What a wonderful weekend the last one was, mainly because we went to places we’d not been before. See a few of our favourite moments below…
Saturday, 21 May 2016: News Cafe Blouberg breakfast and Terroir Stellenbosch lunch
The pretty view that greets you once you turn off the R44 into Kleine Zalze, where Terroir is located.
Cheers to Husband! We started off with complimentary water and a flute of MCC each, as you can see…
Before we’d even take a sip we were presented with that day’s bread board and amuse bouche selection! We advise that you take your time over your meal or you’ll be too full to sample it all.And that would be a disaster as you definitely do want to sample as much as you can.
Husband went for the most popular item on the menu – the prawn risotto with sauce Americaine – for his starter (that’s the yellow sunny section of his plate).
There were so many delicious-sounding things to choose from but I’m glad I went for the smoked tomato tart. It tasted even better than it looked.
Husband opted for the linefish version of the Winter Plate special. It was dorado on the day.
More of the food. That’s the bread board top left, the amuse bouche middle left and my seed-crusted fillet Winter Plate in the bottom right, with our shared dark chocolate bar dessert on the right. All even more delicious than they looked.
We had to go for a walk after we’d eaten as it was a gorgeous day and the grounds at Kleine Zalze are quite something. I even blended in with all the natural purpleness!
Just look at the gorgeous golf course. Membership comes at a pricy R25,000 per year for non-residents. Gulp.
We were in sightseeing mode after lunch, so headed on past Strand to Gordon’s Bay and walked along the pier. This pic is funny as we were standing on rocks and I was initially facing the wrong way. Lol.
Taking in the view a little later on the beach in Pringle Bay.
Sun slowly sinking over the sea in Pringle Bay.
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast back to Gordon’s Bay.
We stopped in at the Thirsty Oyster in Gordon’s Bay harbour for a sunset cappuccino. Lovely way to end the day.
Coffee downed, we took a brief walk along the pier. Here is Husband gazing at the setting sun.
I am the queen of cheesy pics. Look at me just grasping the sun!
Of course we also took a selfie from the Gordon’s Bay pier.
Such a peaceful pier, with fishermen dotted along the outskirts.
Sunday, 22 May 2016: News Cafe breakfast and doggy beach walks
Having not eaten since lunch at Terroir the day before, we decided to start our Sunday with the News Cafe early bird English breakfast. Love pouring the espresso into the frothed milk myself for a latte.
Be careful what you wish for – you may just end up with an elephant in your coffee! This is the work of the skilled News Cafe baristas.
The doggies demanded a beach walk later that day, and it is was the perfect weather for it as the wind disappeared for a while. Bassie was even brave enough for a quick paddle in the icy sea.
Ha! The doggies pull you every which way when they go for walkies as there’s just so much to see/smell/hear! This is at Kreeftebaai, about halfway between Blouberg and Melkbosstrand.
Bertie really loves his beach walkies.
Later that afternoon Bassie insisted on sitting on her Granny’s lap after lupper.
Thursday, 26 May 2016: Content training at work and doggy father/daughter love
Our team had a training session on Thursday afternoon – that’s my ‘paying attention’ ponytail as I take notes.
What a wonderful Husband I have! The doggies love him dearly and spend at least 10 minutes fighting for his attention when he gets home from work. Even after the toughest day he takes the time to listen to my troubles and soon has a smile back on my face. ❤
That’s all, folks! If you’d like a more detailed description of all we ate at Terroir, click through to my
official review on Bizcommunity.
May your weekend be relaxing and filled with everything you love. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Terroir were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
What a week it has been. I had a mysterious tummy bug/migraine attack last weekend and am only now starting to feel myself again. Before we welcome in the weekend go through my latest batch of highlights below…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016: Levi’s factory tour
I wound up wearing all my dachshund fashion to the Levi’s press day. Click here for my full article, published today – the 143rd birthday of the Levi’s 501 button-fly…
We started off with java drinks brewed by the Department of Coffee. Such a clever name and so good!
Clever button-like tables so you don’t forget where you’re working.
Just look at that view! Lion’s Head is my favourite mountain, so this would be my spot of inspiration if I worked at Levi’s.
Denim artwork lines the hallways…
Levi’s artwork on display. Impressive as they’ve only been in these offices a few weeks.
So many interesting things in the Levi’s offices! Look at bits of mannequin. Look at fly-button shaped door handle in the background.
Friday, 13 May 2016: Bizcommunity’s walking tour of Woodstock
Walking Woodstock. To welcome new staff members our entertainment committee planned a walking tour followed by ‘burgers and beer’. It was just a few blocks from the office to Three Feathers Diner so we all trooped along together, chatting and snapping pics as we went. Thanks for the pic, Charlz!
