Last weekend saw us in Stellenbosch, where we had the most wonderful time. I’ll let the pictures do the talking so you can see for yourself…
Saturday, 4 August 2018: Lunch at Majeka House’s M Bar, chocolate pairing at Waterford Estate
We had some weekend admin to sort out first thing, so Saturday’s breakfast was enjoyed at W Cafe in Woolworths, Table Bay Mall. See Husband’s eggs benedict and flat white, with my poached pear-topped French toast and vanilla-cinnamon cappuccino. Yum.
What’s a road trip without caffeine? We ended up with a cafe mocha for me and a Coke Zero for Husband, and enjoyed watching the scenery become all woodsy the closer we got to Stellenbosch.
What a welcome! When you see that tree in the middle of the road, you know you’re in whisper distance of Majeka House. Also see one of the quirky pig ornaments (they’re everywhere at Majeka House), and the herbal infusion from Majeka’s own herb garden, served in the prettiest floral cups.
The M Bar at Majeka House is beautiful, with gold touches and pops of royal blue everywhere. There was a toasty fire blazing inside, but we opted to eat out in the elements, amongst the unusual cacti.
Our lunch choices from the Majeka Menu. We opted for just a main each – the line fish for Husband and the pasta for me, with the vanilla creme brulee for dessert.
There were no burgers in stock and the menu was quite seafood-heavy, so I the coriander-chilli-broccoli-bocconcini pasta was my best bet, especially when paired with a gingery rose martini. Also see husband’s asparagus and the linefish – Cape breem on the day, cooked to perfection, as well as the vanilla creme brulee topped with a cookie and paired with a cappuccino.
Strong, rich coffee, a crisp breeze, bird song and blues and greens everywhere you look. That’s Majeka House!
Bellies full, it was time to explore our room! We were in one of two with access to a private (very cold) pool. Also see the pretty pink and grey birdy theme, even on the glass doors on the bathroom.
I won’t tell you how many takes we took at getting it to look like I was wrapped up in the flamingo birdy. 🙂
See the beautiful but chilly pool. The base is striped and would be good for a few laps! I didn’t brave it much more than this, alas. The coffee was much needed, and even that didn’t do the trick so we decided it was time for a quick explore of the local wine farms. What a good idea!
Waterford Estate is like something an artist imagined and brought to life with a magic paintbrush.
You just can’t go wrong with visiting a wine farm in the Western Cape, but Waterford Estate has a special touch. From the game viewing vehicle to the pretty trees…
To the classy country setting with lights and log fires everywhere you look…
To the chocolate-wine pairing, which is complementary if you’re staying at Majeka House. Waterford Estate was actually the first local wine farm to offer a chocolate-wine pairing, and we can see why it’s been such a success. The chocolates are specially crafted and can only be bought at the Estate. We highly recommend this activity if you’re visiting Stellenbosch!
But the best part, for us? The tiny fruit dotted on trees in rows and rows across the estate. They were sweet and seedless, and left our fingers orange-scented.
Dornier is on the same road as Waterford Estate, so we stopped in for a quick visit – see why I say you can’t go wrong with visiting a wine farm in the Western Cape?
Some of the things we saw while travelling those semi-rural roads of Stellenbosch.
Juice and dessert! We’d just returned to our room when there was a knock on our door in the early evening, and we were presented with fresh, spicy juice and a yummy berry-chocolate panna cotta.
Later that evening we made use of the fitness centre and the steam room, sauna, indoor pool and jacuzzi. This is bliss!
This was the best option from our standard gown photo shoot. I promise. Not seen: Just how fluffy and soft and warm they were.
Night time! See the sky at sunset and how the Majeka House archways light up once the moon rises.
Sunday, 5 August 2018: Breakfast buffet at Makaron
The moment Husband’s eyes were open on Sunday morning, it was time for breakfast in Makaron. See the hot breakfast menu, some of the treats to choose from the continental buffet, and tea equipment.
This little piggy guarded the breakfast buffet.
The seating arrangements at Makaron restaurant in Majeka House are quite something. Look at these fancy chairs!
We had bowl after bowl of beautiful assortment of food. See our strong coffees served with hot milk, clusters of honeyed muesli with nuts and yoghurt, the American pancakes with hot, jammy blueberries and Husband’s full breakfast including tomato, mushrooms and sausages.
Suspicious Bassie, once we were safely home again that afternoon.
Bertie having a snuggle with his dad.
Monday, 6 August 2018: Sunrise in Woodstock
The most beautiful citrus-streaky sunrise when I got off the MyCiti bus at Woodstock Station on Monday morning.
That’s all, folks! We hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Majeka House and Waterford Estate were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
T’was the Freedom Day long weekend in SA last weekend, so we had time to fit in lots of fun moments.
