Category Archives: Review

Father-in-Law’s 76th birthday, a rainy stay at Franschhoek’s Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

Last weekend was cold and rainy – perfect for a weekend away in Franschhoek! But first, we had some family celebrating to do…

Friday, 12 April 2019: Father-in-law’s birthday dins at Portalia

Saturday was Husband's father's 76th birthday, so we all joined him at Portalia last Friday evening to celebrate. See the fairy lights in the outside seating area, proof we were all there, the dads having a drink together, my dad's flambeed chorizo meal and some of our pizzas, and my Amarula coffee.
Saturday was Husband’s father’s 76th birthday, so we all joined him at Portalia last Friday evening to celebrate. See the fairy lights in the outside seating area, proof we were all there, the dads having a drink together, my dad’s flambeed chorizo meal and some of our pizzas, and my Amarula coffee.
See the boys' end-of-evening whisky dom pedros.
See the boys’ end-of-evening whisky dom pedros.
The weather was quite wintery when we got home that evening so we snuggled with the little doggies and noticed a rainbow just after sunrise the next morning.
The weather was quite wintery when we got home that evening so we snuggled with the little doggies and noticed a rainbow just after sunrise the next morning.

Saturday, 13 April 2019: Lunch at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, night stay at Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

We started our Saturday with breakfast at Mugg & Bean in Bayside Mall. See my peanut-butter latte and avo-rainbow slaw toast, as well as Husband's egg-and-bacon toast, Coke Zero and cafe crema.
We started our Saturday with breakfast at Mugg & Bean in Bayside Mall. See my peanut-butter latte and avo-rainbow slaw toast, as well as Husband’s egg-and-bacon toast, Coke Zero and cafe crema.
Next stop, Husband treated us to a couple's massage at Aiyara Thai Spa in Eden on the Bay.
Next stop, Husband treated us to a couple’s massage at Aiyara Thai Spa in Eden on the Bay. We were prodded and pummeled with Tiger Balm for a good 45-minutes, to ease the stresses of the first quarter of the year.
We stopped at Anthonij Rupert Wyne on the very outskirt of Franschhoek's main road on our way into town for lunch. Once our appointment was ticked off at the gate we parked and made our way into the tasting area, all decked out for Easter.
Next, road trip! We stopped at Anthonij Rupert Wyne on the very outskirts of Franschhoek’s main road on our way into town for lunch. Once our appointment was ticked off at the gate we parked and made our way into the tasting area, all decked out for Easter.
See Terra del Capo's fresh-out-the-oven breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in upcycled Protea wine bottles, Husband's Franschhoek trout and smoked salmon antipasti dishes, and the 'digestifs' trolley with cocktail options.
See Terra del Capo’s fresh-out-the-oven breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in upcycled Protea wine bottles, Husband’s Franschhoek trout and smoked salmon antipasti dishes, and the ‘digestifs’ trolley with cocktail options.
Mmm. My sweet potato gnocchi was the highlight of the meal at Anthonij Rupert Wyne's Terra del Capo, as one of the handful of warm dishes on the summer menu.
Mmm. My sweet-potato gnocchi with hazelnuts, pancetta and Tallegio cheese was the highlight of the meal at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, as one of the handful of warm dishes on the summer menu.
We're yet to sample the high tea at Anthonij Rupert Wyne's Terra del Capo, but if the desserts are anything to go by, they're a must! See my cappuccino - Terbodore's hazelnut blend, with a sweet iced bunny biscuit, as well as the berry-topped chocolate torte and the mini 'crossover cake' - a mix of cheesecake and carrot cake. We just managed to finish these between the two of us.
We’re yet to sample the high tea at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, but if the desserts are anything to go by, they’re a must! See my cappuccino – Terbodore’s hazelnut blend, with a sweet iced bunny biscuit, as well as the berry-topped chocolate torte and the mini ‘crossover cake’ – a mix of cheesecake and carrot cake. We just managed to finish these between the two of us.
Cheers! There was a roaring fire blazing in the upstairs wine-tasting room, a quaint car waiting down below, and delicious wines to imbibe. Click here for my full review on Bizcommunity!
Cheers! There was a roaring fire blazing in the upstairs wine-tasting room, a quaint car waiting down below, and delicious wines to imbibe. Click here for my full review on Bizcommunity!
Home for the night - Akademie Street Boutique Hotel in Franschhoek. Perfect for a winter stay, scroll through to see why!
Home for the night – Akademie Street Boutique Hotel in Franschhoek. Perfect for a winter stay, scroll through to see why!
Some of the eye-catching things in and around Akademie Street Boutique Hotel. That's Husband with a Bluetooth-activated gramophone, so you power your choice of songs from your phone. The 'Africa' art bottom right comprises booklike paper folds.
Some of the eye-catching things in and around Akademie Street Boutique Hotel. That’s Husband with a Bluetooth-activated gramophone, so you power your choice of songs from your phone. The ‘Africa’ art bottom right comprises booklike paper folds.
Views of windows, from windows and maps from Akademie Street Boutique Hotel.
Views of windows, from windows and the cute hand-drawn map from Akademie Street Boutique Hotel.
The main pool - bottom-left - has a jacuzzi at one end. Also see the private pool and jacuzzi outside out cottage's suites in the top-let and bottom-right. Consider us two waterbabies delighted!
The main pool – bottom-left – has a jacuzzi at one end. Also see the private pool and jacuzzi outside out cottage’s suites in the top-left and bottom-right. Consider us two waterbabies delighted!
We stayed in Gelatenheid A. Some of the sections of our suite: See the wall of books and mirrors, freestanding bath tub and heated towel rails - not used, balcony as seen from the hot tub and bed at the centre of the suite.
We stayed in Gelatenheid A. Some of the sections of our suite: See the wall of books and mirrors, freestanding bath tub and heated towel rails – not used, balcony as seen from the hot tub and bed at the centre of the suite.
One of my favourite labels ever: "Come quickly, I am tasting the stars." This was a lovely welcome treat - thank you Akademie Street!
One of my favourite labels ever: “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars.” This MCC Brut was a lovely welcome treat – thank you Akademie Street!
There's nothing nicer than hot-tubbing when it's bucketing down outside. As the barrel-shaped hot tub is wood-fired, we were happy and toasty all afternoon.
There’s nothing nicer than hot-tubbing when it’s bucketing down outside. As the barrel-shaped hot tub is wood-fired, we were happy and toasty all afternoon.
As sunset started to streak the sky, we reluctantly got out of the hot tub for a spot of exploring.
As sunset started to streak the sky, we reluctantly got out of the hot tub for a spot of exploring.
The gardens are quiet and filled with pretty things, like these statues and wooden works of art. Take a stroll, weather permitting!
The gardens are quiet and filled with pretty things, like these statues and wooden works of art. Take a stroll around the grounds, weather permitting!
See Husband strolling down from our suite to the Orangerie area for pre-dinner drinks, snacks and games. He also played the piano for a while.
See Husband strolling down from our suite to the Orangerie area for pre-dinner drinks, snacks and games. He also played the piano for a while.
For dins, we walked down to the Elephant & Barrel Village Pub on main road around 7pm. I had a delicious coffee shake, Husband had a Castle Lite draught, and as we were still so full from our lunch at Terra del Capo, we shared the potato wedges with sour cream, guacamole and curry mayo. Yum!
For dins, we walked down to the Elephant & Barrel Village Pub on main road around 7pm. I had a delicious coffee shake, Husband had a Castle Lite draught, and as we were still so full from our lunch at Terra del Capo, we shared the potato wedges with sour cream, guacomole and curry mayo. Yum!
Lol! This night's stay featured straw sun hats in the standard gownie photo. See four of the numerous attempts at this photo.
Lol! This night’s stay featured straw sun hats in the standard gownie photo. See four of the numerous attempts at this photo.
Our full bellies and the sound of rain outside meant we slept very well that night.
Our full bellies and the sound of rain outside meant we slept very well that night.

