This past weekend we were in Franschhoek as you’ll see from the snaps below – it was so difficult to trim them down to these favourites!
If you’re heading that way, we definitely recommend stopping in at the Wijnland Auto Museum and Butterfly World, and explore the lovely lemony Franschhoek Country House (FCH) and Monneaux…
Wednesday, 16 May 2018: Sunset dins at Doodles on the beachfront
We had a sneaky mid-week dinner out at Doodles and were in awe at the sunset, as seen from various angles.
Friday, 18 May 2018: Meltwater #BizBreakfast at Park Inn Radisson
I rarely get to attend events with colleagues, so it was a treat to spend part of last Friday morning with one of my favourite coworkers. Once we’d gone up 10 floors by lift at the Park Inn Radisson we stepped onto the balcony to admire the view, and what a view it was!
More of the balcony views, also the delicious breakfast snacks and the excellent presentation itself on social storytelling – click here for my full overview if you missed it on Bizcommunity.
We had time for a quick post-event catch-up session with industry friends before heading back to the office.
Saturday, 19 May 2018: Stop at Wijnland Auto Museum, stay at Franschhoek Country House, dine at Monneaux
A sweet moment with Bertie boy before we started all our weekend activities. Love that dog!
First stop – collect parents to drop off at the airport. Once they’d checked in for their flight to Joburg, we had time for a quick breakfast at the Wimpy with views of the runway. See various coffees and the flapjacks with cream and fruit salad.
Next, tim for our weekend away, and what’s a road trip without snacks? It was a cold, grey day so hot drinks were in order. This is a mochaccino and British ‘chocky bickies’ from when we dropped off the doglets at their GrannyGrampa for the night.
We stopped in at the Wijnland Auto Museum (not the main Franschhoek Motor museum you’re thinking of). It’s filled with rusted relics and shiny new vehicles alike. Bonus: You don’t need to make an appointment ahead of time!
The grounded airplane was the main attraction for Husband – he’d seen it from the main road outside and we had to do a capital U-turn to go back and find the entrance. See how he climbed all the way through into the cockpit – you’re allowed to do so.
Autumnal scenes on the road into Franschhoek town.
You’re bound to see the wine tram when you’re in and around Franschhoek. We saw various versions of it in various locations on our way into town and even waved at the happy travelers from the pool later that evening. It’s still on our Franschhoek bucket list!
It was the weekend of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) so there were book-lovers around every drizzly corner and queues at all the eateries and markets, we felt quite lucky to be staying slightly out of the main hustle and bustle of town. Will tackle the FLF another time!
Franschhoek Country House holds all the lemons and French country charm you could ever want. It’s like a painting.
It’s hard to miss Franschhoek Country House from the Huguenot Main Road, just look for lemon with touches of turquoise and you’re there! There are lemons everywhere you look, from the trees to bowls in every room – even the restaurant powder room – it’s really a delicious sight.
The space we stayed in was just gorgeous. Look at those old-school high ceilings, the plentiful fruit bowl, and even the candlesticks next to the not-to-be-used bath tub.
The doorbell chimed and we were presented with the most wonderful welcome plate of food fresh from Monneaux, along with flutes of bubbly to ease into ‘weekend away’ mode. It certainly did the trick!
Fountains fountains everywhere. Note Husband examining them far off in the distance.
Despite the chill in the air we braved the cold pool, as that makes the slightly heated pool seem a little warmer than it is. Also see the poolside table with the most delicious lemonade, garnished with mint leaves and cucumber slices. So yum!
We’d been told it was ‘happy hour’ on selected beverages until 5pm – add in pretzels and salty peanuts, also the Royal Wedding on TV and we were there like bears.
Sunset over the mountain from various angles, made even more delicious with a cup of coffee and rusk from our room.
M is for Monneaux! The on-site restaurant is definitely worth a visit, whether you’re staying at Franschhoek Country House or further up the road. See here the baked camembert salad, the spicy mussels and the lamb on gnocchi. All the words coming to my full review on Bizcommunity!
Cheers to dinner at Monneaux! Our table was strewn with white rose petals – we’d seen them being plucked while enjoying our swim earlier that evening. Also see the smoked octopus in dashi stock from the Petit Assiette menu, and the linefish mains topped with a prawn.
Don’t mind if I do take a sip or two… just some of the lovely wines we sampled while dining at Monneaux, all from the Franschhoek valley.
