What to do in Franschhoek: Stay at Leeu Estates

This past weekend we had the opportunity to do a little pre-10th anniversary celebrating at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. I narrowed down the hundreds of photos we took to the following few, and hope they give you the sense that this was one of our most relaxing, fun and luxurious weekends yet…

Saturday, 12 August 2017:  Wine-tasting at Mullineux and Leeu, Tex-Mex dinner at Tuk-Tuk, Leeu House Madiba selfies

Leeu Estates in Franschhoek
Destination: Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, just 80km from Cape Town. Temperature: Cool, drizzly and wintery. Expectation levels: All-time high.
Reading room at Leeu Estates
It’s all warm smiles at Leeu Estates, and nothing is too big an ask for the staff. Every single member of the ‘Leeu pride’ was as pleasant and helpful as can be. So much so that I was presented with a cappuccino and we were taken on a quick refresher tour of the property before even reaching our room. We were almost tempted to spend all weekend in the cosy reading room with fully stocked bookshelf, board games, cheerfully blazing fire and inviting chess board.
Pool at Leeu Estates
This pool, perfectly reflecting the cloudy sky, must be just the thing in Summer. Imagine taking a quick dip then relaxing on a lounger while the sun licks away those water droplets.
Gyn at Leeu Estates
We also stopped in at the technogym and rivalled the gym bunny sculptures in our activity. Well, not quite…
Mullineux and Leeu
We barely had time to get acquainted with our amazing suite before it was time to be golf-carted up to the Mullineux and Leeu wine studio on the property for a wine tasting. It’s a warm, bright space with crackling fireplace and wall of glass that make a winter wine tasting all the more pleasurable, with excellent storytellers to explain the origins of each varietal, and when we examined our room a little more closely we noticed two dinky bottles of wine waiting to welcome us – cheers!
Giraffe at Mullineux and Leeu wine studio
The art-loving Leeu Collection’s Mr Singh’s presence is strong in the wine studio too, with this impressive giraffe at the entry as recently added as a week before our visit. I dare you not to take a height-comparison photo next to it, like we did.
Wine tasting at Mullineux and Leeu
Husband in his wine-tasting element.
Winter at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek
Winter is a wonderful year to visit the Cape winelands. Just look at the way the grey sky brings out the rich greens of those very well trimmed hedges on the walk back to Leeu Estates through the Bokkie Garden.
Leeu Estates
Sentried rows of lovely greenery in the bokkie garden between the main Manor House and the Mullineux and Leeu Wine Studio.
Reflective Resonance at Leeu Estates
This sculpture is titled ‘Reflective Resonance’. Husband couldn’t resist kicking off his shoes and mimicking the pose.
Lavender at Leeu Estates
Clouds. Mountains. Lavender. Breath-taking.
Steam room and heated pool at Leeu Estates
We made the most of our stay by changing into swim gear and then braving the icy temperature to leap into the steam room, and once suitably heated up made a swift dash into the very slightly heated pool with view out towards the Franschhoek Mountains. Refreshing, to say the least!
Rainbow at Leeu Estates
It’s only when I took the plunge (literally) and fully immersed myself in the pool that I noticed the rainbow right outside.
Bath at Leeu Estates
I love a room with a view, but a bath with a view? That’s the ultimate. We’ll have to return once the water restrictions have lifted to actually have a soak in that tub and sigh over the view.
Balcony at Leeu Estates
Husband did try out the shower though, and had a wonderful gown-whisky-balcony moment in the break between swimming and dins.
Balcony at Leeu Estates
One of the best balconies we’ve had the pleasure of relaxing from. Just look at that view!
Leeu Estates
We enjoyed that outside view so much that we barely snapped any pics of the inside of our suite, alas. See the bed and lounge on top, and the main lounge below where we spent a few minutes before dinner time.
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery in Franschhoek
Before we knew it, the complimentary Leeu Collection shuttle was ready to take us 2km into Franschhoek town for dinner at Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. It was well-lit, warm and completely buzzing when we got there at 7pm, so we were pleasantly surprised that service was super speedy.
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
Instead of the standard wine tasting you can do a beer tasting at the Microbrewery, either of CBC’s brews (my bru) or of Tuk Tuk’s own brand of ales. Food-wise, everything is tasty Tex-Mex – note my impressively plated cheesy nachos with side of pulled beef, Husband’s manageable burger and fries and see how the photo of all the liquid on our table was photographed.
Churros at Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
For dessert, the churros with rich, warmly dripping dipping sauce are a must.
Franschhoek Leeu House and Le Quartier Francais
We had time for a quick after-dark stroll down the street to pose at the Madiba statue at Leeu House and greet the scary rabbit we remembered from our previous stay at Le Quartier Francais before the shuttle arrived to ferry us back to Leeu Estates for the night
Leeu Estates
Back in our room, Husband took full advantage of the underfloor heating, was impressed by the remote-controlled fireplace, and took in the pretty lights from the balcony before I noticed the cleaning fairies had left us a pre-anniversary surprise of tasty bedtime treats that we savoured right away and a bottle of MCC (which we brought home to crack open on our real anniversary).

