Tag Archives: Franschhoek

Father-in-Law’s 76th birthday, a rainy stay at Franschhoek’s Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

Last weekend was cold and rainy – perfect for a weekend away in Franschhoek! But first, we had some family celebrating to do…

Friday, 12 April 2019: Father-in-law’s birthday dins at Portalia

Saturday was Husband's father's 76th birthday, so we all joined him at Portalia last Friday evening to celebrate. See the fairy lights in the outside seating area, proof we were all there, the dads having a drink together, my dad's flambeed chorizo meal and some of our pizzas, and my Amarula coffee.
Saturday was Husband’s father’s 76th birthday, so we all joined him at Portalia last Friday evening to celebrate. See the fairy lights in the outside seating area, proof we were all there, the dads having a drink together, my dad’s flambeed chorizo meal and some of our pizzas, and my Amarula coffee.
See the boys' end-of-evening whisky dom pedros.
See the boys’ end-of-evening whisky dom pedros.
The weather was quite wintery when we got home that evening so we snuggled with the little doggies and noticed a rainbow just after sunrise the next morning.
The weather was quite wintery when we got home that evening so we snuggled with the little doggies and noticed a rainbow just after sunrise the next morning.

Saturday, 13 April 2019: Lunch at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, night stay at Akademie Street Boutique Hotel

We started our Saturday with breakfast at Mugg & Bean in Bayside Mall. See my peanut-butter latte and avo-rainbow slaw toast, as well as Husband's egg-and-bacon toast, Coke Zero and cafe crema.
We started our Saturday with breakfast at Mugg & Bean in Bayside Mall. See my peanut-butter latte and avo-rainbow slaw toast, as well as Husband’s egg-and-bacon toast, Coke Zero and cafe crema.
Next stop, Husband treated us to a couple's massage at Aiyara Thai Spa in Eden on the Bay.
Next stop, Husband treated us to a couple’s massage at Aiyara Thai Spa in Eden on the Bay. We were prodded and pummeled with Tiger Balm for a good 45-minutes, to ease the stresses of the first quarter of the year.
We stopped at Anthonij Rupert Wyne on the very outskirt of Franschhoek's main road on our way into town for lunch. Once our appointment was ticked off at the gate we parked and made our way into the tasting area, all decked out for Easter.
Next, road trip! We stopped at Anthonij Rupert Wyne on the very outskirts of Franschhoek’s main road on our way into town for lunch. Once our appointment was ticked off at the gate we parked and made our way into the tasting area, all decked out for Easter.
See Terra del Capo's fresh-out-the-oven breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in upcycled Protea wine bottles, Husband's Franschhoek trout and smoked salmon antipasti dishes, and the 'digestifs' trolley with cocktail options.
See Terra del Capo’s fresh-out-the-oven breads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in upcycled Protea wine bottles, Husband’s Franschhoek trout and smoked salmon antipasti dishes, and the ‘digestifs’ trolley with cocktail options.
Mmm. My sweet potato gnocchi was the highlight of the meal at Anthonij Rupert Wyne's Terra del Capo, as one of the handful of warm dishes on the summer menu.
Mmm. My sweet-potato gnocchi with hazelnuts, pancetta and Tallegio cheese was the highlight of the meal at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, as one of the handful of warm dishes on the summer menu.
We're yet to sample the high tea at Anthonij Rupert Wyne's Terra del Capo, but if the desserts are anything to go by, they're a must! See my cappuccino - Terbodore's hazelnut blend, with a sweet iced bunny biscuit, as well as the berry-topped chocolate torte and the mini 'crossover cake' - a mix of cheesecake and carrot cake. We just managed to finish these between the two of us.
We’re yet to sample the high tea at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo, but if the desserts are anything to go by, they’re a must! See my cappuccino – Terbodore’s hazelnut blend, with a sweet iced bunny biscuit, as well as the berry-topped chocolate torte and the mini ‘crossover cake’ – a mix of cheesecake and carrot cake. We just managed to finish these between the two of us.
Cheers! There was a roaring fire blazing in the upstairs wine-tasting room, a quaint car waiting down below, and delicious wines to imbibe. Click here for my full review on Bizcommunity!
Cheers! There was a roaring fire blazing in the upstairs wine-tasting room, a quaint car waiting down below, and delicious wines to imbibe. Click here for my full review on Bizcommunity!
Home for the night - Akademie Street Boutique Hotel in Franschhoek. Perfect for a winter stay, scroll through to see why!
Home for the night – Akademie Street Boutique Hotel in Franschhoek. Perfect for a winter stay, scroll through to see why!
Some of the eye-catching things in and around Akademie Street Boutique Hotel. That's Husband with a Bluetooth-activated gramophone, so you power your choice of songs from your phone. The 'Africa' art bottom right comprises booklike paper folds.
Some of the eye-catching things in and around Akademie Street Boutique Hotel. That’s Husband with a Bluetooth-activated gramophone, so you power your choice of songs from your phone. The ‘Africa’ art bottom right comprises booklike paper folds.
Views of windows, from windows and maps from Akademie Street Boutique Hotel.
Views of windows, from windows and the cute hand-drawn map from Akademie Street Boutique Hotel.
The main pool - bottom-left - has a jacuzzi at one end. Also see the private pool and jacuzzi outside out cottage's suites in the top-let and bottom-right. Consider us two waterbabies delighted!
The main pool – bottom-left – has a jacuzzi at one end. Also see the private pool and jacuzzi outside out cottage’s suites in the top-left and bottom-right. Consider us two waterbabies delighted!
We stayed in Gelatenheid A. Some of the sections of our suite: See the wall of books and mirrors, freestanding bath tub and heated towel rails - not used, balcony as seen from the hot tub and bed at the centre of the suite.
We stayed in Gelatenheid A. Some of the sections of our suite: See the wall of books and mirrors, freestanding bath tub and heated towel rails – not used, balcony as seen from the hot tub and bed at the centre of the suite.
One of my favourite labels ever: "Come quickly, I am tasting the stars." This was a lovely welcome treat - thank you Akademie Street!
One of my favourite labels ever: “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars.” This MCC Brut was a lovely welcome treat – thank you Akademie Street!
There's nothing nicer than hot-tubbing when it's bucketing down outside. As the barrel-shaped hot tub is wood-fired, we were happy and toasty all afternoon.
There’s nothing nicer than hot-tubbing when it’s bucketing down outside. As the barrel-shaped hot tub is wood-fired, we were happy and toasty all afternoon.
As sunset started to streak the sky, we reluctantly got out of the hot tub for a spot of exploring.
As sunset started to streak the sky, we reluctantly got out of the hot tub for a spot of exploring.
The gardens are quiet and filled with pretty things, like these statues and wooden works of art. Take a stroll, weather permitting!
The gardens are quiet and filled with pretty things, like these statues and wooden works of art. Take a stroll around the grounds, weather permitting!
See Husband strolling down from our suite to the Orangerie area for pre-dinner drinks, snacks and games. He also played the piano for a while.
See Husband strolling down from our suite to the Orangerie area for pre-dinner drinks, snacks and games. He also played the piano for a while.
For dins, we walked down to the Elephant & Barrel Village Pub on main road around 7pm. I had a delicious coffee shake, Husband had a Castle Lite draught, and as we were still so full from our lunch at Terra del Capo, we shared the potato wedges with sour cream, guacamole and curry mayo. Yum!
For dins, we walked down to the Elephant & Barrel Village Pub on main road around 7pm. I had a delicious coffee shake, Husband had a Castle Lite draught, and as we were still so full from our lunch at Terra del Capo, we shared the potato wedges with sour cream, guacomole and curry mayo. Yum!
Lol! This night's stay featured straw sun hats in the standard gownie photo. See four of the numerous attempts at this photo.
Lol! This night’s stay featured straw sun hats in the standard gownie photo. See four of the numerous attempts at this photo.
Our full bellies and the sound of rain outside meant we slept very well that night.
Our full bellies and the sound of rain outside meant we slept very well that night.

