What guests are saying about us
It is not often that a childhood memory of a holiday can stay with one for so many years. This has been the case with myself and the wonderful and special years spent at Blanco.
My first memories of Blanco was when I was 5 years old – our thatch cottage, the roughly painted walls, floral curtains on the windows and then how clever to use them as cupboard doors I always thought. Always a little vase of flowers in the bedroom, the bell ringing for meals and the singing of the workers, queuing to book your horse-ride and again waiting for the donkey cart ride. The smell of manure, the beautiful gardens and roses. The fresh morning walks with my parents to the dam and then waiting at the pool gate for it to be opened by an adult, and as the years past waiting to be able to go in to the bar and have a drink as not before 18 was just how it was. The piano seemed to have a different sound at Blanco as the Xmas Carols echoed onto the veranda where young and old shared their time. It was the Blanco family and when the holiday ended you took all this home with you and for me it became just part of who I was.
The fresh air, the freedom to just take a walk or a hike to enjoy the Karoo air either alone or with new friends that you meet is truly a gift. You are able to just be – as there is no rush.
So it was not surprizing that I then convinced my husband to give Blanco a try for one holiday and so the journey continued for us and our 3 children. For me to have been able to share my childhood memories with my family as we continued to never miss a year is something to treasure.
Chris and Kim have captured the old and the new so beautifully – so grateful to have had Blanco as part of my life and my family are certainly richer for the experience – my hope and wish is to walk the road to the dam with our grand-children.
Ken Colleen Steven Andrew and Kelly-Anne
“You know the chosen holiday location is a hit when a day after returning home your child looks at you and asks “Dad, how many sleeps until we go to Blanco again?
Our annual pilgrimage to Blanco is written into the diary in indelible ink and is THE holiday that we plan the rest of our year around. From the moment you arrive, your kids run off followed closely by ‘nannies’ who are brilliant at what they do. Knowing your kids are happy and well fed allows you time to play countless games of tennis/squash/golf/bowls, go for a run, hike or simply relax by the pool and read. The social element creates an amazing dynamic and we have forged some great friendships based on our Blanco visits. I would say the main thing that my wife and I look forward to is being able to catch up with each other without any guilt as we know the kids are happy and we will see them countless times in the day with huge smiles on their faces.
The simplicity of knowing that every meal will be delicious, every evening you will sleep deeply and every moment is a happy one are only some of the reasons we have returned to the Blanco magic recipe.”
John & Marion Coxall
OUR HAPPY PLACE …. FOR THE PAST 36 YEARS!
No matter how much money you have, or wherever you can go in the world, there are very few places on this earth where the kids have as much fun as the grownups.
Which is why, after 36 years, we still keep going back to Blanco at Easter. My daughter who visited Blanco when she was two is now taking her children there too. I could list all the facilities they have there but you can see them for yourself on their website. There is something for everyone and for every age group. Special mention must be made of the nannies they can provide to each family to look after your children during the day, especially while you are at meals (the children have different meal times in their own dining room) and in the evening. Also the amazing pub where you bring your own drinks and mixers and they provide everything else – no more nasty bar bills at the end of your holiday! The accommodation is extremely comfortable, spacious and serviced daily. The food is wonderful and plenty of it – the roast potatoes are legendary! I have come home 4 Kg heavier! Chris and Kim, and in fact all the staff at Blanco, welcome us back every year like family and can’t do enough to make our stay wonderful. Before you cancel your annual holidays at 5-star hotels, one needs to understand the ethos of Blanco. It is a working farm where guests stay in delightful cottages which are well appointed. However, you will not find Persian carpets on the floors or marble bathrooms. What you will find is that you become part of the Blanco “family” and will leave there having made lifelong friends and a holiday experience for ALL the family which will keep you coming back year after year after year.
Coming Home, that’s what going to Blanco feels like.
Situated in middle of Eastern Cape nature, Blanco Guest Farm has all the attributes of a real Eastern Cape Farm,
along with it’s beautifully put together rustic rooms and facilities, you immediately feel a sense of familiarity and comfort.
