December may have only just kicked off but I’ve already had my first full Christmas lunch of the year!
Friday, 1 December 2017: Adele Searll 100 Club Christmas lunch at the Table Bay Hotel
A nut-crackingly good welcome to the Table Bay Hotel.
The decorations in and around the Table Bay Hotel got me into Christmas mode, fast. See the bright purply baubles everywhere.
Pink bubbly in the sunshine? Don’t mind if I do!
Beautiful tables in the Table Bay Hotel ballroom.
I was invited as Pam Westaway’s guest and enjoyed the Cathy Specific entertainment – that’s ‘her’ top left. Yes, I’m standing in the picture. On my tippy toes.
Proper Christmas lunch – we shared platters of endive salad with walnuts, then each had a plate of turkey with pumpkin and cranberries and carrots, and ended with slices of pumpkin pie with maple-pecan ice cream and mince pies with coffee. Simply scrumptious!
Saturday, 2 December 2017: Ons Huisie breakfast, Wimpy shakes and home braai
We decided on breakfast at Ons Huisie on Saturday morning. See Husband’s curried mince on toast topped with eggs and my berries-and-cream French toast.
Breakfast at our table at Ons Huisie.
We decided on a Wimpy shake as our Saturday afternoon treat. See my peanut butter-toffee chocolate version up close with Husband’s plain banana shake in the background.
Next stop, Saturday afternoon braai at our house, with Spec sleeping over as we had plans for the following morning.
Coals cooking away before we added the meat to the braai.
Bassie is always photogenic. See a few snaps of her on backs of couches and begging for crisps during the braai. Such a sweetie.
Some of the tasty treats we ate at the braai. Yes, that is a chocolate pizza dessert bottom right.
Sunday, 3 December 2017: Mugg & Bean brekkie and Justice League at Bayside, beach visit
We were up early on Sunday for breakfast and to watch Justice League at Bayside. Our Mugg & Bean brekkie included banoffee-chocolate French toast for me and the standard eggs-toast-bacon option for the brothers, with cappuccino all round.
Close up of my meal once I’d separated out the layers. Banana slices with caramel sauce on the left, banana slices with chocolate sauce and thick cream blobs on the right.
Spec and I are such true geeks who wear our superhero outfits and pose like the characters outside movie posters. Yes, even if other people are around.
We did some Christmas shopping at the Table Bay Mall on Sunday afternoon. The decorations are lovely and bright!
We stopped at Dolphin Beach later that afternoon for a stroll and jump along the icing-sugar sand and Husband had a quick dunk in the sea.
Tuesday, 5 December 2017: Carrot cake and milk tart in the office
We had cake in the office on Tuesday to celebrate Cari’s birthday over the weekend. Slices were thin so we could sample both, carrot cake and milk tart. They were amazing.
That’s all, folks! I hinted at my latest DIY home project in my
last blog post, big reveal below…
Here it is in all its glory. I’d been gifted with wooden numbers to mosaic and add to the front of our house once we moved in three years ago. We waited until the wall was up and freshly painted, then waited for me to decide on a colour scheme I liked, then estimated how much grouting and mosaic and trim I’d need and finally completed the job over my recent staycation. Sparkly!
As promised, this is a bumper update as I have two weeks’ worth of pics from our recent 10th anniversary break in Zanzibar to share with you…
Monday, 11 September 2017: Fly SAA from Cape Town to JHB
First stop, the airport. Having packed our bags and checked we had everything we needed – I left Husband’s passport in the scanner for our last overseas trip, and will never do that again! Check-in was easy so we had breakfast at Primi overlooking the flight deck. And then we were off!
By the time we reached our first hotel of the trip – the City Lodge at Johannesburg’s main airport it was a sunny, summery afternoon. We dropped off our bags in our room and decamped to the pool area for a while. Just blissful!
The moment we found out we’d need to spend the night in Joburg we decided we would have a special dinner at Lucio’s in Blackheath – they make gnocchi piccante, which is a bolognaise sauce with cream, brandy, chillies and lime. Too delicious for words. We also invited Gords as it was close to his birthday and we’d not seen him in ages. It was a lovely evening.
Tuesday, 12 to Tuesday, 19 September: Week at Azanzi Beach Hotel, Zanzibar
We needed to be at the airport at 5am for the Zanzibar flight so checked out of our hotel around 4:30am then trundled across the walkway into the main airport building. Check-in was another breeze, so we were pleased to find the Mugg & Bean open and ready to serve coffee, cookies and proper breakfast things for Husband. Then we were off again – up, up and away!
