McGregor Tourism Newsletter December 2018
Hee hee hee! So I had you all guessing didn’t I? “Who is this Mac Gee fellow?” seemed to be the question on everyone’s lips since the last newsletter was published. Well, all good things come to those who wait and now I am here. My la-di-da name is ‘Mr McGregor’ but seeing as I am just a down-to-earth kinda fella, please call me: Mr MacG! What a great job Lies and Hester did in crafting me. I love my new look and now I am ready to do some gallivanting in McGregor and I invite you to join me.
Saturday the 1st of December is going to be one busy, busy day! First of all, I am going to pop into Temenos Retreat to see the new exhibition that Billy has set up in his Temenos Gallery. This intriguing exhibition is based on the theme of “The Garden of the Beloved” and artwork from local artists as well as artists from further afield will be exhibited. The exhibition will be open for 3 months – December to the end of March 2019 and is open daily (except Mondays) from 9am to 6pm. MacG tip: Pop into Tebaldi’s Restaurant to try out their fabulous brand-new vegan / vegetarian menu.
After a coffee and natter with Billy and Michael, I am going to wander down the road to La Galleria for the official opening of ‘Sanctus’ – the solo exhibition of Solly Smook. Daniele and Manuela have invited us all to the official opening which will take place at 11am. This is a great opportunity to meet Solly Smook and mingle with other art lovers. This exhibition will run from the 1st of December to the 27th of January and the opening hours are Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm. Read all about it here: https://www.danisphotos.com/events/solly-smook-solo-exhibition-sanctus
After such a cultural morning, I will need an afternoon nap to make sure that I am ready for the spectacular night of song and dance that will take place in the NGK Hall at 5pm. The First Step Ballet present their Showcase of 2018! Tickets (R100) can be purchased from How Bazaar and I hope to see you all there to see the great work that Mary is doing with these young dancers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/welovemcgregor/permalink/999502310254984/
On Sunday the 2nd of December, I plan to have a lazy day chilling out at home and reading the Wahnfried programme for the festive season. Michael MacKenzie has selected a wide range of films featuring the actor Antonio Banderas and the director Wes Anderson, and I plan to attend them all if I can fit them into my diary! Sunday the 2nd at 4pm is a definite for me: an absolutely wonderful filmed recital by EVGENY KISSIN who plays a programme of Schubert, Brahms, Bach, Liszt and Gluck. Remember to book your place (email@example.com / 072 601 1616). MacG tip: arrive 30 minutes before the starting time to have a glass of wine and a chat with fellow theatre-goers.
Saturday the 8th of December is going to be one heck of a busy day, so fasten your seatbelts and come along with me first of all to McGregor Wines where the Race2Nowhere will take place as well as a 10km trail run. The McGregor Wines Race2Nowhere promises to be the perfect mix between an endurance challenge and fun. I wonder what enigmatic route designer, Con Viljoen, has planned for this race! Come with me and let’s see for ourselves. MacG tip: buy a few bottles of McGregor Wine for your Christmas celebrations! http://race2nowhere.co.za/
Also taking place on the 8th and 9th is a story and art experience with Briar and Michael Grimley at their home, Acacia Grove, 74 Long Street. This experience is titled: Vasalisa the Wise, the Retrieval of Intuition as Initiation with Briar and Michael Grimley. It is a Russian Folk tale from ‘Women who run with the Wolves’ https://www.temenos.org.za/single-post/2018/09/04/08—09-December-2018-Vasalisa-the-Wise-the-Retrieval-of-Intuition-as-Initiation-with-Briar-and-Michael-Grimley
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone but I am planning to go along to the Second Saturday Crafternoon @ 51 to challenge Roger Verrall to a game of scrabble – that is, if I can persuade him to take a break from his beautiful wood carving. The next Crafternoon will take place on the 22nd and I guess I may be challenged another word-boff! MacG tip: Don’t have lunch at home – too much deliciousness to sample at 51.
Every year our lovely Shirley and Rhowena organise a Christmas Gift Project for the children at the Byekorf Creche so why don’t you pop along with me to the Christmas Play on the 8th of December at 5pm at The Methodist Church. There is an entry fee of R20.00 payable at the door. I can’t wait to see the delight on the little faces as they receive their gift boxes from Teacher Christeline. Do contact the Tourism Office (023 625 1954) if you would like more information. MacG tip: take plenty of tissues for this heart-warming occasion.
