T’was a long weekend for us here in sunny SA, with Heritage Day taking place on Sunday so all and sundry celebrated on Monday. Here’s what we’ve been up to since returning home from Zanzibar…
Wednesday, 20 September 2017: News Cafe breakfast
As we only got home around midnight on the Tuesday, we had thought ahead and taken the Wednesday off work, too. This meant we could sleep in and spend some quality time with the doglets, before answering our tummies’ call for breakfast, stat! It was still fairly early so we made our way to News Cafe at Marine Circle. This was my much-needed cappuccino (to wash down the malaria pill)…
And of course I went for the early bird breakfast special. Full English is just R35 if ordered before 10am. Well worth it!
We also treated the doggies to beach walkies. They had a wonderful time. See Bertie barking away in contentment here and Bassie’s various faces of bliss.
And later that day, after naps and some ‘back home but not yet at work’ admin, we stopped off for milkshakes at our nearest Wimpy. That’s my Milo shake and Husband went for the lumo yellow banana option.
Saturday, 23 September 2017: Melkbos Kitchen breakfast
Having survived a short but intense work week for us, we felt like a little road trip to start our weekend so travelled a whopping 15 minutes or so to Melkbos. This is the view of the mountain behind us.
We stopped in at Melkbosstrand’s latest foodie addition, Melkbos Kitchen (where Ritzi’s used to be, between the Hart and I ❤ Melkies). It’s a warm, welcoming setting with pretty lighting. Husband enjoyed the salmon benedict doused in Tabasco sauce…
Cappuccino with biscotti. Delicious!
You guys. Just look at this dark chocolate-banana-nut flapjack stack with side jug of cream.
It was my parents’ 39th wedding anniversary on the day, so we met them for a quick celebratory beer at the Driftwood once they had returned home from their night away in Wellington. Say cheese! 🙂
Later that evening we popped in at Jerry’s on the beachfront – we keep meaning to phone ahead to book one of the booths overlooking the mountain as you see here, next time! I had the Lust Lucy burger (they stuff cheese into the patty, mmm) while Husband tried the Asian chicken burger. As delicious as always, especially if you swap out the standard fries for sweet potato fries. Also see my wild berry shake. Yummers!
Sunday, 24 September 2017: Reload cappuccino and strawberry salad
Breakfast at Reload usually means bagels, omelettes or waffles. On Sunday it meant the first two options – a bacon-bockwurst open omelette with triple cappuccino for Husband and the Copenhagen bagel (grated cheese, ham, mayo as you can see) for me, with choc-mint latte. Close up of that amazing hot drink below…
Just gorgeous! No sugar needed as the peppermint-choc syrup is sweet enough.
Mum made a beautiful bright salad as part of lupper that evening.
Monday, 25 September 2017: Nicci + Lu’s and ice cream on Fish Hoek beach
We’d been meaning to pop into Nicci + Lu’s (in the same centre as Reload at the Parklands SuperSpar) for a while now, and finally got around to it first thing on Monday. Were we in for a treat! There are gifts aplenty to browse and the food is just what we were looking for. See our cappuccinos here, as well as Husband’s breakfast wrap and my toasted avo, feta and bacon. They have other light meals and daily baked goods to choose from, so I’m sure we’ll be back!
Following a quick visit to see brother-in-law Spec’s new place in Fish Hoek, we stopped off at the beach for an ice cream, despite the shivery weather. I was clearly delighted (and Husband had the camera far too close so I couldn’t help laughing nervously, teehee).
Here’s a better shot of the ice cream cone, plus see Husband trotting off into the sea in the distance.
That’s all, folks! Have a happy weekend 🙂
As promised, this is a bumper update as I have two weeks’ worth of pics from our recent 10th anniversary break in Zanzibar to share with you…
Monday, 11 September 2017: Fly SAA from Cape Town to JHB
First stop, the airport. Having packed our bags and checked we had everything we needed – I left Husband’s passport in the scanner for our last overseas trip, and will never do that again! Check-in was easy so we had breakfast at Primi overlooking the flight deck. And then we were off!
