Category Archives: Holiday

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! 🙂
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 😉
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. 🙂

Elgin sunsets, rainbows and Sup boarding at Old Mac Daddy

While we weren’t at work for the past week in full, it sure was a busy one as we sorted quite a bit of admin, had a mini vacation and still spent quite a few long hours  in our offices…

Friday, 28 July 2017: Creative Mornings Cape Town on the Nasdak

Creative Mornings Cape Town
Last Friday I attended the monthly #CreativeMorningsCT session, this time at the Nasdak. Click here to read my coverage on Biz.

Saturday, 29 July 2017: New Village Place Cafe menu, Uni Mil rugby and Orient sushi dins

Village Place Cafe breakfast
We were intrigued by the new menu at Village Place Cafe on Saturday morning – note my cappuccino with heart-shaped biscuit and French toast topped with bacon, banana and nuts. Scrumdiddlyumptious, as the BFG would say.
Uni Mil Rugby
We collected Husband’s brother and dad to support the local rugby team, Uni Mil or ‘Millies’, at Theo Marais Park. The wind was blowing away but luckily the main team had enough bluster of their own to secure a win.
Sushi at The Orient.
We’d planned an Andrews family dinner that evening to celebrate Spec’s 35th birthday and new job, along with other things. We opted for The Orient at Seaside Village for sushi, and I had sweet-sour chicken with the chocolate spring rolls to start.

Sunday, 30 July 2017: Fancy French toast and sunny Sunday afternoons

French toast at Poplars at D'Aria
We started our Sunday at Poplars at D’Aria in Durbanville. There was a chill in the air so we sat inside even though the outside setting looked very inviting. Note my amazing French toast.
Driftwood Cafe
We had our traditional Sunday afternoon treat at the Driftwood Cafe – that’s a custard shake for me and a draught beer for Husband. See the pretty birdie flying overhead and sunset from Mum’s that eve.

Monday, 31 July 2017: One night’s stay at Old Mac Daddy

Sir Lowry's Pass
Following a lazy lie-in it was time to pack our bags as we’d booked a mid-week break at Old Mac Daddy in Elgin. Lol at this photo. The wind was so strong at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass we decided to include this photo as proof. #Messyhairdontcare.
Old Mac Daddy.
Hidden in the Elgin Valley, Old Mac Daddy promises a getaway with a difference. Note the Airstream trailers, chilly pool and swing chairs on our porch.
Old Mac Daddy trailers
The trailers are highly detailed – we stayed in The Birdie and my parents were in The Dream, which comes complete with scary naked-lady pillow.
Coffee in nature at Old Mac Daddy in Elgin
Ahh. My favourite. Relaxing with a freshly brewed cuppa java in a peaceful setting. That’s just what we did after settling into our trailer.
Beach at Old Mac Daddy
Introducing the beach at Old Mac Daddy! You can swing in hammocks, sip a cocktail, take a family photo or try your hand at Sup boarding.
Next stop, off for an explore! Husband tried his hand at stand-up paddling or Supping at the Old Mac Daddy ‘beach’ – he took to it like a fish to water. Not meaning that he fell in, we’re Aquarians so natural water masters, remember?
Next stop, off for an explore! Husband tried his hand at stand-up paddling or Supping at the Old Mac Daddy ‘beach’ – he took to it like a fish to water. Not meaning that he fell in, we’re Aquarians so natural water masters, remember?
Old Mac Daddy Barn.
Husband started talking about ‘bucket lists’ after seeing these bucket lights in the main eating barn at Old Mac Daddy. That’s also where we watched the sunset and had cocktails and dins.
Sunset
This is the sunset I mentioned. Brittle and wintery.
Food at Old Mac Daddy
The dins I mentioned – I went for the jalapeno poppers top left and apple pie-cheesecake (yes, cheesecake topped with apple pie) bottom right, mom had the Mexican burger bottom left, Husband had the chicken-prawn jambalaya curry in the middle and dad had the pizza top right.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017: Rainy doggy beach walkies

Barn at Old Mac Daddy
It was back to the barn for breakfast first thing on Tuesday. We then spent some time relaxing in our trailer before check out time.
Rainbow and sandy dogs
It was a cold, rainy day – see the rainbow we snapped out of the Elgin Valley, and happy sandy doggies after a brief walk on the beach in the drizzle.