Cheese! We all stopped in front of some colourful graffiti. Only a few remembered to don their sunnies so most of us are squinting but it’s still a fun shot! Thanks to our creative director Terry Levin for snapping us worker bees.
See the interesting artwork – “You’ll never walk alone” is fitting as we all walked together, teehee.
Because of an order-timing issue, I ended up with a chocolate shake and a coffee shake – at the same time.
My meal at Three Feathers Diner. While that’s not exactly ‘crumbled feta’ as promised on the menu, the Mercury burger was delicious.
We popped into Delos on our way back to the office after lunch and ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over many lovely things, like the ship light in the background.
Saturday, 14 May 2016: Darts and braai time
What a cute bunny guarding the cakes at Village Place Cafe in West Coast Village! I ended up with a slice of the cake you see – vanilla chai latte. Was fresh and delicious. And yes, that was for breakfast.
The perfect cappuccino and shortbread heart on the side to wash it down.
Husband had the French Village toasted, touted as the best sandwich. It sure was a pleasing mix of cheese, ham and mustard first thing in the morning.
Later we popped in at a friend’s house for a ‘quick braai’. This is the braai fire, with lots of wood at the ready to keep things burning.
Husband had a thrilling game of darts while waiting for the meat to cook.
I tried out the swinging tyre-seat chair.
So did Husband.
Sunday, 16 May 2016: Breakfast overlooking Blouberg beach
Why not add some beautiful scenery to your Sunday morning breakfast by opting for Primi above Marine Circle in Blouberg?
Husband went for the Huevos Ranchos. I just had plain brown toast and a pot of Rooibos as was not feeling grand.
Thursday, 19 May 2016: Cape Town sunrise
As we were up with the sparrows to go to work by car because of a chance of rain, we caught the beautiful pinky clouds as the sun rose.
Just a few minutes later, everything had brightened and lightened. That’s Table Mountain way off in the distance.
The beautiful flowers displayed on the counter in our coffee shop downstairs always brighten my day.
That’s all, folks! A very happy weekend to all 🙂
last update I was a little vague about just how we’d be unravelling our city-stress knots and niggles, now all can be revealed: I’d been invited to review* the oh-so-magical Majeka House in Stellenbosch for a few days. See just some of the best things we did below and click here for my official review, as the professional pics do a much better job than ours from our phones below…
There’s nothing better than that feeling of excitement when you’re about to set off on a road trip – even if it’s just a hop, skip and jump away. Always start your journey with pics of the road ahead and any pretty scenery to rub in the fact that you’re getting away from it all. Take this pic, for example. Road ahead, check. Pretty scenery, check. Excited to see more, check.
Sometimes the sights you see are so strange you’d think you were dreaming if you hadn’t snapped a photo. These scarecrow puppet people are at the Polkadraai farm stall and strawberry picking point about half-an-hour from home.
Those puppets are just to the left of where this shot was taken. Another road trip tip is to definitely stop when you see one of these yellow Nat Geo frames and take a photo no matter what the view.
Feel free to stop and try the local fare before you reach your final destination. This is Husband trying a Black Label draught at Hudson’s on Dorp Straat in Stellenbosch. Just as good as a draught at any other pub, and the cheese burger and chips we shared were just as good as any of the other Hudson’s meals we’ve had. It was so very windy that things were blowing off the tables and everyone else was choosing to sit indoors, but we couldn’t resist the pretty tree-lined street for a spot of people-watching.
In and around your room
Of course each form of accommodation differs, even each room at each venue will have its individual quirks. At Majeka House this included an honesty bar system in the kitchen corner, with a fully stocked fridge (don’t touch the R700 mini bottle of champers, whatever you do)! All these lovely treats were individually priced, apart from the complimentary coffee pods with complementary fresh chewy peanut butter cookies. Don’t worry, there were no crumbs in/on the bed for our room fairy to take care of as we ate them standing.
Look around your room very very carefully, as there may well be hidden features. Following our spa sessions we showered then trotted around in the bunny-soft robes in the room – and on sitting on the bed noted the landscape painting mounted above our heads.
You may notice other interesting room/suite features on your third or fourth lap. For instance, look at the suspended TV in the pic on the left, and the similarly inbuilt painting in the pic on the right. It’s the front and back of a swivel, so if you’d rather watch TV in the lounge you just give it a slight nudge and hey presto, the painting faces the bedroom and you’re ready to channel hop!
This was the view from our rooftop balcony. Lots of soothing colours for the eye, as well as pleasing mountain shapes to rest on.
If you’ve brought reading material with you, be sure to try out each possible reading point. For me this included various chairs on the two patios, our all-too-comfy bed and a number of couches and cushions in the lounge before I settled on this corner, complete with soft blanket to buffer against the wintery wind outdoors.
