Tag Archives: chocolate milkshake

What to do in Stanford 2019: Stay at Blue Gum Country Estate

You may remember I promised a longer post than usual this week – you’re in luck, here it is! Scroll through for highlights from our midweek break at the Blue Gum Country Estate in Stanford and more…

Friday, 24 May 2019: Commodore conferences and half-price cocktails

My Friday started with a first - my first time speaking at a conference! I popped into the office first, then to the Commodore Hotel at the Waterfront for the Content Marketing conference.
My Friday started with a first – while I’ve attended hundreds, this was my first time speaking at a conference! I popped into the office while it was still dark out, then went on to the Commodore Hotel at the Waterfront for the Content Marketing conference.
We celebrated the start of the weekend and my much longed-for leave at Catch22 that evening. Bonus? Half-pirce cocktails before 6pm! See my colourful 'Catch23', as well as the seafood curry Husband and Dad both ordered, Mum's sushi and my buccaneer beef burger.
We celebrated the start of the weekend and my much longed-for leave at Catch22 that evening. Bonus? Half-price cocktails before 6pm! See my colourful ‘Catch23’, as well as the seafood curry Husband and Dad both ordered, Mum’s sushi and my buccaneer beef burger.
But first, cocktails! See Mum with her Bloody Mary, Dad with his Long Island Ice Tea, Husband with his Beeracuda (tequila, lime, sundried orange and a Corona beer). Cheers!
But first, cocktails! See Mum with her Bloody Mary, Dad with his Long Island Ice Tea, Husband with his Beeracuda (tequila, lime, sundried orange and a Corona beer). Cheers!

Saturday, 25 May 2019: Bean Authentic breakfast and bee stings

We had a long Saturday ahead as Husband needed to spend some time in the office, so we lined our tummies with breakfast at Bean Authentic in Monte Vista as we still had an Entertainer voucher to redeem. See the lovely strong flat white served in glass mugs, as well as my Ferrero Rocher mocha and Parmesan-crusted toastie filled with bacon, jalapenos, feta and spicy mayo. Husband had the bacon, cheese and sundried tomato egglets on avo.
We had a long Saturday ahead as Husband needed to spend some time in the office, so we lined our tummies with breakfast at Bean Authentic in Monte Vista as we still had an Entertainer voucher to redeem. See the lovely strong flat white served in glass mugs, as well as my Ferrero Rocher mocha and Parmesan-crusted toastie filled with bacon, jalapenos, feta and spicy mayo. Husband had the bacon, cheese and sundried tomato egglets on avo.
The whole family popped in for a braai later that afternoon - also see Bertie's slightly swolled lip from a bee sting. The swelling went down soon after I snapped this.
The whole family popped in for a braai later that afternoon – also see Bertie’s slightly swollen lip from a bee sting. The swelling went down soon after I snapped this.

Sunday, 26 May 2019: Kauai and Eden on the Bay beach walks

Spec had slept over on Saturday night so joined us for breakfast at Kauai at Eden on the Bay. The boys' mom also popped in for a cuppa tea and avo on toast. Proof we were all there.
Spec had slept over on Saturday night so joined us for breakfast at Kauai at Eden on the Bay. The boys’ mom also popped in for a cuppa tea and avo on toast. Proof we were all there.
We had a short post-breakfast stroll along Eden on the Bay, as Husband wanted to wet his feet.
We had a short post-breakfast stroll along Eden on the Bay, as Husband wanted to wet his feet.