By the time we reached our first hotel of the trip – the City Lodge at Johannesburg’s main airport it was a sunny, summery afternoon. We dropped off our bags in our room and decamped to the pool area for a while. Just blissful!
The moment we found out we’d need to spend the night in Joburg we decided we would have a special dinner at Lucio’s in Blackheath – they make gnocchi piccante, which is a bolognaise sauce with cream, brandy, chillies and lime. Too delicious for words. We also invited Gords as it was close to his birthday and we’d not seen him in ages. It was a lovely evening.
Tuesday, 12 to Tuesday, 19 September: Week at Azanzi Beach Hotel, Zanzibar
We needed to be at the airport at 5am for the Zanzibar flight so checked out of our hotel around 4:30am then trundled across the walkway into the main airport building. Check-in was another breeze, so we were pleased to find the Mugg & Bean open and ready to serve coffee, cookies and proper breakfast things for Husband. Then we were off again – up, up and away!
Having made sense of the chaos of the Zanzibar airport – meaning we found the correct forms, filled them in, made our way through passport control, located our bags, found our travel guide, paid 1$ USD to use the bathroom – we were ready to survive the roads to our resort in Matemwe on the island’s north-east coast, about 45 minutes from the airport. We saw many sights on the way, but mostly lush greenery as we passed the various spice farms and bright bunches of fruit and clothing for sale in the small towns we passed. Transport is very expensive in Zanzibar, so we didn’t leave the resort much.
Zanzibar is palm tree central. There are leafy trees everywhere you look.
Our resort was sunny, with thatched rooves nestled between palm trees – and you could walk right through, on to the beach.
The jambo juice cocktail, presented with a cold facecloth once you’ve checked into Azanzi, was about the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s a mix of coconut milk, pineapple juice and strawberry juice. Husband enjoyed the local Safari beers, I downed bottles of Stoney tangawizi (ginger beer) and Husband enjoyed the local wines with dinner.
The rooms are bright and airy, cleaned each morning and sprayed and ‘netted’ each evening to ensure a bug-free stay. Our suite was upstairs so we had a balcony with view of the bright bouganvilleas and palm trees to gaze at.
The mosquito-netted beds are very pretty and make you feel relaxed and peaceful and protected (though you still need to take your full course of malaria pills just in case. We are almost done with ours).
Some of the pretty bouganvillea blooms. There were pinks, oranges and reds, which were quite spectacular from the balcony.
The pool is gorgeous, partially shaded as it flows beneath the upstairs dining area. We spent lots of time wading in these waters.
The rest of this travel diary is grouped by events and things to do rather than running chronologically, as you’ll see…
Wake early to catch the sunrise
Matemwe beach is an excellent spot from which to catch the sunrise. We climbed up into the massage hut on the beach for these, so very different to the sunset shots below.
Sip chilled, fruity drinks at (and in) the pool
It’s always a good time for a drink in Zanzibar. Local soft drinks, beers, wines and more are part of the all-inclusive package and the Fanta Orange tasted just delicious there.
Cocktails are not included in the package, but we couldn’t resist a pina colada IN the pool! 🙂
I was thrilled to find that the jambo juice I’d loved so much on our arrival is also one of the cocktails on the bar menu.
Be active – play or watch sports – or rest in a hammock
When it was just too hot and windy to sit outside, we stepped indoors to play a few games of pool. Oh how we laughed and laughed at my ‘excellent’ skills 😉
We happened to have our SA shirts with us, so tuned into the rugby match against NZ. Some say this was not a wise move. This is us sipping Colas in the resort lounge.
Azanzi Beach Hotel is the ultimate spot for relaxation, with hammocks and comfy seats everywhere you look. Take a few novels and magazines with you, or just let your eyes switch into screensaver mode for a while and feel your worries slip away.
