anymore. So if there is anyone out there looking to get into the transport business drop me a line.

Tanglewood Hotel in the Dargle

Easter weekend we were supposed to go away but decided, instead, to explore what we have right on our doorstep. Mainly because when I typed 'Drakensberg' into the google search, many places in the Midlands kept popping up, so I figured we may as well stay right where we are.

I'd almost forgotten about 'Tanglewood Hotel' in the Dargle, a lovely old building dating back to 1885, which besides accommodation also offers meals and is a wonderful wedding venue, so for one of our lunches we meandered there. A couple of years ago this was virtually an abandoned place, which my husband tells me we could have bought, if I hadn't got my heart set on something more Farm like. Anyway the current owners have done a wonderful job of making this very homely and inviting inside, including a lovely pub as part of the old worlde charm. One of the owners is a chef and I have to say that this can be seen in the presentation of the food. My youngest son ordered fish & chips and it was delicious. Definitely going to order that on my next visit. My cajun chicken salad (though missing the cajun and having un-ripe avo) hit the 'healthy' spot, after all those Easter eggs.  We ordered one of each of the puddings on the menu, so we could try them all and, again, besides the wonderful presentation, were all really yummy! Bring me more of that fudge sauce!!!!

The hotel is set back just off the tar road which can be accessed from the R103 Balgowan road, close to Howick, only about 12km on the Dargle/Impendle rd. Close by is the Lavender farm which is a must do, as well as The Wood Turner and Dargle Valley Pottery (one of the founder members of the Midlands Meander).
Contact Tanglewood on 033 234 4366

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Wish everyone the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!

The Midlands very own Wine Estate

Hey what a discovery today to come across Abingdon Wine Estate, on the Lions River road, in the Midlands. The only one in the area harvesting their own grapes to make their very own estate wine. I know we live here in the Midlands, but we dont' always get a chance to meander, so we didn't know about their little restaurant and wine tasting which has been open for only six months. However today we went to see a property for sale in Lions River, right at the very top of a rugged hill with views to die for (would make a stunning 'hill top' guest house with a bit of imagination and lots of money), and came across Abingdon on the way back. Taste their wines (their Viognier was very good), sample their simple menu, and finish off with delicious coffee in a very simple environment. We'll be back!  

Contact Abingdon on 033 2344 335 or 0834638503