I started Ajay’s in 1998 in Johannesburg. I teach people to draw, paint and to sculpt. My approach to learning to be creative is to cement the foundations, and then to explore. These elements include observation, patience and creative consideration, proportioning, correct tonal interpretations and colour skills, 3D observation and artistic incentives, media knowledge and project commitment. We run more than 25 classes a week for adults and kids at various locations, organize retreats, exhibitions, expo’s and workshops. Visit www.artclassesatajays.com for more information. I first visited Paternoster in 2009, not expecting any favourable connection to it, after all, it is not a place that was that well known. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with this strange place, and I was soon thinking of creating something very unusual there. Then I met Dianne and the ideas quickly became reality. Soon I had my first group of eager travelers attending different workshops and sharing experiences with me. Since then I usually organized one or two retreats a year, schedule permitting, once with 16 persons, others with only two. We have done things from kayaking to action painting to boat rides, hikes, cheese making and dancing with the locals. Its always been a blessing to meet so many people and most are fantastic eager minds and a pleasure to teach. My first hiccup was in March 2017, after 10 retreats, with some nasty lady that made me rethink the retreat, but like all things, it made my resolve stronger. Today I host only one or two back to back in summer – I enjoy Paternoster green and hot, so from October to November is best suited for me with warm sand between my toes throughout the day. The most amazing thing about Paternoster, except the fantastic people of course, is that long beach, that literally stretches out forever. I run it every morning when I’m there, it is simply irresistible. The casting light at 7 in the morning is any photographers’ dream and lifts any weary spirit.
Dianne has owned many businesses. One was kayaking tours in Paternoster, which is how we met. I really suck at rowing anything, but Dianne just gently reassured me and actually got me to return to shore in one piece, quite a few times. Which generally reflects who she is – someone who ebbs and flows with challenges life throws at her, she is a survivor and an inspiration. Humor is always at the fore with her as she gently guides people in her studio to create masterpieces. I am lucky to call her a friend. Dianne studied Art and Higher Eductation at the Natal Art School and University of Natal, majoring in sculpture under Peter Shultz.
Feeling that a teaching post was too premature considering she knew nothing about anything except school and books, she left for Cape Town. After 12 years of designing and working within the computer and forms industry in Cape Town and England, Dianne decided high finance and corporate life could do without her and returned to Cape Town in 1995. Finally, knowing a little more about life, Dianne felt ready to teach and opened a ceramic studio in Cape Town, then later in Paternoster. Since then she has been teaching, exhibiting and generally exploring the ceramic medium and painting in oils. Her work is found in homes and collections across Europe and within her homeland, South Africa.
The first time I met Suzi was in 2009 or 2010 when she owned Gaatjie. I asked the waitress what she suggested for a vegetarian and was soon ushered to a tiny kitchen where Suzi was cooking up a literal storm. She gave me about 50 options, and I knew I was in the right place. She has an innate ability to create magic from fresh produce, local ingredients and of late, open-fire cooking. Suzi took our groups on a walk about, learn-a-lot adventure of Paternoster where we were introduced to sout slaai, wild sorrel, seeslaai and veldkool. After our walk we went to the beach, at a little cove, started the fires and each of us had little tasks to complete, from mixing local cocktails, to slicing, frying, grilling and combining local food in potjies and open fires. She taught me to make a ratatouille in a potjie that I still do today. The lunches were divine experiences. Of late we go in groups to her house or different locals and like always she creates a feast for the eyes and tummies, combining her well-traveled palette with local cuisine. By far my favourite chef!!
Valmé Jooste and her brother Jaco Kruger bought Gaaitjie from Suzi Holtzhausen which means they had big shoes to fill. This 80 year old building with the ocean meters away sets the scene for magnificent experiences. The food is great, the wine list spectacular. Jaco knows his way around his kitchen, which they extended and revamped to create mouthwatering dishes, and sister Valme is always there to look after you.
It’s location lends itself to lazy afternoons, and Valme has helped me create a idyllic place to do impasto (thick paint) workshops, after a sumptuous lunch. The ambiance is just perf😊ect for such occasions.
Ursula hes two daughters, Mandy and Jodie, who introduced me to her mom when I was looking for a resident cook to introduce the groups to West Coast cuisine. Ursula grew up in Paternoster, and has knows local custom, and I think local humour has embraced her rather squeezingly too. She’s a laugh a minute personality, full of stories and local banter. Her speciality is seafood, which she grew up with, honing her skills in cooking when she worked for a Saldanha fishery and reading every cookbook she could find her hands on. On our Tietiesbaai days, she braais for the groups – Crayfish Thermadore, Mosselpot and homemade buttermilk bread.
After spending 5 years in Italy , traveling tasting regional cuisine and learning from the Italian nonnas the basic of each region.We came back to South Africa and share an authentic Italian experience with guests . Pronto ! Guests tastes from Antit pasto, primi piatti, secondo piatti to Dolci. Students do handson dishes, likek, salsa verde , gremolata , assorted pesto, while sipping Lambrusco, and marinate mushrooms , peppers & grilled zucchini. ANDIAMO ! Paternoster awaits you . Uro Erichsen
Abalone House & Spa offers five star luxuries with serious seaside appeal. The boutique hotel is an eclectic visual tapestry of texture and authentic colours of Africa cocooned within a central poolside courtyard. Disappear into this world of genuine South African hospitality and be indulged. A 90-minute drive from Cape Town, Abalone House offers city-weary dwellers and discerning travellers an unashamedly sumptuous beachside escape, where extravagance and guest comforts take precedence. Feast at the bistro-style Reuben’s at Abalone House, celebrity chef Reuben Riffel’s West Coast offering that elevates this Paternoster destination to a new level of luxury escapism. The Spa at Abalone House offers four treatment rooms where pampering and rejuvenation await. Book online at www.abalonehouse.co.za.The five star Abalone Pool Villas epitomize the finest self-catering accommodation in the village of Paternoster – with a butler in attendance to serve a full English or Continental breakfast in suite. The two identical Pool Villas each sleeps two couples or a family of four in two spacious and magnificently appointed bedrooms with king beds, both bedrooms leading onto the patio and rim flowing pool, while one of the rooms boast a private balcony with 180 degree sea views all the way to the horizon. The main living area is spacious and beautifully appointed with comfortable couches, while the floor is strewn with Persian carpets. Oversized, colourful Tretchikoff prints add pizzaz to walls. A fully equipped kitchen enhances the West Coast experience for travellers who enjoy cooking their own meals on holidays. Other amenities range from a cosy indoor fireplace to complimentary WiFi, Smart TV and Netflix. Large glass stack doors folded back to allow indoor-outdoor living around the pool and braai area with a convenient outdoor shower for washing off beach sand before jumping in the pool. Book online at www.abalonepoolvillas.co.za.
The Voorstrandt Restaurant is situated in a 114 year old quaint red and green tin house, right on the white sandy beach with panoramic views of the sand, sea and sky, overlooking the bay.. Enjoy an idyllic sunset whilst watching whales play in the bay. Whether you are looking for a leisurely day or a romantic evening, this quaint beach restaurant set in a historic 114 year old tin fisherman’s cottage overlooking the endless unspoilt beaches in a working fishing village is the place to be. Come and savor sumptuously prepared meals while being spoilt by true west coast hospitality. The Restaurant specializes in fish dishes, ranging from Malay Seafood Curry, Seafood Platters, Fresh Crayfish “when in season” Oysters, but never forgetting about Meat lovers and Vegetarians. Local West Coast wines, beers and more.