They say people make a place, and this could not be more true for Blanco. Eastern Cape sincerity and hospitality can be felt immediately upon arrival, and with every interaction one’s guard begins to drop and openness begins to shine.The Blanco staff are special, and this quality quickly begins to rub off on the guests and people around them.
A place of no worries, your only daily concern is arriving to your 3 beautifully prepared wholesome meals each day. Each sitting comprising of 3 course meals (or more), and you truly get your fill.
Days are spent enjoying the outdoors, nature and partaking in your favorite sport from their many facilities of choice. You’ll never be short of a sporting partner at Blanco as guests are always on hand to join in anytime.
As days offer so much, the nights even more so. With a traditional Eastern Cape Pub, Lounges, Fireplaces and large entertainment patio, night owls or early-to-bed’s find their place under the Eastern Cape Night Sky.
The truly beautiful thing about Blanco is how people end up coming together. Unforced and authentic, Blanco brings out the best in people, which allows families and guests (of all ages) to connect and present the best of themselves.
Whether its catching a nap by the pool, waking up to a coffee over looking the golf course, jogging past a herb of springbok or sharing a sun downer by the dam, Blanco has something for everyone.
I’m so glad I found this place, and I’m sure I’ll struggle to find any place quite like it.
Thank You Blanco
Blanco is such a special spot for us; for a week or two every Christmas holiday, we don’t need to cook, clean, shop, or even think about the never-ending to-do list.
The lovely staff at Blanco make sure that all we need to do is find a great spot next to the pool, choose between a G&T or glass of bubbly, and decide how many courses we’re going to eat at dinner… Absolute bliss! Their location in the rural Eastern Cape ensures that we slow down, switch off, breathe again, and reconnect. With ourselves, our partner, and our families. Highly highly recommended.
My brothers and myself are related to the Blanco dynasty and Ryan family and have been going there since the early 50 ‘s and have hardly missed a year since and many times have been there at least twice a year.
First with my aunt and uncle Pam and Ray Ryan, who then handed over to our cousin Patrick , their oldest child and then with Chris and Kim Laubscher, the current owners.
Chris being Patrick’s nephew and the oldest child of Patricks sister , Claire .
Chris and Kim Laubscher, have somehow been able to move with the times and yet keep so much of the great beauty of what Pam and Ray had first envisioned and created and so the wonderful legacy
We in fact might only be eclipsed by our very dear friend Paul Dukas, who is slightly younger than us ie just turned 60, but has not missed a year and sometimes been to Blanco twice a year, since having originally been taken there by his parents almost 60 yrs ago.
We have spent many many New Years with Paul, who is allowed to set all the rules and breaks them for that week or two. it is his highlight of the year and helps make it for all of us.
Another Blanco tradition is that minimum 60% of the same people land up being at the same week every year and this is not limited to our week, as it happens throughout the year.
Blanco forms such an important part of my brothers and my journey through life and Blanco has so enriched us and so many friends tenfold.
Our lives would be so much less without it!
I was in Canada recently with two boyhood friends of our family, Greg Salton and Michael Koff who we took there in their/our teens and Greg specifically could name every horse we rode and other experience, as if it were yesterday.
The names Starling , Captain ,Charles and ponies Flicker and Stardust popped up.
Talking to our other great friends Bobby Wilkinson and Jonathan Hill ,who have also both been going to Blanco since the late 50’s, 1958 to be specific and who are now going to catch up with Greg and Michael, they remembered all the horses names and so many other naughty boys activities are also etched in their minds.
All independently and without having spoken about their experiences for yrs
Blanco is truly unique and I know has touched countless other families similarly from all over SA.
The totally different eating and social arrangements help one understand the uniqueness of Blanco.
So many people of my age and thereabouts, started eating in the “Lions den” together with all other little kids of similar ages, either with ones nanny in attendance or an initially proud/concerned parent, then like going from junior school to high school, graduated to the teenagers table and were allowed to eat with the grown ups in the main dining room, but never with ones parents.
This still all happens!
The younger teenagers grow up so quickly in that wonderful environment.
Then one became one of the older teenagers leading the pack and many great memories were created and continue to be in every year and generation.
After that a break from Blanco occurrs for a while ,until one gets involved in a relationship or gets married and then graduates to sitting as a grown up with ones parents.