Sunday, 14 April 2019: Doggy beach walks at Kreeftebaai

Scenes from breakfast on Sunday morning. See the pastry selection, platter of fruits, granola, yoghurt, smoothies and honey on each table, as well as the Le Creuset coffee carafe and our hot orders - eggs benedict with bacon for Husband and pancakes with bacon and honey for me.
Scenes from breakfast on Sunday morning. See the pastry selection, platter of fruits, granola, yoghurt, smoothies and honey on each table, as well as the Le Creuset coffee carafe and our hot orders – eggs benedict with bacon for Husband and pancakes with bacon and honey for me.
Husband walking with an umbrella to our checkout on Sunday morning. See the nice sign at the empty bicycle rack - "I don't ride a bike to add days to my life, I ride a bike to add life to my days."
Husband walking with an umbrella to our checkout on Sunday morning. See the nice sign at the empty bicycle rack – “I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life, I ride a bike to add life to my days.”
Terbodore coffee's Big Dog Cafe was closed as we made our way out of Franschhoek on Sunday, but the Terbo Truck looked inviting - will try stop in on our next visit!
Terbodore coffee’s Big Dog Cafe was closed as we made our way out of Franschhoek on Sunday, but the Terbo Truck looked inviting – will try stop in on our next visit!
We took the doglets for nice long walkies at the beach that afternoon. See Bertie and his dad in the sea while Bassie steered me toward the safety of the dunes.
We took the doglets for nice long walkies at the beach that afternoon. See Bertie and his dad in the sea while Bassie steered me toward the safety of the dunes.
More beach walkies at Kreeftebaai.
More beach walkies at Kreeftebaai.

That’s all, folks! We hope you’re having a relaxing Easter long weekend. πŸ™‚ Click here for my full review of our lunch experience at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo on Bizcommunity, with my review of Akademie Street Boutique Hotel to follow soon. Tune in for my next update next week – same time, same place. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Anthonij Rupert’s Terra del Capo and Akademie Street Boutique Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Seafood and steak at Belthazar and Tabasco’s 12th birthday

Last weekend we lunched at Belthazar at the V&A Waterfront. We also celebrated little Bassie’s 12th birthday on Monday, as you’ll see from the pics below…

