I was not sure that I could pull off a surprise birthday for my husband's 60th birthday. We were staying with friends in South Africa, sharing a car and spending most days together so I didn't have much privacy for party planning! But I knew I needed to try.
When our arrangements to visit our friends' farm were postponed, I reached out to a few friends and asked them to join us on the farm in 10 days time as a surprise for Brett's 60th. I wish that our children and family could have been with us, and that many more of our friends could have joined us. But all I could manage was a small group! I booked out all the cottages on the farm and made as many plans as I could without Brett hearing me!
We drove out to the farm through the beautiful farmlands of the Overberg area of the Cape. We were welcomed by our friends Andries and Coia who along with farming, have a beautiful wedding venue called Beloftebos. We relaxed on the farm (more like Brett relaxed while I kept checking my phone for messages as people were driving a few hours to reach the farm.)
After dinner we sat in front of the fire. Eventually Brett suggested that we let our hosts go to bed, as it was getting late, but we kept talking. We needed to wait up so that our guests could walk in and surprise Brett! Eventually they arrived, knocked on the door and came in singing. Brett couldn't believe his eyes. He was totally surprised! Phew, now I could relax and enjoy the weekend.
On Saturday morning we gathered in one of the cottages for birthday cake and coffee. It was wonderful to have guests ranging from Angus who is less than 3 months to some of us who are around 60.
After tea we headed out to explore the farm. Most of us live in suburban areas so it was such fun to be out in the countryside.
The highlight of the afternoon was going on a tractor ride through the fields of exquisite indigenous proteas to the top of the hill overlooking the entire farm. It was great fun although it was cold at the crest of the hill. (The birthday boy is on the phone, but it is legitimate! Someone was lost on their way out to the farm and he was directing them.)
In the evening we had a braai (BBQ) and Make your own Pizza supper. The children had so much fun making pizzas, that by the time the real dinner was served most of us were no longer hungry. I decorated the tables with my South African themed cloths and beautiful proteas from the farm. It was such a joy to have so many exquisite flowers to arrange.
Since this was a celebration that went on all weekend, we planned a Birthday Brunch. One of my friends, who is also one of our Heartistry Experience alumni, offered to set the table as a gift for Brett. Now this is not just someone normal who is laying the table. Sylvia is the owner of Special Events and Trouvrou and sets tables for the rich and famous (and others)! She used objects that were meaningful for Brett and also some cards I made with the 10 S Model-listing 10 of Brett's character traits! Look at Sylvia's gorgeous handiwork!
I was so thankful that my friend Karien, who lives on a neighboring farm, has a small catering business. Karien's daughter Nina works with her. They agreed to make us an organic, farm-style Breakfast Brunch. It was delicious! She served homemade bread, fig jam from her own tree, muffins, scones, savory fritattas, miniature meat balls with spicy chutney, smoked fish pastries and the most decadent chocolate cupcakes and brownies.
It was such a blessing to have our friends join us for the weekend for Brett's birthday. I am so deeply grateful for our Cape Town Heartistry community who hosted us, set the table and prepared the food. What a joy to be the recipient of such excellent hospitality! Thanks so much Andries, Coia, Sylvia and Karien!
We spent a final night on the farm and woke in the morning to a glorious sunrise! I loved all the proteas drying from the roof of one of the sheds on the farm. So colorful!
I encourage my South African friends to plan a visit to Beloftebos. The self-catering cottages are so charming and it is an ideal place to have a very restful holiday.