That’s all, folks! Have a happy weekend 🙂

What to do in Franschhoek: Stay at Angala

I can’t believe I managed to cut down the endless stream of pics we took this past week into the following, hundreds were left on the ‘cutting room floor’. It’s not usually this big of a task, especially when the bulk of the pics are not from the weekend itself. But this week was special as we had a few days to celebrate an ‘early anniversary’ at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House in Franschhoek, and it was possibly one of the nicest breaks we’ve had. Ever. See for yourself…

Saturday, 8 July 2017: Very belated post-Father’s Day breakfast at I ❤ Melkies

Breakfast at I <3 Melies
We’d not seen my in-laws for a while so decided to meet up for breakfast at I ❤ Melkies. All went for cappuccinos to start and various savoury meals, apart from me…
Breakfast at I <3 Melkies
My own breakfast was a little sweeter – a regular cappuccino like the rest, as well as a single bacon marscapone waffle with strawberries and drizzle of syrup. Just what the doctor ordered.
Burgers at News Cafe
News Cafe on Marine Circle was calling our names on Saturday afternoon. We heeded the call, opting for the happy hour strawberry daquiri and long island ice tea (just R39 each) as well as the ‘fired up’ beef and haloumi avo chicken burgers.
Sunset in Blouberg
We snapped a few pics across the road at sunset once our bellies were purring. Lol at the variety of expressions Husband pulled – love that face!

Sunday, 9 July 2017: Soup for lupper

Breakfast at Netcafe
Sunday morning saw us starting off the day at the Netcafe at the Netcare Blouberg Hospital, simply because it’s just up the street and we’d heard the food is good. And so it was – see Husband’s brekkie top left and bottom right, along with my caramel latte and pepper toastie with sweet potato fries. Really yummy.
Soup and gloves
It was a fully rainy day, so we had authentic German pea-and-ham soup with cheesy breadsticks for starters at Mum’s that eve – note the fingerless glove/mittens, a sure sign that things had turned Wintery for the weekend.

Monday, 10 July 2017: Night away at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House, Franschhoek