Sunday, 14 April 2019: Doggy beach walks at Kreeftebaai

Scenes from breakfast on Sunday morning. See the pastry selection, platter of fruits, granola, yoghurt, smoothies and honey on each table, as well as the Le Creuset coffee carafe and our hot orders - eggs benedict with bacon for Husband and pancakes with bacon and honey for me.
Scenes from breakfast on Sunday morning. See the pastry selection, platter of fruits, granola, yoghurt, smoothies and honey on each table, as well as the Le Creuset coffee carafe and our hot orders – eggs benedict with bacon for Husband and pancakes with bacon and honey for me.
Husband walking with an umbrella to our checkout on Sunday morning. See the nice sign at the empty bicycle rack - "I don't ride a bike to add days to my life, I ride a bike to add life to my days."
Husband walking with an umbrella to our checkout on Sunday morning. See the nice sign at the empty bicycle rack – “I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life, I ride a bike to add life to my days.”
Terbodore coffee's Big Dog Cafe was closed as we made our way out of Franschhoek on Sunday, but the Terbo Truck looked inviting - will try stop in on our next visit!
Terbodore coffee’s Big Dog Cafe was closed as we made our way out of Franschhoek on Sunday, but the Terbo Truck looked inviting – will try stop in on our next visit!
We took the doglets for nice long walkies at the beach that afternoon. See Bertie and his dad in the sea while Bassie steered me toward the safety of the dunes.
We took the doglets for nice long walkies at the beach that afternoon. See Bertie and his dad in the sea while Bassie steered me toward the safety of the dunes.
More beach walkies at Kreeftebaai.
More beach walkies at Kreeftebaai.

That’s all, folks! We hope you’re having a relaxing Easter long weekend. πŸ™‚ Click here for my full review of our lunch experience at Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Terra del Capo on Bizcommunity, with my review of Akademie Street Boutique Hotel to follow soon. Tune in for my next update next week – same time, same place. πŸ™‚

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

Allee Bleue’s #MayDayMeander preview, Dinner on the Crystal Serenity and family housewarming

This past week has been jam-packed on the work and home front, as you’ll see from the pics below…

Thursday, 7 March: #MayDayMeander at Allee Bleue

Nutella marshmallow hot chocolate at Tasha's
After a brief stint in the office before the sun had fully risen, I met a friend at Tasha’s at the V&A Waterfront for a quick work-related chat, over Nutella-marshmallow hot chocolate. Yum!
Allee Bleue
Next stop, a media tour for the day in Franschhoek. Welcome to Allee Bleue! This translates to ‘blue avenue’ and makes sense when you take in all the blue Eucalyptus trees and touches of blue dotted throughout the grounds.
Taking in some of the scenery at Allee Bleue.
Taking in some of the scenery at Allee Bleue.
Drizzle in Franschhoek
The drizzle was on and off, which made for lovely Franschhoek landscape photos.
Herbs at Allee Bleue
Freshly plucked herbs feature strongly in Allee Bleue’s tasting options.
Allee Bleue mayday meander
More of the herby bites and sights along the way as we continued our May Day Meander preview around the grounds of Allee Bleue.
Allee Bleue May Day Meander
Mmm. Even more of the stops along the way – keep in mind the whole ‘meander’ only takes an hour or so, meaning we were taking in lots of food, drink and information in that time.
Lunch at Allee Bleue
Finally all meandered out, it was time for lunch. See the blue hydrangeas on the table and some of the lovely eats we were treated to. Not seen in these pics – the sweet grey squirrels that roam the property.

Friday, 8 March 2019: Table View sunsets

Table Mountain
You can just see Table Mountain popping out a very blue shoulder behind our yellow house here – view on my walk home from the bus…
Gas stove
Husband happily putting the gas stove to the test.
Sunset
Such pretty sunsets, as seen from home on Friday evening.

