Last weekend we finally felt that the seasons have changed in the Cape. We even went to the beach for ice cream! And while there have been a few very chilly days since then, today was a scorcher and this weekend is set to be sunny and bright…
Wednesday, 26 September 2018: Planting vines and sampling wines at Ayama Wines, Slent Farm
Last Wednesday, I was part of a media group to visit a wine farm run by Italians – my full review of the experience will be up on Bizcommunity next week. For now, look at the picture-postcard scenery on our way to Ayama Wines in the Voor Paardeberg region, through Paarl.
Soon enough, we were there. Ahh. You can just feel the peacefulness of the surroundings. There are 172 hectares in total, with the vines flown in from Italy and 95% of the output exported outside of SA, so no worries f you’ve not heard of Ayama Wines.
We took a tractor tour of the land – see the sweet family doggy trotting along behind us in the bottom left pic. Also see lillies growing wild and in pots, and the protective blue booties we wore, to keep our shoes clean and the soil uncontaminated.
See the new Ayama Wines tasting room, farm petrol pump and mill, some of the lovely eats we tried, and our take-home gift of artichoke (we also received a few bottles of wine, not pictured).
Friday, 28 September 2018: Creative Mornings event and end of #BI4Gov
My first stop last Friday – after a brief email check-in at the office – was taking part in a collaborative art experiment at the Creative Mornings Cape Town session for September, held at Friends of Design on Bree Street. Click here for my overview if you missed it.
Next stop, the CTICC for day two of the #BI4Gov Behavioural Insights conference. If you missed it, click through to my article based on a tea break chat with MC, Africa Melane.
Conference food at the CTICC is always welcome as it’s quite hunger-making work, frantically taking notes and chatting to people in the gaps.
Saturday, 29 September 2018: Coffee French toast, beach ice creams and family braais
For our ‘Yay, it’s the weekend’ breakfast, we went to Pulp Kitchen in Willowbridge Centre. See Husband’s Mexican chilli mince-filled ‘brekkie burrito’ topped with guac and salsa, our flat whites and the bicycle-themed decor.
For me, the coffee French toast with maple syrup and coffee cream. So yum!
Such lovely scenery, while riding through the Durbanville suburbs after breakfast.
Later that afternoon we went to Sea Breeze, the ice cream place next to Pakalolo on Blouberg beachfront, as they make the perfect beach ice cream. This time I asked for a sugar cone, with mixed choc and vanilla soft serve, and a Flake, of course.
Just as pretty in front of the spring flowers that cover the dunes! Delicious, too.
Saturday afternoon meant it was time for a braai at Husband’s parents’ house. See the fire, the meat, sweet Bassie grinning, and our large, fresh strawberries for dessert.
Sweet Bertie, all tuckered out on the couch that evening.
Sunday, 30 September 2018: Beach excursions in Melkbos and Blouberg
We decided on breakfast at The Hart in Melkbos on Sunday morning. I went for the single bacon benedict, Husband had the chorizo rosti and of course we each had a flat white, too.
Our breakfast table at The Hart.
Bellies full, we took ourselves for a little walk along the Melkbos beachfront. Husband went exploring for sea life out amongst the rocks, as he does, and showed me all sorts of mollusks and sea anemones.
Later that afternoon, we set up camp at Blouberg beachfront. It was our first proper beach day since the weather has perked up a little. See me holding up our beach umbrella – it decided to up and blow away while Husband was in the sea, so I had to chase after it and pin it down.
If you look closely, you’ll see Husband standing on the wall of rocks about in the middle of the ocean.
Mum made all sorts of lovely summery foods for lupper – these are just the salads and accompaniments to various sausages and rolls.
Mmm! And for dessert, we had both milktart and a chocolatey-lime mousse pudding. The doglets were Very Interested.
Tuesday, 2 October 2018: Delicious dins and drooling doglet
Mum outdid herself with a delicious gingery sweet-and-sour pork for lupper that evening, AND homemade Romany Cream-style biscuits! If you look closely at the picture of Bassie, you’ll see a bubble of drool. Teehee.
That’s all, folks! Enjoy the sunshine. 🙂
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!