All in the Kitchen breakfast
We started off our ‘holiday’ with breakfast at All in the Kitchen – a special treat as it’s not open over weekends and closed by the time we get home in the evenings, so rare for us to sit and take in the goodness. And it sure is good – see some of the breakfast menu bottom right along with our flat whites, as well as the Omega Me Crazy salmon-y breakfast Husband opted for, and my delicious chicken mayo on brown – such a hefty portion that I took half home with me as ‘padkos’.
Cape clouds
Yes, ‘padkos’ means road tripping! The weather played along and treated us to one of those rare Cape winter Goldilocks days – not too cold, not too hot, not too cloudy, not too windy – it was just right.
Angala Estate, Franschhoek
Out destination for the night – the five-star Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House. It was pure bliss. Here’s why…
Angels at Angala
Once you’ve stopped exclaiming over the gorgeous vistas and natural beauty, you notice there are little ‘fairy’ touches dotting the grounds, hidden under bushes and tucked into unexpected corners – hearts, cherubs and angels all adding to the sense of love and the feeling that ‘you can relax here’.
Eco pool at Angala
And relax we did. A sign of its focus on complete wellness and that overwhelming sense of tranquility, one of Angala’s most unusual features is the eco pool. Echoing Mother Nature herself, all natural filtering takes place, and without any harmful chemicals, it’s just brimming with life – you can expect to hear frogs croaking and birds singing songs of joy as they swoop in for a sip. This is also the spot to sit and take in the view. See below.
Ecopool and recliners at Angala
The most inviting recliners at the eco pool. As they’re swathed in terrycloth dressing, taking in the view from there is like nestling in your comforting bathrobe.
Pool at Angala
Water is one of the main elements of healing and it features strongly at Angala, so us Aquarian water babies were quite literally in our element. Here you can see the cold pool in front of the infrared sauna below the main deck, with the hot pool hidden in this shot – it’s just in front of the garden umbrellas.
Hot tub at Angala
Cold pool on the left, hot pool on the right. I dipped a toe in the cold pool and decided the hot pool would be my home for the next few hours. We stayed in until the stars came out and it was time to get ready for dinner, so we trotted back to our suite, pronto.
Bedroom at Angala Estate
Just a selection of the tasteful bedrooms we saw at Angala. All plush, fresh linens and soothing tones, each with its own distinctive personality. Ours was the bottom right, but I think the bed in the next pic was my favourite…
Angala bedroom
This photo just screams comfort, luxury and ‘room with a view’. Absolutely gorgeous.
Sherry and coffee at Angala
A few examples of how your every comfort is taken care of at Angala – not just a handful of coffee sachets but the full complement of Nespresso pods, as well as sherry in every room, a well-stocked mini bar – make that ‘bar cabinet’ – that’s also completely complimentary including local wines, beers, soft drinks and milk for all that coffee.
Sunset in Franschhoek
Coffee cup filled with aromatic java and a view of the sun setting over the mountains is my idea of magic.
Dinner at Angala.
Dinner was so good I had to stitch together quite a few pics. Note my beetroot tart tatin starter, the wine Husband sampled and enjoyed so much he is looking out for a bottle to buy, his trout starter, his linefish mains (kingklip) and my lamb mains. Full descriptions on my review on Biz soon!
Dessert at Angala
More dinner snaps – the standard ‘bread and menu’ shot, and dessert. That’s my lavender panna cotta topped with syrupy figs and tart berries, as well as Husband’s impressive cheese and nut board. Impressive as he enjoyed every single cheese on the board, including an unexpectedly soft, sweet slice we couldn’t get enough of. Plus a cappuccino of course, just visible in the shot of me with my candle-lit purple hair, bottom right.
Amarula and gowns at Angala
We returned to our room to find something better than the customary ‘chocolate turndown’ – instead, a mini bottle of Amarula cream and glass on our bedside tables. We promptly hopped into our gowns and slippers and enjoyed it while sitting on the couch in front of the fire, that had also been lit before our return. Truly delightful!
Fireplaces at Angala
Yip, you guessed it. Another of of my favourite winter creature comforts is fire. There are fireplaces everywhere at Angala, each with piles of wood stacked nearby and adding a natural warmth and happy glow to your stay.

Tuesday, 11, July 2017: Outdoor showers and breakfast at Angala

Bath and shower at Angala
More focus on water with the simply stunning baths and outdoor showers. Husband was brave enough to give the outdoor shower a brisk go, but we didn’t run a bath as water’s so scarce in the Cape at the moment. Just imagine a soak with those gorgeous views though…
Breakfast at Angala
Breakfast is included in the overnight rates at Angala, so we took full advantage, ordering the Angala Rarebit off the hot menu and also plating up from the continental buffet offering. Lip-smackingly good.

Before we knew it, the time had come to check out and make our way back home, much more relaxed and peaceful than when we’d set out. So much so that I was told I looked ‘so serene’ when I returned to the office on Wednesday. We’ll definitely visit Angala again!

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Angala were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Click here for my official review on Biz!

What to do in Paternoster

The simple answer? Stay at Abalone House and dine at Reuben’s, of course. That’s just what we did last weekend…

Saturday, 10 June 2017: A night at Paternoster’s Abalone House, with dinner at Reuben’s