Dessert! See the sorbets with meringue discs; chef’s creme caramel with flecks of vanilla; a delicious cappuccino; the apple tart tatin with blue cheese compote; and the end-of-meal dense chocolate truffles.
The little nighttime luxuries at Franschhoek Country House are so sweet. These range from the ‘I need some me time’ message on the door hanger to a tiny chocolate left on the pillow with the next day’s weather forecast; and slippers left at the turned-down bed. Of course, we also lit the fire and spent a while in front of its warmth – though there’s also underfloor heating, so you may well find yourself sitting on the floor (out of choice)!
This is the selection of ‘gownie shots’ I have to work with. Not easy to come by as gowns are only available by special request from reception, and by the time we took the snaps Husband was done with posing nicely and smiling on demand. Lol!
Sunday, 20 May 2018: FCH breakfast buffet; visit the animals at Butterfly World
Taking in that ‘just been rained on’ view with a quick coffee brewed in the room before heading down for breakfast.
What a breakfast spread! See various cold meats and cheeses, freshly cut fruits, yoghurts, and cereals – I couldn’t resist a scoop of the bright pink Strawberry Pops!
From the hot breakfast menu, we opted for filter coffee and the waffle with bananas, bacon and berries (me); and glasses of juice with the eggs benedict, topped with both spinach and folded ham (husband). Also, look at the tiny bite-size croissant!
Taking a slow stroll back to our room. Note Husband is in long pants and covered shoes during the day here, a rare sighting that tells you it was pretty darn chilly.
Once we’d checked out, we couldn’t resist this road that whispered, “Follow me…”
We made what we thought would be a quick detour to see the Butterfly World tropical garden, but there’s so much more than that on the grounds that we stayed a good two hours. See Husband enjoying a plate of curry and rice while it drizzled.
There’s lots of lush greenery and birdies flitting around along with the butterflies. Also, many interesting take-away trinkets to look at.
We braved the rain (there are clear umbrellas to collect before stepping outside) and you can just see the butterflies drying out.
While the butterflies were lovely, they flitted around so fast we couldn’t take any pics. There are so many sweet rescued animals all around though that before you realise it, you’ve spent hours wandering around in awe at nature.
Look at the little critters! Some were friendly, some were shy, all were precious. We have a video of the birdie scratching it’s way over Husband’s arm and then leaping scarily at my shiny phone.
That’s all, folks! Hope you have a relaxing weekend. Cheers!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Franschhoek Country House and Monneaux were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Last Friday’s weather was just the wintery perfection required to review the new winter menu at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, and we had the most wonderful night away at the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Sea Point…
Friday, 11 May 2018: Winter antipasti menu at Terra del Capo
After a quick few hours in the office it was time to Uber to the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Waterfront to meet the shuttle taking us to Anthonij Rupert Wyne in Franschhoek. We sipped flutes of bubbly amongst all the blue and green shades.
The hour-plus trip out of the CBD into the winelands soothed us into a relaxed state of excitement, if there’s such a thing, and before we knew it, we were making our way down the driveway and into the tasting room area…
Look at that loveliness! View of the wintery outside, bread board with porcini truffle butter, carrot arancini, and grapefruit salad.
Just look at the way those colours sing – each bite was bursting with flavour, too. This is just a small sample of the four antipasti courses. Crisp veggies, creamy dips, salty meat and warm cheesy bites. Yum!
And then, dessert. See various stages of devouring the chocolate cream tart with tiramisu macaron and capuccino, as well as bowl of citrus and the potent, fruity L’Ormarins digestif.
Presented with bottles of the Pinot Grigiot and the Sangiovese wines we’d enjoyed over lunch, we happily posed outside the impressive doors before heading back onto the shuttle. Most of us were lulled to sleep by the slow rain that fell as we made our way back through the traffic. “Magies vol, ogies toe!”
Saturday, 12 May 2018: Pre-Mother’s Day breakfast and checking in to Sea Point’s Peninsula Hotel
We decided on a pre-Mother’s Day breakfast at News Cafe with both sets of parents. See all parties present and accounted for, as well as various forms of eggy breakfast.
I also had some pre-Mother’s Day snuggles with the doglets as would only see them again the following day. Such cuties!
Next stop, Sea Point! The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel towers above the Queens Beach corner of Sea Point, and is impressive from any angle.