Saturday, 9 March 2019: Family housewarming braai

Breakfast at Reload.
It was a ‘breakfast at Reload’ type of Saturday, as we’re now walking distance from the Flamingo Vlei branch. See my peppermint-choc latte and smashed-avo bagel, as well as Husband’s cooked breakfast with triple-shot espresso. Love the kudu-painted wall.
Housewarming braai
The boxes are all unpacked so we held a housewarming braai at our house that afternoon.
Housewarming braai
Various snaps as the sun went down on our housewarming braai.
Braai food
Braai food! See the cheese and crackers, strawberry mousse and Don’s famous lemony chicken wings.
Dog on lap
Bassie prefers to sit on a lap when there are many other folk around. Her uncle Spec slept over but the rest all made their way back to their own homes as all live nearby.

Sunday, 10 March 2019: Carlucci’s breakfast

Breakfast at Carlucci's
We set off for Carlucci’s, just down the road from home, for Sunday breakfast. See my dirty chai latte and Husband peppering his plate.
Breakfast at Carlucci's
Our full table of food. See my dirty chai latte and chocolate croissant, the brothers’ flat whites, Husband’s Coke Zero and egg-topped mince on toast, as well as well as Spec’s classic breakfast plate.
De Villiers chocolate and Prosecco
We sampled some of our housewarming gifts on Sunday afternoon – see the dry Prosecco and assorted De Villiers chocolate slabs.
Dog wants to come inside house
Little Bassie hasn’t quite figured out all the ins and outs of the new house yet so will often wait outside until we see her and let her in.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019: Six-star dining aboard Crystal Serenity’s Waterside Restaurant

Blueberry shake at Panama Jacks
Cheers! We got to the V&A Waterfront’s Cruises Terminal a little earlier than necessary for our six-star dining experience after work on Tuesday evening, so had a quick drink at Panama Jacks first, as we could see the Crystal Serenity clearly from our table outside. See Husband’s carafe of red blend and my blueberry shake.
Crystal Serenity
We got to explore most of the nooks and crannies of the Crystal Serenity. There’s so much to see! Note the local bagpipers behind Husband in the bottom-left pic. They were boarding for the night’s performance.
Crystal Serenity
Some of the lovely sights we saw onboard the Crystal Serenity.
Sights aboard the Crystal Serenity
Even more things aboard the Crystal Serenity.
Crystal Serenity kids room
As seen on the wall of the kiddies’ room of the Crystal Serenity.
Dinner at Waterside restaurant on Crystal Serenity
We were also treated to dinner at Crystal Serenity’s Waterside restaurant. See my parma ham-topped gnocchetti, Husband sipping away at the endless supply of wine, food being professionally snapped, as well as Husband’s starter of ‘Ahi tuna tartare and scallop crudo, and main of broiled corvina on a tomato rice pilaf.
Dinner at Waterside Restaurant
Six-star dins? Don’t mind if I do! See my roast duckling, Husband’s vanilla creme brulee, and my coconut-chocolate trifle and cappuccino.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019: Heavy Chef’s ‘Instagram for Business’ masterclass at Workshop 17

Heavy Chef at Workshop 17
Wednesday was gloomy and wet, which made some of the sights around Workshop 17 all the more eye-catching. See the turquoise-and-gold striped rhino, as well as snacks and treats in the Heavy Chef masterclass. Click here for my overview of the event!

That’s all, folks. Click here for more on the #MayDayMeander, here for more on our Crystal Serenity experience and here for more on Workshop 17’s ‘Instagram for Business’ masterclass. Over and out! πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals at Allee Bleue and at Crystal Serenity’s Waterside restaurant were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

A stay at Franschhoek’s La Petite Ferme and Christmas in Blouberg

This has been our most family-filled Christmas in a long time, as we got to celebrate with both sets of parents as well as extended family on both sides. We were also lucky enough to start our December holiday with a stay at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek, what a magical place!

Our souls are happy and bellies full – you’ll see why from all the snaps below…

Friday, 22 December 2018: Holiday waffles and Blowfish dins

Waffles at Milky Lane
Mum and Dad treated me to a waffle at Milky Lane in Table Bay Mall to mark my first day of holiday last Friday. See my Crunchie waffle, Dad’s lemon meringue version and Mum’s churro ice cream cup that looked just like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.
Coffee at Limnos Bakery
By then, Husband was done with his morning of work so he joined us for a strong flat white at Limnos Bakery in the mall. Let the holidays begin!
Swimming in the sea
The colours at the beachfront were just gorgeous that afternoon. If you look closely, you’ll spot Husband waving from the waves.
Pasta at Blowfish
We started the weekend with an early lupper at the Blowfish restaurant in Dolphin Beach that afternoon. See Husband’s seafood pasta and my butternut-feta gnocchi.

Saturday, 22 December 2019: A stay at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek

Single eggs benedict at Bread & Butter
Bread & Butter in Sunningdale has extended its trading hours over the festive season, so that’s where we had our early Saturday morning breakfast. See our flat whites and single eggs benedicts – Mexican for Husband. bacon for me. Bellies full, we were ready for a road trip…
Franschhoek farms
We were excited to see a different side of Franschhoek that weekend, as we were reviewing a night at La Petite Ferme, set on the foot of the Oliphant’s Pass. See fields of lavender and the lush green maze of Terbidor’s Big Dog Cafe on our way into town.
La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek
Views of the valley, vineyards and vino at La Petite Ferme – ‘the little farm’. It’s different from the typical ‘Main Road Franschhoek’ accommodation as you’re situated up above the town with a view of the mountain on the one side and on the other, twinkly lights of the valley below. Highly recommended!
La Petite Ferme
We were lucky to stay in the Provencale Vineyard Suite as the accommodation is pure luxury, complete with a view of the blue mountains and vineyards right from the bathtub, and delicious cookies at the in-suite coffee station.
La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek
Some of the scenery around our private cottage suite – inviting shady tree-lined walkways, a welcome bowl of fruit, and of course our private pool.
Private pool at La Petite Ferme
View of our private pool from the main living area of the suite. It was heavenly!
Swimming in green pool
Husband spent most of his afternoon in the pool. The dark green tiles made it feel like we had slipped into the background and were part of nature.
Wine-tasting at La Petite Ferme.
I’ll drink to that! Husband enjoying a taste of La Petite Ferme’s oak-barreled Chardonnay.
Wine tasting at La Petite Ferme
Guests are welcome to a private wine tasting and tour of the vines on the property. See the five wines we sampled, each paired with a specific savoury bite from the kitchen. Watch for my full wordy review on Bizcommunity in the new year!
La Petite Ferme
Mr and Mrs Andrews making their way from their suite to the restaurant – we couldn’t stop gazing at that beautiful view!
Sunset at La Petite Ferme
Sunset signals supper time at La Petite Ferme. See the magical glow over the mountains and valley below – you can just spot me in the picture on the top-left.
Dinner at La Petite Ferme
The food tasted as good as it looked. See our breadboard, including charcoal rolls with harissa paste, two views of our shared zucchini roll starter and our mains – the deboned whole trout for Husband, and the pulled lamb for me. Both were all so delicious we left our plates clean. Not pictured – the caramel milkshake I slurped to the last drop.
Dinner at La Petite Ferme
A feast for the eyes before we’d even had a taste. See another view of our mains – lamb top-left and trout top-right, as well as our desserts – chocolate torte bottom-left and pumpkin doughnuts with peanut-butter ice-cream bottom-right.
Gowns at La Petite Ferme.
The ‘gownie shot’, once back in our suite that evening – this was the best option of about 20 takes, I promise.

Sunday, 23 December 2018: Peche Royale & ice cream sundae Sundays

Breakfast at La Petite Ferme.
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme is a treat, with so many delicious choices from the buffet table – see the pastries; fresh fruit and fish; my ‘first breakfast’ bowl of granola with berries, cranberry juice and cappuccino; and Husband’s beautiful plate of eggs Onassis – spinach, salmon and Hollandaise sauce.
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme
More of the buffet spread; along with my prettily plated hot breakfast order of French toast topped with bacon and cooked apple slivers; and my ‘third breakfast’ nutty pastry plait with cappuccino; as well as Husband enjoying his plate of eggs.
Peacock at La Petite Ferme
I’d heard about the beautiful peacocks at La Petite Ferme and we spotted a few during our stay – they often leapt into the trees to sing their odd ‘mewling’ cry. But more impressive that this…
Peahen and chick
Look! A little chick on the peahen’s back! Two eggs had just hatched during our stay.
Cocktails at Pakalolo's
After checking out we made our way back home, then stopped in at Pakalolo’s on the beachfront with Spec for Christmas cocktails that afternoon. See Husband’s bloody mary, Spec’s mojito and my ‘champagne mojito’, complete with sparkly MCC.
Peche Royale
The celebrations kept coming! We had Peche Royale sparkling peach, as well as salad and toasted sandwiches to literally ‘toast’ the start of the holidays with Spec at Mum’s house that afternoon. Also see our coconut ice cream with caramel sauce and Bertie’s Christmas present from his granny-grampa – a soft blue monkey, his newest best friend.

Monday, 24 December 2018: Blaauwberg Beach Hotel breakfast and Christmas Eve family dins

Breakfast at Blaauwberg Beach Hotel.
The Blaauwberg Beach Hotel has finally opened its doors, so we had breakfast at their Waves restaurant on Monday morning. See my peanut-butter waffle, Husband’s eggs royale and Spec’s breakfast taco. Portions are generous, so go hungry!
View from Blaauwberg Beach Hotel
Of course we explored the rest of the hotel, too – just look at the views from one of three pools! We’ll definitely be back once their cocktail bar opens in the new year.
Christmas Eve
Sweet little Bassie on Christmas Eve. She turned into a shy girl with so many family members saying hi at her grandparents’ house. The food was lovely, too – pre-ordered individual portions of chicken, gammon and ham with rice, roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower, carrots and butternut. Yum!
Christmas Eve
Merry Christmas Eve! The full family enjoying our festive feast.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018: Christmas lunch in Big Bay

Christmas breakfast at Woolworths Cafe
Woolworths Cafe was one of few places open for breakfast on Christmas Day, so that’s where we topped up our tummies again, this time on vanilla-cinnamon cappuccinos, flat whites, Labneh apple-toast and chorizo hash bowls. My parents also popped in for generous portions of scrambled eggs, bacon and avo on toast.
Big Bay view of Table Mountain
Merry Christmas! We spent much of the rest of the day at the beautiful new Big Bay house of relations on Mum’s side. See the slide-cover pool and view across the ocean to Table Mountain.
Christmas hats
See some of the Christmas day laughs captured here.
Kleinbaai Christmas
Full family (apart from Eleanor, taking the photo) at Christmas lunch at the Conradies’ newly built house. Also, Gillian presenting the beautiful Christmas tree starter Mum created.
Christmas lunch
Did we eat and eat! See the cheese, fruit and crackers; roast potatoes; Christmas pies – steak, chicken and venison; pigs in ‘scarves’ (their bacon ‘blankets’ shrunk in the cook); and the beautiful cheesecake made by my cousin, Erin. There was also homemade malva pudding with custard and Uncle Al’s bread-and-butter pudding.
Christmas dreams
No wonder some of us were very sleepy that evening, dreaming Christmassy dreams.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018: Day of Reconciliation (AKA: Christmas leftovers)

Early bird breakfast at News Cafe
We filled our bellies (again) with the early bird English breakfast special at News Cafe on Marine Circle.
Day of Reconciliation leftovers
Day of Reconciliation means lots of Christmas leftovers. We found ourselves back at Husband’s parents’ house with his extended relations for a final taste of Christmas. It was yummy but we are so done with cooked ham for a while!