Good bye dogs
We reassured the doggies that we’d be back in 24 hours and that they’d be in good hands with their uncle Spec, then off we went!
Road trip Wimpy coffee
Rainy road trip! It’s comforting knowing there’s a luxurious destination at the end of the road. Also see my takeaway Wimpy coffee, a road trip essential.
Welcome to Paternoster
Destination Paternoster! Less than two hours since setting off from home, including a few stops along the way for snacks and scenery snaps, we’d reached the sleepy town.
Paternoster
Some of the pretty things you’ll see in Paternoster – sea views from almost anywhere, whitewashed houses, the striking ‘see kat’ statue, and helpful sign boards to almost any destination.
Abalone House
Winding through the streets of Paternoster we soon found our lovely location for the night – five-star boutique hotel, Abalone House. See some of the sweet kitties that roam the premises, an abandoned boat and the inviting but absolutely off-limits cold pool in the wintery rain. We’re desperate to return on a warmer day and try it!
Abalone House
Abalone House is extremely warm and welcoming in winter, partly due to the old-fashioned charm, partly due to the blazing fireplaces dotted around the main property. We learned from the general manager that the outside sitting area you see bottom right will soon have glass sliding doors instead of these tarps, ensuring the weather stays out in winter and that you can let the sun shine in during the warmer months by just folding them away. We’ll have to return to report back on that, too!
Tretchikoff art
Tretchikoff ladies everywhere! On the cushions in Reuben’s, on the wall in our lounge, in our bathroom, and on a stack of cushions in the library.
Abalone House
Pretty patio set, inviting bed, underfloor heating beneath soft carpets and loungers beside the Jacuzzi on the roof – we braved it for a good 40 minutes or so after dinner.
Abalone House bubbly and canapes
Our room at Abalone House was a real sight for sore eyes. Instant stress relief. Soon after check-in there was a knock at the door and we were presented with flutes of welcome bubbly and assorted warm canapes. The decor was bright, warm and just what we needed.
Stormy sea at Paternoster
Here is Husband gazing at the gorgeous stormy seascape. Once settled in our room we had a warm, cosy nap and listened to the soothing sounds of the rain outside. The sound of birdies chirping alerted us to the fact that the rain had stopped and we could safely venture out to explore the beach.
Sunset in Paternoster
What a wonderful beach. We saw a few couples heading that way once they realised the rain had eased off, and watched the stunning sunset.
Paternoster beach
Various things on the otherwise deserted Paternoster beach – me, swirls of foam, and Husband as the sun set.
Reuben's at Abalone House in Paternoster
Many know Paternoster’s Abalone House as it’s the setting for local foodie favourite Reuben Riffel’s Reuben’s – and boy, did we eat well!
Wine at Reuben's Paternoster
Our dinner drinks at Reuben’s – a glass of Merlot and an ice-creamy strawberry shake (not on the menu, but just ask).
Food at Reuben's Paternoster
See my spicy tomato ragout meatballs with Melba toast-style health bread, amuse bouche of pulled pork from two angles and my lemon cheesecake with mint sorbet, berry coulis and Terbodore cappuccino.
Reuben's at Abalone House
More food – Husband’s ‘mushrooms on mash’ starter with mustard drizzle, his braised lamb shank, my pork belly ribs and the malva pudding dessert with granadilla sorbet. Watch for my review on Biz soon, for all the descriptive words!
Gowns at Abalone House
Ahh. My ultimate sign of ‘quality place to stay’ is if there are fluffy white terrycloth gowns to prance around in once evening hits. That’s just what we did, as you can see from these numerous shots – we even had matching bedside slippers!

Sunday, 11 June 2017: Breakfast at Reuben’s, sightseeing at Saldanha Bay

Breakfast at Reubens
Ordering a hot breakfast like the eggs benedict or full English means you can also have your fill of the continental buffet – one of the most varied and value-packed I’ve seen! As we were the first eager beavers to arrive, we got to take the prime table at the bay window with a view towards the sea. Just heavenly.
Anchor in Paternoster
We’d seen the big anchor on our way into town the day before but didn’t stop as it was raining. We stopped on our way out so Husband could pose for a variety of photos, from polite tourist the ‘this is my wrecking ball’ swing. Teehee!
Wind turbines
Having seen a field of wind turbines in the distance we took a slight detour off the tarred road home onto a dirt road to take a closer look. They’re really quite majestic and awe-inspiring up close as they whoosh methodically overhead.
Saldanha harbour
We also visited the Saldanha harbour on our way home. The wind was picking up by then and rain started up again so we only took a few snaps – Husband was fascinated by the mix of sea-ready boats and shipwrecks.

That’s all, folks! One of the most beautiful places we’ve reviewed, we’re sure to return and hope you’ll venture out that way, too – you won’t be disappointed.

