It feels like we’ve been celebrating it for months already (well, we
have been), but last Friday was finally our 10th wedding anniversary. Though we both worked on the day, we had the opportunity to spend the weekend in sun-drenched Tulbagh – what a treat it was, as you’ll see below…
Saturday, 26 August 2017: Roadrip to Tulbagh and Oakhurst Olives
A roadtrip selfie is a must, especially if you’re passing bright canola fields just before the start of Spring, as we did…
The crops of canola appear out of nowhere and are so very pretty, it’s like someone spilled bright yellow below and blue above.
The first stop on our schedule was Oakhurst Olives, just a little bit out of town and well worth a visit. We did olive oil shots (yes really – quite the experience!) We also dipped the most delicious bits of freshly baked bread into it and smeared a tasty olive tapanade on the rest. You can buy all their products right there, so we did.
Once you’ve climbed the stairs you marvel at the view outside.
If you have the time, take a little wander around the property. There are lilies and ponies and not-so-wild horses roaming the grounds.
Like this guy! He came running over to say hi when he saw us. Such a friendly horsey. Loved having his nose and neck rubbed. The dark one in the bottom right wasn’t quite as keen.
Next stop, check in at the Tulbagh Heritage Boutique Hotel. There were beautiful Proteas everywhere we looked, and just look at those rooms! A ginormous royal bed, bright fluffy gowns that put the usual scratchy white ones hotels offer to shame, and the fireplace downstairs in the restaurant.
Some of the outside scenes. The stairway up to our room, a quaint water feature, big chilly pool, and the bar that was packed to sardine levels just before dins that evening with McGregor-Mayweather preamble.
First up at the hotel, lunch! We seated ourselves beneath the shade of the tree on the terrace where Husband enjoyed a BBQ chicken butterflied burger while I made a go at the ‘Schuster’ (there’s a pizza on my terrace) – crispy based with rocket, peppadews, feta, avo and slices of biltong, it was enormous – we took the rest up to our room to snack on later.
I had ample opportunity for coffee with a view here. See the Olive Terrace below our room, an inviting bench and the must-dunk rusks in our room.
Late-afternoon is just the right time to take a quick tour of the town, as the setting sun gives the light a magical quality.
A walking tour of Historic Church Street is highly recommended. There are guided tours, but we ventured out on our own and had a wonderful time reading up on the various beautiful old homesteads and appealing coffee shops.
The cemetery is peaceful and sunny if you’re not freaked out by things like that.
The botanical gardens grounds were open so we soaked up some sunshine, and also popped in to the Paddagang to see their interesting decor.
Tulbagh really is an undiscovered gem of a town. Everyone greets you in the streets and you see sights like this almost every which way you turn your head.
We were back in time to watch the sun set from our balcony.
The rooms are bright, airy and beautifully decorated. Plus, little bite-size nougat treats are left on your pillow! Such a nice touch.
We sampled some truly delicious dishes for dinner in the completely booked out Olive Terrace restaurant that evening. See my Frangelico Hazelnut Mochaccino, the Cape Malay Lamb curry Husband enjoyed with sambals and popadoms, while I went for the spicy Mexican bean soup with nachos and guacamole, and ended off with the coffee creme brulee and an unpictured whisky dom pedro for Husband. No wonder this has been voted the top restaurant in Tulbagh on TripAdvisor for three years running!
Tummies purring, we stepped outside again to see the blue-lit tree after dins and took our customary ‘gownie snap’ once we’d settled in for the night.
Sunday, 27 August 2017: Breakfast at the Olive Terrace, ziplining with Ceres Zipslide Adventures
Breakfast! Yes, this was to be our third meal at the Olive Terrace, and we were the only ones to brave sitting outdoors as there was a slight chill. The cappuccinos were strong and the food just what we were after – the homemade granola was sweet rolled oats baked in local vanilla and honey, topped with toasted seeds and fruit from the Tulbagh region, as well as thick, unsweetened Greek yoghurt with a side jar of honey to drizzle to your heart’s content. Being a benedict-man, Husband went for the eggs royale, served on sweetcorn-pumpkin fritters. Yum!
