Husband’s solo escapade and end-of-Loeries team lunches at Jerry’s

And then the Loeries were but a memory. Remember my blog post about last year’s experience? This year was same same but different, as I didn’t jet along to Durban with the rest of the team but was glued to my laptop in Cape Town for five days straight sorting out all sorts of admin, last-minute changes and uploading of content. Husband was up in JHB for much of that time to attend his Gramps’ funeral so t’was an odd, stressful time all round but we survived.

Highlights of the past two weeks below…

Friday, 12 August 2016: Hills Special Stews

Hills special stews
Hills was kind enough to send the doggies samples of their new Special Stews – a tin each. Bassie got the version for mature doggies 7+ while Bertie tried the ‘1- to 6-year-olds’ can. Both gulped them down then sniffed each other’s bowls (both had been the same flavour). That’s me in the chef hat that accompanied the delivery. Click here for more info.

Saturday, 13 August 2016: Beach Tavern breakfast, brief Woodbridge Island beach walk and meeting Zeplin

Waffle at Beach Tavern, Woodbridge Island
I can just remember this breakfast if I stretch my memory back two weeks. Husband had an open omelette he could barely finish it was so stuffed with things, and I went for the waffle with syrup and ice cream, as you do on a Saturday morning.
Woodbridge Island beach and lighthouse
There was a chilly breeze blowing so Husband covered up after we’d eaten, for a very brief stroll along the beach and back to the car, which we’d parked near the lighthouse on Woodbridge Island.
Brindle boxer
Later that evening we went off to braai with friends who have moved into a new house that included this gas oven and a wonderful shelf full of Batman and Superman coffee mugs. We also met their new doggie, the Brindle Boxer you see me chatting to. His name is Zeplin, and at just a few months old is already bigger than Bassie and Bertie combined!

Sunday, 14 August 2016: Family birthday breakfast

News cafe breakfast
It was time for the annual family birthday breakfast get-together, this time at News Cafe in Blouberg. Most of us opted for the early bird special, and look at the precious piggy/panda foam art in my cappuccino! Click here to see the 2013 version of this photo.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016: Business Day Wanted Online launch at Smith Gallery

Business Day's Wanted Online launch at Smith Gallery
Husband was kind enough to accompany me to the launch of Business Day’s Wanted Online website after work, where we marvelled at some of the art on the walls and the amazing fresh snacks on offer. Look at the size of those strawberries I drizzled with chocolate. Husband had lots of greens.

Thursday, 18 August 2016: Husband flies to JHB, rest of us decamp to the parents’ house

Dog suitcase
Bertie knew something was up when his dad hauled the suitcase out the cupboard to pack for his brief trip. More so when his dad hopped into an Uber and set off without us. That strip of light on the right is his collar glowing in the dark as he watched dad get into Uber pre-dawn.
Primi at Cape Town airport
Once safely checked in at the airport, Husband had breakfast at Primi with a view over the runway. He took a pic of the wing out his window once on the plane, too. He loves flying.
Dogs in garden
After a franticaly busy day at work (home) it was time to pack up laptop, doggies and self and set up camp at the parents’ house. The second we got there Bassie and Bertie set about exploring the garden (though it’s hardly new to them as they visit each week). Top is little Miss Bass sniffing the grass cautiously, bottom is Bertie running along the paving all around the house.

Saturday, 20 August 2016: Collecting Husband from airport

Mountains out plane window
Husband snapped this lovely shot out the window on his way in to land in Cape Town where he belongs on Saturday morning. No more pics of the day as it was a blur of work, alas.

Sunday, 21 August 2016: Doppio Zero breakfast

Flowers in Mandela Rhodes Hotel
Husband had enjoyed his breakfast with his parents at Doppio Zero in JHB so much that he tracked down the only Doppio Zero in Cape Town and decided that’s where we’d breakfast on Sunday. Such tropical blooms were on display in the reception area of the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel in St George’s Mall, in which Doppio Zero is based.
Trees in hotel
Trees of light guided the way to Doppio Zero.
Cappuccino at Doppio Zero
So breakfast we did. That’s my cappuccino, and his breakfast Cola.
Breakfast at Doppio Zero
What did we eat, you ask? I went for the Nutella French Toast, Husband had the Barbarossa, which is hash potatoes, beans, eggs, chorizo, haloumi, spinach, chili, feta and salsa.