Saturday, 30 March 2019: Succulent steak lunch at Belthazar

Breakfast at Pulp Kitchen
Mmm. It was a Pulp Kitchen breakfast kind of morning on Saturday as we were in Willowbridge Centre. See our flat whites as well as my coffee-dipped French toast and Husband’s ‘Mexican standoff’ mince on toast, with a poached egg rather than the scrambled standard.
Wine at Belthazar
Next stop, Belthazar at the V&A Waterfront for lunch. See Husband’s wine with a handy tag explaining exactly what he was imbibing, as this is the largest ‘by-the-glass’ wine bar in the world, offering 250 options. Also see the lovely view across to a cloud-covered Table Mountain.
Belthazar-style avocado ritz
Husband opted for the Belthazar-style avocado Ritz starter. See the bright pops of colour. He said it tasted just as good as it looked.
Lunch at Belthazar
Husband starting on that starter. Also see the lovely ‘bread board’ complete with sausage in Napoletana sauce, Husband’s Madagascan green peppercorn-topped saucy flambeed steak, his side of baked potato and creamed spinach, and my steak roll with hand-cut chips. All lip-smackingly good!
Kahlua dom pedro at Belthazar
See Husband’s glass of red book-ended by my delicious Kahlua dom pedro. Highly recommended as a drink or dessert!
Waterfront hospital
A Waterfront view not often seen: Eye-catching staircase up to the castle-like Somerset Hospital.
Cupcakes
Cupcakes galore! We popped in at my Uncle Al’s house that evening, just up the road in West Beach, to celebrate his retirement. There were yummy cupcakes everywhere we looked!
The full family contingent.
The full family contingent, celebrating Uncle Al’s retirement.
Cloudy sky
Pretty skies when we left Uncle Al’s for our own home that evening.
Cupcakes and housewarming sunflowers
We celebrated little Bassie’s birthday with the cupcakes we took home from uncle Al’s, as well as a new box of baked goods from our local Spar during the week. Also see our pretty ‘housewarming sunflowers’.

Sunday, 31 March 2019: Cup & Cake breakfast and sunny skies

Breakfast at Cup & Cake
We started our Sunday with breakfast at Cup & Cake in Eden on the Bay. See my three cinnamon-sugar pancakes and butterscotch latte, as well as Husband’s Eggs-purtly done (bread with Marmite, avo spread and poached egg). Yum!
Clouds over mountains in Cape Town
View of clouds over the mountains while out and about that afternoon.
Pork steak and veggies
Mum made pork steaks with various veggies for our Sunday lupper.

Monday, 1 April 2019: Bassie’s 12th birthday

Dog cupcakes
Various stages of Bassie’s birthday celebration – snuggling under duvets and on blankets with her brother, and eyeing the cupcake I ate in her honour.
Birthday dog
The standard family birthday shot, with the birthday girl trying not to pose under the birthday hat. Happy 12th birthday, Bassie!

That’s all, folks! Click here for my full review of our lunch experience at Belthazar on Bizcommunity and tune in for my next update next week – same time, same place πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals and drinks at Belthazar were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Allee Bleue’s #MayDayMeander preview, Dinner on the Crystal Serenity and family housewarming

This past week has been jam-packed on the work and home front, as you’ll see from the pics below…

Thursday, 7 March: #MayDayMeander at Allee Bleue

Nutella marshmallow hot chocolate at Tasha's
After a brief stint in the office before the sun had fully risen, I met a friend at Tasha’s at the V&A Waterfront for a quick work-related chat, over Nutella-marshmallow hot chocolate. Yum!
Allee Bleue
Next stop, a media tour for the day in Franschhoek. Welcome to Allee Bleue! This translates to ‘blue avenue’ and makes sense when you take in all the blue Eucalyptus trees and touches of blue dotted throughout the grounds.
Taking in some of the scenery at Allee Bleue.
Taking in some of the scenery at Allee Bleue.
Drizzle in Franschhoek
The drizzle was on and off, which made for lovely Franschhoek landscape photos.
Herbs at Allee Bleue
Freshly plucked herbs feature strongly in Allee Bleue’s tasting options.
Allee Bleue mayday meander
More of the herby bites and sights along the way as we continued our May Day Meander preview around the grounds of Allee Bleue.
Allee Bleue May Day Meander
Mmm. Even more of the stops along the way – keep in mind the whole ‘meander’ only takes an hour or so, meaning we were taking in lots of food, drink and information in that time.
Lunch at Allee Bleue
Finally all meandered out, it was time for lunch. See the blue hydrangeas on the table and some of the lovely eats we were treated to. Not seen in these pics – the sweet grey squirrels that roam the property.

Friday, 8 March 2019: Table View sunsets

Table Mountain
You can just see Table Mountain popping out a very blue shoulder behind our yellow house here – view on my walk home from the bus…
Gas stove
Husband happily putting the gas stove to the test.
Sunset
Such pretty sunsets, as seen from home on Friday evening.

Saturday, 9 March 2019: Family housewarming braai

Breakfast at Reload.
It was a ‘breakfast at Reload’ type of Saturday, as we’re now walking distance from the Flamingo Vlei branch. See my peppermint-choc latte and smashed-avo bagel, as well as Husband’s cooked breakfast with triple-shot espresso. Love the kudu-painted wall.
Housewarming braai
The boxes are all unpacked so we held a housewarming braai at our house that afternoon.
Housewarming braai
Various snaps as the sun went down on our housewarming braai.
Braai food
Braai food! See the cheese and crackers, strawberry mousse and Don’s famous lemony chicken wings.
Dog on lap
Bassie prefers to sit on a lap when there are many other folk around. Her uncle Spec slept over but the rest all made their way back to their own homes as all live nearby.

