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Loeries 2019 and 12th anniversary Oyster Box high tea

Last week was one of the busiest of the year as I was in KZN from Wednesday covering the Loeries. We also celebrated our 12th anniversary with high tea at the Oyster Box before heading home on Tuesday this week. It’s a bumper edition packed with pics so get that scrolling finger ready…

Wednesday, 21 August 2019: Slow Lounge CT, Spur meal in KZN

Slow lounging, Cape Town! The top pic of macarons and the Mango plane are from Husband's trip to join me once the Loeries were over on Sunday, the bottom two on the left were my snaps from my Wednesday morning flight.
Slow lounging, Cape Town! The top pic of macarons and the Mango plane are from Husband’s trip to join me once the Loeries were over on Sunday, the bottom two on the left were my snaps from my Wednesday morning flight.
Durban, check! Following a morning flight, I landed in the KZN heat with my colleague Angie. See the view from out hotel room at the Garden Court South Beach, as well as my strawberry milkshake and cheddamelt schnitzel special in the Spur downstairs, to start our stay on the right note.
Durban, check! Following a morning flight, I landed in the KZN heat with my colleague Angie. See the view from out hotel room at the Garden Court South Beach, as well as my strawberry milkshake and cheddamelt schnitzel special in the Spur downstairs, to start our stay on the right note.

Thursday, 22 August 2019: Loeries Masterclasses at the Durban ICC

Keeping it classy at the Masterclasses! Our Loeries fun always starts with the morning and afternoon masterclasses held at the Durban ICC. Click here to read my overview of the Game/Dion Wired 'What do CMOs really want' morning masterclass and here for my overview of the UN Women-Dove afternoon masterclass.
Keeping it classy at the Masterclasses! Our Loeries fun always starts with the morning and afternoon masterclasses held at the Durban ICC. Click here to read my overview of the Game/Dion Wired ‘What do CMOs really want’ morning masterclass and here for my overview of the UN Women-Dove afternoon masterclass.

Friday, 23 August 2019: DStv Seminar of Creativity, first Loeries award night

Some of my Friday highlights included the view from our hotel room, on the 15th floor of the hotel, as well as Manuel Borde's presentation at the Loeries' DStv Seminar of Creativity, and bumping into Loeries CEO Andrew Human. Click here to read my overview of Borde's presentation in full!
Some of my Friday highlights included the view from our hotel room, on the 15th floor of the hotel, as well as Manuel Borde’s presentation at the Loeries’ DStv Seminar of Creativity, and bumping into Loeries CEO Andrew Human. Click here to read my overview of Borde’s presentation in full, here for more on Africans being creative sharks and here for more on checking stereotypes in the industry.
Scenes from the Friday night Loeries ceremony, as well as the cheddamelt schnitzel meal we shared on Saturday, with a Bar-One shake each.
Scenes from the Friday night Loeries ceremony, as well as the cheddamelt schnitzel meal we shared on Saturday, with a Bar-One shake each.

Saturday, 24 August 2019: Annual Brand SA brunch, second Loeries award night

Saturday started off with the annual Brand South Africa brunch at California Dreaming. See my strong cappuccino and the pool outside our hotel room.
Saturday started off with the annual Brand South Africa brunch at California Dreaming. See my strong cappuccino and the pool outside our hotel room.
Looking windswept but happy at the Brand SA brunch at California Dreaming.
Looking windswept but happy at the Brand SA brunch at California Dreaming.
A few social pics from the Brand SA brunch, networking with the industry before the second awards night...
A few social pics from the Brand SA brunch, networking with the industry before the second awards night…
Red carpeting! See our outfits from Friday night at the Loeries at the Durban ICC in the top row and Saturday night on the bottom row.
Red carpeting! See our outfits from Friday night at the Loeries at the Durban ICC in the top row and Saturday night on the bottom row.

