Hello, dear reader! 🙂
It’s once again the weekend, so it’s time to scroll through my latest visual highlights. Last weekend was absolutely lovely as we spent most of it in Wellington. First, we got through the usual end-of week things…
Friday, 20 January 2017: Quiet evening with the doggies
Top-left is Bertie’s happy grin when his dad said he could come with to collect me from the bus station that eve, bottom left is my glee at passing Shaw Academy’s second weekly Photoshop diploma assignment with full marks, and the right is Bassie and her dad watching the cricket on TV. Yes. Much excitement!
Saturday, 21 January 2017: What to do in Wellington during summer
We were up bright and early on Saturday as we had a great many things to do that day. We managed to wait until the respectable hour of 9am before heading off for breakfast though – we opted for Reload in Parklands. See Husband sugaring his cappuccino in front of the ‘bokkie wall’ on the left, my caramel latte top right, and the chocolate-strawberry waffle and breakfast wrap beneath. I’m sure you can guess who ate which plate of food!
After a few of the usual weekend chores it was time to pack our bags and hit the road, Jack! We were expected at Val du Charron in Wellington, which we last visited in Winter ( click here for a reminder). This time it was a sunny summer’s day with not a cloud in sight.
We were making such good time that we stopped off at The Bell Inn while winding through the outskirts of town. Typical cool, dark interior.
Husband was more than happy to hop aboard this big red tractor and demonstrate how he’d drive it. Teehee.
Then we were there! The driveway up to the parking lot and the five-star Coachhouse where we stayed last time are on the left, with the Local Grill restaurant and four-star Guesthouse to the right.
Once checked in, we were escorted to our room – it was hidden behind the impressive wine display. See our bed top right, and both of us enjoying the view from the balcony – Husband with a beer, me with a Terbodore coffee he kindly brewed for me.
Look. at. that. VIEW! This was snapped while standing on our balcony, gazing out towards the Hawequa mountains.
The stripy zebra artwork in the Guesthouse conference room is very pretty. We peeped in on our way to the piano, where Husband taught me to play a quick tune before we scampered out into the sunshine.
Next up: An explore of the grounds! We didn’t even think of strolling around and seeing the vineyard when we visited in Winter. It’s such a lovely spot we didn’t leave Val du Charron once during our stay.
Ahh. It was a hot day (Wellington gets so hot it’s sometimes called ‘Hellington’ – my former boss Justin grew up in the town, so he knows), so once we’d settled into the room and completed that quick explore of the grounds it was off to the pool with us! We were surprised to be the only ones there. The loungers beside the pool were comfy and sun-warmed, just to spot to dry off after a few dips.
Here you can see some of our relaxing in and around the pool.
Dinner on the patio at Piza e Vino. Every single table was full by the time we left, around 9:30pm. See Husband’s mojito bottom left and the delicious Biscotti milkshake I was lucky enough to try. There are many more words to describe it. Click here for my full review on Biz!
The food! It’s worth the hour’s drive from Cape Town if you’re going for lunch, I’d say. Have what we had: The Parmesan-crusted zucchini bites with honey-mustard dipping aioli are left top and bottom, the Sesame Street chicken salad with feta-stuffed Peppadews in the middle, and the dark chocolate torte with ice cream on the right. And don’t forget to order mains…
I went for a half-half pizza pie – that’s Porky the Pig on the left half and the Frango Tandoori on the right, with Husband’s Fettuccini di Mare. All lip-smackingly good.
The Piza e Vino patio was also the ideal spot from which to snap the setting sun. There’s just no better scenery to me!
I saved the best for last. Gorgeous colours.
Sunday, 22 January 2017: Exploring Bain’s Kloof Pass
The breakfast options for Val du Charron’s overnight guest are all served in the Local Grill and included in your stay (apart from any speciality coffees, of course).
The breakfast view, our morning food and the coffee that got me going for the day.
We’d not yet attempted the Bain’s Kloof Pass trip, so set off to do so after checking out. I took a few photos of the scenery and signage along the way. It must be super scary at night as there are no lights along the way, it’s rumoured to be haunted, and those low rock walls you see are the only thing between the road and the deep valleys below.