Then a new love affair happens as they have babies and there is categorically no place quite like Blanco for children, it is just without comparison.
The kid, young teenager, teenager, young grown up becomes a parent and their experience nearly becomes the best ever yet, as their children are looked after uniquely by the nannies of Blanco and go on the much loved donkey cart , now tractor ride!
All of them having experienced that same donkey cart ride when a young Blanco protege.
The parents , now grandparents, who were also on the same donkey cart ride, look on with so much love and pride!
Blanco sometimes has families of 3 even 4 generations of “Blancoites” all with similar and different memories in a place they all know and love.
Blanco for me, also has so many other reasons to love it , from just being in the Karoo, running, trail running cycling on the sand roads with little or no traffic, off road cycling/biking,walks and hikes.
Golf, Horseriding, tennis, squash great parties , great bar evenings in another of its “unique traditions” of bringing ones own drinks and leaving them in the bar, nothing quite like it!
Alex & Greg Dillon
Blanco Guest Farm – our piece of heaven!
We have been going to Blanco since our oldest daughter (who is nearly 14 years old) was 7 months old.
Blanco is one of those special places where you literally arrive throw your car keys in a bush, and the stresses of city life seem to melt away within the first 5 minutes of breathing the clean air of Blanco. Blanco suits any size family, any age child and even adult. For me as a mom of a large family Blanco is an absolute treat and break for me, as I do not have to think of any meal my family needs for the entire time we are there, and Blanco’s food is not only delicious but also nutritious. What we love about Blanco is the freedom our kids have and we have as a couple. We actually get to go for a run or cycle together, or even a lie on our beds in the afternoon when the kids head off on the tractor ride. Blanco is our little piece of heaven that we yearn and long for every year. You can not beat a better family holiday in the beautiful picturesque Winterberg mountains, where the most amazing memories and friendships for us have been made for life! Alex & Greg Dillon
“Pass the roast potato’s please”
As the ladies, who take such good care of us in the dining room, start to sing, I reach for the roast potato’s and have a satisfying sip of wine.
“Jo’burg is pretty, so is Durben sity, but it’s Blanco”.
I glance over at the table next to me. All are listening attentively, apart from Paul, who is fumbling with his notes for the “elephant foot” award which he will deliver with such effortless panache, later.
“Blanco, we luv you so!”
The ladies finished on a high note, and everyone applauds heartily. Paul is the loudest in his praise, albeit he obviously did not pay any genuine attention.
Further speeches ensue, then we meander through to the “Blanc O” pub for an evening of the usual, or not so usual.
An evening in the Blanc O is difficult to describe. You actually have to experience one to appreciate/understand/marvel at the occasion. Needless to say, it is great fun! Well, for the newcomers, a bit not so much, but no one is injured and once we’ve waded through the history stories (all true), the busy bee induction and the Tarka Boating regatta, the real fun starts. Bar sliding, guitar playing, singing, pool competitions, jokes, stories…. you get the picture.
Much later we retire to our sumptuous room, well OK its not quite the Ritz, but we love it.
Another thing to be aware of, is that everything on the farm revolves around bells.
Breakfast is sounded for the kids first. They run, in pyjama’s, gowns, underpants, naked, whatever to “Where the Lion’s feed”. Our bell rings next, and we run, in pyjama’s, gowns, underpants, naked, whatever to “Where the Adult’s feed”.
Then we wait for the morning tea bell. It rings, and we’re either on the golf course (5th hole), in the Olympic size swimming pool or playing tennis/squash/bowls. Or, on a horse, walking around the mountain and trying to avoid wildebeest… you get the picture.
When the lunch bell rings, there is a stampede for the “Blanc O” pub. G&T’s flow like the Zambezi river in flood. The gin is as dry as a Cape Town dam.
After lunch, mercifully, the donkey cart whisks the noisy kids away for an afternoon of revelry nearby.
Of course, we adults take full advantage of the brief privacy/respite – some nap, some…. well you get the picture.
All to soon our week at Blanco is over. As we leave I spot Mary and Martha, the two Table Mountains of Tarka, in my rear-view mirror.
