Tag Archives: Gordon’s Bay

Rambling Litchi’s best of 2016

Just when you thought I was done for the year, I decided a ‘best of’ compilation post was necessary.

See the list below for some of our favourite things from 2016, all in and around Cape Town obviously, and expect an annual update*. Some categories will remain, others will change. Note that most of these came to mind instantly, but some were dismissed as we experienced them last year, not this year, and others I had to manually search my blog(s) for mentions and reminders – links included if you want to walk down my memory lane again. If there are any categories you feel I’ve left out, let me know! 🙂

Milkshake: There’s no denying milkshake is my favourite treat. This year, I’ve learned that if an establishment goes so far as to title something a ‘Freek shake’ best you believe it. Gibson’s Peppermint Caramel Freek Shake was enormous and I probably should have shared it. Ditto with the Festive Underground Eatery or FUE‘s cocopine shake much earlier this year.

Gibson's peppermint caramel Freek shake.
Gibson’s peppermint caramel Freek shake.

Burger: What goes with milkshake? Burgers, of course. You just can’t go wrong at Jerry’s. The patty is tasty, cooked to perfection on a brioche bun and the side of fries doused in Sriracha is a treat in itself. The bacon, cheese and onion ring-topped buccaneer beef burger at Catch22 also gets a thumbs-up from me.

The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped 'Jerry' burger at Jerry's, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.
The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped ‘Jerry’ burger at Jerry’s, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.

Hike: We’ve done quite a few hikes this year to work off all those burgers and shakes – most recently the Skeleton Gorge version up Table Mountain – but our faves all involved caves. That’s because you want a good view, sense of accomplishment and a body that’s not on the point of collapse once you reach your destination. Wally’s Cave in Lion’s Head was this year’s hidden hideaway gem.

Wally's Cave in Lion's Head
Wally’s Cave, conquered! If you know where to go it’s quite an easy climb up Lion’s Head.

Conference venue: It’s not all about weekend activities though. Conferences are the lifeblood of my worklife. The Artscape Theatre and trusty CTICC are always a good bet for Wi-Fi, tasty snacks and temperature control, but my best was the Vineyard Hotel.

Vineyard Hotel
The distracting view from my seat in the Vineyard Hotel ballroom, where I attended a few conferences this year.

Night away: Living in Cape Town is a little like living in paradise, but everyone needs a break away from their daily routine once in a while. For us, the best version of this was at Majeka House in Stellenbosch. Just over an hour from our front door, the suites are enormous, the spa treatments are heavenly and the food is simply superb.

Majeka House pool
Chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area at Majeka House. I spent a lot of time in the jacuzzi at the far end.

Romantic dinner: You also need to celebrate special occasions as they arise. Maybe just because we went there to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary, maybe because they’re just up the road, but Homespun is at the tippy top of our ‘lovey-dovey locations’. The food, drinks, setting and service are all commendable.

The lamb shank at Homespun.
The lamb shank at Homespun.

Once-in-a-lifetime meal: This category is for those breathtaking meals that cost quite the pretty penny and offer course after course of plates you simply can’t help but take photos – and videos – of. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek was our winner here. Go soon if this is something on your foodie bucket list, as chef Margot Janse is leaving these kitchens early next year.

Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français' Tasting Room.
Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français’ Tasting Room.

Road trip: Whether you’re staying the night or just out for a few hours on the road, there’s nothing like a few empty hours to fulfill your wanderlust. We did so a few times this year, enjoying a few afternoons in the unspoilt beauty of Gordon’s Bay and Langebaan, both around two hours from home.

Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.

Winter special: One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets is that many of its fine dining establishments offer warming meals at pocket-friendly prices in the cold winter months. Some of this year’s best include the half-price chicken curry specials at Inside in Eden on the Bay.

Chicken bunny chow and korma at Inside Lounge, Eden on the Bay
Two of our half-price winter chicken curries of 2016, at Inside Lounge in Eden on the Bay. That’s a bunny chow and a mild korma.

Alcohol tasting: You’re really spoilt for choice if wine is your thing, but those who prefer a more refined tipple are also in for a treat in the Cape. Val du Charron in Wellington does so with beautiful legends behind each wine blend, and many wine farms offer an MCC tasting of their bubbliest bubbly, but it’s the KWV brandy tasting that got Husband’s seal of approval this year.

KWV's ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate' pairing.
KWV’s ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate’ pairing.

Weekend lunch: This list proves it’s not all about the bustling CBD. In fact, on weekends there’s lots of appeal in driving a little off the beaten track to find a new venue where you can spend a few hours eating, drinking and laughing with loved ones. Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch is a beautiful spot for this, with panoramic views of the estate’s 123-hectare vineyards, an adventurous menu and their own wine varietals on The Vine Bistro‘s menu.

View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate
View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate.

Seafood meal: Unless you’re allergic to it, a meal out in Cape Town should include seafood. I passed the baton the Husband on this one, and a few of his favourites were the fettuccinne marina and platter for two at Panama Jacks in the Cape Town harbour.

The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.
The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.

Wild meal: Eating out in South Africa often means eating unusual dishes. The tasting menu at Catharina‘s on Steenberg Estate is an excellent way to do so. Though seasonal, you’re likely to find delicacies like wild boar, crocodile and zebra on offer.

Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina's.
Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina’s.

Eggs benedict: Husband’s weekend breakfast staple, we’ve sampled quite a few this year. The ones we kept going back to were the salmon version from Company’s Garden and the pork-belly bacon benedict at Steenberg’s 1682. Tart Hollandaise, yolk that pours at just the right pace and not-your-average toasted base. Yum!

Eggs benedict with Steenberg's 1682 pork-belly bacon.
Eggs benedict with Steenberg’s 1682 pork-belly bacon. Yes.

