Tag Archives: Catharina’s

Competitive beach jumping, Design Indaba 2017 & Catharina’s new lunch menu

In this latest update we finally get to my pics from Design Indaba, which began on the same day as Bertie’s birthday and took us to the end of last week.

There’s lots to look at below, so get your scrolling (and enlarging) fingers ready!

Wednesday, 1 to Friday, 3 March 2017: Design Indaba at the Artscape

Design Indaba at Artscape.
There was just as much to see inside, with a Woolies coffee station that made delicious honey-nut lattes, food trucks, art installations, book passageways and more. Always a delight and more than a little overwhelming!
Design Indaba at Artscape
Lots of creative oddities were on display before we even went into the main Artscape venue. Note the walk of fame, trees growing lips and eyes and more.
Bizcommunity at Design Indaba
If you’re wondering about our team, that’s a full shot below with me and Ilse from the first day on the top left, and me with Pasqua on the last day top right.
Burger at Doodles.
Design Indaba done for me and Husband having rested all day from his week of working night shift, we decided on dins at Doodles on the beachfront. I tried their Bar-One shake and Husband had a draught with the chicken burger.

Saturday, 4 March 2017: Xai xai chicken at Petiscos

Petiscos chicken xai xai
When Husband got home from work we set off for Petisco’s for their xai xai chicken fillet, which we barely finished. I also tried their iced mocha shake.

Sunday, 5 March 2017: Rocomamas ‘surprise me’ freak shake, Sunset Beach jumps and Bertie’s new collar

Rocomamas burgers and shakes
Rocomama’s is always a treat, especially if you’re brave enough to try the ‘Surprise me’ freak shake option. I ended up with a caramel-chocolate concoction bursting with bits of honeycomb! Click here for a reminder of our review on our last visit.
Sunset Beach jump
What do you do on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Cape Town? You see who can jump higher on the beach, of course. We headed off to Sunset Beach as it has a lovely view of the mountain and soft, soft sand for jumping. Here is Husband’s attempt…
Sunset Beach jump
I think mine was much, much higher (Husband says to notice his eyes are over the top of the mountain in his version, but also note how much taller he is than me!)
Pawprint garden and new collar dog
On Sunday afternoon we explored the new ‘Leadville’ doggy park in Sunningdale and Bertie was gifted with his new birthday collar – look at that happy grin!

Wednesday 8 March 2017: Woodstock sunrise

Sun rise in Woodstock
I snapped the sun rising over the mountain and train tracks on my way into work on Wednesday, and needed a ‘coffee and mini choc’ treat come afternoon. What a long week!

Thursday, 9 March 2017: FoodLover’s breakfast and Catharina’s new lunch menu review

FoodLover's Market breakfast
We both had the day off work on Thursday (yay), so after a much-needed lie-in we shared the halloumi stack breakfast at our nearest FoodLover’s Market. That’s also my cappuccino top left.
Catharinas at Steenberg
After some general relaxing it was time to set off Catharina’s at Steenberg Estate, as we’d been invited to review their new lunch menu. We’ve taken a variation of this photo on both previous visits, see here and here.
Purple flowers at Steenberg.
Beautiful purple blooms at Steenberg Estate.
Catharina's at Steenberg
Presenting Catharina’s and the rest of the Steenberg Estate. Tis a wonderful place to walk around, with ducks and squirrels hopping about – you may see some in these pics!
Squirrel at Catharinas
If you look closely you’ll see a squirrel atop one of those wooden chair backs.
wine tasting at Catharinas at Steenberg
Husband sampling the Semillon.
Catherinas lunch
The official menu, with the story of Steenberg’s Catharina Ras. Also the bread board with golf balls of butter, the mushroom-parmesan risotto and the seafood linguini. Yum!
chicken Caesar salad at Catharinas
The chicken confit Caesar salad, with croutons, parmesan and bacon.
Sirloin and handcut chips.
The 200g blackened sirloin with hand-cut chips.
Catharina's lunch
Behold the new lunch menu, the chocolate shake and cappuccino, the chicken confit Caesar salad, the rooibos creme brulee and the summer sorbet trio with wafer ‘spoon’.
Squirrel at Catharinas
This squirrel sat on his tree perch and watched us eat our meal.