A quick explore of The Peninsula’s grounds revealed a pool out back, this one ‘slightly heated’; as well as classy navy decor; views of Lion’s Head; and the poolside dining options.
Various snaps shot between the foyer and our room – see Husband attempting the ‘Star Wars mirror finger-click’ move, also the striped awning and Pacman-walled games room.
And then! Our suite! The colour scheme was bright and just screamed ‘holiday’, while the complimentary bottle of MCC and view of the sea and the private jacuzzi instantly reset our buttons.
We’re both Aquarian water babies, so after an intense sport massage carried out in our suite, we spent absolute hours in the jacuzzi – we had a dip at sunset, another after dinner, and one more before checkout the next morning. Bliss!
Is there anything prettier than the sun setting over the sea? (No, there’s not.)
View from our room of the sea-facing main (cold) pool below.
Next stop, dins! This is the stylishly renovated Sunset Restaurant, warmly situated in the belly of the Peninsula Hotel. See the moreish farm-style bread, my ultra-chocolatey milkshake, Husband’s pan-seared Norwegian salmon mains and my chicken ballantine. This really hit the spot after all that soaking in the jacuzzi!
Dessert! See my strong cappuccino and ‘death by chocolate’ ganache-y mousse bomb with espresso-creamy centre; as well as Husband’s lemon tart and Irish coffee. Perfect end to the meal.
See the craft gin and brandy trolleys rolled out at dins, and the Faces Bar and Strolla restaurant outside areas, popular with walk-ins from the beach front. We took a quick stroll outside but it was cold and dark, so the warmth of our suite beckoned.
This time, we posed the ‘hotel gown photo’ in the lounge. That carpet was so fluffy!
Sunday, 13 May 2018: Oreo sugarcones from the Dairy Den
The next morning, I opened the curtains and saw just what I’d been hoping for – a pastel pink, cloud-streaked sky over softly crashing waves. Insert heart-eyes emoji!
View from our balcony after we’d woken enough to wish our moms happy Mother’s Day over the phone, then a quick coffee in room… and another at the jacuzzi. Best!
And then, breakfast! We saw the buffet winding all around the extremities of the Sunset Restaurant and found ourselves drawn in again. See the sheet of honeycomb hiding various cold meats, cheese and fruits, as well as waffles with strawberries in syrup and super crispy bacon.
More breakfast! Assorted juices; cold meats, fruits and cheeses; the egg and omelette station; and Husband’s plate, including kipper.
And just like that, our time at the Peninsula was over. Keen to extend the ‘holiday’ feel of the weekend, you can just see Husband almost out at sea here on the right, exploring the rocks at the Sea Point Contact after our speedy check out.
Then it was just a hop, skip and a jump to the Dairy Den on Main Road, where I’d heard about the wonderful ice cream specials and ‘Doh!’nuts. Still full from breakfast I didn’t have space to try a doh!nut too (sob), so will have to return! See various stages of eating my ice cream on the Sea Point promenade.
The ice cream is worth the distance! After much deliberation I decided on the half-and-half – chocolate swirled with strawberry, served with a chocolatey biscuit in the hundreds-and-thousands-dipped Oreo sugarcone.
Husband decided on fish and chips from Snoekies at Eden on the Bay for Mother’s Day lupper at my mum’s, all enjoyed (especially me with my vinegar-soaked chip roll).
Mum and I had both just read the ‘Me Before You’ trilogy by Jojo Moyes, so we watched the movie with assorted snacks for Mother’s Day. Such a good idea!
Tuesday, 15 May 2018: 2OceansVibeRadio segment recording, family wors rolls
On Tuesday afternoon, my colleague Angie and I recorded our first-ever live monthly radio show segment on 2OceansVibeRadio.com, with host Nadia Hearn. Will add a link to the podcast of the show soon! Look at the cosy co-working office space they record from in Cartel House in Loop Street.
Radio show bits done, we stopped in at the Cafe du Cap coffee shop downstairs in the Cartel House building for a quick treat while waiting out the traffic. The iced latte isn’t on the menu, but they will whip one up for you if you ask. T’was just what we needed!
Our friend Gords was down from Joburg on business for a few days so we hosted the whole family for a wors-roll dins once all were done with work. Spec drove up from Fish Hoek, slept over and left before 6am the next morning for work. Lots of laughs were had!