Take a sunset cruise at Nungwi
This was one of the highlights of our holiday. We were transported in an air-conditioned vehicle to Nungwi on the island’s north coast, the best spot to catch the sunset. After Husband had a quick dip in the sea we set off towards the horizon, with more drinks and fresh fruit midway. We were at sea from 4pm to just after 6pm.
It’s clear to see why Nungwi is so popular with tourists – calm, clear blue water, lots of resorts to choose from and the best view of the sunset.
Aww. Love this boy, and the sunset, and the sea so much! ❤
Husband spent some time in the water, of course, saying ‘hi’ to starfish and the like, and the sunset was truly spectacular.
Boats. Sunset. Sea.
Snorkelling, beach walks and sunning ourselves
Or you could take a stroll along the beach in Matemwe – everyone will greet you, ask for your name and where you’re from. There’s lots to see as most of the fishing takes place right before of your eyes.
We spent the bulk of our time in, on or gazing at the sea. It was an unbelievable shade and temperature, I can’t describe how warm and calm it is!
Make sure you’re both facing the right direction when you take your beach photos or you may end up with a sequence like this. Lol.
Me in my shortie wetsuit with flippers (snorkel and mask not pictured), Husband at the map of Mnemba Island on the Scubafish boat, us before hopping in to swim with the dolphins and the clear, calm turquoise sea.
Morning of snorkelling under the sun over with, it was time for a BBQ lunch at nearby Muyuni beach. We ate fresh chicken and tuna steaks with tiramisu for dessert, swam in the warm sea and napped in hammocks. That’s what being on holiday’s all about. That’s also the only meal we had away from our resort.
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Azanzi Beach Hotel
Breakfast! The best meal of the day, or the most important, say some. At Azanzi it was usually a buffet offering with eggs as you like them, crispy bacon and other assorted delights – chocolatey pastries, honeyed croissants, chicken or pork sausages, curry, noodles, French toast, pancakes, cheeses and cold meats, cereals with yoghurt and fresh fruit, juices and coffees… sure to get your day off to the right start!
We had many a good cup of coffee at Azanzi. See the breakfast pot, which usually provided three full cups, as well as coffee from our balcony and below, over the pool.
Lunch! The food at Azanzi Beach is really delicious and if you’ve taken the all-inclusive/full board offering, it’s all covered before you get there. We looked forward to our three meals a day and often had more than one course at each. This is lunch on the beach – a chicken curry for Husband and a bacon-banana toasted panini for me.
Just a handful of the food pics I took when we were at Azanzi Beach Hotel. We ate everything from pork loins to prawn skewers, butternut-orange soup and octopus pili pili to green bananas in coconut sauce. All lip-smackingly good.
There’s a weekly special beach BBQ/braai dinner buffet – such a treat! Tables are set up on the beach, with many salad type starters, a chef ready to toss potatoes, chicken, tuna, calamari, prawns and crayfish on the grill and sides of delicious oxtail soup and sweet-and-sour brinjals. For dessert, a choice of white chocolate tart, creme caramel and fruit salad left everybody smiling and singing along to the live music.
There was lots of wildlife to befriend, too. See the birdies that joined us at breakfast, Zanzikat or Chewie, who often visited our room, and another kitty that was sitting with a monkey on the beach at Nungwi. We also saw little goats and skinny cows.
Wash, rinse, repeat the above, and following a bumpy ride back to the airport, we were finally on our way home a full week after the journey began. Until next time!
That’s all, folks! We’re looking forward to spending quality time with the doglets this weekend. 🙂
Woohoo! September’s always a happy month as we’re over the worst of the work things and the end of the year is in sight so the pressure eases off a little. Here are a few of our happier moments from the past week and a bit…
Sunday, 27 August: Post-Tulbagh Driftwood shakes and beach selfies
Ahh. Late-Winter means you often get surprisingly warm, non-windy days just perfect for sitting in the sun and defrosting. That’s just what we did after we got home from our Tulbagh weekend, with a lazy draught, shake and meal at the Driftwood.
