This past weekend we were in Franschhoek as you’ll see from the snaps below – it was so difficult to trim them down to these favourites!
If you’re heading that way, we definitely recommend stopping in at the Wijnland Auto Museum and Butterfly World, and explore the lovely lemony Franschhoek Country House (FCH) and Monneaux…
Wednesday, 16 May 2018: Sunset dins at Doodles on the beachfront
We had a sneaky mid-week dinner out at Doodles and were in awe at the sunset, as seen from various angles.
Friday, 18 May 2018: Meltwater #BizBreakfast at Park Inn Radisson
I rarely get to attend events with colleagues, so it was a treat to spend part of last Friday morning with one of my favourite coworkers. Once we’d gone up 10 floors by lift at the Park Inn Radisson we stepped onto the balcony to admire the view, and what a view it was!
More of the balcony views, also the delicious breakfast snacks and the excellent presentation itself on social storytelling – click here for my full overview if you missed it on Bizcommunity.
We had time for a quick post-event catch-up session with industry friends before heading back to the office.
Saturday, 19 May 2018: Stop at Wijnland Auto Museum, stay at Franschhoek Country House, dine at Monneaux
A sweet moment with Bertie boy before we started all our weekend activities. Love that dog!
First stop – collect parents to drop off at the airport. Once they’d checked in for their flight to Joburg, we had time for a quick breakfast at the Wimpy with views of the runway. See various coffees and the flapjacks with cream and fruit salad.
Next, tim for our weekend away, and what’s a road trip without snacks? It was a cold, grey day so hot drinks were in order. This is a mochaccino and British ‘chocky bickies’ from when we dropped off the doglets at their GrannyGrampa for the night.
We stopped in at the Wijnland Auto Museum (not the main Franschhoek Motor museum you’re thinking of). It’s filled with rusted relics and shiny new vehicles alike. Bonus: You don’t need to make an appointment ahead of time!
The grounded airplane was the main attraction for Husband – he’d seen it from the main road outside and we had to do a capital U-turn to go back and find the entrance. See how he climbed all the way through into the cockpit – you’re allowed to do so.
Autumnal scenes on the road into Franschhoek town.
You’re bound to see the wine tram when you’re in and around Franschhoek. We saw various versions of it in various locations on our way into town and even waved at the happy travelers from the pool later that evening. It’s still on our Franschhoek bucket list!
It was the weekend of the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) so there were book-lovers around every drizzly corner and queues at all the eateries and markets, we felt quite lucky to be staying slightly out of the main hustle and bustle of town. Will tackle the FLF another time!
Franschhoek Country House holds all the lemons and French country charm you could ever want. It’s like a painting.
It’s hard to miss Franschhoek Country House from the Huguenot Main Road, just look for lemon with touches of turquoise and you’re there! There are lemons everywhere you look, from the trees to bowls in every room – even the restaurant powder room – it’s really a delicious sight.
The space we stayed in was just gorgeous. Look at those old-school high ceilings, the plentiful fruit bowl, and even the candlesticks next to the not-to-be-used bath tub.
The doorbell chimed and we were presented with the most wonderful welcome plate of food fresh from Monneaux, along with flutes of bubbly to ease into ‘weekend away’ mode. It certainly did the trick!
Fountains fountains everywhere. Note Husband examining them far off in the distance.
Despite the chill in the air we braved the cold pool, as that makes the slightly heated pool seem a little warmer than it is. Also see the poolside table with the most delicious lemonade, garnished with mint leaves and cucumber slices. So yum!
We’d been told it was ‘happy hour’ on selected beverages until 5pm – add in pretzels and salty peanuts, also the Royal Wedding on TV and we were there like bears.
Sunset over the mountain from various angles, made even more delicious with a cup of coffee and rusk from our room.
M is for Monneaux! The on-site restaurant is definitely worth a visit, whether you’re staying at Franschhoek Country House or further up the road. See here the baked camembert salad, the spicy mussels and the lamb on gnocchi. All the words coming to my full review on Bizcommunity!
Cheers to dinner at Monneaux! Our table was strewn with white rose petals – we’d seen them being plucked while enjoying our swim earlier that evening. Also see the smoked octopus in dashi stock from the Petit Assiette menu, and the linefish mains topped with a prawn.
Don’t mind if I do take a sip or two… just some of the lovely wines we sampled while dining at Monneaux, all from the Franschhoek valley.