Dessert: Sometimes you don’t want a full meal. Sometimes it’s just your sweet tooth looking for satisfaction. I seem to have a mouth full of sweet teeth as I’ve had a jaw-dropping amount of desserts this year. My best have been the caramel bar at Majeka House’s Makaron, and the winter chocolate fondant and the summer raspberry ice cream sandwich at Grande Provence’s The Restaurant. Beautifully plated, these are the type of sweet treat you swirl around in your mouth with your eyes closed, and follow with a sip of strong coffee to enhance those flavours.

The Restaurant at Grande Provence's 'berry ice cream sandwich'.
The Restaurant at Grande Provence’s ‘berry ice cream sandwich’.

Speaking of…

Coffee: My bloodstream is coffee. I’m not fully functional before at least a cuppa or two, so the weekend hasn’t officially started before I’ve had a caffeine-filled cappuccino or latte. My favourites this year include the cappuccino at Village Place Cafe, with a shot of toffee syrup, and the regular cap at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Cappuccino at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos
I’d expect nothing less than a heart swirled into the foam of my strong cappuccino when breakfasting at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Over and out, folks! Here’s to sampling the very best of 2017, watch this space…

*All photos my own. Disclaimer: Some of these were experienced free-of-charge as I reviewed them for work, but most came from our own pockets. No payment was considered for this ‘best of’ list as it’s all based on personal preference.

Elephants in my coffee, Terroir’s Winter Plate 2016 lunches and Gordon’s Bay sunsets

What a wonderful weekend the last one was, mainly because we went to places we’d not been before. See a few of our favourite moments below…

Saturday, 21 May 2016: News Cafe Blouberg breakfast and Terroir Stellenbosch lunch

Kleine Zalze
The pretty view that greets you once you turn off the R44 into Kleine Zalze, where Terroir is located.
MCC at Terroir, Kleine Zalze
Cheers to Husband! We started off with complimentary water and a flute of MCC each, as you can see…
Bread board and amuse bouche at Terroir.
Before we’d even take a sip we were presented with that day’s bread board and amuse bouche selection! We advise that you take your time over your meal or you’ll be too full to sample it all.And that would be a disaster as you definitely do want to sample as much as you can.
Prawn risotto
Husband went for the most popular item on the menu – the prawn risotto with sauce Americaine – for his starter (that’s the yellow sunny section of his plate).
Smoked tomato tart.
There were so many delicious-sounding things to choose from but I’m glad I went for the smoked tomato tart. It tasted even better than it looked.
Linefish Winter Plate at Terroir
Husband opted for the linefish version of the Winter Plate special. It was dorado on the day.
Winter Plate 2016 at Terroir
More of the food. That’s the bread board top left, the amuse bouche middle left and my seed-crusted fillet Winter Plate in the bottom right, with our shared dark chocolate bar dessert on the right. All even more delicious than they looked.
Kleine Zalze fountain
We had to go for a walk after we’d eaten as it was a gorgeous day and the grounds at Kleine Zalze are quite something. I even blended in with all the natural purpleness!
Kleine Zalze golf course
Just look at the gorgeous golf course. Membership comes at a pricy R25,000 per year for non-residents. Gulp.
Gordon's Bay
We were in sightseeing mode after lunch, so headed on past Strand to Gordon’s Bay and walked along the pier. This pic is funny as we were standing on rocks and I was initially facing the wrong way. Lol.
Pringle Bay beach
Taking in the view a little later on the beach in Pringle Bay.
Pringle Bay sunset
Sun slowly sinking over the sea in Pringle Bay.
Gordon's Bay road
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast back to Gordon’s Bay.
Cappuccino at the Thirsty Oyster
We stopped in at the Thirsty Oyster in Gordon’s Bay harbour for a sunset cappuccino. Lovely way to end the day.
Sunset in Gordon's Bay
Coffee downed, we took a brief walk along the pier. Here is Husband gazing at the setting sun.
Sunset in Gordon's Bay
I am the queen of cheesy pics. Look at me just grasping the sun!
Gordon's Bay pier
Of course we also took a selfie from the Gordon’s Bay pier.
Fishermen in Gordon's Bay
Such a peaceful pier, with fishermen dotted along the outskirts.

Sunday, 22 May 2016: News Cafe breakfast and doggy beach walks

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Having not eaten since lunch at Terroir the day before, we decided to start our Sunday with the News Cafe early bird English breakfast. Love pouring the espresso into the frothed milk myself for a latte.
Elephant in cappuccino
Be careful what you wish for – you may just end up with an elephant in your coffee! This is the work of the skilled News Cafe baristas.
Dachshund in the sea
The doggies demanded a beach walk later that day, and it is was the perfect weather for it as the wind disappeared for a while. Bassie was even brave enough for a quick paddle in the icy sea.
Dogs at the beach
Ha! The doggies pull you every which way when they go for walkies as there’s just so much to see/smell/hear! This is at Kreeftebaai, about halfway between Blouberg and Melkbosstrand.
Dog walking beach Table Mountain
Bertie really loves his beach walkies.
Dog and coffee cup
Later that afternoon Bassie insisted on sitting on her Granny’s lap after lupper.

Thursday, 26 May 2016: Content training at work and doggy father/daughter love

Taking notes in office training
Our team had a training session on Thursday afternoon – that’s my ‘paying attention’ ponytail as I take notes.
Dog and dad
What a wonderful Husband I have! The doggies love him dearly and spend at least 10 minutes fighting for his attention when he gets home from work. Even after the toughest day he takes the time to listen to my troubles and soon has a smile back on my face. ❤

That’s all, folks! If you’d like a more detailed description of all we ate at Terroir, click through to my official review on Bizcommunity.

May your weekend be relaxing and filled with everything you love. 🙂

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Terroir were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.