Monday, 27 May 2019: Nutella hot chocolate and banoffee waffle at Panarotti’s

Husband went to work on Monday but I was already on leave,so joined my parents for a late breakfast at Panarotti's in Table Bay Mall. My Nutella hot chocolate and 'Bellissima Banoffee Belgian waffle' were lovely!
Husband went to work on Monday but I was already on leave, so joined my parents for a late breakfast at Panarotti’s in Table Bay Mall. My Nutella hot chocolate and ‘Bellissima Banoffee Belgian waffle’ were lovely!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019: Roadtrip to Stanford, night at Blue Gum Country Estate

It was a real treat to sleep in late on Tuesday but still rise in time for the earlybird Engling breakfast special at News Cafe. Tomatoes were well cooked and flat whites strong, as you can see here.
It was a real treat to sleep in late on Tuesday but still rise in time for the earlybird English breakfast special at News Cafe. Tomatoes were well cooked and flat whites strong, as you can see here.
We made our customary stop at the Sir Lowry's Pass lookout point. Husband was impressed with neither the elevation nor the gustiness of the wind. See a much more wind-swept version of this pic here, from when we visited Old Mac Daddy in Elgin.
Roadtrip time! We made our customary stop at the Sir Lowry’s Pass lookout point. Husband was impressed with neither the elevation nor the gustiness of the wind. See a much more wind-swept version of this pic here, from when we visited Old Mac Daddy in Elgin.
Some of the pretty sights we saw along the way. See sheep, various cows and even Carpaccio, the solo springbokkie. So cute!
Some of the pretty sights we saw along the way. Sheep, various cows and even Carpaccio, the solo springbokkie. So cute!
Looks like Husband is sharing a joke with this spotted horsey. Neigh!
Looks like Husband is sharing a joke with this spotted horsey. Neigh!
A few pics of the setting. It was peaceful, quiet and cold - too cold for a dip in the pool, alas.
A few pics of the setting, at Blue Gum Country Estate, 10km from Stanford. It was peaceful, quiet and cold – too cold for a dip in the pool, alas.
We felt we were well and truly out in the country while gazing at the view from our private balcony. Only one thing could make this better for me...
We felt we were well and truly out in the country while gazing at the view from our private balcony.
Gorgeous view looking out from our balcony.
Gorgeous view looking out from our balcony.
Some of the pretty sights on our quick ride fpr supplies along Queen VIctoria road in the heart of Stanford.
Some of the pretty sights on our quick ride for supplies along Queen Victoria Street in the heart of Stanford.
We stopped in at Raka for a quick winetasting, too, and stocked up on specialty snacks. Yum!
We stopped in at Raka Wine Farm for a quick winetasting, too, and stocked up on specialty snacks. Yum!
DInner is served! Not much is open in Stanford on a Tuesday night as WInter approaches, so we dined at Blue Gum's own Barke restaurant. We had the place to ourselves.
Dinner is served! Not much is open in Stanford on a Tuesday night as Winter approaches, so we dined at Blue Gum’s own Barke restaurant. We had the place to ourselves.
The MIlkshake Queen strikes again! Couldn't resist the ultra-chocolatey milkshake with my dins.
The Milkshake Queen in action! Couldn’t resist the ultra-chocolatey milkshake with my dins.
See Husband enjoying a glass of red at the fireplace and his two-course dinner of fillet steak and creme caramel with sorbet. I went for the toasted chicken-mayo with stacks of chips. Just the thing when paired with a chocolate shake!
See Husband enjoying a glass of red at the fireplace and his two-course dinner of fillet steak and creme caramel with sorbet. I went for the toasted chicken-mayo with stacks of chips. Just the thing when paired with a chocolate shake!
The standard gownie shot - with our pre-bed milk treats purchased in town.
The standard gownie shot – with our pre-bed milk treats purchased in town. Toffee Caramel for me, Banana for Husband.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019: Milkshakes in Hermanus