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Reuben’s and accommodation at Abalone House were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Stacked Diner flapjacks, fancy Langa lunches and stunning Citrusdal sunsets

We were on leave for the start of this week, doing a bit of a digital detox in the peaceful mountain town of Citrusdal. It went by in a flash and seems like a dream now when I think back to it so luckily we took photos as proof – highly recommended, especially if you’re slightly under the weather! But first…

Saturday, 27 May 2017: TTKXLangaProject lunch

Foodlover's Market
We started our Saturday with a shared halloumi toast breakfast at our local Foodlover’s Market as we knew our tummies would have quite the luxurious lunch later. Also see my cappuccino and the sweet snowman wall art inside.
Test Kitchen in Langa
Presenting Langa. A township many avoid if they can, this was the setting for The Test Kitchen’s pop-up restaurant-charity event this past weekend, which was a roaring success. See some of the sights, including aeroplane wing-lights in the ceiling of the Guga S’thebe theatre-come-eating-hall, itself cleverly constructed from converted shipping containers.
TTKXLangaProject menu
Our menu for the afternoon. All this for R250, I’d say highly worth it – clearly others agreed as the weekend raised over R200,000 for charity, with only 280 seats in total over the 2 lunches – click here for my full coverage of the event!
Test Kitchen in Langa
The four food courses, left to right top to bottom ranged from duck to tuna to beef to lemon tart. My full review has all the descriptions!
Creme caramel dessert.
We were still full-to-bursting from lunch but one does not turn down creme caramel dessert after the parents’ braai.

Sunday, 28 May 2017: Stacked Diner breakfast

Stacked Diner food
I’d heard good things about Stacked Diner on Kloof Street, so we ventured out that way for our Sunday morning breakfast. Service was fast, food was fresh, prices were good and they’re open from 7:30am each day! If they were a little closer to home I’d be there like a flash. Note my strong cappuccino, Husband’s chilli-cheese dog with side of avo and my chocolate-chip flapjack stack with milk-chocolate pouring sauce. Yum.
Flapjacks at Stacked Diner
Doesn’t this forkful of choc-chip flapjack stack covered in cream and milk chocolate sauce and fresh strawberry look sinful? I wiped my plate clean.
Woolworths pies and chips
Teehee. The doggies were so sweet at the Granny’s house for Sunday lupper. Note the pies and chips the humans ate bottom-left, and Bassie wolfing down pomegranate mousse.

Monday, 29 May 2017: Digital detox at Wolfkop

Citrusdal road trip
Such pretty road trip scenery – Citrusdal is just over two hours from home.
Wolfkop in Citrusdal
Destination Wolfkop! Set in a nature reserve, the chalets are clean and spacious and just shout out ‘relax’! We did just that, and also enjoyed watching the friendly lizard catch moths that flew too close to the light.
Citrusdal sky
Pretty clouds streaking the sky. Greenery everywhere. Hills and dales and tiny animals. Happiness.
Jacuzzi at Wolfkop
It’s not for nothing that we’re the water-lovers of the zodiac. Aquarians will see a body of water and get in it. (That’s Husband and me). Mum and dad (Leos) also enjoyed it but we outlasted them by a good few hours!
Jacuzzi in Wolfkop
See? There. This is how it felt to be in a hot jacuzzi instead of the normal Monday scenario where I’m glued to numerous screens.
Sunset in Citrusdal.
I very nearly missed taking a snap of the sunset on our first night there as I was having such fun relaxing in the jacuzzi. We should have been wrinkled prunes after spending hours in the warm water but somehow didn’t look any worse for wear.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017: The Lovely Grapevine breakfast, afternoon at The Baths