We were also lucky enough to be reviewing a mini version of the winter lifestyle package at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch, so this week’s post is jampacked with mouth-watering food and breathtaking views. See for yourself…
Friday, 27 April 2018: Go-karting at Century Karting
We had a later-than-usual breakfast brunch on Friday as didn’t have to get up with an alarm. See my chai latte and enormous croissant with bacon, brie and blueberries, as well as side salad. Husband had the mince on toast topped with an egg. All this at the Foodlover’s Market on Sandown.
Husband had spotted the Century Karting track when we made a miss-turn in the parking lot of Canal Walk, and as keen to give it ago with his dad, brother and father-in-law. They went zooming around the track so fast that the bottom right blurred pic is about the clearest ‘action shot’ I managed to snap.
Team photo of the proud racers. The sons had more aches and pains the following day than the dads.
We also spent some quality time with the puppers that eve. They’re such sweeties.
We dined at Petisco’s with brother-in-law Spec that evening. Their creamy chicken xai-xai fillet is amazing!
Pink sunset from the balcony at Petisco’s that evening.
Saturday, 28 April 2018: Massage, four-course lunch and ice-cream wine pairing at Clos Malverne
We had a quick earlybird breakfast with Spec at News Cafe first thing on Saturday, then it was time to set off for our grand adventure…
Such pretty scenery on the road to Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Blue skies, check. Green valleys, check. Chirpy birdsong, check. Before we knew it, we were at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley.
Our first stop – the spa! We were treated to back, neck and shoulder massages, as well as time in the steam room to unwind. There were Ferrero Rochers awaiting us on the massage table pillows. Such a lovely start.
Feeling relaxed after our massages, we were ready for the four-course lunch that lay ahead. But first, where to sit? So many appealing options at the Clos Malverne restaurant…
The bright, happy painting in the restaurant was so fitting for the Freedom Day long weekend in South Africa.
We sat in a corner of the sun-dappled balcony with panoramic views of the vines and valley ahead.
This is why it’s called a ‘meal with a view’ at Clos Malverne. See my starter butternut-goat’s cheese arancini and Husband’s half-shell mussells in Thai curry broth.
Mmm. See Husband’s fillet steak topped with asparagus spears and springbok samosas on top, with my bacon-wrapped chicken fillet and pork belly below. Such beautiful plating, with tastes to match!
Loved the mini apple rolled in poppyseeds that accompanied my pork belly (it tasted of pear). Also see our desserts – the ‘savoury sweet’ on top is a butternut-chilli-caramel cheesecake, with the ‘white dark chocolate’ mousse below.
If you thought we would be full by then, you obviously haven’t heard of Clos Malverne’s ice cream-wine pairing. This is not part of the lifestyle package but definitely worth booking as part of your stay. Flavours range from the ‘lemongrass, chilli and litchi’ as paired with a flute of MCC to the orange, ‘gluhwein and star-anise’, paired with a sweet dessert wine. Full descriptions to follow on Bizcommunity!
Next stop, nap time. The rooms are named after wine varietals, with views of the valley and amazing pool. Husband was clearly amused at the wonderful simplicity of the TV remote!
Look. At. That. Pool! But it was too pretty to just lounge around and look at, despite the icy water…
Proof of our pool time. We lounged beside it and also had a quick dip – t’was super chilly!
A slight variation of our usual ‘gowns in luxurious spaces’ photo. These were super soft and fluffy.
‘Clos’ means ‘walled vineyard’ and the vines sure are well protected on the farm. We went for a walk as desk set in and marvelled at the beauty of the setting sun over the mountains. See the rising moon in the last picture.
Sunday, 29 April 2018: Elevenses at Helena’s, Root 44 Market and the Stellenbosch Flying Club
This looks like a very good Sunday morning to me. See the sunrise, coffee on the balcony, fruit parfaits left in the fridge for our in-room breakfast, and fluffy brown cows grazing in the adjacent field. Then it was time to leave.
We took the long road home, with quite a few stops along the way as the typical Cape country scenery is all the more beautiful in the heart of Stellenbosch.
That included an explore of the sides of Stellenbosch we’d not yet seen, like this giant wheel.
Helena’s Restaurant in the Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel was so charming that we had to stop in for ‘elevenses’ or second breakfast – just a cappuccino for me, while Husband had the salmon eggs benedict. Delicious.
If you’re in Stellenbosch on a Sunday morning, chances are you’ll end up at the Root 44 Market, drooling over various crafts and foods. These looked amazing! Colourful confections at the market.
A corn dog for everyone, no matter your tastes.
The Stellenbosch Flying Club was our very last stop on our way out of town for a look around at the planes.
