If it's a sociable and active weekend you're after, or on the other end of the scale - looking for 'a license to chill' - Stanford is for you! An enterprising country village on Hermanus’s outskirts, carving an interesting niche in the weekend leisure market.
On the R43 about 150km from Cape Town, 20km from Hermanus, 22km from Gansbaai, 104km from Cape Agulhas and 56km from Caledon.
It's best-kept secret is that it lies on the Klein River, which leads to Hermanus lagoon, and that a number of boat trips are available. The whole area, and the river especially, is a birder's delight.
Stanford is home to award-winning restaurants and the region has a number of excellent wine estates.
And last but not least, Stanford's architectural heritage is what makes the town special... and retains the village ambience.
Stanford Morning Market – Every Saturday from 10am – 1pm in the square in front of the info office. This is a foodie paradise where the local chefs, gardeners and home produce makers gather to sell their products. Vegetables and salad greens, breads, homemade pies, takeaway meals and divine confectionary, in fact its the very best fresh produce you’ll get anywhere.
Stanford Evening Market – Last Friday of every month from 6pm – 8pm on Village Square.
The following content comes from Stanford's Destination Awards entry:
Situated a mere twenty-five minute drive from the relative buzz of Hermanus, Stanford is a picturesque village, characterised by pretty Victorian cottages, complete with 'broekie' lace and wrap around balconies. Life here is slower than in the city, so it’s no surprise that many ex-urbanites now call this village with a river at its heart, home.
Choosing a favourite time to visit Stanford is like picking a treat from your grandma’s pantry—each season seems better than the next.
Stanford caters for sport enthusiasts and eco-adventurers alike, with its diverse activities on offer: tackle a 4x4 trail, dust off the old golf clubs, ride a horse, go on a sunset cruise, learn to fly fish, spot the whales or dare to go shark cage diving. For those who wish to spend their holiday at a more leisurely pace, enjoy our fragrant wines and sit back in our country gardens with a good book.
Accommodation and restaurants are plentiful. All hungry and thirsty travellers are welcome. We cater for everyone’s budget – from backpackers and pub ’n grills to luxurious restaurants and romantic cafés with specialised cuisine. Come Say ‘I do’ in Stanford. One of the landmarks is the Anglican Church and the Dutch Reformed Church on the village green. Their idyllic settings make it a popular venue for country weddings. The village and its people elicit a warmth and ambience that is hard to find anywhere else. So get away from the mad rush of your life and pay us a visit.
‘A taste of village life’ - The campaign encourages you to respond to it – embrace it, unleash it, pamper it or awaken it … by coming to Stanford. Historic places, peaceful scenic cruising, shopping, laidback pubs, local food and wine, country strolls, country markets, canoeing, mountain bike trails,..whale-watching and winemaking, hiking and horse-riding, birding and bicycles.
The original market square dating back to 1785 is still pristine in the centre of the village. Featuring an assortment of renovated cottages and Cape Victorian and Edwardian architecture,Stanford is regarded as one of South Africa's best-preserved villages. Its heritage status is protected both by law and by an enthusiastic and dedicated Conservation Trust. The central core of Stanford is a proclaimed heritage site and most of the village exudes a charm of yesteryear.
- Birkenhead Micro Brewery
- The Klein River features more than 127 kinds of birds, as well as a variety of salt and fresh water fish, including bass. Otters, terrapins and various other indigenous animals are also found here.
- Klein River Cheese Farm & Picnics
- Stanford Wine route
- Gateway to Cape Agulhas
- Gateway to Shark Cage Diving and Whale Watching - 20 minutes from Hermanus and Gansbaai
- Marianas Bistro
- River cruises
- Mountain bike Trails
Song & Dance
- Stanford Oesfees (Harvest Festival) Challenge
- Strettons Bird Fair
- Barn dances
- Boxing Day Cricket - the 12th Stanford 6's on the Village Green
- Stanford Sunset Market
- Stanford Morning Market
- Stanford Canoe Race
- Penguin Plunge (mid-winter) in the Klein River
The village itself offers a range of bistros and restaurants, plenty of collectable shopping and laidback bars along the main street. Stanford is a happy village and the mood is infectious. Accommodation ranges from the internationally recognised five star lodges to the family-run B&B's and self-catering cottages – each keen to extend their own personal welcome. All combine traditional comfort with contemporary design.