Sunday, 10 March 2019: Carlucci’s breakfast

Breakfast at Carlucci's
We set off for Carlucci’s, just down the road from home, for Sunday breakfast. See my dirty chai latte and Husband peppering his plate.
Breakfast at Carlucci's
Our full table of food. See my dirty chai latte and chocolate croissant, the brothers’ flat whites, Husband’s Coke Zero and egg-topped mince on toast, as well as well as Spec’s classic breakfast plate.
De Villiers chocolate and Prosecco
We sampled some of our housewarming gifts on Sunday afternoon – see the dry Prosecco and assorted De Villiers chocolate slabs.
Dog wants to come inside house
Little Bassie hasn’t quite figured out all the ins and outs of the new house yet so will often wait outside until we see her and let her in.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019: Six-star dining aboard Crystal Serenity’s Waterside Restaurant

Blueberry shake at Panama Jacks
Cheers! We got to the V&A Waterfront’s Cruises Terminal a little earlier than necessary for our six-star dining experience after work on Tuesday evening, so had a quick drink at Panama Jacks first, as we could see the Crystal Serenity clearly from our table outside. See Husband’s carafe of red blend and my blueberry shake.
Crystal Serenity
We got to explore most of the nooks and crannies of the Crystal Serenity. There’s so much to see! Note the local bagpipers behind Husband in the bottom-left pic. They were boarding for the night’s performance.
Crystal Serenity
Some of the lovely sights we saw onboard the Crystal Serenity.
Sights aboard the Crystal Serenity
Even more things aboard the Crystal Serenity.
Crystal Serenity kids room
As seen on the wall of the kiddies’ room of the Crystal Serenity.
Dinner at Waterside restaurant on Crystal Serenity
We were also treated to dinner at Crystal Serenity’s Waterside restaurant. See my parma ham-topped gnocchetti, Husband sipping away at the endless supply of wine, food being professionally snapped, as well as Husband’s starter of ‘Ahi tuna tartare and scallop crudo, and main of broiled corvina on a tomato rice pilaf.
Dinner at Waterside Restaurant
Six-star dins? Don’t mind if I do! See my roast duckling, Husband’s vanilla creme brulee, and my coconut-chocolate trifle and cappuccino.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019: Heavy Chef’s ‘Instagram for Business’ masterclass at Workshop 17

Heavy Chef at Workshop 17
Wednesday was gloomy and wet, which made some of the sights around Workshop 17 all the more eye-catching. See the turquoise-and-gold striped rhino, as well as snacks and treats in the Heavy Chef masterclass. Click here for my overview of the event!

That’s all, folks. Click here for more on the #MayDayMeander, here for more on our Crystal Serenity experience and here for more on Workshop 17’s ‘Instagram for Business’ masterclass. Over and out! πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals at Allee Bleue and at Crystal Serenity’s Waterside restaurant were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Brilliant burgers and slurpworthy shakes at Gibson’s

Last weekend the weather was just gorgeous, as you’ll see from the snaps below, and the food – my goodness, the food…

Saturday, 9 February 2019: Burgers and shakes at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers, V&A Waterfront

Breakfast at The Hart Bakery
We were up and about early on Saturday so decided on breakfast at The Hart Bakery in Melkbos. See the pretty floral decor, also my single bacon benedict and Husband’s chorizo rosti.
Coffee and cake
Bassie was very interested in my quick ‘coffee and cake treat’ later that morning – Husband’s parents dropped off the wedge of baked milktart from their roadtrip to Philadelphia. Now you have the Philadelphia song playing in your head, I’m sure… “The streets of Philadelphia, nah nah nah…” Sorry. It sure was good!
Trees in Cape Town
Taking the scenic route meant it was all palm trees and sunny skies on the way into town.
R27
Beautiful blue skies and cloudy tops for Table Mountain on our way along the R27 that afternoon, as a table was waiting for us at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers in the V&A Waterfront.
Milkshakes at Gibson's Burgers
Once seated with a view across the water, we browsed the immense flip-style menu to find just the concoctions that tickled our fancy. See Husband’s Amarula Colada and my chocolate-toffee-cashew shake. That spoon came in handy for scooping up all the cashews that had drifted to the bottom of the glass!
Food at Gibson's
And the food! There’s almost any combination of toppings available, which is why I ended up with the ‘onion blossom’ on mine – that’s a full fried onion, instead of a side of onion rings, accompanied by sweet potato fries, while Husband had the Philly Cheese Steak and accompanying baked potato – one of the best taters he’s ever eaten.
Sunset at Waterfront
Bellies full, we decided on a quick quayside stroll before heading back to the car. This was just before 7pm, the sun was nowhere near ready for setting…
Rhinos at Waterfront
I almost blended in with the rhinos outside the Waterfront’s main quay, so bright and festive and rounded were we.

