Last week was really busy and quite chilly but filled with happy, delicious moments, too…
Wednesday, 4 April 2018: Autumn Risotto Pop-Up Experience at 95 Keerom and Gords’ visit
I’d been invited to review the Autumn Risotto Pop-Up Experience at 95 Keerom on Wednesday afternoon, so of course I accepted the offer. Each bowl was delicious, especially accompanied by Steenberg Wines’ finest.
The food and the drink. Yes, I ate all this. Click through for details and full descriptions in my official review on Bizcommunity.
Gords, one of Husband’s oldest friends from our Joburg days, was in Cape Town on business on Wednesday so we jumped at the chance to see him at Husband’s parents’ house. See various happy moments below – yes, the doggies were there, too.
Husband’s Mum cooked up haggis, chilli con carne, potatoes and various veg in honour of Gords’ visit. See how thrilled Bertie was to greet Gords, also see my Mum with Bassie (my parents popped in for a quick visit, too).
Friday, 6 April 2018: Doggies warming themselves at the fire
The doggies warming themselves at the fire last Friday evening.
Precious little Bassie peeping out from under her blankie.
Saturday, 7 April 2018: Coffee-filled breakfast at The Daily
The Daily at Seaside Village in Big Bay had revamped its menu so we went for a quick taste. As it was first thing in the morning, we started with coffee! See various shots of Husband’s ‘con panna’ (espresso topped with cream) and my latte.
To eat we went with old favourites – toasted chicken mayo in white for me, eggs florentine for Husband. See shots of how they were served on the left and after we’d doctored them with sauces on the right.
After a fair deal of weekend admin we decided on an early dinner at The Orient in Eden on the Bay that evening. See various hand rolls, sashimi and maki consumed by Husband, and my cashew chicken dish bottom left.
Sunday, 8 April 2018: Coffee at Reload, breakfast at Tables at Nitida, liquid treats at Pakalolo
We were up earlier than necessary on Sunday so stopped for a fancy coffee treat first thing. The outside seating area at Reload in Parklands is inviting.
See my peppermint-chocolate latte and various weekend newspapers. Sunday morning bliss.
As we’d not seen them the day before, we met Husband’s parents at Tables at Nitida for breakfast. It’s such a pretty spot!
Love the mosaic tables at Tables (lol) – also see my Milo shake;, the general ‘bacon-eggs-mushrooms-tomato’ brekkie ordered by Husband’s parents; my brioche French toast with jar of scrumptious caramelised bananas and nuts; and Husband’s Italian-style chorizo-pepper-feta-spring onion open-faced omelette. No wonder their tagline is ‘For the love of food!’
Tables at Nitida always makes us feel welcome. “May all who enter as guests leave as friends.”
After we’d ‘left as friends’, we stopped in at Klein Rosboom for a look around. The entry table is just so pretty. Insert heart-eyes emoji.
Some of the lovely sights at Klein Roosboom. We found ‘die hang gat’, where you can sit in a swing chair while tasting wine. Such fun!
You can see us peeking into another of the tasting room ‘caves’ at Klein Roosboom in the mirror here.
Much later that afternoon, after lots of manual labour in the garden, we stopped in at Pakalolo on the beachfront for a liquid treat. It was a frosty Castle Light draught for Husband and raspberry virgin daquiri for me. Delicious!
You can just make out Husband behind my virgin raspberry daquiri here. Lol.
Ahh. That’s how you spend a Sunday afternoon. Sipping daquiris and staring at sea views.
Mum outdid herself with homemade gnocchi and a crunchy salad for lupper that eve.
Wednesday, 11 April 2018: Overcast fiery skies at night
Overcast sunset sky at night…
Thursday, 12 April 2018: ‘Feel better’ pastries from Trescatelli Bakery
Cloud-flecked sunrise sky in the morning.
There was a bus strike on Thursday and I wasn’t feeling 100% so worked from home that day. Day made when my parents popped in with delicious pastries! See huge mug of coffee with chocolate and vanilla-cream cannoli from Trescatelli Bakery here. Mmm.
That’s all, folks! Have a delicious weekend 🙂
It’s easy to see that last week’s #CuppaforCansa12A was a highlight. Just look at all those sweet treats. Read my full review of the worthy cause
here, and scroll through the rest of the week’s magic moments below…
Thursday, 28 September 2017: CuppaforCansa event at 12 Apostles Hotel, Damhuis Winter burger special dins
The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is a gorgeous venue. That’s where the Cuppa for Cansa high tea was held last Thursday. Look at those views of the sea, just a hop, skip and jump away!
