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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. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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.

CTFM sunsets and Father-in-law’s 75th birthday breakfast at McPherson’s

Last weekend we celebrated Father-in-Law’s 75th birthday with a family breakfast at McPherson’s, amongst other things…

Friday, 13 April 2018: Cupcakes and braais

Birthday cake and dogs and braai
My favourite moments from last Friday – office birthday cake, also a small home braai and the doggies coming to fetch me from the bus stop after work. Bless.

Saturday, 14 April 2018: 75th birthday breakfast at McPherson’s

McPherson's breakfast
We all met up at McPherson’s for breakfast on Saturday morning to celebrate Father-in-Law’s 75th birthday the day before. See Mother-in-Law with the cutlery top-left, my parents with strong cappuccinos bottom-right as well as the R25 ‘bacon-eggs-toast’ breakfast bottom-left and the French toast with bacon and grilled banana top-right. Delicious and such good value, in a pretty setting.
McPherson's cat
The McPherson’s cat looked much orange-r, fluffier and larger than the last few times we’ve seen it – perhaps a different cat?
McPherson's breakfast
Full family photo with the birthday boy front and centre. This is best version of the many attempts we took, take my word for it ๐Ÿ˜‰
V&A Waterfront cruise terminal at harbour
Later that afternoon we soaked up some sunshine in and around the V&A Waterfront. This was taken while looking around the cruise terminal at the harbour.
Caramel pop gourmet shake at CTFM.
Gourmet milkshakes, yes please! I had to work that evening so we went out for early dins, and decided to finally try the CTFM at Seaside Village – we’d popped in a few times but never ordered anything. See the gourmet shakes – I went for the caramel pop. Yum.
Potjie and sushi at CTFM
To eat, Husband had a salmon handroll and the East Coast mussel potjie, while I went with the lamb croquettes.
Cape Town Fish Market decor
Lights and driftwood and birdies make up the pretty decor inside the Seaside Village branch of Cape Town Fish Market…
Cape Town Fish Market
Just in case you didn’t know where we were eating, I branded my finger.
Dogs at fire
Precious doglets pretending they just happened to end up asleep on the couch together by the fire while I was working later that night.

Sunday, 15 April 2018: La Rocca breakfast

Breakfast at La Rocca
W.e were meeting Brother-in-Law Spec at the movies in Canal Walk later in the morning so decided on breakfast at La Rocca. See my latte and toasted chicken-mayo with rustic fries, as well as Husband’s Mexican eggs benedict topped with prego sauce.
Pork roast and roast potatoes
We had pork roast with roast potatoes for lupper at Mum’s that evening.
Berry ice-cream cake
For dessert, slices of berry ice-cream ‘cake’ Mum whipped up.

Monday, 16 April 2018: Sunset burger special at CTFM

Milkshake and wine at CTFM
We’d enjoyed our meal at CTFM so much that we returned for dins on Monday. Glass of red wine and choc-cookie gourmet shake with sunset-over-sea views after a tough day at work? Don’t mind if we do!
Pink clouds at sunset
Pretty pink clouds at sunset, as seen from our table.
Monday burger special at CTFM
To eat, this time Husband had the ‘salmon poppers’ starter followed by the fish curry, while I had the choc-cookie gourmet shake and the R55 Monday burger special.

That’s all, folks! It’s definitely Autumn here in the Cape so I’m looking forward to lots of hot drinks and hugs for warmth.

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! ๐Ÿ™‚
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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
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! โค
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. ๐Ÿ™‚