Tag Archives: The Hart

Rocomama’s BlackStar burger and lots of wintery dogs

This past weekend it was Husband’s turn to tackle all the weekend work so most of our pics were snapped at home while he worked, along with a few outings, of course…

Saturday, 6 July 2019: Rocomama’s BlackStar burger

We did our Discovery Health checks first thing on Saturday, so popped into Mugg & Bean as soon as we'd been given the all-clear. See our cappuccinos and corner table.
We did our Discovery Health checks at Bayside Mall first thing on Saturday so popped into Mugg & Bean as soon as we’d been given the all-clear. See our cappuccinos and corner table.
To eat, Husband went for the full farmhouse option, while I had the choc-chip flapjack stack - one went home with me for afternoon tea.
To eat, Husband went for the full farmhouse option, while I had the choc-chip flapjack stack – one went home with me for afternoon tea.
My Saturday afternoon in a picture: Coffee, dogs, blankets and books.
My Saturday afternoon in a picture: Coffee, dogs, blankets and books.
Pretty girl looking concerned but actually nice and snug after a weekend afternoon nap.
Pretty girl looking concerned but actually feeling nice and snug after a weekend afternoon nap.
Sweet boy dog with neck extended for full warmth in front of the fire.
Sweet boy dog with neck extended for full warmth in front of the fire.
Husband took a break that afternoon so we all headed off to Rocomama's together for a few fast favourites. See me and Dad with our shakes, Husband and Mum with their wine and beer, and Mum's impressive black-bunned burger. Very tasty.
Husband took a break that afternoon so we all headed off to Rocomama’s together for a few fast favourites. See me and Dad with our shakes, Husband and Mum with their wine and beer, and Mum’s impressive black-bunned BlackStar chicken burger. Very tasty indeed.
All the burgers and fries. Yum!
All the burgers and fries. Yum!

Sunday, 7 July 2019: Breakfast at The Hart, Melkbos

Husband would be working for most of Sunday so we got up early to sort some weekend admin - and to have breakfast, of course. See our table at The Hart Breadhouse and Bakery in Melkbos. I had the single bacon benedict and a cappuccino, Husband opted for a flat white, Coke Zero and the breakfast salad filled with salmon. Delicious.
Husband would be working for most of Sunday so we got up early to sort some weekend admin – and to have breakfast, of course. See our table at The Hart Breadhouse and Bakery in Melkbos. I had the single bacon benedict and a cappuccino, Husband opted for a flat white, Coke Zero and the breakfast salad filled with salmon. Delicious.
Sweet Bertie boy snuggled up warm in his sister's clam shell bed.
Sweet Bertie boy snuggled up warm in his sister’s clam shell bed.
My handsome, tired boys. Insert heart-eyes emoji.
My handsome, tired boys, much later that night. Insert heart-eyes emoji.

Monday, 8 July 2019: Homemade spag-bol to ward off the winter chill

Mum rustled up enormous helpings of 'spag bol' for Monday dins as it was a very chilly evening.
Mum rustled up enormous helpings of ‘spag bol’ for Monday dins as it was a very chilly evening.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019: Conferencing at Kantar’s #GettingMediaRight event

On Tuesday, 9 July I attended Kantar's #GettingMediaRight info-sharing session. See the delicious cappuccino, speakers for the morning Monique Claassen and Jane Ostler, and me with Jupiter Drawing Room MD, Michelle Beh. Click here for my even feedback article.
On Tuesday, 9 July I attended Kantar’s #GettingMediaRight info-sharing session. See me with Jupiter Drawing Room MD Michelle Beh, the delicious cappuccino, and speakers for the morning Monique Claassen and Jane Ostler. Click here for my event report-back.
I was delighted when I got home from work to a doughnut treat on Tuesday evening.
I was delighted when I got home from work to a doughnut treat on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019: Lunchtime lecture at Red & Yellow School

On Wednesday, I attended author Michael Smorenburg's lunchtime lecture at Red & Yellow School. Click here for my event report-back.
On Wednesday, I attended author Michael Smorenburg’s lunchtime lecture at Red & Yellow School. Click here for my event report-back.