Dessert! See the sorbets with meringue discs; chef’s creme caramel with flecks of vanilla; a delicious cappuccino; the apple tart tatin with blue cheese compote; and the end-of-meal dense chocolate truffles.
The little nighttime luxuries at Franschhoek Country House are so sweet. These range from the ‘I need some me time’ message on the door hanger to a tiny chocolate left on the pillow with the next day’s weather forecast; and slippers left at the turned-down bed. Of course, we also lit the fire and spent a while in front of its warmth – though there’s also underfloor heating, so you may well find yourself sitting on the floor (out of choice)!
This is the selection of ‘gownie shots’ I have to work with. Not easy to come by as gowns are only available by special request from reception, and by the time we took the snaps Husband was done with posing nicely and smiling on demand. Lol!
Sunday, 20 May 2018: FCH breakfast buffet; visit the animals at Butterfly World
Taking in that ‘just been rained on’ view with a quick coffee brewed in the room before heading down for breakfast.
What a breakfast spread! See various cold meats and cheeses, freshly cut fruits, yoghurts, and cereals – I couldn’t resist a scoop of the bright pink Strawberry Pops!
From the hot breakfast menu, we opted for filter coffee and the waffle with bananas, bacon and berries (me); and glasses of juice with the eggs benedict, topped with both spinach and folded ham (husband). Also, look at the tiny bite-size croissant!
Taking a slow stroll back to our room. Note Husband is in long pants and covered shoes during the day here, a rare sighting that tells you it was pretty darn chilly.
Once we’d checked out, we couldn’t resist this road that whispered, “Follow me…”
We made what we thought would be a quick detour to see the Butterfly World tropical garden, but there’s so much more than that on the grounds that we stayed a good two hours. See Husband enjoying a plate of curry and rice while it drizzled.
There’s lots of lush greenery and birdies flitting around along with the butterflies. Also, many interesting take-away trinkets to look at.
We braved the rain (there are clear umbrellas to collect before stepping outside) and you can just see the butterflies drying out.
While the butterflies were lovely, they flitted around so fast we couldn’t take any pics. There are so many sweet rescued animals all around though that before you realise it, you’ve spent hours wandering around in awe at nature.
Look at the little critters! Some were friendly, some were shy, all were precious. We have a video of the birdie scratching it’s way over Husband’s arm and then leaping scarily at my shiny phone.
That’s all, folks! Hope you have a relaxing weekend. Cheers!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Franschhoek Country House and Monneaux were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
I can’t believe I managed to cut down the endless stream of pics we took this past week into the following, hundreds were left on the ‘cutting room floor’. It’s not usually this big of a task, especially when the bulk of the pics are not from the weekend itself. But this week was special as we had a few days to celebrate an ‘early anniversary’ at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House in Franschhoek, and it was possibly one of the nicest breaks we’ve had. Ever. See for yourself…
Saturday, 8 July 2017: Very belated post-Father’s Day breakfast at I ❤ Melkies
We’d not seen my in-laws for a while so decided to meet up for breakfast at I ❤ Melkies. All went for cappuccinos to start and various savoury meals, apart from me…
My own breakfast was a little sweeter – a regular cappuccino like the rest, as well as a single bacon marscapone waffle with strawberries and drizzle of syrup. Just what the doctor ordered.
News Cafe on Marine Circle was calling our names on Saturday afternoon. We heeded the call, opting for the happy hour strawberry daquiri and long island ice tea (just R39 each) as well as the ‘fired up’ beef and haloumi avo chicken burgers.
We snapped a few pics across the road at sunset once our bellies were purring. Lol at the variety of expressions Husband pulled – love that face!
Sunday, 9 July 2017: Soup for lupper
Sunday morning saw us starting off the day at the Netcafe at the Netcare Blouberg Hospital, simply because it’s just up the street and we’d heard the food is good. And so it was – see Husband’s brekkie top left and bottom right, along with my caramel latte and pepper toastie with sweet potato fries. Really yummy.
It was a fully rainy day, so we had authentic German pea-and-ham soup with cheesy breadsticks for starters at Mum’s that eve – note the fingerless glove/mittens, a sure sign that things had turned Wintery for the weekend.
