We’ve been back at work for a week already so it seems very long ago that we were living the last week of our Summer staycation, even though it was just last week. Of course it whizzed by in a blur of sunshine, sea swims and sunset-gazing…
Thursday, 3 January 2019: Reload Flamingo Vlei breakfast, afternoon at Blouberg beach
We met my parents for breakfast at the Reload in Flamingo Vlei last Thursday morning. See our various-sized flat whites, Dad’s basic breakfast, Husband’s ‘trim’ omelette, and the avo bagels Mum and I enjoyed.
That afternoon, we set up a shady spot with beach umbrella, towels and books, then Husband headed off for his sea swim. His dad joined us a little later to test the water, too.
Husband diving into the deep blue sea at Bloubergstrand.
Candyfloss-coloured sky that night.
Friday, 4 January 2019: Doggy beach walks, Wimpy breakfast, Saint’s treats
It had been quite windy the past few days so we couldn’t do a doggy beach walk, as Bassie hates having sand blown into her eyes. Conditions looked good when we woke up on Friday so we set off for a nice long doggy beach walk first thing at Kreeftebaai. Success!
Husband and boy dog in and around the ocean.
Post-doggy beach walk we’d worked up quite an appetite. We’d not been to our local Wimpy in a while, so that’s where we breakfasted last Friday. See our coffees as well as Husband’s streaky bacon breakfast with extra cheese griller, and my breakfast waffle. Yes, we finished it all.
Treats later that afternoon – a coconutty Cafe Capri and ‘Devil Wears Black’ cocktail at Saint’s in Eden on the Bay, followed by a shared, crispy-based Nikita takeaway pizza from Portalia. Just right!
Saturday, 5 January 2019: End-of-holiday meal at El Barrio
We met Husband’s mum at McPherson’s on Saturday morning, as his dad was out cycling. My plate of toast, bacon and eggs bottom-right cost just R25!
Our full table of breakfast things.
We decided on EL Barrio at Eden on the Bay as the place we’d celebrate the end of a Summer holiday well spent. See my delicious pineapple-habanero margarita and Husband’s ‘Mexican flag’ shooters. Ole!
The food was delicious, too. See our taco bowls – the chicken for Husband, pork for me.
Sunday. 6 January 2019: Village Place breakfast, make your own chicken burgers
Sunday morning saw us having our last breakfast of the holiday, at Village Place Cafe in West Coast Village. See our flat whites as well as Husband’s eggy breakfast and my muesli jar.
We made our own chicken burgers for lupper at Mum’s that afternoon. Yum!
The sweet doglets in sleepy mode. Yes, that’s Bertie watching the Christopher Robin/Winnie the Pooh movie bottom-left. He loved it.
That’s all, folks! We hope you have a delicious weekend ahead 🙂
This past week has been wonderful as we’re over the ‘eat eat eat’ Christmas week of the annual December-January break, yet we still had lots of fun times before we start the new work year next week…
Thursday, 27 December 2018: Rocomama’s ribs and shakes
We started last Thursday at The Daily in Big Bay. Queues were long so we just had a coffee to start the day – the condensed milky ‘tin cup’ for me, with the now off-menu tasting tray for Husband.
And so, next stop was Cup & Cake in Eden on the Bay for actual food – the three cinnamon-sugar pancakes at R20 for me, while Husband had the hashbrown-mushroom stack.
Following a quiet day of rest, we met my parents at the new cashless Rocomama’s in Parklands for an early dins that afternoon. See the order sheets, chilli-cheese fries, BBQ pork ribs and current specials.
Milkshake mouths! Mine was espresso, the boys each had a creme brulee, and Mum had a Sprite Zero instead.
Dessert much, much later that evening – a fruit-mince pie and coffee in reindeer mug.
Bassie thought the mince pie was for her. She had one of her Christmas biscuits instead.
Friday, 28 December 2018: Enormous burgers at the NOB, Tyger Falls waterfront
Various stages of home-cooked breakfast – French toast with bacon and coffee for me, full fry-up for Husband, and hopeful doglets as always.