We even spotted a troop of baboons that scarpered off into the bushes when we came close – apart from this fellow, who was examining his paw on a tree stump.
That’s all, folks! It’s Husband’s birthday this Sunday so expect pics of him in the birthday hat in next week’s update. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation and meals at Val du Charron were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
The past week flew by much faster than last week, a good sign that we’re back in the swing of things. I’ve written quite a lot of late so I’ll let the pictures do the talking – scroll through this past week’s highlights for more…
Saturday, 14 January 2017: Lisa’s breakfast, Rocomamas’ lunch
Saturday morning was garden-nursery visit time, so we stopped in for a bite to eat at Lisa’s in Stodel’s, just behind Paddocks centre. That’s my cappuccino.
To eat, I had the plain toasted croissant (with jam and cheese) while Husband had the ‘mighty mushroom’, topped with beans, feta, garlic and a poached egg.
Woohoo! On Saturday afternoon I buckled down and revised that week’s notes and practical assignments for the Shaw Academy diploma in Photoshop, and was over the moon at achieving 100% in that week’s quiz! Here’s hoping for similar results for the rest of the month…
Ah, Rocomamas. We’ve been to the Durbanville branch a few times now and loved every single visit. Last Saturday afternoon was no different. Click here to read my full review as I’ll be sparing in the descriptions below…
The order pad.
Husband went for the chicken ‘Rockstar’ with extra chilli.
I had the limited edition Le Bomb. That’s 2 X beef smash patties, melted cheddar, a feta cheese bomb, bacon and lashings of BBQ sauce.
Our ‘turbo-charged’ fries. Topped with chiili con carne on the left, and hellishly hot chilli-cheese sauce on the right.
Also, a portion of these here chilli-cheese bombs. Hot, fried version of what you saw atop our shoestring fries.
Husband went for the ‘Adult shake’.
You guys. Introducing the Candyliscious freak shake. Berries, white chocolate, Fizzer, Jelly Tots. Top marks from me!
We stopped in for a look at the Hillside quarry on our way home, much later that eve. Beautiful venue.
Sunday, 15 January 2017: Veggie gardening and doggy TLC
Two sides of Bertie’s sweet sleepy Sunday morning face.
We popped into Cafe Lacomia for Sunday morning breakfast. I poured out a cafe latte and ate the toasted chicken mayo and chips you see top-right, while Husband went for his standard Bull’s Eye.
More of Husband’s latest gardening exploits. Note the sweet little gecko he found darting up the wall.
The doggies book-ended me when I caught up on some reading that afternoon, and insisted on sitting on top of their granny while she watched TV.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017: Liberty Radio Awards roadshow at Radisson Blu Waterfront
On Wednesday I covered the launch of the Liberty Radio Awards roadshow at the Radisson Blu Waterfront hotel. Love the bright flora out front. Click here for my coverage of the roadshow.
Truly gorgeous eats were on display – the freshest fruit, dainty muffins, dunkable biscuits and strong coffee. Plus more of those beautiful flowers.
Thursday, 19 January 2017: Interview at Southern Guild, Woodstock
On Thursday I’d arranged an interview at Southern Guild gallery, which will be published during #DesignMonth on Bizcommunity (that’s February). While there I tested out the Fiona Blackfish hanging chair, part of Porky Hefer’s ‘Monstera Deliciosa volume 1’ exhibit. Very comfy and oh-so eye-catching.
I couldn’t help snap this on my way back to the office: The man ‘painting graffiti’ is graffiti himself.
Bless! When I got back to my desk, colleagues had saved some birthday cake/party treats for me. Nom nom nom.
That’s all, folks! Have a happy weekend. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meal at Rocomamas was part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
It’s been a successful first week back at work and part-time studies. That’s probably because we have a few exciting plans over the next few weekends to look forward to, and the thought of them keeps us going.
You’ll get to see those in due course, but for now you can scroll through how we marked the end of the festive season break. Key among those, Husband’s veggie garden reveal, as promised:
Tadaa! You can see the phases of progress here – first, beams went up above the veggie boxes he installed a while ago, then shade cloth was carefully stapled along to provide shade and wind protection. So far, so good!