The Lovely Grapevine in Citrusdal
The Lovely Grapevine Coffee and Gift Shop is just down the street from Wolfkop so that’s where we had breakfast on Tuesday morning. It was indeed lovely, from the moment dad asked if they serve breakfast (“Het julle ontbyt”) and got the worried reply “Jy wil my byt?” (You want to bite me?) Teeheehee!
Food at The Lovely Grapevine.
Such a lovely setting, and the food was just what the doctor ordered.
McGregor's Restaurant at The Baths in Citrusdal
That afternoon we drove about half-an-hour to The Baths, one of Citrusdal’s top attractions – we’d booked for lunch at McGregor’s Restaurant so stopped in to fill up our bellies first. See my chicken strips and chips, Husband’s oxtail stew, Mum’s cheeseburger, Dad’s crumbed mushroom starter but not the cake-y waffle we shared for dessert as we ate it so fast.
The Baths at Citrusdal
That magical hot pool filled with natural spring water was just as we remembered from our last visit. (Click here for a reminder).
Sunset in Citrusdal
Various moments of sunset gazing on our last night at Wolfkop. The night sky was also lovely, dotted with so many stars. I wish I could press ‘rewind’!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017: Hebron breakfast and Citrusdal souvenirs

Coffee at sunrise in Citrusdal
Final morning coffee while soaking up the last dregs of a gorgeous sunrise.
Citrusdal oranges
Citrusdal was not so named by mistake. Nosiree. Mum loved all the freshly squeezed orange juice, and we couldn’t resist bringing a few ripe samples home with us. They’re incredibly juicy and seedless. Just the thing if you’re slightly under the weather.
Hebron in Piekenierskloof
We’d noted Hebron on our way through Piekenierskloof on the way into Citrusdal, so that’s where we stopped for breakfast after packing up and checking out of Wolfkop. It’s a real hidden gem!
Hebron breakfast
Very intriguing tables comprising old solar panels, topped with lovely cappuccino and a wonderful menu that’s changed monthly, so we were there for the last day of this exact offering. Here’s what we ate…
Food at Hebron
See my apple-bran flapjacks with bacon and rooibos syrup, the lovely nutty-fruity granola bowl Mum and Dad sampled, and Husband’s Bombay fry-up.
Mr Happy doughnut at Dunkin' Donuts Canal Walk
I got my ‘doughnut day’ fix a little early in the week – this is the chocolate-filled Mr Happy and a much-needed small cappuccino from when we did a few errands at Canal Walk’s Dunkin’ Donuts once we’d unpacked again.

That’s all, folks! We’re both back at work and seeing off the tail-end of an annoying cold. Hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead – hold thumbs that the ‘massive storm’ set to bring lots of rain to the Cape this coming week actually arrives!

Veggie garden reveal and food-and-wine flights at Catharina’s

It’s been a successful first week back at work and  part-time studies. That’s probably because we have a few exciting plans over the next few weekends to look forward to, and the thought of them keeps us going.

You’ll get to see those in due course, but for now you can scroll through how we marked the end of the festive season break. Key among those, Husband’s veggie garden reveal, as promised:

Veggie garden
Tadaa! You can see the phases of progress here – first, beams went up above the veggie boxes he installed a while ago, then shade cloth was carefully stapled along to provide shade and wind protection. So far, so good!
Dogs in garden
The doggies ‘helped’ by watching the goings-on and offering advice (and suspicious looks).

Now, on with the daily highlights…

Thursday, 5 January 2017: Summery food-and-wine pairing flights

News Cafe breakfast
Our last Thursday of leave started with the early bird breakfast special at our local News Cafe.
Catharina's in Steenberg Estate
I’d unknowingly picked just the right day for our review of the new summery food-and-wine pairings at Catharina’s in Steenberg Estate, one of our favourite wine farms. Just look at the sunny brightness! Click here for my official review and here for a reminder of our late-August version of this photo.
Ostrich eggs at Catharina's
Decor at Catharina’s is classy and eye-catching. Note the reindeer that adorn that inside roof, along with the origami birdies I so enjoyed on our last visit; as well as the large ostrich eggs at the port decanters in the hotel lobby; and some of the rose bushes dotting the walkways.
Owls at Catharina's
We sat at a table much like this, hoping to spot the family of eagle owls that swoop around the old oak trees. Sadly they didn’t appear, but we still had a wonderful time.
Water and cappuccino at Catharina's
Our pre- and post-pairing drinks – wonderfully chilled still water (bread board in the background), and a strong, flavoursome cappuccino. Colour me contented! (Don’t fret, am not sunburnt. The pinkness you see is from the sun reflecting through red umbrella).
Menu at Catharina's
The three ‘flights’ are beautifully explained in this menu – two savoury options and one sweet, each comprising a flute of bubbly, white and red with perfectly paired morsels.
Savoury wine pairing at Catharina's
I know the pic was hard to read, so luckily I took some photos. This was the first savoury flight. Everything positively popped with colour and flavour.
Savoury wine pairing at Catharina's
The second savoury flight: Same-same but different. And sadly I was so excited by the third flight – the sweet option – that I forgot to snap a pic of it. Luckily, there’s a professional pic of it in my review on Biz, along with detailed descriptions of all the wine and food. Click here to see it.