The Breede Educare Christmas Celebration will take place at 4pm. Please note that this event is by invitation only (due to space constraints).
To celebrate my scrabble victory, I will raise my glass with friends “at the courtyard” at 6.30pm where Meg and Steve will be hosting their second music evening. This time the very talented singer, pianist, guitarist and drummer, Fiona Hare, will entertain us so do come along. https://www.facebook.com/events/536079236860043/
The Sunday night option in McGregor is Sunday Supper @ The Sandbag House with Tom and Fiona. They have sent out the following notification for us to diarise:
There will be the usual Sunday Suppers @ The Sandbag House during December, including on Sunday 23rd and 30th.
These are uncomplicated, three-course, homecooked meals. Menus use local, seasonal produce. Vegetarians are welcome, and should indicate when booking which is essential – by noon the day before (Saturday). Bring your own drinks. Cash only. To book: Fiona’s Favourites stall at the market | landline 023 625 1498 | WhatsApp: 082 924 8997 | firstname.lastname@example.org
While we are on the topic of food, take note of Open Kitchen’s trading hours for the festive season sent by Monique:
Fri 14th Dec – Mon 24th Dec 12:00am – 22:00pm
Tues 25th Dec Closed
Wed 26th Dec – Sun 30th Dec 12:00am – 22:00pm
Mon 31st Dec 12:00pm – 17:00pm
Tues 1st Jan Closed
Wed 2nd Jan – Sat 5th Jan 12:00 – 22:00pm
From the 3rd of January, back to normal trading hours:
Sun 12:00 – 17:00pm
Tues – Thurs 17:00 – 21:00pm
Fri – Sat 12:00 – 21:00pm
For bookings or other info, Whatsapp Monique on 072 306 1390.
Friday the 14th I will hot-foot it down to the Breede Centre where 5 finalists will compete in the next round of The Great McGregor Bake Off Competition. Don’t be late as the baking will start promptly at 11am with the contestants baking a batch of scones. This will be followed by a cupcake or ‘show-off’ cake to wow the judges. The McGregor Baker of 2018 will win R2000 and a trophy. R1000 for the runner-up and R500 for 3rd place. There will be a number of spot prizes too!
Every year, Billy sets up a delightful Nativity Scene in The Stable at Temenos. This is enthralling for children of all ages. Do make your way to Temenos from the 16th of December to the 6th of January 2019 from 9am to 6pm daily (except Mondays). MacG tip: allow some time to wander through the beautiful gardens as well to see the peacocks and ducks.
A day that has been diarised for weeks by the local community is that of Monday 17th December. Max Menzies and his team of McGregor Young Warriors will be at the NGK Hall at 9am to hand out the next batch of BMX Bikes and Utility Bikes to the lucky recipients. A particularly heart-warming gesture is that of Vans “Off The Wall” who have donated 60 prize packages (T-shirts, peaks and sneakers) for the youngsters. https://www.facebook.com/mcgyw/ and https://www.vans.com
The Breede Centre HOLIDAY ACTIVITY PROGRAMME will take place from Tuesday 18 to Friday 21 December (9am to 2pm). The theme will be: “All about Christmas” and the children will be kept busy making Christmas decorations – for the Christmas Tree in Voortrekker Street and for their homes. MacG tip: If you can assist Katleen in any way by donating your time, food for the children or materials for the decorations, please contact her: email@example.com / 023 625 1930. http://breedecentre.co.za/
There is a great line-up of events taking place at Wahnfried for the remainder of the month. I recommend that you contact Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your place so that he knows how many wine glasses to put out!
Three Banderas films: 19th @ 5pm: LAW OF DESIRE (1987), 23rd @ 4pm: THE MASK OF ZORO (1998) and 24th @ 4pm: PUSS IN BOOTS (2011).
Three Wes Anderson films: 30th @4pm: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014), 31st @ 4pm FANTASTIC MR FOX (2009), and 1st January 2019 @ 4pm: ISLE OF DOGS (2018)
The musical events will include: 16th @ 4pm: Verdi’s opera OTELLO in a new recording featuring Jonas Kaufmann; and on 26th @ 4pm some ballet: ASHTON CELEBRATION – five short ballets made famous by Frederic Ashton.
