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.
We were on leave for the start of this week, doing a bit of a digital detox in the peaceful mountain town of Citrusdal. It went by in a flash and seems like a dream now when I think back to it so luckily we took photos as proof – highly recommended, especially if you’re slightly under the weather! But first…
Saturday, 27 May 2017: TTKXLangaProject lunch
We started our Saturday with a shared halloumi toast breakfast at our local Foodlover’s Market as we knew our tummies would have quite the luxurious lunch later. Also see my cappuccino and the sweet snowman wall art inside.
Presenting Langa. A township many avoid if they can, this was the setting for The Test Kitchen’s pop-up restaurant-charity event this past weekend, which was a roaring success. See some of the sights, including aeroplane wing-lights in the ceiling of the Guga S’thebe theatre-come-eating-hall, itself cleverly constructed from converted shipping containers.
Our menu for the afternoon. All this for R250, I’d say highly worth it – clearly others agreed as the weekend raised over R200,000 for charity, with only 280 seats in total over the 2 lunches – click here for my full coverage of the event!
The four food courses, left to right top to bottom ranged from duck to tuna to beef to lemon tart. My full review has all the descriptions!
We were still full-to-bursting from lunch but one does not turn down creme caramel dessert after the parents’ braai.
Sunday, 28 May 2017: Stacked Diner breakfast
I’d heard good things about Stacked Diner on Kloof Street, so we ventured out that way for our Sunday morning breakfast. Service was fast, food was fresh, prices were good and they’re open from 7:30am each day! If they were a little closer to home I’d be there like a flash. Note my strong cappuccino, Husband’s chilli-cheese dog with side of avo and my chocolate-chip flapjack stack with milk-chocolate pouring sauce. Yum.
Doesn’t this forkful of choc-chip flapjack stack covered in cream and milk chocolate sauce and fresh strawberry look sinful? I wiped my plate clean.
Teehee. The doggies were so sweet at the Granny’s house for Sunday lupper. Note the pies and chips the humans ate bottom-left, and Bassie wolfing down pomegranate mousse.
Monday, 29 May 2017: Digital detox at Wolfkop
Such pretty road trip scenery – Citrusdal is just over two hours from home.
Destination Wolfkop! Set in a nature reserve, the chalets are clean and spacious and just shout out ‘relax’! We did just that, and also enjoyed watching the friendly lizard catch moths that flew too close to the light.
Pretty clouds streaking the sky. Greenery everywhere. Hills and dales and tiny animals. Happiness.
It’s not for nothing that we’re the water-lovers of the zodiac. Aquarians will see a body of water and get in it. (That’s Husband and me). Mum and dad (Leos) also enjoyed it but we outlasted them by a good few hours!
See? There. This is how it felt to be in a hot jacuzzi instead of the normal Monday scenario where I’m glued to numerous screens.
I very nearly missed taking a snap of the sunset on our first night there as I was having such fun relaxing in the jacuzzi. We should have been wrinkled prunes after spending hours in the warm water but somehow didn’t look any worse for wear.
Tuesday, 30 May 2017: The Lovely Grapevine breakfast, afternoon at The Baths
The Lovely Grapevine Coffee and Gift Shop is just down the street from Wolfkop so that’s where we had breakfast on Tuesday morning. It was indeed lovely, from the moment dad asked if they serve breakfast (“Het julle ontbyt”) and got the worried reply “Jy wil my byt?” (You want to bite me?) Teeheehee!
Such a lovely setting, and the food was just what the doctor ordered.
That afternoon we drove about half-an-hour to The Baths, one of Citrusdal’s top attractions – we’d booked for lunch at McGregor’s Restaurant so stopped in to fill up our bellies first. See my chicken strips and chips, Husband’s oxtail stew, Mum’s cheeseburger, Dad’s crumbed mushroom starter but not the cake-y waffle we shared for dessert as we ate it so fast.
That magical hot pool filled with natural spring water was just as we remembered from our last visit. ( Click here for a reminder).
Various moments of sunset gazing on our last night at Wolfkop. The night sky was also lovely, dotted with so many stars. I wish I could press ‘rewind’!
Wednesday, 31 May 2017: Hebron breakfast and Citrusdal souvenirs
Final morning coffee while soaking up the last dregs of a gorgeous sunrise.
Citrusdal was not so named by mistake. Nosiree. Mum loved all the freshly squeezed orange juice, and we couldn’t resist bringing a few ripe samples home with us. They’re incredibly juicy and seedless. Just the thing if you’re slightly under the weather.
We’d noted Hebron on our way through Piekenierskloof on the way into Citrusdal, so that’s where we stopped for breakfast after packing up and checking out of Wolfkop. It’s a real hidden gem!
Very intriguing tables comprising old solar panels, topped with lovely cappuccino and a wonderful menu that’s changed monthly, so we were there for the last day of this exact offering. Here’s what we ate…
See my apple-bran flapjacks with bacon and rooibos syrup, the lovely nutty-fruity granola bowl Mum and Dad sampled, and Husband’s Bombay fry-up.
I got my ‘doughnut day’ fix a little early in the week – this is the chocolate-filled Mr Happy and a much-needed small cappuccino from when we did a few errands at Canal Walk’s Dunkin’ Donuts once we’d unpacked again.
That’s all, folks! We’re both back at work and seeing off the tail-end of an annoying cold. Hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead – hold thumbs that the ‘massive storm’ set to bring lots of rain to the Cape this coming week actually arrives!