Sunday, 25 August 2019: 12th wedding anniversary at the Oyster Box Hotel

Thank you, Oyster Box! We stayed in the King Willow Suite and walked in to find a special anniversary balloon and plate of sweet treats to celebrate.
Thank you, Oyster Box! Having seen off Angie and welcomed Husband at the airport, we were shuttled to the Oyster Box Hotel, where stayed in the King Willow Suite and walked in to find a special anniversary balloon and plate of sweet treats to celebrate.
Hello, Oyster Box! See duckies on the lawn, us as snapped in the lift, the below-ground private dining area and Skabenga saying 'hi'.
Hello, Oyster Box! See duckies on the lawn, us as snapped in the lift, the below-ground private dining area and Skabenga saying ‘hi’.
Some of the lovely Oyster Box scenery, from the spiral staircase to the movie theatre.
Some of the lovely Oyster Box scenery, from the spiral staircase to the movie theatre.
Our B harmonised massage in the Spa at the Oyster Box is one of the best I've had, as it didn't leave me feeling sore and knotted the next day. See Husband relaxing in the indoor jacuzzi as well as my flute of fizz, the hammam steam room and a relax space bed for two.
Our B Harmonised massage in the Spa at the Oyster Box is one of the best I’ve had, as it didn’t leave me feeling sore and knotted the next day. See Husband relaxing in the indoor jacuzzi as well as my flute of fizz, the hammam steam room and a private ‘relax space’ for two. All the words are coming to my full review on Bizcommunity soon…
In my happy place, having a coffee and biscuits post-massage on the balcony of our Oyster Box Hotel suite
In my happy place, having a coffee and soaking up the view post-massage on the balcony of our Oyster Box Hotel suite.
We strolled along the Umhlanga Promenade to take in that golden stretch of sand.
We strolled along the Umhlanga Promenade to take in that golden stretch of sand.
Happy anniversary to us! We were delighted to find a table at La Spiagga a little further down the main promenade that night. See my Kahlua coffee shake, Husband's glass of red, and the gnocchi piccante we wolfed down.
Happy anniversary to us! We were delighted to find a table at La Spiagga a little further down the main promenade that night. See my Kahlua coffee shake, Husband’s glass of red, and the gnocchi piccante we wolfed down.
Oyster Box bliss! See the pool all lit up at night, and view of the 'hidden' pool' outside the Spa.
Oyster Box bliss! See the main pool all lit up at night, and view of the ‘hidden’ pool’ outside the Spa.

Monday, 26 August 2019: High tea at the Oyster Box Hotel

Our first-morning pickings from the Oyster Box Hotel's breakfast buffet featured oysters and salmon for him, as well as bircher muesli, chocolate milk and a waffle with all the toppings for me.
Our first-morning pickings from the Oyster Box Hotel’s breakfast buffet featured oysters and salmon for him, as well as bircher muesli, chocolate milk and a waffle with all the toppings for me.
The CL2 cocktail (coconut milk, lavender and litchi) with stunning striped sea and sky beyond, as well as iconic red-and-white lighthouse and Oyster Box Hotel striped pool umbrellas. Love!
The CL2 cocktail (coconut milk, lavender and litchi) with stunning striped sea and sky beyond, as well as iconic red-and-white lighthouse and Oyster Box Hotel striped pool umbrellas. Love!
High tea is served! See some of the tea options, as well as stacks of savouries for those wit a little less of a sweet tooth than me.
High tea is served! See some of the tea options, as well as stacks of savouries for those with a little less of a sweet tooth than me.
See blue macarons, our reserved table and some of the delicious cakes - there was even a sushi station for Husband to feast from.
See blue macarons, our reserved table and some of the delicious cakes – there was even a sushi station for Husband to feast from.
Husband, caught sipping tea with pinkie finger extended.
Husband, caught sipping tea with pinkie finger extended.
Pool time! After we'd had a nap t digest some of that delicious high tea, we spent time at the main pool. It was bliss!
Pool time! After we’d had a nap to digest some of that delicious high tea, we spent time at the main pool. It was bliss!
Swimming in the main pool at sunset was bliss.
Swimming in the main pool at sunset was pure magic.
Husband ended our anniversary with a cigar and brandy in the Chukka Bar downstairs at the Oyster Box Hotel. We laughed at the 'rules of the inn'!
Husband ended our anniversary with a cigar and brandy in the Chukka Bar downstairs at the Oyster Box Hotel. We laughed at the ‘rules of the inn’!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019: King Shaka Slow Lounge