After a quick checkout it was time for a very short roadtrip. Fields of pink blossoms lined the way into Ceres.
Just 20 minutes later we were harnessed, helmeted and ready to zip our way through the Ceres valley with Ceres Zipslide Adventures! Quite the different experience to when I first went ziplining along the Acrobranch obstacle course earlier this year, click here for a reminder…
This is a screenshot of the Ceres valley ziplining area from one of the videos Husband filmed.
Wheeee! Off I go! You zip across 1.4km over 8 different sections. It’s a wonderfully exhilarating activity, definitely a reason to add Ceres to your Cape travel itinerary.
There are fields and hills and vales and peaks to explore as you slowly make your way home again – thanks for a wonderful time, Tulbagh!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Oakhurst Olives, Ceres Zipslide Adventures and the Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Watch for my official review on Biz!
I can’t believe I managed to cut down the endless stream of pics we took this past week into the following, hundreds were left on the ‘cutting room floor’. It’s not usually this big of a task, especially when the bulk of the pics are not from the weekend itself. But this week was special as we had a few days to celebrate an ‘early anniversary’ at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House in Franschhoek, and it was possibly one of the nicest breaks we’ve had. Ever. See for yourself…
Saturday, 8 July 2017: Very belated post-Father’s Day breakfast at I ❤ Melkies
We’d not seen my in-laws for a while so decided to meet up for breakfast at I ❤ Melkies. All went for cappuccinos to start and various savoury meals, apart from me…
My own breakfast was a little sweeter – a regular cappuccino like the rest, as well as a single bacon marscapone waffle with strawberries and drizzle of syrup. Just what the doctor ordered.
News Cafe on Marine Circle was calling our names on Saturday afternoon. We heeded the call, opting for the happy hour strawberry daquiri and long island ice tea (just R39 each) as well as the ‘fired up’ beef and haloumi avo chicken burgers.
We snapped a few pics across the road at sunset once our bellies were purring. Lol at the variety of expressions Husband pulled – love that face!
Sunday, 9 July 2017: Soup for lupper
Sunday morning saw us starting off the day at the Netcafe at the Netcare Blouberg Hospital, simply because it’s just up the street and we’d heard the food is good. And so it was – see Husband’s brekkie top left and bottom right, along with my caramel latte and pepper toastie with sweet potato fries. Really yummy.
It was a fully rainy day, so we had authentic German pea-and-ham soup with cheesy breadsticks for starters at Mum’s that eve – note the fingerless glove/mittens, a sure sign that things had turned Wintery for the weekend.
Monday, 10 July 2017: Night away at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House, Franschhoek
We started off our ‘holiday’ with breakfast at All in the Kitchen – a special treat as it’s not open over weekends and closed by the time we get home in the evenings, so rare for us to sit and take in the goodness. And it sure is good – see some of the breakfast menu bottom right along with our flat whites, as well as the Omega Me Crazy salmon-y breakfast Husband opted for, and my delicious chicken mayo on brown – such a hefty portion that I took half home with me as ‘padkos’.
Yes, ‘padkos’ means road tripping! The weather played along and treated us to one of those rare Cape winter Goldilocks days – not too cold, not too hot, not too cloudy, not too windy – it was just right.
Out destination for the night – the five-star Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House. It was pure bliss. Here’s why…
Once you’ve stopped exclaiming over the gorgeous vistas and natural beauty, you notice there are little ‘fairy’ touches dotting the grounds, hidden under bushes and tucked into unexpected corners – hearts, cherubs and angels all adding to the sense of love and the feeling that ‘you can relax here’.
And relax we did. A sign of its focus on complete wellness and that overwhelming sense of tranquility, one of Angala’s most unusual features is the eco pool. Echoing Mother Nature herself, all natural filtering takes place, and without any harmful chemicals, it’s just brimming with life – you can expect to hear frogs croaking and birds singing songs of joy as they swoop in for a sip. This is also the spot to sit and take in the view. See below.
The most inviting recliners at the eco pool. As they’re swathed in terrycloth dressing, taking in the view from there is like nestling in your comforting bathrobe.
