It has been an exciting period over the past six months developing the new La Fontaine Franschhoek website. A new look, more refreshing and captive, is the result. We encourage you to visit it, as we have tried hard to make the Guest House come alive in a way that will attract the new as well as the hardened traveller. Up-to-date images of all the rooms are available as are those of the different aspects that La Fontaine Franschhoek is engaged in. Many thanks must go to JP Matthee of GHY Design (www.ghydesign.co.za) and Francois Brown of Impact Media Group, as well as the long hours spent by Trish Heywood in taking the correct photographs. Immediately after the launch of this new website the La Fontaine Franschhoek rating on Tripadvisor improved by 10 places! Now is the time for you to plan to visit La Fontaine Guest House in Franschhoek again!!
The whole of South Africa, except for the Garden Route area, is suffering from the El Nino phenomenon, namely substantially lower rainfall during the critical periods. The Western Cape, in which Franschhoek falls, is no exception to this occurrence. The average rain fall which we measured over the period 2002 to 2014 was 962 mm. However, for the same period in 2015 we experienced 689, a 28.5 % decrease. The dams supplying water to Cape Town are at an all-time low of 35% and the rainy season is still a month and a half away. This has resulted in our local authority, Stellenbosch Municipality, placing us all under heavy restrictions and higher tariffs for the higher marginal volumes; and urging all residents to be cautious in their water consumption. The major influence this has had on La Fontaine is that we have had to cut down on watering our extensive gardens. A saving grace is the grey-water system which we installed in 2004 and upgraded some five years ago, resulting in great savings in the watering of the Campbell House garden. .
La Fontaine's Grey-Water System
UNDER 12 SCHOOL'S CRICKET
The under 12 School’s Cricket Tournament held annually at the Groot Drakenstein Games Club (www.grootdrak.co.za) has just completed the tenth year, the last five having been supported by La Fontaine Guest House. This tournament started with four teams and has grown to include twelve primary schools in the Drakenstein Valley, nine of whom are from poorer communities. It is very heartening to have the 2016 trophy winner, Klapmuts Primary, come from one of these lower income areas. Sponsorship is a very important component in keeping this initiative alive over the two months, and this year has seen a number of supporters from the Michael Holding question and answer event, the Club’s Golf Day, the Franschhoek friends of Groot Drak, the Forty Club from London, to the Stellenbosch Municipalities’ Grant in Aid fund.
Under 12 School's Cricket Tournament Winners
DUBAI CHARITY SEVEN'S RUGBY
The former Springbok rugby scrumhalf, Joost van der Westhuizen, who is suffering from Motorneuron’s disease, has created a charity to collect funds for the cause. To support this he has put together a Veterans Seven’s rugby team, The J9, to compete in the Charity tournament held annually in Dubai in parallel with the International Sevens tournament. The J9 team won the charity tournament, with David von Hoesslin, a La Fontaine Franschhoek shareholder, a member of the team, and having played in all games.
David on the right with Waisale Serevi (centre), a former Fijian international, and Neil (left), David's younger brother, who was the reserve, all of the J9 squad.
THE 2015 / 2016 SEASON
The 2015/16 summer season in Franschhoek is coming to an end and we can safely say that it has been one of the most successful. Foreign visitors have been on the increase, kept afloat most likely by the cheaper Rand. However, not all gain by a falling Rand, as we have seen with the bookings by South Africans. These have seen a 50% decrease over the past year as the cost of living bites into their pockets and the economy weakens dramatically on the back of a weaker commodity market.
La Fontaine Franschhoek has for many years been doing all its own laundry, and offering a very popular service to guests. As the demand for its services has grown, La Fontaine found that a seasonal laundry-lady was necessary to keep up on the demand. For the past two summer seasons we have employed the services of Brenda Hendriks. Brenda has fitted in extremely well, with her very pleasant character and hard and efficient work ethic. She lives in Mooiwater, a suburb of Franschhoek, is married and has two sons.
LA FONTAINE'S NEXT EVENT
We shall once again be sponsoring the Green Room in May 2016, for the use by presenters to the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Visit www.flf.co.za for further information on this wonderful Festival.