Only 359 sleeps until we’re back to do it all over again.
You get the picture.
Blanco has been a haven for some of our most precious family holidays over the passed few years.
Not only has it offered us a place to totally unwind, connect and have fun together, we have met some of our most special friends whilst holidaying there. Loved so much, we’ve all returned year after year to enjoy the experience that never fails ! If you’re also wanting to keep active, there are plenty of places and people to enjoy a run, ride around the farm with (both competitive and fun). Oh! and I must not forget, the most delicious and healthy cuisine served all day everyday !
Create wonderful memories whilst relaxing and having fun – don’t miss Blanco !
Kendrew & Cindy Suttle
Blanco – Feb 2018
Blanco has become our special holiday place. This year will be our 20th year of holidaying there!
We have holidayed there since our children were very young, but now we go as a couple and still love it for different reasons. Life has become very busy and it is rare to find a place where one can just breathe. There is pretty much no WIFI connection; cell phones are banned to private use in one’s room and instead real conversations can take place without the interruption of the digital age. Each person has a different idea about what makes a perfect holiday spot. If you need to escape from the busyness of life to the quietness of the Karoo heartland – this is the place to go. We love the raw beauty of the Karoo (dry, crisp and clear). We love the quietness of the countryside. We love the friends we’ve met and made over time.
Although this guest farm is in a remote corner of the Eastern Cape, it is not dull and boring and so far-removed that one is limited to counting pebbles in the sand! In the school holidays in particular, there is always someone organising something. Whether it is a golf day; a cycle ride; a soccer match with the local Blanco side; a 4 x 4 drive; a kiddies’ mini Olympics; a treasure hunt or a dress-up night – one is not left wondering how to fill the time! Sometimes it’s not about “doing” though. At Blanco one can just “be”. Not everyone wants to ride, swim or cycle. Just to read a book, do a puzzle, paint some pottery or day-dream all day is also allowed!
I frequently tell my family that this is my ONLY holiday as it is a place I can really rest, relax, rejuvenate & recuperate. This is made possible because most the usual “chores” of life are done for one (notably cooking and cleaning). The good old-fashioned farm fare is plentiful and wholesome! It’s not just 3 meals a day, it includes tea times too (& on birthdays they always make cake for afternoon tea). A camaraderie develops at meal times (which are often) as one sits at tables with a mix of people (and one’s children sit separately with their new friends too).
When we had babies and toddlers, the nannies (typically caring and endlessly patient women) helped look after the little ones, giving us, weary young parents, a bit of a break. There is even a separate dining room for the little ones. Best of all is the tractor & cart ride for all the youngsters after lunch (where they are supervised in a play area down the road) giving parents time for an afternoon nap before tea time! Children in fact are often the ones who beg parents to go back to Blanco. They make new friends and there are plenty of things for them to do. Favourite highlights are the trampolines and play area that help expel their unending energy. We would recommend that you bring their bikes along though. The “bike brigade” of children scooting back and forth on the dirt roads are always a part of the holidays too. These happy, healthy activities are usually embraced with squeals of delight and a squawk of commands from a potential sergeant major who will soon be displaced by the unruly rabble! For those who love the idea of farm life, there is also the daily milking of the cows, the fascination of the pongy pig sties and the ever-popular horse riding (for all levels of ability). As they get older the “teen den” with it’s snooker table is quite a draw card, along with the tennis courts, a swimming pool, sauna and squash court for the more energetic. Bikes are still popular of course (as they are with all generations).
As parents do not have to spend every moment watching their children, they too can take time off on the bowling green; mini golf course or enjoy the many trails on which to walk, run, or cycle. This is for those who like the idea of a healthy holiday of course (or just work off the kilos gained from eating!) For quieter activities, there are dams close by for those who love fishing, or a trained masseuse should one wish to book for a massage. We feel it would be remiss not to mention the (in)famous Blanco bar too. Everyone brings their own drinks (meaning no hotel prices for drinks), and each room has fridge space in the bar area. Usually before and after dinner, parents gather in the bar to socialise. For some, this is the highlight of their holidays – being able to party and walk home safely!
