Tag Archives: Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch conference views & Mother’s Day 2017

Greetings, loyal blog reader! 🙂

Husband worked last weekend so we weren’t out and about quite as much as normal but we still had a few delicious moments, as you’ll see below…

Wednesday, 10 May 2017: Good Food & Wine Show 2017 media launch

Good Food & Wine Show media launch at the Table Bay Hotel.
Loved this selection of pics the Good Food & Wine Show posted on Twitter (those are my pics of the non-Black Insomnia coffee at the start of the first row and the cake slices end of second row, eee). Really a lovely media experience, and you can read my event feedback here for more of what to expect from the show.
Rainbow cake and Black Insomnia coffee.
A handful of the prettiest moments I snapped at the Table Bay Hotel event, all linked to that amazing rainbow cake and world’s strongest Black Insomnia coffee.

Saturday, 13 May 2017: Reload latte and Saint’s burgers

Reload hot dog and latte.
On Saturday Husband left for work then I joined dad for a coffee at the nearest Reload as we were treating mum to a pre-Mother’s Day mani and pedi just down the road. Just look at his lovely mustard-y hot dog and the clever Table Mountain design in my choc-mint latte.
Saints burgers and cocktails
We set off for Saint’s in Eden on the Bay once Husband got home that eve. That’s my Pink Dragon cocktail and Husband’s TNT boozy shake (whisky and salted caramel, so good); as well as his ‘Free Bird’ chicken burger with onion rings and ‘green salad’; my ‘Smoke on the Water’ chorizo-and-pork burger with sweet potato fries and the beginning of the sunset. I still had a bit of work to do that evening so this was a welcome break.
Smile in sunshine at Eden on the Bay
That doesn’t mean we set off straight for home, though. Bellies full and smiles on faces as it was a gorgeous sunny afternoon.

Sunday, 14 May 2017: Mother’s Day breakfast at News Cafe, doggy TLC and beach walks

Mother's Day breakfast at News Cafe
We had Mother’s Day breakfast bright and early on Sunday to beat the crowds at News Cafe (though Husband had already left for work, so it was just the three of us). Then later in the day we took pizzas along for lupper as moms shouldn’t cook on Mother’s Day.
Cape Town beachfront.
Food and coffee down gullets we went for a quick ride along the beachfront before heading home. Love how peaceful it was!
Dog on couch
Bertie was displaying his couch back-sitting skills on Sunday but also spent some quality time with his current bear, Tiger.
Dog couch
Bassie preferred to spend quality time with me as it was Mother’s Day. Aww, bless.
Beach walk.
We went for a quick walk along the beach in Kleinbaai once Husband was done with work for the day.

Monday, 15 May 2017: Office cake and post-work half-price curry

strawberry cake
Mmm. We had cake in the office this week as two birthdays were celebrated. This creamy choc cake with strawberry on top sure chased away the Monday blues!
Chicken curry at Inside
While it doesn’t feel like it’s officially Winter yet in the Cape, winter specials have started popping up on all the menus again. This here is a forkful of the Monday half-price chicken curry special at Eden on the Bay’s Inside – I went for the butter chicken. We’ve been enjoying this special for years (click here for a reminder).

Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 May 2017: Samra conference at Protea Hotel, Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch tree streets
I was lucky enough to attend the annual two-day Samra (South African Marketing Research Association) conference in Stellenbosch earlier this week. Such a pretty town.
Stellenbosch view
View directly out the window of the Protea Hotel’s conference room – little wonder they drew the curtains during sessions!
Conference food
Conference food is always a treat. Note some of the fresh morning pastries top left, Thursday creme brulee dessert top right, Wednesday brownies dessert bottom left and pretty table settings bottom right.
Coffee in Stellenbosch
My Thursday morning pre-conference cuppa was delightful, especially as I got to gaze at this view.

That’s all, folks. We attended the funeral of Husband’s aunt Sybil earlier today and have his brother Spec staying with us this weekend, so expect a few family-themed pics in the next update. Cheerio!

