Newsletter July 2012

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Sunday, 1st July 2012

The Blue Crane Route offers a wide range of accommodation options, including several farm stays. A recent great addition to this is Cranemere Farm, near Pearston, made famous by Eve Palmer in her iconic book, loved by people all over the world, The Plains of Camdeboo. The farm was made even more famous by her later book Return to Camdeboo.

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Alex and Marianne Palmer and their daughter Elizabeth Payne will be offering dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in three rooms in the gracious old farmhouse, overlooking the sweep of water after which the farm was named. The heritage of the first Palmers on Cranemere, George and Fanny, is still palpable; the rose garden first planted by Fanny still flourishes, and visitors will feast on local lamb and venison; and fruit and vegetables from the farm garden, in the tradition of the five generations of Palmers.

As well, Marianne Palmer, joint author of award winning recipe book Prickly Pears and Pomegranates will be adding her own unique touch to the old favourites, and new guests at Cranemere, like the thousands before them, will dine on the best South Africa and the Karoo have to offer.

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The big event in Somerset East in July is always the Biltong Festival. This year, for the second time in the 22 years the festival has been running, the weather had a negative impact. Very cold wet weather, which closed roads all over the Eastern Cape, meant that many who had planned to attend, to enjoy the best line up of South African artists ever, were forced to stay at home. In spite of this, almost 7 000 people went through the gates, toughed it out in the cold, wet, muddy conditions; and enjoyed the music, the stalls, and the Karoo food and biltong.

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