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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Marlene vd Westhuizen's Gorgeous Books - Free Delivery*

New copies of Marlene vd Westhuizen Books are arriving at Blueberry Gallery Cafe tomorrow - Look out for Abundance, Delectable & Sumptious - all gorgeous books. Go on indulge yourself.

Order over our Webstore before 14 February 2013 and we'll deliver free *all postal deliveries via SAPO

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Transforming 'Cafe le Fort'

We are about to start renovations on our little fifty square meter cottage - which some of you will know previously as 'Cafe le Fort' - which is tucked away in the pretty little Hamlet of Fort Nottingham, in just under one acre of garden, surrounded by a nature reserve, pretty meadows and trickling streams. The views face onto fields of horses, at its best during fowling time, when these wobbly legged beauties grace us with their presence.
A couple of years ago we felled some of our own trees, mainly Deodar, but also some Cyprus, both of which give the most amazing scent which is a natural deterrent for insects. The Deodar is the hardest of the soft woods and is an excellent structural wood, having been used for builds, some of which are still standing some three hundred years later. You can imagine my delight when I read this, and realised i'd found an inexpensive way to add an additional 90 sqm extension to our cottage, using our sixteen cubes of planked wood. Originally we thought of a timber home extension which would be bolted to our existing cottage, but after a visit to Dirt Traders, in Curries Post, i was so excited to see their new shop, a Wood & Iron building that looks like a little historic building. I'm now sold on the concept of combining our shuttered, Frenchie style, cottage with a wood & iron addition which will house two mezzanine bedrooms and a spacious lounge with folding doors spilling out into the refreshing views.
The current building will have two rooms knocked into one to create a simple kitchen/diner (I've already purchased a trendy black Smeg fridge) with the main en suite bedroom and a separate bathroom, next door.

Once complete we see this as the perfect little spot for parents of children at one of the boarding schools in the Midlands. A little piece of God's garden in which to appreciate time with family and friends.

Building starts in two weeks time, so watch this this space for further updates and pic uploads

Thursday, January 24, 2013

La Popote restaurant

Don't you just love it when you find a hidden gem of a place that stocks beautiful items, serves delish food, in a setting that makes you feel like you're somewhere in Europe. A little piece of escapism. La Popote restaurant, on the fringe of Hilton, is one such place. Situated at the renowned landscape gardener's home, Sue Tarr, this little gem has been around for years and is owned and run by Lesley Strachan. Sue's little shop occupies the spot where the original stables were and, if you look carefully, you can still see the original manger and steel partitians. Beautiful antique tables showcase lovely gift items, some from Sue's daughter who is the founder of a crochet job creation project just outside Ladysmith.
Today I shared my little secret with two friends who have just moved to Hilton. I'm sure, having never been to this little hide away before, they'll become regular patrons in the future. If you're familiar with La Popote you'll know they offer scrumptious home-made delights such as pear tart served with home-made ice cream, a light refreshment with a creamy cappucino.
Open for breakfast and lunch including Sundays at Sue Tarr's Summerhouse - 084 584 6930 033 343 2352

Planning Session "in the Field" at Nicolson's Restaurant

Yesterday we sat amongst the beautiful rolling hills of Garlington in Hilton, KZN, drinking in the stunning views of farmers fields and natural vegatation from the fashionable, Nicolson's Restaurant. We had come to brain storm some business ideas and what a wonderful environment to get those creative juices flowing.
But let me take this opporuntiy to punt Nicolson's It's been a while since I was last here and I was delighted to see they have added a little cocktail bar just off the front entrance to the restauarnt - note to self to come here for a sun downer after work - it has a real trendy feel and yes, the views, fresh air and tranquility, make for a very special place - quite a contrast when you think you're mere minutes away from the polution of Pietmaritzburg. The waitrons at Nicolson's have the descretion to attend to your needs when requred, without unnecessary interuptions. I have a foreign friend who becomes very upset if staff start to remove plates before evereyone at the table is finished (very European) - well she would love it at Nicholson's. I've adopted her sentiment and was very pleased to see we were left alone until such time as we were all done.
All in all, tasty and well presented food, lovely decor, well managed, great spot. 033 329 5200

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nelson Mandela - The Mask of a Great Man

Last weekend we happened upon an African Sculpter, in a unique Catholic Monastry in Kwazulu Natal. I love visiting these places. Not just because I myself am Catholic, but because of the history associated with the buildings, the people and the simplicity of the way things used to be. This man had carved the most amazing crucifix of Jesus, almost life size. There was a piece of wood lying to one side that was about to become another crucifix and it was truly amazing to see how passion and talent can turn a simple piece of wood into something so beautiful. Leaning against the wall I found a carving of a face which reminded me of something out of Alice in Wonderland some how, like the cat in the tree. He turned out to be an interpretation of Nelson Mandela - here he is...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sometimes one needs to be taken back in time ...

So if you're a Led Zeppelin fan - this is for you - you'll love it, an old classic to bring back memories and maybe a little tear

Woman & Home here I come ...

Yesterday I had quite an exciting morning in Fort Nottingham with KZN Midlands photographer, Karen Edwards, shooting photographs for an article for the March edition of Woman & Home. The weather was just perfect and what fun putting together a set with beautiful items from Simply Sam Trading.
Karen Edwards is a beautiful ex model who has an amazing talent at putting at ease anyone who is in front of her lens. We had a great laugh when she pottered around in the garden to take a particular shot and started calling 'snakey snakey' with the explaination that she had to think of something to let the snakes know she was there and scare them away.
Look out for my post coming in March where i'll be up-loading the article.....