Woodbridge Island walks and lunching at Glenelly Estate’s Vine Bistro

We’ve had a wonderfully sunny week, with lots of time spent outdoors…

Saturday, 10 December 2016: Summer lunch review at Glenelly Estate

Breakfast at Cafe Lacomia
We started last weekend with a quick, shared breakfast at the closest Cafe Lacomia as we had a busy, food-filled day ahead. I love that I get two mini biscuits with the cappuccino there, and the Bulls Eye breakfast is just the right size for sharing. Plus, you’re encouraged to eat cupcakes (not that I did)…
Glenelly Estate
Glenelly Estate, our lunch spot for the day on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, has some of the prettiest vineyards and views.
Glenelly Estate
Nestled at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains, this is a truly lovely spot.
Glenelly Estate
The vine-covered pathway.
Glenelly Estate bistro food
The food at Glenelly’s the Vine Bistro! Heavens, it was good. You can see Husband’s cold red soup starter featuring octopus tentacles and chorizo, as well as his lemon-chive hake mains on the left, then my pork trotter starter and blueberry duck mains in the middle, and a bottle of the Glenelly Estate Chardonnay on the right. Click through to my official review for more words on these!
Dessert at Glenelly Estate
Dessert is served… Top left is my ‘warm melting biscuit’ with poached pears and yoghurt chantilly, bottom left is Husband’s creme caramel, and on the right, my cappuccino.
Glenelly Estate
Tummies purring contentedly, we walked around the rest of the grounds. This is the view of the vineyards from the upstairs tasting room.
Glenelly Estate tasting room
More of the upstairs tasting room’s view. Such a picture-perfect spot.
Pig shower at Mountain View Piggery
On the way home we passed a sign for Mountain View Piggery in Paarl and obviously had to turn in to have a look. The piggies were rather large and clean – not a surprise when we saw just how much the guy on the bottom was enjoying his shower.
Dogs on couches
That evening involved lots of relaxing things. Here we are with the doggies in the lounge.

Sunday, 11 December 2016: Lagoon Beach breakfast, Woodbridge Island walk

Breakfast at Brasserie, Lagoon Beach
On Sunday morning we headed to The Brasserie in the Lagoon Beach Hotel for breakfast. The buffet option was quite pricy so we were happy to order from the a la carte menu. Here is my cappuccino and Husband’s breakfast Cola.
Breakfast at Lagoon Beach Hotel Brasserie
But what did we eat, I hear you ask? Husband opted for the salmony benedict you see on the left, while I went for the grilled banana-filled pancakes topped with strawberries and cream. Delicious!
Palm trees and Table Mountain at Woodbridge Island
Next on the agenda was a beach walk to Woodbridge Island and back. We love these palm trees outside Woodbridge.
Woodbridge Island walk
We stopped a few times along the way to admire the view. Can just see the Woodbridge lighthouse in this shot.
Lagoon Beach shipwreck
We stopped to examine the ‘wreck’ at Lagoon Beach – Husband says it’s actually from a movie set.
Milkshake at Bread & Butter
Sunday afternoons are for milkshakes. Husband went for a Frankies’ Cinnamon Cola while I tried Bread & Butter’s ‘salted caramel’ shake. That’s a chewing-gum ball on top.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016: Pink sunsets and doggy TLC

Pink clouds
Pink-streaked clouds like these are my favourite.
couch
The doggies got lots of TLC when their grandparents visited for dins that eve! Bassie’s expression on the right, while getting ear rubs from her grandpa, is very funny.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016: Rogue One screening at iMax

Star Wars Rogue One iMax at Cape Gate
On Wednesday, we headed off the the Cape Gate iMax after a long day of work to watch the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One. We were surrounded by Star Wars heavies but fit right in as we’d worn Star Wars gear all day and even read the pre-movie book Catalyst so knew most of the characters on screen.

That’s all, folks! There’s lots of excitement in the air as we’ll finally be on holiday at the end of this week, and Father Christmas is coming (along with brother-in-law, Spec) 🙂

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Glenelly Estate were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Elephants in my coffee, Terroir’s Winter Plate 2016 lunches and Gordon’s Bay sunsets

What a wonderful weekend the last one was, mainly because we went to places we’d not been before. See a few of our favourite moments below…

Saturday, 21 May 2016: News Cafe Blouberg breakfast and Terroir Stellenbosch lunch

