T’was the Freedom Day long weekend in SA last weekend, so we had time to fit in lots of fun moments.
We were also lucky enough to be reviewing a mini version of the winter lifestyle package at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch, so this week’s post is jampacked with mouth-watering food and breathtaking views. See for yourself…
Friday, 27 April 2018: Go-karting at Century Karting
We had a later-than-usual breakfast brunch on Friday as didn’t have to get up with an alarm. See my chai latte and enormous croissant with bacon, brie and blueberries, as well as side salad. Husband had the mince on toast topped with an egg. All this at the Foodlover’s Market on Sandown.
Husband had spotted the Century Karting track when we made a miss-turn in the parking lot of Canal Walk, and as keen to give it ago with his dad, brother and father-in-law. They went zooming around the track so fast that the bottom right blurred pic is about the clearest ‘action shot’ I managed to snap.
Team photo of the proud racers. The sons had more aches and pains the following day than the dads.
We also spent some quality time with the puppers that eve. They’re such sweeties.
We dined at Petisco’s with brother-in-law Spec that evening. Their creamy chicken xai-xai fillet is amazing!
Pink sunset from the balcony at Petisco’s that evening.
Saturday, 28 April 2018: Massage, four-course lunch and ice-cream wine pairing at Clos Malverne
We had a quick earlybird breakfast with Spec at News Cafe first thing on Saturday, then it was time to set off for our grand adventure…
Such pretty scenery on the road to Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch.
Blue skies, check. Green valleys, check. Chirpy birdsong, check. Before we knew it, we were at Clos Malverne in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley.
Our first stop – the spa! We were treated to back, neck and shoulder massages, as well as time in the steam room to unwind. There were Ferrero Rochers awaiting us on the massage table pillows. Such a lovely start.
Feeling relaxed after our massages, we were ready for the four-course lunch that lay ahead. But first, where to sit? So many appealing options at the Clos Malverne restaurant…
The bright, happy painting in the restaurant was so fitting for the Freedom Day long weekend in South Africa.
We sat in a corner of the sun-dappled balcony with panoramic views of the vines and valley ahead.
This is why it’s called a ‘meal with a view’ at Clos Malverne. See my starter butternut-goat’s cheese arancini and Husband’s half-shell mussells in Thai curry broth.
Mmm. See Husband’s fillet steak topped with asparagus spears and springbok samosas on top, with my bacon-wrapped chicken fillet and pork belly below. Such beautiful plating, with tastes to match!
Loved the mini apple rolled in poppyseeds that accompanied my pork belly (it tasted of pear). Also see our desserts – the ‘savoury sweet’ on top is a butternut-chilli-caramel cheesecake, with the ‘white dark chocolate’ mousse below.
If you thought we would be full by then, you obviously haven’t heard of Clos Malverne’s ice cream-wine pairing. This is not part of the lifestyle package but definitely worth booking as part of your stay. Flavours range from the ‘lemongrass, chilli and litchi’ as paired with a flute of MCC to the orange, ‘gluhwein and star-anise’, paired with a sweet dessert wine. Full descriptions to follow on Bizcommunity!
Next stop, nap time. The rooms are named after wine varietals, with views of the valley and amazing pool. Husband was clearly amused at the wonderful simplicity of the TV remote!
Look. At. That. Pool! But it was too pretty to just lounge around and look at, despite the icy water…
Proof of our pool time. We lounged beside it and also had a quick dip – t’was super chilly!
A slight variation of our usual ‘gowns in luxurious spaces’ photo. These were super soft and fluffy.
‘Clos’ means ‘walled vineyard’ and the vines sure are well protected on the farm. We went for a walk as desk set in and marvelled at the beauty of the setting sun over the mountains. See the rising moon in the last picture.
Sunday, 29 April 2018: Elevenses at Helena’s, Root 44 Market and the Stellenbosch Flying Club
This looks like a very good Sunday morning to me. See the sunrise, coffee on the balcony, fruit parfaits left in the fridge for our in-room breakfast, and fluffy brown cows grazing in the adjacent field. Then it was time to leave.
We took the long road home, with quite a few stops along the way as the typical Cape country scenery is all the more beautiful in the heart of Stellenbosch.
That included an explore of the sides of Stellenbosch we’d not yet seen, like this giant wheel.
Helena’s Restaurant in the Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel was so charming that we had to stop in for ‘elevenses’ or second breakfast – just a cappuccino for me, while Husband had the salmon eggs benedict. Delicious.
If you’re in Stellenbosch on a Sunday morning, chances are you’ll end up at the Root 44 Market, drooling over various crafts and foods. These looked amazing! Colourful confections at the market.
