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 🙂
Last weekend we celebrated St Patrick’s Day with my dad, as it’s his name day, and also had a mid-week day off in honour of Human Right’s Day – but still did lots of work in between…
Friday, 16 March 2018: BrandLove potent digital storytelling workshop
I spent my Friday attending the Brand Love ‘Potent digital storytelling’ workshop. It was intense, but I loved it! Coverage to follow on Bizcommunity soon…
The Bothas’ BrandLove house/office space is lovely, and they made all the food we ate for lunch – even the bread was baked that morning!
Saturday, 17 March 2018: St Patrick’s Day drinks at Brazen Head, parents braai at ours
We decided on a fast, filling breakfast as we had many tasks to get through on Saturday. so went for the News Cafe early bird. It did the trick.
Husband exploring the rocks and tide was very shallow that morning.
We met my parents at the Brazen Head in Seaside Village for a St Patrick’s-themed drink when the clock struck noon. See various green/clear/black drinks, here.
Dad and Husband. Both in green, both with a Guinness.
T’was our turn to host the Andrews’ family braai. Husband went with a lamb roast on the Weber, with smashed potatoes, roast veg and a S’mores type braai pudding. Yum!
There were lots of happy ‘dog on couch’ moments.
Sometimes our dining room looks like a sushi restaurant, what with the fish tank and shiny black table.
Sunday, 18 March 2018: Melkbos Kitchen breakfast and beach wander
We only set out for breakfast around 10am, and decided on the Melkbos Kitchen (formerly known as Ritzi’s). See my latte, as well as Husband and Brother-in-Law Spec’s cappuccinos.
After a fair wait, our food arrived, and it was delicious. Husband went for the salmon benedict, Spec the ham, and me the apple-ginger flapjacks. Yum!
We went for a brisk walk along the Melkbos beachfront to work off some off those calories after breakfast.
Bassie was happy to sit with mommy and the reheated breakfast with yet another coffee, later that afternoon.
We stopped at Saint’s in Eden on the Bay for my favourite Insomniac shake for our Sunday afternoon treat. Husband had one, too.
Monday, 19 March 2018: Taking a break with Kit-kat
Monday. What. A. Day. Yes, note all the full stops. And then suddenly my sweet colleague dropped a Kit-kat on my desk and things looked a little brighter 🙂
Tuesday, 20 March 2018: International Happiness Day
Part of the reason for my manic Monday was that I was completing an online masterclass in ‘happiness‘ through 42Courses, ahead of International Happiness Day on Tuesday. Click here for my overview!
Wednesday, 21 March 2018: Human Rights Day
We slept in late on Wednesday as it was Human Rights Day in SA. See my much-needed cappuccino at On the Rocks, where we breakfasted.
The rest of our breakfast – French toast with berry compote, kippers with scrambled eggs, and lots of mirrors and light. We sat inside as it was a tad windy.
Later that morning I had some quiet time napping, reading and dunking cinnamon biscuits in coffee with sweet Bassie.
Later that afternoon, we headed off to Jamaica Me Crazy for an afternoon treat. I had the Muddy Monkey shake, which is a blended banana and brownie, while Husband had the honey-ginger-whisky ‘penicillin’.
Loved the wall art, and we found a corner outside table that was semi-sheltered from the chilly wind.
Next stop, Forester’s Arms, AKA Forries. It looked particularly wintery that afternoon!
We shared the roast chilli poppers starter, the each had a burger – lamb for Husband, chicken for me.
I had to give the sign about females being allowed in pubs a big thumbs up!
That’s all, folks! Have a happy weekend 🙂
If we’ve not yet spoken this year, happy 2018! It’s been a relaxing-yet-busy first week for us, as you’ll see below…
Friday, 29 December 2017: Day of rest
Friday was a day of rest, with this breakfast at Mugg n Bean in Table Bay Mall one of our only excursions. See Husband’s poached eggs on potato-bean hash brown, with my avo and poached egg toast and iced mocha. Highly recommended!
Saturday, 30 December 2017: Hot chocolate sampling tray at The Daily, sunset at the beach
We started our weekend as such: I went for the ‘hot chocolate tasting tray’ – white, dark and rooibos – with cinnamon-sugar pancakes while Husband had the eggs florentine and cappuccino at The Daily in Seaside Village.
We took advantage of the sunny weather later that day, with Husband having a dip in the sea at Castle Rock.