For me, it doesn't get much better than a freshy brewed coffee with a view like this...
Good morning? It sure is! For me, it doesn’t get much better than a freshy brewed coffee with a view like this…
Breakfast, my favourite meal of the day! See the fireplace - a different one to where w esat the previous evening - as well as the lovely continental buffet table and Husband's hot breakfast order.
Breakfast, my favourite meal of the day! See the fireplace – a different one to where we sat the previous evening – as well as the lovely continental buffet table and Husband’s hot breakfast order.
Why did we go to Stanford? This picture, snapped by Husband just before we left Blue Gum Country Estate on Wednesday morning, says it all.
Why did we go to Stanford? This picture, snapped by Husband just before we left Blue Gum Country Estate on Wednesday morning, says it all.
We rode out to see the lovely trails along the Stanford river before starting the long ride home.
We also rode out to see the lovely trails along the Stanford river before starting the long trip home. Next time we’ll stay longer, so we can fit in a river cruise.
Thr MIlkshake Queen strikes again! We took a slight detour on the way home to take advantage of the sunny weather in Hermanus. See my coffee shake and Husbands cappuccino at Burgundy's.
The MIlkshake Queen strikes again! We took a slight detour on the way home to take advantage of the sunny weather in Hermanus. See my coffee shake and Husband’s cappuccino at Burgundy’s.
We stopped at the Winelands 1-Stop on the way home to redeem our free Wimpy burger meal for the quarter - thanks eBucks! All this and we only paid for the drinks. The granadilla-mint slush is a must.
We also stopped at the Winelands 1-Stop once we were nearly home, to redeem our free Wimpy burger meal for the quarter – thanks eBucks! All this and we only paid for the drinks. This time the milkshake (banana) is Husband’s. The granadilla-mint slush is a must.

That’s all, folks! May your weekend be relaxing. πŸ™‚ Looking for more?Click here for my full review of our stay at Blue Gum Country Estate on Bizcommunity, and tune in for my next update next week – same time, same place. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our bed and breakfast at Blue Gum Country Estate in Stanford were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Mother’s Day treats, Terra del Capo antipasti and sunset jacuzzis at The Peninsula

Last Friday’s weather was just the wintery perfection required to review the new winter menu at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, and we had the most wonderful night away at the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Sea Point…

Friday, 11 May 2018: Winter antipasti menu at Terra del Capo

Radisson Blue Hotel
After a quick few hours in the office it was time to Uber to the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Waterfront to meet the shuttle taking us to Anthonij Rupert Wyne in Franschhoek. We sipped flutes of bubbly amongst all the blue and green shades.
Terra del Capo at Anthonij Rupert
The hour-plus trip out of the CBD into the winelands soothed us into a relaxed state of excitement, if there’s such a thing, and before we knew it, we were making our way down the driveway and into the tasting room area…
Anthonij Rupert Terra del Capo.
Look at that loveliness! View of the wintery outside, bread board with porcini truffle butter, carrot arancini, and grapefruit salad.
Terra del Capo Anthonij Rupert winter menu
Just look at the way those colours sing – each bite was bursting with flavour, too. This is just a small sample of the four antipasti courses. Crisp veggies, creamy dips, salty meat and warm cheesy bites. Yum!
L'Ormarins digestif, chocolate tart at Anthonij Rupert's Terra del Capo.
And then, dessert. See various stages of devouring the chocolate cream tart with tiramisu macaron and capuccino, as well as bowl of citrus and the potent, fruity L’Ormarins digestif.
Terra del Capo at Anthonij Rupert Wybe
Presented with bottles of the Pinot Grigiot and the Sangiovese wines we’d enjoyed over lunch, we happily posed outside the impressive doors before heading back onto the shuttle. Most of us were lulled to sleep by the slow rain that fell as we made our way back through the traffic. “Magies vol, ogies toe!”

Saturday, 12 May 2018: Pre-Mother’s Day breakfast and checking in to Sea Point’s Peninsula Hotel

