12 March 2011 by Chris Marais

Bedford Sundowners

Cradled sweetly in the lap of the Kaga Mountains at the foothills of the Winterberg Range, somewhere between the Hogsback, Tamboekie country, Daggaboer’s Neck, Post Retief, the Koenap and the Baviaans Rivers, lies the sleepy village of Bedford.

Now that you know exactly where we are, let’s go and drink some fine sippin’ yoghurt out at Cavers Farm and enjoy their English country garden. The aptly named Rose Ross will tell you the former Lord Mayor of London stayed there last year. Her husband Ken will tell you about the “fine sippin’ yoghurt” and the fact that his grandfather and the former Lord Mayor’s grandfather sat together, drinking tea up in these mountains one day during the Anglo-Boer War. A Boer sniper, not conversant with the rules of “War & Tea”, shot them both as they sat.

Let’s go to town. As we arrive at the entrance to Bedford, one of us may feel a tad peckish. Here’s Die Padstal, lots of fun for young and old. Kudu burgers are on special at next to nothing.

It’s late afternoon red wine time in Bedford, and where better to spend this bewitching hour of golden sunlight than out at Frans Mulder’s spread on the Cradock road?

If you’ve done a tour or two of the South African platteland, you may well have heard of Frans Mulder, the artist who lights up a town.

Frans lives in the original house that Andries Stockenstrom dwelt in before it was burnt down. Stockenstrom is commonly regarded as the founding father of Bedford, which was proclaimed in 1854.

“I can’t live in the city anymore,” says Frans, as we all sip wine and admire his wildlife canvasses. “Out here, I feel fantastic. I drink spring water. I breathe fresh air.” And then we all have another sip of red wine and cast our eyes over the deep-etched Kaga Mountains.

Category: Culture & History

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