Sunday, 13 August 2017: Breakfast at Leeu Estates

Conservatory at Leeu Estates
We were dressed and down in the restaurant for breakfast by 8am, in time to watch the sun rise through the adjacent glassed-in Conservatory.
Breakfast at Leeu Estates.
Breakfast the next morning was another delicious experience. Just look at the buffet spread, Husband’s masala omelette and my blueberry flapjacks, all lit by the morning sun once it popped its sleepy head over the mountains.
Sculptures at Leeu Estates
Other sculptures to look out for if you visit Leeu Estates. They add a delightfully quirky touch to the stay.

That’s all, folks! It was over in a flash, but the memories are something we will savour for a very long time. Keep your eyes peeled for my official review on Biz.

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Leeu Estates and Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery were part of our review package. Click through for a reminder of our previous stays at Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Francais and Leeu House.

3D neon putt-putt and Blowfish dins for Dad’s 67th birthday

August is almost everyone else in my family’s birthday – dad, mum, mum-in-law – so expect celebrate-y pics on the blog over the coming weeks. First up was dad this last Thursday, with a public holiday the day before so we got to spend some time with him.

But first…

Wednesday, 2 and Thursday, 3 August 2017: Social media leadership workshop at Red & Yellow School

Red & Yellow School
I was back in the thick of things after our mid-week break at Old Mac Daddy, covering the two-day social media Executive Education workshop at Red & Yellow School in Salt River. Click here for the four articles I wrote as a result.
Brave curious minds
Mike Stopforth presented the workshop and boy did I learn a lot! ‘Brave curious minds’ indeed.

Friday, 4 August 2017: New office reveal and Italian Experience media launch at 95 at Parks

Bizcommunity new office
A few snaps of what our new office space looks like. Just one floor up from where we were before, that’s our bright, colourful new entrance; clown-themed kitchen space; my desk complete with disinterested antelope mug; and a pink Mmmallow to show how it tied in the rest of the purple in the room that day.
Lion's Head
And the view from my desk? Well if you factor in my love of Lion’s Head and pink sunrise skies, you’ll know this is about as good as it gets.
95 at Parks, Constantia
Friday afternoon saw the media launch of Giorgio Nava’s new Italian Experience at 95 at Parks in Constantia. Some snaps of the setting…
Italian experience at 95 at Parks
The first lot of food we sampled included calamari and veggie tempura with Prosecco, deconstructed Caprese salad and orecchiette with veal.
95 at Parks italian experience
Even more food. This is the ravioli, gnocchi, osso bucco and gelati. Full descriptions in my official review here! Yes, I ate everything you see here.

Saturday, 5 August 2017: Wimpy waffles, relaxed doggies and family braai

Wimpy waffle
I was in the mood for a waffle for Saturday morning breakfast so we stopped off at Wimpy, Canal Walk first thing. See my Wimpy coffee, sweet treat waffle, and Husband Tabasco-saucing his mince-and-egg bowl.
Dogs
Sweet Saturday afternoon doggies, eating grass and relaxing on the couch accordingly.
Braai
It was once again time for us to host the Andrews’ family braai. Note assorted snacks, Bassie sitting with mommy, Bertie sitting with his dad and uncle (all bedecked in brown), and the end-result.