News Cafe breakfast
We decided on a pre-Mother’s Day breakfast at News Cafe with both sets of parents. See all parties present and accounted for, as well as various forms of eggy breakfast.
Mother's Day dogs
I also had some pre-Mother’s Day snuggles with the doglets as would only see them again the following day. Such cuties!
Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Sea Point
Next stop, Sea Point! The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel towers above the Queens Beach corner of Sea Point, and is impressive from any angle.
Pool at The Peninsula
A quick explore of The Peninsula’s grounds revealed a pool out back, this one ‘slightly heated’; as well as classy navy decor; views of Lion’s Head; and the poolside dining options.
Peninsula Hotel
Various snaps shot between the foyer and our room – see Husband attempting the ‘Star Wars mirror finger-click’ move, also the striped awning and Pacman-walled games room.
The Peninsula
And then! Our suite! The colour scheme was bright and just screamed ‘holiday’, while the complimentary bottle of MCC and view of the sea and the private jacuzzi instantly reset our buttons.
Jacuzzi at Peninsula Hotel
We’re both Aquarian water babies, so after an intense sport massage carried out in our suite, we spent absolute hours in the jacuzzi – we had a dip at sunset, another after dinner, and one more before checkout the next morning. Bliss!
Sunset over sea in Sea Point
Is there anything prettier than the sun setting over the sea? (No, there’s not.)
Pool at The Peninsula
View from our room of the sea-facing main (cold) pool below.
Sunset Restaurant at Peninsula Hotel in Sea Point
Next stop, dins! This is the stylishly renovated Sunset Restaurant, warmly situated in the belly of the Peninsula Hotel. See the moreish farm-style bread, my ultra-chocolatey milkshake, Husband’s pan-seared Norwegian salmon mains and my chicken ballantine. This really hit the spot after all that soaking in the jacuzzi!
Sunset Restaurant coffee
Dessert! See my strong cappuccino and ‘death by chocolate’ ganache-y mousse bomb with espresso-creamy centre; as well as Husband’s lemon tart and Irish coffee. Perfect end to the meal.
Faces Bar, Strolla at Peninsula Hotel
See the craft gin and brandy trolleys rolled out at dins, and the Faces Bar and Strolla restaurant outside areas, popular with walk-ins from the beach front. We took a quick stroll outside but it was cold and dark, so the warmth of our suite beckoned.
Hotel gowns
This time, we posed the ‘hotel gown photo’ in the lounge. That carpet was so fluffy!

Sunday, 13 May 2018: Oreo sugarcones from the Dairy Den

Sea in Sea Point
The next morning, I opened the curtains and saw just what I’d been hoping for – a pastel pink, cloud-streaked sky over softly crashing waves. Insert heart-eyes emoji!
Coffee at the Peninsula
View from our balcony after we’d woken enough to wish our moms happy Mother’s Day over the phone, then a quick coffee in room… and another at the jacuzzi. Best!
Breakfast at Sunset Restaurant in Peninsula Hotel
And then, breakfast! We saw the buffet winding all around the extremities of the Sunset Restaurant and found ourselves drawn in again. See the sheet of honeycomb hiding various cold meats, cheese and fruits, as well as waffles with strawberries in syrup and super crispy bacon.
Breakfast buffet at Peninsula
More breakfast! Assorted juices; cold meats, fruits and cheeses; the egg and omelette station; and Husband’s plate, including kipper.
Sea Point Contact
And just like that, our time at the Peninsula was over. Keen to extend the ‘holiday’ feel of the weekend, you can just see Husband almost out at sea here on the right, exploring the rocks at the Sea Point Contact after our speedy check out.
Dairy Den in Sea Point
Then it was just a hop, skip and a jump to the Dairy Den on Main Road, where I’d heard about the wonderful ice cream specials and ‘Doh!’nuts. Still full from breakfast I didn’t have space to try a doh!nut too (sob), so will have to return! See various stages of eating my ice cream on the Sea Point promenade.
Half and half Oreo sugarcone at Dairy Den
The ice cream is worth the distance! After much deliberation I decided on the half-and-half – chocolate swirled with strawberry, served with a chocolatey biscuit in the hundreds-and-thousands-dipped Oreo sugarcone.
Snoekies fish and chips
Husband decided on fish and chips from Snoekies at Eden on the Bay for Mother’s Day lupper at my mum’s, all enjoyed (especially me with my vinegar-soaked chip roll).
Movie snacks
Mum and I had both just read the ‘Me Before You’ trilogy by Jojo Moyes, so we watched the movie with assorted snacks for Mother’s Day. Such a good idea!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018: 2OceansVibeRadio segment recording, family wors rolls