Water is one of the main elements of healing and it features strongly at Angala, so us Aquarian water babies were quite literally in our element. Here you can see the cold pool in front of the infrared sauna below the main deck, with the hot pool hidden in this shot – it’s just in front of the garden umbrellas.
Cold pool on the left, hot pool on the right. I dipped a toe in the cold pool and decided the hot pool would be my home for the next few hours. We stayed in until the stars came out and it was time to get ready for dinner, so we trotted back to our suite, pronto.
Just a selection of the tasteful bedrooms we saw at Angala. All plush, fresh linens and soothing tones, each with its own distinctive personality. Ours was the bottom right, but I think the bed in the next pic was my favourite…
This photo just screams comfort, luxury and ‘room with a view’. Absolutely gorgeous.
A few examples of how your every comfort is taken care of at Angala – not just a handful of coffee sachets but the full complement of Nespresso pods, as well as sherry in every room, a well-stocked mini bar – make that ‘bar cabinet’ – that’s also completely complimentary including local wines, beers, soft drinks and milk for all that coffee.
Coffee cup filled with aromatic java and a view of the sun setting over the mountains is my idea of magic.
Dinner was so good I had to stitch together quite a few pics. Note my beetroot tart tatin starter, the wine Husband sampled and enjoyed so much he is looking out for a bottle to buy, his trout starter, his linefish mains (kingklip) and my lamb mains. Full descriptions on my review on Biz soon!
More dinner snaps – the standard ‘bread and menu’ shot, and dessert. That’s my lavender panna cotta topped with syrupy figs and tart berries, as well as Husband’s impressive cheese and nut board. Impressive as he enjoyed every single cheese on the board, including an unexpectedly soft, sweet slice we couldn’t get enough of. Plus a cappuccino of course, just visible in the shot of me with my candle-lit purple hair, bottom right.
We returned to our room to find something better than the customary ‘chocolate turndown’ – instead, a mini bottle of Amarula cream and glass on our bedside tables. We promptly hopped into our gowns and slippers and enjoyed it while sitting on the couch in front of the fire, that had also been lit before our return. Truly delightful!
Yip, you guessed it. Another of of my favourite winter creature comforts is fire. There are fireplaces everywhere at Angala, each with piles of wood stacked nearby and adding a natural warmth and happy glow to your stay.
Tuesday, 11, July 2017: Outdoor showers and breakfast at Angala
More focus on water with the simply stunning baths and outdoor showers. Husband was brave enough to give the outdoor shower a brisk go, but we didn’t run a bath as water’s so scarce in the Cape at the moment. Just imagine a soak with those gorgeous views though…
Breakfast is included in the overnight rates at Angala, so we took full advantage, ordering the Angala Rarebit off the hot menu and also plating up from the continental buffet offering. Lip-smackingly good.
Before we knew it, the time had come to check out and make our way back home, much more relaxed and peaceful than when we’d set out. So much so that I was told I looked ‘so serene’ when I returned to the office on Wednesday. We’ll definitely visit Angala again!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Angala were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Click here for my official review on Biz!
We were on leave for the start of this week, doing a bit of a digital detox in the peaceful mountain town of Citrusdal. It went by in a flash and seems like a dream now when I think back to it so luckily we took photos as proof – highly recommended, especially if you’re slightly under the weather! But first…
Saturday, 27 May 2017: TTKXLangaProject lunch
We started our Saturday with a shared halloumi toast breakfast at our local Foodlover’s Market as we knew our tummies would have quite the luxurious lunch later. Also see my cappuccino and the sweet snowman wall art inside.
Presenting Langa. A township many avoid if they can, this was the setting for The Test Kitchen’s pop-up restaurant-charity event this past weekend, which was a roaring success. See some of the sights, including aeroplane wing-lights in the ceiling of the Guga S’thebe theatre-come-eating-hall, itself cleverly constructed from converted shipping containers.
Our menu for the afternoon. All this for R250, I’d say highly worth it – clearly others agreed as the weekend raised over R200,000 for charity, with only 280 seats in total over the 2 lunches – click here for my full coverage of the event!