Having made sense of the chaos of the Zanzibar airport – meaning we found the correct forms, filled them in, made our way through passport control, located our bags, found our travel guide, paid 1$ USD to use the bathroom – we were ready to survive the roads to our resort in Matemwe on the island’s north-east coast, about 45 minutes from the airport. We saw many sights on the way, but mostly lush greenery as we passed the various spice farms and bright bunches of fruit and clothing for sale in the small towns we passed. Transport is very expensive in Zanzibar, so we didn’t leave the resort much.
Zanzibar is palm tree central. There are leafy trees everywhere you look.
Our resort was sunny, with thatched rooves nestled between palm trees – and you could walk right through, on to the beach.
The jambo juice cocktail, presented with a cold facecloth once you’ve checked into Azanzi, was about the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s a mix of coconut milk, pineapple juice and strawberry juice. Husband enjoyed the local Safari beers, I downed bottles of Stoney tangawizi (ginger beer) and Husband enjoyed the local wines with dinner.
The rooms are bright and airy, cleaned each morning and sprayed and ‘netted’ each evening to ensure a bug-free stay. Our suite was upstairs so we had a balcony with view of the bright bouganvilleas and palm trees to gaze at.
The mosquito-netted beds are very pretty and make you feel relaxed and peaceful and protected (though you still need to take your full course of malaria pills just in case. We are almost done with ours).
Some of the pretty bouganvillea blooms. There were pinks, oranges and reds, which were quite spectacular from the balcony.
The pool is gorgeous, partially shaded as it flows beneath the upstairs dining area. We spent lots of time wading in these waters.
The rest of this travel diary is grouped by events and things to do rather than running chronologically, as you’ll see…
Wake early to catch the sunrise
Matemwe beach is an excellent spot from which to catch the sunrise. We climbed up into the massage hut on the beach for these, so very different to the sunset shots below.
Sip chilled, fruity drinks at (and in) the pool
It’s always a good time for a drink in Zanzibar. Local soft drinks, beers, wines and more are part of the all-inclusive package and the Fanta Orange tasted just delicious there.
Cocktails are not included in the package, but we couldn’t resist a pina colada IN the pool! 🙂
I was thrilled to find that the jambo juice I’d loved so much on our arrival is also one of the cocktails on the bar menu.
Be active – play or watch sports – or rest in a hammock
When it was just too hot and windy to sit outside, we stepped indoors to play a few games of pool. Oh how we laughed and laughed at my ‘excellent’ skills 😉
We happened to have our SA shirts with us, so tuned into the rugby match against NZ. Some say this was not a wise move. This is us sipping Colas in the resort lounge.
Azanzi Beach Hotel is the ultimate spot for relaxation, with hammocks and comfy seats everywhere you look. Take a few novels and magazines with you, or just let your eyes switch into screensaver mode for a while and feel your worries slip away.
Take a sunset cruise at Nungwi
This was one of the highlights of our holiday. We were transported in an air-conditioned vehicle to Nungwi on the island’s north coast, the best spot to catch the sunset. After Husband had a quick dip in the sea we set off towards the horizon, with more drinks and fresh fruit midway. We were at sea from 4pm to just after 6pm.
It’s clear to see why Nungwi is so popular with tourists – calm, clear blue water, lots of resorts to choose from and the best view of the sunset.
Aww. Love this boy, and the sunset, and the sea so much! ❤
Husband spent some time in the water, of course, saying ‘hi’ to starfish and the like, and the sunset was truly spectacular.
Boats. Sunset. Sea.
Snorkelling, beach walks and sunning ourselves
Or you could take a stroll along the beach in Matemwe – everyone will greet you, ask for your name and where you’re from. There’s lots to see as most of the fishing takes place right before of your eyes.
We spent the bulk of our time in, on or gazing at the sea. It was an unbelievable shade and temperature, I can’t describe how warm and calm it is!
Make sure you’re both facing the right direction when you take your beach photos or you may end up with a sequence like this. Lol.
Me in my shortie wetsuit with flippers (snorkel and mask not pictured), Husband at the map of Mnemba Island on the Scubafish boat, us before hopping in to swim with the dolphins and the clear, calm turquoise sea.
Morning of snorkelling under the sun over with, it was time for a BBQ lunch at nearby Muyuni beach. We ate fresh chicken and tuna steaks with tiramisu for dessert, swam in the warm sea and napped in hammocks. That’s what being on holiday’s all about. That’s also the only meal we had away from our resort.
