T’was the Freedom Day long weekend in SA last weekend, so we had time to fit in lots of fun moments.
We were also lucky enough to be reviewing a mini version of the winter lifestyle package at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch, so this week’s post is jampacked with mouth-watering food and breathtaking views. See for yourself…
Friday, 27 April 2018: Go-karting at Century Karting
We had a later-than-usual breakfast brunch on Friday as didn’t have to get up with an alarm. See my chai latte and enormous croissant with bacon, brie and blueberries, as well as side salad. Husband had the mince on toast topped with an egg. All this at the Foodlover’s Market on Sandown.
Husband had spotted the Century Karting track when we made a miss-turn in the parking lot of Canal Walk, and as keen to give it ago with his dad, brother and father-in-law. They went zooming around the track so fast that the bottom right blurred pic is about the clearest ‘action shot’ I managed to snap.
Team photo of the proud racers. The sons had more aches and pains the following day than the dads.
We also spent some quality time with the puppers that eve. They’re such sweeties.
We dined at Petisco’s with brother-in-law Spec that evening. Their creamy chicken xai-xai fillet is amazing!
Pink sunset from the balcony at Petisco’s that evening.
Saturday, 28 April 2018: Massage, four-course lunch and ice-cream wine pairing at Clos Malverne
We had a quick earlybird breakfast with Spec at News Cafe first thing on Saturday, then it was time to set off for our grand adventure…
Such pretty scenery on the road to Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Blue skies, check. Green valleys, check. Chirpy birdsong, check. Before we knew it, we were at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley.
Our first stop – the spa! We were treated to back, neck and shoulder massages, as well as time in the steam room to unwind. There were Ferrero Rochers awaiting us on the massage table pillows. Such a lovely start.
Feeling relaxed after our massages, we were ready for the four-course lunch that lay ahead. But first, where to sit? So many appealing options at the Clos Malverne restaurant…
The bright, happy painting in the restaurant was so fitting for the Freedom Day long weekend in South Africa.
We sat in a corner of the sun-dappled balcony with panoramic views of the vines and valley ahead.
This is why it’s called a ‘meal with a view’ at Clos Malverne. See my starter butternut-goat’s cheese arancini and Husband’s half-shell mussells in Thai curry broth.
Mmm. See Husband’s fillet steak topped with asparagus spears and springbok samosas on top, with my bacon-wrapped chicken fillet and pork belly below. Such beautiful plating, with tastes to match!
Loved the mini apple rolled in poppyseeds that accompanied my pork belly (it tasted of pear). Also see our desserts – the ‘savoury sweet’ on top is a butternut-chilli-caramel cheesecake, with the ‘white dark chocolate’ mousse below.
If you thought we would be full by then, you obviously haven’t heard of Clos Malverne’s ice cream-wine pairing. This is not part of the lifestyle package but definitely worth booking as part of your stay. Flavours range from the ‘lemongrass, chilli and litchi’ as paired with a flute of MCC to the orange, ‘gluhwein and star-anise’, paired with a sweet dessert wine. Full descriptions to follow on Bizcommunity!
Next stop, nap time. The rooms are named after wine varietals, with views of the valley and amazing pool. Husband was clearly amused at the wonderful simplicity of the TV remote!
Look. At. That. Pool! But it was too pretty to just lounge around and look at, despite the icy water…
Proof of our pool time. We lounged beside it and also had a quick dip – t’was super chilly!
A slight variation of our usual ‘gowns in luxurious spaces’ photo. These were super soft and fluffy.
‘Clos’ means ‘walled vineyard’ and the vines sure are well protected on the farm. We went for a walk as desk set in and marvelled at the beauty of the setting sun over the mountains. See the rising moon in the last picture.
Sunday, 29 April 2018: Elevenses at Helena’s, Root 44 Market and the Stellenbosch Flying Club
This looks like a very good Sunday morning to me. See the sunrise, coffee on the balcony, fruit parfaits left in the fridge for our in-room breakfast, and fluffy brown cows grazing in the adjacent field. Then it was time to leave.