Sunday, 6 August 2017: News Cafe breakfast, Eden on the Bay milkshake treats

News Cafe breakfast
News Cafe was the place to be for Sunday morning breakfast. It was buzzing so we had quite a wait but enjoyed my early-bird special (half-price English breakfast) and Husband’s City Slicker (eggs benedict complete with avo and chorizo).
Dog with toy
It was time for Bertie to get a new TV-viewing companion, so we introduced him to his new bear, Elephant. Look at that happy little face. ❤
Milkshakes at Eden on the Bay Primi
We wanted fancy shakes for our Sunday afternoon treats. See my real strawberry shake and Husband’s hot-fudge-and-bourbon version at Primi in Eden on the Bay.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017: Women’s Day Snickers cookie, Driftwood Cafe mussel pot and Glowing Rooms’ 3D putt-putt

Black Forest Cafe Snickers cookie
We started our Women’s Day with breakfast at the Black Forest Cafe. Just the place to get your coffee fix, clearly, and each lady ordering a coffee got a free cookie. I went for my favourite Snickers cookie, topped and filled with bits of choc. Yum!
Driftwood Cafe
We stopped off at the Driftwood Cafe while the car was being washed. That’s my latte, Husband’s Black Label draught and my tiramisu in a martini glass.
Mussel pot at Driftwood
Husband went for the mussel pot mains – served in a creamy tomato broth, he mopped up all the last bits.
Glowing Rooms 3D putt-putt
We wanted to treat my dad to a different experience for his birthday, so headed off to the Galaxy Adventure 3D putt-putt Glowing Rooms in Milnerton. What a treat it was!
Glowing Rooms scenery
Some of the otherworldly scenery. Couple this with the black lights, 3D glasses and unexpected hills and vales on the course and you feel like you’re drunk or drugged!
3D putt-putt Glowing Rooms
This is the type of photo you end up taking there. Very otherworldly!
Glowing Rooms 3D putt putt
Some of the holes were very tricky indeed but Mum and Dad each managed a hole-in-one, with dad the overall victor. No, we didn’t just let him win.

Thursday, 10 August 2017: DJ Yoda and Dad’s birthday dins at Blowfish

Yoda graffiti
I had a meeting in Salt River on Thursday afternoon, and couldn’t resist snapping a photo of this lovely ‘DJ Yoda’ graffiti in their chill room.
Turkish Delight milkshake
We met my parents at Blowfish restaurant in Dolphin Beach after work on Thursday for Dad’s birthday dins. That’s my Turkish Delight shake, the others all had wine.
Dinner at Blowfish
We were seated at what I call ‘the best table in the house’ – at the back with a view across the bay to Table Mountain, bedecked with twinkly lights.
Food at Blowfish
All four of us had the Kite Boarders’ salad of chicken, bacon, avo, egg – yummy. Then see the calamari-prawn combo the others had for mains, and the caramel cheesecake I had for mains/dessert. DELICIOUS!

That’s all, folks! See you next week…

*Disclaimer: Obviously the meal at 95 at Parks was part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Click here for my full review of the Italian Experience at 95 at Parks.

Elgin sunsets, rainbows and Sup boarding at Old Mac Daddy

While we weren’t at work for the past week in full, it sure was a busy one as we sorted quite a bit of admin, had a mini vacation and still spent quite a few long hours  in our offices…

Friday, 28 July 2017: Creative Mornings Cape Town on the Nasdak

Creative Mornings Cape Town
Last Friday I attended the monthly #CreativeMorningsCT session, this time at the Nasdak. Click here to read my coverage on Biz.

Saturday, 29 July 2017: New Village Place Cafe menu, Uni Mil rugby and Orient sushi dins

Village Place Cafe breakfast
We were intrigued by the new menu at Village Place Cafe on Saturday morning – note my cappuccino with heart-shaped biscuit and French toast topped with bacon, banana and nuts. Scrumdiddlyumptious, as the BFG would say.
Uni Mil Rugby
We collected Husband’s brother and dad to support the local rugby team, Uni Mil or ‘Millies’, at Theo Marais Park. The wind was blowing away but luckily the main team had enough bluster of their own to secure a win.
Sushi at The Orient.
We’d planned an Andrews family dinner that evening to celebrate Spec’s 35th birthday and new job, along with other things. We opted for The Orient at Seaside Village for sushi, and I had sweet-sour chicken with the chocolate spring rolls to start.

Sunday, 30 July 2017: Fancy French toast and sunny Sunday afternoons

French toast at Poplars at D'Aria
We started our Sunday at Poplars at D’Aria in Durbanville. There was a chill in the air so we sat inside even though the outside setting looked very inviting. Note my amazing French toast.
Driftwood Cafe
We had our traditional Sunday afternoon treat at the Driftwood Cafe – that’s a custard shake for me and a draught beer for Husband. See the pretty birdie flying overhead and sunset from Mum’s that eve.

