Our visit to the Cheetah Centre – 30/4/2011

We took a drive out to the Cheetah Centre and spent some time at the centre.  It is just one of the activities to visit if you are visting our aera.  We took some wonderful photo’s and it was an memorable experience.  The Cheetah Centre is renowned as a breeding Centre and Sanctuary.

The Centre offers guided tours, with the opptunity of seeing cheetah, African wild dog as well as other species up close.

Watch a high speed cheetah run in the morning and take the oppertunity to take some awesome photo’s.

Stirling Manor can arrange a guided tour for you and we can transfer you to and from the Cheetah Centre.  Contact us for further information and our friendly staff will assist you with arrangements to the Centre.

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AUDREY’S STORY – 29.4.2011

Well known artist and sculptress, Audrey Rudnick, was born in Durban and educated in Zambia, Durban and later attended the Johannesburg School of Art, Ballet. Drama and Music.

Audrey always knew she wanted to be an artist and her undeniable talent was noticed from an early age.  After school, Audrey travelled through Europe for six years, painting and sketching.  She also spent some time in Sri Lanka designing and making batiks, but it was while she was spending time in Paris that she was inspired to sculpt and then to combine the mediums of painting and sculpture.

Audrey’s unique design of the “pod people” reached a selective audience and has since created a strong following.  Audrey’s portfolio consists out of a violinist, flutist and several ethinc woman, the Masai, Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele.

This unique piece of art is created from resin and wood, and flows into a palm pod to round off this very elegant looking sculpture.
Stirling Manor are displaying a collection of Audrey’s artwork and is this collection open for visitors and is this unique artwork also for sale.

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Goodbye Oupa!

As I answered the phone this morning all I could hear was my sister crying, I knew that my father has passed away and what we were expecting the last few weeks has happen.  He passed away at 9h15 on Saturday the 26 of March 2011.

I had the privelige to spend 10 days with my father to help taking care of him.  We had the most wonderful man, Barry Haupt a male nurse, helping us.  He is the most caring man I have met and he assisted our family with caring for our father.  He allowed us to wash, feed and care for our father with his professional assistance and preparing us in a way for what to come. I have so many memories that I treasure, but the most wonderful memory I have is that my father loved  the Lord.  He loved his family, and every night he and my mom will bow down and pray for all 9 children and all the grand children, each by their name.  By the end he could not remember all the names and then mom had to fill in the gaps.  I am so pround of him and know that he is now with my son Duane who passed away 7 years ago.  I could just see the face of Duane greeting his grandfather coming home. We had the honour to walk with our dad to the door of heaven and we are thankful  for God’s grace to be able to do it.  I will treasure you in my hart dad and as we always said goodbye, ” Till we meet under the ice cream tree” .

We both loved ice cream and we both believe that we will be having ice cream in heaven, just a little saying between me and my father.

See you again Oupa!

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A learning school!

This weekend we had such an array of different guests – from all walks of life and even from across the globe. The part I love about this job is getting to hear each and every person’s story – where they come from, what they love, what they do.

Seeing young love and hearing their plans as they are planning to get married in October, seeing a family enjoy their children – getting away from the city life and reconnecting with the person they fell in love with before the kids and the busy city life. A relationship in it’s early shoes, excitement of the romantic weekend getaway and the hope that everything is going to be perfect. International tourists soaking up the South African weather in awe of how nice it is and sharing their first experiences of things we take for granted… A learning school!
Yesterday after the rush of breakfast, checking out and sending off the laundry, I looked at my husband and my beautiful son and realised that we were also there where all these guest are now in their lives but we forget so easily to enjoy each moment before we go on to what is bigger and better.

This weekend was so much fun for me as I laughed and cried with our guests. Sharing stories ’till wee hours of the night and realising that we are so blessed with the experiences we’ve had and with a new outlook on the experience to come!
Carpe Diem – seize the day!

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An amazing experience with Lion cubs!

We decided to photographer to take a few photo’s of the activities that is on offer around the dam.  As we were driving from activity to activity we decided to drive out to UKUTULA game lodge to look at the education program with the Timbivatie lions.


Honestly, I have no words to describe my experience, but I can assure you that it was the BEST experience of my LIFE!

We were met by one of the rangers and given a tour of the facility, whereafter we were introduced to the 3 month old lion cubs. Upon first sight I fell in love with these furry little babies!

The photographer started taking pictures and what started as just a quick visit ended up in a two hour visit.  I played with the small cubs and they were just playing along and crawling and jumping all over.  From there we moved to the play pen for the smaller cups that were only 2 and a half weeks old and we were allowed to pick them up and hold them.  Visitors are allowed to interact with the little ones and thats why it is so amazing.   It is just that something deep inside melts if you hold one of the cubs in your arms.

We were very quit driving home, each with their own memory of the experience we just had. I could recommend this activity to each and every one.



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We have been scammed!!!