That’s all, folks! We hope you had an equally delicious Christmas week. Excuse us while we try walk off some of those calories. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at La Petite Ferme were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Car-crazy Father’s Day in Franschhoek

This past weekend was Father’s Day, and this week the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity award week in full, so it’s been a super busy time, as you’ll see from the snaps below.

We went car crazy with the dads and took in not just one car museum but two, visiting the Wijnland Auto Museum before our appointment at the Franschhoek Motor Museum, followed by lunch in Franschhoek town itself…

Friday, 15 June 2018: A work farewell

Derry's on Carlyle
Friday was a dear colleague’s last day working with us so we went for an early team dins. See some of the snacks in office, my latte and shared slice of cheesecake at Derry’s on Carlyle in Vredehoek, and a group shot.

Saturday, 16 June 2018: News Cafe and Moyo eats and treats

News Cafe breakfast
It was a ‘News Cafe breakfast special’ kind of Saturday, see my early-bird English and cappuccino, as well as Husband’s flat white and bacon eggs benedict.
Moyo
It was very wintery weather so we decided on the Moyo pulled-lamb linguine for an early dins. I had a vanilla latte, Husband had a Castle draught and we also splurged on a set of the Chief of Greatness ‘communal shooters’ – Skyy infusions vanilla vodka, roasted hazelnut extracts and Cape Velvet chocolate liqueur.

Sunday, 17 June 2018: Father’s Day at the Franschhoek Motor Museum and Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery

Dog in bed
Bertie boy waiting for his dad to open his eyes so he could welcome him to Father’s Day with a big lick.
Dog on couch
Oh, my heart! Little Miss Bass having a Father’s Day snuggle with her dad.
Village Place Cafe breakfast
For Sunday breakfast, we stopped in at Village Place Cafe. See Husband’s eggy mince-on-toast, my berry-banana banting flapjacks and large caramel cappuccino – also the sweet mini cakes we spied, will have to go with enough belly-room for one next time!
Sunday sky
The sun shone through the streaky clouds, making for the prettiest Sunday roadtrip sky.
Old car
Our first stop in convoy was the Wijnland Auto Museum in Paarl, on the way to Franschhoek. We saw it all, from the delightfully old…
Rocket car
To the very new! Not sure which road is wide-enough to accommodate this rocket-car, it’s quite something.
Franschhoek
Ahh, Franschhoek! It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the country, especially in winter when they skies are grey, mountains blue and grass finally green from the much-needed rains.
Franschhoek Motor Museum tram
We got to the Franshhoek Motor Museum bang on time, boarded the tram from the parking lot and were ready to take in even more motor vehicles in the greenest surrounds.
Chapman's Peak painting at Franchhoek Motor Museum
The Franschhoek Motor Museum’s entry area features this bright, Chapman’s Peak-inspired artwork.
Franschhoek motor museum wine
Wine and art go well together, clearly. Some of the goods for sale in the Franschhoek Motor Museum’s main hall.
Terbodore coffee
We were told at reception to make the ‘Food truck hall’ our first stop, and we’re nothing if not good at following orders. See the queue for Terbodore coffee, a bowl of truffle-mayo fries and more.
Cars at Franschhoek Motor Museum
Next, we paused to watch a few cars go around the track. Some real beauts.
Cars at Franschhoek Motor Museum
Several cars were whizzed around the track at a leisurely pace, but the big halls are the main attraction. Just took at these old beauties!
Franschhoek Motor Museum
Each vehicle on display at the Franschhoek Motor Museum is worth a second look.
Glass-cased model cars
A quaint, glass-cased collection of model cars.
Tuk-tuk Microbrewery
By then there was more then one rumbling tum, so we high-tailed it to Tuk-tuk Microbrewery in the heart of Franschhoek for some grub.
Food at Tuk-tuk
Tucking into Tuk-tuk food. See the bowl of salty chips we shared, two of the ‘dogs’ on special – a Mexican and a chorizo, as well as my chicken chimichangas and the fish tostado.
Franschhoek sightseeing
We also strolled along the main street and stopped in at Leeu House right beside Tuk-Tuk for the dads to take photos next to Madiba and Gandhi. Plus, chocolates!
Dogs on couch
Precious doglets under a blanket on their Granny’s couch, much later that evening.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018: Family dins at Bossa with Gords

Kit-Kat on desk
Cannes Lions is one of the busiest, most stressful work weeks of the year, so I was fortified by headphones, coffee, and Kit-Kats that magically appeared on my desk. πŸ˜‰
Dam at sunset
How beautiful! The dam at Mellish Welbeloond reflected the sunset sky when we drove past on Wednesday evening for family dinner at Bossa in Burgundy Estate.
Stone-baked base pizza
This is what (some of us) came for – Stone-baked base pizza, burgers, beer and shakes. Yum!
Pizza at Bossa
Happy snaps of the family in eating mode. Gords was clearly down from Joburg for a visit, too.
Food at Bossa
See my mochaccino, as well as assorted burgers and pizzas. We finished everything between us, not a jot needed to be taken home in a doggy bag.
Family at Bossa
Gords’ view of the table. My happy Cape Town family! ❀

That’s all folks! Hope you have a restful, relaxing weekend ahead πŸ™‚

What to do in Franschhoek 2018: Stay at Franschhoek Country House, dine at Monneaux!