Sunday, 10 February 2019: Early morning doggy beach walks

Dogs at the beach
The doglets were thrilled at the idea of beach walkies first thing on Sunday, before the humans had even had breakfast.
Dog in rear-view mirror
See a very happy Bertie post-beach walkies, reflected in the rear-view mirror.
Breakfast at Woolworths W Cafe
Beach walkies done and doglets back at home, it was a Woolworths W Cafe breakfast on Sunday as we had mall admin to sort out. See my vanilla-cinnamon cappuccino, Husband’s regular flat white and Coke Zero, my croissant French Toast and his exotic tomato breakfast, all featuring lots of flaked almonds.
Expresso coffee
A quick coffee pick-me-up break later in the day at Xpresso in Table View Mall meant a dirty chai latte for me and a double espresso con panna for Husband.
Food at Panama Jacks
One of Mum’s former work colleagues was in town last Sunday so we met up for a ‘team lunch’ with other friends at Panama Jack’s. See the Thai Fish Curry, which was ordered by most, and my starter portion of crispy sesame duck with peanut dressing.
Tea-time treats
We were so full from lunch that it was just sweet treats for lupper at Mum’s later that afternoon – crumpets with syrup, jam and honey; juicy cherries, frozen yoghurt cups and coffee with biscuits. Yum!
Sleepy dogs
Precious doglets snapped in sleepy mode over the weekend.

That’s all, folks! Watch for my full review of Gibson’s on Bizcommunity soon…

*Disclaimer: Our meals at Gibson’s were part of our review package.Β All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

A stay at Franschhoek’s La Petite Ferme and Christmas in Blouberg

This has been our most family-filled Christmas in a long time, as we got to celebrate with both sets of parents as well as extended family on both sides. We were also lucky enough to start our December holiday with a stay at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek, what a magical place!

Our souls are happy and bellies full – you’ll see why from all the snaps below…

Friday, 22 December 2018: Holiday waffles and Blowfish dins

Waffles at Milky Lane
Mum and Dad treated me to a waffle at Milky Lane in Table Bay Mall to mark my first day of holiday last Friday. See my Crunchie waffle, Dad’s lemon meringue version and Mum’s churro ice cream cup that looked just like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.
Coffee at Limnos Bakery
By then, Husband was done with his morning of work so he joined us for a strong flat white at Limnos Bakery in the mall. Let the holidays begin!
Swimming in the sea
The colours at the beachfront were just gorgeous that afternoon. If you look closely, you’ll spot Husband waving from the waves.
Pasta at Blowfish
We started the weekend with an early lupper at the Blowfish restaurant in Dolphin Beach that afternoon. See Husband’s seafood pasta and my butternut-feta gnocchi.

Saturday, 22 December 2019: A stay at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek

Single eggs benedict at Bread & Butter
Bread & Butter in Sunningdale has extended its trading hours over the festive season, so that’s where we had our early Saturday morning breakfast. See our flat whites and single eggs benedicts – Mexican for Husband. bacon for me. Bellies full, we were ready for a road trip…
Franschhoek farms
We were excited to see a different side of Franschhoek that weekend, as we were reviewing a night at La Petite Ferme, set on the foot of the Oliphant’s Pass. See fields of lavender and the lush green maze of Terbidor’s Big Dog Cafe on our way into town.
La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek
Views of the valley, vineyards and vino at La Petite Ferme – ‘the little farm’. It’s different from the typical ‘Main Road Franschhoek’ accommodation as you’re situated up above the town with a view of the mountain on the one side and on the other, twinkly lights of the valley below. Highly recommended!
La Petite Ferme
We were lucky to stay in the Provencale Vineyard Suite as the accommodation is pure luxury, complete with a view of the blue mountains and vineyards right from the bathtub, and delicious cookies at the in-suite coffee station.
La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek
Some of the scenery around our private cottage suite – inviting shady tree-lined walkways, a welcome bowl of fruit, and of course our private pool.
Private pool at La Petite Ferme
View of our private pool from the main living area of the suite. It was heavenly!
Swimming in green pool
Husband spent most of his afternoon in the pool. The dark green tiles made it feel like we had slipped into the background and were part of nature.
Wine-tasting at La Petite Ferme.
I’ll drink to that! Husband enjoying a taste of La Petite Ferme’s oak-barreled Chardonnay.
Wine tasting at La Petite Ferme
Guests are welcome to a private wine tasting and tour of the vines on the property. See the five wines we sampled, each paired with a specific savoury bite from the kitchen. Watch for my full wordy review on Bizcommunity in the new year!
La Petite Ferme
Mr and Mrs Andrews making their way from their suite to the restaurant – we couldn’t stop gazing at that beautiful view!
Sunset at La Petite Ferme
Sunset signals supper time at La Petite Ferme. See the magical glow over the mountains and valley below – you can just spot me in the picture on the top-left.
Dinner at La Petite Ferme
The food tasted as good as it looked. See our breadboard, including charcoal rolls with harissa paste, two views of our shared zucchini roll starter and our mains – the deboned whole trout for Husband, and the pulled lamb for me. Both were all so delicious we left our plates clean. Not pictured – the caramel milkshake I slurped to the last drop.
Dinner at La Petite Ferme
A feast for the eyes before we’d even had a taste. See another view of our mains – lamb top-left and trout top-right, as well as our desserts – chocolate torte bottom-left and pumpkin doughnuts with peanut-butter ice-cream bottom-right.
Gowns at La Petite Ferme.
The ‘gownie shot’, once back in our suite that evening – this was the best option of about 20 takes, I promise.