Oyster Box breakfast, take two. For me, a strong cappuccino, mini pastries and delicious single egg benedict. Husband ended up with a proper cooked breakfast this time including bacon and even curry.
Oyster Box breakfast, take two. For me, a strong cappuccino, mini pastries and delicious single egg benedict. Husband ended up with a proper cooked breakfast this time, including bacon and even curry.
Vehicles seen in and around the Oyster Box Hotel - the Merc top-left served as our shuttle from the airport to the hotel.
Vehicles seen in and around the Oyster Box Hotel – the Merc top-left served as our shuttle from the airport to the hotel.
Once we'd checked out of the Oyster Box Hotel (sob), we took another walk along the pier and main promenade in Umhlanga.
Once we’d checked out of the Oyster Box Hotel (sob), we took another walk along the pier and main promenade in Umhlanga.
King Shaka Slow Lounging! Once we had checked in our bags for our flight home, we made our way to the Slow Lounge in King Shaka airport. See some of the lovely snacks on offer.
King Shaka Slow Lounging! Once we had checked in our bags for our flight home, we made our way to the Slow Lounge in King Shaka airport. See some of the lovely snacks on offer.
Home time! See us on the plan home, as well as view out the window and Husband's view when he stepped into the cockpit after we'd safely landed.
Home time! See us on the plane home, as well as THE view out the window and Husband’s view when he stepped into the cockpit to chat to the flight crew after we’d safely landed.

That’s all, folks! Here’s to a warm and restful week ahead. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals, spa treatment and accommodation at the Oyster Box Hotel were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

My cousin’s wedding in Gansbaai and 35th birthday waffles

Remember I shared last week’s blog post a whole day early? That’s because we were out of town on Friday – as a double-whammy 35th birthday and family destination wedding getaway…

Thursday, 14 February 2019: Valentine’s Day hot dogs and shakes at Rocomama’s 

Waffles, hot dogs and shakes at Rocomama's
I’d taken a day’s leave on Valentine’s Day, so that I’d be well into the holiday spirit for our weekend away. See my lovely lunchtime treat at Rocomama’s with my parents – that’s a double BCG hot dog (topped with bacon, cheese and guacamole), as well as a Nutella-banana waffle and various cold drinks.

Friday, 15 February 2019: My 35th birthday – Hermanus waffles and dinner in Gansbaai

News Cafe breakfast
Happy birthday to me! Imagine balloons and such. We were both obviously on leave so we slept in until after the weekday alarm usually goes off, then decided on a New Cafe breakfast as we needed an early start for the first leg of our road trip up to Hermanus.
Hermanus waffles
Lunchtime! After a good few hours on the road, we met my parents at Belgian Waffles, Burgers and Beers in Hermanus. See some of the beers sampled, as well as my Speculaas waffle and ginger-white chocolate cappuccino. Happy happy!
Swim at Grotto Bay
Husband and Dad off to dip their toes in the sea at Grotto Bay – it was quite a low tide so they didn’t venture in beyond their ankles.
Benguela Lodge in De Kelders
Benguela Lodge in De Kelders was our home base for the weekend. Lots of blue skies and the sound of water everywhere made for some happy Aquarians (and Leo parents).
De Kelders caves
A spot of birthday cave exploring? Why not! It was so hot, we were happy to dip our feet in the sea again…
Birthday hat
Love how Husband captured Mum capturing this snap – the only ‘birthday hat’ photo we took. πŸ™‚
Blue Goose in Gansbaai
We decided on birthday dins at the Blue Goose, just up the road in Gansbaai.
Dinner at Blue Goose in Gansbaai
Scenes from my birthday dinner at Blue Goose restaurant in De Kelders. See the sunny dining area, bottle of Hermanuspieterfontein red, my chicken dish and the linefish, both with crispy baby potatoes.
Sunset in Gansbaai
Beautiful sunset over Gansbaai on our way back to De Kelders that evening.

