Like flowers blooming around the village, the return of the Stanford Sunset Market marks the end of the winter months, an awakening from a sleepy hibernation and the first big official ‘social’ on the calendar. As we head towards the warmer weather and the start of tourism season, we caught up with the market’s organiser, Philippa Murray, to find out more about this eleven-year-old event:
What can people expect when they come to the monthly SSM?
The monthly sunset market is quite unusual in the Overstrand region in that it is an open-air dinner and food market hosted on the heritage market square of Stanford. The square or “green” has traditionally always been a place of gathering and the market honours that – free parking, easy access, a family-friendly market where food providers, growers, deli-specialists, food trucks, local wineries and craft breweries are all showcased.
What kind of artisans and vendors can visitors look forward to?
The Stanford Wine Route is well represented – and their stands make up the literal centre of the market. Usually, at least eight of the ten Stanford wine farms are showcased. On top of that, there is locally made German sausages, loaves of bread baked right in nearby Baardskeerdersbos, pickles and produce from Gansbaai, biltong, organic eggs, soft white cheeses and food trucks from no further away than Bot Rivier. We also have a Shis’nyama selling braaied pork chops and chicken. There’s even an artisan Belgian chocolatier! Locally made samosas and curry from ladies in the local community are also a hit. Being family-friendly there are also kid-friendly selections.
What is your favourite thing about Stanford? What’s a hidden gem of Stanford you want people to know about?
The big secret about Stanford is that it really is in a time warp. The bypassing of Stanford’s village centre with the introduction of the R43 has helped to preserve Stanford’s heritage and history. Not only can you still see the beautiful heritage buildings, and the heritage square, there are loads of old-fashioned activities people can do for free – paddle or swim in the river, ride your bike around the village, go on fantastic walks, follow the leivoor to the old Mill Stream. It really is a time capsule!
Thank you, Philippa! Catch the first Stanford Sunset Market of the season on 27 September 2019, 6-8pm and every last Friday of the month throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn. Diarise their special Christmas market on 20 December and share your market magic moments with us using #visitstanford