Andre BurgerFor a while now we have been planning to upgrade our establishment to a 5 star guest house and to put our plans in motion we contacted our grading assessor Mr Andre Burger for advice. He made an appointment to come and assess our establishment on the 1st of March 2011.


He arrived and assessed our guest house with the promise to send us a report with in the week, with guidelines on how proceed to a 5 star establishment.  Since the 1st of March 2011 we have not been able to reach him by cellphone or email.

Today we received an email from the Tourism Grading Council to to inform us that Mr Andre Burger is no longer an accredited TGSA assessor.  His contract and accreditation was terminated on the 6th of December 2010. We were under the impression he is still working for the Tourism Grading Council and he did not correct us.

The TGCSA has discovered that Mr Burger has continued to conduct assessments after his termination.  Futhermore, he misled clients by providing them with fraudulent invoices i.e with his personal banking details on them.

We were one of them. We trusted him and he scammed us! Who can one trust? We paid for advice and receive zero and we are standing at the losing end. 

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Japan Earthquake 11/3/2011

Tsunami JapanWhile I was watching CNN yesterday the news from Japans Earthquake was coming through and I just could not believe the destruction that was taking place.  This morning the photo’s itself tells a story of destruction.  Deep inside I felt so small and humble when looking at the photo’s, we as humans think and act’s as if we are untouchable, and then something like an earthquake happens and our world is turned upside down.


As I was sitting on my balcony last night looking over the dam and just taking in the beauty of the mountains, I wondered if people take notice of how many people lost their lifes in Japan. Does it even mean something to others or are we chosing not to see and hear?

Maybe some people do not care but for me I can not stop thinking of the families that have losts so much yesterday in Japan.   I can not do much from where I am, but I can pray for them.  Let us take a moment and think of others in need!…………………………….

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Carrot CakeI like to have a slice of carrot cake with tea in the morning.  This is a very easy carrot cake recipe, and as it is Friday today, just the right day to bake, I have decided to share my carrot recipe with you.  Feel like treating your loved one with something sweet this weekend, I have just the cake recipe for you.






Makes 1 x 30cm cake
Time: 50 minutes + cooling time

350g cake flour
5ml bicorbonate of soda
10ml baking powder
5ml cinnamon
2,5ml ground ginger
250g fructose   4 large eggs
300ml vegetable oil
4 large carrots, grated
20g pecans, crushed
2 banans
100g fructose
50ml water
500g plain cream cheese
100g unsalted butter
50g finely chopped pecans.

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 180 g C. Prepare 2 x 30cm cake tins by greasing them well and      lining them with baking paper.
2.  Sift together the dry ingredients and spice into a large bowl.
3.  Mix together the fructose, eggs and vegetable oil.  Add to the dry ingredients and combine.
4.  Add the grated carrots, desiccated coconut, mashed bananas and pecans to the batter and mix to combine.
5.  Divide the batter between the 2 cake tins and place in the pre-heated oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clen.
6.  While the cakes are baking, start preparing the frosting.  Combine the fructose and water in a smal saucepan over medium heat.  Allow to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes until the syrup has thickened.  Allow to cool.
7.  Cream together the cream cheese and butter for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the fructose syrup while continuously beating.
8.  Remove the cakes from the oven after baking and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans.  Remove from the pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.
9.  When cooled, spread half of the frosting onto one of the cakes, place the other cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting over it.  Decorate the sides with chopped pecans.

Enjoy and have this weekend!!   Laurette

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Some people like shopping, spending hours in shopping malls and walking from shop to shop.  I, on the other hand do not like shopping and people think I’m quite different.  When I started Stirling Manor Boutique Guest House I finally had the chance to embrace my great love – ” Cooking and baking” .  


I do like to try new recipes and to cook some good food. “It’s in the presentation” I always say, and that is how I decide whether to try some new ideas/recipes –  It must look good to eat!

So from time to time you will see me  putting some great recipes on the blog that have been tested by myself and been eaten by my guests.  If its good, you will have the recipe! 

I do encourage you to try some of my recipes as the great thing is, it has been tried in tested by a real person and tasted by real food critics -and the Bonus: your friends and family will love you for it and the food will speak for itself 😉


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Om die Dam Race…almost time!

Excitement is brewing as we are approaching the “Om die Dam” Race sponsored by Old Mutual the 19th of March 2011.

We have been approached by the organizers of the event to accommodate some of the personel of Old Mutual as well as some of the runners participating. 


It is a big event each year and a huge day for each and every resident of Hartbeespoort.
We are conveniently situated on the route and about 1 km from the starting point, thus we will be in the middle of all the action – cheering on the athletes as they take the Scott street stretch!

Good luck to each and every person taking part, may you have a safe and pleasurable race! (Remember we have Special rates for Runners booking with us the weekend of the 18th – 20th of March 2011)

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Stirling Manor Boutique Guest House

38 Scott Street, Schoemansville, Hartbeespoort, South Africa  | Telephone:  +27 12 253 2532   | Fax: +27 12 253 2060

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