Saturday, 16 February 2019: My cousin Shelley’s wedding at Panorama Farm in Franskraal

Panorama Farm wedding venue
T’was a cold, drizzly Saturday morning so we decided to pop in at the wedding venue for a quick recce. See the pretty pruned trees, main castle building and various dogs and horses we befriended.
Shark cage-diving in Gansbaai
Next stop, we drove up to see where the shark cage-diving happens in Gansbaai. There were so many folk in wet suits! Not us, of course…
Cocktails at Giovanni's in Gansbaai
By then we needed a treat so stopped at Giuseppe’s Pizza in Gansbaai for cocktails – their special is ‘buy any two beers, pay for both’. Lol! See my toffee-nut shake; Dad’s enormous Long Island Ice Tea, with a thick lemon wedge separating the white spirits from the sugarless Cola; Mum’s bloody Mary; and Husband’s orange Sex on the Beach. All were yum!
Panorama Farm in Franskraal
Sights we saw at Panorama Farm in Franskraal, at Shelley and Richard’s wedding.
Wedding at Panorama Farm
Panorama Farm has a lovely forest ceremony area, which is where we witnessed the vows. See Shelley walking down the aisle with her brother and dad.
Father and son
Aww. Such a special moment, snapped between my cousin Darryl (brother of the bride) and his son, Dylan.
Wedding
Introducing Mr and Mrs Lothian! The joy and love was all around us.
Wedding breakfast at Panorama Farm
Wedding bubbles! See the sweet individual bubble blowers we used at the ceremony, with rose petals, as well as the enormous bubbles we created when it was time for ‘snacks and lawn games’. Also see Dad and Husband doing the same the next morning, at the post-wedding breakfast.
Wedding platter
Beautiful platters adorned the wedding reception tables.
Wedding flowers
Sunflowers were clearly the theme, adding a sunny touch to the tables, with Shelley’s hair featuring daisies.
Wedding cake
See the individual cheese, cracker and spread platters that were waiting on the tables, as well as the dessert table, including the cake and cinnamon cookies Shelley baked herself. Yes, those are Groot and Deadpool cake-toppers! πŸ™‚
Wedding at Panorama Farm
Teehee, happy faces at our table at the wedding reception at Panorama Farm.
Dancing at wedding
Various family dance floor shots – the newly married couple opening the floor to ‘Love to see you smile’ by Homer and Marge Simpson, posing with the rest of us, and the family on the dance floor.
Sunset at Panorama Farm
The sunset from the ‘Love’-lit pond was so beautiful.

Sunday, 17 February 2019: Post-wedding breakfast at Panorama Farm

African bush cat at Benguela
We missed our doglets very much but made friends with Benguela Lodge’s sweet African bush cat, Oscar.
Sea at De Kelders
After a speedy check-out, we started our Sunday with a brief explore of the walkway down to the deck overlooking the sea at De Kelders. It was just beautiful.
Sparkly sea
Champagne sparkles on the glossy blue sea.
Panorama Farm
Next stop, our third visit at beautiful Panorama Farm, where we all met up for a quick farewell ‘foodtruck’ brekkie, featuring coffee and bacon-egg rolls. Just the thing after all the dancing of the night before.
Breakfast at Panorama Farm
We had worked up quite an appetite from our morning walk, so the bacon-and-egg buns and cups of coffee in the sunshine went down a treat.

That’s all, folks. Here’s to a relaxing weekend ahead! πŸ™‚

A stay at Franschhoek’s La Petite Ferme and Christmas in Blouberg

This has been our most family-filled Christmas in a long time, as we got to celebrate with both sets of parents as well as extended family on both sides. We were also lucky enough to start our December holiday with a stay at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek, what a magical place!

Our souls are happy and bellies full – you’ll see why from all the snaps below…

Friday, 22 December 2018: Holiday waffles and Blowfish dins

Waffles at Milky Lane
Mum and Dad treated me to a waffle at Milky Lane in Table Bay Mall to mark my first day of holiday last Friday. See my Crunchie waffle, Dad’s lemon meringue version and Mum’s churro ice cream cup that looked just like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.
Coffee at Limnos Bakery
By then, Husband was done with his morning of work so he joined us for a strong flat white at Limnos Bakery in the mall. Let the holidays begin!
Swimming in the sea
The colours at the beachfront were just gorgeous that afternoon. If you look closely, you’ll spot Husband waving from the waves.
Pasta at Blowfish
We started the weekend with an early lupper at the Blowfish restaurant in Dolphin Beach that afternoon. See Husband’s seafood pasta and my butternut-feta gnocchi.

