A Wonderful Glimpse of Switzerland

 Earnest Hemingway said: “Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways.” With only a four days in Founex on Lake Geneva, we were fortunate to get a wonderful glimpse of the beauty and sophistication that Switzerland is known for. One moment we were literally driving through lush woodland and rolling countryside and fifteen minutes later we were entering the home of the UN and international city Geneva.

Geneva, SwitzerlandGeneva, Switzerland

With a reputation for being super sleek, slick and cosmopolitain, what surprised me most about Geneva was the wonderful blend of old and new. From the St Pierre Cathedral in the beautifully kept old town to the glamorous shops in Rue du Marche.

Old Town Geneva, SwitzerlandOld Town Geneva, SwitzerlandGeneva, SwitzerlandOld Town Geneva, SwitzerlandLake Geneva

The Château de Chillon is an island castle set on the shore of Lake Geneva with mesmerizing views of the snowcapped Alps. The lovingly restored castle showcases many original features while hints of its rich history peers through faded patterns and symbols on the walls and ceilings.

Chateau de Chillon, Montreux Switzerland

Chateau de Chillon, Montreux SwitzerlandChateau de Chillon, Montreux SwitzerlandChateau de Chillon, Montreux Switzerland - red tulipsRed TulipsChateau de Chillon, Montreux SwitzerlandThe Chapel at Chateau de Chillon, Montreux Switzerland Chateau de Chillon, Montreux Switzerland

It took all of fifteen minutes to drive from our hotel in Founex to the famous Sunday market in the French town Divonne. The market appeared modest at first glance, but like a river it literally flowed through the streets, into side alleys, around corners and through open squares until it completely filled this quaint market town. It offers anything from fresh fruit and organic vegetables to meat, salamis, bread, olives and of course macarons. However, the one thing that grabbed my imagination was this nougat stall – utterly decadent.

French Market in Divonne, France French Market in Divonne, France

Finally, our visit wouldn’t have been complete without crossing the border and visiting the French Alps. Being 3000 meters up in the Alps and enjoying a splendid view of Mont Blanc was not only a highlight but a bucket-list-dream come true.

French Alps

Thank you so much to our hosts Kate and Michael. You went out of your way to show us as much of this beautiful country as possible during this short but highly enjoyable and most memorable visit.

Copyright: Heni Fourie Photography

One Response to “A Wonderful Glimpse of Switzerland”

  1. Hilde Cronje

    These are absolutely gorgeous keep up the good work

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The Valley of Desolation – Camdeboo National Park, South Africa

Valley of Desolation - Camdeboo National ParkGreat Karoo - South Africa

A true geological wonder, the Valley of Desolation is a 120 meter cliff face which offers breathtaking views of the Camdeboo National Park. This wonderful feature is the product of erosive and volcanic activity that took millions of years to form and today it is a national monument of South Africa.

Great Karoo - South AfricaGreat Karoo - South AfricaGreat Karoo - South AfricaGreat Karoo - South AfricaGreat Karoo - Camdeboo National Park

 

I spent an hour walking around the valley of desolation, quietly looking around and taking pictures. There was a number people exploring the site yet the thing that struck me was the sheer silence. It was as if everyone there knew that to the break the silence would mean to interrupt the force of beauty that surrounded us. It was then that the following quote came to mind:

“Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein.

Copyright: Heni Fourie Photography

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The Owl House – Sanctury of Helen Martins

My recent trip to Nieu Bethesda in the Great Karoo was mostly motivated by my curiosity about the infamous Owl House. I have often been told about this family home that was transformed by its owner in the early twentieth century into an extraordinary piece of art.  It certainly lived up to everything I thought and hoped it would be, a real treat for the senses.