Monday, 22 August 2016: Sleepy doggies while mommy attends online lessons

Dog sleeping under blanket with bear
Just look at Bertie with his new TV-watching companion, Bear (Dinosaur has since been flattened and thrown away). He couldn’t keep his eyes open on Monday night when I attended the first online lecture of the Social Media Marketing course I’ve just begun. I barely kept eyelids open myself.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016: Business of Design conference

Pastries at Business of Design, Inner City Ideas Cartel
I’d no sooner caught my breath from sending out our Loeries overview newsletter on Monday than it was time to cover the Business of Design conference at the Inner City Ideas Cartel, one of my favourites. Look at the yummy pre-conference snacks we got to choose from!
Business of Design
It’s not all about the food at conferences, but that’s what I usually end up taking pics of ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s a custardy pastry on top, the lovely stitched goodie bags we received in the middle, and a tiny jar of salad I sampled at lunchtime, on the rooftop. I worked too, promise.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016: Team lunch at Jerry’s, Obz

Team lunch photos at Jerry's Observatory
End of Loeries 2016 meant it was time to celebrate at work. We can’t go for a team lunch without taking a few photos. ๐Ÿ™‚ These make me smile. We decided on Jerry’s in Observatory, and all had amazing burgers.
Jerry's burger and chips
See? Amazing. You can’t go wrong ordering the ‘Jerry’ at Jerry’s. It’s a patty with Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce and caramelised onions. And of course you douse all your chips with Sriracha sauce, like so.
Green car at Obz Cafe in Observatory
Observatory is a hive of activity on your average weekday afternoon. WJust look at this green vehicle drawing lots of attention while parked outside the Obz Cafe. Reminded me of the flame-painted vehicle parked outside a ‘No parking’ sign we spotted with Dad last year.

That’s all, folks. Hope you have a wonderfully relaxing weekend, all! Next week’s update will include how we celebrated our ninth anniversary. ๐Ÿ™‚

The best of Blowfish, Blues’ strawberry shake and Black Forest Cafe’s Snickers cookie

This blog post may seem slightly longer than usual as we’ve had two public holidays in the past two weeks (hello voting day and Women’s Day), but I’ve condensed the 200-odd pics I’d taken since my last update so as not to bombard you too much, as you’ll see below…

Saturday, 31 July 2016: Doggies’ pajama party at their grandparents

Dogs having hugs
Aww! Remember we were away from home reviewing Leeu House in Franschhoek at the end of July, which I covered in my last update? Mum sent me a few pics of the ‘pajama party’ the doggies had at their house in our absence. Look at Bassie asleep IN a blankie, having a ‘tall hug’ with her Grampa, and soaking up some sunshine with her brother. They were fast asleep in the last pic, heart-meltingly cute!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016: Voting day Village breakfasts, doggy beach walks and Asian dins

Breakfast at Village Place Cafe
We breakfasted at our local Village Place Cafe. I had the French Village toastie, Husband had the salmon eggs ben. Not our usual weekday breakfasts by a long shot!
Doggy beach walk at Kreeftebaai
My two boys, busy with ‘walkies’ just before sunset at Kreeftebaai.
Dacschund
A slightly sandy Bassie staring at her nemesis (the car’s windscreen wipers) on our way home from walkies.
Happy dog in car
That’s one very happy doggy post-walkies. Just look at his tongue!
View of Table Mountain from Eden on the Bay
The view from Eden on the Bay later that evening.
Sushi at The Orient in Eden on the Bay
Husband wanted sushi and I was happy with the sweet-and-sour chicken at The Orient in Eden on the Bay. Both washed down with Fanta Orange, as you do. If you peer closely, you can see the voting mark ink on my thumb. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thursday, 4 August 2016: Winter menu review at Blowfish, Dolphin Beach