That’s all, folks! See you next week – same time, same place. 🙂

Brilliant burgers and slurpworthy shakes at Gibson’s

Last weekend the weather was just gorgeous, as you’ll see from the snaps below, and the food – my goodness, the food…

Saturday, 9 February 2019: Burgers and shakes at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers, V&A Waterfront

Breakfast at The Hart Bakery
We were up and about early on Saturday so decided on breakfast at The Hart Bakery in Melkbos. See the pretty floral decor, also my single bacon benedict and Husband’s chorizo rosti.
Coffee and cake
Bassie was very interested in my quick ‘coffee and cake treat’ later that morning – Husband’s parents dropped off the wedge of baked milktart from their roadtrip to Philadelphia. Now you have the Philadelphia song playing in your head, I’m sure… “The streets of Philadelphia, nah nah nah…” Sorry. It sure was good!
Trees in Cape Town
Taking the scenic route meant it was all palm trees and sunny skies on the way into town.
R27
Beautiful blue skies and cloudy tops for Table Mountain on our way along the R27 that afternoon, as a table was waiting for us at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers in the V&A Waterfront.
Milkshakes at Gibson's Burgers
Once seated with a view across the water, we browsed the immense flip-style menu to find just the concoctions that tickled our fancy. See Husband’s Amarula Colada and my chocolate-toffee-cashew shake. That spoon came in handy for scooping up all the cashews that had drifted to the bottom of the glass!
Food at Gibson's
And the food! There’s almost any combination of toppings available, which is why I ended up with the ‘onion blossom’ on mine – that’s a full fried onion, instead of a side of onion rings, accompanied by sweet potato fries, while Husband had the Philly Cheese Steak and accompanying baked potato – one of the best taters he’s ever eaten.
Sunset at Waterfront
Bellies full, we decided on a quick quayside stroll before heading back to the car. This was just before 7pm, the sun was nowhere near ready for setting…
Rhinos at Waterfront
I almost blended in with the rhinos outside the Waterfront’s main quay, so bright and festive and rounded were we.

Sunday, 10 February 2019: Early morning doggy beach walks

Dogs at the beach
The doglets were thrilled at the idea of beach walkies first thing on Sunday, before the humans had even had breakfast.
Dog in rear-view mirror
See a very happy Bertie post-beach walkies, reflected in the rear-view mirror.
Breakfast at Woolworths W Cafe
Beach walkies done and doglets back at home, it was a Woolworths W Cafe breakfast on Sunday as we had mall admin to sort out. See my vanilla-cinnamon cappuccino, Husband’s regular flat white and Coke Zero, my croissant French Toast and his exotic tomato breakfast, all featuring lots of flaked almonds.
Expresso coffee
A quick coffee pick-me-up break later in the day at Xpresso in Table View Mall meant a dirty chai latte for me and a double espresso con panna for Husband.
Food at Panama Jacks
One of Mum’s former work colleagues was in town last Sunday so we met up for a ‘team lunch’ with other friends at Panama Jack’s. See the Thai Fish Curry, which was ordered by most, and my starter portion of crispy sesame duck with peanut dressing.
Tea-time treats
We were so full from lunch that it was just sweet treats for lupper at Mum’s later that afternoon – crumpets with syrup, jam and honey; juicy cherries, frozen yoghurt cups and coffee with biscuits. Yum!
Sleepy dogs
Precious doglets snapped in sleepy mode over the weekend.

That’s all, folks! Watch for my full review of Gibson’s on Bizcommunity soon…

*Disclaimer: Our meals at Gibson’s were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.

Angus Grill’s ‘don of chocolate’ and Jive’s Cape food-pairing taxi tour

We made sure this past week was once again filled with sunshine and delicious moments, as you’ll see below…

Friday, 23 November 2018: Cape Royale meetings, Doodles dins

Cape Royale
Last Friday I had a midday meeting at the Cape Royale hotel in Green Point.
Cape Royale lobby
The lobby is lovely! We sat at the outdoor cafe, which was just too sunny for photos.
Doodles Spring specials
After work was done and dusted we treated ourselves to Friday dins at Doodles on the beachfront, from their ‘Spring specials chef’s test menu’. See my caramel shake – not pictured, my tikka chicken pizza. Also see Husband’s seafood platter special – linefish of the day was angelfish, his favourite.