A corn dog for everyone, no matter your tastes.
The Stellenbosch Flying Club was our very last stop on our way out of town for a look around at the planes.
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my full, wordy review on Bizcommunity…
This is what we came for – it’s wonderful!
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Clos Malverne were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
It’s been a successful first week back at work and part-time studies. That’s probably because we have a few exciting plans over the next few weekends to look forward to, and the thought of them keeps us going.
You’ll get to see those in due course, but for now you can scroll through how we marked the end of the festive season break. Key among those, Husband’s veggie garden reveal, as promised:
Tadaa! You can see the phases of progress here – first, beams went up above the veggie boxes he installed a while ago, then shade cloth was carefully stapled along to provide shade and wind protection. So far, so good!
The doggies ‘helped’ by watching the goings-on and offering advice (and suspicious looks).
Now, on with the daily highlights…
Thursday, 5 January 2017: Summery food-and-wine pairing flights
Our last Thursday of leave started with the early bird breakfast special at our local News Cafe.
I’d unknowingly picked just the right day for our review of the new summery food-and-wine pairings at Catharina’s in Steenberg Estate, one of our favourite wine farms. Just look at the sunny brightness! Click here for my official review and here for a reminder of our late-August version of this photo.
Decor at Catharina’s is classy and eye-catching. Note the reindeer that adorn that inside roof, along with the origami birdies I so enjoyed on our last visit; as well as the large ostrich eggs at the port decanters in the hotel lobby; and some of the rose bushes dotting the walkways.
We sat at a table much like this, hoping to spot the family of eagle owls that swoop around the old oak trees. Sadly they didn’t appear, but we still had a wonderful time.
Our pre- and post-pairing drinks – wonderfully chilled still water (bread board in the background), and a strong, flavoursome cappuccino. Colour me contented! (Don’t fret, am not sunburnt. The pinkness you see is from the sun reflecting through red umbrella).
The three ‘flights’ are beautifully explained in this menu – two savoury options and one sweet, each comprising a flute of bubbly, white and red with perfectly paired morsels.
I know the pic was hard to read, so luckily I took some photos. This was the first savoury flight. Everything positively popped with colour and flavour.
The second savoury flight: Same-same but different. And sadly I was so excited by the third flight – the sweet option – that I forgot to snap a pic of it. Luckily, there’s a professional pic of it in my review on Biz, along with detailed descriptions of all the wine and food. Click here to see it.
Friday, 6 January 2017: McPherson’s breakfast and Black Bull lupper
First thing on Friday we headed to McPherson’s for breakfast. I had a cappuccino and the club sandwich with wedges, Husband had a very filling wrap.
Following a day of staycation things we decided on an early dins at the Black Bull on Sandown Road to mark the end of the holiday (yes, there was still a weekend ahead before work kicked in, but you know what I mean). Husband opted for a draught, as he does.
I had a strawberry shake and the starter nachos you see in the middle – the top pic is how they arrived at the table, middle pic is once I’d had added all the side bits and bobs. Husband went for the pork bangers and mash. We’ll be back.
Saturday, 7 January 2017: Baconville breakfast and Bertie’s new chew-friend
If you wake up hungry on a Saturday, chances are you’ll decide on Baconville for breakfast. I went for the flapjacks topped with crispy, syrup-drenched bacon (mmm) while Husband had their Mexican-style ‘Hairy Biker’. Teehee. Both delightfully good.
All of Bertie’s former TV-viewing companions (stuffed toys that he’s unstuffed) were looking a little ratty so we snuck them into the bin and bought him a new monkey and doggie-that-looks-like-a-fox. The monkey is hiding in a cupboard until the doggie is ready to be discarded, too. Bassie remains very uninterested in all toys but gets lots of attention despite her sad face, promise.
Sunday, 8 January 2017: Breakfast, books and beachy ice-creams
For our ‘last breakfast before work’, Husband outdid himself with an exceptional (make that egg-ceptional, harhar) fry-up, included red pepper slices, properly cooked tomato and crispy bacon. Yum.
What better way to relax on a Sunday than by rereading a beloved book, and sipping on a Pina Colada-flavoured Krusher from KFC? No better way.
The beach at Big Bay, much later in the day. Just look at all the merrymakers, making their last bit of merry.
Despite it being so hot the sea was icy, so we contented ourselves with ice-cream cones from Met Eish at Eden on the Bay. Husband’s had caramel ripples and mine was plain chocolate, both with a hidden Flake.
That’s all, folks! I wish you a very happy weekend ahead. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our pairings at Catharina’s were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.