Monday, 31 July 2017: One night’s stay at Old Mac Daddy

Sir Lowry's Pass
Following a lazy lie-in it was time to pack our bags as we’d booked a mid-week break at Old Mac Daddy in Elgin. Lol at this photo. The wind was so strong at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass we decided to include this photo as proof. #Messyhairdontcare.
Old Mac Daddy.
Hidden in the Elgin Valley, Old Mac Daddy promises a getaway with a difference. Note the Airstream trailers, chilly pool and swing chairs on our porch.
Old Mac Daddy trailers
The trailers are highly detailed – we stayed in The Birdie and my parents were in The Dream, which comes complete with scary naked-lady pillow.
Coffee in nature at Old Mac Daddy in Elgin
Ahh. My favourite. Relaxing with a freshly brewed cuppa java in a peaceful setting. That’s just what we did after settling into our trailer.
Beach at Old Mac Daddy
Introducing the beach at Old Mac Daddy! You can swing in hammocks, sip a cocktail, take a family photo or try your hand at Sup boarding.
Next stop, off for an explore! Husband tried his hand at stand-up paddling or Supping at the Old Mac Daddy ‘beach’ – he took to it like a fish to water. Not meaning that he fell in, we’re Aquarians so natural water masters, remember?
Next stop, off for an explore! Husband tried his hand at stand-up paddling or Supping at the Old Mac Daddy ‘beach’ – he took to it like a fish to water. Not meaning that he fell in, we’re Aquarians so natural water masters, remember?
Old Mac Daddy Barn.
Husband started talking about ‘bucket lists’ after seeing these bucket lights in the main eating barn at Old Mac Daddy. That’s also where we watched the sunset and had cocktails and dins.
Sunset
This is the sunset I mentioned. Brittle and wintery.
Food at Old Mac Daddy
The dins I mentioned – I went for the jalapeno poppers top left and apple pie-cheesecake (yes, cheesecake topped with apple pie) bottom right, mom had the Mexican burger bottom left, Husband had the chicken-prawn jambalaya curry in the middle and dad had the pizza top right.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017: Rainy doggy beach walkies

Barn at Old Mac Daddy
It was back to the barn for breakfast first thing on Tuesday. We then spent some time relaxing in our trailer before check out time.
Rainbow and sandy dogs
It was a cold, rainy day – see the rainbow we snapped out of the Elgin Valley, and happy sandy doggies after a brief walk on the beach in the drizzle.

That’s all, folks! Have a happy weekend 🙂

Lots of gnocchi, meet my fox dog and see the Waterfront sunrise

The irony – in my last post I mentioned Husband was done being Marvin, but he went on to work all weekend and late most of this week – it’s now been 17 days straight! At least we’ve finally reached the weekend, and both have an extra few days off thereafter. Here are a few of our favourite moments from this very busy week…

Friday, 21 July 2017: Celebratory dinner at Moyo

Moyo
We ventured out to Moyo at Eden on the Bay to celebrate the change in Husband’s work shifts. It was too cold to sit outside so we headed indoors, where I had a Madagascan cold coffee drink (served with tot of Amarula). We were also served complimentary sherry and Moroccan breads with spicy dip, very nice!
Moyo lighting
The purple lighting bouncing off the metal tables was pretty.
Our meals: The chicken and date tagine for me, the lamb shank for Husband.

Saturday, 22 July 2017: Early morning doggie moments

Dog in rain
Bassie was happy to spend a few hours sleeping in with me on Saturday morning as it was rainy and we were having a new front door installed.
Cubana eggs benedict
We headed out for a quick breakfast before Husband had to be in the office so ended up at Cubana. That’s me pouring hot milk into my coffee and Husband sipping a flute of orange juice as these come free with certain orders, like their spicy ‘eggs benedict’ – not on English muffin but polenta cakes. It’s a huge portion, we really could have shared! All this for R100, including tip.
Dacschund
Bassie trotted all around her other grandparents’ property that evening when we had the weekly braai.