We took the long road home, with quite a few stops along the way as the typical Cape country scenery is all the more beautiful in the heart of Stellenbosch.
That included an explore of the sides of Stellenbosch we’d not yet seen, like this giant wheel.
Helena’s Restaurant in the Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel was so charming that we had to stop in for ‘elevenses’ or second breakfast – just a cappuccino for me, while Husband had the salmon eggs benedict. Delicious.
If you’re in Stellenbosch on a Sunday morning, chances are you’ll end up at the Root 44 Market, drooling over various crafts and foods. These looked amazing! Colourful confections at the market.
A corn dog for everyone, no matter your tastes.
The Stellenbosch Flying Club was our very last stop on our way out of town for a look around at the planes.
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my full, wordy review on Bizcommunity…
This is what we came for – it’s wonderful!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Clos Malverne were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
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!
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.
Another week has come and passed, and here we are again, looking back at the past seven days’ highlights…
Saturday, 9 April 2016: Foodlover’s Market breakfast, Espana paella and Burgundy Estate sunsets
Ha! This was too funny not to snap a pic of. While walking through our local Foodlover’s Market on Saturday morning Husband struck a pose near these marked-down Easter chocs. ‘Foiled again!’
Once we reached the eating area we ordered my cafe latte right away.
Husband peppered up his omelette and washed it down with a breakfast Cola.
I went with the ‘Bar-One and banana pancakes’. They were delicious.
Of course we headed to the beach once the day started to heat up. There was such a low tide that Husband waded right in and plucked some mussels, which he cooked and ate at home.
Me? I was happy to sit in the shade and catch up on some reading.
Just look at that clear sea!
Not ready to go home just yet we headed on to Moyo at Eden at the Bay in Big Bay and had these delightful drinks – a Turkish Delight shake for me, and tiki cocktail for Husband.
Husband sipping on his cocktail…
Of course I had my face painted. Apologies for the squinting, you couldn’t see the intricate pattern in full when we tried the same shot with my sunnies on. Note our feet were in the water as we sat at the ‘surfboard tables’.
We bought a box of white marshmallow eggs – marked down to R24 for 24 at our local Pick n Pay. Look at how well my manicure matches the wrapper!
And before we knew it, the day was nearing its close. This is the gorgeous sunset we snapped from the balcony at Espana in Burgundy Estate. Husband and dad played a round of golf then we all sat down to a pan of paella. So yummy.
Husband and mum, enjoying their paella…
Dad and me doing the same thing at our end of the table. I’d rubbed off much of the Moyo face paint by then.
Then we looked outside and noticed the beautiful colours of the sky.
Dad and me had our photo taken in front of the pretty sky…
As did Husband and mum.
Sunday, 10 April 2016: Spur breakfast, doggy beach walk
This was my Spur cafe latte first thing on Sunday.
My furry son loves swimming in the sea.
Little Miss Bass also had a lovely time scrambling over rocks – much more adventurous than her usual safe trots along the coastline.
Only one of us is smiling in this pic but we’re all happy, I promise. And Bertie’s running around in the back, we didn’t leave him at the beach – despite how much he’d love that.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016: Working at The River Club
My office for the day on Tuesday was the River Club in Observatory. I was there to cover a media launch in the morning and a business meeting in the afternoon. What a relaxing setting.
Pretty protea as part of the table decor at the River Club.
The eye-catching lights in the stairwell at the River Club.
My lunch meeting at The River Club included their ‘famous’ beef burger and chips. I washed this all down with a coffee shake.
Husband snapped this shot of sunset that evening from our rooftop.
Wednesday, 13 April 2016: Palm tree sunset
I caught a later bus home than usual on Wednesday as I covered an event close to the office after work. This is what sunset looked like when we passed Woodbridge Island on the bus. Love those palm trees.
That’s all, folks! Have a fun-filled weekend. 🙂