The four food courses, left to right top to bottom ranged from duck to tuna to beef to lemon tart. My full review has all the descriptions!
We were still full-to-bursting from lunch but one does not turn down creme caramel dessert after the parents’ braai.
Sunday, 28 May 2017: Stacked Diner breakfast
I’d heard good things about Stacked Diner on Kloof Street, so we ventured out that way for our Sunday morning breakfast. Service was fast, food was fresh, prices were good and they’re open from 7:30am each day! If they were a little closer to home I’d be there like a flash. Note my strong cappuccino, Husband’s chilli-cheese dog with side of avo and my chocolate-chip flapjack stack with milk-chocolate pouring sauce. Yum.
Doesn’t this forkful of choc-chip flapjack stack covered in cream and milk chocolate sauce and fresh strawberry look sinful? I wiped my plate clean.
Teehee. The doggies were so sweet at the Granny’s house for Sunday lupper. Note the pies and chips the humans ate bottom-left, and Bassie wolfing down pomegranate mousse.
Monday, 29 May 2017: Digital detox at Wolfkop
Such pretty road trip scenery – Citrusdal is just over two hours from home.
Destination Wolfkop! Set in a nature reserve, the chalets are clean and spacious and just shout out ‘relax’! We did just that, and also enjoyed watching the friendly lizard catch moths that flew too close to the light.
Pretty clouds streaking the sky. Greenery everywhere. Hills and dales and tiny animals. Happiness.
It’s not for nothing that we’re the water-lovers of the zodiac. Aquarians will see a body of water and get in it. (That’s Husband and me). Mum and dad (Leos) also enjoyed it but we outlasted them by a good few hours!
See? There. This is how it felt to be in a hot jacuzzi instead of the normal Monday scenario where I’m glued to numerous screens.
I very nearly missed taking a snap of the sunset on our first night there as I was having such fun relaxing in the jacuzzi. We should have been wrinkled prunes after spending hours in the warm water but somehow didn’t look any worse for wear.
Tuesday, 30 May 2017: The Lovely Grapevine breakfast, afternoon at The Baths
The Lovely Grapevine Coffee and Gift Shop is just down the street from Wolfkop so that’s where we had breakfast on Tuesday morning. It was indeed lovely, from the moment dad asked if they serve breakfast (“Het julle ontbyt”) and got the worried reply “Jy wil my byt?” (You want to bite me?) Teeheehee!
Such a lovely setting, and the food was just what the doctor ordered.
That afternoon we drove about half-an-hour to The Baths, one of Citrusdal’s top attractions – we’d booked for lunch at McGregor’s Restaurant so stopped in to fill up our bellies first. See my chicken strips and chips, Husband’s oxtail stew, Mum’s cheeseburger, Dad’s crumbed mushroom starter but not the cake-y waffle we shared for dessert as we ate it so fast.
That magical hot pool filled with natural spring water was just as we remembered from our last visit. ( Click here for a reminder).
Various moments of sunset gazing on our last night at Wolfkop. The night sky was also lovely, dotted with so many stars. I wish I could press ‘rewind’!
Wednesday, 31 May 2017: Hebron breakfast and Citrusdal souvenirs
Final morning coffee while soaking up the last dregs of a gorgeous sunrise.
Citrusdal was not so named by mistake. Nosiree. Mum loved all the freshly squeezed orange juice, and we couldn’t resist bringing a few ripe samples home with us. They’re incredibly juicy and seedless. Just the thing if you’re slightly under the weather.
We’d noted Hebron on our way through Piekenierskloof on the way into Citrusdal, so that’s where we stopped for breakfast after packing up and checking out of Wolfkop. It’s a real hidden gem!
Very intriguing tables comprising old solar panels, topped with lovely cappuccino and a wonderful menu that’s changed monthly, so we were there for the last day of this exact offering. Here’s what we ate…
See my apple-bran flapjacks with bacon and rooibos syrup, the lovely nutty-fruity granola bowl Mum and Dad sampled, and Husband’s Bombay fry-up.
I got my ‘doughnut day’ fix a little early in the week – this is the chocolate-filled Mr Happy and a much-needed small cappuccino from when we did a few errands at Canal Walk’s Dunkin’ Donuts once we’d unpacked again.