Sunday, 23 July 2017: Lacomia breakfast and hidden-centre cupcakes

Cafe Lacomia breakfast
When you need to make some Builder’s Warehouse purchases first thing on a Sunday as Husband needs to get back to the office ASAP, you pop in at Cafe Lacomia for your breakfast. That’s Husband’s Cola, my cappuccino and sunnies.
Chocolate surprise cupcakes
We were in for a real treat when we go to Mum’s that evening and bit into these freshly made cupcakes with chocolate-y surprise!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017: Meet my fox dog

Fox dog
Teehee. Couldn’t resist having a photo taken as proof of just how much my boy doggie resembles the clever fox on my jerkin.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017: Cannes Lions Cape Town and Stepbrothers’ team lunch

Waterfront Ster Kinekor
Wednesday was the day of the Cape Town version of our Cannes Lions feedback session. It was held at Ster-Kinekor at the Waterfront first thing – note the pretty sunrise and art on the walls outside the movies theatre.
Cannes Lions in Cape Town.
We manned the registration desk, grabbed a tub of popcorn and sat back to watch the presentations by our roving reporter and SA’s Cape Town-based judges. Click here to read my overview.
Stepbrothers Italian
It was also the day of our next team lunch. We headed out to Stepbrothers near Cape Quarter and had the most amazing Italian meal. That’s my cappuccino and pan of very round gnocchi with pizza strips to mop up that sauce. Trust me, I did!

Thursday, 27 July 2017: Impressive office birthday cakes

Office cake
In addition to being my brother-in-law’s birthday, Thursday was also the birthday of one of the lovely ladies in the office, so she spoiled us with cake. Look at these amazingly delicious ones.
Italian Club Say cheese fair
I had to wolf down that cake fast as next on the agenda was the media launch of the Say Cheese fair, coming to the Italian Club later this year.
Starters at Italian Club
Top left – the cheese samples we started with, bottom left – Arancini di mozzarella in a spicy tomato sauce, top right – a blue-cheese-broccoli soup and bottom right – one of the largest bowls of gnocchi in cheese sauce I’ve seen in my life. Yes I had gnocchi twice in two days.
Food at Italian Club
We ate and we ate, that’s only the half of it. Just look at all that cheesy deliciousness! Seen here: mozarella boccini top left, feta-beetroot-rocket pizza top right, baked Brie topped with bacon and thyme bottom left and haloumi-chickpea-pomegranate avo bottom right. Full description on Biz soon.

That’s all, folks! Time to unplug, unwind and destress.

Christmas in July, the Quarterdeck buffet and Yo Yoga’s 21-day challenge

It was another working weekend for Husband but the good news is, we’re about to see the last of them (and his stint as Marvin) as he’s back on normal shifts! Celebrate with us! But first, scroll through our latest favourite moments of the week below…

Friday, 14 July 2017: Christmas in July and the Quarterdeck buffet

Christmas in July at Bizcommunity
Our Entertainment committee rustled up a very festive ‘Christmas in July’ table to enjoy after our monthly staff meeting on Friday. Look at all the food and drink, you’d swear it was snowing outside with jingle bells a-ringing.
Christmas in July
We even dressed to theme!
hot chocolate and cookie
How very ‘Western Christmassy’ – a mug of hot chocolate and choc-chip cookie.
Quarterdeck in GrandWest Casino
Remember I attended the IMC a few weeks ago? Well, I won a dinner for two at the Quarterdeck Restaurant in GrandWest Casino for my tweeting during the event (yay). That’s where we dined last Friday evening. It’s just like a buffet on a sea-going ship, so go prepared with an empty belly! The doors only open at 7pm but we were early eager beavers, clearly.
Quarterdeck salad
Behold the colourful mini salad bowls. You could also create your own, but I went with one of these as a pre-starter.
Dessert at Quarterdeck
Many plates later, it was time for dessert! The choices take up a whole side of the ‘ship’ restaurant (that’s the one inside GrandWest Casino, not the pirate ship in the parking lot) – boy, was it hard to choose what to add to our plates. See the waffle station, the mini desserts, the ice cream counter with all sorts of toppings and Husband’s caramelly ice cream bowl.
Dessert at Quarterdeck
My first dessert plate – a red velvet waffle topped with toffee and chocolate sauce, mini Astros and tiny marshmallows; a fudgey chocolate cake slice; a profiterole; a soft pink coconut marshmallow; and mini tiramisu.

Saturday, 15 July 2017: Italian Club gnocchi

Coffee and Planters nuts
T’was a cold day. I spent much of it reading and sorting our taxes while Husband was at work. Note to self: A creamy coffee and salted caramel nuts make such a good snack while reading!
Italian Club gnocchi
As it was such a cold Saturday, the moment Husband was done with work we headed off to the Italian Club for bowls of gnocchi bolognese. Perfect winter comfort food, especially with a coffee shake or glass or red, depending on your preferences.

