Category Archives: Holiday

KZN fun in the winter sun: Loeries 2018 and a night at the Oyster Box

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

Airport coffee and sunrise
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!
Versailles restaurant at the Blue Waters Hotel
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.
Blue Waters room service.
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

Loeries and Blue Waters Hotel.
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.
Women in Marketing Africa Masterclass at the Loeries
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.
Robertson's spicecream at Loeries
Probably one of the most delicious moments of the Loeries – stopping on a swing to try the chocolate-chilli ‘spicecream’ by Robertsons.
Loeries at Durban ICC
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

Durban sunrise
Stages of sunrise as seen from our room, and breakfast downstairs in the restaurant.
Loerie awards
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!
Friday night Loeries Awards
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.
Loeries 2018
Our posed snap from Gallo, on the red carpet with the Loeries and this year’s Wakanda-themed picture prettiers.
Loeries awards
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

Brand SA VIP brunch at California Dreaming
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.
Networking at Brand SA VIP brunch at California Dreaming
After a strong cappuccino we were ready to fit in some networking, too!
Loeries red carpet
Saturday night version of the official Loeries red carpet team snap – this time in our own clothing with Foschini accessories (love that neckpiece!)
Saturday night Loeries red carpet
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!)
Dogs on couch
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

Cape Town Slow Lounge
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.
Loo with a View at Cape Town airport
Husband found the ‘loo with a view’ in the Cape Town Slow lounge hilarious!
Umhlanga roads.
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.
Oysterbox Hotel
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.
Oysterbox reception area.
The main reception area is just gorgeous, with ornate red carpets, glass, mirrors and orchids everywhere you look.
High tea at the Oysterbox
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!
Room at the Oysterbox hotel
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 at the Oysterbox
Cheers! We clinked drinks once we’d had time to unpack and get over the gorgeousness of the view from our balcony.
Umhlanga sea
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.
Vervet monkey at the Oysterbox
We even spotted a vervet monkey wandering the grounds!
Sunset at Oysterbox
Sunset from our balcony.
Movie theatre at the Oysterbox.
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!
Oysterbox ships.
A lovely nautical corner of the Oyster Box.
Curry buffet at the Oysterbox
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.
Oysterbox at night.
All the colours deepen at the Oyster Box at night. We were quite exhausted after dins and ready for bed.
Oysterbox swans and gowns
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.
Bath at the Oysterbox.
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

Breakfast at the Oysterbox.
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.
Breakfast at the Oysterbox
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…
Oysterbox spa
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.
Steam room and plunge pool at Oysterbox
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!
Pool at the Oysterbox Hotel
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!
Pool at the Oysterbox
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.
Slow Lounge at King Shaka Airport
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.
KZN Slow Lounge at King Shaka Airport
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.

What to do in Stellenbosch 2018: Lunch at Clos Malverne

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

Foodlover's Market breakfast
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.
Go-karting at Century Karting.
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.
Century Karting
Team photo of the proud racers. The sons had more aches and pains the following day than the dads.
Dogs
We also spent some quality time with the puppers that eve. They’re such sweeties.
Petiscos dins
We dined at Petisco’s with brother-in-law Spec that evening. Their creamy chicken xai-xai fillet is amazing!
Pink sunset Petiscos
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

News Cafe
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…
Lake in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Such pretty scenery on the road to Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Signs to Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch
Blue skies, check. Green valleys, check. Chirpy birdsong, check. Before we knew it, we were at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley.
The Spa at Clos Malverne
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.
Clos Malverne restaurant
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…
Freedom Day Mandela painting at Clos Malverne.
The bright, happy painting in the restaurant was so fitting for the Freedom Day long weekend in South Africa.
Sunny balcony at Clos Malverne
We sat in a corner of the sun-dappled balcony with panoramic views of the vines and valley ahead.
Clos Malverne
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.
Clos Malverne lunch
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!
Dessert at Clos Malverne.
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.
Ice cream wine pairing at Clos Malverne
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!
Clos Malverne room.
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!
Pool at Clos Malverne
Look. At. That. Pool! But it was too pretty to just lounge around and look at, despite the icy water…
Pool at Clos Malverne
Proof of our pool time. We lounged beside it and also had a quick dip – t’was super chilly!
Gowns at Clos Malverne
A slight variation of our usual ‘gowns in luxurious spaces’ photo. These were super soft and fluffy.
Clos Malverne
‘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

Sunday in Stellenbosch.
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.
Trees in Stellenbosch
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.
Stellenbosch wheel.
That included an explore of the sides of Stellenbosch we’d not yet seen, like this giant wheel.
Breakfast at Helena's Restaurant in CoopmanHuijs Hotel
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.
Root 44 market food
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.
Corn dogs at Root 44 market
A corn dog for everyone, no matter your tastes.
Stellenbosch Flying Club planes
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…

Clos Malverne lifestyle package
This is what we came for – it’s wonderful!