We saw on Facebook that The NOB (No Ordinary Burger) of food truck fame has opened a permanent eatery at the Tyger Falls waterfront, so headed that way for last Friday’s lunch. See the enormous burgers and views. Hand for size.
We needed to walk off some of that food before making our way home. Luckily the Tyger Falls waterfront is beautiful and easy to walk all the way around. It’s also surrounded by birdies, like this duck on the pier.
Saturday, 29 December 2018: Breakfast toasties at Reload
Reload is a good breakfast choice as it’s close to home, surrounded by greenery and we enjoy their coffee.
Our Saturday breakfast at Reload in Parklands comprised a ‘bacon-egg-cheese toasty’ on brown and flat white each. Coke Zero and Tabasco sauce for Husband.
Bellies full, we spent quality time at home with the doglets last Saturday morning. Such cuties!
We needed long, cool drinks after completing the Woodbridge Island-Lagoon Beach and back walk on Saturday afternoon. See Husband’s Bloody Mary and my Key Lime Pie shake at the Beach Tavern.
Beautiful blue mountain and glassy sea rolling in, later that afternoon.
Sunday, 30 December 2018: Sea swims and summery lupper
Husband coming up for air during a rock pool explore after a home breakfast on Sunday morning.
Mum put together delicious summery plates for our Sunday lupper.
Monday, 31 December 2018: New Year’s Eve in Langebaan
We so enjoyed our swim at Shark Bay in Langebaan last Christmas that we did so again with Husband’s family these holidays.
Sea swimming! Shark Bay is a magical spot between the lagoon and the open sea, as you can walk out almost to the other end of the inlet before you’re beneath the ‘waves’. We had a wonderful morning splashing about.
One of the best things I saw in Shark Bay – this doggie calmly going out for a paddle with his family.
Swim done, we took a cool cruise through town in search of lunch.
Pearly’s is a popular spot but they had a table for us, so that’s where we lunched. See Husband’s Thai fish curry top-right, the butter-chicken special bottom-left and my coffee shake bottom-right.
Er’rybody eating at Pearly’s! See Husband with his Thai fish curry, Spec and Father-in-Law with the butter-chicken special, Mother-in-Law with her snoek quesidilla special and me with the toasted chicken, chips and coffee shake. Various beers and wines for the rest. We left for home soon after and had a quiet evening in, with the doggies.
Tuesday, 1 January 2019: Happy New Year!
Loved this on the wall of Seattle Coffee in Exclusive Books at Table Bay Mall, when we stopped in for Husband to have a New Year’s Day espresso con panna.
We spent the day easing into the new year with a family braai at home with my parents, and more quality time with Bassie and Bertie. It was a scorcher, so they were happy to cool down under the fans.
Wednesday, 2 January 2019: Rocomama’s burgers and chilli-cheese fries
We had breakfast at Woolworth’s W Cafe in Table Bay Mall on Wednesday. See Husband’s flat white, Coke Zero and chorizo bowl, as well as my honey-nut latte and cakey coconut loaf with espresso cream.
After some reading under the fan, we were ready for food again. We had so enjoyed our burgers at Rocomama’s the previous week that we were there again for an early dins on Wednesday, this week. Also see my Belgian chocolate shake and our shared portion of chilli-cheese fries. Yum!
That’s all, folks! We’ve had a lovely, lazy break and luckily there’s a full weekend to go before we hit the office. Here’s to a super successful 2019!
This has been our most family-filled Christmas in a long time, as we got to celebrate with both sets of parents as well as extended family on both sides. We were also lucky enough to start our December holiday with a stay at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek, what a magical place!
Our souls are happy and bellies full – you’ll see why from all the snaps below…
Friday, 22 December 2018: Holiday waffles and Blowfish dins
Mum and Dad treated me to a waffle at Milky Lane in Table Bay Mall to mark my first day of holiday last Friday. See my Crunchie waffle, Dad’s lemon meringue version and Mum’s churro ice cream cup that looked just like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.