That’s all, folks! You can read up on this year’s Design Indaba highlights in our special section on Biz, and click here for my official review of the new lunch menu at Catharina’s!

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

Rambling Litchi’s best of 2016

Just when you thought I was done for the year, I decided a ‘best of’ compilation post was necessary.

See the list below for some of our favourite things from 2016, all in and around Cape Town obviously, and expect an annual update*. Some categories will remain, others will change. Note that most of these came to mind instantly, but some were dismissed as we experienced them last year, not this year, and others I had to manually search my blog(s) for mentions and reminders – links included if you want to walk down my memory lane again. If there are any categories you feel I’ve left out, let me know! 🙂

Milkshake: There’s no denying milkshake is my favourite treat. This year, I’ve learned that if an establishment goes so far as to title something a ‘Freek shake’ best you believe it. Gibson’s Peppermint Caramel Freek Shake was enormous and I probably should have shared it. Ditto with the Festive Underground Eatery or FUE‘s cocopine shake much earlier this year.

Gibson's peppermint caramel Freek shake.
Gibson’s peppermint caramel Freek shake.

Burger: What goes with milkshake? Burgers, of course. You just can’t go wrong at Jerry’s. The patty is tasty, cooked to perfection on a brioche bun and the side of fries doused in Sriracha is a treat in itself. The bacon, cheese and onion ring-topped buccaneer beef burger at Catch22 also gets a thumbs-up from me.

The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped 'Jerry' burger at Jerry's, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.
The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped ‘Jerry’ burger at Jerry’s, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.

Hike: We’ve done quite a few hikes this year to work off all those burgers and shakes – most recently the Skeleton Gorge version up Table Mountain – but our faves all involved caves. That’s because you want a good view, sense of accomplishment and a body that’s not on the point of collapse once you reach your destination. Wally’s Cave in Lion’s Head was this year’s hidden hideaway gem.

Wally's Cave in Lion's Head
Wally’s Cave, conquered! If you know where to go it’s quite an easy climb up Lion’s Head.

Conference venue: It’s not all about weekend activities though. Conferences are the lifeblood of my worklife. The Artscape Theatre and trusty CTICC are always a good bet for Wi-Fi, tasty snacks and temperature control, but my best was the Vineyard Hotel.

Vineyard Hotel
The distracting view from my seat in the Vineyard Hotel ballroom, where I attended a few conferences this year.

Night away: Living in Cape Town is a little like living in paradise, but everyone needs a break away from their daily routine once in a while. For us, the best version of this was at Majeka House in Stellenbosch. Just over an hour from our front door, the suites are enormous, the spa treatments are heavenly and the food is simply superb.

Majeka House pool
Chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area at Majeka House. I spent a lot of time in the jacuzzi at the far end.

Romantic dinner: You also need to celebrate special occasions as they arise. Maybe just because we went there to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary, maybe because they’re just up the road, but Homespun is at the tippy top of our ‘lovey-dovey locations’. The food, drinks, setting and service are all commendable.

The lamb shank at Homespun.
The lamb shank at Homespun.

Once-in-a-lifetime meal: This category is for those breathtaking meals that cost quite the pretty penny and offer course after course of plates you simply can’t help but take photos – and videos – of. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek was our winner here. Go soon if this is something on your foodie bucket list, as chef Margot Janse is leaving these kitchens early next year.

Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français' Tasting Room.
Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français’ Tasting Room.

Road trip: Whether you’re staying the night or just out for a few hours on the road, there’s nothing like a few empty hours to fulfill your wanderlust. We did so a few times this year, enjoying a few afternoons in the unspoilt beauty of Gordon’s Bay and Langebaan, both around two hours from home.

Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.

Winter special: One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets is that many of its fine dining establishments offer warming meals at pocket-friendly prices in the cold winter months. Some of this year’s best include the half-price chicken curry specials at Inside in Eden on the Bay.