T’was an ‘ice cream on the beach’ day, so that’s just what I had for my afternoon treat. Was lovely, with ice cream all the way to the tip of the cone!
The weekly braai took place at Husband’s parents’ house later that afternoon, with Spec coming home with us and staying until New Year’s Day. Various snaps from the braai…
Lovely sunset at the beach on our way home that evening.
Sunday, 31 December 2017: New Year’s Eve Webered turkey
We opted for Foodlover’s Market for our final breakfast of 2017. See our cappuccinos, my bacon-feta-avo tramezzini with chips, and the boys’ halloumi stack breakfasts.
We stopped in at the Beach Tavern in Woodbridge Island for a brief beach visit and our final afternoon treat of the year. See my pina colada shake on the left.
There was gentle rain when Husband Webered ANOTHER turkey for New Year’s Eve, complete with confit potatoes and bright green peas.
Monday, 1 January 2018: Fry-up and prawn braai
We learned last year that almost everything is closed on New Year’s Day, so we planned ahead and stocked up on breakfast essentials ahead of the big day. Once we’d all rolled out of bed, Husband cooked a fry-up for all.
Spec left for his home after breakfast, and we got ready to put the Weber to use again with prawn skewers and peri-peri chicken. See mum and dad creating the prawn-and-peppers sosaties and the final outcome.
Husband did the honours of popping the New Year’s Day bubbly.
The hot doggies spent lots of time resting under the cool fans this week.
Tuesday, 2 January 2018: Melkbos morning, Woodbridge walk
Melkbosstrand beach was crowded as a result of the ‘beach weather’ day on Tweede Nuwe Jaar.
Castella Amare on the beachfront was one of few places open pre-noon on Tuesday, so that’s where we breakfasted. See our cocoa-topped cappuccinos, Husband’s eggs royale (salmon eggs ben) and my flapjacks with bacon and banana.
Various stages of the Woodbridge-Lagood Beach walk. We prefer starting at Woodbridge Island side, walking along the tree-lined road to Lagoon Beach, where we cross the stream and walk back to the Milnerton lighthouse along the beachfront. Walkies done, we stop for a treat. See Husband’s draught and the Dragon Fiery Apple I chose. They were frosty and delicious.
Wednesday, 3 January 2018: Day in Langebaan
We stopped off at the Vygevallei farm stall for breakfast, and ate at ‘Route 27 Roosterkoek’, which only served roosterbroodjies (coal-fired sarmies).
Of course I had a coffee to start (two tea bags of coffee in the pot = two tin cups full). Also see our ‘roosterkoeks’. Mine was jam and cheese, Husband had egg and cheese topped with hot sauce.
We met up with Husband’s parents at Shark Bay for a swim in the sea mid-morning. It was chilly but so refreshing!
Our destination for the afternoon – Strandloper! It offers a 10-course fishy feast, and if you’re a non-fish eater like me there’s still lots to fill that belly…
Mutton bredie! Crayfish! Moerkoffie in the sea!
We also ate… farm bread with three different types of konfyt (jam) – tomato, pineapple and fig. Mussels served two ways. Haarders. Koeksister twists with moerkoffie.
Thursday, 4 January 2018: News Cafe breakfast, Eden on the Bay walk, Rocomama’s treats
We woke up early enough for the early bird breakfast at News Cafe on Thursday morning. See our cappuccinos, Husband’s avo and chourizo eggs benedict and my early bird English breakfast. Very filling!
We worked off a bit of that breakfast with a brisk beach walk from Eden on the Bay to Kleinbaai and back – stopping at the yellow Nat Geo frame for a few snaps, of course.
On Thursday afternoon we went to the Durbanville branch of Rocomama’s with my parents. See dad’s burger and my chili con carne-topped fries.
This is what we came for – chocolate-syruped shakes with a tot of Jack Daniels served in skull-shaped glasses, and I tried the tiramisu version of their twisted cheesecake. So good!
That’s all, folks. It’s back to work for us next week so we’ll be making the most of our sunshine hours together this weekend! 🙂
We’re finally on leave, woohoo! 🙂 It’s been a week of feasting, family and fun…
Friday, 22 December 2017: Annual Love Actually viewing
We kicked off the holidays once we were both officially on leave last Friday evening with this year’s viewing of the ultimate Christmas movie, Love Actually. complete with poinsettia, hot chocolate and popcorn.