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Clos Malverne were part of our review package.Β All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Bassie turns 11 over Easter long weekend 2018

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

Dogs fireplace
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

Caramel latte at Cup & Cake
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.
Cup & Cake breakfast
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.
Cold sea
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.
Good Friday treats
We picked up some Good Friday treats, to last throughout the long Easter weekend.
Hot cross buns
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

Breakfast at News Cafe
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.
Breakfast at News Cafe
Proof we were all there.
Bloubergstrand.
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.
Golden retriever on beach
This lovely golden retriever doggie came bounding over to sit with me after his dip in the sea. His name was Charlie.
Musselling in Cape Town
You can just make out the mussellers near the rocks here.
Drinks at Saints
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!
Swimming in sea
Husband finally had his proper dip in the sea that afternoon.
Mussels and roast beef
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.
Easter
Of course there were all sorts of Easter goodies for dessert. Also see the doggies sitting sweetly.
Dog and marshmallows
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

Dogs
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.
Mugg & Bean breakfast
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.
Eden Cafe
We stopped in at Eden Cafe for our Sunday afternoon treats. See my passionfruit shake and Husband’s Castle Lite.
Dog in birthday hat.
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).
Malva pudding
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

Breakfast at Cafe Lacomia
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.
Dogs at beach
The weather was finally right for a doggie beach visit late on Monday morning.
Dogs at beach
Doggies running eagerly towards the sea with Husband.
Doodles
We really kept things local this past long weekend. For our Monday treat we decided on an early-dins at Doodles…
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.
Table Mountain clouds
The sea was crashing over the rocks with Table Mountain under a light cloudy duvet as we took the scenic route home.
Easter bunny
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 πŸ™‚

Bringing in St Patrick’s Day and Human Right’s Day 2018

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

BrandLove storytelling
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…
BrandLove house
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

News Cafe early bird breakfast
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.
Rocks and tides in Cape Town
Husband exploring the rocks and tide was very shallow that morning.
St Patrick's Day at the Brazen Head
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.
Guinness for St Patrick's Day
Dad and Husband. Both in green, both with a Guinness.
Lamb braai
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!
dogs on couches
There were lots of happy ‘dog on couch’ moments.
Fish tank dining room
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

Coffee at Melkbos Kitchen
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.
Breakfast at Melkbos Kitchen
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!
Melkbos beach walk
We went for a brisk walk along the Melkbos beachfront to work off some off those calories after breakfast.
Flapjacks and dog
Bassie was happy to sit with mommy and the reheated breakfast with yet another coffee, later that afternoon.
Insomniac shake at Saint's, Eden on the Bay
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 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 πŸ™‚

Tuesday, 20 March 2018: International Happiness Day

Happiness Course
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

On the Rocks cappuccino
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.
On the Rocks breakfast
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.
Reading with coffee and dog
Later that morning I had some quiet time napping, reading and dunking cinnamon biscuits in coffee with sweet Bassie.
Cocktails at Jamaica Me Crazy
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’.
Jamaica me crazy art
Loved the wall art, and we found a corner outside table that was semi-sheltered from the chilly wind.
Forries
Next stop, Forester’s Arms, AKA Forries. It looked particularly wintery that afternoon!
Burgers at Forries.
We shared the roast chilli poppers starter, the each had a burger – lamb for Husband, chicken for me.
Females allowed in pub at Forries
I had to give the sign about females being allowed in pubs a big thumbs up!

That’s all, folks! Have a happy weekend πŸ™‚

Strandloper fishy feast and Rocomama’s twisted cheesecake

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

Breakfast at Mugg n Bean
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

Breakfast at The Daily
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.
Ice cream at the beach
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!
Braai in Sunningdale
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…
Beach sunset
Lovely sunset at the beach on our way home that evening.