Nadia Hearn of 2OceansVibe Radio.
On Tuesday afternoon, my colleague Angie and I recorded our first-ever live monthly radio show segment on 2OceansVibeRadio.com, with host Nadia Hearn. Will add a link to the podcast of the show soon! Look at the cosy co-working office space they record from in Cartel House in Loop Street.
Iced latte at Cafe du Cap
Radio show bits done, we stopped in at the Cafe du Cap coffee shop downstairs in the Cartel House building for a quick treat while waiting out the traffic. The iced latte isn’t on the menu, but they will whip one up for you if you ask. T’was just what we needed!
Wors roll braai
Our friend Gords was down from Joburg on business for a few days so we hosted the whole family for a wors-roll dins once all were done with work. Spec drove up from Fish Hoek, slept over and left before 6am the next morning for work. Lots of laughs were had!
Dogs on couch
Precious doglets spent some quality time with their granny and grampa on the couch that evening.

That’s all, folks! Click here for my full wordy review of the Terra del Capo experience on Bizcommunity, and keep an eye out for the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel review, coming soon. Here’s to another relaxing weekend ahead…

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

What to do in Wellington

It’s well and truly winter in Cape Town, which means things are for the most part sad and grey. One way to revive your spirits when all around you is gloomy and glum is to get away from the weekend, as we just did, with no better town than Wellington to do so. It’s just over an hour from home, making it the perfect ‘feels so far away but doesn’t take all day to get there’ destination.

Click here for my official review, as the professional pics do a much better job than these from our phones, below…

The detour-filled roadtrip

Trees and clouds
If you’re only going away for the night, you don’t want to leave your leaving time to late – you also don’t want to drive straight there, missing all the sights on the way. Notice all the pretty trees and puffy clouds just a little off the daily commute-beaten track.
Waterwheel in Paarl
Instead of travelling directly from A to Z we took a slight detour through Paarl. Look at the wonderful waterwheel I’d have missed if my eyes were simply on the road ahead (note: Obviously this is a better idea for the passenger than the driver).
KWV brandy tasting
The reason for our Paarl detour? We’d popped into KWV for a wine-tasting last Father’s Day (click here for a reminder) and Husband was keen to try out their brandy tasting. He went for the ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate pairing’ – all this for R55, and you get French chocolate as it melts on the tongue faster than our SA brands, so is better suited to bringing our those brandy flavours.
KWV brandy tasting
Husband savouring those KWV flavours.

Relaxing in your room

Val du Charron driveway
We were soon back on the road and found Val du Charron in no time – that palm tree-lined driveway is quite impressive!
Local Grill at Val du Charron in Wellington
Look how lovely! Alas the wind was just too chilly for us to even consider sitting on that deck, but I think it’s just the thing on a Summer’s day.
Coach House tree
That tree is super enormous. Doesn’t look it as there’s a palm tree cut off in front of it but take my word for it. Shaded almost the entire Coach House.
Balcony at Val du Charron's Coach House
I think Husband was quite pleased with our room in the Coach House.
Stained-glass above pool at Val du Charron
Beautiful stained-glass work above the pool – so cold I can guarantee you’d get ill from a full dip in Winter, but must be the most amazing thing in summer. (Note to self: Return to Val du Charron in Summer!)
Coach House pool at Val du Charron
Welcome to the five-star Coach House suite. The pool is positively giving off frost it’s so chilly. But beautiful, sure.
Five-star Coach House suite
There’s a natural rock wall inside, behind me, and you can just see the bathroom in the distance.
Bathrobes in the Coach House at Val du Charron
Of course we tried out the bathrobes in our room much later that night, after a soak in the tub. It’s all part of the reviewing process.
COffee at the Coach House, Val du Charron.
I was soon warming up with a coffee Husband kindly created from the in-room plunger. Actually downed two cups as he made a full ‘plunge’. Plus gobbled up the crunchy ginger biscuits in the kitchen area while gazing at that remarkable view.
Rock wall in Val du Charron's Coach House
Husband in front of the internal rock wall (and TV). We watched a spot of rugby, then freshened up to go sightseeing…