The live event on the 29th @ 6pm is a fund raising One Woman Show by PEACEFUL THULARE. Her programme will include: Poetry by LERATO SEBANDA,who recently performed at THE POETRY FESTIVAL in McGregor. A light hearted review and extension of Raold Dahl s REVOLTING RHYMES. Peaceful both speaks the works and uses movement and physical theatre to express the spoken words. By donation.
A lovely event that will delight young and old, visitors and locals will take place on Friday the 21st at 9am when the Christmas Celebration will take place at The Breede Centre. Volunteers and visitors are welcome to attend. The decorations made by the children will be used to decorate the Christmas Tree on the property alongside the Tourism Office. A night market will be held here on Saturday 21st and a special Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place. MacG tip: bring plenty of cash as many of the stall holders do not have credit card facilities.
Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary will be hosting a Christmas Book Sale from 29th of November to 2nd December 2018. This is a great opportunity to do some post-Christmas shopping. Please see https://www.donkeysanctuary.co.za/ for times and details.
The Breede Centre is another Christmas shopping option. A range of handicrafts is for sale from 8am to 5pm on weekdays. http://breedecentre.co.za/
Lord’s Wines has some lovely gift options too. Lord’s merchandise is available at Lord’s Wines Cellar to purchase. From branded cooler bags to beautiful artisanal wooden platter board and more. Contact Jacques Oosthuizen if you would like to do an online order: email@example.com
Billy, Michael and Margaret and the Tebaldi’s Restaurant team will be serving Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve Dinners so do make your reservations as soon as possible by contacting Madie 023 625 1871 / firstname.lastname@example.org MacG tip: BOOK NOW! Menu details can be found on: https://temenos.org.za
Christmas Lunch with a view….Lady Grey Restaurant at Lords Guest Lodge will be serving lunch on Christmas Day, so take a look at the menu and make your booking now: email@example.com
On Wednesday the 26th, Veranda Panda will be in town and they will be performing for us in the late afternoon. What a wonderful way to relax with friends and family after all the festivities of Christmas. The venue is still to be confirmed but dairise the date for now. Be ready to be wowed by musical duo, Jane and Liam making music with machines and a violin! MacG tip: gear yourselves up for a great evening of music and entertainment.
A stunning place to add to your must-do list is Lord’s Wines. This is a great place to relax before or after Christmas or New Year…..or anytime! The T20 Toastie (Gourmet double cheese sandwich made with stone ground flour, with pickled treats on the side) is the new addition to what Lord’s offers you in addition to their award-winning wine. The famous platters are still available as well. http://www.lordswinery.com/
The new expansion of the cellar is a tasting room, but will be available for private functions, weddings and conferences. For more information, please contact Louwrens Rademeyer at Manager@lordswinery.com
Lord’s Wines is a member of the McGregor Wine Meander along with Tanagra Wine and Guest Farm; Solara Organic Wines; McGregor Winery; Bemind and Grape De-Vine. It would be such a treat for me if you could pick me up from the Tourism Office to enjoy a day of wine-tasting at these fabulous local wineries. Let’s make that a date, ok? https://mcgregorwinemeander.co.za/
It is a Dutch tradition to eat ‘oliebollen‘ on New Year’s Eve and Hester and Lies make sure this happens in McGregor too. Everyone is invited to gather in Bree Street outside their home, Poena, from about 5.30pm on the 31st where oliebollen and gingerbeer will be served. This is a great time to wish each other well for the year ahead and to enjoy some local entertainment from the McGregor Brass Band. A donation box welcomes your generous donations for local charities and this will be a perfect opportunity to have your photo taken with me! Put on your dancing shoes and fancy hats and …….SMILE!
There is no better way to end the year than in McGregor! As usual, Billy Kennedy invites you to “Embrace 2018 with a lighter step”. As has been the tradition for the past 20 years, locals and visitors to Temenos and McGregor are invited to enjoy a moment or two of quiet reflection before the New Year by walking the candlelit spiral in the Temenos Garden. Visitors are also welcome to pause a while in The Well where paper and pen are provided for you to make a ‘release list’ which you may cast into the fire at the centre of the spiral. Open on New Year’s Eve (31st of December) from 21h00 – 01h00. Use the entrance in Bree Street.
What a month in our quaint village – we trust that you will enjoy this time with us. Please share this newsletter with your family and friends and let us know if you would like to be added to the mailing list (023 625 1954 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
The McGregor Tourism Committee join with me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you in McGregor.