Marketing & promotion
Our Destination Marketing Brochure at Indaba and the Argus Cycle Tour Expo and all Tourism Offices in the Western Cape. We established our own Stanford Wine route. We form part of the Cape Whale Coast Route, our own Stanford Tourism website, various Stanford 'partner' FB links, work closely with CTRU and nurture an intimate relationship with our local publications; Splash, Stanford River Talk (own local magazine), Whaletalk, Whalesong, Hermanus Times, Monitor and last, but no means least Whale Coast 96 FM and www.overberg.co.za.
Our award winning chefs, restaurants and accommodation establishments have featured in Country Life Magazine, on a regular basis.
Five year vision
Job creation!!! By establishing and marketing Stanford and the Overberg as a major route with nature-based tourism, eco-friendly farming, country markets for local producers and No 1 Country Village. To encourage and influence the massive Shark Cage Diving and Whale Watching industry to experience South Africa on a ‘local is lekker’ level with all the comforts. Stanford - the best weekend getaway in 2 hr radius from CT, for foreign visitors and South Africa’s city dwellers alike encompassing it all; food, wine, meet the locals, birding, pet friendly, child friendly, self catering & luxury accommodation, get -active weekends, romantic getaways, historical expeditions, stop over en route to Cape Agulhus and De Hoop Nature Reserve.
Making it all happen
Billboards for Cape Whale Coast Route in place as one enters and exits Stanford. Building closer relationships with the major players in South African Tourism & Travel industry i.e. CTRU, sa-venues, cape weekender club. Setting major SEO goals and doing extensive website research in order to understand our potential National and International target markets. Establishing our own unique niche markets i.e. pet- & child friendly self-catering accommodation, best country restaurants and markets, pedestrian friendly (safety) – through destination marketing and creating a calendar of community events.
Sustainable & Green
The Klein River winds down the Akkedisberg valley where most of the grapes are grown on river banks or mountainsides, producing a distinctive character for the area. An environmentally friendly approach to farming ensures that the more than 200 Fynbos species, abundant wildlife and the vineyards can thrive together in total harmony. The Stanford Wines route includes the acclaimed labels of Raka, Robert Stanford, Springfontein, Stanford Hills, Boschrivier, Misty Mountains, Walker Bay, Brunia, and Vaalvlei. Stanford , an excellent getaway destination where wine can be enjoyed slowly. Stanford's immensely varied terrain supports a rich diversity of birdlife, and plant-life and offers an incomparable range of activities and natural beauty for which tourists flock to the village. The Klein River passes through Stanford, and this offers many water-activities, including boat cruises, kayak trips and bird watching along the banks. The village is rich in beauty, with an aura of peace and tranquillity which attracts artists, photographers and nature lovers. Challenge yourself horse trailing, fly fishing or eco-quad biking. Stay over after an exhilarating shark-cage diving experience.
Blow the trumpet
- The Overstrand region was judged as the National winners of the Cleanest Town Competition in 2003/4. Which recognizes the successful way in which the Overstrand Municipality together with the residents have formed partnerships in achieving a world class waste management service which cares for the environment and provides all who live and stay in the Overstrand with a sense of ownership and pride.
- Klein Rivier Gruyere regularly wins awards at international cheese festivals, and once you’ve tasted a nugget of this hard and nutty cheese, you too will understand.
- Brunia - Brunia gets two silvers at Classic Wine Trophy Awards 2011.
- Marianas - Winner of numerous Eat Out awards for Best Country Kitchen and awarded Rossouw’s Three Star Restaurants for 2009/2010 and 2011.