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Azanzi Beach Hotel
Breakfast! The best meal of the day, or the most important, say some. At Azanzi it was usually a buffet offering with eggs as you like them, crispy bacon and other assorted delights – chocolatey pastries, honeyed croissants, chicken or pork sausages, curry, noodles, French toast, pancakes, cheeses and cold meats, cereals with yoghurt and fresh fruit, juices and coffees… sure to get your day off to the right start!
We had many a good cup of coffee at Azanzi. See the breakfast pot, which usually provided three full cups, as well as coffee from our balcony and below, over the pool.
Lunch! The food at Azanzi Beach is really delicious and if you’ve taken the all-inclusive/full board offering, it’s all covered before you get there. We looked forward to our three meals a day and often had more than one course at each. This is lunch on the beach – a chicken curry for Husband and a bacon-banana toasted panini for me.
Just a handful of the food pics I took when we were at Azanzi Beach Hotel. We ate everything from pork loins to prawn skewers, butternut-orange soup and octopus pili pili to green bananas in coconut sauce. All lip-smackingly good.
There’s a weekly special beach BBQ/braai dinner buffet – such a treat! Tables are set up on the beach, with many salad type starters, a chef ready to toss potatoes, chicken, tuna, calamari, prawns and crayfish on the grill and sides of delicious oxtail soup and sweet-and-sour brinjals. For dessert, a choice of white chocolate tart, creme caramel and fruit salad left everybody smiling and singing along to the live music.
There was lots of wildlife to befriend, too. See the birdies that joined us at breakfast, Zanzikat or Chewie, who often visited our room, and another kitty that was sitting with a monkey on the beach at Nungwi. We also saw little goats and skinny cows.
Wash, rinse, repeat the above, and following a bumpy ride back to the airport, we were finally on our way home a full week after the journey began. Until next time!
That’s all, folks! We’re looking forward to spending quality time with the doglets this weekend. 🙂
Woohoo! September’s always a happy month as we’re over the worst of the work things and the end of the year is in sight so the pressure eases off a little. Here are a few of our happier moments from the past week and a bit…
Sunday, 27 August: Post-Tulbagh Driftwood shakes and beach selfies
Ahh. Late-Winter means you often get surprisingly warm, non-windy days just perfect for sitting in the sun and defrosting. That’s just what we did after we got home from our Tulbagh weekend, with a lazy draught, shake and meal at the Driftwood.
Later that afternoon it was time for a few beach selfies. I am amused 😉
Tuesday, 29 August 2017: Pamro conference at the Vineyard Hotel, doggies get a delivery
I bumped into Mike Broom of Panel Services Africa/Infotools/Marketing Science at the Pamro conference and had a quick catch-up chat.
This picture shows just how gloomy the weather was that day – just right for having an informative day indoors while the rain beat down outside.
Conference shots. The hotel was full on the day and the food was amazing, as always. I also wrote about my learnings from the day – you can read through a few of the topics here, here, here and here.
The doggies received a Very Exciting media pack that evening – so excting that Bertie got into the box to see what it was. Oh joy, another #Dreammaker cushion from Hills! Say goodbye to the days of sharing!
The doggies have spent every chilly evening since then just like this, huddled in front of the warmth of the fire on their Hills #Dreammaker cushis.
Friday, 1 September 2017: #Cupcakeformyhero
Last Friday was Spring Day here in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the launch of this year’s #cupcakesformyhero initiative by Mugg & Bean. For R22 you get a tangy, fluffy lemon meringue cupcake in aid of childhood cancer awareness.
Saturday, 2 September 2017: Rocomamas and braai at our house
We had lots of weekend chores to get through last Sunday still, so started off with breakfast at Village Place Cafe in West Coast Village. I had the heart-biscuited cappuccino and blueberry-topped banting flapjacks, husband had the light Village breakfast.
A meal at Rocomama’s is always a good idea. Here is Husband with his Castle Lite draught and chilli cheese bomb chicken burger. I went for the classic cheese beef smash burger and the ‘surprise me’ freak shake. It was an espresso/coffee/caramel concoction on the day. YUMMY! There’s also a sped-up video of me drinking it that we may or may not release 😉
Bassie was not impressed when her brother decided to disembowel his current bear, Elephant, on the couch beside her during the weekly braai.
The Andrews family at the braai – the doggies were content to nap on the couch in front of the blazing fire. PS: Yes, my hair looks a completely different colour to the photo from Rocomamas earlier – it’s all the lighting.