Sunday, 16 July 2017: More local Italian treats

Trescatelli Blouberg
I went for a quick treat with Mum and Dad at the newly opened Trescatelli on Blouberg beach front Sunday morning. It was packed! And no wonder, with the cannoli so fresh and crisp, the coffees strong and the cafe crema, a lovely coffee ice cream blend. Yum!
Chocolate cookies
Mum had also whipped up a batch of these chocolate-rose water delights when we went over for lupper. They had a lovely Turkish Delight taste.
Dogs on couch
The doggies snuggled up under a blanket on the couch for most of the evening.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017: Mandela Day posing

Mandela Day
Tuesday was Mandela Day, so a few of us dressed in Madiba-themed clothes at work and posed for a ‘Madiba shuffle’ Boomerang and pic. We also encouraged donations to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Thursday, 20 July 2017: Yo Yoga Cape Town’s 21-day yoga challenge

Yo Yoga
My colleague Ilse joined me for Yo Yoga’s 21-day yoga challenge on Thursday morning, where I bumped into another conference friend, Jenna – read all about the challenge here. We survived 40 minutes of bikram yoga in 45’C heat!
Yo Yoga, Cape Town
A few pics of our time in the studio. That’s me tweeting away before we got down to business.
Vita Coco water and Superfood snacks.
Post-yoga treats – Vita Coco coconut water and all sorts of Superfood snacks – even dark chocolate! Mmm.
Cloudy mountain
Weather on the way back to the office after the yoga session – cloudy and cold!

That’s all, folks! Stay well and warm. 🙂

What to do in Franschhoek: Stay at Angala

I can’t believe I managed to cut down the endless stream of pics we took this past week into the following, hundreds were left on the ‘cutting room floor’. It’s not usually this big of a task, especially when the bulk of the pics are not from the weekend itself. But this week was special as we had a few days to celebrate an ‘early anniversary’ at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House in Franschhoek, and it was possibly one of the nicest breaks we’ve had. Ever. See for yourself…

Saturday, 8 July 2017: Very belated post-Father’s Day breakfast at I ❤ Melkies

Breakfast at I <3 Melies
We’d not seen my in-laws for a while so decided to meet up for breakfast at I ❤ Melkies. All went for cappuccinos to start and various savoury meals, apart from me…
Breakfast at I <3 Melkies
My own breakfast was a little sweeter – a regular cappuccino like the rest, as well as a single bacon marscapone waffle with strawberries and drizzle of syrup. Just what the doctor ordered.
Burgers at News Cafe
News Cafe on Marine Circle was calling our names on Saturday afternoon. We heeded the call, opting for the happy hour strawberry daquiri and long island ice tea (just R39 each) as well as the ‘fired up’ beef and haloumi avo chicken burgers.
Sunset in Blouberg
We snapped a few pics across the road at sunset once our bellies were purring. Lol at the variety of expressions Husband pulled – love that face!

Sunday, 9 July 2017: Soup for lupper

Breakfast at Netcafe
Sunday morning saw us starting off the day at the Netcafe at the Netcare Blouberg Hospital, simply because it’s just up the street and we’d heard the food is good. And so it was – see Husband’s brekkie top left and bottom right, along with my caramel latte and pepper toastie with sweet potato fries. Really yummy.
Soup and gloves
It was a fully rainy day, so we had authentic German pea-and-ham soup with cheesy breadsticks for starters at Mum’s that eve – note the fingerless glove/mittens, a sure sign that things had turned Wintery for the weekend.

Monday, 10 July 2017: Night away at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House, Franschhoek