Saturday, 24 November 2018: The Hart breakfast, Black Angus lupper

Breakfast at The Hart.
Saturday morning saw us breakfasting at The Hart in Melkbos. See Husband’s mackerel on rosti, my cappuccino and my single bacon egg(s) benedict.
View from Black Angus
We stopped in at the Black Angus on Marine Drive for a late lunch/early supper once we’d popped in at Husband’s work for a few hours. The view is just what you’d expect.
Steak at Angus Grill
See my pepper-sauce burger and ‘don of chocolate’ – a dom pedro made with Frangelico and espresso liqueur, chocolate ice cream and flaked almonds. Also see the Kriek cherry beer Husband sampled, and his ‘Madagascan Green Pepper’ steak and veg.

Sunday, 25 November 2018: Cafeteria breakfast and Christmas comes to Table Bay Mall

Cafeteria in Table Bay Mall
We had our first breakfast at newly opened Cafeteria restaurant (where Melissa’s used to be) in the Table Bay Mall on Sunday morning.
Breakfast at Cafeteria
Husband tried the ‘low-carb benedict’, featuring gammon and spinach on brown mushroom, with mustard Hollandaise sauce. Also see our coffees and my banana-bread French toast with dollops of peanut butter- and raspberry-cream.
Mall Christmas decorations
You know Christmas is just a few weeks away when Christmas decorations pop up everywhere in Table Bay Mall.
Table Mountain
The beach is always beautiful, but Table Mountain seemed to have an extra sparkle last weekend…
Sunday roast pork
Sunday lupper at Mum’s – delicious roast pork with rice, gravy, veg and salad. Yum!
Chocolate and coffee.
You can’t go wrong with these post-lupper treats.

Monday, 26 November 2018: Day-off waffles and Duke coffee

Book and Panarotti's
I started my day off with some quiet time on the couch with the doglets and a few new books, then went to Panarotti’s in Table Bay Mall for mid-morning waffles with Mum and Dad.
Waffles at Panarotti's
See Dad’s banana-caramel-ice cream waffle top-left, my savoury bacon-banana waffle bottom-right, Mum’s traditional breakfast and our coffees.
Coffee at Duke's
We also stopped in at the new Duke’s coffee roastery on the way home. See the rhino demonstrating what visiting doggies should do, as well as interesting ceiling , coffees and homemade rusks.
Homemade meatloaf
Mum whipped up a saucy meatloaf, roast potatoes and veg for Tuesday evening dins at ours. We left not a crumb!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018: The Jive food-pairing taxi tour

Jive taxi tour
My Wednesday afternoon was spent on a food pairing with a difference – Jive cooldrink transported a handful of Cape Town’s media and influencers in Jive-branded minibus taxis to Langa, Athlone, Observatory and back to the CBD for an experience we won’t forget. See the team here at the first activation for the day, in Langa.
New Hope Spaza in Langa
First stop – the New Hope Spaza in Langa, for vetkoek and mince paired with Jive Orange Krush. See some of the sights, and a sweet doggy we befriended.
Jive taxi tour
Our second stop of the day was Super Fisheries in Athlone. Home of the gatsby, we got to sample an authentic vienna-polony gatsby, paired with Mango Tango Jive.
Jive burger pie pairing
Next stop was Pie Creations in Observatory, for the burger pie-cream soda pairing. By now we were reaching popping point so many of us only ate half a pie and took the rest home for dins.
Jive taxi tour
Now see the pap en wors paired with Iron Brew at Cafe Delicious in Barack Street top-left, view of the leading taxi from our Jive-branded taxi top-right, a sneaky snap of me taking pics bottom-left and curious kiddies in Langa.
Dogs sleeping
A selection of the doggies’ sweetest moments over the past week. See them snuggled together on the couch, Bertie napping with both his dad and granny, and Bassie caught half-asleep (or half-awake, maybe).