Snap the sunset from as many view points as possible. Or just over the course of a few minutes from the same spot. This is the setting sun from our bedroom balcony…
The same scene just five minutes later – all yellowy and happy-making.
Of course you can’t stay cooped up in your room the whole time and need to explore the grounds. What delightful grounds these are in Stellenbosch, with all sorts of hidden lighting cleverly highlighting features you’d otherwise miss in the daylight.
The spas and watery things
Following a back-relaxing hour-long couple’s massage all you want to do is close your eyes and think happy thoughts. Here is Husband, having a soak/pummel in the viciously strong Jacuzzi – so much so that the bubbles almost overflowed into the adjoining pool. No bubble bath required!
As we’re both Aquarians we could easily spend all our free time in water and be happy chappies. So of course I did the exact same thing as Husband. Note lovely landscape on the wall behind me, as well as doors off to the sauna and steam room – yes, they’re different things.
Here is Husband, stoking the steam in the steam room by topping up with hissing water over the aromatic logs every few minutes. As it was set to 70’C we didn’t stay in there for long.
At night, the chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area in the most magical way. We’d been encouraged to have a swim or soak after dinner – all you do is swipe your room card to access the main hotel section, even after staff have locked up for the night. As appealing as the thought was, we didn’t follow through. Here’s why…
The fancy (filling) dinners
If it’s not quite dinner time, it’s surely time for a pre- (or post-) meal drink. We sampled two of the fancy cocktails at the blue-lit M Lounge – I went for the espresso martini, Husband had the Long Island Ice Tea. Both expertly made and just the right thing to sip at the fireside.
This is the fireplace beside which those cocktails were sipped. Note those walls of books are not real – that’s a special wallpaper that almost everyone who entered the bar when we were there went up very close to examine.
If you’ve booked the three-course dinner at Makaron, Majeka’s in-house award-winning restaurant, don’t by any means fall for the idea that you’re only getting three plates of food. For example, soon after being seated you’ll likely be offered complimentary still or sparkling water and a breadboard filled with the freshest, fanciest bites with touches of onion and cinnamon where you’d least expect.
Once your wine is served, be sure to swirl it around a little in your glass to release the flavour, as Husband did with his. He made it last throughout the bread, amuse bouche, starter and main course, only opting for something different with his dessert. But more on that later…
See a sample of the things you’ll eat at Makaron. Top left is our saffron-infused amuse bouche. Top right is Husband’s prawn linguini starter, bottom left is my ‘rainbow beets with goat’s cheese chantilly’ starter, and bottom right is my steak with herb gnocchi mains. All part of just one meal. Plan ahead and go on an empty stomach!
When ordering dessert, be wary of ones with bits you’re not sure of. While my vanilla creme brulee was large, light and lip-smackingly good, with perfectly brittle sesame tulle on top, the exotic-sounding ‘yuzu’ was just that – exotic and a little too sharp on the tongue. Don’t be afraid to ask for your waiter’s recommendation.
Because our waiter recommended the caramel bar for Husband’s dessert, which was hands down the best thing we ate in Stellenbosch – and we ate a great deal of delightful meals! This may look small but was as caramelly, chocolately and ice-creamy as possible, with warm brown melty flavours and a dainty little coffee macaron on top – alas Husband popped the whole thing in his mouth before I could have a taste. Sad face. I’d go back just to try that mysterious macaron!
The sweet dessert called for something a little sweeter gliding down the throat, like a tot of KWV 5-year-old.
The breakfast choices
The breakfast buffet is eye-poppingly comprehensive, but don’t fill up before your hot meal arrives or you may not have enough space for it. Rather copy me and order a cappuccino, then pour a berry smoothie and mix all manner of muesli, nuts, yoghurt and berry coulis in a bowl to slowly munch through before your eggs benedict or bacon-filled French toast arrives.
Or copy Husband and fill a side plate with flaky croissant, selection of meats and cheeses and pepper to your liking. I repeat, do not overeat, especially on a Sunday. You’ll see why soon.
This is what said French toast and eggs royale looked like. Amazing and so filling. Especially if you have an adventurious day ahead…
The outdoor hikes
Just 5 minutes up the road from Majeka House is the entrance to Paradyskloof nature reserve. Do yourself a favour and go for a brisk trot or even a cycle if you’ve packed along your bike. There are no steep uphills and lots of shady bits to pause and catch your breath or admire the view – or both.
Of course you’ll take a selfie while you’re on your walk, as we did. This was the best option of the six we attempted, promise. 😉
The Sunday morning markets
Goodness me but you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Sunday morning markets in the Stellenbosch area. Our first stop was at the Blauwklippen market, where you simply won’t know where to look as there are so many tasty delights on offer. Best you not have already filled up on breakfast. We did not know this so just looked and looked while our full-to-bursting bellies made regretful noises.
