We’re so close now that I can almost taste the holidays. Here’s what we’ve been getting up to while waiting…
Friday, 2 December 2016: Bizcommunity’s end-of-year lunch at Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek
We were so lucky with the weather last Friday, as our end-of-year office party was being held at Cape Point Vineyard in Noordhoek. What a gorgeous venue! The inside is simply beautiful but the outside area is a clear winner as you have views across to the Noordhoek beach.
Look at that delicious food! The top shot is the snacky platters brought to the table for all to share, then you can see what I opted for from the choices per lunch course: my beef carpaccio starter, rib-eye mains with tomatoes still on the vine and a caramel-macadamia nut cheesecake dessert. So delicious.
I spent lots of time laughing with my colleague Jess, who moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg earlier this year.
Team shot! Lots of happy faces.
Saturday, 3 December 2016: Breakfast at Company’s Garden, weekend beach walkies and paella at Espana
Saturday was our last full day with Husband’s parents as they were making the long trek back to Joburg the next day, so we decided on breakfast at Company’s Garden in town. Three of us went for cappuccinos, one had a coke, and three went for the eggs benedict while one tried something new: the apple-berry crumble. So yummy, as you’ll see below.
The before and mid. No picture of after as the bowl was clean.
Bellies full, we wandered around the gardens looking at all the squirrels and pigeons and plants. I also tested out this egg chair, and a squirrel darted back and forth in front of me.
Husband joined me for this shot.
Next up, a beach visit. Good shot of how the doggies go in different directions at the beach. All the while scrambling over rocks and dipping feeties in the sea.
Both looking happy, caught mid-scramble.
The three males – Husband, his dad and Bertie in a calmer-than-usual moment.
These are two very happy doggies after beach walkies.
For our final dins with Husband’s parents we ate at a firm family favourite, Espana in Burgundy Estate. Here is Husband demonstrating the outside and almost blending in with the decor inside.
To eat, we all went for the paella and all ate every morsel. My father-in-law also opted for their cinnamon-sugar pancakes. A lovely night.
The sunset over Table Mountain and the sea from Burgundy Estate is always a treat.
Sunday, 4 December 2016: Greens breakfast and 2016 Christmas trees
Parents safely on the long road back home, we stopped in at Greens in Plattekloof Village for breakfast. I had the waffle with caramel, banana and icecream, while Husband had the mushroom-spinach benedict. That’s my cappuccino and his breakfast Cola.
Amongst some weekend admin I also admired the pretty Christmas tree in a local nursery on the left, put up my own tree that evening and helped Mum decorate hers when we went for dins that eve.
Monday 5 to Thursday, 8 December 2016: Final team lunch at Fat Cactus
T’was the birthday of one of my colleagues on Friday and as she’d taken the day off we didn’t get to celebrate with her at our end-of-year. She brought in all sorts of deliciousness on Monday so we ‘cheers-ed’ her belatedly then.
We took a break from our desks for a few minutes of sunshine and spotted a little green chameleon trotting along. See how very green he is!
Thursday was our final team lunch of the year. We went across to the Fat Cactus and were back at our desks just over an our later. I went for the pulled-pork soft tacos and espresso shake.
It’s another two weeks of work, then Husband’s brother comes down to stay with us for a few weeks over the Christmas break. Exciting times! 🙂
Last weekend the weather turned all gloomy and grey on us so we went into hibernation mode for much of it, as you’ll see below…
Saturday, 8 October 2016: Breakfast at The Daily, gnocchi at The Italian Club
It was The Daily’s turn to host us for breakfast, so Husband went for their breakfast wrap, while I tried their Nutella-banana pancakes. Perfect with the Terbodore cappuccino and homemade shortbread star biscuit.
It was good ‘stay indoors’ weather, so stay indoors we did. We alternated between reading, napping and watching series.
The Italian Club in Milnerton is pumping all weekend long, so we were lucky to get a table last Saturday evening when we pitched up without first making a booking. The cold, rainy weather had me craving my favourite comfort food – gnocchi. See it topped with meaty bolognese sauce and lots of parmesan cheese top left, all the party balloons (from different parties) behind Husband, and my choc-dusted cappuccino.
Sunday, 9 October 2016: Breakfast at the Melkbos Farmstall
We felt like a brief road trip first thing on Sunday so ventured all the way to Melkbos 🙂 Here is the Farmstall from outside.
The windmill is somewhat dilapidated.
Farmstall from the front, complete with large pumpkins on the roof.
Husband happily making his way through the ‘healthy starter’ served with most breakfasts at the Farmstall – a tiny juice and a piping hot bran muffin. Yummy.
Husband opted for ‘The Rooster’ breakfast.
I had the French toast breakfast.
This little birdie got lucky when the family at this table got up to go meet the bunnies mid-meal.
Of course we walked around looking at all the bunnies and birdies, too. I think this is the first time I realised ducklings are yellow from tip to toe. So cute!
Cloudy with a few blue patches – weather conditions on the way home. We spent the day much like Saturday, only venturing out again for lupper at Mum’s that evening.
The doggies trotted all around their granny’s garden after they’d digested their Sunday lupper.
Bassie had a ‘Spring sniff’ all around her granny’s garden, stopping to admire all the blooms.
Monday, 10 October 2016: Solo doggy beach walk
Husband took the doggies for a beach walk on Monday. Love how their personalities are captured in this shot, with Bertie eagerly standing up to look out the window in the back seat, while Bassie sits and stares more calmly out of the front passenger side. 🙂
The beach was deserted and there was minimal wind – Bassie’s best conditions, see how happy she is here.
This is Bertie mid-shake post dip in the sea.
Both merrily scrambling and exploring the rocks and tiring themselves out.
Thursday, 13 October 2016: Beyond Retail conference at The Rotunda at The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay
I’ve seen this ‘heart’ lit up at night all over Instagram when people dine across the road from it at Cafe Caprice and the like, but it’s just as pretty in the daytime. It’s the first thing I snapped before the Beyond Retail conference began at The Rotunda in The Bay Hotel across the road.
Top left is the awe-inspiring light fitting and tent-like ceiling of The Rotunda, below was my breakfast table set-up and to the right was our tea table. You can read the first of my articles from Beyond Retail by clicking here.
An inviting corner just outside The Tides restaurant in The Bay Hotel, where we lunched and networked.
View of Camps Bay far below as I took the long bus trip home later that afternoon.
That’s all, folks! Here’s to another relaxing weekend all round…
This week was all about hard physical work – we had our house painted, so to distract the doggies over the weekend we took them for long local neighbourhood walkies, and then got stuck into some gardening. The painting is almost complete, the gardening is not – I’ll post pics of that once we’re done, but you can take a peek at the complete transformation offered by a lick or two of paint so long:
Top row is the back and front of the house pre-paint (well actually mid-paint – it didn’t look so bad before they started, that’s lots of loose bits having flaked off after the high-pressure cleaning last weekend). The bottom row shows the difference just a few days later. And yes, the bright Adirondack is the one I showed you how we DIY painted a few months ago, under the patio roof shelter Husband installed in February 2016 – click here and here for how he did it.
And now, on to specific daily moments…
Friday, 9 September 2016: Social media training at Shift One, Eden on the Bay
As Friday dawned bright and sunny, and it was the day of the social media training I was attending with a colleague in Big Bay, I spent a long time gazing at this view. Note the walkway light was still on, as it was so early.
I always snap a pic from this spot when it’s without a queue of people waiting to pose in the frame. Last Friday the view was gorgeous, with a little ship seeming to float on the cloud below the mountain – do you see it?
Following a frantic morning of note-taking we were each given an envelope with R70 in it and told: “Go have lunch, be back here in 45 minutes.” Needless to say we got back a little late, but we’d eaten well and chatted up a storm. And this bacon-avo panini from Eden Cafe was delicious.
Training finally done that afternoon and certificate of attendance received, I had half-an-hour to spare before making my way home, so I went into Cup & Cake for a looksie. It’s the sweet little bakery directly opposite the Pick n Pay in Eden on the Bay. A little peckish by then, I couldn’t pass up their delicious homemade milktart. At just R25 for a generous slice, and partnered with a delicious cappuccino (yay, with mini shortbread biscuit to accompany), this was the ideal way to switch between work mode and weekend mindset. That’s the very edge of my book you see in the bottom of the pic.
Saturday, 10 September 2016: Neighbourhood doggy walks and Jerry’s burger treats
Setting off for walkies on Saturday morning. Just look at all that happiness!
Love how the doggies and Husband are each going in a different direction here. 🙂 We all followed the same path in the end, sort of.
Much, much later that afternoon, after hours of housework and gardening, we treated ourselves to the deliciousness of Jerry’s on the Blouberg beachfront. I had the Jerry burger (same as when I went to Jerry’s with my workmates recently), but rounded out my milkshake menu-tasting with their Chai Latte flavour. Tasted exactly as you’d expect, sweetly spicy. Gingerbread is still my favourite Jerry’s option.
Husband had the Jack D burger and a Black Label. Chips drenched in sriracha sauce, obvs. We had a lovely time and will try remember to book a booth with a view of the sea for our next visit.
Sunday, 11 September 2016: Breakfast at Lacomia, braai at Mum’s
My Sunday started with this cappuccino at Cafe Lacomia in the Sunningdale Builder’s Warehouse as we needed to buy a few gardening things. It’s one of the few places that still dusts the top of a cappuccino with chocolate powder, and note I got two tiny cookies in the saucer. Happiness.
Husband had the Bullseye you see on the left, I had the cinnamon-sugar pancakes you see on the right. These kept us going through a few more hours of heavy-duty gardening.
Look! Spring has finally reached Cape Town, with wildflowers dotting most of the grassy embankments around our home.
We stopped in at a house on show in our neighbourhood that afternoon to see if it suited Husband’s parents’ housing requirements (they’re moving down to Cape Town from Johannesburg soon, eep!) Look at the loveliness of this enclosed braai room with lots of Adirondacks…
Husband and dad were in charge of the braai for Sunday lupper – a mix of colours of food on the plate like this is always a good thing. 🙂
That’s all, folks! It’s been a rainy few days with snow in some areas as a last-minute cold front has hit, so who knows what you’ll see pictures of us doing in my next update!
Last weekend was all about savouring extremely slow-cooked deliciousness at Franschhoek’s Grande Provence.
Click here to click through the galleries of their official owned pics that I added in my official review, or scroll through the ones we took below…
Saturday, 11 June 2016: Sampling Grande Provence’s slow-cooked Winter delights
The day dawned cold and grey but that didn’t dampen our spirits as we were excited about the lunch we’d be filling our bellies with soon. Bertie also shared some morning kisses to broaden our smiles.
Our wonderful lunch venue for the day – Grande Provence in Franschhoek. Highly recommended!
The vineyard, Franschhoek mountains and wintery grey sky.
Just look at that fire – we were seated at the closest table to it. Those cheese straws were the stuff of legends.
My ‘Millionaire’s bacon and eggs’ starter. Full description here in my official review.
Husband went for the BBQ lobster starter.
My 12-hour beef cheek mains.
Husband’s 18-hour Karoo lamb mains.
Husband’s ‘chocolate forest’ dessert, complete with sweet mini mushrooms.
Lovely kisses of hazelnut pot au crème, hidden by the disc of tonka bean semi-freddo.
My hot fondant dessert, complete with salted cocoa twig and a pipette of Amarula. Yes.
My cappuccino with chess board sugar cubes and mini chocolate fondant truffle.
Tree-lined streets just begging to be explored as we slowly rolled out of town, so explore them we did…
We ended up having a wander around Boschendal, another gorgeous afternoon setting.
These chairs are just asking to be lazed in! You can order a picnic on the grounds and do just that. We were obviously too full to do so on this visit, but watch this space!
With such woodsy scenery, little wonder the grounds are riddled with little squirrels, running here and there.
A little Boschendal squirrel trotting up a tree trunk with acorn in his mouth. So sweet.
Sunday, 12 June 2016: Breakfast at The Daily Cafe, Eden on the Bay
Surprisingly we were hungry when we woke on Sunday, so we followed our noses towards the sea and ended up at The Daily Cafe in Eden on the Bay. I had to try the ‘tin cup’ – espresso sweetened with condensed milk. No sugar required!
To eat, t’was a very tough choice but I settled on these ‘lemon poppy seed berry cheesecake’ pancakes. Such a good choice, definitely going back for these again!
Husband opted for the breakfast wrap. He made appreciative noises after every mouthful.
The weather had brightened a bit after the previous day’s gloom, so we decided to go coal picking. Here is Husband trotting along and picking bits of coal out from among the mussel shells strewn along the coastline.
Gorgeous streaks of cloud over Table Mountain.
After the Springboks were thrashed in the rugby on Saturday, it seemed only fitting to eat this ‘Springbok milktart’ at Mum’s on Sunday eve. Teehee we’re a vengeful bunch.
Thursday, 16 June 2016: Youth Day eggs benedict
I was rather snuffly on this week’s public holiday so unfortunately neglected to take lots of pics, but you’re not missing much as we slept in very late and t’was a day of relaxing and retail therapy… and we went back to The Daily. Here is Husband’s salmon eggs benedict post-peppering but pre-Tabasco saucing.
That’s all, folks! I’ll likely not budge far from the laptop for the next few weeks as Cannes Lions 2016 has just kicked off, so we’re in for a
recap of this post from last year, but Husband will hopefully drag me away for the odd treat, which I’ll try remember to photograph for you.
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meal at Grande Provence was part of their review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Click here for a reminder of other things to do in Franschhoek.
Yay, weekend! If you’re based in Cape Town, have a full talk of petrol and an empty few days ahead of you, why not follow in our footsteps and explore the wonderful town Franschhoek tucked in the wine-growing valleys of the Western Cape, as we did last weekend. Just 80km or so from the city, you’ll be there in just over an hour if you leave now… tell them I sent you! Start your engines, get set, go!
Of course these pics taken on our cameras didn’t even do the landscape and history-steeped buildings justice.
Click here to click through the galleries I added in my official review, which includes eye-wateringly beautiful pics of Le Quartier Français, its Tasting Room and the surrounds, all owned by the Leeu Collection.
Stop to sightsee on the way in
Before you know it that city bustle falls away and you’re surrounded by tall greenery and satisfyingly flat roads. You can capture stunning shots like this even with your phone camera, through the car windscreen, while moving. Yes.
Take note of moving vehicles, as they’re likely not what you’d expect. This is the wine tram at Rickety Bridge Winery – we stopped and watched in awe as the passengers stood up and changed the direction of the seat backs before the tram set off in the other direction. Very clever as it’s a single track.
So awed were we that we stopped in for a wine-tasting. Here’s proof that I was there. Sadly there’s no longer a ‘rickety bridge’ at the winery.
Husband with some of the lovely bottles he got to sample. R20 gets you six assorted samples.
A little later we simply had to stop the car again when we saw the relaxed setting at Good Food& Co as our tummies were rumbling. Isn’t this just the prettiest plate of pancakes you’ve ever seen? They were even more ‘lekker’ (manageress’ description, not mine) than they look, filled with sliced banana and caramel cream.
Even more delightful? Our drinks were served with a dinky little ‘amuse bouche’ cupcake. Husband is suitably impressed.
Of course you’ll play hide-and-seek while wandering through the shopping district a little further up the road. Yes, that is Husband just peeking out from behind the tree, teehee.
After a little stroll down the street you’ll want to stop and stretch those legs. Leeu Collection’s Tuk Tuk microbrewery is perfectly placed (and priced) to attract those weary strollers, on your way toward the Huguenot Monument side of the street.
Of course you’ll try out the R55 beer sampler of various CBC craft beers at the Tuk Tuk microbrewery. Husband’s favourite was the lager.
Who were we to refuse the friendly waiter who insisted on snapping a shot of the two of us inside the microbrewery? He took great care angling the camera, the lighting and us to get this shot. We had to move three times, I think, for this perfection. 😉
Beers sampled, we soldiered on down the road to take in the beauty of the Huguenot Monument. Undaunted by the locked gate, I simply hopped up onto the boundary wall for this shot, just before sunset.
Sleep over at Le Quartier Français and don’t miss the Tasting Room’s eight course, African-inspired menu
And then it was time to explore our location for the night – LQF or ‘Le Quaf’. Just look at that solar-heated pool. Those mountains in the background. All that dappled sunshine. T’was pure weekend bliss.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I’m partial to purple, so top marks for the plants fitting in with the colour scheme!
The playful garden decorations at the LQF pool.
Our blue door. Bright umbrellas too, just in case. We didn’t need to use them but it was a comforting thought knowing they were there.
The sweet patio set outside our windows.
The bed was deceptively large and the lighting cosy, especially when warmed by the crackling log fire in the room.
In case you thought those pancakes earlier didn’t quite fill me up, Husband was kind enough to brew a cuppa Lavazza coffee (the purple pod, if you must know) in the yellow Le Creuset cups we found waiting for us in our room.
Orange sightseeing cap replaced with red lippy, we were handed complimentary flutes of rose MCC on being seated at the Tasting Room. The bowl of white fluff is actually a black pepper-dish that melts onto the tongue. It was the first of many surprises.
Keen to get started on his eight-course pairing (yes, EIGHT courses, plus many tasty extras), Husband posed with the wire glass poised on our table. Much, much later – three hours later – we toddled back to our rooms for a peaceful, fire-crackly sleep.
Factor in a long, leisurely breakfast in the Living Room
Having already savoured a coffee in our room, I was ready to try the Living Room’s hot chocolate the next morning. It was a wonderful thing, which stayed pipingly hot throughout my meal – and I ate plate after plate of delicious food!
The ‘egg benedict’ on the breakfast menu is just that, a single egg poached, Hollandaised and served on porky heaven. That’s because you’re expected to also fill up on the breakfast buffet. Here’s why…
See the delightful continental breakfast buffet? Each item is carefully curated to add to your overall breakfast feast.
Take the long road home
We recommend taking a slow trip back home after your stay in Franschhoek. The ‘scenic route’ only takes a little longer and will have you stopping to sigh at the lovely photo-worthy bench at the very edge of the Haute Cabriere Wine Estate.
We took a picture from both sides of this frame as couldn’t decide which was the better shot. This ended up as the winner.
The long, windy mountain road almost guarantees you’ll take a handful of shots like this – cheesy grin above postcard-perfect shots of the Franschhoek valley.
There’s a helpful sign at the base of Franschhoek Pass that shows you’re only 740m above sea level. Pilot-minded Husband commented that’s only half the height of Lanseria.
That’s all, folks. I can’t recommend it enough. Thanks for stopping by, check in again next week for my next update. If you missed my overview of what to do in Stellenbosch last month,
click here. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Le Quartier Français and meals at the Tasting Room and the Dining Room were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.