Heni Fourie Photography

In her early years Helen Martins was married to a fellow teacher who also worked as a dramatist. Together they travelled and appeared in theatrical productions in Transvaal, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town – a life filled with excitement. However, in 1928, following a series of disappointments including what would have been a scandalous divorce in those years, Helen returned to her family home in Nieu Bethesda to look after her ailing parents, including her abusive father whom she later moved to an outside room without windows. After her parents’ death she decided to bring light back into her life and today it is a joyful combination of color, glass, concrete and hauntingly beautiful sculptures that conjures up array of emotions from wonder and excitement to curiosity and finally sadness.

Heni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie Photography

Helen became increasingly estranged from the people in Nieu Bethesda and would only appear in public once a month to collect her pension from the post office. She employed a helper Koos Malgas and together they created sculptures of sand and glass to fill her garden, decorate her home and bring light into her life. The entire inside of the house is plastered with a mixture of cement and glass to reflect color from the light entering her sanctuary.

Heni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie Photography

The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda is a great example of the work of an outside artist. It is definitely worth a visit, if nothing else, only to be inspired by the person who yearned for the color, joy and creativity she experienced in her youth and rather than to be consumed by depression, decided to create joy in a life where there was no hope of achieving her dreams.

Copyright – Heni Fourie Photography

 

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Nieu Bethesda – A Nearly-Forgotten Town in the Great Karoo, South Africa

On a recent trip to South Africa I visited this nearly-forgotten village in the Heart of the Great Karoo. Today Nieu Bethesda is almost just as I would image it was 130 years ago with dusty streets, friendly faces, great open spaces and not a single tar road in sight. It is blissfully unpolluted by streetlights, the air is fresh and clean and life here seems to potter along at its own speed.

Heni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie Photography

We spent a lovely day walking through the quiet streets. The village caters for those willing to take a slight detour off the beaten track, in return it offers an oasis of creativity with artists, potters, sculptors and craftsmen tucked away around every corner. There are approximately 60 locals living in Nieu Bethesda and everyone we met had ample time to engage in a friendly conversation.

Heni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyAfter enjoying a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee on the porch of The Village Inn we took a leisurely stroll to the local Brewery & Two Goats Deli where owner Andre brews his own Karoo Ale. Visitors can look around the brewery and there is no rush to leave with fresh coffee, comfortable sofas and platters of locally made cheese, salad and kudu salami on offer.

Heni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie Photography

A few houses down from The Brewery & Two Goats Deli we met sculptor Frans Boekkooi who happened to be sitting on his porch. He invited us inside to look at some of his works in progress where he freely talked about his work.  It was only after I returned to the UK (and thanks to the world of Google) that I discovered this wonderfully unassuming man is a world renowned artist who won his first award when he was only sixteen. His work features in collections in the UK, Australia, US, China, Holland and the President’s collection. I loved his front door and the cacti in the kettle on his porch.

Heni Fourie PhotographyHeni Fourie Photography

If you ever should visit South Africa and happen to drive through the Great Karoo making your way to the Garden Route, do yourself a favor and make time for a 30-mile detour. Nieu Bethesda sits quietly and wait just outside Graaff Reinet.

It suddenly seems there really is no rush when you find yourself in a place where time seems to stand still. For me this day was time well spent.

Copyright – Heni Fourie Photography

2 Responses to “Nieu Bethesda – A Nearly-Forgotten Town in the Great Karoo, South Africa”

  1. Hilde Cronje

    These are absolutely gorgeous keep up the good work

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A Taste Of Oxfordshire at Hawkwell House

 

Hawkwell House Hotel is a beautiful 77 room country house hotel in the picturesque village of Iffley in Oxford. Having recently been refurbished, the hotel re-branded its restaurant and officially launched Iffley Blue – Food & Drink in Great Company. I was asked to photograph some of the most popular dishes from the Taste of Oxfordshire menu, giving me the opportunity to meet the man behind the menu – Head Chef Chris Kennedy. I could clearly see Chris’ passion for food in the design, presentation and sublime taste of his beautifully crafted dishes. However, don’t just take my word for it, scroll down and be tempted!