Blowfish winter special
Can you believe in our almost-four years in Table View we’d not yet et at the Blowfish restaurant in Dolphin Beach, just up the street? Now we know what we’ve been missing! All I can say is, go on a Thursday so the prawn lovers among you can try the R99 prawn platter served with garlic butter (top left), and the others can sample the many dishes on offer on the Winter special menu, also available for the rest of the month. It’s R149 for 2 courses, R199 for 3. See my beef espetada bottom left and the brownie I wolfed down for dessert… Mmm. Click here for my rather descriptive official review ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday, 6 August 2016: Women’s Day Being Boss brunch, Mexican burgers at Mexican on Long and SANCCOB’s penguins

Fire & Ice pastries
Look at the lovely pastries on offer at last weekend’s Being Boss brunch for ladies, held at the Fire & Ice Hotel. Made it worth getting up a little earlier than usual on a Saturday…
Being Boss
Networking! That’s the back of me in purple, with some of the ‘lady bosses’ – click here for my event feedback if you missed it earlier in the week.
Tiramisu milkshake at Mexican on Long.
Post-conference, Husband and I made our way to Mexican on Long, where they have amazing milkshake flavours (that’s the R30 tiramisu in my hand), as well as ‘Mexican burgers’ for R25.
Mexican burger and chips at Mexican on Long.
See? It’s Mexican as the patty is served in a tortilla instead of a bun. Lovely spicy BBQ sauce and was only R10 extra for the portion of chips with mug of tomato sauce. Win win.
Boats at Flamingo Vlei with Table Mountain
We stopped in at SANCCOB, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, on our way home to greet the penguins. But first, I snapped Husband gazing at the boats in Flamingo Vlei. The weather was amazingly non-Wintery.
Penguins at SANCCOB.
Look at the cuties just standing around. We watched one pick up a rock and trot around the pool with it firmly grasped in his jaw, only to safely deposit it back where he’d started after a full circuit, proudly telling the others to get out of the way of his important mission. It’s free entry from 10am to 4pm tomorrow as it’s Science Week…

Sunday, 7 August 2016: Parents’ pre-birthday lunch at Blues

Lacomia breakfast
I was a little under the weather when we woke so we decided to get some coffee down my throat, stat. The cafe latte from Lacomia in our nearest Builder’s Warehouse did the trick, as did the chocolate cheesecake pictured top-left. Husband enjoyed his eggs benedict bottom left, topped with ‘sweet potato shavings’.
Blues in Camps Bay
As my parents both celebrate their birthdays this week and had booked a few days away on the KZN coast, Sunday lunch was the ideal time for a pre-birthday celebration. We chose Blues as they’re running a ‘buy 2 main meals and only pay for 1’ offer throughout Winter. That’s me in front of Blues in Camps Bay – yes, the weather had turned chilly again…
Blues in Camps Bay
Mum grinning and browsing through the menu (see how she’s appropriately dressed in blue).
Blues in Camps Bay
Me grinning and perusing the menu. Note I’m also appropriately dressed.
Blues in Camps Bay food
There is Husband with his seafood linguine. He did’t get the memo about dressing in blue to match the restaurant’s name. alas. Also pictured is the gourmet burger topped with cheese and bacon, the blackened salmon, and my wonderful strawberry shake.
Blues milkshake
So much of a wonderful shake that I took a number of photos of it from different angles. On second thoughts, I should have tried the chocolate shake, too. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ YOLO or FOMO or whatever the kids are saying these days. I’ll be back!
Blues in Camps Bay
Teehee. Cheers?
Blues in Camps Bay
All my favourites outside Blues. Dad got the ‘wear blue’ memo and Husband’s holding my box of leftover burger and chips.
Smiling dacschund
What a cutie! Husband took this shot after our local neighbourhood walkies much later on Sunday afternoon. Bassie was thrilled.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016: Women’s Day breakfast at Black Forest Cafe, Portalia pizzas