Exploring the town

Cats on roof in Wellington
These kitties were willing to pose for a photo or two while sunning themselves on the tin roof.
Wellington church
This was the prettiest thing in the town of Wellington. Almost everything was closed, at 3pm. On a Saturday afternoon. Certainly not a bustling town.
Val du Charron's grounds in Wellington
And so, back we went to Val du Charron. Such a truly tranquil setting.
Wine tasting at Val du Charron
Wine tasting is included in your stay at Val du Charron – go just to hear the stories behind their three flagship wines: Four White Legs, Erasmus and the Black Countess. I summarised them here if you just can’t wait.
Dog at Val du Charron
We met this resident doggy while wandering around the grounds. He wasn’t interested in any form of communication with us.
Val du Charron horse
In fact, this horsey was much more talkative than the dog. Lol πŸ™‚
Val du Charron.
Husband quite enjoyed horsing around. (I’m just too punny). That’s the four-star accommodation behind him.

Watching the Wellington sunset

Sunset in Wellington
Soon the sun began to set. It was one of the most remarkable – and chilliest – sunsets I’ve seen, with snow on the mountains…
Fireplace at Coach House at Val du Charron
See? T’was so cold that we lit the fire on our patio.
Sun setting over the Hawequa mountains
Presenting: Sun setting over the Hawequa mountains.
Sunset in Wellington
The sunset. Made all the more surreal by that line of palm trees. I’d go back just to see this again. For reals.

Dining in The Local Grill

Dinner at The Local Grill, Val du Charron
One of Val du Charron’s biggest drawcards is the on site restaurant, The Local Grill, which opened its doors in October 2015. Here’s a civilised snap of us at our table for dinner that evening.
Local Grill place mats
The helpful place mats at the Local Grill explain where those mysteriously named pieces of beef actually come from.
Salmon starter at The Local Grill.
Husband went for the salmon starter. He gave it a big thumbs up.
Grass-fed pepper-rubbed fillet at The Local Grill.
For mains, Husband went for the grass-fed fillet, rubbed in pepper. Pic on the left is how it arrived. Pic on the right is how he ate it – smothered in a side of mushrooms and ‘Dijon mustard and chives’ sauce. He deemed it ‘Excellent’ – high praise indeed.
Chocolate shake and cheddar melt burger at Val du Charron
I went for a chocolate milkshake and the cheddar melt burger with a side of fries. Embarrassed to admit I barely managed to finish, and couldn’t even think of dessert. Means I can’t report back on the delicious-sounding local things like pecan nut pie, chocolate brownie, milk tart and malva pudding. Sob. There was nothing to do but sleep it off.
Muesli, fruit and croissant and cappuccino at The Local Grill.
Mmm, breakfast. There’s no better way to start the day. Back in The Local Grill the next morning, I opted for the muesli, yoghurt and fruit bowl, as well as a croissant with cheese, and a Terbodore cappuccino. Your eyes do not deceive you, that IS a second cappuccino cup on the table…
Cappuccino, toast and omelette at The Local Grill, Val du Charron.
Because even Mr ‘Coca-Cola for breakfast’ himself (that’s Husband) tried the cappuccino (after a Coke, of course.). He paired it with the omelette and brown toast. Bellies full again, all too soon we had checked out and made our way back home. We gave Bainskloof Pass a miss after all the wine-tasting ghost stories about it… maybe next time!

That’s all, folks, check in again next week for my next update. If you missed my other Winter 2016 overviews of what to do in Stellenbosch in May and in Franschhoek in June, click here and here. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Val du Charron and meals at the Local Grill were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.