Tag Archives: night away

KZN fun in the winter sun: Loeries 2018 and a night at the Oyster Box

Loeries 2018 is done and dusted but no need for FOMO: if you missed all the fun you can scroll through my pics below. This is a super bumper edition post as it also includes pics of our stay at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga last Sunday night. So make sure you have a hot drink at hand, your scrolling finger is ready and go, go, go!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018: Fly to Durban, lunch at the Versailles restaurant

Airport coffee and sunrise
Once I’d checked in at the airport on Wednesday morning I had time for a quick coffee and to snap the sunrise before meeting up with my colleague Angie for our flight to Durban. Good way to start the trip!
Versailles restaurant at the Blue Waters Hotel
Once we landed at King Shaka Airport, adjusted to the humidity and found our hire car, we made our way to the Blue Waters Hotel on the Snell Parade. After checking in, we had time for lunch in the hotel’s Versailles restaurant before sorting out some work in our room. See the lovely setting, as well as my berry-topped cheesecake and strawberry milkshake. Angie went for the fish and chips with veggies and said it was delicious.
Blue Waters room service.
We were so busy working in the evenings that we didn’t leave our room, alas. These are various snaps of room service meals we ordered over our stay at the Blue Waters. Those snack baskets are lovely, the chips are delicious, the hot chocolate has real chocolate melted into the pot and that club sandwich could easily feed two!

Thursday, 16 August 2018: Moderating the Women in Marketing: Africa masterclass

Loeries and Blue Waters Hotel.
We woke bright and early for our first big day on Thursday – see my ‘The future is female’ tee from Foschini, so fitting for the themes we covered on the day. Also see various stages of breakfast at the Versailles restaurant in the Blue Waters hotel, and the enormous tree guarding the Durban ICC, just five minutes from our hotel.
Women in Marketing Africa Masterclass at the Loeries
My Loeries fun kicked off with something different – I moderated the Women in Marketing: Africa launch masterclass. Click here for an overview of the topics discussed, if you missed it.
Robertson's spicecream at Loeries
Probably one of the most delicious moments of the Loeries – stopping on a swing to try the chocolate-chilli ‘spicecream’ by Robertsons.
Loeries at Durban ICC
More about Thursday. Luckily all the Loeries events are held at the Durban ICC, so once you’ve registered it’s pretty easy to find your way around. See the registration desk, where we were pleasantly surprised to be told we were VIPs for the week. Also see me with Loeries CEO Andrew Human, and the lovely Nkgabi Motsau of Think Creative Hub – I’ve interviewed her a few times over the phone and email, so it was wonderful to bump into each other. Also see Angie and me enjoying our ‘spicecreams’ on the Instagram ‘head in the clouds’ swings when the seminar was finally over.

Friday, 17 August 2018: DStv Seminar of Creativity and Loerie Awards night one

Durban sunrise
Stages of sunrise as seen from our room, and breakfast downstairs in the restaurant.
Loerie awards
A few of our Friday highlights – it was time for the DStv Seminar of Creativity, so we made sure to have a filling breakfast in the hotel before heading back to the Convention Centre (this is part two). It was ‘build-you-own-bunnychow for lunch – with authentic Durban curry, so these were fantastically hot. Also see the Convention Centre all lit up for the first awards show that night. We rushed back to our hotel room to change out of our casual outfits, then were ready for lights, camera, action!
Friday night Loeries Awards
A few more snaps from Friday night’s Loeries award ceremony at the Durban ICC. See me with Slo, who now works at TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris. I met HER when I first covered the Loeries in Durban a good four years ago, and see Angie and me in all our Foschini finery.
Loeries 2018
Our posed snap from Gallo, on the red carpet with the Loeries and this year’s Wakanda-themed picture prettiers.
Loeries awards
The award nights flew by in a whizz as we were tweeting, posting to Instagram and making articles live as the nights went on. No wonder we were exhausted by the time we got back to our room!

Saturday, 18 August 2018: Brand SA VIP Brunch and Loerie Awards night two

Brand SA VIP brunch at California Dreaming
Saturday morning was the Brand South Africa VIP Brunch, held at California Dreaming on the beachfront. We were happy to sit and watch Durban life go by on the promenade beyond, while sipping away and munching on delicious snacks.
Networking at Brand SA VIP brunch at California Dreaming
After a strong cappuccino we were ready to fit in some networking, too!
Loeries red carpet
Saturday night version of the official Loeries red carpet team snap – this time in our own clothing with Foschini accessories (love that neckpiece!)
Saturday night Loeries red carpet
More from the Saturday night red carpet! See me with the big gold loerie, Angie and I at the logo wall and saying hi to Nkanyezi Masango of King James Group (they did really well on the night!)
Dogs on couch
Husband also kept me in the loop of how things were going back at home on Saturday. See the doglets snuggled together on the couch, cheersing his mom’s birthday, and breakfast with my parents. Also see Bassie, very interested in his dessert.