By then, Husband was done with his morning of work so he joined us for a strong flat white at Limnos Bakery in the mall. Let the holidays begin!
The colours at the beachfront were just gorgeous that afternoon. If you look closely, you’ll spot Husband waving from the waves.
We started the weekend with an early lupper at the Blowfish restaurant in Dolphin Beach that afternoon. See Husband’s seafood pasta and my butternut-feta gnocchi.
Saturday, 22 December 2019: A stay at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek
Bread & Butter in Sunningdale has extended its trading hours over the festive season, so that’s where we had our early Saturday morning breakfast. See our flat whites and single eggs benedicts – Mexican for Husband. bacon for me. Bellies full, we were ready for a road trip…
We were excited to see a different side of Franschhoek that weekend, as we were reviewing a night at La Petite Ferme, set on the foot of the Oliphant’s Pass. See fields of lavender and the lush green maze of Terbidor’s Big Dog Cafe on our way into town.
Views of the valley, vineyards and vino at La Petite Ferme – ‘the little farm’. It’s different from the typical ‘Main Road Franschhoek’ accommodation as you’re situated up above the town with a view of the mountain on the one side and on the other, twinkly lights of the valley below. Highly recommended!
We were lucky to stay in the Provencale Vineyard Suite as the accommodation is pure luxury, complete with a view of the blue mountains and vineyards right from the bathtub, and delicious cookies at the in-suite coffee station.
Some of the scenery around our private cottage suite – inviting shady tree-lined walkways, a welcome bowl of fruit, and of course our private pool.
View of our private pool from the main living area of the suite. It was heavenly!
Husband spent most of his afternoon in the pool. The dark green tiles made it feel like we had slipped into the background and were part of nature.
I’ll drink to that! Husband enjoying a taste of La Petite Ferme’s oak-barreled Chardonnay.
Guests are welcome to a private wine tasting and tour of the vines on the property. See the five wines we sampled, each paired with a specific savoury bite from the kitchen. Watch for my full wordy review on Bizcommunity in the new year!
Mr and Mrs Andrews making their way from their suite to the restaurant – we couldn’t stop gazing at that beautiful view!
Sunset signals supper time at La Petite Ferme. See the magical glow over the mountains and valley below – you can just spot me in the picture on the top-left.
The food tasted as good as it looked. See our breadboard, including charcoal rolls with harissa paste, two views of our shared zucchini roll starter and our mains – the deboned whole trout for Husband, and the pulled lamb for me. Both were all so delicious we left our plates clean. Not pictured – the caramel milkshake I slurped to the last drop.
A feast for the eyes before we’d even had a taste. See another view of our mains – lamb top-left and trout top-right, as well as our desserts – chocolate torte bottom-left and pumpkin doughnuts with peanut-butter ice-cream bottom-right.
The ‘gownie shot’, once back in our suite that evening – this was the best option of about 20 takes, I promise.
Sunday, 23 December 2018: Peche Royale & ice cream sundae Sundays
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme is a treat, with so many delicious choices from the buffet table – see the pastries; fresh fruit and fish; my ‘first breakfast’ bowl of granola with berries, cranberry juice and cappuccino; and Husband’s beautiful plate of eggs Onassis – spinach, salmon and Hollandaise sauce.
More of the buffet spread; along with my prettily plated hot breakfast order of French toast topped with bacon and cooked apple slivers; and my ‘third breakfast’ nutty pastry plait with cappuccino; as well as Husband enjoying his plate of eggs.
I’d heard about the beautiful peacocks at La Petite Ferme and we spotted a few during our stay – they often leapt into the trees to sing their odd ‘mewling’ cry. But more impressive that this…
Look! A little chick on the peahen’s back! Two eggs had just hatched during our stay.
After checking out we made our way back home, then stopped in at Pakalolo’s on the beachfront with Spec for Christmas cocktails that afternoon. See Husband’s bloody mary, Spec’s mojito and my ‘champagne mojito’, complete with sparkly MCC.