Saturday, 22 December 2019: A stay at La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek

Single eggs benedict at Bread & Butter
Bread & Butter in Sunningdale has extended its trading hours over the festive season, so that’s where we had our early Saturday morning breakfast. See our flat whites and single eggs benedicts – Mexican for Husband. bacon for me. Bellies full, we were ready for a road trip…
Franschhoek farms
We were excited to see a different side of Franschhoek that weekend, as we were reviewing a night at La Petite Ferme, set on the foot of the Oliphant’s Pass. See fields of lavender and the lush green maze of Terbidor’s Big Dog Cafe on our way into town.
La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek
Views of the valley, vineyards and vino at La Petite Ferme – ‘the little farm’. It’s different from the typical ‘Main Road Franschhoek’ accommodation as you’re situated up above the town with a view of the mountain on the one side and on the other, twinkly lights of the valley below. Highly recommended!
La Petite Ferme
We were lucky to stay in the Provencale Vineyard Suite as the accommodation is pure luxury, complete with a view of the blue mountains and vineyards right from the bathtub, and delicious cookies at the in-suite coffee station.
La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek
Some of the scenery around our private cottage suite – inviting shady tree-lined walkways, a welcome bowl of fruit, and of course our private pool.
Private pool at La Petite Ferme
View of our private pool from the main living area of the suite. It was heavenly!
Swimming in green pool
Husband spent most of his afternoon in the pool. The dark green tiles made it feel like we had slipped into the background and were part of nature.
Wine-tasting at La Petite Ferme.
I’ll drink to that! Husband enjoying a taste of La Petite Ferme’s oak-barreled Chardonnay.
Wine tasting at La Petite Ferme
Guests are welcome to a private wine tasting and tour of the vines on the property. See the five wines we sampled, each paired with a specific savoury bite from the kitchen. Watch for my full wordy review on Bizcommunity in the new year!
La Petite Ferme
Mr and Mrs Andrews making their way from their suite to the restaurant – we couldn’t stop gazing at that beautiful view!
Sunset at La Petite Ferme
Sunset signals supper time at La Petite Ferme. See the magical glow over the mountains and valley below – you can just spot me in the picture on the top-left.
Dinner at La Petite Ferme
The food tasted as good as it looked. See our breadboard, including charcoal rolls with harissa paste, two views of our shared zucchini roll starter and our mains – the deboned whole trout for Husband, and the pulled lamb for me. Both were all so delicious we left our plates clean. Not pictured – the caramel milkshake I slurped to the last drop.
Dinner at La Petite Ferme
A feast for the eyes before we’d even had a taste. See another view of our mains – lamb top-left and trout top-right, as well as our desserts – chocolate torte bottom-left and pumpkin doughnuts with peanut-butter ice-cream bottom-right.
Gowns at La Petite Ferme.
The ‘gownie shot’, once back in our suite that evening – this was the best option of about 20 takes, I promise.

Sunday, 23 December 2018: Peche Royale & ice cream sundae Sundays

Breakfast at La Petite Ferme.
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme is a treat, with so many delicious choices from the buffet table – see the pastries; fresh fruit and fish; my ‘first breakfast’ bowl of granola with berries, cranberry juice and cappuccino; and Husband’s beautiful plate of eggs Onassis – spinach, salmon and Hollandaise sauce.
Breakfast at La Petite Ferme
More of the buffet spread; along with my prettily plated hot breakfast order of French toast topped with bacon and cooked apple slivers; and my ‘third breakfast’ nutty pastry plait with cappuccino; as well as Husband enjoying his plate of eggs.
Peacock at La Petite Ferme
I’d heard about the beautiful peacocks at La Petite Ferme and we spotted a few during our stay – they often leapt into the trees to sing their odd ‘mewling’ cry. But more impressive that this…
Peahen and chick
Look! A little chick on the peahen’s back! Two eggs had just hatched during our stay.
Cocktails at Pakalolo's
After checking out we made our way back home, then stopped in at Pakalolo’s on the beachfront with Spec for Christmas cocktails that afternoon. See Husband’s bloody mary, Spec’s mojito and my ‘champagne mojito’, complete with sparkly MCC.
Peche Royale
The celebrations kept coming! We had Peche Royale sparkling peach, as well as salad and toasted sandwiches to literally ‘toast’ the start of the holidays with Spec at Mum’s house that afternoon. Also see our coconut ice cream with caramel sauce and Bertie’s Christmas present from his granny-grampa – a soft blue monkey, his newest best friend.