Black Forest Cafe Parklands breakfast
Tuesday was national Women’s Day and the day dawned bright and sunny. Following a brief lie-in we went out to satisfy our rumbling tums, and ended up at the Black Forest Cafe. It’s only open during the week as is on the grounds of St Matthew’s church on Janssens Road. What a wonderful breakfast. Look at my cappuccino with homemade biscuit on the side, my warm almond cruffin (croissant-muffin) up right (for just R17!) and Husband’s grand breakfast bottom right. We had all this while listening to birdies chirp and feeling the sun warm our backs. T’was blissful.
Snickers cookie at Black Forest Cafe
When I saw all the homemade cookies on offer at Black Forest Cafe, I just couldn’t resist. This Snickers cookie was R12 and had bits of choc baked into the top and inside. See before and after bite. So good! Go there, if you’re plan-free in Table View during the week!
Portalia pizza
A pre-birthday pizza party! Proof we were all there at Portalia in Parklands, right around the corner from our old house, the day before dad’s birthday, and just look at the lovely pizzas. All were crispy-based and delicious.
Portalia hot chocolate
The ‘pizza side’ of Portalia’s menu (all the other food is listed on the back of it) and my lovely strong hot chocolate. We had an early night as were delivering the parents to the airport before sunrise the next morning.

That’s all, folks! Have a relaxing weekend, you deserve it. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Blowfish were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

What to do in Franschhoek, take two

What do you do if you’ve already reviewed a wonderful winter’s weekend getaway town, then get the opportunity to review different accommodation in the same town? Why, you post a second ‘What to do in…’ review, of course, and make sure you do everything new and fresh so that there’s no resemblance to the last time.

That’s just what we did this past weekend when we got to stay in Franschhoek for the second time in as many months.

Of course these pics taken on our cameras didnโ€™t even do the landscape and history-steeped buildings justice. Click here to click through the galleries I added in my official review, which includes eye-wateringly beautiful pics of Leeu House and The Conservatory restaurant’s food, owned by the Leeu Collection, as is Le Quartier Franรงais, which we reviewed over our former Franschhoek stay. Click here for a reminder and scroll through our not-repeated fresh new Franschhoek highlights below…

Stop to sightsee (different sights) on the way in…

Clouds in Paarl
A paintbrush splatter of fluffy clouds above the peaks of Paarl.
Tree in a lake, Paarl
Each time we travel out towards Paarl I mean to snap a pic of ‘the tree in the lake’ but each time I only remember my intention once we’ve whizzed past it. This time I planned ahead and got Husband in on the action, so he warned me when we were getting close (I had my phone ready in camera-mode from just after the ‘Winelands 1-stop’). And yay, success. Here is the ‘tree in the lake’. Isn’t it fascinating?
Teddy in Franschhoek
Something we missed entirely on our last trawl along Franschhoek’s main road was this ‘he must have not been there he’s so hard to miss’ teddy bear. I was not the only sightseer to stop and pose for a photo with him, promise.
Pegasus in Franschhoek
Another arty Franschhoek sculpture we spotted for the first time was this steel pegasus. Husband beside him for size/height.
Franschhoek pew
Churches make up some of the cultural richness of Franschhoek. We peered in at the first one we came across – there was just one little old lady was seated in the pew.
Church bell in Franschhoek
Teehee. Yes we took a few pics of me pretending to swing the church bell. Blame it on the meds!
Sitting under trees at BICCCS in Franschhoek
Situated beside Franschhoek’s babbling stream, we couldn’t resist stopping at BICCCS for a quick shared snack, well aware that we’d be having an amazing dinner in a few hours. Here is Husband unwinding with a mini-draught under the trees…
Chicken mayo at BICCCS in Franschhoek
I sat opposite him as the direct sunlight was making my eyes water – here’s my half of our shared toasted rotisserie-chicken with red pepper mayo.
Cup and coffee pot at BICCCS, Franschhoek
Look at the gorgeous coffee set I found inside! T’was perhaps an ‘extra zero’ over what I would have felt comfortable paying, but a girl can dream…
Franschhoek Museum
Next, we made our way to the Huguenot Monument at the end of the road – already closed by the time we last visited, this time we had a few precious hours of daylight to explore. First stop was the museum, filled with interesting things but no photos allowed inside.
Squirrel at Huguenot Monument
There was a tea room on site too, as well as lots of inviting benches to stop at and soak up that serene sunshine. Just before Husband took this photo, a little squirrel zoomed up the trunk of the tree behind me. For reals.
bicycle behind the bougainvillea in Franschhoek
This ‘bicycle behind the bougainvillea’ was parked outside the entrance to the Monument. Was another R10 each to get in.
Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek
The Huguenot Monument from up close on the left and with me in the background on the right. There’s also a fascinating sundial on the grounds that actually showed the right time to the minute.