All in the Kitchen breakfast
We started off our ‘holiday’ with breakfast at All in the Kitchen – a special treat as it’s not open over weekends and closed by the time we get home in the evenings, so rare for us to sit and take in the goodness. And it sure is good – see some of the breakfast menu bottom right along with our flat whites, as well as the Omega Me Crazy salmon-y breakfast Husband opted for, and my delicious chicken mayo on brown – such a hefty portion that I took half home with me as ‘padkos’.
Cape clouds
Yes, ‘padkos’ means road tripping! The weather played along and treated us to one of those rare Cape winter Goldilocks days – not too cold, not too hot, not too cloudy, not too windy – it was just right.
Angala Estate, Franschhoek
Out destination for the night – the five-star Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House. It was pure bliss. Here’s why…
Angels at Angala
Once you’ve stopped exclaiming over the gorgeous vistas and natural beauty, you notice there are little ‘fairy’ touches dotting the grounds, hidden under bushes and tucked into unexpected corners – hearts, cherubs and angels all adding to the sense of love and the feeling that ‘you can relax here’.
Eco pool at Angala
And relax we did. A sign of its focus on complete wellness and that overwhelming sense of tranquility, one of Angala’s most unusual features is the eco pool. Echoing Mother Nature herself, all natural filtering takes place, and without any harmful chemicals, it’s just brimming with life – you can expect to hear frogs croaking and birds singing songs of joy as they swoop in for a sip. This is also the spot to sit and take in the view. See below.
Ecopool and recliners at Angala
The most inviting recliners at the eco pool. As they’re swathed in terrycloth dressing, taking in the view from there is like nestling in your comforting bathrobe.
Pool at Angala
Water is one of the main elements of healing and it features strongly at Angala, so us Aquarian water babies were quite literally in our element. Here you can see the cold pool in front of the infrared sauna below the main deck, with the hot pool hidden in this shot – it’s just in front of the garden umbrellas.
Hot tub at Angala
Cold pool on the left, hot pool on the right. I dipped a toe in the cold pool and decided the hot pool would be my home for the next few hours. We stayed in until the stars came out and it was time to get ready for dinner, so we trotted back to our suite, pronto.
Bedroom at Angala Estate
Just a selection of the tasteful bedrooms we saw at Angala. All plush, fresh linens and soothing tones, each with its own distinctive personality. Ours was the bottom right, but I think the bed in the next pic was my favourite…
Angala bedroom
This photo just screams comfort, luxury and ‘room with a view’. Absolutely gorgeous.
Sherry and coffee at Angala
A few examples of how your every comfort is taken care of at Angala – not just a handful of coffee sachets but the full complement of Nespresso pods, as well as sherry in every room, a well-stocked mini bar – make that ‘bar cabinet’ – that’s also completely complimentary including local wines, beers, soft drinks and milk for all that coffee.
Sunset in Franschhoek
Coffee cup filled with aromatic java and a view of the sun setting over the mountains is my idea of magic.
Dinner at Angala.
Dinner was so good I had to stitch together quite a few pics. Note my beetroot tart tatin starter, the wine Husband sampled and enjoyed so much he is looking out for a bottle to buy, his trout starter, his linefish mains (kingklip) and my lamb mains. Full descriptions on my review on Biz soon!
Dessert at Angala
More dinner snaps – the standard ‘bread and menu’ shot, and dessert. That’s my lavender panna cotta topped with syrupy figs and tart berries, as well as Husband’s impressive cheese and nut board. Impressive as he enjoyed every single cheese on the board, including an unexpectedly soft, sweet slice we couldn’t get enough of. Plus a cappuccino of course, just visible in the shot of me with my candle-lit purple hair, bottom right.
Amarula and gowns at Angala
We returned to our room to find something better than the customary ‘chocolate turndown’ – instead, a mini bottle of Amarula cream and glass on our bedside tables. We promptly hopped into our gowns and slippers and enjoyed it while sitting on the couch in front of the fire, that had also been lit before our return. Truly delightful!
Fireplaces at Angala
Yip, you guessed it. Another of of my favourite winter creature comforts is fire. There are fireplaces everywhere at Angala, each with piles of wood stacked nearby and adding a natural warmth and happy glow to your stay.

Tuesday, 11, July 2017: Outdoor showers and breakfast at Angala

Bath and shower at Angala
More focus on water with the simply stunning baths and outdoor showers. Husband was brave enough to give the outdoor shower a brisk go, but we didn’t run a bath as water’s so scarce in the Cape at the moment. Just imagine a soak with those gorgeous views though…
Breakfast at Angala
Breakfast is included in the overnight rates at Angala, so we took full advantage, ordering the Angala Rarebit off the hot menu and also plating up from the continental buffet offering. Lip-smackingly good.

Before we knew it, the time had come to check out and make our way back home, much more relaxed and peaceful than when we’d set out. So much so that I was told I looked ‘so serene’ when I returned to the office on Wednesday. We’ll definitely visit Angala again!

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Angala were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Click here for my official review on Biz!