Sunday, 23 December 2018: Peche Royale & ice cream sundae Sundays

Breakfast at La Petite Ferme.
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme is a treat, with so many delicious choices from the buffet table – see the pastries; fresh fruit and fish; my ‘first breakfast’ bowl of granola with berries, cranberry juice and cappuccino; and Husband’s beautiful plate of eggs Onassis – spinach, salmon and Hollandaise sauce.
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme
More of the buffet spread; along with my prettily plated hot breakfast order of French toast topped with bacon and cooked apple slivers; and my ‘third breakfast’ nutty pastry plait with cappuccino; as well as Husband enjoying his plate of eggs.
Peacock at La Petite Ferme
I’d heard about the beautiful peacocks at La Petite Ferme and we spotted a few during our stay – they often leapt into the trees to sing their odd ‘mewling’ cry. But more impressive that this…
Peahen and chick
Look! A little chick on the peahen’s back! Two eggs had just hatched during our stay.
Cocktails at Pakalolo's
After checking out we made our way back home, then stopped in at Pakalolo’s on the beachfront with Spec for Christmas cocktails that afternoon. See Husband’s bloody mary, Spec’s mojito and my ‘champagne mojito’, complete with sparkly MCC.
Peche Royale
The celebrations kept coming! We had Peche Royale sparkling peach, as well as salad and toasted sandwiches to literally ‘toast’ the start of the holidays with Spec at Mum’s house that afternoon. Also see our coconut ice cream with caramel sauce and Bertie’s Christmas present from his granny-grampa – a soft blue monkey, his newest best friend.

Monday, 24 December 2018: Blaauwberg Beach Hotel breakfast and Christmas Eve family dins

Breakfast at Blaauwberg Beach Hotel.
The Blaauwberg Beach Hotel has finally opened its doors, so we had breakfast at their Waves restaurant on Monday morning. See my peanut-butter waffle, Husband’s eggs royale and Spec’s breakfast taco. Portions are generous, so go hungry!
View from Blaauwberg Beach Hotel
Of course we explored the rest of the hotel, too – just look at the views from one of three pools! We’ll definitely be back once their cocktail bar opens in the new year.
Christmas Eve
Sweet little Bassie on Christmas Eve. She turned into a shy girl with so many family members saying hi at her grandparents’ house. The food was lovely, too – pre-ordered individual portions of chicken, gammon and ham with rice, roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower, carrots and butternut. Yum!
Christmas Eve
Merry Christmas Eve! The full family enjoying our festive feast.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018: Christmas lunch in Big Bay

Christmas breakfast at Woolworths Cafe
Woolworths Cafe was one of few places open for breakfast on Christmas Day, so that’s where we topped up our tummies again, this time on vanilla-cinnamon cappuccinos, flat whites, Labneh apple-toast and chorizo hash bowls. My parents also popped in for generous portions of scrambled eggs, bacon and avo on toast.
Big Bay view of Table Mountain
Merry Christmas! We spent much of the rest of the day at the beautiful new Big Bay house of relations on Mum’s side. See the slide-cover pool and view across the ocean to Table Mountain.
Christmas hats
See some of the Christmas day laughs captured here.
Kleinbaai Christmas
Full family (apart from Eleanor, taking the photo) at Christmas lunch at the Conradies’ newly built house. Also, Gillian presenting the beautiful Christmas tree starter Mum created.
Christmas lunch
Did we eat and eat! See the cheese, fruit and crackers; roast potatoes; Christmas pies – steak, chicken and venison; pigs in ‘scarves’ (their bacon ‘blankets’ shrunk in the cook); and the beautiful cheesecake made by my cousin, Erin. There was also homemade malva pudding with custard and Uncle Al’s bread-and-butter pudding.
Christmas dreams
No wonder some of us were very sleepy that evening, dreaming Christmassy dreams.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018: Day of Reconciliation (AKA: Christmas leftovers)

Early bird breakfast at News Cafe
We filled our bellies (again) with the early bird English breakfast special at News Cafe on Marine Circle.
Day of Reconciliation leftovers
Day of Reconciliation means lots of Christmas leftovers. We found ourselves back at Husband’s parents’ house with his extended relations for a final taste of Christmas. It was yummy but we are so done with cooked ham for a while!

That’s all, folks! We hope you had an equally delicious Christmas week. Excuse us while we try walk off some of those calories. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at La Petite Ferme were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Get into the festive spirit with the magical wonder of the Spier Light Art Festival

Last weekend was a different one for us, as we were invited to the launch of the Spier Light Art Festival on Sunday night, so we took a day’s leave on Monday so as to extend that weekend feeling…

Saturday, 8 December 2018: Cup & Cake’s pancakes

Breakfast at Cup & Cake
It felt like a ‘Cup & Cake’ kind of day, so that’s where we had breakfast on Saturday. See my 3 cinnamon-sugar pancakes for R20, caramel cappuccino and Husband’s mushroom benedict-style breakfast.
Movies at GrandWest Casino
After a few hours at Husband’s work, we treated ourselves to ‘Ralph breaks the internet’ at GrandWest Casino. See the pretty Christmas tree just in front of the skate rink.

