This past weekend we were in Franschhoek as you’ll see from the snaps below – it was so difficult to trim them down to these favourites!
If you’re heading that way, we definitely recommend stopping in at the Wijnland Auto Museum and Butterfly World, and explore the lovely lemony Franschhoek Country House (FCH) and Monneaux…
Wednesday, 16 May 2018: Sunset dins at Doodles on the beachfront
We had a sneaky mid-week dinner out at Doodles and were in awe at the sunset, as seen from various angles.
Friday, 18 May 2018: Meltwater #BizBreakfast at Park Inn Radisson
I rarely get to attend events with colleagues, so it was a treat to spend part of last Friday morning with one of my favourite coworkers. Once we’d gone up 10 floors by lift at the Park Inn Radisson we stepped onto the balcony to admire the view, and what a view it was!
More of the balcony views, also the delicious breakfast snacks and the excellent presentation itself on social storytelling – click here for my full overview if you missed it on Bizcommunity.
We had time for a quick post-event catch-up session with industry friends before heading back to the office.
Saturday, 19 May 2018: Stop at Wijnland Auto Museum, stay at Franschhoek Country House, dine at Monneaux
A sweet moment with Bertie boy before we started all our weekend activities. Love that dog!
First stop – collect parents to drop off at the airport. Once they’d checked in for their flight to Joburg, we had time for a quick breakfast at the Wimpy with views of the runway. See various coffees and the flapjacks with cream and fruit salad.
Next, tim for our weekend away, and what’s a road trip without snacks? It was a cold, grey day so hot drinks were in order. This is a mochaccino and British ‘chocky bickies’ from when we dropped off the doglets at their GrannyGrampa for the night.
We stopped in at the Wijnland Auto Museum (not the main Franschhoek Motor museum you’re thinking of). It’s filled with rusted relics and shiny new vehicles alike. Bonus: You don’t need to make an appointment ahead of time!
The grounded airplane was the main attraction for Husband – he’d seen it from the main road outside and we had to do a capital U-turn to go back and find the entrance. See how he climbed all the way through into the cockpit – you’re allowed to do so.
Autumnal scenes on the road into Franschhoek town.
You’re bound to see the wine tram when you’re in and around Franschhoek. We saw various versions of it in various locations on our way into town and even waved at the happy travelers from the pool later that evening. It’s still on our Franschhoek bucket list!
It was the weekend of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) so there were book-lovers around every drizzly corner and queues at all the eateries and markets, we felt quite lucky to be staying slightly out of the main hustle and bustle of town. Will tackle the FLF another time!
Franschhoek Country House holds all the lemons and French country charm you could ever want. It’s like a painting.
It’s hard to miss Franschhoek Country House from the Huguenot Main Road, just look for lemon with touches of turquoise and you’re there! There are lemons everywhere you look, from the trees to bowls in every room – even the restaurant powder room – it’s really a delicious sight.
The space we stayed in was just gorgeous. Look at those old-school high ceilings, the plentiful fruit bowl, and even the candlesticks next to the not-to-be-used bath tub.
The doorbell chimed and we were presented with the most wonderful welcome plate of food fresh from Monneaux, along with flutes of bubbly to ease into ‘weekend away’ mode. It certainly did the trick!
Fountains fountains everywhere. Note Husband examining them far off in the distance.
Despite the chill in the air we braved the cold pool, as that makes the slightly heated pool seem a little warmer than it is. Also see the poolside table with the most delicious lemonade, garnished with mint leaves and cucumber slices. So yum!
We’d been told it was ‘happy hour’ on selected beverages until 5pm – add in pretzels and salty peanuts, also the Royal Wedding on TV and we were there like bears.
Sunset over the mountain from various angles, made even more delicious with a cup of coffee and rusk from our room.
M is for Monneaux! The on-site restaurant is definitely worth a visit, whether you’re staying at Franschhoek Country House or further up the road. See here the baked camembert salad, the spicy mussels and the lamb on gnocchi. All the words coming to my full review on Bizcommunity!
Cheers to dinner at Monneaux! Our table was strewn with white rose petals – we’d seen them being plucked while enjoying our swim earlier that evening. Also see the smoked octopus in dashi stock from the Petit Assiette menu, and the linefish mains topped with a prawn.
Don’t mind if I do take a sip or two… just some of the lovely wines we sampled while dining at Monneaux, all from the Franschhoek valley.
Dessert! See the sorbets with meringue discs; chef’s creme caramel with flecks of vanilla; a delicious cappuccino; the apple tart tatin with blue cheese compote; and the end-of-meal dense chocolate truffles.
The little nighttime luxuries at Franschhoek Country House are so sweet. These range from the ‘I need some me time’ message on the door hanger to a tiny chocolate left on the pillow with the next day’s weather forecast; and slippers left at the turned-down bed. Of course, we also lit the fire and spent a while in front of its warmth – though there’s also underfloor heating, so you may well find yourself sitting on the floor (out of choice)!