Chicken bunny chow and korma at Inside Lounge, Eden on the Bay
Two of our half-price winter chicken curries of 2016, at Inside Lounge in Eden on the Bay. That’s a bunny chow and a mild korma.

Alcohol tasting: You’re really spoilt for choice if wine is your thing, but those who prefer a more refined tipple are also in for a treat in the Cape. Val du Charron in Wellington does so with beautiful legends behind each wine blend, and many wine farms offer an MCC tasting of their bubbliest bubbly, but it’s the KWV brandy tasting that got Husband’s seal of approval this year.

KWV's ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate' pairing.
KWV’s ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate’ pairing.

Weekend lunch: This list proves it’s not all about the bustling CBD. In fact, on weekends there’s lots of appeal in driving a little off the beaten track to find a new venue where you can spend a few hours eating, drinking and laughing with loved ones. Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch is a beautiful spot for this, with panoramic views of the estate’s 123-hectare vineyards, an adventurous menu and their own wine varietals on The Vine Bistro‘s menu.

View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate
View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate.

Seafood meal: Unless you’re allergic to it, a meal out in Cape Town should include seafood. I passed the baton the Husband on this one, and a few of his favourites were the fettuccinne marina and platter for two at Panama Jacks in the Cape Town harbour.

The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.
The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.

Wild meal: Eating out in South Africa often means eating unusual dishes. The tasting menu at Catharina‘s on Steenberg Estate is an excellent way to do so. Though seasonal, you’re likely to find delicacies like wild boar, crocodile and zebra on offer.

Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina's.
Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina’s.

Eggs benedict: Husband’s weekend breakfast staple, we’ve sampled quite a few this year. The ones we kept going back to were the salmon version from Company’s Garden and the pork-belly bacon benedict at Steenberg’s 1682. Tart Hollandaise, yolk that pours at just the right pace and not-your-average toasted base. Yum!

Eggs benedict with Steenberg's 1682 pork-belly bacon.
Eggs benedict with Steenberg’s 1682 pork-belly bacon. Yes.

Dessert: Sometimes you don’t want a full meal. Sometimes it’s just your sweet tooth looking for satisfaction. I seem to have a mouth full of sweet teeth as I’ve had a jaw-dropping amount of desserts this year. My best have been the caramel bar at Majeka House’s Makaron, and the winter chocolate fondant and the summer raspberry ice cream sandwich at Grande Provence’s The Restaurant. Beautifully plated, these are the type of sweet treat you swirl around in your mouth with your eyes closed, and follow with a sip of strong coffee to enhance those flavours.

The Restaurant at Grande Provence's 'berry ice cream sandwich'.
The Restaurant at Grande Provence’s ‘berry ice cream sandwich’.

Speaking of…

Coffee: My bloodstream is coffee. I’m not fully functional before at least a cuppa or two, so the weekend hasn’t officially started before I’ve had a caffeine-filled cappuccino or latte. My favourites this year include the cappuccino at Village Place Cafe, with a shot of toffee syrup, and the regular cap at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Cappuccino at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos
I’d expect nothing less than a heart swirled into the foam of my strong cappuccino when breakfasting at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Over and out, folks! Here’s to sampling the very best of 2017, watch this space…

*All photos my own. Disclaimer: Some of these were experienced free-of-charge as I reviewed them for work, but most came from our own pockets. No payment was considered for this ‘best of’ list as it’s all based on personal preference.

Ninth anniversary celebrations at Homespun and Catharina’s

We were spoilt with two ‘anniversary’ reviews in the past week – on the actual day we dined at Homespun by Matt, and last Saturday we had lunch at Catharina’s at Steenberg Estate. Click here for my official review of Catharina’s on Biz and watch for the review of Homespun, going live early next week.