Kleine Zalze
The pretty view that greets you once you turn off the R44 into Kleine Zalze, where Terroir is located.
MCC at Terroir, Kleine Zalze
Cheers to Husband! We started off with complimentary water and a flute of MCC each, as you can see…
Bread board and amuse bouche at Terroir.
Before we’d even take a sip we were presented with that day’s bread board and amuse bouche selection! We advise that you take your time over your meal or you’ll be too full to sample it all.And that would be a disaster as you definitely do want to sample as much as you can.
Prawn risotto
Husband went for the most popular item on the menu – the prawn risotto with sauce Americaine – for his starter (that’s the yellow sunny section of his plate).
Smoked tomato tart.
There were so many delicious-sounding things to choose from but I’m glad I went for the smoked tomato tart. It tasted even better than it looked.
Linefish Winter Plate at Terroir
Husband opted for the linefish version of the Winter Plate special. It was dorado on the day.
Winter Plate 2016 at Terroir
More of the food. That’s the bread board top left, the amuse bouche middle left and my seed-crusted fillet Winter Plate in the bottom right, with our shared dark chocolate bar dessert on the right. All even more delicious than they looked.
Kleine Zalze fountain
We had to go for a walk after we’d eaten as it was a gorgeous day and the grounds at Kleine Zalze are quite something. I even blended in with all the natural purpleness!
Kleine Zalze golf course
Just look at the gorgeous golf course. Membership comes at a pricy R25,000 per year for non-residents. Gulp.
Gordon's Bay
We were in sightseeing mode after lunch, so headed on past Strand to Gordon’s Bay and walked along the pier. This pic is funny as we were standing on rocks and I was initially facing the wrong way. Lol.
Pringle Bay beach
Taking in the view a little later on the beach in Pringle Bay.
Pringle Bay sunset
Sun slowly sinking over the sea in Pringle Bay.
Gordon's Bay road
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast back to Gordon’s Bay.
Cappuccino at the Thirsty Oyster
We stopped in at the Thirsty Oyster in Gordon’s Bay harbour for a sunset cappuccino. Lovely way to end the day.
Sunset in Gordon's Bay
Coffee downed, we took a brief walk along the pier. Here is Husband gazing at the setting sun.
Sunset in Gordon's Bay
I am the queen of cheesy pics. Look at me just grasping the sun!
Gordon's Bay pier
Of course we also took a selfie from the Gordon’s Bay pier.
Fishermen in Gordon's Bay
Such a peaceful pier, with fishermen dotted along the outskirts.

Sunday, 22 May 2016: News Cafe breakfast and doggy beach walks

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Having not eaten since lunch at Terroir the day before, we decided to start our Sunday with the News Cafe early bird English breakfast. Love pouring the espresso into the frothed milk myself for a latte.
Elephant in cappuccino
Be careful what you wish for – you may just end up with an elephant in your coffee! This is the work of the skilled News Cafe baristas.
Dachshund in the sea
The doggies demanded a beach walk later that day, and it is was the perfect weather for it as the wind disappeared for a while. Bassie was even brave enough for a quick paddle in the icy sea.
Dogs at the beach
Ha! The doggies pull you every which way when they go for walkies as there’s just so much to see/smell/hear! This is at Kreeftebaai, about halfway between Blouberg and Melkbosstrand.
Dog walking beach Table Mountain
Bertie really loves his beach walkies.
Dog and coffee cup
Later that afternoon Bassie insisted on sitting on her Granny’s lap after lupper.

Thursday, 26 May 2016: Content training at work and doggy father/daughter love

Taking notes in office training
Our team had a training session on Thursday afternoon – that’s my ‘paying attention’ ponytail as I take notes.
Dog and dad
What a wonderful Husband I have! The doggies love him dearly and spend at least 10 minutes fighting for his attention when he gets home from work. Even after the toughest day he takes the time to listen to my troubles and soon has a smile back on my face. ❤

That’s all, folks! If you’d like a more detailed description of all we ate at Terroir, click through to my official review on Bizcommunity.

May your weekend be relaxing and filled with everything you love. 🙂

*Disclaimer: Obviously our meals at Terroir were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

What to do in Stellenbosch

In my last update I was a little vague about just how we’d be unravelling our city-stress knots and niggles, now all can be revealed: I’d been invited to review* the oh-so-magical Majeka House in Stellenbosch for a few days. See just some of the best things we did below and click here for my official review, as the professional pics do a much better job than ours from our phones below…