This is the selection of ‘gownie shots’ I have to work with. Not easy to come by as gowns are only available by special request from reception, and by the time we took the snaps Husband was done with posing nicely and smiling on demand. Lol!
Sunday, 20 May 2018: FCH breakfast buffet; visit the animals at Butterfly World
Taking in that ‘just been rained on’ view with a quick coffee brewed in the room before heading down for breakfast.
What a breakfast spread! See various cold meats and cheeses, freshly cut fruits, yoghurts, and cereals – I couldn’t resist a scoop of the bright pink Strawberry Pops!
From the hot breakfast menu, we opted for filter coffee and the waffle with bananas, bacon and berries (me); and glasses of juice with the eggs benedict, topped with both spinach and folded ham (husband). Also, look at the tiny bite-size croissant!
Taking a slow stroll back to our room. Note Husband is in long pants and covered shoes during the day here, a rare sighting that tells you it was pretty darn chilly.
Once we’d checked out, we couldn’t resist this road that whispered, “Follow me…”
We made what we thought would be a quick detour to see the Butterfly World tropical garden, but there’s so much more than that on the grounds that we stayed a good two hours. See Husband enjoying a plate of curry and rice while it drizzled.
There’s lots of lush greenery and birdies flitting around along with the butterflies. Also, many interesting take-away trinkets to look at.
We braved the rain (there are clear umbrellas to collect before stepping outside) and you can just see the butterflies drying out.
While the butterflies were lovely, they flitted around so fast we couldn’t take any pics. There are so many sweet rescued animals all around though that before you realise it, you’ve spent hours wandering around in awe at nature.
Look at the little critters! Some were friendly, some were shy, all were precious. We have a video of the birdie scratching it’s way over Husband’s arm and then leaping scarily at my shiny phone.
That’s all, folks! Hope you have a relaxing weekend. Cheers!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Franschhoek Country House and Monneaux were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
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
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.
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…
Look at that loveliness! View of the wintery outside, bread board with porcini truffle butter, carrot arancini, and grapefruit salad.
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!
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.
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
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.
I also had some pre-Mother’s Day snuggles with the doglets as would only see them again the following day. Such cuties!
Next stop, Sea Point! The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel towers above the Queens Beach corner of Sea Point, and is impressive from any angle.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Is there anything prettier than the sun setting over the sea? (No, there’s not.)
View from our room of the sea-facing main (cold) pool below.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
More breakfast! Assorted juices; cold meats, fruits and cheeses; the egg and omelette station; and Husband’s plate, including kipper.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
Little Bassie is now 11 years old and we had a wonderful time celebrating her special day last weekend, as you’ll see from the pics below…
Thursday, 29 March 2018: First fire of 2018
It was rather chilly last Thursday evening, so we lit our first fire of the year in the fireplace. I warmed my bare feet while the doggies happily huddled nearby – Bassie is on the couch, if you’re trying to spot her.
Friday, 30 March 2018: Cup & Cake breakfast on Good Friday
After a leisurely lie-in we decided on Cup & Cake in Eden on the Bay for breakfast. See my caramel latte to start the day.
The food was so good! I had the French Toast sandwich with banana, sweet fried onions and cream cheese while Husband had a classic eggs benedict.
It was a cold day, overall, as is usual for Good Friday – note the Winter grey sky and green sea. Note that Husband was just exploring along the coastline, he did not take a dip.
We picked up some Good Friday treats, to last throughout the long Easter weekend.
Bassie pretended to not be interested in the chocolate hot-cross buns. See her ‘not looking at the foodies’ face on the second shot.
Saturday, 31 March 2018: Musselling in Bloubergstrand
Surprise! We’d just ordered our food and drinks for breakfast at News Cafe with brother-in-law Spec on Saturday morning (he’d slept over at ours) when Mum and Dad walked in! See our various coffees topped with foam hearts and elephants, early bird breakfast specials and the City Slicker eggs benedict Husband ordered for a change.
Proof we were all there.
Then it was time for musselling with Husband’s family, just down the road at Bloubergstrand. All equipped with permits and a suitably low tide, they were ready to wade in.
This lovely golden retriever doggie came bounding over to sit with me after his dip in the sea. His name was Charlie.
You can just make out the mussellers near the rocks here.
We decided on liquid treats at Saint’s in Eden on the Bay later that afternoon. See Spec’s blueberry mojito, my Insomniac shake and Husband’s ‘Fat Mary’ – a bloody Mary topped with candied bacon. Yum!
Husband finally had his proper dip in the sea that afternoon.
The mussels had since been cleaned and cooked, and were eaten as a starter by the others at the braai at the parents later that afternoon. There was also a ‘rosbif’ (roast beef) braaied on the Weber-spit with taters, and lots of veg.
Of course there were all sorts of Easter goodies for dessert. Also see the doggies sitting sweetly.
Bassie was very interested in all the Easter treats but received her own doggy treats as it was the day before her birthday.
Sunday, 1 April 2018: Easter Sunday and Bassie’s 11th birthday
Bassie got lots of special birthday girl attention on Sunday. See Bertie just under Husband’s arm, not willing to move out of the photo.