Monday, 10 July 2017: Night away at Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House, Franschhoek
We started off our ‘holiday’ with breakfast at All in the Kitchen – a special treat as it’s not open over weekends and closed by the time we get home in the evenings, so rare for us to sit and take in the goodness. And it sure is good – see some of the breakfast menu bottom right along with our flat whites, as well as the Omega Me Crazy salmon-y breakfast Husband opted for, and my delicious chicken mayo on brown – such a hefty portion that I took half home with me as ‘padkos’.
Yes, ‘padkos’ means road tripping! The weather played along and treated us to one of those rare Cape winter Goldilocks days – not too cold, not too hot, not too cloudy, not too windy – it was just right.
Out destination for the night – the five-star Angala Boutique Hotel and Guest House. It was pure bliss. Here’s why…
Once you’ve stopped exclaiming over the gorgeous vistas and natural beauty, you notice there are little ‘fairy’ touches dotting the grounds, hidden under bushes and tucked into unexpected corners – hearts, cherubs and angels all adding to the sense of love and the feeling that ‘you can relax here’.
And relax we did. A sign of its focus on complete wellness and that overwhelming sense of tranquility, one of Angala’s most unusual features is the eco pool. Echoing Mother Nature herself, all natural filtering takes place, and without any harmful chemicals, it’s just brimming with life – you can expect to hear frogs croaking and birds singing songs of joy as they swoop in for a sip. This is also the spot to sit and take in the view. See below.
The most inviting recliners at the eco pool. As they’re swathed in terrycloth dressing, taking in the view from there is like nestling in your comforting bathrobe.
Water is one of the main elements of healing and it features strongly at Angala, so us Aquarian water babies were quite literally in our element. Here you can see the cold pool in front of the infrared sauna below the main deck, with the hot pool hidden in this shot – it’s just in front of the garden umbrellas.
Cold pool on the left, hot pool on the right. I dipped a toe in the cold pool and decided the hot pool would be my home for the next few hours. We stayed in until the stars came out and it was time to get ready for dinner, so we trotted back to our suite, pronto.
Just a selection of the tasteful bedrooms we saw at Angala. All plush, fresh linens and soothing tones, each with its own distinctive personality. Ours was the bottom right, but I think the bed in the next pic was my favourite…
This photo just screams comfort, luxury and ‘room with a view’. Absolutely gorgeous.
A few examples of how your every comfort is taken care of at Angala – not just a handful of coffee sachets but the full complement of Nespresso pods, as well as sherry in every room, a well-stocked mini bar – make that ‘bar cabinet’ – that’s also completely complimentary including local wines, beers, soft drinks and milk for all that coffee.
Coffee cup filled with aromatic java and a view of the sun setting over the mountains is my idea of magic.
Dinner was so good I had to stitch together quite a few pics. Note my beetroot tart tatin starter, the wine Husband sampled and enjoyed so much he is looking out for a bottle to buy, his trout starter, his linefish mains (kingklip) and my lamb mains. Full descriptions on my review on Biz soon!
More dinner snaps – the standard ‘bread and menu’ shot, and dessert. That’s my lavender panna cotta topped with syrupy figs and tart berries, as well as Husband’s impressive cheese and nut board. Impressive as he enjoyed every single cheese on the board, including an unexpectedly soft, sweet slice we couldn’t get enough of. Plus a cappuccino of course, just visible in the shot of me with my candle-lit purple hair, bottom right.
We returned to our room to find something better than the customary ‘chocolate turndown’ – instead, a mini bottle of Amarula cream and glass on our bedside tables. We promptly hopped into our gowns and slippers and enjoyed it while sitting on the couch in front of the fire, that had also been lit before our return. Truly delightful!
Yip, you guessed it. Another of of my favourite winter creature comforts is fire. There are fireplaces everywhere at Angala, each with piles of wood stacked nearby and adding a natural warmth and happy glow to your stay.
Tuesday, 11, July 2017: Outdoor showers and breakfast at Angala
More focus on water with the simply stunning baths and outdoor showers. Husband was brave enough to give the outdoor shower a brisk go, but we didn’t run a bath as water’s so scarce in the Cape at the moment. Just imagine a soak with those gorgeous views though…
Breakfast is included in the overnight rates at Angala, so we took full advantage, ordering the Angala Rarebit off the hot menu and also plating up from the continental buffet offering. Lip-smackingly good.
Before we knew it, the time had come to check out and make our way back home, much more relaxed and peaceful than when we’d set out. So much so that I was told I looked ‘so serene’ when I returned to the office on Wednesday. We’ll definitely visit Angala again!