That’s all, folks! Here’s to an adventure-filled weekend ahead 🙂

Coffee French toast, Ayama wine farm and beach ice creams

Last weekend we finally felt that the seasons have changed in the Cape. We even went to the beach for ice cream! And while there have been a few very chilly days since then, today was a scorcher and this weekend is set to be sunny and bright…

Wednesday, 26 September 2018: Planting vines and sampling wines at Ayama Wines, Slent Farm

Paarl road trip
Last Wednesday, I was part of a media group to visit a wine farm run by Italians – my full review of the experience will be up on Bizcommunity next week. For now, look at the picture-postcard scenery on our way to Ayama Wines in the Voor Paardeberg region, through Paarl.
Ayama Wines at Slent Farm
Soon enough, we were there. Ahh. You can just feel the peacefulness of the surroundings. There are 172 hectares in total, with the vines flown in from Italy and 95% of the output exported outside of SA, so no worries f you’ve not heard of Ayama Wines.
Ayama Wines at Slent Farm
We took a tractor tour of the land – see the sweet family doggy trotting along behind us in the bottom left pic. Also see lillies growing wild and in pots, and the protective blue booties we wore, to keep our shoes clean and the soil uncontaminated.
Ayama Wines tasting room
See the new Ayama Wines tasting room, farm petrol pump and mill, some of the lovely eats we tried, and our take-home gift of artichoke (we also received a few bottles of wine, not pictured).

Friday, 28 September 2018: Creative Mornings event and end of #BI4Gov

Creative Morning at Friends of Design
My first stop last Friday – after a brief email check-in at the office – was taking part in a collaborative art experiment at the Creative Mornings Cape Town session for September, held at Friends of Design on Bree Street. Click here for my overview if you missed it.
BI4Gov conference at CTICC
Next stop, the CTICC for day two of the #BI4Gov Behavioural Insights conference. If you missed it, click through to my article based on a tea break chat with MC, Africa Melane.
CTICC conference food
Conference food at the CTICC is always welcome as it’s quite hunger-making work, frantically taking notes and chatting to people in the gaps.

Saturday, 29 September 2018: Coffee French toast, beach ice creams and family braais

Pulp Kitchen breakfast
For our ‘Yay, it’s the weekend’ breakfast, we went to Pulp Kitchen in Willowbridge Centre. See Husband’s Mexican chilli mince-filled ‘brekkie burrito’ topped with guac and salsa, our flat whites and the bicycle-themed decor.
Coffee French toast at Pulp Kitchen
For me, the coffee French toast with maple syrup and coffee cream. So yum!
Durbanville suburbs
Such lovely scenery, while riding through the Durbanville suburbs after breakfast.
Ice cream in Blouberg
Later that afternoon we went to Sea Breeze, the ice cream place next to Pakalolo on Blouberg beachfront, as they make the perfect beach ice cream. This time I asked for a sugar cone, with mixed choc and vanilla soft serve, and a Flake, of course.
Ice cream in Blouberg
Just as pretty in front of the spring flowers that cover the dunes! Delicious, too.
Braai
Saturday afternoon meant it was time for a braai at Husband’s parents’ house. See the fire, the meat, sweet Bassie grinning, and our large, fresh strawberries for dessert.
Dog napping on couch
Sweet Bertie, all tuckered out on the couch that evening.

Sunday, 30 September 2018: Beach excursions in Melkbos and Blouberg

Breakfast at the Hart, Melbos
We decided on breakfast at The Hart in Melkbos on Sunday morning. I went for the single bacon benedict, Husband had the chorizo rosti and of course we each had a flat white, too.
Breakfast at The Hart.
Our breakfast table at The Hart.
Melkbos beach
Bellies full, we took ourselves for a little walk along the Melkbos beachfront. Husband went exploring for sea life out amongst the rocks, as he does, and showed me all sorts of mollusks and sea anemones.
Beach umbrella in Table View
Later that afternoon, we set up camp at Blouberg beachfront. It was our first proper beach day since the weather has perked up a little. See me holding up our beach umbrella – it decided to up and blow away while Husband was in the sea, so I had to chase after it and pin it down.
Table View beach
If you look closely, you’ll see Husband standing on the wall of rocks about in the middle of the ocean.
Summer lupper
Mum made all sorts of lovely summery foods for lupper – these are just the salads and accompaniments to various sausages and rolls.
Dessert and dogs.
Mmm! And for dessert, we had both milktart and a chocolatey-lime mousse pudding. The doglets were Very Interested.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018: Delicious dins and drooling doglet