In essence what makes Blanco special are the people who run it and the people who go there. Chris & Kim Laubscher and their faithful team are always available to listen, answer, fix, suggest, direct, create (and so forth) anything one presents them with! The families who go there tend to come back again, so friendships develop over time and there are always new friends to meet too. A special bond is made with those who love the place.
Bev & Steve Dold
“Our family’s first experience of Blanco goes right back to the late 60’s when Bev visited in two consecutive years as a high school girl.
For many years Bev talked of her memorable family holidays at Blanco and that we should plan to take our children there at some stage. As it happened we were invited to join Cape Town family and friends at Blanco for Easter in 1996. We drove down from Johannesburg with our daughter and son, then 14 and 11 respectively, for what was a nostalgic holiday for Bev.
At the end of that week the entire group decided to immediately book for the following Easter; and so it continued for each consecutive Easter for almost 20 years with the occasional absenteeism by the odd family due to other commitments. Both our children have returned during their student and young adult years and already speak of one day returning with their families. Bev and I will continue to visit Blanco whenever possible and will continue to encourage friends to join us.
I guess it is about as close to home-from-home we could ever wish for.”
Blanco has a very special place in my heart, It is way more than just a guest farm… it has soul, a heartbeat… it exudes warmth through the awesome people who run it, the food is amazing and you get real quality family time !!!!
“Blanco I love you soooo, Kimberly is very nice for me, Durban is pretty and so is Joburg City but its Blanco, it is the place for me, Blanco – I love you sooo !!!!” a theme song that has been sung at Blanco as far back as I can remember.
I have been going to Blanco since I was 1 years old & some of my favourite childhood memories were created there. a place where children can run free and parents can Genuinely relax whilst knowing their children are taken care of by such wonderful people.
I feel so blessed to go to Blanco with my little family and create our own special memories.
As a family who have frequently visited Blanco for many years now, we can honestly say without hesitation that Blanco is truly a “home away from home”!
At Blanco from the moment we arrive to when we sadly depart, we always feel welcome and that we are the most important people there. The owners Chris and Kim, two most incredible and beautiful people we have ever met together with their awesome very friendly and efficient staff are always there to make sure we are always happy throughout our stay.
Apart from the exceptional beauty, the outstanding views and tranquillity that surrounds us at Blanco, we so enjoy the wide variety of activities on offer to suit all age groups, fitness levels and interests.
Blanco is just that sort of place where we find we can relax, unwind, have fun, be active and feel free and safe every day of our stay, where there is no agenda to follow and time is just our own.
I have always said that Blanco is a real “mothers holiday” with no meals to prepare, beds to make in the morning, and should you need it, young children can be looked after by Blanco’s very own reliable child-minders so both Mom and Dad also get that much needed time to themselves. As for the food, well where do we begin???? The three farm cooked meals provided each day are prepared with love and perfection and are simply delicious, we certainly never go hungry!
At Blanco we just love the rustic yet extremely comfortable accommodation that is available to suit all family sizes. The rooms are very comfortable and of course it is such a treat to have them serviced every day. It is also lovely that each room comes with its own bathroom with bath towels provided and all have tea/coffee making facilities.
The country style farm holiday that you are about to embark on will be a holiday you will never forget and have you coming back for more and more. Blanco IS one of the happiest places my family and I have ever discovered where food and cosiness go hand in hand. There is no better place to catch up with old friends and you are guaranteed to leave with new friendships made.
For a place like Blanco that has been around for nearly 100 years currently owned by Chris and Kim who run Blanco with so much love, warmth and passion speaks volumes about the type of holiday destination Blanco is and why we keep going back year after year.
So we leave you with this small piece of advice – VISIT BLANCO, you won’t be sorry you did and you will leave wondering why it took you so long to get there!
With love, Blanco regulars
Janelle, Eugene and Cameron Cotterrell
We have been going to Blanco for the last 12 years since Matthew, our eldest was 1 & a bit, Nicholas was 6 months old & Emma a twinkle in the eye.
Its always been the highlight of the year and despite bush trips to Botswana, Namibia or Zim every year, trips down the Orange River, an overseas trip to Thailand, Blanco is always the holiday we enjoy the most.