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals and accommodation at Angala were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Click here for my official review on Biz!
The simple answer? Stay at Abalone House and dine at Reuben’s, of course. That’s just what we did last weekend…
Saturday, 10 June 2017: A night at Paternoster’s Abalone House, with dinner at Reuben’s
We reassured the doggies that we’d be back in 24 hours and that they’d be in good hands with their uncle Spec, then off we went!
Rainy road trip! It’s comforting knowing there’s a luxurious destination at the end of the road. Also see my takeaway Wimpy coffee, a road trip essential.
Destination Paternoster! Less than two hours since setting off from home, including a few stops along the way for snacks and scenery snaps, we’d reached the sleepy town.
Some of the pretty things you’ll see in Paternoster – sea views from almost anywhere, whitewashed houses, the striking ‘see kat’ statue, and helpful sign boards to almost any destination.
Winding through the streets of Paternoster we soon found our lovely location for the night – five-star boutique hotel, Abalone House. See some of the sweet kitties that roam the premises, an abandoned boat and the inviting but absolutely off-limits cold pool in the wintery rain. We’re desperate to return on a warmer day and try it!
Abalone House is extremely warm and welcoming in winter, partly due to the old-fashioned charm, partly due to the blazing fireplaces dotted around the main property. We learned from the general manager that the outside sitting area you see bottom right will soon have glass sliding doors instead of these tarps, ensuring the weather stays out in winter and that you can let the sun shine in during the warmer months by just folding them away. We’ll have to return to report back on that, too!
Tretchikoff ladies everywhere! On the cushions in Reuben’s, on the wall in our lounge, in our bathroom, and on a stack of cushions in the library.
Pretty patio set, inviting bed, underfloor heating beneath soft carpets and loungers beside the Jacuzzi on the roof – we braved it for a good 40 minutes or so after dinner.
Our room at Abalone House was a real sight for sore eyes. Instant stress relief. Soon after check-in there was a knock at the door and we were presented with flutes of welcome bubbly and assorted warm canapes. The decor was bright, warm and just what we needed.
Here is Husband gazing at the gorgeous stormy seascape. Once settled in our room we had a warm, cosy nap and listened to the soothing sounds of the rain outside. The sound of birdies chirping alerted us to the fact that the rain had stopped and we could safely venture out to explore the beach.
What a wonderful beach. We saw a few couples heading that way once they realised the rain had eased off, and watched the stunning sunset.
Various things on the otherwise deserted Paternoster beach – me, swirls of foam, and Husband as the sun set.
Many know Paternoster’s Abalone House as it’s the setting for local foodie favourite Reuben Riffel’s Reuben’s – and boy, did we eat well!
Our dinner drinks at Reuben’s – a glass of Merlot and an ice-creamy strawberry shake (not on the menu, but just ask).
See my spicy tomato ragout meatballs with Melba toast-style health bread, amuse bouche of pulled pork from two angles and my lemon cheesecake with mint sorbet, berry coulis and Terbodore cappuccino.
More food – Husband’s ‘mushrooms on mash’ starter with mustard drizzle, his braised lamb shank, my pork belly ribs and the malva pudding dessert with granadilla sorbet. Watch for my review on Biz soon, for all the descriptive words!
Ahh. My ultimate sign of ‘quality place to stay’ is if there are fluffy white terrycloth gowns to prance around in once evening hits. That’s just what we did, as you can see from these numerous shots – we even had matching bedside slippers!
Sunday, 11 June 2017: Breakfast at Reuben’s, sightseeing at Saldanha Bay
Ordering a hot breakfast like the eggs benedict or full English means you can also have your fill of the continental buffet – one of the most varied and value-packed I’ve seen! As we were the first eager beavers to arrive, we got to take the prime table at the bay window with a view towards the sea. Just heavenly.
We’d seen the big anchor on our way into town the day before but didn’t stop as it was raining. We stopped on our way out so Husband could pose for a variety of photos, from polite tourist the ‘this is my wrecking ball’ swing. Teehee!
Having seen a field of wind turbines in the distance we took a slight detour off the tarred road home onto a dirt road to take a closer look. They’re really quite majestic and awe-inspiring up close as they whoosh methodically overhead.
We also visited the Saldanha harbour on our way home. The wind was picking up by then and rain started up again so we only took a few snaps – Husband was fascinated by the mix of sea-ready boats and shipwrecks.