Pink bubbly, pink macarons, red cappuccino, pink juice – all blended perfectly with the theme of ‘pink high tea’.
Just a sample of the pretty pink foodies. All tasted just as good as it looked!
We also had fun playing dress up for the photo booth – which then gave us physical print outs, which I then photographed.
When I got back to the office I had space for another cupcake – a homemade caramel-centred, purple glitter-topped one made by the recent birthday girl, Angie.
Thursday was a very busy day as it was also Bassie’s last vet check-up for the year. Happy with her progress on arthritis meds, she was given a special biscuit treat by the vet.
My parents had been to Damhuis in Melbos for their winter burger and beer special, and as it was the last night to taste the ‘Winter 2017’ version, we popped along, too…
All four of us had the special. R60 got you a huge beef burger topped with cooked brown onions, egg and cheese slice, with side portion of chips AND 300ml craft beer. Amazing.
Friday, 29 October 2017: Friday work things
Last Friday I wore my reporter hat and interviewed the lovely people at YoungGun Films in the AdMakers building. Look at the warm welcome I received! Lunch at Burrata in the Old Biscuit Mill followed. I had a cappuccino and the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream, broccolini, toasted walnuts and pancetta. A wonderful meal.
Saturday, 30 October 2017: Windy braai at brother Spec’s
We started our Saturday with breakfast at Reload. That’s my honey-nut latte, Husband’s Mexican open omelette, and my ‘super scrumptious’ buttermilk waffle topped with banana, nuts, chocolate syrup and caramel lumps.
The doggies soaked up a bit of sun inside as the wind was so chilly outdoors.
With brother Spec newly settled in Fish Hoek, it was time for the first official family braai at his location. This is all of us. The wind was icy so we moved indoors once the food was ready.
The food we ate. Salad and starter things top left, meat top right, charcoal nails matchy matchy with the braai coals and this week’s braai dessert. The cones are filled with chocolate, caramel and marshmallows that melt in the most satisfyingly gooey way 🙂
Sunday, 1 November 2017: Breakfast at W Cafe in Table Bay Mall
Table Bay Mall has officially opened, just 2.7km from home (as the crow flies). We popped into the W Cafe in Woolworths for breakfast. I had the Nutella French toast, Husband went for the salmon omelette.
My Nutella French toast in all its glory. If you look closely you can see the fine peanut brittle crumb on the bananas. Very yummy!
Mum whipped up a batch of apple pies when we popped in for lupper a little later in the day.
It had been an early lupper so we had our Sunday treat after dropping off the doggies at home again. These are our sunset drinks at News Cafe on Marine Circle – the Giggle Juice for Husband, and a salted caramel fudge freezo drink for me.
Monday, 2 and Tuesday, 3 October 2017: Bizcommunity office visits
It was quite the week for visits to my office! See Graham Lang on the left, currently ranked the country’s sixth best chief creative officer, who brought me an exclusive interview opportunity, and Jana Leonard on the right, who left mini donuts and some exciting PR industry news. Click here to read my interview with Graham, who’s moving to Toronto at the end of November.
That’s all, folks! May this weekend be restful and recharging. 🙂
The irony – in my last post I mentioned Husband was done being Marvin, but he went on to work all weekend and late most of this week – it’s now been 17 days straight! At least we’ve finally reached the weekend, and both have an extra few days off thereafter. Here are a few of our favourite moments from this very busy week…
Friday, 21 July 2017: Celebratory dinner at Moyo
We ventured out to Moyo at Eden on the Bay to celebrate the change in Husband’s work shifts. It was too cold to sit outside so we headed indoors, where I had a Madagascan cold coffee drink (served with tot of Amarula). We were also served complimentary sherry and Moroccan breads with spicy dip, very nice!
The purple lighting bouncing off the metal tables was pretty.
Our meals: The chicken and date tagine for me, the lamb shank for Husband.
Saturday, 22 July 2017: Early morning doggie moments
Bassie was happy to spend a few hours sleeping in with me on Saturday morning as it was rainy and we were having a new front door installed.
We headed out for a quick breakfast before Husband had to be in the office so ended up at Cubana. That’s me pouring hot milk into my coffee and Husband sipping a flute of orange juice as these come free with certain orders, like their spicy ‘eggs benedict’ – not on English muffin but polenta cakes. It’s a huge portion, we really could have shared! All this for R100, including tip.