Later that afternoon it was time for a few beach selfies. I am amused 😉
Tuesday, 29 August 2017: Pamro conference at the Vineyard Hotel, doggies get a delivery
I bumped into Mike Broom of Panel Services Africa/Infotools/Marketing Science at the Pamro conference and had a quick catch-up chat.
This picture shows just how gloomy the weather was that day – just right for having an informative day indoors while the rain beat down outside.
Conference shots. The hotel was full on the day and the food was amazing, as always. I also wrote about my learnings from the day – you can read through a few of the topics here, here, here and here.
The doggies received a Very Exciting media pack that evening – so excting that Bertie got into the box to see what it was. Oh joy, another #Dreammaker cushion from Hills! Say goodbye to the days of sharing!
The doggies have spent every chilly evening since then just like this, huddled in front of the warmth of the fire on their Hills #Dreammaker cushis.
Friday, 1 September 2017: #Cupcakeformyhero
Last Friday was Spring Day here in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the launch of this year’s #cupcakesformyhero initiative by Mugg & Bean. For R22 you get a tangy, fluffy lemon meringue cupcake in aid of childhood cancer awareness.
Saturday, 2 September 2017: Rocomamas and braai at our house
We had lots of weekend chores to get through last Sunday still, so started off with breakfast at Village Place Cafe in West Coast Village. I had the heart-biscuited cappuccino and blueberry-topped banting flapjacks, husband had the light Village breakfast.
A meal at Rocomama’s is always a good idea. Here is Husband with his Castle Lite draught and chilli cheese bomb chicken burger. I went for the classic cheese beef smash burger and the ‘surprise me’ freak shake. It was an espresso/coffee/caramel concoction on the day. YUMMY! There’s also a sped-up video of me drinking it that we may or may not release 😉
Bassie was not impressed when her brother decided to disembowel his current bear, Elephant, on the couch beside her during the weekly braai.
The Andrews family at the braai – the doggies were content to nap on the couch in front of the blazing fire. PS: Yes, my hair looks a completely different colour to the photo from Rocomamas earlier – it’s all the lighting.
Caramel braai pudding. Sticky and runny and delicious.
Sunday, 3 September 2017: A dunk in the sea and doggy spring clean
We headed off to Greens in Plattekloof Centre for Sunday morning breakfast. Both of us had a cappuccino to start, with Husband devouring a spinach-and-mushroom eggs benedict and the caramel-banana waffle for me. Yip, more caramel!
Husband had a proper dunking in the sea that afternoon. Look at those crashing waves!
The doggies had a proper spring clean themselves that afternoon. Here’s Bertie trying to dry off in a bit of sun.
Bassie chose a cooler corner.
Lupper at Mum’s that eve – strawberry avo salad, unpictured roast chicken and jelly-custard trifle for dessert.
Wednesday, 6 September 2017: Coffee catch-up at Cassis
I met Mike Broom for part two of our coffee chat this week, at Cassis in Gardens Centre. See my custard-chocolate twist with my first cappuccino, while he went for an Americano with hot milk and a caramel apple tartlet.
That’s all, folks! Note that there won’t be a blog update next week, but the following week’s will be well worth the wait – we promise 😉 Happy weekend!
It feels like we’ve been celebrating it for months already (well, we
have been), but last Friday was finally our 10th wedding anniversary. Though we both worked on the day, we had the opportunity to spend the weekend in sun-drenched Tulbagh – what a treat it was, as you’ll see below…
Saturday, 26 August 2017: Roadrip to Tulbagh and Oakhurst Olives
A roadtrip selfie is a must, especially if you’re passing bright canola fields just before the start of Spring, as we did…
The crops of canola appear out of nowhere and are so very pretty, it’s like someone spilled bright yellow below and blue above.
The first stop on our schedule was Oakhurst Olives, just a little bit out of town and well worth a visit. We did olive oil shots (yes really – quite the experience!) We also dipped the most delicious bits of freshly baked bread into it and smeared a tasty olive tapanade on the rest. You can buy all their products right there, so we did.
Once you’ve climbed the stairs you marvel at the view outside.