Sleep over at Leeu House and donโ€™t miss the Conservatory’s delicious, non-conservative menu

Leeu House lounge
Walkies done we were ready for a rest. This is the Leeu House lounge area – fire place to my left (unlit) and honesty bar behind me with all sorts of liquid loveliness. We didn’t sample any though as were both still on meds for our horrible head colds.
Kiwi fruit and Nespresso
Two kiwi fruit, my note-filled iPad and a wonderful cuppa Nespresso in our room after we’d checked in was just what we needed to rest and recharge our slightly downtrodden batteries.
Leeu House dinner in the Conservatory
Delightful dinner! These pics show Husband’s salmony starter top left and steak atop a bed of carrot mash bottom left – among his top five meals ever. Also see my Italian sausage rigatoni mains and white coffee brulee dessert. Highly recommended!
Leeu House room
Look at our Leeu House room, pictured from many angles here. Yes, there’s our ‘room review in bathrobes’ shot bottom left, as well as slippers and Scrabble in the top right – after an hour or so of playing, with Husband far in the lead, we decided to call it a night.
Blue sky in Franschhoek
When we got up the next morning the sky was bright, the wind was light. By the time we’d finished breakfast little over an hour later you’d think we’d walked out the wrong scene door as the sky was dismal and grey.
Leeu House Conservatory.
Conservatory roof, exposing still-glorious sunshine.
The Conservatory menu
The Conservatory breakfast menu – exclusive to Leeu House guests – you start off with anything that tickles your fancy from the breakfast buffet listed on the left, then choose a ‘hot plate’ from the page on the right. Very tricky as so many of the options are slightly unusual and all certainly a good choice – plus note the shots of carroty-ginger juice and lemony water all served as soon as we were seated.
Breakfast buffet at Leeu House
T’was a brilliant breakfast buffet, with lots of local produce and typically French-tasting pastries.
Duck's egg benedict at Leeu House
I eventually decided on the duck’s egg benedict. Note how the egg fits almost the entire English muffin slathered with slivers of local ham. I was not fussed by the fact that my Hollandaise sauce seemed scared to sit atop such an egg. I spooned it back on top and it was soon gone.
Lobster omelette
Look at that. The ultimate morning meal, Husband opted for the West Coast lobster open omelette. He thoroughly enjoyed it.
Leeu House pool
Don’t be fooled by Husband’s short-limbed outfit and the beautiful summery blues in this shot. An icy wind picking up and we hot-footed it (quite literally) back to the warmth of our room for a while after touching the chilly surface of the pool.
Gandhi at Leeu House
See? Just after we had checked out we stopped in Leeu House’s front garden to snap Husband with the Gandhi statue… sky now overcast and Husband had added long sleeves.
Leeu House lions
The regal lions guarding Leeu House’s entrance from Huguenot Road. Note how the raised paws are mirror images, great attention to detail.

Take the (other) long road home

Clouds and trees
Blankets of cloud started to lift on our way home again – we took a different route to our last Franschhoek exit, in order to keep the experience as different as possible.
Windmill in water
How fitting that I managed to snap another ‘shouldn’t be submerged in water’ thing on our trip home! This time a windmill, in the middle of an entirely different lake. Husband was kind enough to stop the car for my photo-taking.
Strand dunes
The weather in the Cape is very fickle, especially in winter. Near the Strand, the clouds had lifted and we passed lots of powdery soft dunes, some with wild lilies growing out of them.

Thatโ€™s all, folks. We canโ€™t recommend it enough. Thanks for stopping by, check in again next week for my next update. If you missed my overview of what to do in Wellington last month, click here. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Leeu House and meals at the Conservatory were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.