Bassie trotted all around her other grandparents’ property that evening when we had the weekly braai.
Sunday, 23 July 2017: Lacomia breakfast and hidden-centre cupcakes
When you need to make some Builder’s Warehouse purchases first thing on a Sunday as Husband needs to get back to the office ASAP, you pop in at Cafe Lacomia for your breakfast. That’s Husband’s Cola, my cappuccino and sunnies.
We were in for a real treat when we go to Mum’s that evening and bit into these freshly made cupcakes with chocolate-y surprise!
Tuesday, 25 July 2017: Meet my fox dog
Teehee. Couldn’t resist having a photo taken as proof of just how much my boy doggie resembles the clever fox on my jerkin.
Wednesday, 26 July 2017: Cannes Lions Cape Town and Stepbrothers’ team lunch
Wednesday was the day of the Cape Town version of our Cannes Lions feedback session. It was held at Ster-Kinekor at the Waterfront first thing – note the pretty sunrise and art on the walls outside the movies theatre.
We manned the registration desk, grabbed a tub of popcorn and sat back to watch the presentations by our roving reporter and SA’s Cape Town-based judges. Click here to read my overview.
It was also the day of our next team lunch. We headed out to Stepbrothers near Cape Quarter and had the most amazing Italian meal. That’s my cappuccino and pan of very round gnocchi with pizza strips to mop up that sauce. Trust me, I did!
Thursday, 27 July 2017: Impressive office birthday cakes
In addition to being my brother-in-law’s birthday, Thursday was also the birthday of one of the lovely ladies in the office, so she spoiled us with cake. Look at these amazingly delicious ones.
I had to wolf down that cake fast as next on the agenda was the media launch of the Say Cheese fair, coming to the Italian Club later this year.
Top left – the cheese samples we started with, bottom left – Arancini di mozzarella in a spicy tomato sauce, top right – a blue-cheese-broccoli soup and bottom right – one of the largest bowls of gnocchi in cheese sauce I’ve seen in my life. Yes I had gnocchi twice in two days.
We ate and we ate, that’s only the half of it. Just look at all that cheesy deliciousness! Seen here: mozarella boccini top left, feta-beetroot-rocket pizza top right, baked Brie topped with bacon and thyme bottom left and haloumi-chickpea-pomegranate avo bottom right. Full description on Biz soon.
That’s all, folks! Time to unplug, unwind and destress.
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. 🙂
Fiddlesticks and phew, here we are at the start of a weekend where both of us are going to switch off, not think too deeply and have many happy moments together.
But first a few of our favourite happy moments from the past week…
Friday, 30 June 2017: Day off breakfast and winter gnocchi
We both had Friday off work so once we woke (without an alarm, yay), we headed out to Canal Walk. Breakfast took place at La Rocca. That’s my cappuccino and caramel banana pancakes with Husband’s deboned rib eggs benedict topped with prego sauce.
The day was cold so after naps and chores we decided on the Italian Club for dins. Just look at these perfect plates of gnocchi bolognese, drowning in grated parmesan and chilli. Plus Husband’s Stella Artois and my cappuccino.
Happy doglets in front of the fire a little later that evening.
Saturday, 1 July 2017: Durban July at the in-laws
Our table at Primi for Saturday morning breakfast. Close-ups in next snap…
We each started with a cappuccino, then I had the French toast with peanut butter and caramelised banana (mmm), and Husband had the Eggs Florentine with haloumi and many mini tomatoes adding a ruby glow.
Sunset at Husband’s parents house that evening where we were having a braai to celebrate the Durban July.
Bassie took a liking to her grampa’s SA beanie and spent most of the afternoon on, in and under it.
Bertie was also at his sweetest – this is the face he made when asked if he’s allowed to sit on granny’s new couch.
Coffee and my Durban July draw ‘second place prize’ Strawberry Lindt (I shared with everyone, promise).
Sunday, 2 July 2017: Rainy Baconville brekkie and News Cafe afternoon
My sleepy boys. Best faces. ❤
Sunday morning was rainy and cold and we had a craving for bacon so breakfasted at Baconville in Willowbridge. See my chocolate latte, bacon flapjacks, Husband’s Breakfast Club with an extra egg and his ‘hmm’ face at the ‘I dare you sauce’ – child’s play, he said.