If you have the time, take a little wander around the property. There are lilies and ponies and not-so-wild horses roaming the grounds.
Like this guy! He came running over to say hi when he saw us. Such a friendly horsey. Loved having his nose and neck rubbed. The dark one in the bottom right wasn’t quite as keen.
Next stop, check in at the Tulbagh Heritage Boutique Hotel. There were beautiful Proteas everywhere we looked, and just look at those rooms! A ginormous royal bed, bright fluffy gowns that put the usual scratchy white ones hotels offer to shame, and the fireplace downstairs in the restaurant.
Some of the outside scenes. The stairway up to our room, a quaint water feature, big chilly pool, and the bar that was packed to sardine levels just before dins that evening with McGregor-Mayweather preamble.
First up at the hotel, lunch! We seated ourselves beneath the shade of the tree on the terrace where Husband enjoyed a BBQ chicken butterflied burger while I made a go at the ‘Schuster’ (there’s a pizza on my terrace) – crispy based with rocket, peppadews, feta, avo and slices of biltong, it was enormous – we took the rest up to our room to snack on later.
I had ample opportunity for coffee with a view here. See the Olive Terrace below our room, an inviting bench and the must-dunk rusks in our room.
Late-afternoon is just the right time to take a quick tour of the town, as the setting sun gives the light a magical quality.
A walking tour of Historic Church Street is highly recommended. There are guided tours, but we ventured out on our own and had a wonderful time reading up on the various beautiful old homesteads and appealing coffee shops.
The cemetery is peaceful and sunny if you’re not freaked out by things like that.
The botanical gardens grounds were open so we soaked up some sunshine, and also popped in to the Paddagang to see their interesting decor.
Tulbagh really is an undiscovered gem of a town. Everyone greets you in the streets and you see sights like this almost every which way you turn your head.
We were back in time to watch the sun set from our balcony.
The rooms are bright, airy and beautifully decorated. Plus, little bite-size nougat treats are left on your pillow! Such a nice touch.
We sampled some truly delicious dishes for dinner in the completely booked out Olive Terrace restaurant that evening. See my Frangelico Hazelnut Mochaccino, the Cape Malay Lamb curry Husband enjoyed with sambals and popadoms, while I went for the spicy Mexican bean soup with nachos and guacamole, and ended off with the coffee creme brulee and an unpictured whisky dom pedro for Husband. No wonder this has been voted the top restaurant in Tulbagh on TripAdvisor for three years running!
Tummies purring, we stepped outside again to see the blue-lit tree after dins and took our customary ‘gownie snap’ once we’d settled in for the night.
Sunday, 27 August 2017: Breakfast at the Olive Terrace, ziplining with Ceres Zipslide Adventures
Breakfast! Yes, this was to be our third meal at the Olive Terrace, and we were the only ones to brave sitting outdoors as there was a slight chill. The cappuccinos were strong and the food just what we were after – the homemade granola was sweet rolled oats baked in local vanilla and honey, topped with toasted seeds and fruit from the Tulbagh region, as well as thick, unsweetened Greek yoghurt with a side jar of honey to drizzle to your heart’s content. Being a benedict-man, Husband went for the eggs royale, served on sweetcorn-pumpkin fritters. Yum!
After a quick checkout it was time for a very short roadtrip. Fields of pink blossoms lined the way into Ceres.
Just 20 minutes later we were harnessed, helmeted and ready to zip our way through the Ceres valley with Ceres Zipslide Adventures! Quite the different experience to when I first went ziplining along the Acrobranch obstacle course earlier this year, click here for a reminder…
This is a screenshot of the Ceres valley ziplining area from one of the videos Husband filmed.
Wheeee! Off I go! You zip across 1.4km over 8 different sections. It’s a wonderfully exhilarating activity, definitely a reason to add Ceres to your Cape travel itinerary.
There are fields and hills and vales and peaks to explore as you slowly make your way home again – thanks for a wonderful time, Tulbagh!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Oakhurst Olives, Ceres Zipslide Adventures and the Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Watch for my official review on Biz!