Surprise (again!) We had just ordered our food and drinks at Mugg & Bean in Table Bay Mall on Sunday morning when Mum and Dad appeared! We moved to a bigger table to eat together. See dad’s ‘serious cappuccino’ and blueberry flapjacks on top, my banoffee French toast bottom left, Mum’s avo egg toast in the middle and Husband’s M&M Classic.
We stopped in at Eden Cafe for our Sunday afternoon treats. See my passionfruit shake and Husband’s Castle Lite.
Various attempts at getting the birthday girl to look happy in her birthday-hat pic this year (her hat is smaller than the one the rest of us wear, but still a little big for her).
Mmm. We’d brought along a malva pudding-style sticky-toffee baked pudding for Easter dessert.
Monday, 2 April 2018: Family Day doggy beach walks
We breakfasted at Cafe Lacomia in our nearest Builder’s Warehouse on Monday. See Husband’s sloppy joe, my toasted chicken mayo and my cafe mocha.
The weather was finally right for a doggie beach visit late on Monday morning.
Doggies running eagerly towards the sea with Husband.
We really kept things local this past long weekend. For our Monday treat we decided on an early-dins at Doodles…
See Husband’s linefish of the day (angelfish) with veg and baked potato, as well as my melt burger with pepper sauce and Bar-one shake.
The sea was crashing over the rocks with Table Mountain under a light cloudy duvet as we took the scenic route home.
I had a belated Easter treat with a cup of coffee in a reindeer mug that evening. Delicious!
That’s all, folks! Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s update, which will feature a visit from special friend, Gords. Have a happy weekend 🙂
It was another working weekend for Husband but the good news is, we’re about to see the last of them (and his stint as Marvin) as he’s back on normal shifts! Celebrate with us! But first, scroll through our latest favourite moments of the week below…
Friday, 14 July 2017: Christmas in July and the Quarterdeck buffet
Our Entertainment committee rustled up a very festive ‘Christmas in July’ table to enjoy after our monthly staff meeting on Friday. Look at all the food and drink, you’d swear it was snowing outside with jingle bells a-ringing.
We even dressed to theme!
How very ‘Western Christmassy’ – a mug of hot chocolate and choc-chip cookie.
Remember I attended the IMC a few weeks ago? Well, I won a dinner for two at the Quarterdeck Restaurant in GrandWest Casino for my tweeting during the event (yay). That’s where we dined last Friday evening. It’s just like a buffet on a sea-going ship, so go prepared with an empty belly! The doors only open at 7pm but we were early eager beavers, clearly.
Behold the colourful mini salad bowls. You could also create your own, but I went with one of these as a pre-starter.
Many plates later, it was time for dessert! The choices take up a whole side of the ‘ship’ restaurant (that’s the one inside GrandWest Casino, not the pirate ship in the parking lot) – boy, was it hard to choose what to add to our plates. See the waffle station, the mini desserts, the ice cream counter with all sorts of toppings and Husband’s caramelly ice cream bowl.
My first dessert plate – a red velvet waffle topped with toffee and chocolate sauce, mini Astros and tiny marshmallows; a fudgey chocolate cake slice; a profiterole; a soft pink coconut marshmallow; and mini tiramisu.
Saturday, 15 July 2017: Italian Club gnocchi
T’was a cold day. I spent much of it reading and sorting our taxes while Husband was at work. Note to self: A creamy coffee and salted caramel nuts make such a good snack while reading!
As it was such a cold Saturday, the moment Husband was done with work we headed off to the Italian Club for bowls of gnocchi bolognese. Perfect winter comfort food, especially with a coffee shake or glass or red, depending on your preferences.
Sunday, 16 July 2017: More local Italian treats
I went for a quick treat with Mum and Dad at the newly opened Trescatelli on Blouberg beach front Sunday morning. It was packed! And no wonder, with the cannoli so fresh and crisp, the coffees strong and the cafe crema, a lovely coffee ice cream blend. Yum!
Mum had also whipped up a batch of these chocolate-rose water delights when we went over for lupper. They had a lovely Turkish Delight taste.
The doggies snuggled up under a blanket on the couch for most of the evening.
Tuesday, 18 July 2017: Mandela Day posing
Tuesday was Mandela Day, so a few of us dressed in Madiba-themed clothes at work and posed for a ‘Madiba shuffle’ Boomerang and pic. We also encouraged donations to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Thursday, 20 July 2017: Yo Yoga Cape Town’s 21-day yoga challenge
My colleague Ilse joined me for Yo Yoga’s 21-day yoga challenge on Thursday morning, where I bumped into another conference friend, Jenna – read all about the challenge here. We survived 40 minutes of bikram yoga in 45’C heat!
A few pics of our time in the studio. That’s me tweeting away before we got down to business.
Post-yoga treats – Vita Coco coconut water and all sorts of Superfood snacks – even dark chocolate! Mmm.
Weather on the way back to the office after the yoga session – cloudy and cold!
That’s all, folks! Stay well and warm. 🙂