Its the perfect family holiday for the following reasons:
- You can spend as much time or as little time as you want with your kids
- For a family with young kids the nannies are an absolute win as they take over doing all the tedious chores of parenting
- The kids have plenty of mates to play – tennis, squash, bowls, golf or to go horseriding with or to just hang out or cycle around
- Screen time for the kids is limited to the occasional movie
- All meals and daily chores are taken care of – the food is excellent
- The climate and weather is exceptionally healthy and perfect for a holiday
- You can choose to get as involved with other guests as you want whether its in the bar, or on the sporting front
- The unlicensed bar means that a huge bar bill at the end of the week is not a factor
- Its great value for money
- You can spend the holiday reading 10 books & catching up on sleep or playing all the sports, meeting everyone else & doing all the walks in the area or you can do a combination of both
- Most people go for a week during the school holidays which makes it great from a meeting people point of view – strangers arrive and by the end of the week, you & the kids have new best mates!
The school holidays are a fun time to be at Blanco while out of school holidays, weekends can be lively but again, you can always choose whether to participate or not.
I can highly recommend a holiday to Blanco as it has something for everyone.”
As a Mom in todays’ crazy lifestyle, it is the BEST holiday anyone could ever ask for. It’s like receiving the ultimate gift!
Some thoughts on Blanco – a guest farm to beat all guest farms!
How does one describe a place that has been a part of one’s life since the earliest memories of childhood and that has taken up residence in that part of the mind that is reserved for only the best of those memories? You would be excused if you thought that the answer to this question must be ‘the family home’, and in fact you wouldn’t be too far wrong if that is what you settled on.
I have spent holidays at Blanco going back roughly 55 years when, as a young boy with my brother and sister, our parents first drove up the long farm road that leads to the cluster of old rondavels that provided the earliest guest accommodation. I don’t remember much of that first holiday other than being made to feel truly at home, spending glorious days exploring the farm with new-found friends, swimming, milking cows, learning to ride a horse, afternoon outings on the donkey cart, eating in the little kids’ dining room and falling asleep at night filled with the simple childhood joy that settles in at the end of an adventure-packed day. All these years later I can still smell the Vandol Ointment that was smeared on our young sunburnt lips after bath-time, as we got ready for bed, exhausted but still eager for the next day to begin!
I have returned to Blanco year after year, as a child, later as a teenager, as a young adult, as a newly-wed husband, as a father and now as a grandfather who cannot wait to spend a family holiday with his grandchildren at Blanco! That to me, would be the crowning moment of all the many, many memorable years spent holidaying at what must be the best family holiday venue on the planet. You might say that I am a little biased in my assessment, and I would probably agree with you, unashamedly. From golf, bowls, tennis, horse-riding, walks in the veld and through the game park, climbing the iconic surrounding mountains, cycling, reading at the pool, to snoozing after lunch… oh, and the food!… the list goes on and on. There is literally nothing that is lacking to ensure a holiday to be remembered for all the right reasons, no matter what your age!
I could write endlessly about all that Blanco has meant to me over the years, but perhaps I should just re-emphasise that I have spent the past 55 years looking forward to, and returning to, this wonderful venue at yearly intervals. There are many good reasons to want to do this! Not least of these is the quality of people who are attracted to Blanco and who return to it year after year. To a large extent, the guests are what make Blanco what it is what it has always been. But there are also people other than the guests who carry an even greater responsibility for the success of this special guest farm. These are the owners and staff who continue to work hard at retaining and improving Blanco to keep it fresh and attractive. The three generations of family-related owners that I have known have all run Blanco with the same philosophy – if it’s not broken why fix it? The ethos and spirit of Blanco is one that needs very little tinkering with, other than the usual requirements of ongoing maintenance and renewal. But beyond that, what keeps me going back there year after year is the certainty of finding this incredible holiday venue unspoilt and unchanged and filled with guests who feel like family. It truly is just like coming home.
Family holidays are so precious! Especially when you can all have time for yourself, and together – in a safe and beautiful environment ♡
What sets Blanco apart for me is on another level. After the happiness and contentment I feel when I’m there, I’m able to live my busy city life a little more consciously and try integrate the stillness and calm I experience on holiday, into my normal life.