The celebrations kept coming! We had Peche Royale sparkling peach, as well as salad and toasted sandwiches to literally ‘toast’ the start of the holidays with Spec at Mum’s house that afternoon. Also see our coconut ice cream with caramel sauce and Bertie’s Christmas present from his granny-grampa – a soft blue monkey, his newest best friend.
Monday, 24 December 2018: Blaauwberg Beach Hotel breakfast and Christmas Eve family dins
The Blaauwberg Beach Hotel has finally opened its doors, so we had breakfast at their Waves restaurant on Monday morning. See my peanut-butter waffle, Husband’s eggs royale and Spec’s breakfast taco. Portions are generous, so go hungry!
Of course we explored the rest of the hotel, too – just look at the views from one of three pools! We’ll definitely be back once their cocktail bar opens in the new year.
Sweet little Bassie on Christmas Eve. She turned into a shy girl with so many family members saying hi at her grandparents’ house. The food was lovely, too – pre-ordered individual portions of chicken, gammon and ham with rice, roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower, carrots and butternut. Yum!
Merry Christmas Eve! The full family enjoying our festive feast.
Tuesday, 25 December 2018: Christmas lunch in Big Bay
Woolworths Cafe was one of few places open for breakfast on Christmas Day, so that’s where we topped up our tummies again, this time on vanilla-cinnamon cappuccinos, flat whites, Labneh apple-toast and chorizo hash bowls. My parents also popped in for generous portions of scrambled eggs, bacon and avo on toast.
Merry Christmas! We spent much of the rest of the day at the beautiful new Big Bay house of relations on Mum’s side. See the slide-cover pool and view across the ocean to Table Mountain.
See some of the Christmas day laughs captured here.
Full family (apart from Eleanor, taking the photo) at Christmas lunch at the Conradies’ newly built house. Also, Gillian presenting the beautiful Christmas tree starter Mum created.
Did we eat and eat! See the cheese, fruit and crackers; roast potatoes; Christmas pies – steak, chicken and venison; pigs in ‘scarves’ (their bacon ‘blankets’ shrunk in the cook); and the beautiful cheesecake made by my cousin, Erin. There was also homemade malva pudding with custard and Uncle Al’s bread-and-butter pudding.
No wonder some of us were very sleepy that evening, dreaming Christmassy dreams.
Wednesday, 26 December 2018: Day of Reconciliation (AKA: Christmas leftovers)
We filled our bellies (again) with the early bird English breakfast special at News Cafe on Marine Circle.
Day of Reconciliation means lots of Christmas leftovers. We found ourselves back at Husband’s parents’ house with his extended relations for a final taste of Christmas. It was yummy but we are so done with cooked ham for a while!
That’s all, folks! We hope you had an equally delicious Christmas week. Excuse us while we try walk off some of those calories. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at La Petite Ferme were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Last weekend was a different one for us, as we were invited to the launch of the Spier Light Art Festival on Sunday night, so we took a day’s leave on Monday so as to extend that weekend feeling…
Saturday, 8 December 2018: Cup & Cake’s pancakes
It felt like a ‘Cup & Cake’ kind of day, so that’s where we had breakfast on Saturday. See my 3 cinnamon-sugar pancakes for R20, caramel cappuccino and Husband’s mushroom benedict-style breakfast.
After a few hours at Husband’s work, we treated ourselves to ‘Ralph breaks the internet’ at GrandWest Casino. See the pretty Christmas tree just in front of the skate rink.
Sunday, 9 December 2018: Spier Light Art Festival
We breakfasted at the Pink Olive in West Coast Village on Sunday. See Husband’s ‘meaty toast’ topped with egg, my fresh scone duo and our cappuccinos.
On our way through Stellenbosch, Husband’s phone told us to detour through Vredenheim Wildlife. What a hidden gem, with lots to see, including antlered-reindeer – just the thing to get us into the festive spirit!