Sunday, 19 August 2018: A night at the Oyster Box Hotel

Cape Town Slow Lounge
Husband also sent me snaps of his early morning at the Cape Town airport, where he waited for his flight to join me for a night. See the Cape Town Slow Lounge, his Kulula flight and view from the window.
Loo with a View at Cape Town airport
Husband found the ‘loo with a view’ in the Cape Town Slow lounge hilarious!
Umhlanga roads.
Angie safely dropped off for her flight home and Husband collected for part two of my time in KZN, we hopped into an Uber and headed to Umhlanga. See some of the sights along the way.
Oysterbox Hotel
Ahh, the Oyster Box. We loved everything we saw when we first arrived, including resident kitty Skabenga who let me pet him as he napped on a couch.
Oysterbox reception area.
The main reception area is just gorgeous, with ornate red carpets, glass, mirrors and orchids everywhere you look.
High tea at the Oysterbox
If cakes are your thing, don’t miss high tea at the Oyster Box. We had a huge dinner to come so gave it a miss, but there’s also a slightly smaller ‘evening indulgence’ option if you have a spot of space left after those curries. We didn’t, sadly. Will have to return for it!
Room at the Oysterbox hotel
Our room was a pink, red and white delight. See the robes in the bathroom, the red-and-white lighthouse in walking distance and enticing private balcony.
Cheers at the Oysterbox
Cheers! We clinked drinks once we’d had time to unpack and get over the gorgeousness of the view from our balcony.
Umhlanga sea
It’s not a proper seaside stay if Husband hasn’t had a dip in the sea, so we trotted along the beach to the pier and of course he dunked himself in the Umhlanga waters – my first time on the KZN beachfront too, despite having arrived in Durban on the Wednesday! Note cute ‘sand brush’ for when returning from beach to hotel.
Vervet monkey at the Oysterbox
We even spotted a vervet monkey wandering the grounds!
Sunset at Oysterbox
Sunset from our balcony.
Movie theatre at the Oysterbox.
Don’t forget to explore the upstairs floor of the Oyster Box – we found the Clock Tower Room, host to a selection of toy soldiers, as well as the movie theatre stocked with sweets and soft blankets. Lots to do if the weather keeps you indoors!
Oysterbox ships.
A lovely nautical corner of the Oyster Box.
Curry buffet at the Oysterbox
That night, we sampled the curry buffet in the Ocean Terrace. Proper review of the curries to come on Biz, and see my very chocolatey shake – with striped paper straw, of course.
Oysterbox at night.
All the colours deepen at the Oyster Box at night. We were quite exhausted after dins and ready for bed.
Oysterbox swans and gowns
Wow, the Oyster Box room fairies went all out in our absence, decking the bed with towel swans, rose petals, chocolates and gowns. Here’s the resulting gown pic.
Bath at the Oysterbox.
To a Capetonian, this is absolute heaven due to water restrictions in the province. The staff had sprinked more rose petals all around the edge of the super-large tub, and even left us scented candles. Bliss!

Monday, 20 August 2018: The Oyster Box breakfast buffet and King Shaka Airport Slow Lounge

Breakfast at the Oysterbox.
The breakfast buffet spread is simply unbeatable. Look at all those cheeses, and you could eat oysters to your heart’s content! I think Husband stopped at 14.
Breakfast at the Oysterbox
Also see Husband’s Oysters Mornay bottom right, a selection of the cereals, the full breakfast menu and the pancake I topped with chocolate syrup, cream, banana slices and mini Astros. That’s how you do breakfast! And then…
Oysterbox spa
The spa at the Oyster Box is open to guests, so we headed straight there after breakfast to spend some quiet time digesting and erasing some of the past weeks’ stresses.
Steam room and plunge pool at Oysterbox
I can’t tell you how relaxing it was the spend the morning hopping between this jacuzzi-like plunge pool and the Turkish hammam steam room. We left feeling ten times better than when we arrived. Us waterbabies could have easily spent the day there!
Pool at the Oysterbox Hotel
We spent a little time at the main pool (there’s another close to the spa) before it was time to check out. I can see why this is a firm Umhlanga favourite!
Pool at the Oysterbox
More shots of the gorgeous pool. See how we both bravely got in (that’s me in the bottom left shot) – and what a wonderful spot it is, to take your morning coffee.
Slow Lounge at King Shaka Airport
We had enough time to spare before our flight to visit the Slow Lounge at King Shaka Airport – my first time. See the curry that made Husband’s eyes light up, the chocolate croissant and cappuccino that made me happy, and various other snacks.
KZN Slow Lounge at King Shaka Airport
Another snap of the Slow Lounge, and the British Airways plane that brought us home.

That’s all, folks! Hope my snaps did our whirlwind stay justice. We’ve both been a bit ill this past week, so it will probably be a quiet weekend on our side. Enjoy yours!

*Disclaimer: Our Loeries’ outfits and accessories were sponsored by Foschini, while meals and accommodation at the Oyster Box Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Italian delights (like biscotti shakes) at Piza e vino in Wellington

Hello, dear reader! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s once again the weekend, so it’s time to scroll through my latest visual highlights. Last weekend was absolutely lovely as we spent most of it in Wellington. First, we got through the usual end-of week things…

Friday, 20 January 2017: Quiet evening with the doggies

Shaw Academy and dog watching cricket on TV
Top-left is Bertie’s happy grin when his dad said he could come with to collect me from the bus station that eve, bottom left is my glee at passing Shaw Academy’s second weekly Photoshop diploma assignment with full marks, and the right is Bassie and her dad watching the cricket on TV. Yes. Much excitement!

Saturday, 21 January 2017: What to do in Wellington during summer

Waffle and latte and cappuccino and wrap at Reload in Parklands
We were up bright and early on Saturday as we had a great many things to do that day. We managed to wait until the respectable hour of 9am before heading off for breakfast though – we opted for Reload in Parklands. See Husband sugaring his cappuccino in front of the ‘bokkie wall’ on the left, my caramel latte top right, and the chocolate-strawberry waffle and breakfast wrap beneath. I’m sure you can guess who ate which plate of food!
Road trip from Cape Town to Wellington
After a few of the usual weekend chores it was time to pack our bags and hit the road, Jack! We were expected at Val du Charron in Wellington, which we last visited in Winter (click here for a reminder). This time it was a sunny summer’s day with not a cloud in sight.
Wellington's Bell Inn
We were making such good time that we stopped off at The Bell Inn while winding through the outskirts of town. Typical cool, dark interior.
Red farm tractor in Welington
Husband was more than happy to hop aboard this big red tractor and demonstrate how he’d drive it. Teehee.
Val du Charron and Local Grill
Then we were there! The driveway up to the parking lot and the five-star Coachhouse where we stayed last time are on the left, with the Local Grill restaurant and four-star Guesthouse to the right.
Val du Charron four-star Guesthouse room
Once checked in, we were escorted to our room – it was hidden behind the impressive wine display. See our bed top right, and both of us enjoying the view from the balcony – Husband with a beer, me with a Terbodore coffee he kindly brewed for me.
View of Wellington from Val du Charron
Look. at. that. VIEW! This was snapped while standing on our balcony, gazing out towards the Hawequa mountains.
Zebra art in Val du Charron conference room.
The stripy zebra artwork in the Guesthouse conference room is very pretty. We peeped in on our way to the piano, where Husband taught me to play a quick tune before we scampered out into the sunshine.
Val du Charron in Wellington
Next up: An explore of the grounds! We didn’t even think of strolling around and seeing the vineyard when we visited in Winter. It’s such a lovely spot we didn’t leave Val du Charron once during our stay.
Pool at Val du Charron
Ahh. It was a hot day (Wellington gets so hot it’s sometimes called ‘Hellington’ – my former boss Justin grew up in the town, so he knows), so once we’d settled into the room and completed that quick explore of the grounds it was off to the pool with us! We were surprised to be the only ones there. The loungers beside the pool were comfy and sun-warmed, just to spot to dry off after a few dips.
Swimming pool at Wellington's Val du Charron.
Here you can see some of our relaxing in and around the pool.
Drinks at Piza e Vino in Wellington's Val du Charron
Dinner on the patio at Piza e Vino. Every single table was full by the time we left, around 9:30pm. See Husband’s mojito bottom left and the delicious Biscotti milkshake I was lucky enough to try. There are many more words to describe it. Click here for my full review on Biz!
Piza e vino at Wellington's Val du Charron
The food! It’s worth the hour’s drive from Cape Town if you’re going for lunch, I’d say. Have what we had: The Parmesan-crusted zucchini bites with honey-mustard dipping aioli are left top and bottom, the Sesame Street chicken salad with feta-stuffed Peppadews in the middle, and the dark chocolate torteย with ice cream on the right. And don’t forget to order mains…
Piza e vino at Wellington's Val du Charron
I went for a half-half pizza pie – that’s Porky the Pig on the left half and the Frango Tandoori on the right, with Husband’s Fettuccini di Mare. All lip-smackingly good.
Sunset at Val du Charron in Wellington
The Piza e Vino patio was also the ideal spot from which to snap the setting sun. There’s just no better scenery to me!
Sunset at Val du Charron, Wellington
I saved the best for last. Gorgeous colours.

Sunday, 22 January 2017: Exploring Bain’s Kloof Pass

Breakfast menu at The Local Grill at Val du Charron in Wellington
The breakfast options for Val du Charron’s overnight guest are all served in the Local Grill and included in your stay (apart from any speciality coffees, of course).
Breakfast at Local Grill in Wellington's Val du Charron
The breakfast view, our morning food and the coffee that got me going for the day.
Bain's Kloof Pass
We’d not yet attempted the Bain’s Kloof Pass trip, so set off to do so after checking out. I took a few photos of the scenery and signage along the way. It must be super scary at night as there are no lights along the way, it’s rumoured to be haunted, and those low rock walls you see are the only thing between the road and the deep valleys below.
Baboon in Bain's Kloof
We even spotted a troop of baboons that scarpered off into the bushes when we came close – apart from this fellow, who was examining his paw on a tree stump.

That’s all, folks! It’s Husband’s birthday this Sunday so expect pics of him in the birthday hat in next week’s update. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation and meals at Val du Charron were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.