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

Sunset at Doodles
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

View from thePark 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!
Meltwater BizBreakfast at Park Inn Radisson
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.
Park Inn Radisson
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

Dog thinks he's a cat
A sweet moment with Bertie boy before we started all our weekend activities. Love that dog!
Flapjacks at airport Wimpy
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.
Road trip snacks
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.
Car museum tank
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!
Grounded airplane
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.
Autumn in Franschhoek
Autumnal scenes on the road into Franschhoek town.
Franschhoek win tram
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!
Franschhoek Literary Festival
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!
Lemons at Franschhoek Country House
Franschhoek Country House holds all the lemons and French country charm you could ever want. It’s like a painting.
Lemons at Franschhoek Country House
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.
Franschhoek Country House
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.
Monneaux at Franschhoek Country House
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 at Franschhoek Country House.
Fountains fountains everywhere. Note Husband examining them far off in the distance.
Pool at FCH
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!
Happy hour at FCH
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 at FCH
Sunset over the mountain from various angles, made even more delicious with a cup of coffee and rusk from our room.
Monneaux restaurant
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!
Monneaux meals
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.
Wines at Monneaux at Franschhoek Country House
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.
Desert at Monneaux
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.
Franschhoek Country House door hanger and fireplace
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)!
Gown photos
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

Coffee at FCH
Taking in that ‘just been rained on’ view with a quick coffee brewed in the room before heading down for breakfast.
Breakfast at Franschhoek Country House
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!
Hot breakfast at Franschhoek Country House
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!
Franschhoek Country House
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.
Road in Franschhoek
Once we’d checked out, we couldn’t resist this road that whispered, “Follow me…”
Butterfly World
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.
Butterfly World
There’s lots of lush greenery and birdies flitting around along with the butterflies. Also, many interesting take-away trinkets to look at.
Butterflies drying
We braved the rain (there are clear umbrellas to collect before stepping outside) and you can just see the butterflies drying out.
Butterfly World Zoo
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.
Guinea pigs and cockatiels at Butterfly World
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.

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 Franschhoek: Stay at Leeu Estates

This past weekend we had the opportunity to do a little pre-10th anniversary celebrating at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. I narrowed down the hundreds of photos we took to the following few, and hope they give you the sense that this was one of our most relaxing, fun and luxurious weekends yet…

Saturday, 12 August 2017:  Wine-tasting at Mullineux and Leeu, Tex-Mex dinner at Tuk-Tuk, Leeu House Madiba selfies

Leeu Estates in Franschhoek
Destination: Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, just 80km from Cape Town. Temperature: Cool, drizzly and wintery. Expectation levels: All-time high.
Reading room at Leeu Estates
It’s all warm smiles at Leeu Estates, and nothing is too big an ask for the staff. Every single member of the ‘Leeu pride’ was as pleasant and helpful as can be. So much so that I was presented with a cappuccino and we were taken on a quick refresher tour of the property before even reaching our room. We were almost tempted to spend all weekend in the cosy reading room with fully stocked bookshelf, board games, cheerfully blazing fire and inviting chess board.
Pool at Leeu Estates
This pool, perfectly reflecting the cloudy sky, must be just the thing in Summer. Imagine taking a quick dip then relaxing on a lounger while the sun licks away those water droplets.
Gyn at Leeu Estates
We also stopped in at the technogym and rivalled the gym bunny sculptures in our activity. Well, not quite…
Mullineux and Leeu
We barely had time to get acquainted with our amazing suite before it was time to be golf-carted up to the Mullineux and Leeu wine studio on the property for a wine tasting. It’s a warm, bright space with crackling fireplace and wall of glass that make a winter wine tasting all the more pleasurable, with excellent storytellers to explain the origins of each varietal, and when we examined our room a little more closely we noticed two dinky bottles of wine waiting to welcome us – cheers!
Giraffe at Mullineux and Leeu wine studio
The art-loving Leeu Collection’s Mr Singh’s presence is strong in the wine studio too, with this impressive giraffe at the entry as recently added as a week before our visit. I dare you not to take a height-comparison photo next to it, like we did.
Wine tasting at Mullineux and Leeu
Husband in his wine-tasting element.
Winter at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek
Winter is a wonderful year to visit the Cape winelands. Just look at the way the grey sky brings out the rich greens of those very well trimmed hedges on the walk back to Leeu Estates through the Bokkie Garden.
Leeu Estates
Sentried rows of lovely greenery in the bokkie garden between the main Manor House and the Mullineux and Leeu Wine Studio.
Reflective Resonance at Leeu Estates
This sculpture is titled ‘Reflective Resonance’. Husband couldn’t resist kicking off his shoes and mimicking the pose.
Lavender at Leeu Estates
Clouds. Mountains. Lavender. Breath-taking.
Steam room and heated pool at Leeu Estates
We made the most of our stay by changing into swim gear and then braving the icy temperature to leap into the steam room, and once suitably heated up made a swift dash into the very slightly heated pool with view out towards the Franschhoek Mountains. Refreshing, to say the least!
Rainbow at Leeu Estates
It’s only when I took the plunge (literally) and fully immersed myself in the pool that I noticed the rainbow right outside.
Bath at Leeu Estates
I love a room with a view, but a bath with a view? That’s the ultimate. We’ll have to return once the water restrictions have lifted to actually have a soak in that tub and sigh over the view.
Balcony at Leeu Estates
Husband did try out the shower though, and had a wonderful gown-whisky-balcony moment in the break between swimming and dins.
Balcony at Leeu Estates
One of the best balconies we’ve had the pleasure of relaxing from. Just look at that view!
Leeu Estates
We enjoyed that outside view so much that we barely snapped any pics of the inside of our suite, alas. See the bed and lounge on top, and the main lounge below where we spent a few minutes before dinner time.
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery in Franschhoek
Before we knew it, the complimentary Leeu Collection shuttle was ready to take us 2km into Franschhoek town for dinner at Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. It was well-lit, warm and completely buzzing when we got there at 7pm, so we were pleasantly surprised that service was super speedy.
Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
Instead of the standard wine tasting you can do a beer tasting at the Microbrewery, either of CBC’s brews (my bru) or of Tuk Tuk’s own brand of ales. Food-wise, everything is tasty Tex-Mex – note my impressively plated cheesy nachos with side of pulled beef, Husband’s manageable burger and fries and see how the photo of all the liquid on our table was photographed.
Churros at Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
For dessert, the churros with rich, warmly dripping dipping sauce are a must.
Franschhoek Leeu House and Le Quartier Francais
We had time for a quick after-dark stroll down the street to pose at the Madiba statue at Leeu House and greet the scary rabbit we remembered from our previous stay at Le Quartier Francais before the shuttle arrived to ferry us back to Leeu Estates for the night
Leeu Estates
Back in our room, Husband took full advantage of the underfloor heating, was impressed by the remote-controlled fireplace, and took in the pretty lights from the balcony before I noticed the cleaning fairies had left us a pre-anniversary surprise of tasty bedtime treats that we savoured right away and a bottle of MCC (which we brought home to crack open on our real anniversary).