Some of the lovely sights in and around the Spier entry. Yes, that is Husband taking one of the bicycles for a spin.
The exploration continued inside on check-in. See the Christmas trees at reception, welcome drinks and more.
Our suite was just right, with a view over two different pools, enormous bed, and in-room coffee-making kit. Yes, please.
There are many, many pools at Spier, tucked between the walkways, but the main pool is where the icy, fruited waters were, so that’s where we swam. It was wonderful.
There was lots of shade to sit in, once you’d had your fill of sun. Loved the bright, mosaic tables.
Some of our post-swim explore included swinging around, spotting ducks in the river and crossing bridges. Wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Exploring out of the way, it was time for our pre-Festival packed picnic. A full basket awaited us, but you could also create your own from the items in the deli.
This was our picnic: Crusty bread, melba toast, butter and hummus, cold meat charcuterie, gherkins and olives, camembert, spicy coronation chicken salad, smoked corn-green pepper salad, a bottle of Spier Signature Wine, gruyere-mushroom individual frittata-style quiches, and rich brownie bricks with a tart summer berry compote. This even got a thumbs up of approval from Husband, and he’s not much for picnics.
Sipping wine through linked arms. It can be done!
Picnic packed away, it was time for the Light Art Festival to begin. First up, large puppets that roamed the grounds, capturing everyone’s attention until the sun set.
This is what we came for. It’s free entrance, every night until the end of January. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend popping in! Click through to my official review for more info.
There was so much to see and hear and do, as the festival took place all over the grounds of Spier. A really lovely way to spend a Summer evening.
Teehee. We also made friends with the friendly kitty that was strolling the grounds of Spier.
This the the Spier version of our standard ‘gownie night-away shot’. Tick.
Monday, 10 December 2018: Eagle Encounters, Pakalolo’s and Rocomama’s
The breakfast buffet at Spier was extensive and delicious. See a few of our courses here. Husband also had a filled omelette while I stuck with the crispy, streaky bacon and fresh baked goods after my mixed bowl of cereal (including muesli and Coco Pops), and topped with pitted dates and candy-coated sunflower seeds.
We took a golf cart down to the Eagle Encounters area at the far side of Spier once we’d breakfasted, but they weren’t yet open. Luckily we still got to see lots of eagle owls, like this one peering back at us.
Husband having his ‘weekend’ dip once we got back on our home ground that afternoon.
Ahh. There’s nothing like a cocktail at Pakalolo on the beachfront to put you firmly in ‘holiday mode’, even if just for a day. See Husband’s Bloody Mary and my ‘Pakalolo Sunrise’.
We finally had an early dins at the newly opened Rocomama’s in Parklands that evening. No better smash burgers and shakes in Cape Town, if you ask me! That’s the espresso shake and creme brulee shake, as well as a portion of chili-cheese fries and our enormous burgers you see here.
Wednesday, 12 December 2018: Wacky Wednesday and Steers’ chips
We were both exhausted when we got home from work on Wednesday, so opted for Wacky Wednesday from Steers for dins. Plus this large portion of chips, drenched in all the sauces. YUM.
That’s all, folks! Read my
review on Biz for more on the Spier Light Art Festival. We were back at work on Tuesday already, but towards the end-of-year holidays we will go…
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Spier were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Loeries 2018 is done and dusted but no need for FOMO: if you missed all the fun you can scroll through my pics below. This is a super bumper edition post as it also includes pics of our stay at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga last Sunday night. So make sure you have a hot drink at hand, your scrolling finger is ready and go, go, go!
Wednesday, 15 August 2018: Fly to Durban, lunch at the Versailles restaurant
Once I’d checked in at the airport on Wednesday morning I had time for a quick coffee and to snap the sunrise before meeting up with my colleague Angie for our flight to Durban. Good way to start the trip!
Once we landed at King Shaka Airport, adjusted to the humidity and found our hire car, we made our way to the Blue Waters Hotel on the Snell Parade. After checking in, we had time for lunch in the hotel’s Versailles restaurant before sorting out some work in our room. See the lovely setting, as well as my berry-topped cheesecake and strawberry milkshake. Angie went for the fish and chips with veggies and said it was delicious.