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my full, wordy review on Bizcommunity…
This is what we came for – it’s wonderful!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Clos Malverne were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
It feels like we’ve been celebrating it for months already (well, we
have been), but last Friday was finally our 10th wedding anniversary. Though we both worked on the day, we had the opportunity to spend the weekend in sun-drenched Tulbagh – what a treat it was, as you’ll see below…
Saturday, 26 August 2017: Roadrip to Tulbagh and Oakhurst Olives
A roadtrip selfie is a must, especially if you’re passing bright canola fields just before the start of Spring, as we did…
The crops of canola appear out of nowhere and are so very pretty, it’s like someone spilled bright yellow below and blue above.
The first stop on our schedule was Oakhurst Olives, just a little bit out of town and well worth a visit. We did olive oil shots (yes really – quite the experience!) We also dipped the most delicious bits of freshly baked bread into it and smeared a tasty olive tapanade on the rest. You can buy all their products right there, so we did.
Once you’ve climbed the stairs you marvel at the view outside.
If you have the time, take a little wander around the property. There are lilies and ponies and not-so-wild horses roaming the grounds.
Like this guy! He came running over to say hi when he saw us. Such a friendly horsey. Loved having his nose and neck rubbed. The dark one in the bottom right wasn’t quite as keen.
Next stop, check in at the Tulbagh Heritage Boutique Hotel. There were beautiful Proteas everywhere we looked, and just look at those rooms! A ginormous royal bed, bright fluffy gowns that put the usual scratchy white ones hotels offer to shame, and the fireplace downstairs in the restaurant.
Some of the outside scenes. The stairway up to our room, a quaint water feature, big chilly pool, and the bar that was packed to sardine levels just before dins that evening with McGregor-Mayweather preamble.
First up at the hotel, lunch! We seated ourselves beneath the shade of the tree on the terrace where Husband enjoyed a BBQ chicken butterflied burger while I made a go at the ‘Schuster’ (there’s a pizza on my terrace) – crispy based with rocket, peppadews, feta, avo and slices of biltong, it was enormous – we took the rest up to our room to snack on later.
I had ample opportunity for coffee with a view here. See the Olive Terrace below our room, an inviting bench and the must-dunk rusks in our room.
Late-afternoon is just the right time to take a quick tour of the town, as the setting sun gives the light a magical quality.
A walking tour of Historic Church Street is highly recommended. There are guided tours, but we ventured out on our own and had a wonderful time reading up on the various beautiful old homesteads and appealing coffee shops.
The cemetery is peaceful and sunny if you’re not freaked out by things like that.
The botanical gardens grounds were open so we soaked up some sunshine, and also popped in to the Paddagang to see their interesting decor.
Tulbagh really is an undiscovered gem of a town. Everyone greets you in the streets and you see sights like this almost every which way you turn your head.
We were back in time to watch the sun set from our balcony.
The rooms are bright, airy and beautifully decorated. Plus, little bite-size nougat treats are left on your pillow! Such a nice touch.
We sampled some truly delicious dishes for dinner in the completely booked out Olive Terrace restaurant that evening. See my Frangelico Hazelnut Mochaccino, the Cape Malay Lamb curry Husband enjoyed with sambals and popadoms, while I went for the spicy Mexican bean soup with nachos and guacamole, and ended off with the coffee creme brulee and an unpictured whisky dom pedro for Husband. No wonder this has been voted the top restaurant in Tulbagh on TripAdvisor for three years running!
Tummies purring, we stepped outside again to see the blue-lit tree after dins and took our customary ‘gownie snap’ once we’d settled in for the night.
Sunday, 27 August 2017: Breakfast at the Olive Terrace, ziplining with Ceres Zipslide Adventures
Breakfast! Yes, this was to be our third meal at the Olive Terrace, and we were the only ones to brave sitting outdoors as there was a slight chill. The cappuccinos were strong and the food just what we were after – the homemade granola was sweet rolled oats baked in local vanilla and honey, topped with toasted seeds and fruit from the Tulbagh region, as well as thick, unsweetened Greek yoghurt with a side jar of honey to drizzle to your heart’s content. Being a benedict-man, Husband went for the eggs royale, served on sweetcorn-pumpkin fritters. Yum!
After a quick checkout it was time for a very short roadtrip. Fields of pink blossoms lined the way into Ceres.
Just 20 minutes later we were harnessed, helmeted and ready to zip our way through the Ceres valley with Ceres Zipslide Adventures! Quite the different experience to when I first went ziplining along the Acrobranch obstacle course earlier this year, click here for a reminder…
This is a screenshot of the Ceres valley ziplining area from one of the videos Husband filmed.
Wheeee! Off I go! You zip across 1.4km over 8 different sections. It’s a wonderfully exhilarating activity, definitely a reason to add Ceres to your Cape travel itinerary.