Sunday, 13 August 2017: Breakfast at Leeu Estates

Conservatory at Leeu Estates
We were dressed and down in the restaurant for breakfast by 8am, in time to watch the sun rise through the adjacent glassed-in Conservatory.
Breakfast at Leeu Estates.
Breakfast the next morning was another delicious experience. Just look at the buffet spread, Husband’s masala omelette and my blueberry flapjacks, all lit by the morning sun once it popped its sleepy head over the mountains.
Sculptures at Leeu Estates
Other sculptures to look out for if you visit Leeu Estates. They add a delightfully quirky touch to the stay.

That’s all, folks! It was over in a flash, but the memories are something we will savour for a very long time. Keep your eyes peeled for my official review on Biz.

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Leeu Estates and Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery were part of our review package. Click through for a reminder of our previous stays at Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Francais and Leeu House.

What to do in Franschhoek: Stay at Angala

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

Breakfast at I <3 Melies
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…
Breakfast at I <3 Melkies
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.
Burgers at News Cafe
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.
Sunset in Blouberg
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

Breakfast at Netcafe
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.
Soup and gloves
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

All in the Kitchen breakfast
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’.
Cape clouds
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.
Angala Estate, Franschhoek
Out destination for the night – the five-star Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House. It was pure bliss. Here’s why…
Angels at Angala
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’.
Eco pool at Angala
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.
Ecopool and recliners at Angala
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.
Pool at Angala
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.
Hot tub at Angala
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.
Bedroom at Angala Estate
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…
Angala bedroom
This photo just screams comfort, luxury and ‘room with a view’. Absolutely gorgeous.
Sherry and coffee at Angala
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.
Sunset in Franschhoek
Coffee cup filled with aromatic java and a view of the sun setting over the mountains is my idea of magic.
Dinner at Angala.
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!
Dessert at Angala
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.
Amarula and gowns at Angala
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!
Fireplaces at Angala
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

Bath and shower 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 at Angala
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!

Steenberg’s 1682 benedicts and Grande Provence’s sensory summer lunch

This past week was very foodie, so we tried to get in a fair bit of exercise too with a few dog walks, beach visits and dips in the sea. See for yourself below…


Friday, 25 November 2016: Post-work doggy beach walk

Dacshund in car.
Bassie was excited to be in the car, despite not being 100% sure where she was being taken just yet.
Dog at the beach
Both were singing with excitement when they realised we were stopping at Kreeftebaai. The beach was deserted due to the wind. Here you can see Husband leading Bertie along the rocks.
Dog at beach.
Even though it was quite windy last Friday, the doggies thought it was a wonderful idea to go for beach walkies. Bertie frollicked in the waves and along the rocks, where he met a seal.
Sandy-nosed dog
This glazed look complete with sandy nose is always a sure sign that Bassie had a lovely time at the beach.

Saturday, 26 November 2016: Steenberg breakfasts and beach visits

Coffee at Steenberg's 1682.
Saturday morning we took the parents to 1682 at Steenberg Estate for breakfast. Here’s the menu and some of our breakfast coffees…
Steenberg 1682 breakfast.
Their pork belly bacon is such a win that we both ordered the standard benedict, as did father-in-law. Mother-in-law went for the salmon version, and we loved the hot honey rolls served as a breakfast starter.
1682 wine.
Some of the flowers and bottles on display at 1682.
Steenberg Estate.
Just look at that view, perfectly picturesque.
Coffee shake and lemon meringue at Peacocks
Later that afternoon Husband had to pop into work so I fitted in some early Christmas shopping at Bayside. This was my midway treat of coffee shake and lemon meringue slice at Peacocks’ Perfect Cup.
Table Mountain and kite surfers.
When we met up again late-afternoon it was such a perfect beach day we couldn’t resist a quick run down to dip our toes in the icy water, and gazed at the many kite surfers bobbing about in the breeze.

Sunday, 27 November 2016: Summer lunch sampling at Franchhoek’s The Restaurant at Grande Provence

Fod Lover's Market Sunningdale breakfast
We planned ahead and decided on a shared breakfast at our local Food Lover’s Market on Sunday morning. I had a cappuccino, Husband his standard breakfast Cola, and we shared the pesto halloumi toast. Good idea, as we lined our stomachs just enough and the bill came to less than R100, including tip!
Grande Provence, Franschhoek
The road is long, the lavender tall and the shrubs a deep green as you turn into Grande Provence from the Franschhoek main road.
The Restaurant at Grande Provence
We sat outside under the trees in the Sculpture Garden – good thing as it was a 34’C day. This is the striking table setting.
Grande Provence restaurant bread board.
First up, their signature bread board. Those cheese straws are some of my favourite things!
Chardonnay at Grande Provence.
Husband sampled a glass of their Chardonnay, which was fruity and light.
Tuna yukhoe at Grande Provence
First starter: tuna yukhoe. Such bright colours, such a good mix of flavours! Mine was served without the tuna.
Asparagus salad at Grande Provence
The asparagus salad starter on beautiful light-blue plate.
Pork belly starter at Grande Provence
Husband made light work of the 18-hour smoked pork belly (his second serving of the weekend), beneath all the pastel crunch – also still a starter.
Kingklip at Grande Provence
We needed to stretch our legs before we could tuck into the mains. Husband started with the kingklip.
Blesbok shank at Grande Provence
I had the blesbok shank, with lots of seasonal veg and peppery crunch.
Beef short rib at Grande Provence
For second mains we were both presented with the beef short rib with Asian mustard and potato two ways and a bed of sweet date paste. Both scraped our plates clean.
Dessert at Grande Provence. Berry ice cream sandwich and pot au creme.
And then, dessert. Creamy caramelised white chocolate pot au creme on the left, berry ‘ice cream sandwich’ on the right. Amazing and highly recommended.
Grande Provence trees.
Franschhoek main road is back along this tree-lined driveway.
Swimming in Cape Town sea.
We stopped off for a quick dip in the sea on our way home as it was still so very hot.