We were so busy working in the evenings that we didn’t leave our room, alas. These are various snaps of room service meals we ordered over our stay at the Blue Waters. Those snack baskets are lovely, the chips are delicious, the hot chocolate has real chocolate melted into the pot and that club sandwich could easily feed two!
Thursday, 16 August 2018: Moderating the Women in Marketing: Africa masterclass
We woke bright and early for our first big day on Thursday – see my ‘The future is female’ tee from Foschini, so fitting for the themes we covered on the day. Also see various stages of breakfast at the Versailles restaurant in the Blue Waters hotel, and the enormous tree guarding the Durban ICC, just five minutes from our hotel.
My Loeries fun kicked off with something different – I moderated the Women in Marketing: Africa launch masterclass. Click here for an overview of the topics discussed, if you missed it.
Probably one of the most delicious moments of the Loeries – stopping on a swing to try the chocolate-chilli ‘spicecream’ by Robertsons.
More about Thursday. Luckily all the Loeries events are held at the Durban ICC, so once you’ve registered it’s pretty easy to find your way around. See the registration desk, where we were pleasantly surprised to be told we were VIPs for the week. Also see me with Loeries CEO Andrew Human, and the lovely Nkgabi Motsau of Think Creative Hub – I’ve interviewed her a few times over the phone and email, so it was wonderful to bump into each other. Also see Angie and me enjoying our ‘spicecreams’ on the Instagram ‘head in the clouds’ swings when the seminar was finally over.
Friday, 17 August 2018: DStv Seminar of Creativity and Loerie Awards night one
Stages of sunrise as seen from our room, and breakfast downstairs in the restaurant.
A few of our Friday highlights – it was time for the DStv Seminar of Creativity, so we made sure to have a filling breakfast in the hotel before heading back to the Convention Centre (this is part two). It was ‘build-you-own-bunnychow for lunch – with authentic Durban curry, so these were fantastically hot. Also see the Convention Centre all lit up for the first awards show that night. We rushed back to our hotel room to change out of our casual outfits, then were ready for lights, camera, action!
A few more snaps from Friday night’s Loeries award ceremony at the Durban ICC. See me with Slo, who now works at TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris. I met HER when I first covered the Loeries in Durban a good four years ago, and see Angie and me in all our Foschini finery.
Our posed snap from Gallo, on the red carpet with the Loeries and this year’s Wakanda-themed picture prettiers.
The award nights flew by in a whizz as we were tweeting, posting to Instagram and making articles live as the nights went on. No wonder we were exhausted by the time we got back to our room!
Saturday, 18 August 2018: Brand SA VIP Brunch and Loerie Awards night two
Saturday morning was the Brand South Africa VIP Brunch, held at California Dreaming on the beachfront. We were happy to sit and watch Durban life go by on the promenade beyond, while sipping away and munching on delicious snacks.
After a strong cappuccino we were ready to fit in some networking, too!
Saturday night version of the official Loeries red carpet team snap – this time in our own clothing with Foschini accessories (love that neckpiece!)
More from the Saturday night red carpet! See me with the big gold loerie, Angie and I at the logo wall and saying hi to Nkanyezi Masango of King James Group (they did really well on the night!)
Husband also kept me in the loop of how things were going back at home on Saturday. See the doglets snuggled together on the couch, cheersing his mom’s birthday, and breakfast with my parents. Also see Bassie, very interested in his dessert.
Sunday, 19 August 2018: A night at the Oyster Box Hotel
Husband also sent me snaps of his early morning at the Cape Town airport, where he waited for his flight to join me for a night. See the Cape Town Slow Lounge, his Kulula flight and view from the window.
Husband found the ‘loo with a view’ in the Cape Town Slow lounge hilarious!
Angie safely dropped off for her flight home and Husband collected for part two of my time in KZN, we hopped into an Uber and headed to Umhlanga. See some of the sights along the way.