Precious doglets spent some quality time with their granny and grampa on the couch that evening.
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my full wordy review of the Terra del Capo experience on Bizcommunity, and keep an eye out for the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel review, coming soon. Here’s to another relaxing weekend ahead…
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Anthonij Rupert’s Terra del Capo and The Peninsula were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Last week Tuesday was a public holiday – May Day is Worker’s Day in SA so we had a day off work to do as our hearts desired, as you’ll see below…
Tuesday, 1 May 2018: Worker’s Day dins at Italian Club
When we finally got up, we went for a Cup & Cake breakfast in Seaside Village. See Husband’s eggs benedict and my ‘Eggs-purtly done’ – health bread smeared with cream cheese, Marmite and avo paste, topped with eggs any way you like – I went for hard boiled. Also see Husband’s ‘Quortado’ (variation on cortado, espresso with milk.)
We bumped into my parents when we stopped for a few chores at The Daily Cafe in Eden on the Bay, so the menfolk each had an espresso con panna.
We stopped for a snap at the ‘Lekker by die see’ mosaic on our way out of Eden on the Bay.
The palm trees and blue skies outside GrandWest Casino – we stopped in to watch the Avengers: Infinity War movie. Brother-in-law Spec joined us.
We were starving by the time the movie ended so decided on the Italian Club for dins, as t’was a chilly Winter’s eve. We both went for the gnocchi bolognese, mmm!
Ahh. Gorgeous sunset over Table Mountain on our way home.
My precious model children. They didn’t mind being huddled up close for once, as it was a chilly night.
Friday, 4 May 2018: Sunrise from the office window
Early morning sunrise over Lion’s Head, as seen from our offices in Woodstock.
Saturday, 5 May 2018: Bread & Butter breakfast, Woodbridge Island walk, Panama Jacks lunch
We had a Bread & Butter breakfast – the setting is just so quaint and cosy, with lots of cakes to drool over while telling yourself to order something healthier.
Husband succeeded in going for something healthier, with the salmon scrambled eggs, while I didn’t go so far as to have cake but had a chocolate-peanut butter smoothie bowl instead. Basically ice cream with nuts and bananas but hey, it was on the breakfast menu. Also see my cappuccino and Husband’s double flat-white.
We hadn’t done our ‘Woodbridge Island to Lagoon Beach and back’ walk in a while, so when we realised we had enough time, we were wearing caps and the weather was on our side, so do the walk we did. Once complete, we stopped at Ilha at Woodbridge Island for a liquid treat – draught beer for Husband and coffee shake for me.
We were meeting Husband’s parents for lunch at Panama Jack’s new location, inside the cruise passenger terminal at the harbour. It’s lovely.
We recommend sitting at the outside tables as you get a clear view over the harbour if there aren’t any ships waiting to dock. The inside roof is still pinned with flags, as in Panama Jack’s former location.
The food was fantastic. See the large house salad we shared top left, Husband’s angelfish Thai curry top right, Mother-in-Law’s fettuccini marinara bottom left and the duck with hoisin sauce bottom right – Father-in-Law and I both ordered this. We left not a speck of rice between us.
Sunday, 6 May 2018: Ice cream on the beach
For Sunday breakfast, we stopped in at Cafe Lacomia at our Builder’s Warehouse. See my tall cafe mocha, Husband’s cafe latte, his mince on toast and my toasted chicken mayo with chips. Hit the spot.
Book + coffee + dog = happy despite the winter chill.
The waves and clouds came together as the perfect ‘photo corner curliques’.
Sunday afternoon. should be all about strawberry swirled flake-tipped ice cream on the beach, Table Mountain in the background and clouds perfectly fluffed to cotton wool. proportions.
That’s all, folks! Winter is definitely in the air so keep warm 🙂
T’was the Freedom Day long weekend in SA last weekend, so we had time to fit in lots of fun moments.
We were also lucky enough to be reviewing a mini version of the winter lifestyle package at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch, so this week’s post is jampacked with mouth-watering food and breathtaking views. See for yourself…
Friday, 27 April 2018: Go-karting at Century Karting
We had a later-than-usual breakfast brunch on Friday as didn’t have to get up with an alarm. See my chai latte and enormous croissant with bacon, brie and blueberries, as well as side salad. Husband had the mince on toast topped with an egg. All this at the Foodlover’s Market on Sandown.