Caramel braai pudding. Sticky and runny and delicious.
Sunday, 3 September 2017: A dunk in the sea and doggy spring clean
We headed off to Greens in Plattekloof Centre for Sunday morning breakfast. Both of us had a cappuccino to start, with Husband devouring a spinach-and-mushroom eggs benedict and the caramel-banana waffle for me. Yip, more caramel!
Husband had a proper dunking in the sea that afternoon. Look at those crashing waves!
The doggies had a proper spring clean themselves that afternoon. Here’s Bertie trying to dry off in a bit of sun.
Bassie chose a cooler corner.
Lupper at Mum’s that eve – strawberry avo salad, unpictured roast chicken and jelly-custard trifle for dessert.
Wednesday, 6 September 2017: Coffee catch-up at Cassis
I met Mike Broom for part two of our coffee chat this week, at Cassis in Gardens Centre. See my custard-chocolate twist with my first cappuccino, while he went for an Americano with hot milk and a caramel apple tartlet.
That’s all, folks! Note that there won’t be a blog update next week, but the following week’s will be well worth the wait – we promise 😉 Happy weekend!
Woohoo, we’re so close to the weekend! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, even if there’s a chance I’ll be working for a fair bit of it. The important thing is that Husband is not working (he’s been
Marvin this week) – so we can finally spend some quality time together…
Friday, 28 April 2017: In-laws’ 38th anniversary at Cape Point
Much of the country took leave on Friday as it was the day between a Thursday public holiday and a Monday-public holiday long weekend. Alas I didn’t as my colleagues had sneakily applied for their leave on the day last year already, so I couldn’t join Husband with his brother and parents for a day out at Cape Point to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary. Of course the pics they sent me throughout the day really rubbed in what I was missing!
The family having breakfast together at Two Oceans restaurant in Cape Point. Lucky I chose not to use the pic Husband took a few seconds before this of his dad blowing his nose, teehee.
Bellies filled they went up the funicular and walked all around to see the lighthouse and other Cape Point highlights.
Team photo! Note their walking gear of choice and that Husband is the only one without a hat.
Much later that day, they stopped in at Venus Pools for a quick dip. Note the colours and wonder of nature in the middle pic.
It was also time for Bassie’s next check-up that evening. Neither her nor her dad are showing us their happy faces here, but all is fine.
Saturday, 29 April 2017: Breakfast at La Rocca, Canal Walk
We were in the area on Saturday morning so stopped in at La Rocca in Canal Walk for breakfast. Husband had a wonderful Mexican-style eggs benedict topped with dollops of prego sauce, and that’s my cappuccino top left.
This is what a forkful of the rocky road waffle looks like. Yummy!
The weather was still quite sunny that day so we made the most of it with a beach visit. See various gulls on rocks top left, Husband clambering across and a snap to prove we were both there.
Post-walkies was the ideal time to sample the boozy shakes at Saints Burger Joint in Eden on the Bay. I had the Insomniac, filled with chocolate-y things like Amarula, Kahlua and espresso, while Husband had the Kiss and Say Goodbye: Scotch whiskey, Kahlua and Oreo cookie.
If it’s Saturday afternoon it’s probably braai time with Husband’s parents and brother. See some of the spread here, as well as the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit game the boys played. Also, sunset from their house.
A braai at her grandparents’ house means lots of sitting on special cushions and laps for Bassie.
Bertie was thrilled at the chance to sit on my lap when his sister vacated it to sit on her cushion instead. Such a sweet, happy dog.
Sunday, 30 April 2017: News Cafe breakfast and another Sunningdale sunset
Sunday’s weather was chilly and grey so we dressed appropriately. See how my News Cafe cappuccino’s foam art matched my clothing and also see scenes of our early bird breakfast plates.
T’was just the chilly weather for doggy cuddles for much of Sunday.
Streaky sunset over my parents’ house this time.
Monday, 1 May 2017: Mayday movies and freaky hot chocolate
Husband felt for breakfast at Cafe Lacomia on Monday morning – t’was Worker’s Day and by chance we were both off work on the day, so we took advantage by spending some time together as he’d be on night shift the rest of the week. See my cappuccino and French toast as well as his eggs ben.
We stopped in at Mugg & Bean Bayside between chores for an early afternoon treat. Husband tried the espresso affogato, I had the so-called ‘freaky’ hot chocolate served freak-shake style in a glass mug, complete with trio of profiteroles.