Winter’s best comfort food: Italian Club gnocchi, News Cafe’s cherry hot chocolate

Fiddlesticks and phew, here we are at the start of a weekend where both of us are going to switch off, not think too deeply and have many happy moments together.

But first a few of our favourite happy moments from the past week…

Friday, 30 June 2017: Day off breakfast and winter gnocchi

Breakfast at La Rocca
We both had Friday off work so once we woke (without an alarm, yay), we headed out to Canal Walk. Breakfast took place at La Rocca. That’s my cappuccino and caramel banana pancakes with Husband’s deboned rib eggs benedict topped with prego sauce.
Italian Club gnocchi
The day was cold so after naps and chores we decided on the Italian Club for dins. Just look at these perfect plates of gnocchi bolognese, drowning in grated parmesan and chilli. Plus Husband’s Stella Artois and my cappuccino.
Dogs at fireplace
Happy doglets in front of the fire a little later that evening.

Saturday, 1 July 2017: Durban July at the in-laws

Our table at Primi for Saturday morning breakfast. Close-ups in next snap…
French toast and cappuccino at Primi
We each started with a cappuccino, then I had the French toast with peanut butter and caramelised banana (mmm), and Husband had the Eggs Florentine with haloumi and many mini tomatoes adding a ruby glow.
Sunset in Cape Town
Sunset at Husband’s parents house that evening where we were having a braai to celebrate the Durban July.
Dog on couch
Bassie took a liking to her grampa’s SA beanie and spent most of the afternoon on, in and under it.
Dog on couch
Bertie was also at his sweetest – this is the face he made when asked if he’s allowed to sit on granny’s new couch.
Lindt Strawberry
Coffee and my Durban July draw ‘second place prize’ Strawberry Lindt (I shared with everyone, promise).

Sunday, 2 July 2017: Rainy Baconville brekkie and News Cafe afternoon

Sleepy dog
My sleepy boys. Best faces. ❤
Baconville breakfast
Sunday morning was rainy and cold and we had a craving for bacon so breakfasted at Baconville in Willowbridge. See my chocolate latte, bacon flapjacks, Husband’s Breakfast Club with an extra egg and his ‘hmm’ face at the ‘I dare you sauce’ – child’s play, he said.
News Cafe hot chocolate
Sunday afternoon felt like an ‘afternoon treat at News Cafe’ time of the week – I tried the cherry hot chocolate while Husband had a dom pedro. Not on the menu but one of the best he’s had, and he’s had a few.
News Cafe cherry hot chocolate.
In addition to sweet-tart cherry flavoured syrup in the hot chocolate, you get a sweet cherry on top.
italian food
More delicious wintery food ensued at Mum’s for lupper that eve – minestrone soup with cheesy breadsticks, spag bol topped with parmesan, malva pudding with custard and stormy skies.

Midweek lonely evenings with dogs

Dogs on couch
Husband was Marvin this week so these are the faces I was rushing home to from work – sometimes with pretty pink streaky clouds when I got there, sometimes with night already setting in.

Thursday, 6 July 2017: Digital influence launch at Grand Daddy Hotel, after-work drinks at Tap Room

Elephant graffiti
Such pretty elephant graffiti just outside the Grand Mac Daddy Hotel on Long Street – my early morning stop before work to cover Popimedia’s digital influence in SA study launch. Coverage on Biz next week.
Grand Mac Daddy Hotel Long Street
Not joking when I say I got there before the sun was up. The lovely view down Long Street, as well as coffee and cold breakfast bits to snack on kept everyone happy.
Seal painting
One of the amazing student artworks in the main hotel area. Such soulful eyes.
Tap Room at Devil's Peak Brewery
My colleague from Joburg was visiting for a few days this week so a few of us went for a chat over liquid refreshments at the Tap Room at Devil’s Peak Brewery after work on Thursday as it’s close to the office. Of course we took photos as proof we were there. These people keep me sane during office hours!
Double-choc shake at Tap Room.
I went for the double choc milkshake – it’s a small as it’s listed under the kiddies’ drinks. The others enjoyed the ginger cider, if you’re in the area.

That’s all, folks! It’s set to be a cold wet weekend in Cape Town – stay warm and dry.

Ramblings, rumblings and random ruminations, version ii. Also reviews, recommendations and alliteration. Based on living the good life in the fairest Cape. Eating is my favourite pastime. Updated weekly