Sweet and sour pork and chocolate biscuits and drooling dog.
Mum outdid herself with a delicious gingery sweet-and-sour pork for lupper that evening, AND homemade Romany Cream-style biscuits! If you look closely at the picture of Bassie, you’ll see a bubble of drool. Teehee.

That’s all, folks! Enjoy the sunshine. 🙂

11th wedding anniversary tacos at El Barrio, Velvet Cake Co rainbow slice

Get your scrolling finger ready to see how we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last weekend, amongst other things…

Wednesday, 22 August 2018: Future Females at Workshop 17

Future Females at Workshop 17
Last Wednesday was the Future Females monthly evening event, which coincided with their first birthday celebration. Click here if you missed my overview.
Future Females first birthday
Some networking snaps and oh my goodness, look at that cake!

Thursday, 23 August 2018: SheSays ‘side-hustle’ event

SheSays GetSmarter event
Last Thursday, I attended the second ever Cape Town SheSays event, held at GetSmarter’s offices. Watch for my overview of the event on Bizcommunity early next week!
GetSmarter coffee and unicorn pillow
Unicorns, barista-brewed coffees and local bestselling books make good waiting companions.
SheSays at GetSmarter
Group shot! We snacked, laughed and chatted away before the main panel discussion began.

Saturday, 25 August 2018: 11th anniversary dins at El Barrio

Breakfast at Mugg & Bean
We had some mall admin to kick off our weekend so it was another Mugg & Bean breakfast for us. See our flat whites, my choc-chip flapjack stack and Husband’s basic fried breakfast.
Winter in Cape Town
The sea that afternoon was the picture of ‘winter in Cape Town’ – grey sky, green water. Husband did not venture in.
Tin cups at the daily
We stopped in at The Daily for a mid-afternoon treat of ‘tin cups’ (cappuccino with condensed milk, served in a tin cup). We dunked our heart-shaped shortbread biscuits in them. Yum! ❤
Tacos at El Barrio
We had our anniversary celebration meal at El Barrio in Eden on the Bay. See a selection of the tacos we ate. All delicious!
El Barrio anniversary
See Husband with his glass of red and me with my ‘Drunken Mexican’ cocktail, complete with roasted marshmallows and cinnamon stick.
El Barrio bulldog
If you sit inside at El Barrio, you’ll see some of these things, including a super-cute bulldoggy.
Rainbow cake from Velvet Cake Co
I finally got to try a ‘pastel caramel-custard rainbow cake slice’ from Velvet Cake Co in Canal Walk that evening. It tastes even better than it looks, and that’s saying something!

Sunday, 26 August 2018: Breakfast at The Hart, cappuccinos at Bread & Butter

Single eggs benedict at The Hart
We breakfasted at The Hart Bakery in Melkbos on Sunday. See my single eggs benedict, Husband’s chorizo rosti and our flat whites.
Bread and Butter
Handsome Husband! My coffee date at Bread and Butter on Sunday afternoon.
Soup for lupper
Mmm! We had veggie soup with bacon-flavoured croutons for lupper at Mum’s on Sunday. Just the thing on a cold afternoon.