Monday, 24 December 2018: Blaauwberg Beach Hotel breakfast and Christmas Eve family dins

Breakfast at Blaauwberg Beach Hotel.
The Blaauwberg Beach Hotel has finally opened its doors, so we had breakfast at their Waves restaurant on Monday morning. See my peanut-butter waffle, Husband’s eggs royale and Spec’s breakfast taco. Portions are generous, so go hungry!
View from Blaauwberg Beach Hotel
Of course we explored the rest of the hotel, too – just look at the views from one of three pools! We’ll definitely be back once their cocktail bar opens in the new year.
Christmas Eve
Sweet little Bassie on Christmas Eve. She turned into a shy girl with so many family members saying hi at her grandparents’ house. The food was lovely, too – pre-ordered individual portions of chicken, gammon and ham with rice, roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower, carrots and butternut. Yum!
Christmas Eve
Merry Christmas Eve! The full family enjoying our festive feast.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018: Christmas lunch in Big Bay

Christmas breakfast at Woolworths Cafe
Woolworths Cafe was one of few places open for breakfast on Christmas Day, so that’s where we topped up our tummies again, this time on vanilla-cinnamon cappuccinos, flat whites, Labneh apple-toast and chorizo hash bowls. My parents also popped in for generous portions of scrambled eggs, bacon and avo on toast.
Big Bay view of Table Mountain
Merry Christmas! We spent much of the rest of the day at the beautiful new Big Bay house of relations on Mum’s side. See the slide-cover pool and view across the ocean to Table Mountain.
Christmas hats
See some of the Christmas day laughs captured here.
Kleinbaai Christmas
Full family (apart from Eleanor, taking the photo) at Christmas lunch at the Conradies’ newly built house. Also, Gillian presenting the beautiful Christmas tree starter Mum created.
Christmas lunch
Did we eat and eat! See the cheese, fruit and crackers; roast potatoes; Christmas pies – steak, chicken and venison; pigs in ‘scarves’ (their bacon ‘blankets’ shrunk in the cook); and the beautiful cheesecake made by my cousin, Erin. There was also homemade malva pudding with custard and Uncle Al’s bread-and-butter pudding.
Christmas dreams
No wonder some of us were very sleepy that evening, dreaming Christmassy dreams.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018: Day of Reconciliation (AKA: Christmas leftovers)

Early bird breakfast at News Cafe
We filled our bellies (again) with the early bird English breakfast special at News Cafe on Marine Circle.
Day of Reconciliation leftovers
Day of Reconciliation means lots of Christmas leftovers. We found ourselves back at Husband’s parents’ house with his extended relations for a final taste of Christmas. It was yummy but we are so done with cooked ham for a while!

That’s all, folks! We hope you had an equally delicious Christmas week. Excuse us while we try walk off some of those calories. πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at La Petite Ferme were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Get into the festive spirit with the magical wonder of the Spier Light Art Festival

Last weekend was a different one for us, as we were invited to the launch of the Spier Light Art Festival on Sunday night, so we took a day’s leave on Monday so as to extend that weekend feeling…

Saturday, 8 December 2018: Cup & Cake’s pancakes

Breakfast at Cup & Cake
It felt like a ‘Cup & Cake’ kind of day, so that’s where we had breakfast on Saturday. See my 3 cinnamon-sugar pancakes for R20, caramel cappuccino and Husband’s mushroom benedict-style breakfast.
Movies at GrandWest Casino
After a few hours at Husband’s work, we treated ourselves to ‘Ralph breaks the internet’ at GrandWest Casino. See the pretty Christmas tree just in front of the skate rink.

