Jennie Chancey, also known as Mrs Vintage for her love of vintage clothing, lives in Stanford with her husband Matthew and their 12 children.
‘Green living is very near and dear to my heart, which may sound funny coming from the mother of 12 children, I realise,’ says Jennie.
Living in a heritage village in the Overberg means I have green space everywhere I turn, so narrowing down to just five is a huge challenge.
An ex-pat from the States, I’ve traveled all over the US and abroad, and I honestly can think of no place in the world I’d rather live than Stanford.
All I have to do is walk out my kitchen doors to enter a green paradise filled with indigenous South African plants, including several sections dedicated to succulents. This beauty of a space is all to the credit of our gardener, who has a magic touch.
I love to sit on the benches beneath the trees, listen to the birds, and watch the children running and playing. On rainy days, it’s my favourite view through the kitchen window, too.
I’m absolutely passionate about supporting local farmers, shopping and eating locally as much as possible. We are spoilt beyond belief in Stanford when it comes to food, as we have many award-winning chefs and eateries right here in a 7km radius.
But my very favourite is a few minutes away on foot – Graze Slow Food Café, which is the most literal farm-to-fork operation I know.
Chef Tabby and maitre’d Alex live on their idyllic farm 3kms outside the village and serve up delicious breakfasts Wednesdays and Saturdays and sumptuous dinners on Friday evenings. There’s also a produce market every Wednesday morning. I can’t tell you how much I adore this place!
We collect all our food scraps in a bucket that goes to their pigs each week. That means zero food waste in our house and more goodies for the pigs.
Every Saturday, we shop at the market on the stoep of the Stanford Hotel, a vintage gem in the heart of our village. Local farmers, bakers, artisans and cooks all gather with the best of their produce, and we try not to miss out on our must-haves. The Stanford Hotel
For me, it’s a slice of Chef Brydon Havercroft’s ‘leftover lemon’ cake (for my hubby, it’s his pork crackling!).
I also try to grab locally-grown mushrooms, Erwin’s made-in-Stanford Viennas, Elsa’s haloumi, and the best wholegrain bread I’ve ever tasted.
Local is truly lekker!
When I want fresh air and exercise, I often put the baby in his push chair, grab a few littlies, and head out to walk.
Stanford has a 4.5km wandelpad that will take you through quiet groves, up hills and alongside the meandering Klein River. It’s well marked and easy enough for all ages, and it truly is a refreshing taste of nature with wonderful views.
I try to walk every day, and I often bump into neighbours and friends (and their dogs — Stanford is famously dog-friendly).
For a little more of a challenge, the hike up Phillipskop (where cave art was discovered in 2016) is an absolute must. I’ve put it on my Top Ten List of Overberg Must-See Places!
The Whitehouse family owns the conservancy with its charming cottages available for rent, and they have put in so much work to mark out trails to the waterfall, the cave, the saddle, and the topmost peak.
I recently hiked to the cave to see the rock art and was stunned by the views, the abundant fynbos and the wildlife (lots of klipspringer and a soaring eagle).
This is an outing for the entire family, as the ascent is an easy one until the very last steep section leading up to the cave (and even that is manageable). Only 7kms outside our village, this is a treat I will repeat.
Read Jennie’s blog post about the hike Hiking Phillipskop
What I love most about my green route is that it’s right where I live. Come see us and let Stanford show off!
Follow Jennie’s blog Life is Lekker