Monday, 27 August 2018: Growing Greatness book launch at Ruth Prowse School of Art

Pepe Marais book launch at Ruth Prowse
Monday was cold and rainy, and also the evening of the launch of Joe Public United chief creative officer Pepe Marais’ book launch, at the Ruth Prowse School of Art. Click here for my interview with Marais, if you missed it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018: Networking Vietnamese coffee bowl at Hemelhuijs

Hemelhuijs coffee
I started my Tuesday with a quick coffee catch-up at Hemelhuijs, and finally tried the Vietnamese coffee bowl. It costs R50 and tastes like heaven – with vanilla and condensed milk added to the bowl.
Hemelhuijs
A networking selfie together with the founders of the Voyc.AI transcriber, in front of some of the pretty things on display at Hemelhuijs.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018: UCT Unilever Youth Report launch

Sports Science Institute
The weather on Wednesday was crisp and fresh, with blue skies and light clouds everywhere. I snapped this at the Sports Science Institute in Newlands, where I was attending the launch of the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing’s Youth Report 2018.
UCT Unilever Youth Report launch
Key moments from the morning.
Checkers box meal
Sweet doggies snuggling on the couch that evening – both with me and without. Also see before and after snaps of the Checkers’ ready-to-cook master chef meal that Husband whipped up for dins. This was the sweet-and-sour pork.

Thursday, 30 August 2018: Love Milo’s Spring design Magnolia launch

Love Milo Magnolia
On Thursday afternoon, I popped into Love Milo on Hope Street in Gardens for their Spring design trends Magnolia launch. It was just lovely.
Pink drinks
The snacks and treats were all pinky purple to match the Magnolia trend, with pomegranates in the flutes of pink bubbly and mint leaves and raspberries to garnish the ice tea.
Magnolia table from Love Milo
This table setting is just so pretty with the ombre napkins, touches of gold, wood and floral.

That’s all, folks! Here’s to a relaxing weekend. 🙂

Cloudy mornings in Melkbos and indulging in Woolworths’ chocolate French toast

Husband was nicknamed ‘Marvin’ this past week (he was on the night shift at work). I worked from home for a few days so we could see each other but we were much like ships passing in the night. Luckily he’s off this coming week so can recover and reset our internal clocks. It wasn’t all “work work work” though (sorry if you clicked through to those links and now have two earworms running through your head), we did have a few fun moments, too…

Saturday, 4 February 2017: The Hart Bakery and Melkbos beach visit

Cappuccino at The Hart Bakery, Melkbos
We’d not been to The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos for a while, so that’s where we breakfasted on Saturday morning. Here’s my strong cappuccino.
The Hart in Melkbos
We both had the benedict breakfast for a change. Don’t worry, close-ups to follow…
Single bacon benedict at The Hart Bakery in Melkbos
I had the single bacon benedict…

 

Eggs benedict at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery
Husband had the double salmon benedict. Really delicious, we both ate every morsel.
Melkbosstrand
Full to the brim, we need to walk off some of that food before we could get anything done. Luckily, The Hart is just a hop, skip and jump from Melkbosstrand itself. Here is Husband heading towards the sea.
Melkbosstrand.
He’s just about the enter the water here.
Melkbosstrand.
And he’s in! Look how far away he is here, scampering along the rocks.
Melkbosstrand
I stayed on the shore and admired the scenery. The clouds were just starting to scatter across the sky.
Melkbosstrand
The clouds lightened up a few minutes later and we headed off to avoid the midday sun.
Dogs lick
Aww, sweet little doggies. Obviously Bertie’s not trying to lick Bassie in this pic, I just chopped most of myself out so you can focus on their lovely faces.
Dog hug
Bassie wanted more attention so snuggled up close to me and her dad while Bertie went out for a lap around the garden.

Sunday, 5 February 2017: Woolworths Cafe meals and Captain’s Kitchen drinks

Breakfast at Woolworths Cafe
We tried the Woolworths’ Cafe in Canal Walk for Sunday breakfast. It only opens at 9am and was packed when we got there, so there was a little wait for the food, but it sure was delicious. I started off with a gingerbread latte while Husband had the bacon-potato cake with basil cream mushrooms.
Nutella French toast at Woolworths Cafe.
For me? Possibly the best French toast ever. I went for the Nutella-banana-crushed nut option, as you can see. Each mouthful was a warm cocoa delight.
Blouberg rocks
After a few Sunday chores we stopped at the beach. Husband scrambled along the rocks before taking a quick dip in the sea, as he does.
Cocktails at Captain's Kitchen in Big Bay
For our Sunday afternoon treat we decided on cocktails at Captain’s Kitchen in Eden on the Bay. It was sunny and bright out, just right for my strawberry shake and Husband’s Long Island Ice Tea.
20170205_143021
Lol at this: Far too bright and we have mismatched expressions, but I think it’s gorgeous.