The doggies ‘helped’ by watching the goings-on and offering advice (and suspicious looks).
Now, on with the daily highlights…
Thursday, 5 January 2017: Summery food-and-wine pairing flights
Our last Thursday of leave started with the early bird breakfast special at our local News Cafe.
I’d unknowingly picked just the right day for our review of the new summery food-and-wine pairings at Catharina’s in Steenberg Estate, one of our favourite wine farms. Just look at the sunny brightness! Click here for my official review and here for a reminder of our late-August version of this photo.
Decor at Catharina’s is classy and eye-catching. Note the reindeer that adorn that inside roof, along with the origami birdies I so enjoyed on our last visit; as well as the large ostrich eggs at the port decanters in the hotel lobby; and some of the rose bushes dotting the walkways.
We sat at a table much like this, hoping to spot the family of eagle owls that swoop around the old oak trees. Sadly they didn’t appear, but we still had a wonderful time.
Our pre- and post-pairing drinks – wonderfully chilled still water (bread board in the background), and a strong, flavoursome cappuccino. Colour me contented! (Don’t fret, am not sunburnt. The pinkness you see is from the sun reflecting through red umbrella).
The three ‘flights’ are beautifully explained in this menu – two savoury options and one sweet, each comprising a flute of bubbly, white and red with perfectly paired morsels.
I know the pic was hard to read, so luckily I took some photos. This was the first savoury flight. Everything positively popped with colour and flavour.
The second savoury flight: Same-same but different. And sadly I was so excited by the third flight – the sweet option – that I forgot to snap a pic of it. Luckily, there’s a professional pic of it in my review on Biz, along with detailed descriptions of all the wine and food. Click here to see it.
Friday, 6 January 2017: McPherson’s breakfast and Black Bull lupper
First thing on Friday we headed to McPherson’s for breakfast. I had a cappuccino and the club sandwich with wedges, Husband had a very filling wrap.
Following a day of staycation things we decided on an early dins at the Black Bull on Sandown Road to mark the end of the holiday (yes, there was still a weekend ahead before work kicked in, but you know what I mean). Husband opted for a draught, as he does.
I had a strawberry shake and the starter nachos you see in the middle – the top pic is how they arrived at the table, middle pic is once I’d had added all the side bits and bobs. Husband went for the pork bangers and mash. We’ll be back.
Saturday, 7 January 2017: Baconville breakfast and Bertie’s new chew-friend
If you wake up hungry on a Saturday, chances are you’ll decide on Baconville for breakfast. I went for the flapjacks topped with crispy, syrup-drenched bacon (mmm) while Husband had their Mexican-style ‘Hairy Biker’. Teehee. Both delightfully good.
All of Bertie’s former TV-viewing companions (stuffed toys that he’s unstuffed) were looking a little ratty so we snuck them into the bin and bought him a new monkey and doggie-that-looks-like-a-fox. The monkey is hiding in a cupboard until the doggie is ready to be discarded, too. Bassie remains very uninterested in all toys but gets lots of attention despite her sad face, promise.
Sunday, 8 January 2017: Breakfast, books and beachy ice-creams
For our ‘last breakfast before work’, Husband outdid himself with an exceptional (make that egg-ceptional, harhar) fry-up, included red pepper slices, properly cooked tomato and crispy bacon. Yum.
What better way to relax on a Sunday than by rereading a beloved book, and sipping on a Pina Colada-flavoured Krusher from KFC? No better way.
The beach at Big Bay, much later in the day. Just look at all the merrymakers, making their last bit of merry.
Despite it being so hot the sea was icy, so we contented ourselves with ice-cream cones from Met Eish at Eden on the Bay. Husband’s had caramel ripples and mine was plain chocolate, both with a hidden Flake.
That’s all, folks! I wish you a very happy weekend ahead. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our pairings at Catharina’s were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Welcome to 2017! My first post of the year is ready for you to view below, filled with moments from brother-in-law Spec’s last week with us. We’re back to work next week ourselves so will be wringing every moment of fun and relaxation out of the coming weekend…
Friday, 30 December 2016: Golf morning, Italian Kitchen lunch and Sea Point afternoon
While the boys went off for a round of golf at Burgundy Estate, I read magazines and mum baked little coconut cookies. Delicious!