That’s all, folks! We’re both back at work and seeing off the tail-end of an annoying cold. Hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead – hold thumbs that the ‘massive storm’ set to bring lots of rain to the Cape this coming week actually arrives!
Greetings, loyal blog reader! 🙂
Husband worked last weekend so we weren’t out and about quite as much as normal but we still had a few delicious moments, as you’ll see below…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017: Good Food & Wine Show 2017 media launch
Loved this selection of pics the Good Food & Wine Show posted on Twitter (those are my pics of the non-Black Insomnia coffee at the start of the first row and the cake slices end of second row, eee). Really a lovely media experience, and you can read my event feedback here for more of what to expect from the show.
A handful of the prettiest moments I snapped at the Table Bay Hotel event, all linked to that amazing rainbow cake and world’s strongest Black Insomnia coffee.
Saturday, 13 May 2017: Reload latte and Saint’s burgers
On Saturday Husband left for work then I joined dad for a coffee at the nearest Reload as we were treating mum to a pre-Mother’s Day mani and pedi just down the road. Just look at his lovely mustard-y hot dog and the clever Table Mountain design in my choc-mint latte.
We set off for Saint’s in Eden on the Bay once Husband got home that eve. That’s my Pink Dragon cocktail and Husband’s TNT boozy shake (whisky and salted caramel, so good); as well as his ‘Free Bird’ chicken burger with onion rings and ‘green salad’; my ‘Smoke on the Water’ chorizo-and-pork burger with sweet potato fries and the beginning of the sunset. I still had a bit of work to do that evening so this was a welcome break.
That doesn’t mean we set off straight for home, though. Bellies full and smiles on faces as it was a gorgeous sunny afternoon.
Sunday, 14 May 2017: Mother’s Day breakfast at News Cafe, doggy TLC and beach walks
We had Mother’s Day breakfast bright and early on Sunday to beat the crowds at News Cafe (though Husband had already left for work, so it was just the three of us). Then later in the day we took pizzas along for lupper as moms shouldn’t cook on Mother’s Day.
Food and coffee down gullets we went for a quick ride along the beachfront before heading home. Love how peaceful it was!
Bertie was displaying his couch back-sitting skills on Sunday but also spent some quality time with his current bear, Tiger.
Bassie preferred to spend quality time with me as it was Mother’s Day. Aww, bless.
We went for a quick walk along the beach in Kleinbaai once Husband was done with work for the day.
Monday, 15 May 2017: Office cake and post-work half-price curry
Mmm. We had cake in the office this week as two birthdays were celebrated. This creamy choc cake with strawberry on top sure chased away the Monday blues!
While it doesn’t feel like it’s officially Winter yet in the Cape, winter specials have started popping up on all the menus again. This here is a forkful of the Monday half-price chicken curry special at Eden on the Bay’s Inside – I went for the butter chicken. We’ve been enjoying this special for years ( click here for a reminder).
Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 May 2017: Samra conference at Protea Hotel, Stellenbosch
I was lucky enough to attend the annual two-day Samra (South African Marketing Research Association) conference in Stellenbosch earlier this week. Such a pretty town.
View directly out the window of the Protea Hotel’s conference room – little wonder they drew the curtains during sessions!
Conference food is always a treat. Note some of the fresh morning pastries top left, Thursday creme brulee dessert top right, Wednesday brownies dessert bottom left and pretty table settings bottom right.
My Thursday morning pre-conference cuppa was delightful, especially as I got to gaze at this view.
That’s all, folks. We attended the funeral of Husband’s aunt Sybil earlier today and have his brother Spec staying with us this weekend, so expect a few family-themed pics in the next update. Cheerio!
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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…
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!)
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
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
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.
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.
Beautiful purple blooms at Steenberg Estate.
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!
If you look closely you’ll see a squirrel atop one of those wooden chair backs.
Husband sampling the Semillon.
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!
The chicken confit Caesar salad, with croutons, parmesan and bacon.
The 200g blackened sirloin with hand-cut chips.
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’.
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.