Thursday, 9 February 2017: Work meet at M&C Saatchi Abel CT

M&C Saatchi Abel offices
On Thursday morning, I popped into the M&C Saatchi Abel offices with Charlene from our sales team. What a lovely, bright space they work in!

That’s all, folks! Happy weekend 🙂

Rambling Litchi’s best of 2016

Just when you thought I was done for the year, I decided a ‘best of’ compilation post was necessary.

See the list below for some of our favourite things from 2016, all in and around Cape Town obviously, and expect an annual update*. Some categories will remain, others will change. Note that most of these came to mind instantly, but some were dismissed as we experienced them last year, not this year, and others I had to manually search my blog(s) for mentions and reminders – links included if you want to walk down my memory lane again. If there are any categories you feel I’ve left out, let me know! 🙂

Milkshake: There’s no denying milkshake is my favourite treat. This year, I’ve learned that if an establishment goes so far as to title something a ‘Freek shake’ best you believe it. Gibson’s Peppermint Caramel Freek Shake was enormous and I probably should have shared it. Ditto with the Festive Underground Eatery or FUE‘s cocopine shake much earlier this year.

Gibson's peppermint caramel Freek shake.
Gibson’s peppermint caramel Freek shake.

Burger: What goes with milkshake? Burgers, of course. You just can’t go wrong at Jerry’s. The patty is tasty, cooked to perfection on a brioche bun and the side of fries doused in Sriracha is a treat in itself. The bacon, cheese and onion ring-topped buccaneer beef burger at Catch22 also gets a thumbs-up from me.

The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped 'Jerry' burger at Jerry's, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.
The cheese, rocket and caramelised onion topped ‘Jerry’ burger at Jerry’s, with fries doused in Sriracha sauce.

Hike: We’ve done quite a few hikes this year to work off all those burgers and shakes – most recently the Skeleton Gorge version up Table Mountain – but our faves all involved caves. That’s because you want a good view, sense of accomplishment and a body that’s not on the point of collapse once you reach your destination. Wally’s Cave in Lion’s Head was this year’s hidden hideaway gem.

Wally's Cave in Lion's Head
Wally’s Cave, conquered! If you know where to go it’s quite an easy climb up Lion’s Head.

Conference venue: It’s not all about weekend activities though. Conferences are the lifeblood of my worklife. The Artscape Theatre and trusty CTICC are always a good bet for Wi-Fi, tasty snacks and temperature control, but my best was the Vineyard Hotel.

Vineyard Hotel
The distracting view from my seat in the Vineyard Hotel ballroom, where I attended a few conferences this year.

Night away: Living in Cape Town is a little like living in paradise, but everyone needs a break away from their daily routine once in a while. For us, the best version of this was at Majeka House in Stellenbosch. Just over an hour from our front door, the suites are enormous, the spa treatments are heavenly and the food is simply superb.

Majeka House pool
Chandelier-style lights lit up the spa and pool area at Majeka House. I spent a lot of time in the jacuzzi at the far end.

Romantic dinner: You also need to celebrate special occasions as they arise. Maybe just because we went there to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary, maybe because they’re just up the road, but Homespun is at the tippy top of our ‘lovey-dovey locations’. The food, drinks, setting and service are all commendable.

The lamb shank at Homespun.
The lamb shank at Homespun.

Once-in-a-lifetime meal: This category is for those breathtaking meals that cost quite the pretty penny and offer course after course of plates you simply can’t help but take photos – and videos – of. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek was our winner here. Go soon if this is something on your foodie bucket list, as chef Margot Janse is leaving these kitchens early next year.

Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français' Tasting Room.
Posing with the wire win glass to prepare for the eight-course pairing dinner at Le Quartier Français’ Tasting Room.