Ahh, the Oyster Box. We loved everything we saw when we first arrived, including resident kitty Skabenga who let me pet him as he napped on a couch.
The main reception area is just gorgeous, with ornate red carpets, glass, mirrors and orchids everywhere you look.
If cakes are your thing, don’t miss high tea at the Oyster Box. We had a huge dinner to come so gave it a miss, but there’s also a slightly smaller ‘evening indulgence’ option if you have a spot of space left after those curries. We didn’t, sadly. Will have to return for it!
Our room was a pink, red and white delight. See the robes in the bathroom, the red-and-white lighthouse in walking distance and enticing private balcony.
Cheers! We clinked drinks once we’d had time to unpack and get over the gorgeousness of the view from our balcony.
It’s not a proper seaside stay if Husband hasn’t had a dip in the sea, so we trotted along the beach to the pier and of course he dunked himself in the Umhlanga waters – my first time on the KZN beachfront too, despite having arrived in Durban on the Wednesday! Note cute ‘sand brush’ for when returning from beach to hotel.
We even spotted a vervet monkey wandering the grounds!
Sunset from our balcony.
Don’t forget to explore the upstairs floor of the Oyster Box – we found the Clock Tower Room, host to a selection of toy soldiers, as well as the movie theatre stocked with sweets and soft blankets. Lots to do if the weather keeps you indoors!
A lovely nautical corner of the Oyster Box.
That night, we sampled the curry buffet in the Ocean Terrace. Proper review of the curries to come on Biz, and see my very chocolatey shake – with striped paper straw, of course.
All the colours deepen at the Oyster Box at night. We were quite exhausted after dins and ready for bed.
Wow, the Oyster Box room fairies went all out in our absence, decking the bed with towel swans, rose petals, chocolates and gowns. Here’s the resulting gown pic.
To a Capetonian, this is absolute heaven due to water restrictions in the province. The staff had sprinked more rose petals all around the edge of the super-large tub, and even left us scented candles. Bliss!
Monday, 20 August 2018: The Oyster Box breakfast buffet and King Shaka Airport Slow Lounge
The breakfast buffet spread is simply unbeatable. Look at all those cheeses, and you could eat oysters to your heart’s content! I think Husband stopped at 14.
Also see Husband’s Oysters Mornay bottom right, a selection of the cereals, the full breakfast menu and the pancake I topped with chocolate syrup, cream, banana slices and mini Astros. That’s how you do breakfast! And then…
The spa at the Oyster Box is open to guests, so we headed straight there after breakfast to spend some quiet time digesting and erasing some of the past weeks’ stresses.
I can’t tell you how relaxing it was the spend the morning hopping between this jacuzzi-like plunge pool and the Turkish hammam steam room. We left feeling ten times better than when we arrived. Us waterbabies could have easily spent the day there!
We spent a little time at the main pool (there’s another close to the spa) before it was time to check out. I can see why this is a firm Umhlanga favourite!
More shots of the gorgeous pool. See how we both bravely got in (that’s me in the bottom left shot) – and what a wonderful spot it is, to take your morning coffee.
We had enough time to spare before our flight to visit the Slow Lounge at King Shaka Airport – my first time. See the curry that made Husband’s eyes light up, the chocolate croissant and cappuccino that made me happy, and various other snacks.
Another snap of the Slow Lounge, and the British Airways plane that brought us home.
That’s all, folks! Hope my snaps did our whirlwind stay justice. We’ve both been a bit ill this past week, so it will probably be a quiet weekend on our side. Enjoy yours!
*Disclaimer: Our Loeries’ outfits and accessories were sponsored by Foschini, while meals and accommodation at the Oyster Box Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
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.
Little Bassie is now 11 years old and we had a wonderful time celebrating her special day last weekend, as you’ll see from the pics below…
Thursday, 29 March 2018: First fire of 2018
It was rather chilly last Thursday evening, so we lit our first fire of the year in the fireplace. I warmed my bare feet while the doggies happily huddled nearby – Bassie is on the couch, if you’re trying to spot her.