Sunday, 9 December 2018: Spier Light Art Festival

Breakfast at the Pink Olive
We breakfasted at the Pink Olive in West Coast Village on Sunday. See Husband’s ‘meaty toast’ topped with egg, my fresh scone duo and our cappuccinos.
Deer at Vredenheim
On our way through Stellenbosch, Husband’s phone told us to detour through Vredenheim Wildlife. What a hidden gem, with lots to see, including antlered-reindeer – just the thing to get us into the festive spirit!
Spier
Some of the lovely sights in and around the Spier entry. Yes, that is Husband taking one of the bicycles for a spin.
Spier reception.
The exploration continued inside on check-in. See the Christmas trees at reception, welcome drinks and more.
Room at Spier
Our suite was just right, with a view over two different pools, enormous bed, and in-room coffee-making kit. Yes, please.
Swimming at Spier
There are many, many pools at Spier, tucked between the walkways, but the main pool is where the icy, fruited waters were, so that’s where we swam. It was wonderful.
Spier mosaic table
There was lots of shade to sit in, once you’d had your fill of sun. Loved the bright, mosaic tables.
Swings at Spier
Some of our post-swim explore included swinging around, spotting ducks in the river and crossing bridges. Wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Picnics at Spier
Exploring out of the way, it was time for our pre-Festival packed picnic. A full basket awaited us, but you could also create your own from the items in the deli.
Picnic at Spier
This was our picnic: Crusty bread, melba toast, butter and hummus, cold meat charcuterie, gherkins and olives, camembert, spicy coronation chicken salad, smoked corn-green pepper salad, a bottle of Spier Signature Wine, gruyere-mushroom individual frittata-style quiches, and rich brownie bricks with a tart summer berry compote. This even got a thumbs up of approval from Husband, and he’s not much for picnics.
Picnic at Spier
Sipping wine through linked arms. It can be done!
Spier Light Art Festival
Picnic packed away, it was time for the Light Art Festival to begin. First up, large puppets that roamed the grounds, capturing everyone’s attention until the sun set.
Spier Light Art Festival
This is what we came for. It’s free entrance, every night until the end of January. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend popping in! Click through to my official review for more info.
Spier Light Art Festival
There was so much to see and hear and do, as the festival took place all over the grounds of Spier. A really lovely way to spend a Summer evening.
Cat at Spier
Teehee. We also made friends with the friendly kitty that was strolling the grounds of Spier.
Spier hotel gowns
This the the Spier version of our standard ‘gownie night-away shot’. Tick.

Monday, 10 December 2018: Eagle Encounters, Pakalolo’s and Rocomama’s

Breakfast at Spier
The breakfast buffet at Spier was extensive and delicious. See a few of our courses here. Husband also had a filled omelette while I stuck with the crispy, streaky bacon and fresh baked goods after my mixed bowl of cereal (including muesli and Coco Pops), and topped with pitted dates and candy-coated sunflower seeds.
Owls at Eagle Encounter
We took a golf cart down to the Eagle Encounters area at the far side of Spier once we’d breakfasted, but they weren’t yet open. Luckily we still got to see lots of eagle owls, like this one peering back at us.
Swimming in the sea
Husband having his ‘weekend’ dip once we got back on our home ground that afternoon.
Cocktails at Pakalolo
Ahh. There’s nothing like a cocktail at Pakalolo on the beachfront to put you firmly in ‘holiday mode’, even if just for a day. See Husband’s Bloody Mary and my ‘Pakalolo Sunrise’.
Burgers and shakes at Rocomama's, Parklands
We finally had an early dins at the newly opened Rocomama’s in Parklands that evening. No better smash burgers and shakes in Cape Town, if you ask me! That’s the espresso shake and creme brulee shake, as well as a portion of chili-cheese fries and our enormous burgers you see here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018: Wacky Wednesday and Steers’ chips

Steers chips
We were both exhausted when we got home from work on Wednesday, so opted for Wacky Wednesday from Steers for dins. Plus this large portion of chips, drenched in all the sauces. YUM.

That’s all, folks! Read my review on Biz for more on the Spier Light Art Festival. We were back at work on Tuesday already, but towards the end-of-year holidays we will go…

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

A stay at Once in Cape Town and the Lucky & Lost Peninsula Tour

Boy do we have an action-packed blog update for you! This past week has been a super busy one, so you’re in for a bumper edition of pics below…

Friday, 31 November 2018: Staff end-of-year lunch at Strandkombuis in Yzerfontein

Fresh bread
I got to work before 7am last Friday, but the sun was already up. I had lots to do and it was also the day of our staff end-of-year lunch at the Strandkombuis in Yzerfontein – see my ‘Hawaiian-themed’ outfit, and the huge loaves of farm-fresh bread we ate as starters. See my jammed-up bread slice next to my large bowl of spicy butternut soup, for size.
Strandkombuis lunch
It was quite a windy day but that didn’t stop us from exploring the venue and deserted beach. Also see the fish-filled menu for the day and a kitty more interested in his nap than in the food around him (though he did proudly parade through later, with a mouse in his mouth).
Food at Strand Kombuis
My goodness, but the food was good. See a plate of the seafood option bottom-left; my braaied chicken and chops and pumpkin fritters top-right; and the plate of fresh koeksisters and pot of ‘moer koffie’ for dessert – we shared, that’s not all mine.
Christmas lunch at Strand Kombuis
One of the few team shots taken of the afternoon – thanks to my deskmate Angie for letting me use her snap!
Loadshedding braai
I got back home that evening just in time for a braai with Husband’s parents, who’d not been to our house since June, despite living just 2km away. See the pretty sunset, my food, and our pre- and post-loadshedding faces.