Sunday afternoon felt like an ‘afternoon treat at News Cafe’ time of the week – I tried the cherry hot chocolate while Husband had a dom pedro. Not on the menu but one of the best he’s had, and he’s had a few.
In addition to sweet-tart cherry flavoured syrup in the hot chocolate, you get a sweet cherry on top.
More delicious wintery food ensued at Mum’s for lupper that eve – minestrone soup with cheesy breadsticks, spag bol topped with parmesan, malva pudding with custard and stormy skies.
Midweek lonely evenings with dogs
Husband was Marvin this week so these are the faces I was rushing home to from work – sometimes with pretty pink streaky clouds when I got there, sometimes with night already setting in.
Thursday, 6 July 2017: Digital influence launch at Grand Daddy Hotel, after-work drinks at Tap Room
Such pretty elephant graffiti just outside the Grand Mac Daddy Hotel on Long Street – my early morning stop before work to cover Popimedia’s digital influence in SA study launch. Coverage on Biz next week.
Not joking when I say I got there before the sun was up. The lovely view down Long Street, as well as coffee and cold breakfast bits to snack on kept everyone happy.
One of the amazing student artworks in the main hotel area. Such soulful eyes.
My colleague from Joburg was visiting for a few days this week so a few of us went for a chat over liquid refreshments at the Tap Room at Devil’s Peak Brewery after work on Thursday as it’s close to the office. Of course we took photos as proof we were there. These people keep me sane during office hours!
I went for the double choc milkshake – it’s a small as it’s listed under the kiddies’ drinks. The others enjoyed the ginger cider, if you’re in the area.
That’s all, folks! It’s set to be a cold wet weekend in Cape Town – stay warm and dry.
Last weekend the weather turned all gloomy and grey on us so we went into hibernation mode for much of it, as you’ll see below…
Saturday, 8 October 2016: Breakfast at The Daily, gnocchi at The Italian Club
It was The Daily’s turn to host us for breakfast, so Husband went for their breakfast wrap, while I tried their Nutella-banana pancakes. Perfect with the Terbodore cappuccino and homemade shortbread star biscuit.
It was good ‘stay indoors’ weather, so stay indoors we did. We alternated between reading, napping and watching series.
The Italian Club in Milnerton is pumping all weekend long, so we were lucky to get a table last Saturday evening when we pitched up without first making a booking. The cold, rainy weather had me craving my favourite comfort food – gnocchi. See it topped with meaty bolognese sauce and lots of parmesan cheese top left, all the party balloons (from different parties) behind Husband, and my choc-dusted cappuccino.
Sunday, 9 October 2016: Breakfast at the Melkbos Farmstall
We felt like a brief road trip first thing on Sunday so ventured all the way to Melkbos 🙂 Here is the Farmstall from outside.
The windmill is somewhat dilapidated.
Farmstall from the front, complete with large pumpkins on the roof.
Husband happily making his way through the ‘healthy starter’ served with most breakfasts at the Farmstall – a tiny juice and a piping hot bran muffin. Yummy.
Husband opted for ‘The Rooster’ breakfast.
I had the French toast breakfast.
This little birdie got lucky when the family at this table got up to go meet the bunnies mid-meal.
Of course we walked around looking at all the bunnies and birdies, too. I think this is the first time I realised ducklings are yellow from tip to toe. So cute!
Cloudy with a few blue patches – weather conditions on the way home. We spent the day much like Saturday, only venturing out again for lupper at Mum’s that evening.
The doggies trotted all around their granny’s garden after they’d digested their Sunday lupper.
Bassie had a ‘Spring sniff’ all around her granny’s garden, stopping to admire all the blooms.
Monday, 10 October 2016: Solo doggy beach walk
Husband took the doggies for a beach walk on Monday. Love how their personalities are captured in this shot, with Bertie eagerly standing up to look out the window in the back seat, while Bassie sits and stares more calmly out of the front passenger side. 🙂
The beach was deserted and there was minimal wind – Bassie’s best conditions, see how happy she is here.
This is Bertie mid-shake post dip in the sea.
Both merrily scrambling and exploring the rocks and tiring themselves out.
Thursday, 13 October 2016: Beyond Retail conference at The Rotunda at The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay
I’ve seen this ‘heart’ lit up at night all over Instagram when people dine across the road from it at Cafe Caprice and the like, but it’s just as pretty in the daytime. It’s the first thing I snapped before the Beyond Retail conference began at The Rotunda in The Bay Hotel across the road.