Friday, 30 March 2018: Cup & Cake breakfast on Good Friday
After a leisurely lie-in we decided on Cup & Cake in Eden on the Bay for breakfast. See my caramel latte to start the day.
The food was so good! I had the French Toast sandwich with banana, sweet fried onions and cream cheese while Husband had a classic eggs benedict.
It was a cold day, overall, as is usual for Good Friday – note the Winter grey sky and green sea. Note that Husband was just exploring along the coastline, he did not take a dip.
We picked up some Good Friday treats, to last throughout the long Easter weekend.
Bassie pretended to not be interested in the chocolate hot-cross buns. See her ‘not looking at the foodies’ face on the second shot.
Saturday, 31 March 2018: Musselling in Bloubergstrand
Surprise! We’d just ordered our food and drinks for breakfast at News Cafe with brother-in-law Spec on Saturday morning (he’d slept over at ours) when Mum and Dad walked in! See our various coffees topped with foam hearts and elephants, early bird breakfast specials and the City Slicker eggs benedict Husband ordered for a change.
Proof we were all there.
Then it was time for musselling with Husband’s family, just down the road at Bloubergstrand. All equipped with permits and a suitably low tide, they were ready to wade in.
This lovely golden retriever doggie came bounding over to sit with me after his dip in the sea. His name was Charlie.
You can just make out the mussellers near the rocks here.
We decided on liquid treats at Saint’s in Eden on the Bay later that afternoon. See Spec’s blueberry mojito, my Insomniac shake and Husband’s ‘Fat Mary’ – a bloody Mary topped with candied bacon. Yum!
Husband finally had his proper dip in the sea that afternoon.
The mussels had since been cleaned and cooked, and were eaten as a starter by the others at the braai at the parents later that afternoon. There was also a ‘rosbif’ (roast beef) braaied on the Weber-spit with taters, and lots of veg.
Of course there were all sorts of Easter goodies for dessert. Also see the doggies sitting sweetly.
Bassie was very interested in all the Easter treats but received her own doggy treats as it was the day before her birthday.
Sunday, 1 April 2018: Easter Sunday and Bassie’s 11th birthday
Bassie got lots of special birthday girl attention on Sunday. See Bertie just under Husband’s arm, not willing to move out of the photo.
Surprise (again!) We had just ordered our food and drinks at Mugg & Bean in Table Bay Mall on Sunday morning when Mum and Dad appeared! We moved to a bigger table to eat together. See dad’s ‘serious cappuccino’ and blueberry flapjacks on top, my banoffee French toast bottom left, Mum’s avo egg toast in the middle and Husband’s M&M Classic.
We stopped in at Eden Cafe for our Sunday afternoon treats. See my passionfruit shake and Husband’s Castle Lite.
Various attempts at getting the birthday girl to look happy in her birthday-hat pic this year (her hat is smaller than the one the rest of us wear, but still a little big for her).
Mmm. We’d brought along a malva pudding-style sticky-toffee baked pudding for Easter dessert.
Monday, 2 April 2018: Family Day doggy beach walks
We breakfasted at Cafe Lacomia in our nearest Builder’s Warehouse on Monday. See Husband’s sloppy joe, my toasted chicken mayo and my cafe mocha.
The weather was finally right for a doggie beach visit late on Monday morning.
Doggies running eagerly towards the sea with Husband.
We really kept things local this past long weekend. For our Monday treat we decided on an early-dins at Doodles…
See Husband’s linefish of the day (angelfish) with veg and baked potato, as well as my melt burger with pepper sauce and Bar-one shake.
The sea was crashing over the rocks with Table Mountain under a light cloudy duvet as we took the scenic route home.
I had a belated Easter treat with a cup of coffee in a reindeer mug that evening. Delicious!
That’s all, folks! Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s update, which will feature a visit from special friend, Gords. Have a happy weekend 🙂