The main Blaauwklippen restaurant is exactly what you’d imagine a ‘Cape Dutch eatery’ to look like, with warm inviting interiors (we just peeped through the windows).
Of course you’ll wander a little off the beaten track while browsing the Blauuwklippen Market, as it’s set on such pretty grounds, with ducks floating on ponds and squirrels chasing each other all around the greenery.
And then we stopped at the Route 44 Market at Audacia. Even more food, crafts and soul-rejuvenating scenery to look at. This is the view from just one of many seating areas.
By then we’d walked up quite an appetite, and Husband simply plopped himself down on the beach bar stool (with real sand for your shoes to rest in) at the Mussel Monger and ordered himself a couple of oysters. They smelled like the cold sea and I’ll bet tasted like it, too.
And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll need to go back to Stellenbosch many, many more times to fully experience all it has to offer. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend Majeka House and Spa, what a treat!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Majeka House and meals at Makaron were part of the review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Prices included in my official review.*
Yay, last weekend was a long one – but hold your horses on the excitement, as one ends up doing just as much in a shortened work week as one would usually get through in a 5-day week. As a result Husband and I were riddled with aches, pains and stress – but watch for next week’s update to see how we got to soothe that all away…
Friday, 29 April 2016: More fire dogs
Last weekend was pretty chilly, so the family spent much of its time huddled up for warmth in the lounge together. The doggies are demonstrating how much they enjoy sitting near the fire here.
Saturday, 30 April 2016: Wimpy’s bigger cups and prices, evening at Jerry’s
We headed to our nearest Wimpy first thing on Saturday morning, only to find new menus, which always mean new prices. Indeed that was the case, and they justified the bigger price with the following cup liner (it states they have ‘sized up’ their cups), but the same isn’t true of the food price hike…
See for yourself. Here is Husband’s streaky bacon breakfast with extra cheesegriller. We ended up paying about R12 more than we used to for the same meal a month ago.
After Saturday chores, we headed off to our local Jerry’s burger, craft and shine in Blouberg. This is me about to go up the stairs to the seating area.
We sat outside at first but the chilly wind soon sent us back indoors. Look at that view though!
The same view from indoors.
Husband had a ‘bloody Jerry’, to celebrate his distinction certificate in graphic design, achieved a few hours prior.
For me, the peanut butter-banana shake. It was thick and delicious.
For Husband to eat: the pulled pork burger, and chips splashed with sriracha sauce.
For me to eat: the plain Jerry burger – with crispy fried onions, melty cheese and rocket. Just what I wanted.
I forgot to snap the sunset while we were there, but caught its reflection over the sea as we headed home that eve.
Sunday, 1 May 2016: News Cafe breakfast, homemade gingerbread ice cream
We started our Sunday with the early bird English breakfast at News Cafe on Marine Circle. It’s a really good deal – just R29 if you order before 10am (that’s without the cappuccino, obs) – cheaper than our Wimpy breakfasts from the day before!
Much later that afternoon we tried Mum’s homemade gingerbread ice cream. So very tasty!
Bassie loves getting attention from Granny!
Monday, 2 May 2016: Breakfast at Blueberries, treats at Canal Walk’s MyShake milkshake bar
We woke a little later than usual on Monday, and as it was a public holiday, headed to Blueberries in Table View Centre for breakfast. This was my pretty-to-look-at cappuccino.
That cappuccino was the perfect choice to wash down my ‘banana and caramel’ filled pancake.
Husband opted for the salmon breakfast, which came with hash browns, cream cheese and a side of toast.
After some reading and other hibernatey-day off from work things, we went to Canal Walk in Century City to try out the ‘MyShake’ bar as many friends had posted a link to it on my Facebook wall. We finally located the kiosk at the far end upstairs, opposite Game.
After much deliberating and deciding, we went for the ‘Oreo Craving’, which came with burned marshmallow bits, chunks of cookie and lots of chocolate sauce squeezes. A bit pricey at R55 for 500ml but I enjoyed every slurp.
The seats shaped like cows were a lot of fun too, and those waiting in the queue for their order kept an eye on the handful of seats so they could hop on and have a turn. Moo.
Wednesday, 4 May 2016: Team lunch at Woodstock Grill & Tap
We finally settled on a date and venue for our ‘meant to happen every two months’ team lunch on Wednesday (our last one was late last year). We really enjoyed the fresh, sweet bread that came out before our orders, and my salted caramel shake was delicious.
While most of the meat orders came out wrong, it’s hard to mess up a burger. I’m so glad I went for this – and that plate of cooked sweet potato – while not wedges as promised – was a delicious side dish.
That’s all, folks, hope you have a relaxing weekend. I know we will! 😉