There are fields and hills and vales and peaks to explore as you slowly make your way home again – thanks for a wonderful time, Tulbagh!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Oakhurst Olives, Ceres Zipslide Adventures and the Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Watch for my official review on Biz!
The simple answer? Stay at Abalone House and dine at Reuben’s, of course. That’s just what we did last weekend…
Saturday, 10 June 2017: A night at Paternoster’s Abalone House, with dinner at Reuben’s
We reassured the doggies that we’d be back in 24 hours and that they’d be in good hands with their uncle Spec, then off we went!
Rainy road trip! It’s comforting knowing there’s a luxurious destination at the end of the road. Also see my takeaway Wimpy coffee, a road trip essential.
Destination Paternoster! Less than two hours since setting off from home, including a few stops along the way for snacks and scenery snaps, we’d reached the sleepy town.
Some of the pretty things you’ll see in Paternoster – sea views from almost anywhere, whitewashed houses, the striking ‘see kat’ statue, and helpful sign boards to almost any destination.
Winding through the streets of Paternoster we soon found our lovely location for the night – five-star boutique hotel, Abalone House. See some of the sweet kitties that roam the premises, an abandoned boat and the inviting but absolutely off-limits cold pool in the wintery rain. We’re desperate to return on a warmer day and try it!
Abalone House is extremely warm and welcoming in winter, partly due to the old-fashioned charm, partly due to the blazing fireplaces dotted around the main property. We learned from the general manager that the outside sitting area you see bottom right will soon have glass sliding doors instead of these tarps, ensuring the weather stays out in winter and that you can let the sun shine in during the warmer months by just folding them away. We’ll have to return to report back on that, too!
Tretchikoff ladies everywhere! On the cushions in Reuben’s, on the wall in our lounge, in our bathroom, and on a stack of cushions in the library.
Pretty patio set, inviting bed, underfloor heating beneath soft carpets and loungers beside the Jacuzzi on the roof – we braved it for a good 40 minutes or so after dinner.
Our room at Abalone House was a real sight for sore eyes. Instant stress relief. Soon after check-in there was a knock at the door and we were presented with flutes of welcome bubbly and assorted warm canapes. The decor was bright, warm and just what we needed.
Here is Husband gazing at the gorgeous stormy seascape. Once settled in our room we had a warm, cosy nap and listened to the soothing sounds of the rain outside. The sound of birdies chirping alerted us to the fact that the rain had stopped and we could safely venture out to explore the beach.
What a wonderful beach. We saw a few couples heading that way once they realised the rain had eased off, and watched the stunning sunset.
Various things on the otherwise deserted Paternoster beach – me, swirls of foam, and Husband as the sun set.
Many know Paternoster’s Abalone House as it’s the setting for local foodie favourite Reuben Riffel’s Reuben’s – and boy, did we eat well!
Our dinner drinks at Reuben’s – a glass of Merlot and an ice-creamy strawberry shake (not on the menu, but just ask).
See my spicy tomato ragout meatballs with Melba toast-style health bread, amuse bouche of pulled pork from two angles and my lemon cheesecake with mint sorbet, berry coulis and Terbodore cappuccino.
More food – Husband’s ‘mushrooms on mash’ starter with mustard drizzle, his braised lamb shank, my pork belly ribs and the malva pudding dessert with granadilla sorbet. Watch for my review on Biz soon, for all the descriptive words!
Ahh. My ultimate sign of ‘quality place to stay’ is if there are fluffy white terrycloth gowns to prance around in once evening hits. That’s just what we did, as you can see from these numerous shots – we even had matching bedside slippers!
Sunday, 11 June 2017: Breakfast at Reuben’s, sightseeing at Saldanha Bay
Ordering a hot breakfast like the eggs benedict or full English means you can also have your fill of the continental buffet – one of the most varied and value-packed I’ve seen! As we were the first eager beavers to arrive, we got to take the prime table at the bay window with a view towards the sea. Just heavenly.
We’d seen the big anchor on our way into town the day before but didn’t stop as it was raining. We stopped on our way out so Husband could pose for a variety of photos, from polite tourist the ‘this is my wrecking ball’ swing. Teehee!
Having seen a field of wind turbines in the distance we took a slight detour off the tarred road home onto a dirt road to take a closer look. They’re really quite majestic and awe-inspiring up close as they whoosh methodically overhead.
We also visited the Saldanha harbour on our way home. The wind was picking up by then and rain started up again so we only took a few snaps – Husband was fascinated by the mix of sea-ready boats and shipwrecks.
That’s all, folks! One of the most beautiful places we’ve reviewed, we’re sure to return and hope you’ll venture out that way, too – you won’t be disappointed.
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Reuben’s and accommodation at Abalone House were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.