Friday, 6 January 2017: McPherson’s breakfast and Black Bull lupper

Breakfast at McPhersons
First thing on Friday we headed to McPherson’s for breakfast. I had a cappuccino and the club sandwich with wedges, Husband had a very filling wrap.
Outside area at Black Bull
Following a day of staycation things we decided on an early dins at the Black Bull on Sandown Road to mark the end of the holiday (yes, there was still a weekend ahead before work kicked in, but you know what I mean). Husband opted for a draught, as he does.
Black Bull nachos and bangers and mash
I had a strawberry shake and the starter nachos you see in the middle – the top pic is how they arrived at the table, middle pic is once I’d had added all the side bits and bobs. Husband went for the pork bangers and mash. We’ll be back.

Saturday, 7 January 2017: Baconville breakfast and Bertie’s new chew-friend

Breakfast at Baconville
If you wake up hungry on a Saturday, chances are you’ll decide on Baconville for breakfast. I went for the flapjacks topped with crispy, syrup-drenched bacon (mmm) while Husband had their Mexican-style ‘Hairy Biker’. Teehee. Both delightfully good.
Dogs with toys
All of Bertie’s former TV-viewing companions (stuffed toys that he’s unstuffed) were looking a little ratty so we snuck them into the bin and bought him a new monkey and doggie-that-looks-like-a-fox. The monkey is hiding in a cupboard until the doggie is ready to be discarded, too. Bassie remains very uninterested in all toys but gets lots of attention despite her sad face, promise.

Sunday, 8 January 2017: Breakfast, books and beachy ice-creams

Fry up breakfast
For our ‘last breakfast before work’, Husband outdid himself with an exceptional (make that egg-ceptional, harhar) fry-up, included red pepper slices, properly cooked tomato and crispy bacon. Yum.
Marian Keyes Brightest Star in the Sky and KFC pina colada Krusher
What better way to relax on a Sunday than by rereading a beloved book, and sipping on a Pina Colada-flavoured Krusher from KFC? No better way.
Big Bay beach
The beach at Big Bay, much later in the day. Just look at all the merrymakers, making their last bit of merry.
Ice creams at the beach
Despite it being so hot the sea was icy, so we contented ourselves with ice-cream cones from Met Eish at Eden on the Bay. Husband’s had caramel ripples and mine was plain chocolate, both with a hidden Flake.

That’s all, folks! I wish you a very happy weekend ahead. 🙂

*Disclaimer: Obviously our pairings at Catharina’s were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Spec in the Sea Point specs and New Year’s Day 2017

Welcome to 2017! My first post of the year is ready for you to view below, filled with moments from brother-in-law Spec’s last week with us. We’re back to work next week ourselves so will be wringing every moment of fun and relaxation out of the coming weekend…

Friday, 30 December 2016: Golf morning, Italian Kitchen lunch and Sea Point afternoon

Baking cookies
While the boys went off for a round of golf at Burgundy Estate, I read magazines and mum baked little coconut cookies. Delicious!
Golf at Burgundy Estate.
The golfers in action at Burgundy Estate. Note Dad’s hat on his head in the photo on the left, and you can just see it scurrying away on the wind in the photo on the right. Lol!
Lunch at Italian Kitchen, Newlands
We had 2-for-1 Entertainer vouchers to use before the end of 2016 at the Italian Kitchen so we had lunch at the branch in Newlands last Friday. Husband opted for the crumbed chicken salad, dad and I had huge square pizzas while mum and Spec went for spaghetti bolognaise. All delightful.
Drinks at Italian Kitchen, Newlands
Dom Pedros, white wine and coffee shakes at the Italian Kitchen.
Glasses sculpture in Sea Point
We’d been planning this photo of ‘Spec in the specs’ that look out at Robben Island from Sea Point for quite some time. Teehee.
Table Mountain from Blouberg.
Table Mountain looked beautiful from Blouberg side that afternoon.
Blouberg beach
The beach was full of holidaymakers as it was so hot.
Blouberg beach
So hot that Husband had a quick dip in the sea on our way home.