Saturday, 1 December 2018: A ‘staycation’ at Once in Cape Town

Village Place in West Coast VIllage
We breakfasted at Village Place in West Coast Village with Spec on Saturday morning. He was staying at our house all weekend, to keep the doggies company while we explored the Cape. He had the eggy mince on toast, Husband had an eggs benedict and for me, the low-carb flapjacks.
Crashing waves at sea.
Waves were crashing loudly at Husband’s favourite swimming hole in the sea that morning. He braved a quick dunk but didn’t stay in for long.
Once in Cape Town
Our venue for the weekend – the four-star Once in Cape Town backpackers’ lodge on Upper Kloof Street. It’s a wonderful setting with lots to do, and was buzzing with guests catching up at Yours Truly’s ‘Up Yours’ upper bar area and at the downstairs pool table throughout the weekend.
Once in Cape Town
See Husband testing out our en suite shower with mountain views beyond; the charming cactus decor in our private room; and ‘bedside tipple’ wine with tin mug.
One in Cape Town balcony
Bright, floral sights from the balcony at Once in Cape Town.
Espresso martini at Van Hunks
We walked a few blocks up Kloof Neck Street to Van Hunks for an afternoon cocktail. See my espresso martini. Husband’s Bloody Mary, complete with celery stick, not pictured.
Milkshakes and burgers at Hudson's
We’d booked for an early dinner at Hudson’s Burger Bar, just a short walk from Once in Cape Town, so that was our next stop. See Husband trying out the top-deck shooter; my Strawberry Candyfloss ‘Insta’ shake; the interesting avo fries; and my delicious ‘bacon jam’ burger topped with thin, crispy ‘dusted onions’. A win!
Breakfast at Yours Truly
Ahh. The stunning sunset from that side of the Cape on the left, and our complimentary breakfasts downstairs in Yours Truly first thing on Sunday. Once in Cape Town’s guests have a choice of coffees, as well as a juice, fruit and either a croissant board or muesli bowl to start the day.

Sunday, 2 December 2018: Lucky & Lost Cape Peninsula tour

Lucky & Lost Tour of Cape Peninsula
Breakfast down and check-out sorted, it was time for the full-day Lucky & Lost Cape Peninsula tour! We were the first guests to be collected, just after 8am, and the last to be dropped off back at Once in Cape Town after 5pm. See some of the sights and our Cape Malay curry ‘picnic lunch’ top-right.
Bo-Kaap houses
The beautiful Bo-Kaap, our first stop of the tour. We learned that back in the day, different house colours could denote different professions.
Bo-Kaap
Seeing some of the sights in the Bo-Kaap. We got to try some of those fresh ‘koesusters’ (not the koeksisters I ate on Friday) when we stopped on Chapman’s Peak Drive, later in the day.
Muizenberg
Next stop? The high cliffs above Muizenberg. I love the trees down below, beside the train track.
Lucky & Lost Tour
Some of the sights we saw in Kalk Bay, Cape Point – see the ostrich family crossing the road, and lines and lines of penguins sunning themselves at Boulders Beach.
Cape Point
If you peer closely, you’ll see Husband standing just in front of this crashing wave at the edge of Cape Point.
Cape Point Vineyards.
Our next stop was one of my favourites – the Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek. It was a lovely afternoon to sit and sample white wines, while gazing at the gorgeous scenery.
Chapman's Peak drive.
Taking in the sights on our last stop of the tour, along Chapman’s Peak Drive. Such a wonderful setting.
Chapman's Peak
You can see why Chapman’s Peak is such a popular tourist spot.
Dogs on bed
The doglets were happy to finally see us again that evening. They just couldn’t contain their excitement. πŸ˜‰
Apple cake and coffee
Mum had made a delicious cinnamon-baby apple cake, just the thing on a Sunday evening with cream and a fresh coffee.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018: Heavy Chef’s YouTube masterclass at Workshop 17

Heavy Chef at Workshop 17.
My Tuesday was all about the Heavy Chef masterclass on ‘winning at YouTube’, held at the always-inspirational Workshop 17 venue. Coverage on Bizcommunity soon!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018: A loadshedding sundae at Milky Lane

Milky Lane sundae.
We discovered that Table Bay Mall’s load-shedding schedule is different to ours at home, so that’s where we spent much of Wednesday evening’s ‘electricity-free hours. Husband decided we should share the ‘Churro-full of Smiles’ sundae at Milky Lane, so we did.
Sunset in Cape Town
Pretty pastel sunset on our way back home from the Mall.

That’s all, folks! Don’t forget to tune in next week, for my next update…

 *Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Once in Cape Town, Hudson’s, Yours Truly and Lucky & Lost were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.