The golfers in action at Burgundy Estate. Note Dad’s hat on his head in the photo on the left, and you can just see it scurrying away on the wind in the photo on the right. Lol!
We had 2-for-1 Entertainer vouchers to use before the end of 2016 at the Italian Kitchen so we had lunch at the branch in Newlands last Friday. Husband opted for the crumbed chicken salad, dad and I had huge square pizzas while mum and Spec went for spaghetti bolognaise. All delightful.
Dom Pedros, white wine and coffee shakes at the Italian Kitchen.
We’d been planning this photo of ‘Spec in the specs’ that look out at Robben Island from Sea Point for quite some time. Teehee.
Table Mountain looked beautiful from Blouberg side that afternoon.
The beach was full of holidaymakers as it was so hot.
So hot that Husband had a quick dip in the sea on our way home.
Saturday, 31 December 2016: Lacomia breakfast, New Year’s Eve braai
We went to Cafe Lacomia for our last breakfast of the year. I felt for a cafe latte (love pouring the espresso shot into the frothed milk) and couldn’t resist a slice of their soft chocolate cheesecake.
Our friends Chris and Diane had invited us to a New Year’s Eve braai on their farm near Philadelphia. Their brindle boerboel Zeplin has grown a huge amount in his 7 months ( click here for a reminder of how tiny he was a few months ago) and the Whites have made constant additions to their little house.
Final sunset of the year, as seen from the farm.
Sunday 1 January 2017: New Year’s Day ’round lunch’ at Mum’s
New Year’s Day! Eating ’round things’ on the first day of the year is said to bring you wealth throughout the year. We had lunch at Mum’s, starting with some dry Prosecco filled with round bubbles, then round tomato-filled salad, paella with round pork bits as well as round fruit on a flan with round balls of ice cream on round plates around a round table. Lots of round.
The doggies had quality time with their grampa that afternoon – Bassie sat on his lap while Bertie was very interested to hear ‘How much is that doggy in the window’, especially when there was barking in the song. Teehee.
Monday, 2 January 2017: Seeing Hout Bay like tourists and Rogue One in 4DX
For our last full day with Spec we started off at Blue Route Mall and breakfasted at Joe’s Diner. Husband had a hot dog, Spec a typical breakfast and me waffles with chocolate syrup. Yes, dessert for breakfast.
We paid a brief visit to Hout Bay to ‘sightsee’ like tourists…
Where we noticed this sunken ship. Not saying the brothers were responsible, but who knows 😉
We’d booked our 4DX tickets for Star Wars: Rogue One back when Spec first arrived in Cape Town and finally went to watch at the Waterfront on Monday afternoon. The moving seats, splashes of water and rushes of air at appropriate times really add a level of fun to the movie.
We held a final braai for Spec on his last evening with us. He’ll be down again soon as Husband’s parents will be moving into their new house in a few months.
Tuesday, 3 January 2017: I Love Melkies breakfast, bunny chow lupper
We decided on a short roadtrip to Melkbos for Spec’s last morning with us. For breakfast we stopped in at I Love Melkies. Close-ups of our food to follow…
That’s my cappuccino top left; then my single waffle with bacon, marscapone and strawberry; and Spec’s rosti topped with bacon and scrambled eggs all on the left, with Husband’s ‘Mexican breakfast’ on the right.
After dropping off Spec at the airport we were intrigued to notice a sign for Glowing Rooms’ ‘3D blacklight mini golf’ so popped in for a look around. Adding it to our to-do list for later in the year!
We decided on a shared chicken bunny chow from Yeh Dosti for our lupper. T’was delicious.
Wednesday, 4 January 2017: Ice-cream iced coffee
Wednesday afternoon was piping hot so I made myself an ice-cream iced coffee. Husband made a chicken curry that eve as seen in my bowl top right, and he lay on the couch with Bertie.
Husband has also been very busy with a vegetable corner of the garden, which I’ll reveal soon. That’s all for now, folks! Hope you’ve enjoyed the first week of 2017.