Husband had spotted the Century Karting track when we made a miss-turn in the parking lot of Canal Walk, and as keen to give it ago with his dad, brother and father-in-law. They went zooming around the track so fast that the bottom right blurred pic is about the clearest ‘action shot’ I managed to snap.
Team photo of the proud racers. The sons had more aches and pains the following day than the dads.
We also spent some quality time with the puppers that eve. They’re such sweeties.
We dined at Petisco’s with brother-in-law Spec that evening. Their creamy chicken xai-xai fillet is amazing!
Pink sunset from the balcony at Petisco’s that evening.
Saturday, 28 April 2018: Massage, four-course lunch and ice-cream wine pairing at Clos Malverne
We had a quick earlybird breakfast with Spec at News Cafe first thing on Saturday, then it was time to set off for our grand adventure…
Such pretty scenery on the road to Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Blue skies, check. Green valleys, check. Chirpy birdsong, check. Before we knew it, we were at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley.
Our first stop – the spa! We were treated to back, neck and shoulder massages, as well as time in the steam room to unwind. There were Ferrero Rochers awaiting us on the massage table pillows. Such a lovely start.
Feeling relaxed after our massages, we were ready for the four-course lunch that lay ahead. But first, where to sit? So many appealing options at the Clos Malverne restaurant…
The bright, happy painting in the restaurant was so fitting for the Freedom Day long weekend in South Africa.
We sat in a corner of the sun-dappled balcony with panoramic views of the vines and valley ahead.
This is why it’s called a ‘meal with a view’ at Clos Malverne. See my starter butternut-goat’s cheese arancini and Husband’s half-shell mussells in Thai curry broth.
Mmm. See Husband’s fillet steak topped with asparagus spears and springbok samosas on top, with my bacon-wrapped chicken fillet and pork belly below. Such beautiful plating, with tastes to match!
Loved the mini apple rolled in poppyseeds that accompanied my pork belly (it tasted of pear). Also see our desserts – the ‘savoury sweet’ on top is a butternut-chilli-caramel cheesecake, with the ‘white dark chocolate’ mousse below.
If you thought we would be full by then, you obviously haven’t heard of Clos Malverne’s ice cream-wine pairing. This is not part of the lifestyle package but definitely worth booking as part of your stay. Flavours range from the ‘lemongrass, chilli and litchi’ as paired with a flute of MCC to the orange, ‘gluhwein and star-anise’, paired with a sweet dessert wine. Full descriptions to follow on Bizcommunity!
Next stop, nap time. The rooms are named after wine varietals, with views of the valley and amazing pool. Husband was clearly amused at the wonderful simplicity of the TV remote!
Look. At. That. Pool! But it was too pretty to just lounge around and look at, despite the icy water…
Proof of our pool time. We lounged beside it and also had a quick dip – t’was super chilly!
A slight variation of our usual ‘gowns in luxurious spaces’ photo. These were super soft and fluffy.
‘Clos’ means ‘walled vineyard’ and the vines sure are well protected on the farm. We went for a walk as desk set in and marvelled at the beauty of the setting sun over the mountains. See the rising moon in the last picture.
Sunday, 29 April 2018: Elevenses at Helena’s, Root 44 Market and the Stellenbosch Flying Club
This looks like a very good Sunday morning to me. See the sunrise, coffee on the balcony, fruit parfaits left in the fridge for our in-room breakfast, and fluffy brown cows grazing in the adjacent field. Then it was time to leave.
We took the long road home, with quite a few stops along the way as the typical Cape country scenery is all the more beautiful in the heart of Stellenbosch.
That included an explore of the sides of Stellenbosch we’d not yet seen, like this giant wheel.
Helena’s Restaurant in the Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel was so charming that we had to stop in for ‘elevenses’ or second breakfast – just a cappuccino for me, while Husband had the salmon eggs benedict. Delicious.
If you’re in Stellenbosch on a Sunday morning, chances are you’ll end up at the Root 44 Market, drooling over various crafts and foods. These looked amazing! Colourful confections at the market.
A corn dog for everyone, no matter your tastes.
The Stellenbosch Flying Club was our very last stop on our way out of town for a look around at the planes.
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my full, wordy review on Bizcommunity…
This is what we came for – it’s wonderful!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Clos Malverne were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.