Food Photographer - Heni Fourie PhotographyHere are some of the mouthwatering dishes I’ve photographed. These include a beautifully prepared free range chicken with smoked bacon rosti and braised leeks, a slow roasted Wiltshire belly of pork, Exe mussels with chilli, garlic, coriander and coconut cream and a gorgeous autumn salad with smoked duck. For desserts there were a honey and cinnamon panna cotta and a vanilla rice pudding.

Food Photographer - Heni Fourie

Food Photographer - Heni Fourie

Food Photographer - Heni Fourie

Hotel Photographer - Heni Fourie Photography

Hotel Photographer - Heni Fourie Photography

Hotel Photographer - Heni Fourie Photography

Hotel Photographer - Heni Fourie Photography

Thank you to Aaron Bird and the team at Hawkwell House for allowing me to photograph your beautiful hotel and Chris’ stunning cuisine. It was a pleasure to work with you and I really enjoyed my stay.

Hawkwell House Hotel Oxford – www.hawkwellhouse.co.uk

Photography by – www.henifouriephotography.co.uk 

For information about wedding photography or corporate projects visit our official website. Heni Fourie is a local wedding and lifestyle photographer, working at venues in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

2 Responses to “A Taste Of Oxfordshire at Hawkwell House”

  1. Hilde Cronje

    These are absolutely gorgeous keep up the good work

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An Autumn Engagement – Kayleigh and John

Wedding Photographer - Heni FourieWedding Photographer - Heni Fourie

An autumn engagement photoshoot at home with Kayleigh and John at Ashotts farm. John is a professional show jumper and Kayleigh is an equine vet at Chiltern Equine Clinic - pretty much a match made in equine heaven. John’s timing to propose was very well planned as autumn is Kayleigh’s absolute favourite time of the year and he sealed the deal with a beautiful family heirloom passed down through generations – call me sentimental but I don’t think a wedding proposal gets more romantic than that.

Wedding Photographer - Heni Fourie

Despite being a rather gloomy drizzling autumn afternoon, Kayleigh and John were in good spirits which certainly helped in achieving a good result. So much so that I had a very hard time choosing images for this blog post.  Although these two were slightly dubious about being in front of the camera, they turned out to be absolute naturals and a joy to work with.

Wedding Photographer - Heni FourieWedding Photographer - Heni FourieWedding Photographer - Heni Fourie

The date is set for September 2014 and they are planning a lovely countryside wedding in a marquee in the grounds at Ashotts. I just know the happiness they exudes in these photos will stay with them forever.

For wedding photography, engagement and couple photoshoots visit www.henifouriephotography.co.uk 

2 Responses to “An Autumn Engagement – Kayleigh and John”

  1. Hilde Cronje

    These are absolutely gorgeous keep up the good work

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Wedding Open Day at The Pavilion, Buckinghamshire

The Pavilion at Lane End, celebrated 10 years of hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions at its recent Wedding Venue Open Day. The event was attended by over 50 guests – including newly engaged couples and nearly-weds who booked the venue for weddings taking place in 2014. The weather turned out just beautiful and guests were greeted with champagne and cupcakes on the Pavilion’s lovely terrace overlooking the grounds.

Heni Fourie Photography

Heni Fourie Photography

Heni Fourie PhotographyA team of experienced wedding co-ordinators were on hand to answer questions and show the happy couples around the venue. Also on hand was a select group of supplies who regularly work with the venue and supply items included in the Pavilion’s carefully designed wedding packages – including flowers, wedding cakes, chair covers, evening disco and wedding photography.

Heni Fourie Photography

Heni Fourie Photography

One of the only wedding venues in Buckinghamshire licensed to host outdoor wedding ceremonies, The Pavilion at Lane End is set in 26 acres of beautiful Chiltern’s countryside. The venue has hosted weddings since 2003 and and outdoor ceremonies since 2007.

Heni Fourie Photography

Heni Fourie Photography

Heni Fourie PhotographyThe event marked the official launch of The Pavilion’s latest offer – The Diamond wedding package.

The all-singing-all-dancing Diamond package includes everything from a drinks package to specialist wedding catering, evening food, reception flowers, handcrafted wedding cake, chair covers, wedding photography and evening disco.