The roadtrip

Road to Stellenbosch
There’s nothing better than that feeling of excitement when you’re about to set off on a road trip – even if it’s just a hop, skip and jump away. Always start your journey with pics of the road ahead and any pretty scenery to rub in the fact that you’re getting away from it all. Take this pic, for example. Road ahead, check. Pretty scenery, check. Excited to see more, check.
Polkadraai puppets
Sometimes the sights you see are so strange you’d think you were dreaming if you hadn’t snapped a photo. These scarecrow puppet people are at the Polkadraai farm stall and strawberry picking point about half-an-hour from home.
Polkadraai farm stall
Those puppets are just to the left of where this shot was taken. Another road trip tip is to definitely stop when you see one of these yellow Nat Geo frames and take a photo no matter what the view.
Hudson's Stellenbosch
Feel free to stop and try the local fare before you reach your final destination. This is Husband trying a Black Label draught at Hudson’s on Dorp Straat in Stellenbosch. Just as good as a draught at any other pub, and the cheese burger and chips we shared were just as good as any of the other Hudson’s meals we’ve had. It was so very windy that things were blowing off the tables and everyone else was choosing to sit indoors, but we couldn’t resist the pretty tree-lined street for a spot of people-watching.

In and around your room

Majeka House honesty bar
Of course each form of accommodation differs, even each room at each venue will have its individual quirks. At Majeka House this included an honesty bar system in the kitchen corner, with a fully stocked fridge (don’t touch the R700 mini bottle of champers, whatever you do)! All these lovely treats were individually priced, apart from the complimentary coffee pods with complementary fresh chewy peanut butter cookies. Don’t worry, there were no crumbs in/on the bed for our room fairy to take care of as we ate them standing.
Gowns and painting at Majeka Spa
Look around your room very very carefully, as there may well be hidden features. Following our spa sessions we showered then trotted around in the bunny-soft robes in the room – and on sitting on the bed noted the landscape painting mounted above our heads.
TV in Majeka House
You may notice other interesting room/suite features on your third or fourth lap. For instance, look at the suspended TV in the pic on the left, and the similarly inbuilt painting in the pic on the right. It’s the front and back of a swivel, so if you’d rather watch TV in the lounge you just give it a slight nudge and hey presto, the painting faces the bedroom and you’re ready to channel hop!
Majeka House patio
This was the view from our rooftop balcony. Lots of soothing colours for the eye, as well as pleasing mountain shapes to rest on.
Reading at Majeka House
If you’ve brought reading material with you, be sure to try out each possible reading point. For me this included various chairs on the two patios, our all-too-comfy bed and a number of couches and cushions in the lounge before I settled on this corner, complete with soft blanket to buffer against the wintery wind outdoors.
Sunset at Majeka House
Snap the sunset from as many view points as possible. Or just over the course of a few minutes from the same spot. This is the setting sun from our bedroom balcony…
Sunset from balcony
The same scene just five minutes later – all yellowy and happy-making.
Majeka House
Of course you can’t stay cooped up in your room the whole time and need to explore the grounds. What delightful grounds these are in Stellenbosch, with all sorts of hidden lighting cleverly highlighting features you’d otherwise miss in the daylight.

The spas and watery things

Jacuzzi at Majeka House
Following a back-relaxing hour-long couple’s massage all you want to do is close your eyes and think happy thoughts. Here is Husband, having a soak/pummel in the viciously strong Jacuzzi – so much so that the bubbles almost overflowed into the adjoining pool. No bubble bath required!
Majeka House jacuzzi
As we’re both Aquarians we could easily spend all our free time in water and be happy chappies. So of course I did the exact same thing as Husband. Note lovely landscape on the wall behind me, as well as doors off to the sauna and steam room – yes, they’re different things.
Steam room at Majeka House
Here is Husband, stoking the steam in the steam room by topping up with hissing water over the aromatic logs every few minutes. As it was set to 70’C we didn’t stay in there for long.
Majeka House and Spa at night
At night, the chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area in the most magical way. We’d been encouraged to have a swim or soak after dinner – all you do is swipe your room card to access the main hotel section, even after staff have locked up for the night. As appealing as the thought was, we didn’t follow through. Here’s why…

