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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mooo - What to do with the kids in Nottingham Road?

A pic of a calf I met at Born in Africa on the R103 made me wonder what there is to do in Nottingham Road and surroundings with kids? So starting on the R103 between Mooi River and Rosetta you have the Africa Adventure Centre where kids will love taking a tube down the river or slipping and sliding on the slip and slide whilst Mum relaxes at the Tea Garden or has a picnic under a tree (picnic supplied). There's also paint ball, obstacle courses and pony rides. Telephone: +27 (0)33 267-7173 or +27 (0)72 219-0387

In Nottingham Road itself, at the Junction, theres candle dipping (033 266-6980), which the kids love, as well as archery which will keep both boys, girls and Dads occupied for a while.

Travel down the R103 towards Michaelhouse and you'll find Lavender Trout with its animal farm, which kids love. They can even try their hand at a bit of fishing, accompanied by a trained guide. Mums will love the antique shop and Tea garden.

My personal favourite has to be Trayci Tompkins of 'Zulu Lulu' at the Piggy Wiggly Venue between Balgowan and Lions River, on the R103. Being a ceramicists herself, and selling the most gorgeous affordable items, she has recently put together a children's corner where they can decorate a piece of pottery in the most stunning outdoor environment with views to die for and Trayci doesn't do things in half measures, so you can be sure to be impressed with what she has put together. With Christmas around the corner, what nicer idea than your children making their very own personalised Christmas gifts for Granny or any other family member for that matter. Gift shops, coffee shop and children's playground. (083 627 3491). 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who's the Cyclist with the Pink Wings?

This was such a special site to see on Thursday, as we drove down the R103 towards Balgowan, two cyclist going full speed, one wearing a pair of bright pink wings, who would have thought that?!!!! We could  only imagine this was a cycle in aid of Cancer, but if anyone knows the real reason, we'd love to know.

Who was the girl in the car park wrapping the wedding gift?

Smiled to myself this afternoon when I spotted a couple in the car park at the Spar wrapping a wedding gift in the boot of their car! With such lovely gift shops in and around the Midlands I wondered why they had decided on the 'do-it-yourself' route. Next time you are looking for a gift, whether it be a wedding, birthday, or some other special occasion, try Simply Sam as we have some wonderful items and will even gift wrap for you. Check them out on,40,69

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Visiting the Natal Midlands this weekend?

I went on a little sojourn this week to check out a couple of relatively new businesses in the Nottingham Road area. The first of my stops was Barbara Zietsmann's place, 'Barbz' Coffee Shop and Deli in Gowrie Village. Barbara has turned this little spot into a vibrant and colourful meeting place for locals and visitors alike with stunning, cheery decor, delicious food and owners with warm personalities, that are bound to give you a laugh with their wonderful sense of humour. Then after you've had your fill of cakes, coffee and 'all day' breakfast you can literally walk through into 'African Queen' a trendy new spot which has opened in the next room to Barbz. African Queen is probably old hat to Joburg dwellers in Parktown,  as they are well known for their creation of wearable functional pieces of art including beautiful hand-made leather hand bags with detailed African beadwork. 'Our' African Queen also stocks stunning items of clothing and select gifts and we now have our very own hint of 'Joburg' in Nottingham Road with a shop that will knock your sox off. Tel Barbz: 033 2666075

Renaissance was my next stop on the R103 towards Balgowan (on the left hand side). This beautiful 'Wethley's' style antique shop, owned and managed by Cheryl Wigmore, has stunning re-vamped vintage and antique furniture as well as new gift items to jush up your interiors. Tel: 033 2344407

My last stop was Born in Africa and, though this is not at all a new business on the Meander, it has gone through somewhat of a revamp over the last couple of months. The Shoe factory that 'Born in Africa' is well known for has moved to a  shed further up on the property and the old shed has been given a face lift into the most stunning wedding venue with its very own Thatched chapel, with views to die for! The whole feel of the wedding venue itself is French with gorgeous statement pieces of French furniture, as well as its very own Parisian 'interior' street, a la 'Monte Casino'. This venue is certainly worth getting married for!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I had a dream ...... of sitting on a bench under a tree and playing my guitar

Yeah, just had my first guitar lesson in my shop! Said I would take up guitar lessons again, once i'd moved here, and it is already almost three years into my down shifting experience in Nottingham Road!  But better late than never as they say .....

The last two days we have had temperatures of around 28 degrees (35 in Pietermaritzburg) and we are just starting our Spring season. But in typical Nottingham Road style, today it is misty, rainy and freezing!

Knowing that the stunning weather will be back, its time to start planning those alfresco lunches. We have just got in some lovely benches, perfect to put under a tree in the garden whilst you wait for your meat to cook on the coals. We are also waiting for a consignment with some lovely long tables as well as ball & claw patio suites ready to be given a make over. Watch this space!

Click onto and browse all those lovely items your thinking of putting in your Home & Garden.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A rocking horse has a very special charm

I acquired a beautiful hand made rocking horse recently, which is for sale in my shop, and I have to say that there is just something so magical about a rocking horse, it just has a very special charm. Can you imagine the wide eyes of the child who is going to be presented with this beautiful gift? But why am I saying child? This would put a twinkle in even a 'big child's' eye - I'm thinking adult - surely they would love this just as much as any child! Link: