T’was the Freedom Day long weekend in SA last weekend, so we had time to fit in lots of fun moments.
We were also lucky enough to be reviewing a mini version of the winter lifestyle package at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch, so this week’s post is jampacked with mouth-watering food and breathtaking views. See for yourself…
Friday, 27 April 2018: Go-karting at Century Karting
We had a later-than-usual breakfast brunch on Friday as didn’t have to get up with an alarm. See my chai latte and enormous croissant with bacon, brie and blueberries, as well as side salad. Husband had the mince on toast topped with an egg. All this at the Foodlover’s Market on Sandown.
Husband had spotted the Century Karting track when we made a miss-turn in the parking lot of Canal Walk, and as keen to give it ago with his dad, brother and father-in-law. They went zooming around the track so fast that the bottom right blurred pic is about the clearest ‘action shot’ I managed to snap.
Team photo of the proud racers. The sons had more aches and pains the following day than the dads.
We also spent some quality time with the puppers that eve. They’re such sweeties.
We dined at Petisco’s with brother-in-law Spec that evening. Their creamy chicken xai-xai fillet is amazing!
Pink sunset from the balcony at Petisco’s that evening.
Saturday, 28 April 2018: Massage, four-course lunch and ice-cream wine pairing at Clos Malverne
We had a quick earlybird breakfast with Spec at News Cafe first thing on Saturday, then it was time to set off for our grand adventure…
Such pretty scenery on the road to Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Blue skies, check. Green valleys, check. Chirpy birdsong, check. Before we knew it, we were at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley.
Our first stop – the spa! We were treated to back, neck and shoulder massages, as well as time in the steam room to unwind. There were Ferrero Rochers awaiting us on the massage table pillows. Such a lovely start.
Feeling relaxed after our massages, we were ready for the four-course lunch that lay ahead. But first, where to sit? So many appealing options at the Clos Malverne restaurant…
The bright, happy painting in the restaurant was so fitting for the Freedom Day long weekend in South Africa.
We sat in a corner of the sun-dappled balcony with panoramic views of the vines and valley ahead.
This is why it’s called a ‘meal with a view’ at Clos Malverne. See my starter butternut-goat’s cheese arancini and Husband’s half-shell mussells in Thai curry broth.
Mmm. See Husband’s fillet steak topped with asparagus spears and springbok samosas on top, with my bacon-wrapped chicken fillet and pork belly below. Such beautiful plating, with tastes to match!
Loved the mini apple rolled in poppyseeds that accompanied my pork belly (it tasted of pear). Also see our desserts – the ‘savoury sweet’ on top is a butternut-chilli-caramel cheesecake, with the ‘white dark chocolate’ mousse below.
If you thought we would be full by then, you obviously haven’t heard of Clos Malverne’s ice cream-wine pairing. This is not part of the lifestyle package but definitely worth booking as part of your stay. Flavours range from the ‘lemongrass, chilli and litchi’ as paired with a flute of MCC to the orange, ‘gluhwein and star-anise’, paired with a sweet dessert wine. Full descriptions to follow on Bizcommunity!
Next stop, nap time. The rooms are named after wine varietals, with views of the valley and amazing pool. Husband was clearly amused at the wonderful simplicity of the TV remote!
Look. At. That. Pool! But it was too pretty to just lounge around and look at, despite the icy water…
Proof of our pool time. We lounged beside it and also had a quick dip – t’was super chilly!
A slight variation of our usual ‘gowns in luxurious spaces’ photo. These were super soft and fluffy.
‘Clos’ means ‘walled vineyard’ and the vines sure are well protected on the farm. We went for a walk as desk set in and marvelled at the beauty of the setting sun over the mountains. See the rising moon in the last picture.
Sunday, 29 April 2018: Elevenses at Helena’s, Root 44 Market and the Stellenbosch Flying Club
This looks like a very good Sunday morning to me. See the sunrise, coffee on the balcony, fruit parfaits left in the fridge for our in-room breakfast, and fluffy brown cows grazing in the adjacent field. Then it was time to leave.
We took the long road home, with quite a few stops along the way as the typical Cape country scenery is all the more beautiful in the heart of Stellenbosch.
That included an explore of the sides of Stellenbosch we’d not yet seen, like this giant wheel.
Helena’s Restaurant in the Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel was so charming that we had to stop in for ‘elevenses’ or second breakfast – just a cappuccino for me, while Husband had the salmon eggs benedict. Delicious.
If you’re in Stellenbosch on a Sunday morning, chances are you’ll end up at the Root 44 Market, drooling over various crafts and foods. These looked amazing! Colourful confections at the market.
A corn dog for everyone, no matter your tastes.
The Stellenbosch Flying Club was our very last stop on our way out of town for a look around at the planes.
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my full, wordy review on Bizcommunity…
This is what we came for – it’s wonderful!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Clos Malverne were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
I had a mini-staycation at the start of this week. Perhaps all the sunshine we’ve seen this week was the reason for the relaxed mood that lasted even after I returned to my desk, as you’ll see from the pics below…
Saturday, 25 November 2017: Irish nachos at Saints
We started our weekend with breakfast at our nearest Foodlover’s Market. See my crumpet-looking French toast and Husband’s halloumi toast stack.
Ha. Not sure why I find this snap so funny, but I do. Makes me laugh.
We had decided on an afternoon treat at Saint’s on Eden on the Bay, and soon decided to add the Irish Nachos (potato skins) topped with pork belly to our drinks as the platter is made for sharing. Note my Insomniac shake (chocolate, coffee, Amarula, Kahlua) and Husband’s Fat Mary (bloody mary topped with candied bacon, hence his skeptical look). All delicious and a wonderful way to spend a late-afternoon over the weekend.
Sunday, 26 November 2017: Tall cappuccinos and airport collections
We met Husband’s parents at the W Cafe in Woolworth’s at the Table Bay Mall on Sunday morning. Note Husband’s very tall cappuccino and my vanilla cinnamon latte top right.
To eat, I went for the Nutella French toast, a favourite as the banana is rolled in peanut-butter brittle with hazelnuts adding crunch. The other three all went for the eggs benedict served on mushroom, with Husband adding a side of bacon to his.
On Sunday afternoon we collected my parents from the airport – they had been in Umhlanga for a post-anniversary break. Various shots of the runway here – you can just see their green Kulula plane coming to a stop in some.
As mum had been in the air most of the day we decided on a Steers drive-thru deal en route to their house – this box of four burgers with chips along the side went down a treat! Yes, my purple nails did match the box.
Monday, 27 November 2017: Breakfast at All In The Kitchen
I’d decided ahead of time that my days off were for relaxing and spending time doing what makes me happy. First up was breakfast with parents on Monday morning at All In The Kitchen as it’s not open on weekends so I rarely get to visit. See our happy faces and tasty coffees.
The blue plates offset the bright, fresh food perfectly.
Coffees top left, Dad’s granola with fresh fruit top right, Mum’s avo on toast bottom right, my nutty apple-cinnamon muffin topped with raspberries bottom left.
I spent the rest of the day with two more of my favourite beings on the planet. The doggies were at their cutest, with Bassie napping under blankets and coming running for treats while Bertie did a few laps around the garden.
Tuesday, 28 November 2017: Love Sandwiches at The Kitchen
This striking graffiti adorns the wall just around the corner from The Kitchen in Woodstock, our destination for that morning’s adventure.
The Kitchen is a charming fresh deli-style food stop that rose to fame when Michelle Obama’s taxi driver accidentally dropped her off there instead of at the more well-known The Test Kitchen. She decided to stay, loved it, and the rest is history. Little wonder when you see the ‘Love Sandwiches’ they’re famous for…
See Mum and Dad’s entirely different Love Sandwiches, a cappuccino and my fruit-topped French toast – it had slivers of apple, pear, toasted pineapple and pomegranate seeds. One of the best!
Various shots of the sky that day. Top right and bottom left were near Woodbridge Island and passing the MyCiti bus on the way to The Kitchen, top left and bottom right were at sunset.
Thursday, 30 November 2017: #DigitalMarketingLIVE at Red & Yellow
We’re already halfway through these sessions at Red & Yellow. This week was especially interesting, all about using the language of design to solve problems, brands talking to their ‘tribes’ not customers, and a jaw-dropping water-saving idea that might just be the answer the drought-stricken Cape is waiting for. Also, tasty biscuits and red-and-yellow themed things.
That’s all, folks! The DIY project I worked on during this staycation will be revealed in my next blog post…
Husband had to work last weekend so we don’t have many snaps of him to share this time around, but we still had a fair deal of fun…
Saturday, 18 February 2017: Muratie Harvest Festival
Husband sent me this snap of the cloudy sky when he left home around 6:30am on Saturday morning. Beautifully flocked against the duvet of blue sky.
With Husband office-bound until 6pm, I was off to the Muratie Harvest Festival in Stellenbosch with my parents. These are some of the outside sights. See the vroue orkes top left, the Kitchen Jammin Blues Band top right, packed seating area bottom left and youthful, friendly staff bottom right.
Old bicycle and wooden barrels in the main wine cellar on our way to the tasting.
Looky looky in the cellar. Muratie is known for its 40-year old cobwebs and stained-glass windows.
I present to you my first ever attempt at grape stomping. It’s cold, squenchy, and surprisingly satisfying!
Mum and me having a time while suitably hatted. It was quite windy so I kept my jacket on.
Dad was also hatted and the sky was still patterned with cloud.
A number of these bread baskets were dotted along our table, filled with crusty bread, dark grapes, soft figs and cheeses, dips, koeksisters and brownies as the surprise in the white paper package.
Full to the brim, everyone headed off towards the tractors for a tour of the grounds. We decided to head home instead for a nap.
On our way through the parking lot we spotted a sleek, stealthy BWM i8. Of course we did our subtle not-quite-leaning poses (dad wasn’t quite as subtle when we spotted a ‘flaming’ car parked in front of a ‘no parking’ zone a few years ago, click here for a reminder…)
Sunday, 19 February 2017: Hot cross buns for breakfast, waffles for lunch and boerewors rolls for dins
Yip, Husband had to work on Sunday, too. If I’m eating Sunday morning breakfast alone, it’s going to be chocolate hot cross buns, milk tart-filled pancakes and fudgey tea. Bertie was Very Interested.
All was not lost though, as a lazy morning of napping and reading was followed by a visit to the Big Bay Waffle Company. I had a caramel latte and the old-fashioned waffle topped with lemon curd. Husband had sushi next door.
Boerewors rolls and potato salad were on the menu for lupper at mum’s that eve. T’was just perfect for the weather.
And for afters? A rich coffee-chocolate-coconut cake (homemade, of course) and coffee. Mmm!
Wednesday 22 and Thursday, 23 February 2017: Crucial conversations training at the Cullinan Hotel
Having thoroughly enjoyed their #influencerchange training late last year, I was booked onto the crucial conversations training by Human Edge mid-week. On the first day, lunch was served poolside. Yes, really.
I dithered over the menu as everything looked so good! Remembering a colleague’s recent review of the Stella Cafe’s food I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the pork belly starter. Oh my GOODNESS it was delicious. See here, with a fellow attendee’s angry duck curry on the right. Loved the copper pot presentation.
Then we had mains. I went for the cheese burger, could barely finish, but it was so good, especially when smeared with these tiny condiments – whole-grain mustard, tomato sauce and mayonnaise.
Lunch on day two was a buffet in the Peach Tree restaurant. So much to choose from, the big round bowl top right was actually cheese for the pasta. Not a bowl of cheese, the entire thing was cheese. Gobsmacking. And look at the gorgeous purple and yellow dessert plate I ended up with! 🙂
Teatime treats across the two days included waffle segments, florentines, mini chicken kebabs, crunchies and lots of coffee. Trust me, we did learn lots, too – it was intensive with only 8 of us on the course and filled with role-playing, so we hardly had time to check in on emails back in the real world. A refreshing change!
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my official review of the Muratie Harvest Festival on Bizcommunity.
*Disclaimer: Obviously our entry and eats at the Muratie Harvest Festival were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
This past week was very foodie, so we tried to get in a fair bit of exercise too with a few dog walks, beach visits and dips in the sea. See for yourself below…
Friday, 25 November 2016: Post-work doggy beach walk
Bassie was excited to be in the car, despite not being 100% sure where she was being taken just yet.
Both were singing with excitement when they realised we were stopping at Kreeftebaai. The beach was deserted due to the wind. Here you can see Husband leading Bertie along the rocks.
Even though it was quite windy last Friday, the doggies thought it was a wonderful idea to go for beach walkies. Bertie frollicked in the waves and along the rocks, where he met a seal.
This glazed look complete with sandy nose is always a sure sign that Bassie had a lovely time at the beach.
Saturday, 26 November 2016: Steenberg breakfasts and beach visits
Saturday morning we took the parents to 1682 at Steenberg Estate for breakfast. Here’s the menu and some of our breakfast coffees…
Their pork belly bacon is such a win that we both ordered the standard benedict, as did father-in-law. Mother-in-law went for the salmon version, and we loved the hot honey rolls served as a breakfast starter.
Some of the flowers and bottles on display at 1682.
Just look at that view, perfectly picturesque.
Later that afternoon Husband had to pop into work so I fitted in some early Christmas shopping at Bayside. This was my midway treat of coffee shake and lemon meringue slice at Peacocks’ Perfect Cup.
When we met up again late-afternoon it was such a perfect beach day we couldn’t resist a quick run down to dip our toes in the icy water, and gazed at the many kite surfers bobbing about in the breeze.
Sunday, 27 November 2016: Summer lunch sampling at Franchhoek’s The Restaurant at Grande Provence
We planned ahead and decided on a shared breakfast at our local Food Lover’s Market on Sunday morning. I had a cappuccino, Husband his standard breakfast Cola, and we shared the pesto halloumi toast. Good idea, as we lined our stomachs just enough and the bill came to less than R100, including tip!
The road is long, the lavender tall and the shrubs a deep green as you turn into Grande Provence from the Franschhoek main road.
We sat outside under the trees in the Sculpture Garden – good thing as it was a 34’C day. This is the striking table setting.
First up, their signature bread board. Those cheese straws are some of my favourite things!
Husband sampled a glass of their Chardonnay, which was fruity and light.
First starter: tuna yukhoe. Such bright colours, such a good mix of flavours! Mine was served without the tuna.
The asparagus salad starter on beautiful light-blue plate.
Husband made light work of the 18-hour smoked pork belly (his second serving of the weekend), beneath all the pastel crunch – also still a starter.
We needed to stretch our legs before we could tuck into the mains. Husband started with the kingklip.
I had the blesbok shank, with lots of seasonal veg and peppery crunch.
For second mains we were both presented with the beef short rib with Asian mustard and potato two ways and a bed of sweet date paste. Both scraped our plates clean.
And then, dessert. Creamy caramelised white chocolate pot au creme on the left, berry ‘ice cream sandwich’ on the right. Amazing and highly recommended.
Franschhoek main road is back along this tree-lined driveway.
We stopped off for a quick dip in the sea on our way home as it was still so very hot.
Bertie demonstrated his ‘cat skills’ by sprawling along the top of the back of the couch, and was very interested in a nature show we watched with the parents.
Little Bassie insisted on sitting with us at the table while having dins.
That’s all, folks!
Click here to read my review of Grande Provence in full.
We were spoilt with two ‘anniversary’ reviews in the past week – on the actual day we dined at Homespun by Matt, and last Saturday we had lunch at Catharina’s at Steenberg Estate.
Click here for my official review of Catharina’s on Biz and watch for the review of Homespun, going live early next week.
Since then we’ve both been quite poorly – blame it on the change of season, I guess. Despite this, we still have lots of recent highlights to share via the following images…
Thursday, 25 August 2016: Anniversary dinner at Homespun by Matt
Gorgeous butterflies above the bar were all added by the wait staff, said Matt.
We didn’t plan our matchy matchy blue outfits, we’ve just been together so long that we think alike. Scenes from our private booth at Homespun.
Our starters at Homespun – Husband’s beef tataki on the left, my deep-fried goat’s cheese with balsamic ice cream. Yes, balsamic as in vinegar. It was the most delicious thing.
Husband’s mains – the lamb shank.
My mains – the sticky pork belly.
I had the coconut blossom cheesecake, Husband had the blonde fondant, which oozed the most amazing caramelly liquid.
Homespun drinks – top left shows my ‘Lovespun’ being poured into stemless cocktail glass, was a refreshing strawberry concoction with sprig of rosemary. Husband’s espresso martini on ice is on the top right with my cappuccino bottom right.
Saturday, 27 August 2016: The tasting menu at Catharina’s
Presenting… Catharina’s, at Steenberg Estate, on the very edge of the Constantia Wine Route.
Very tall oak trees, in which an owl family lives. They often swoop down to participate in Summer breakfasts, we hear.
The delicate papery designs inside Catherina’s tell the story of the restaurant’s namesake, Catherina Ras. Read more about her here in my official review.
My delightful chocolate shake adorned with fresh mint leaf while we perused the menu at Catharina’s.
A selection of Husband’s starters from the eight-course tasting menu. That’s his salmon starter top left, tuna and quail egg bottom left and beetroot with parmesan gnocchi on the right.
Howzat, Obelix?! My plate of wild boar and baby carrots at Catharina’s.
Husband’s almost-too-pretty-to-eat plate of crocodile – his first main course of the lunch. He did eat.
Husband’s second main course of the lunch – grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka.
Husband’s savoury dessert – the Lankbaken sunset or cheese and crackers with goji berry. Mmm.
And then, sweet dessert for all. Top left is ‘the Coffee’, top right is ‘the Chocolate’, and bottom is a selection of the other dessert item friandises.
Magies vol, Husband wanted a quick dip in the ‘warmer ocean’ so we headed out towards Fish Hoek. I was starting to feel a bit chilly and ill by now.
Solitary Husband in the greeny grey sea. T’was a very misty day.
Just look at that bank of misty cloud on our way home.
Sunday, 28 August 2016: Blisters for Bread 5km walk
Faces of sweet little dogs who were not coming all the way to Mouille Point for Sunday morning beach walkies with sick mommy and grumpy-to-be-up-so-early-on-a-Sunday daddy.
Most of the Biz team that took part in Sunday’s Blisters for Bread or ‘Bizters for Bread’, as we called it, charity walk in aid of the Peninsula School Feeding Association. This was pre-walk, outside the Sea Point Stadium.
And we’re off! Taken just before we started the 5km walk, look at all the people behind us. Apparently they cut off at 13,000 participants.
The brightly striped Mouille Point lighthouse was one of the key sights along the way as it was quite the gloomy day.
You can just view the lighthouse behind Husband here.
Me at the lighthouse on our return trip to the Sea Point stadium.
Success! Medals of completion awarded, we trotted back to the car and spent rest of day relaxing and/or recovering.
That’s just the tip of the ice berg, kids.
Click here for my much more flowery review of Catharina’s and watch this space for my full review of Homespun by Matt, due to be published on Monday. Until then, have a relaxing weekend!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Catharina’s and Homespun by Matt were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.