Top left is the awe-inspiring light fitting and tent-like ceiling of The Rotunda, below was my breakfast table set-up and to the right was our tea table. You can read the first of my articles from Beyond Retail by clicking here.
An inviting corner just outside The Tides restaurant in The Bay Hotel, where we lunched and networked.
View of Camps Bay far below as I took the long bus trip home later that afternoon.
That’s all, folks! Here’s to another relaxing weekend all round…
last update I was a little vague about just how we’d be unravelling our city-stress knots and niggles, now all can be revealed: I’d been invited to review* the oh-so-magical Majeka House in Stellenbosch for a few days. See just some of the best things we did below and click here for my official review, as the professional pics do a much better job than ours from our phones below…
There’s nothing better than that feeling of excitement when you’re about to set off on a road trip – even if it’s just a hop, skip and jump away. Always start your journey with pics of the road ahead and any pretty scenery to rub in the fact that you’re getting away from it all. Take this pic, for example. Road ahead, check. Pretty scenery, check. Excited to see more, check.
Sometimes the sights you see are so strange you’d think you were dreaming if you hadn’t snapped a photo. These scarecrow puppet people are at the Polkadraai farm stall and strawberry picking point about half-an-hour from home.
Those puppets are just to the left of where this shot was taken. Another road trip tip is to definitely stop when you see one of these yellow Nat Geo frames and take a photo no matter what the view.
Feel free to stop and try the local fare before you reach your final destination. This is Husband trying a Black Label draught at Hudson’s on Dorp Straat in Stellenbosch. Just as good as a draught at any other pub, and the cheese burger and chips we shared were just as good as any of the other Hudson’s meals we’ve had. It was so very windy that things were blowing off the tables and everyone else was choosing to sit indoors, but we couldn’t resist the pretty tree-lined street for a spot of people-watching.
In and around your room
Of course each form of accommodation differs, even each room at each venue will have its individual quirks. At Majeka House this included an honesty bar system in the kitchen corner, with a fully stocked fridge (don’t touch the R700 mini bottle of champers, whatever you do)! All these lovely treats were individually priced, apart from the complimentary coffee pods with complementary fresh chewy peanut butter cookies. Don’t worry, there were no crumbs in/on the bed for our room fairy to take care of as we ate them standing.
Look around your room very very carefully, as there may well be hidden features. Following our spa sessions we showered then trotted around in the bunny-soft robes in the room – and on sitting on the bed noted the landscape painting mounted above our heads.
You may notice other interesting room/suite features on your third or fourth lap. For instance, look at the suspended TV in the pic on the left, and the similarly inbuilt painting in the pic on the right. It’s the front and back of a swivel, so if you’d rather watch TV in the lounge you just give it a slight nudge and hey presto, the painting faces the bedroom and you’re ready to channel hop!
This was the view from our rooftop balcony. Lots of soothing colours for the eye, as well as pleasing mountain shapes to rest on.
If you’ve brought reading material with you, be sure to try out each possible reading point. For me this included various chairs on the two patios, our all-too-comfy bed and a number of couches and cushions in the lounge before I settled on this corner, complete with soft blanket to buffer against the wintery wind outdoors.
Snap the sunset from as many view points as possible. Or just over the course of a few minutes from the same spot. This is the setting sun from our bedroom balcony…
The same scene just five minutes later – all yellowy and happy-making.
Of course you can’t stay cooped up in your room the whole time and need to explore the grounds. What delightful grounds these are in Stellenbosch, with all sorts of hidden lighting cleverly highlighting features you’d otherwise miss in the daylight.
The spas and watery things
Following a back-relaxing hour-long couple’s massage all you want to do is close your eyes and think happy thoughts. Here is Husband, having a soak/pummel in the viciously strong Jacuzzi – so much so that the bubbles almost overflowed into the adjoining pool. No bubble bath required!
As we’re both Aquarians we could easily spend all our free time in water and be happy chappies. So of course I did the exact same thing as Husband. Note lovely landscape on the wall behind me, as well as doors off to the sauna and steam room – yes, they’re different things.
Here is Husband, stoking the steam in the steam room by topping up with hissing water over the aromatic logs every few minutes. As it was set to 70’C we didn’t stay in there for long.
At night, the chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area in the most magical way. We’d been encouraged to have a swim or soak after dinner – all you do is swipe your room card to access the main hotel section, even after staff have locked up for the night. As appealing as the thought was, we didn’t follow through. Here’s why…
The fancy (filling) dinners
If it’s not quite dinner time, it’s surely time for a pre- (or post-) meal drink. We sampled two of the fancy cocktails at the blue-lit M Lounge – I went for the espresso martini, Husband had the Long Island Ice Tea. Both expertly made and just the right thing to sip at the fireside.