The fancy (filling) dinners

Cocktails at M Lounge
If it’s not quite dinner time, it’s surely time for a pre- (or post-) meal drink. We sampled two of the fancy cocktails at the blue-lit M Lounge – I went for the espresso martini, Husband had the Long Island Ice Tea. Both expertly made and just the right thing to sip at the fireside.
Fake bookshelves
This is the fireplace beside which those cocktails were sipped. Note those walls of books are not real – that’s a special wallpaper that almost everyone who entered the bar when we were there went up very close to examine.
Bread board at Makaron
If you’ve booked the three-course dinner at Makaron, Majeka’s in-house award-winning restaurant, don’t by any means fall for the idea that you’re only getting three plates of food. For example, soon after being seated you’ll likely be offered complimentary still or sparkling water and a breadboard filled with the freshest, fanciest bites with touches of onion and cinnamon where you’d least expect.
Wine at Makaron
Once your wine is served, be sure to swirl it around a little in your glass to release the flavour, as Husband did with his. He made it last throughout the bread, amuse bouche, starter and main course, only opting for something different with his dessert. But more on that later…
Makaron food
See a sample of the things you’ll eat at Makaron. Top left is our saffron-infused amuse bouche. Top right is Husband’s prawn linguini starter, bottom left is my ‘rainbow beets with goat’s cheese chantilly’ starter, and bottom right is my steak with herb gnocchi mains. All part of just one meal. Plan ahead and go on an empty stomach!
Vanilla creme brulee at Makaron
When ordering dessert, be wary of ones with bits you’re not sure of. While my vanilla creme brulee was large, light and lip-smackingly good, with perfectly brittle sesame tulle on top, the exotic-sounding ‘yuzu’ was just that – exotic and a little too sharp on the tongue. Don’t be afraid to ask for your waiter’s recommendation.
Caramel bar at Makaron
Because our waiter recommended the caramel bar for Husband’s dessert, which was hands down the best thing we ate in Stellenbosch – and we ate a great deal of delightful meals! This may look small but was as caramelly, chocolately and ice-creamy as possible, with warm brown melty flavours and a dainty little coffee macaron on top – alas Husband popped the whole thing in his mouth before I could have a taste. Sad face. I’d go back just to try that mysterious macaron!
Brandy at Makaron
The sweet dessert called for something a little sweeter gliding down the throat, like a tot of KWV 5-year-old.

The breakfast choices

Breakfast at Makaron
The breakfast buffet is eye-poppingly comprehensive, but don’t fill up before your hot meal arrives or you may not have enough space for it. Rather copy me and order a cappuccino, then pour a berry smoothie and mix all manner of muesli, nuts, yoghurt and berry coulis in a bowl to slowly munch through before your eggs benedict or bacon-filled French toast arrives.
Croissant at Makaron.
Or copy Husband and fill a side plate with flaky croissant, selection of meats and cheeses and pepper to your liking. I repeat, do not overeat, especially on a Sunday. You’ll see why soon.
Makaron breakfast
This is what said French toast and eggs royale looked like. Amazing and so filling. Especially if you have an adventurious day ahead…

The outdoor hikes

Paradyskloof nature reserve
Just 5 minutes up the road from Majeka House is the entrance to Paradyskloof nature reserve. Do yourself a favour and go for a brisk trot or even a cycle if you’ve packed along your bike. There are no steep uphills and lots of shady bits to pause and catch your breath or admire the view – or both.
Nature selfie
Of course you’ll take a selfie while you’re on your walk, as we did. This was the best option of the six we attempted, promise. 😉

The Sunday morning markets

Blauuwklippen Sunday market
Goodness me but you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Sunday morning markets in the Stellenbosch area. Our first stop was at the Blauwklippen market, where you simply won’t know where to look as there are so many tasty delights on offer. Best you not have already filled up on breakfast. We did not know this so just looked and looked while our full-to-bursting bellies made regretful noises.
Blaauwklippen
The main Blaauwklippen restaurant is exactly what you’d imagine a ‘Cape Dutch eatery’ to look like, with warm inviting interiors (we just peeped through the windows).
Blaauwklippen Market
Of course you’ll wander a little off the beaten track while browsing the Blauuwklippen Market, as it’s set on such pretty grounds, with ducks floating on ponds and squirrels chasing each other all around the greenery.
Route 44 Market at Audacia
And then we stopped at the Route 44 Market at Audacia. Even more food, crafts and soul-rejuvenating scenery to look at. This is the view from just one of many seating areas.
Oysters at Mussel Monger at Route 44 Market
By then we’d walked up quite an appetite, and Husband simply plopped himself down on the beach bar stool (with real sand for your shoes to rest in) at the Mussel Monger and ordered himself a couple of oysters. They smelled like the cold sea and I’ll bet tasted like it, too.

And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll need to go back to Stellenbosch many, many more times to fully experience all it has to offer. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend Majeka House and Spa, what a treat!

*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Majeka House and meals at Makaron were part of the review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally. Prices included in my official review.*