Sunday, 31 December 2017: New Year’s Eve Webered turkey

Breakfast at Foodlover's Market
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.
Woodbridge beach tavern
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.
New Year's Eve turkey
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

New Year's Day breakfast
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.
Prawn and pepper sosatie
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.
New Year's Day bubbly
Husband did the honours of popping the New Year’s Day bubbly.
Dogs on couch
The hot doggies spent lots of time resting under the cool fans this week.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018: Melkbos morning, Woodbridge walk

Melkbosstrand beach
Melkbosstrand beach was crowded as a result of the ‘beach weather’ day on Tweede Nuwe Jaar.
Castella Amare in Melkbosstrand
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.
Woodbridge Island walk
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

Roosterkoek
We stopped off at the Vygevallei farm stall for breakfast, and ate at ‘Route 27 Roosterkoek’, which only served roosterbroodjies (coal-fired sarmies).
Roosterkoek
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.
Swim at Shark Bay
We met up with Husband’s parents at Shark Bay for a swim in the sea mid-morning. It was chilly but so refreshing!
Strandloper
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…
Food at Die Strandloper
Mutton bredie! Crayfish! Moerkoffie in the sea!
Food at Die Strandloper
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

Breakfast at News Cafe
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!
Table Mountain from Eden on the Bay
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.
Rocomamas
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.
Twisted cheesecake
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! πŸ™‚

All the Christmas 2017 feasting on turkey, gammon, pudding and more…

We’re finally on leave, woohoo! πŸ™‚ It’s been a week of feasting, family and fun…

Friday, 22 December 2017: Annual Love Actually viewing

Love Actually
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

Scones at Pink Olive
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
Clouds were scattered prettily across the sky that afternoon.
Candyliscious freak shake at Rocomama's
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

Bread and Butter
We had our Christmas Eve breakfast at Bread and Butter.
Breakfast smoothie bowl 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!
Table Mountain from Dolphin Beach
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.
Dolphin beach
Proof that we enjoyed our time at the beach.
Christmas Eve
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…
Christmas Eve family
A few happy moments from the night.
Dogs opening presents
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.
Christmas dogs
Aww. The doggies loved all the gifts and Christmas affection.
Christmas presents
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.
Christmas lunch
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

Woolworths breakfast
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.
Christmas Day lunch
Happy faces at Mum’s house for lunch on Christmas Day.
Pink bubbly
Chilled pink bubbly from Steenberg was lovely to kick things off.
Christmas Day lunuch
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

Wimpy breakfast
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.
Boxing Day leftovers
All at Mum-in-law’s house with Janet and Phil for leftovers on Boxing Day.
Christmas Day leftovers
Despite it being a ‘leftovers’ lunch there were many fresh new items, too.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017: Being touristy at the V&A Waterfront

Zeits Mocaa museum at 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…
Tourists at Waterfront.
Being tourists. Sun, sea and happy faces.
Waterfront snacks
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!
Christmas feasting at Ripley's believe it or not
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!
Maresol at Waterfront
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

Village Place Cafe breakfast
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.
Star Wars last Jedi
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!
Strike a pose at GrandWest Casino
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! πŸ™‚

10th anniversary in Zanzibar

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

Cape Town airport
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!
Pool at City Lodge Johannesburg airport.
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!
Lucios dins
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

Mugg & Bean at Johannesburg airport
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!
Sightseeing in Zanzibar.
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.
Palm trees in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is palm tree central. There are leafy trees everywhere you look.
Azanzi Beach Hotel
Our resort was sunny, with thatched rooves nestled between palm trees – and you could walk right through, on to the beach.
Drinks in Zanzibar
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.
Villas at Azanzi Beach
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.
Mosquito nets at Azanzi
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).
Bouganvillea in Zanzibar
Some of the pretty bouganvillea blooms. There were pinks, oranges and reds, which were quite spectacular from the balcony.
Pool at Azanzi
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

Sunrise in Zanzibar
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

Zanzibar Azanzi Beach
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.
Pina Colada in pool
Cocktails are not included in the package, but we couldn’t resist a pina colada IN the pool! πŸ™‚
Jambo juice.
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

Playing pool at Azanzi Beach
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 πŸ˜‰
Cola in Zanzibar
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.
Hammock in Zanzibar
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

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.
Nungwi
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.
Sunset at sea
Aww. Love this boy, and the sunset, and the sea so much! ❀
Zanzibar sunset
Husband spent some time in the water, of course, saying ‘hi’ to starfish and the like, and the sunset was truly spectacular.
Boats at sunset on sea in Zanzibar
Boats. Sunset. Sea.

Snorkelling, beach walks and sunning ourselves

Matemwe beach
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.
Zanzibar sea
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!
Beach photos
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.
Snorkelling
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.
Muyuni beach lunch
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 at Azanzi
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!
Coffee in Zanzibar
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 at Azanzi Beach
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.
Food at Azanzi Beach Hotel
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.
Azanzi beach bbq
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.
Cats in Zanzibar
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.
Flying
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. πŸ™‚