Sunday, 9 December 2018: Spier Light Art Festival

Breakfast at the Pink Olive
We breakfasted at the Pink Olive in West Coast Village on Sunday. See Husband’s ‘meaty toast’ topped with egg, my fresh scone duo and our cappuccinos.
Deer at Vredenheim
On our way through Stellenbosch, Husband’s phone told us to detour through Vredenheim Wildlife. What a hidden gem, with lots to see, including antlered-reindeer – just the thing to get us into the festive spirit!
Spier
Some of the lovely sights in and around the Spier entry. Yes, that is Husband taking one of the bicycles for a spin.
Spier reception.
The exploration continued inside on check-in. See the Christmas trees at reception, welcome drinks and more.
Room at Spier
Our suite was just right, with a view over two different pools, enormous bed, and in-room coffee-making kit. Yes, please.
Swimming at Spier
There are many, many pools at Spier, tucked between the walkways, but the main pool is where the icy, fruited waters were, so that’s where we swam. It was wonderful.
Spier mosaic table
There was lots of shade to sit in, once you’d had your fill of sun. Loved the bright, mosaic tables.
Swings at Spier
Some of our post-swim explore included swinging around, spotting ducks in the river and crossing bridges. Wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Picnics at Spier
Exploring out of the way, it was time for our pre-Festival packed picnic. A full basket awaited us, but you could also create your own from the items in the deli.
Picnic at Spier
This was our picnic: Crusty bread, melba toast, butter and hummus, cold meat charcuterie, gherkins and olives, camembert, spicy coronation chicken salad, smoked corn-green pepper salad, a bottle of Spier Signature Wine, gruyere-mushroom individual frittata-style quiches, and rich brownie bricks with a tart summer berry compote. This even got a thumbs up of approval from Husband, and he’s not much for picnics.
Picnic at Spier
Sipping wine through linked arms. It can be done!
Spier Light Art Festival
Picnic packed away, it was time for the Light Art Festival to begin. First up, large puppets that roamed the grounds, capturing everyone’s attention until the sun set.
Spier Light Art Festival
This is what we came for. It’s free entrance, every night until the end of January. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend popping in! Click through to my official review for more info.
Spier Light Art Festival
There was so much to see and hear and do, as the festival took place all over the grounds of Spier. A really lovely way to spend a Summer evening.
Cat at Spier
Teehee. We also made friends with the friendly kitty that was strolling the grounds of Spier.
Spier hotel gowns
This the the Spier version of our standard ‘gownie night-away shot’. Tick.

Monday, 10 December 2018: Eagle Encounters, Pakalolo’s and Rocomama’s

Breakfast at Spier
The breakfast buffet at Spier was extensive and delicious. See a few of our courses here. Husband also had a filled omelette while I stuck with the crispy, streaky bacon and fresh baked goods after my mixed bowl of cereal (including muesli and Coco Pops), and topped with pitted dates and candy-coated sunflower seeds.
Owls at Eagle Encounter
We took a golf cart down to the Eagle Encounters area at the far side of Spier once we’d breakfasted, but they weren’t yet open. Luckily we still got to see lots of eagle owls, like this one peering back at us.
Swimming in the sea
Husband having his ‘weekend’ dip once we got back on our home ground that afternoon.
Cocktails at Pakalolo
Ahh. There’s nothing like a cocktail at Pakalolo on the beachfront to put you firmly in ‘holiday mode’, even if just for a day. See Husband’s Bloody Mary and my ‘Pakalolo Sunrise’.
Burgers and shakes at Rocomama's, Parklands
We finally had an early dins at the newly opened Rocomama’s in Parklands that evening. No better smash burgers and shakes in Cape Town, if you ask me! That’s the espresso shake and creme brulee shake, as well as a portion of chili-cheese fries and our enormous burgers you see here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018: Wacky Wednesday and Steers’ chips

Steers chips
We were both exhausted when we got home from work on Wednesday, so opted for Wacky Wednesday from Steers for dins. Plus this large portion of chips, drenched in all the sauces. YUM.

That’s all, folks! Read my review on Biz for more on the Spier Light Art Festival. We were back at work on Tuesday already, but towards the end-of-year holidays we will go…

*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Spier were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

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

Hello, dear reader! πŸ™‚

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

Friday, 20 January 2017: Quiet evening with the doggies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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