Saturday, 23 December 2017: Rocomamas burgers and shakes
We sat outdoors at the Pink Olive for Saturday morning breakfast. It’s open before the Stark Ayres nursery officially opens its doors (if you know which door to enter through). See Husband’s bacon basket and my fresh scones with jam and cream.
Clouds were scattered prettily across the sky that afternoon.
We stopped in at the Rocomama’s at Willowbridge for treats after a day of Christmas shopping. See Husband’s chilli cheesebomb burger and creme brulee shake, as well as my Candyliscious freak shake, complete with bits of fizzer, white chocolate sauce and berry swirls.
Sunday, 24 December 2017: Christmas Eve dins at ours
We had our Christmas Eve breakfast at Bread and Butter.
My breakfast smoothie bowl was amazing. Filled with nuts, peanut butter, chocolate, ice cream and bananas, it was healthy AND delicious!
The beach was calling my name so we stopped in at Dolphin Beach for a few minutes, to dip our toes in the sand and sea, respectively.
Proof that we enjoyed our time at the beach.
We usually have Christmas lunch at our house ( see here for a reminder of last year) but as Husband’s family is finally firmly located in the Cape too, we had a few extra festivities to factor in. So, everyone came to us on Christmas Eve…
A few happy moments from the night.
Bassie and Bertie got all dressed up for the occasion and had fun ripping open the wrapping on their presents, with help from their dad.
Aww. The doggies loved all the gifts and Christmas affection.
See the lovely tablecloth mum made for me, complete with my fluffy reindeer centrepiece. Also Christmas lights and various clever presents – adult colouring books, gingerbread and Christmas pudding-flavoured coffee, and slabs of caramel chocolate and biltong fudge.
Husband Webered the turkey (much like he did in 2013), father-in-law brought cold gammon and mum made a selection of desserts, savoury and sweet. Was tricky not going back for more and more!
Monday, 25 December 2017: Christmas Day lunch at Mum’s
We had Christmas Day breakfast at W Cafe in the Woolworths at Table Bay Mall. See my vanilla-cinnamon latte and slice of banana bread topped with espresso cream-cheese and nuts on the left, with Husband’s poached egg on mushroom on the right.
Happy faces at Mum’s house for lunch on Christmas Day.
Chilled pink bubbly from Steenberg was lovely to kick things off.
Our Christmas Day feasting included warm gammon, roast potatoes, colourful salad and roast veggies, with homemade Snickers-ginger biscuit ice cream.
Tuesday, 26 December 2017: Boxing Day leftovers at Mum-in-law’s
It had been a while since we last ate at Wimpy, so I had a regular Wimpy coffee and a sweet-treat waffle while Husband had the streaky bacon breakfast with an extra cheese griller.
All at Mum-in-law’s house with Janet and Phil for leftovers on Boxing Day.
Despite it being a ‘leftovers’ lunch there were many fresh new items, too.
Wednesday, 27 December 2017: Being touristy at the V&A Waterfront
We had intended to walk around the new Zeits Mocaa (Museum of Contemporary African Art) as it’s free entry on a Wednesday morning, but clearly the whole of Cape Town heard this, too. See the queues! We’ll come back another day…
Being tourists. Sun, sea and happy faces.
Various delicious eats and treats from the Waterfront – my Amarula Colada from Gibson’s far left and right, along with Husband’s very minty mojito, also his two extra-large oysters and my Woody’s burger from the food court. Yum!
Teehee, we couldn’t resist posing in the fat suit outside Ripley’s Believe it or not – that’s how we feel after all the Christmas feasting!
We couldn’t resist lunch with a view upstairs at MareSol – see various shots of the harbour, my pink shake with Husband’s carafe of white wine, and his fresh fishy platter.
Thursday, 28 December 2017: Star Wars movie at GrandWest Casino
On Thursday, we breakfasted at the Village Cafe in West Coast Village. See my latte and Husband’s large cappuccino, also my banting flapjacks topped with yoghurt and berries, Husband’s toastless brekkie and the sweet Christmassy reindeer at the door.
T’was time for our second viewing of The Last Jedi, and the parents’ first (they’d caught up on all the previous movies in the past few weeks). Enjoyed it even more second time around!
We took the customary ‘strike a pose’ snap at The District section of the casino.
Thankfully we still have a full week of rest ahead of us before we start the 2018 work year. Hope your Christmas was all you hoped for! 🙂
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. 🙂