All the flowers at the event were supplied by the venue’s preferred florist The Daisy Chain, cupcakes were provided with the compliments of Tracey’s Cakes and photography produced by Heni Fourie Photography. Also on display was vintage crockery by Blue Sky Vintage China and music by the venue’s resident DJ.

2 Responses to “Wedding Open Day at The Pavilion, Buckinghamshire”

  1. Hilde Cronje

    These are absolutely gorgeous keep up the good work

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Jennalyne & Dimitrios are Engaged

Wedding Photographer in Bucks - Heni FourieWedding Photographer in Bucks - Heni FourieWedding Photographer in Bucks - Heni FourieWedding Photographer in Bucks - Heni FourieWedding Photographer in Bucks - Heni FourieWedding Photographer in Bucks - Heni FourieJennalyne and Dimitrios got engaged September last year and decided on The Pavilion at Lane End as their wedding venue. They fell in love with the Buckinghamshire countryside in which The Pavilion is set – they feel it offers everything they wanted for their  ‘Enchanted Forest’ themed wedding. Catering for both English and Greek guests, the venue has designed a menu to incorporate cuisine from both countries to tantalize everyone’s tastebuds. Jennalyne has lots of stunning ideas to carry the theme though into the reception and the venue offers the perfect blank canvas for the theme. The wedding cake and flowers will be made by the venue’s suppliers – Tracey’s cakes and the Daisy Chain florist. I can’t wait to see it all come together – it certainly will be a wedding to remember. Congratulations to you both and all the best with the exciting months of planning ahead!

Engagement Photography by Heni Fourie Photography.

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Pretty Balloons & Two Lovely Sisters

Heni Fourie Photography - BuckinghamshireHeni Fourie Photography - BuckinghamshireHeni Fourie Photography - BuckinghamshireHeni Fourie Photography - BuckinghamshireHeni Fourie Photography - BuckinghamshireHeni Fourie Photography - BuckinghamshireWe’ve had such a lot of fun with this photoshoot! When I arrived the lovely sisters Gracie and Sadie (cutest names ever!) were ready to go, dressed up with tiaras and itching to play. The balloons were a huge treat and a rather big distraction. Having their photos taken was clearly the last thing on their minds – there was just too much fun to be had.  However, I managed to capture quite a few special moments, which will hopefully be treasured family photographs for years to come. In the end Gracie’s balloons came undone and got stuck very high up in a tree. She was adamant for us to get a ladder and rescue the balloons, but I suggested I come by again another time with new balloons – a promise I will have to keep.

For family, lifestyle and wedding photography in Buckinghamshire, London and the rest of the UK visit my website.

Heni Fourie Photography.

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Scarlett’s & Travis’ Big Day Out

 

Heni Fourie Photography - Family PhotographerHeni Fourie Photography - Family PhotographerHeni Fourie Photography - Family PhotographerHeni Fourie Photography - Family PhotographerHeni Fourie Photography - Family PhotographerHeni Fourie Photography - Family PhotographerIt was a very big day out for Travis and Scarlett, coming all the way from Somerset and Woking these two cousins and their parents met me in Hughenden Park in Buckinghamshire for their photo-play-date. We had lots of fun exploring the park and taking in the surroundings. Travis loved the attention of the local dogs being taken out for their daily walk but Scarlett preferred to keep her distance from the rather boisterous creates. She preferred to look for fairies – something she later told me is her favorite thing. After about an hour and a half it became clear that one-year-old Travis wished he took that nap he missed out on earlier. We called it a day and I invited the family to come and meet my 7-week old puppies – the perfect end to the day and a great opportunity for me to catch up with my old friend and Scarlett’s mum Aimee.

Visit my website for any family, lifestyle and wedding photography in Buckinghamshire, London and the rest of the UK.

3 Responses to “Scarlett’s & Travis’ Big Day Out”

  1. Hilde Cronje

    These are absolutely gorgeous keep up the good work

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