When we saw there was a special pre-release screening of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at GrandWest on Monday, we jumped at the chance. Here is Husband with his 3D glasses and popcorn tub.
Bertie’s latest TV-viewing companion was nothing but a rag so it was time to reveal a new friend. This is Tiger, as you can see.
That’s all, folks! It seems winter is finally starting to lick its cold tongue at us here in the Cape – stay warm and well. 🙂
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Shorter work weeks are not easier work weeks. Not by a long shot as you tend to do the same amount of work as you would in a normal five-dayer. But I did have a lovely long break thanks to
last week’s staycation, so am not quite as tired as I’d normally be.
Here’s what we got up to over the Easter long weekend…
Friday, 25 March 2016: Good Friday
Good Friday began with breakfast at Mugg & Bean, Bayside. This was my ‘flat white cappuccino’, a weekend essential.
Instead of traditional hot cross buns, I had the ‘apple and cinnamon’ flapjacks for Good Friday breakfast.
Husband had the ‘mushrooms and avo’ eggs benedict.
We stopped at the beach in Blouberg on our way back home as the weather was just amazing. Here is Husband heading towards the sea. He waded in deep enough to wet his shorts.
Isn’t that just a ridiculously beautiful beach day? Look at that glassy sea, the fluffy cloud reflection and the bluest sky, with seagulls on the rocks and my favourite mountain (Lion’s Head) in the background. We’re so lucky to live just five minutes down the road!
Soon after, the weather turned quite miserable, with overcast skies and the threat of rain. And so we spent the morning indoors with the doggies. These are Husband’s latest Star Wars books, along with his space-themed bookmark.
I finished off Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer – despite Bertie trying his best to distract me with licks.
For a late lunch we decided on Rocomama’s in Durbanville, as we’d only heard good things about their ‘smashburgers’. They were so good I didn’t get a snap of them, so sorry, but here’s the fun order pad. You get to write your own name for your order, and can call yourself whatever you wish.
We had these gourmet milkshakes. Husband’s pale one on the left was creme brulee, mine was Belgian chocolate. Both delicious.
Saturday, 26 March 2016: Earth Cafe breakfast and the DIY beach chair
We started our Saturday with breakfast at Earth Cafe in Parklands, which recently reopened after a kitchen fire. Husband had this ‘au salmon’ croissant, I had banana cinnamon pancake with ice cream.
The doggies demonstrating the Adirondack chair and footstool ‘before paint job’. It was made for me by a lovely former colleague late last year and has been waiting for me to make up my mind on the colour scheme.
A quick trip to Builder’s Warehouse saw us purchasing all of this for less than R400 – the beach-coloured paints were on special.
Post-paint, doggies in almost the same positions.
Husband also put a peep hole in our front door.
26 March 2016: Easter Sunday
Luckily our local Village Place Cafe was open for breakfast on Easter Sunday, as we were up early with hungry tummies. I had these sweetcorn fritters with bacon, salsa and poached egg, Husband went for the pesto breakfast.
And then, pesto green beach time. Bassie had a bad experience with the sea foam on one of her first beach visits when we moved to Cape Town over three years ago so she usually steers clear, but you can see from her green front paw that she had a little dip at Kreeftebaai.
Look. at. this. dog. Bertie is in his element at the beach, and decided he’d look better in green than white. All the green bits are usually as pristine as his muzzle. Of course he had a shower when we got home!
This is how he got himself quite so green. Had a wonderful time splashing about!
Mmm. Chakalaka meatball pasta for Easter lupper at Mum’s.
Easter lupper 2016 table shot. We’re funny 🙂
Teehee. Of course we ‘bunny-eared’ each other while holding our Lindt Easter bunnies. But look a little closer…
How cute, their little ribbons were personalised with our names!
Monday, 28 March 2016: Family Day
We’ve not been to Spur for their Unreal breakfast in months. We woke up later than usual on ‘Easter Monday’ and broke the fast at Spur in Seaside Village. Yes, Husband used all the sauces.
I donated my bacon to Husband and had a wonderful time eating saucy chips and toast.
Later that evening we met the parents at the Buena Vista Social Cafe in Big Bay. These were our drinks…
Mum and me enjoying the sunset.
Husband and dad smiling back at me. I ate a burger much like the one in the ad on the door behind Husband.
See? Enormous. Had to bring some of it home for the doggies.
That’s all, folks! Hope it’s a relaxing one all round. 🙂