Saturday, 31 December 2016: Lacomia breakfast, New Year’s Eve braai

Cafe latte and chocolate cheesecake at Cafe Lacomia
We went to Cafe Lacomia for our last breakfast of the year. I felt for a cafe latte (love pouring the espresso shot into the frothed milk) and couldn’t resist a slice of their soft chocolate cheesecake.
New Year's Eve farm braai
Our friends Chris and Diane had invited us to a New Year’s Eve braai on their farm near Philadelphia. Their brindle boerboel Zeplin has grown a huge amount in his 7 months (click here for a reminder of how tiny he was a few months ago) and the Whites have made constant additions to their little house.
Final sunset of 2016.
Final sunset of the year, as seen from the farm.

Sunday 1 January 2017: New Year’s Day ’round lunch’ at Mum’s

New Year's Day round food
New Year’s Day! Eating ’round things’ on the first day of the year is said to bring you wealth throughout the year. We had lunch at Mum’s, starting with some dry Prosecco filled with round bubbles, then round tomato-filled salad, paella with round pork bits as well as round fruit on a flan with round balls of ice cream on round plates around a round table. Lots of round.
Sausage dog on lap
The doggies had quality time with their grampa that afternoon – Bassie sat on his lap while Bertie was very interested to hear ‘How much is that doggy in the window’, especially when there was barking in the song. Teehee.

Monday, 2 January 2017: Seeing Hout Bay like tourists and Rogue One in 4DX

Joe's Diner blue route mall
For our last full day with Spec we started off at Blue Route Mall and breakfasted at Joe’s Diner. Husband had a hot dog, Spec a typical breakfast and me waffles with chocolate syrup. Yes, dessert for breakfast.
Hout Bay sightseeing
We paid a brief visit to Hout Bay to ‘sightsee’ like tourists…
Sunken ship in Hout Bay
Where we noticed this sunken ship. Not saying the brothers were responsible, but who knows 😉
Nu Metro 4DX at Waterfront
We’d booked our 4DX tickets for Star Wars: Rogue One back when Spec first arrived in Cape Town and finally went to watch at the Waterfront on Monday afternoon. The moving seats, splashes of water and rushes of air at appropriate times really add a level of fun to the movie.
Final braai
We held a final braai for Spec on his last evening with us. He’ll be down again soon as Husband’s parents will be moving into their new house in a few months.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017: I Love Melkies breakfast, bunny chow lupper

I heart Melkies in Melkbos
We decided on a short roadtrip to Melkbos for Spec’s last morning with us. For breakfast we stopped in at I Love Melkies. Close-ups of our food to follow…
Breakfast at I heart Melkies
That’s my cappuccino top left; then my single waffle with bacon, marscapone and strawberry; and Spec’s rosti topped with bacon and scrambled eggs all on the left, with Husband’s ‘Mexican breakfast’ on the right.
3D adventure golf
After dropping off Spec at the airport we were intrigued to notice a sign for Glowing Rooms’ ‘3D blacklight mini golf’ so popped in for a look around. Adding it to our to-do list for later in the year!
Yeh Dosti bunny chow.
We decided on a shared chicken bunny chow from Yeh Dosti for our lupper. T’was delicious.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017: Ice-cream iced coffee

Home made iced coffee
Wednesday afternoon was piping hot so I made myself an ice-cream iced coffee. Husband made a chicken curry that eve as seen in my bowl top right, and he lay on the couch with Bertie.

Husband has also been very busy with a vegetable corner of the garden, which I’ll reveal soon. That’s all for now, folks! Hope you’ve enjoyed the first week of 2017.