Road trip: Whether you’re staying the night or just out for a few hours on the road, there’s nothing like a few empty hours to fulfill your wanderlust. We did so a few times this year, enjoying a few afternoons in the unspoilt beauty of Gordon’s Bay and Langebaan, both around two hours from home.

Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.
Beautiful views along the road that hugs the coast from Pringle Bay to Gordon’s Bay.

Winter special: One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets is that many of its fine dining establishments offer warming meals at pocket-friendly prices in the cold winter months. Some of this year’s best include the half-price chicken curry specials at Inside in Eden on the Bay.

Chicken bunny chow and korma at Inside Lounge, Eden on the Bay
Two of our half-price winter chicken curries of 2016, at Inside Lounge in Eden on the Bay. That’s a bunny chow and a mild korma.

Alcohol tasting: You’re really spoilt for choice if wine is your thing, but those who prefer a more refined tipple are also in for a treat in the Cape. Val du Charron in Wellington does so with beautiful legends behind each wine blend, and many wine farms offer an MCC tasting of their bubbliest bubbly, but it’s the KWV brandy tasting that got Husband’s seal of approval this year.

KWV's ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate' pairing.
KWV’s ‘brandy and Huguenot chocolate’ pairing.

Weekend lunch: This list proves it’s not all about the bustling CBD. In fact, on weekends there’s lots of appeal in driving a little off the beaten track to find a new venue where you can spend a few hours eating, drinking and laughing with loved ones. Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch is a beautiful spot for this, with panoramic views of the estate’s 123-hectare vineyards, an adventurous menu and their own wine varietals on The Vine Bistro‘s menu.

View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate
View of the vineyards from Glenelly Estate.

Seafood meal: Unless you’re allergic to it, a meal out in Cape Town should include seafood. I passed the baton the Husband on this one, and a few of his favourites were the fettuccinne marina and platter for two at Panama Jacks in the Cape Town harbour.

The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.
The seafood platter special at Panama Jacks.

Wild meal: Eating out in South Africa often means eating unusual dishes. The tasting menu at Catharina‘s on Steenberg Estate is an excellent way to do so. Though seasonal, you’re likely to find delicacies like wild boar, crocodile and zebra on offer.

Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina's.
Grilled zebra with aubergine maize meal and spicy chakalaka, part of the eight-course wild tasting menu at Catharina’s.

Eggs benedict: Husband’s weekend breakfast staple, we’ve sampled quite a few this year. The ones we kept going back to were the salmon version from Company’s Garden and the pork-belly bacon benedict at Steenberg’s 1682. Tart Hollandaise, yolk that pours at just the right pace and not-your-average toasted base. Yum!

Eggs benedict with Steenberg's 1682 pork-belly bacon.
Eggs benedict with Steenberg’s 1682 pork-belly bacon. Yes.

Dessert: Sometimes you don’t want a full meal. Sometimes it’s just your sweet tooth looking for satisfaction. I seem to have a mouth full of sweet teeth as I’ve had a jaw-dropping amount of desserts this year. My best have been the caramel bar at Majeka House’s Makaron, and the winter chocolate fondant and the summer raspberry ice cream sandwich at Grande Provence’s The Restaurant. Beautifully plated, these are the type of sweet treat you swirl around in your mouth with your eyes closed, and follow with a sip of strong coffee to enhance those flavours.

The Restaurant at Grande Provence's 'berry ice cream sandwich'.
The Restaurant at Grande Provence’s ‘berry ice cream sandwich’.

Speaking of…

Coffee: My bloodstream is coffee. I’m not fully functional before at least a cuppa or two, so the weekend hasn’t officially started before I’ve had a caffeine-filled cappuccino or latte. My favourites this year include the cappuccino at Village Place Cafe, with a shot of toffee syrup, and the regular cap at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Cappuccino at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos
I’d expect nothing less than a heart swirled into the foam of my strong cappuccino when breakfasting at The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery in Melkbos.

Over and out, folks! Here’s to sampling the very best of 2017, watch this space…

*All photos my own. Disclaimer: Some of these were experienced free-of-charge as I reviewed them for work, but most came from our own pockets. No payment was considered for this ‘best of’ list as it’s all based on personal preference.