That’s what Blanco does.
It doesn’t leave you. It stays with you and how beautiful that a holiday can impact on your day-to-day – especially as busy parents.
The children feel it too.
And that’s why ‘we love it so’ ♡
Having a taste of what life ‘used to be like’, the safety, the free range children, the bicycles and toys left out at night, the nostalgia of things not being perfect, the ability to do whatever tickles your fancy – on your own or with others.
Supported by the Blanco family, the nannies, the produce of the kitchen, the friendly housekeeping, the firesides, the animals, the setting, the colours!
You’ll only know what I mean once you’ve experienced it. It’s a feeling.
And you’ll only get it, if you go ♡
Blanco… my happy place…
My best childhood memories were made at Blanco. 36 years ago I came to Blanco for the first time, as a 2 year old.
I remember how I used to count down the days from the day we left Blanco until the day we would return a year later for our annual pilgrimage. As an adult, I am still doing the same!
Besides the nostalgia I feel when I am there, stepping back in time to my carefree childhood holidays, there is so much that Blanco offers to both young and old. It’s a holiday for everyone. No meals to be shopped and prepared for, no getting into the car to race from one thing to another, no cleaning, laundry and making beds and someone to keep an eye on your little ones while you choose between a walk, run, hike, horse ride, bike ride, game of tennis, squash, bowls, golf, a massage, sauna, a suntan by the pool or a long afternoon nap. The freedom and independence that both parents and children can enjoy is something few places in this world can offer nowadays and to be able to give my children the experience of good, clean (and dirty!), free range fun is a priceless gift.
The sound of the bell at mealtimes, the smells from the kitchen, the daily horse rides, the nannies singing the Blanco song as the afternoon tractor ride returns and that clunking noise of the gutter as you enter the main house. Those are the comforting familiarities that keep us coming “home” year after year.
Hearty meals are prepared with love. Staff always with a smile and willing to do whatever they can to make your stay enjoyable. A BYOB bar where we have spent many nights into the wee hours letting our hair down with old friends and new, knowing our children are tucked up in bed, exhausted from their busy day under the watchful eye of a nurturing nanny whom my son will ask every year if she can come home with us! But Blanco is not just for parents with small children… as a teenager I still enjoyed the freedom Blanco had to offer, hanging out with friends from all over who I looked forward to reuniting with year after year, not forgetting, the first teenage crush! There is so much to do. Teens and adults alike choose to put their phones and laptops away to enjoy the fresh air, spectacular views and everything else Blanco has to offer. Boredom is non-existent in this little piece of paradise in the middle of the Karoo.
Blanco has its own special charm and quirks and imperfections that make it real and those are also what has endeared us to this family run farm. Pristine carpets and fancy fittings could certainly get in the way of the true essence of this place which is about family, friendships, fun and getting muddy!
I hope the generations after me will continue to enjoy Blanco for the beautiful, magical, soulful place that it is. It will always hold a special place in my heart and is certainly my little piece of heaven on earth…
I have lost count of the number of times I have been to Blanco.
As a young boy I used to spend the Easter holidays at Blanco with my parents and brothers.
When I had children of my own, I knew that my wife, Angie, and our two young boys, James and Paul, would take to Blanco just the way I did. When we lived in Johannesburg, we used to love to watch our boys jump out of the car as soon as we arrived at Blanco, no longer confined behind an electric fence but free and perfectly safe.
We have holidayed at Blanco for 19 years in a row, each time asking our sons as we drove out of the gates at the end of a holiday if they would like to return the next year. The answer was always the same. One year we tried to arrange a holiday in Mauritius that was going to clash with our Blanco week. Our boys loved the idea of going to Mauritius, so long as they could still go to Blanco. Needless to say, we had to change the date of the Mauritius holiday!
Blanco is our family’s happy place. The people, the fresh country air, the relaxed, casual environment, the roasties, the beautiful but harsh countryside and the blend of hospitality and farm-style living make it a unique oasis in the busy world in which we live. There is no doubt that when James and Paul have families of their own, Blanco will be top of their list as a holiday destination.
Thanks to everyone at Blanco for sharing your little piece of heaven with us every year.