Mid-week evenings

Dog watching TV
Bertie demonstrated his ‘cat skills’ by sprawling along the top of the back of the couch, and was very interested in a nature show we watched with the parents.
Dacschund
Little Bassie insisted on sitting with us at the table while having dins.

That’s all, folks! Click here to read my review of Grande Provence in full.

Dancing with elephants, chicnic feasts and fireworks

This last weekend was a very busy one, as you’ll see below – this selection of pics made the cut from about 250 in total! Let me know your favourite…

Thursday, 3 November 2016: IABC Africa gala dinner at the Vineyard Hotel

Cloudy sky at The Vineyard Hotel
The sky was overcast and there was a definite chill in the air but we had a lovely time at The Vineyard Hotel last Thursday. This is to show how low the cloud was over the mountain, as well as to set the scene for how very ‘deep-in-nature-y’ everything felt in this batch of snaps.
Black, white and silver
We made an effort to stick to the colour scheme of black, white and silver, as you can see.
Dancing under the stars with elephants
Such gorgeous table decorations, and fitting too as the theme for the night was ‘dancing under the stars with elephants’. Click here to read my overview on Biz if you missed it this week.
Food at Vineyard Hotel
We ate a trout-y starter, lamb-y mains and assorted mini-desserts. Full descriptions here, in my official event overview, which explains how we ‘danced with elephants’.

Saturday, 5 November 2016: Pink Olive breakfast, chicnic lunch, beachfront dins

Cappuccino at The Wild Olive.
We were in a garden-y outdoors-y frame of mind all weekend, kicked off by breakfast at The Pink Olive in Starke Ayres nursery, West Coast Village. I liked the look of the Adirondack chairs out front, we had birdies coming up to eat out of our hands and my cappuccino with side shortbread biscuit was just the ticket!
French toast at the Pink Olive
My French toast with grilled bananas and syrup was just what I felt for and rather filling. You can just see Husband’s sunny Eggs Benedict in the background.
SuperPlants display, Plattekloof.
Bellies full we were ready to browse some garden centres for veggie garden ideas. This display at SuperPlants in Plattekloof caught my eye.
Road to Franschhoek
Soon it was time to hit the road as we had a very important luncheon appointment in Franschhoek. Loved the way this made it seem like a long, empty road lit by fluffy clouds.
Franschhoek Valley.
Those mountains set around the Franschhoek Valley always make me feel comforted and hemmed into nature.
Franschhoek mountains
Another view of those blue peaks, from further up the road.
Chicnic at Allee Bleue.
The Allee Bleue chicnic truly is an amazing way to welcome Summer. My full review is up on Biz here. Do read it, highly recommended.
Allee Bleue driveway
The lovely tree-lined driveway from front gate to picnic area.
Paml trees at Allee Bleue
Nothing I love more than a line of palm trees!
Picnic area at Allee Bleue
Handsome Husband stepping out the car and heading towards the picnic area – through the little archway you can see.
Cheese and charcuterie at Allee Bleue
The cheese and charcuterie board was just brimming with tasty morsels, we didn’t know where to start!
Chilli tomato jam at Allee Bleue
We had four jars of flavoursome spreads and smears to choose from. This chilli-tomato jam went well with everything.
Bobotie pies at Allee Bleue
My favourite – homemade mini pies filled with bobotie.
Allee Bleue wines
Four of the estate’s flagship wines.
Hazelnut latte at Catch22
Much, much later that evening we went by bike to Catch22 on Marine Drive to catch the City of Cape Town’s Guy Fawkes display on Blouberg beach. That’s me with a hazelnut latte.
Long Island Ice Tea at Catch22
Husband went for the Long Island Ice Tea – he’s sad that they no longer muddle their Robben Island version, which added a vanilla Coke flavour.
Calypso's Catch salad at Catch22
Husband went for the Calypso Catch salad, which is bursting with all sorts of seafood.
Buccaneer beef burger at Catch22
I went for the Buccaneer beef burger, topped with bacon and cheese and served with chips and onion rings. Ate every morsel.
Guy Fawkes on Blouberg beach
Fireworks at sunset on Blouberg beach. It was packed and very well-run.

Sunday, 6 November 2016: Pancake at Blueberries and clean doggies

Banana pancake and coffee at Blueberries
We had breakfast at Blueberries on Sunday morning as it is in the Table View Shopping Centre, where we had a few errands to run. See my lovely glass-mugged cappuccino with Husband top left, his huge amount of food bottom left and my banana-caramel topped (and filled) pancake. Bananas for breakfast all weekend!
Wet dogs
Sunday was also the day of the doggie bath. Just look at these clean wet dogs! Both freshly emerged from a shower (with their dad). Bertie looks pleased, Bassie is very sorry for herself.
Clean dogs
Dry, clean, happy doggies. Bertie looks surprised and Bassie says having her ears tickled is just heavenly.
Beer at Driftwood Cafe
Much later that afternoon we popped into the Driftwood Cafe for our Sunday treat – a draught for Husband…
Custard shake at the Driftwood Cafe
I went for my Driftwood standard, the custard shake. Such a happy sunny setting.
Sunset in Cape Town
Sunset in the suburbs was so pretty this week.

That’s all, folks! Husband’s parents have just arrived for a week of house-hunting so you have an idea what type of pics you’ll see in next week’s update…