Since then we’ve both been quite poorly – blame it on the change of season, I guess. Despite this, we still have lots of recent highlights to share via the following images…

Thursday, 25 August 2016: Anniversary dinner at Homespun by Matt

Butterflies at Homespun
Gorgeous butterflies above the bar were all added by the wait staff, said Matt.
Homespun private booth
We didn’t plan our matchy matchy blue outfits, we’ve just been together so long that we think alike. Scenes from our private booth at Homespun.
starters at homespun
Our starters at Homespun – Husband’s beef tataki on the left, my deep-fried goat’s cheese with balsamic ice cream. Yes, balsamic as in vinegar. It was the most delicious thing.
Lamb shank at Homespun by Matt
Husband’s mains – the lamb shank.
Pork belly at Homespun by Matt
My mains – the sticky pork belly.
Dessert at Homespun
I had the coconut blossom cheesecake, Husband had the blonde fondant, which oozed the most amazing caramelly liquid.
Homespun drinks
Homespun drinks – top left shows my ‘Lovespun’ being poured into stemless cocktail glass, was a refreshing strawberry concoction with sprig of rosemary. Husband’s espresso martini on ice is on the top  right with my cappuccino bottom right.

Saturday, 27 August 2016: The tasting menu at Catharina’s

Catharina's
Presenting… Catharina’s, at Steenberg Estate, on the very edge of the Constantia Wine Route.
Oak trees at Catharina's
Very tall oak trees, in which an owl family lives. They often swoop down to participate in Summer breakfasts, we hear.
Catharinas paper
The delicate papery designs inside Catherina’s tell the story of the restaurant’s namesake, Catherina Ras. Read more about her here in my official review.
Menu at Catharina's
My delightful chocolate shake adorned with fresh mint leaf while we perused the menu at Catharina’s.
Catharina starters
A selection of Husband’s starters from the eight-course tasting menu. That’s his salmon starter top left, tuna and quail egg bottom left and beetroot with parmesan gnocchi on the right.
Wild boar at Catharina's
Howzat, Obelix?! My plate of wild boar and baby carrots at Catharina’s.
Crocodile at Catharina's
Husband’s almost-too-pretty-to-eat plate of crocodile – his first main course of the lunch. He did eat.
Zebra at Catharina's
Husband’s second main course of the lunch – grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka.
Langbaken sunset cheese at Catharina's
Husband’s savoury dessert – the Lankbaken sunset or cheese and crackers with goji berry. Mmm.
Dessert at Catharinas
And then, sweet dessert for all. Top left is ‘the Coffee’, top right is ‘the Chocolate’, and bottom is a selection of the other dessert item friandises.
Fish Hoek
Magies vol, Husband wanted a quick dip in the ‘warmer ocean’ so we headed out towards Fish Hoek. I was starting to feel a bit chilly and ill by now.
Green grey sea
Solitary Husband in the greeny grey sea. T’was a very misty day.
Misty cloud
Just look at that bank of misty cloud on our way home.

Sunday, 28 August 2016: Blisters for Bread 5km walk

Dogs on couch
Faces of sweet little dogs who were not coming all the way to Mouille Point for Sunday morning beach walkies with sick mommy and grumpy-to-be-up-so-early-on-a-Sunday daddy.
Bizcommunity
Most of the Biz team that took part in Sunday’s Blisters for Bread or ‘Bizters for Bread’, as we called it, charity walk in aid of the Peninsula School Feeding Association. This was pre-walk, outside the Sea Point Stadium.
5KM Bizters for bread walk for Peninsula School Feeding Association
And we’re off! Taken just before we started the 5km walk, look at all the people behind us. Apparently they cut off at 13,000 participants.
Mouille Point lighthouse
The brightly striped Mouille Point lighthouse was one of the key sights along the way as it was quite the gloomy day.
Mouille Point lighthouse
You can just view the lighthouse behind Husband here.
Mouille Point lighthouse
Me at the lighthouse on our return trip to the Sea Point stadium.
Blister for Bread 2016 medals
Success! Medals of completion awarded, we trotted back to the car and spent rest of day relaxing and/or recovering.

That’s just the tip of the ice berg, kids. Click here for my much more flowery review of Catharina’s and watch this space for my full review of Homespun by Matt, due to be published on Monday. Until then, have a relaxing weekend!

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Catharina’s and Homespun by Matt were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.