That’s all, folks! One of the most beautiful places we’ve reviewed, we’re sure to return and hope you’ll venture out that way, too – you won’t be disappointed.
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Reuben’s and accommodation at Abalone House were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Don’t worry, the rest of this post will be in English – but it sure is a long road to Langebaan. We took our first unplanned road trip to the seaside town last weekend and had a delightful time, as you’ll see from the pics below – we’ll certainly be back!
Saturday, 17 September 2016: Hart of Melkbos, social media exam and Rocomama’s treat
I’ve been meaning to snap a shot of this since I first noticed it almost four years ago when we moved this side of the world. The ‘ice cream shack’ at Melkbos beach is decorated in the most amazing shades of purple, with the bench outside and even the bin a tasteful match 😉
We’d heard that The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery had opened just a few doors down from I Love Melkies on Melkbos beachfront, so that was our first port of call on Saturday morning. Note the swirled heart atop my cappuccino and vase of pretty wildflowers. These were for sale at the till, if so inclined.
I opted for the single bacon eggs benedict (that should probably be ‘egg benedict’). It was a Goldilocks meal, just right. The little hot candied tomatoes were also delicious.
Husband went for Gary’s Breakfast, which features everything you could ask for from a cooked breakfast – eggs on toast with mini tomatoes, bacon, avo, mushroom, slices of chorizo and fried mushrooms. Quite a mouthful, in every sense! 🙂
We took a quick stroll along the shore to work of some of that food. This is me in the standard ‘jump on the beach’ pose.
All the yellow wildflowers are out in full bloom. Could have easily sat for hours staring at the calm sea from this bench, but alas, we had to get a move on…
… because I had an exam to take! Having reached the end of my social media marketing diploma course I completed the final exam with 95%, and decided to hold up my certiface of completion of the social media course I completed at Shift One in Eden on the Bay just last week -local and international certification just a few days apart. Time for a rest from studying now though, my brain is a little overwhelmed.
To celebrate, we made our way to Rocomama’s in Durbanville as I love their burgers and shakes. I ate my ‘cheese-bacon-guac’ too fast for a photo, but here is my cherry cola shake (and just look at those ‘killer flapjax’, maybe next time!)
Husband opted for this double-up chilli cheese bomb smash burger with extra chilli.
Sunday, 18 September 2016: Breakfast at The Daily Cafe and Langebaan roadtrip
The coffee at Big Bay’s The Daily is a wonderful way to start the day. Here’s my Sunday morning cappuccino with homemade star-shaped sugar cookie.
I ordered the bacon-banana-cheese-syrup French toast – goodness me, barely finished the three super-sized slices.
Husband opted for the breakfast wrap. Here he is, peppering it up to his standards.
Bellies full, we decided on a road trip to finally see what Langebaan is all about. We stopped off here, at the Vyge Valley Farm Stall just outside Yzerfontein to stock up on a few snacks, then we were off. Note the handy sign posts showing distances to various destinations.
Here is Husband, walking down to the rocks at Yzerfontein where we found some dassies sunning themselves.
Husband watched the waves crashing on the sea for a while, then we hit the road again.
The very beautiful Langebaan coastline. This is about 1.5 hours from our front door.
Some of the touristy curios on display in Langebaan.
Husband was truly in his element once we found the Langebaan lagoon. With, deep, clear and slightly warmer water than the sea. it’s a lovely weekend spot.
A boy at a buoy. 🙂 This is how far out the tide had gone.
He wasn’t the only one. Look at this line of happy fishermen, knee-deep or more and patiently waiting for a bite on their lines.
The water was so calm, this seagull also went for a merry little bob along the surface.
Hungry from all that sea air, we sat down at Driftwoods Seafood Restaurant with a view of the lagoon. I went for a pineapple shake.
Husband had the calamari burger, I ate most of the chips and tempura-style onion rings.
We followed the Saldanha harbour signs on our way back home, fascinated at the size of the ships on the horizon.
Though we were full-to-bursting we simply had to stop in for a look around ‘Die Strandloper’. It was packed to the gills with barefoot folk having a seafood buffet.
Just look at these lobsters, all part of the meal at Die Strandloper. We’ll have to try them out on our next trip!
Doubt this boat will see the sea again.
That’s all, folks! 🙂 I’ve been on ‘staycation’ for the past few days, you can expect pics in my next update. It’s set to be another sunny weekend, enjoy yourselves…