This is the fireplace beside which those cocktails were sipped. Note those walls of books are not real – that’s a special wallpaper that almost everyone who entered the bar when we were there went up very close to examine.
If you’ve booked the three-course dinner at Makaron, Majeka’s in-house award-winning restaurant, don’t by any means fall for the idea that you’re only getting three plates of food. For example, soon after being seated you’ll likely be offered complimentary still or sparkling water and a breadboard filled with the freshest, fanciest bites with touches of onion and cinnamon where you’d least expect.
Once your wine is served, be sure to swirl it around a little in your glass to release the flavour, as Husband did with his. He made it last throughout the bread, amuse bouche, starter and main course, only opting for something different with his dessert. But more on that later…
See a sample of the things you’ll eat at Makaron. Top left is our saffron-infused amuse bouche. Top right is Husband’s prawn linguini starter, bottom left is my ‘rainbow beets with goat’s cheese chantilly’ starter, and bottom right is my steak with herb gnocchi mains. All part of just one meal. Plan ahead and go on an empty stomach!
When ordering dessert, be wary of ones with bits you’re not sure of. While my vanilla creme brulee was large, light and lip-smackingly good, with perfectly brittle sesame tulle on top, the exotic-sounding ‘yuzu’ was just that – exotic and a little too sharp on the tongue. Don’t be afraid to ask for your waiter’s recommendation.
Because our waiter recommended the caramel bar for Husband’s dessert, which was hands down the best thing we ate in Stellenbosch – and we ate a great deal of delightful meals! This may look small but was as caramelly, chocolately and ice-creamy as possible, with warm brown melty flavours and a dainty little coffee macaron on top – alas Husband popped the whole thing in his mouth before I could have a taste. Sad face. I’d go back just to try that mysterious macaron!
The sweet dessert called for something a little sweeter gliding down the throat, like a tot of KWV 5-year-old.
The breakfast choices
The breakfast buffet is eye-poppingly comprehensive, but don’t fill up before your hot meal arrives or you may not have enough space for it. Rather copy me and order a cappuccino, then pour a berry smoothie and mix all manner of muesli, nuts, yoghurt and berry coulis in a bowl to slowly munch through before your eggs benedict or bacon-filled French toast arrives.
Or copy Husband and fill a side plate with flaky croissant, selection of meats and cheeses and pepper to your liking. I repeat, do not overeat, especially on a Sunday. You’ll see why soon.
This is what said French toast and eggs royale looked like. Amazing and so filling. Especially if you have an adventurious day ahead…
The outdoor hikes
Just 5 minutes up the road from Majeka House is the entrance to Paradyskloof nature reserve. Do yourself a favour and go for a brisk trot or even a cycle if you’ve packed along your bike. There are no steep uphills and lots of shady bits to pause and catch your breath or admire the view – or both.
Of course you’ll take a selfie while you’re on your walk, as we did. This was the best option of the six we attempted, promise. 😉
The Sunday morning markets
Goodness me but you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Sunday morning markets in the Stellenbosch area. Our first stop was at the Blauwklippen market, where you simply won’t know where to look as there are so many tasty delights on offer. Best you not have already filled up on breakfast. We did not know this so just looked and looked while our full-to-bursting bellies made regretful noises.
The main Blaauwklippen restaurant is exactly what you’d imagine a ‘Cape Dutch eatery’ to look like, with warm inviting interiors (we just peeped through the windows).
Of course you’ll wander a little off the beaten track while browsing the Blauuwklippen Market, as it’s set on such pretty grounds, with ducks floating on ponds and squirrels chasing each other all around the greenery.
And then we stopped at the Route 44 Market at Audacia. Even more food, crafts and soul-rejuvenating scenery to look at. This is the view from just one of many seating areas.
By then we’d walked up quite an appetite, and Husband simply plopped himself down on the beach bar stool (with real sand for your shoes to rest in) at the Mussel Monger and ordered himself a couple of oysters. They smelled like the cold sea and I’ll bet tasted like it, too.
And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll need to go back to Stellenbosch many, many more times to fully experience all it has to offer. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend Majeka House and Spa, what a treat!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Majeka House and meals at Makaron were part of the review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Prices included in my official review.*