Help put Henley on the map!

Do you have a special Henley experience to share?

Henley on Klip abounds in experiences, most of which Henleyites take for granted, such as the constant chorus of birds in the tall trees, the rush of water over the weir on the Klip River and the circling of a hawk or even a fish eagle overhead.

This rural village south of Johannesburg, half-way to the Vaal Dam, also boasts more sophisticated pleasures, such as the exclusive gourmet pairing of wine and canapes offered by long-time resident Robert Hewer.

Robert hopes that his “My Experiences” project will inspire others in the village to offer their expertise whether in art classes, glass workshops, open gardens, cheese and sushi making, 4×4 training, sunrise horse rides, high teas, ghost tour, adventures of all kinds.

“Henley on Klip is an ideal weekend getaway or stopover on the way to the Vaal Dam. We have quaint lodges and BnBs and several excellent restaurants, but what else can you do in Henley?”

For one, you can experience, as I did, a taste sensation. I was invited to share Robert’s expertise with the Mayor of Midvaal, Bongani Baloyi, and ward councillor Lynda Parsonson in Robert’s lush riverfront garden. He explained his vision for highlighting Henley’s attractions and putting it on the tourist map, then introduced us to the wine farm of the moment – Alvi’s Drift.

After a brief explanation he produced a platter of four carefully prepared snacks and explained why he had chosen those particular flavours and how they complemented – and vice versa – the wines he had selected to pair with them.

It was a sublime experience; close your eyes, relax, listen to the bird chorus, and feel the different tastes blossom on your tongue.

Robert prepares all his canapes himself, offering a tomato and basil tart and spicy crab turnover with the white wines, a delectable pot pie with a choice of red Pinotage and a delicate almond cream crepe with a rare and rich dessert wine.

He and his colleague Bibi Burness, who has a similar vision, envisage bringing tourists to the local lodges and offering a variety of exclusive Henley experiences.

After all, as he pointed out, Midvaal is easily accessible on the freeways from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Who would not care to swop townhouse or apartment living for a weekend in the country?

If you wish to be part of this venture, contact Robert Hewer on 082 447 9248.

– Jennifer de Klerk