This past week has been busier than usual as I’ve been in Durban covering the Loeries Awards for work since Wednesday. But lots happened before then…
Friday, 16 August 2019: Bus station walkies
When I got off the bus from work last Friday, all the male members of the household were at the MyCiti station to greet me. Bertie was a very good boy on his walkies while Bassie stayed home with her granny.
He (Bertie, not Hubcap) stopped to sniff at things and rustle in the shrubbery along the walkway, but didn’t bark at anyone or anything – a different doggie to the shouter on car trips!
Saturday, 17 August 2019: Roadtrip to Paarl, to Eat at Perdeberg
We breakfasted at Reload, Flamingo Vlei on Saturday and sampled their ‘breakfast bun’ special. Husband had a flat white with his, I went for the peppermint-choc latte.
We had an open road on our way to Paarl to review the winter ‘chef’s special trio’ at the new ‘Eat at Perdeberg’ restaurant.
It was perfect weather for sitting outside, so sit outside we did. See the main Perdeberg Cellar building, as well as their grape juice bottles, my strawberry shake and the wines Husband sampled.
Some of the deliciousness of Eat at Perdeberg – see the bobotie springrolls, served samoosa-style with the most delicious homemade chilli, tomato, coriander and ginger jam; the braai boxes for two; their strawberry shake, the chef’s trio special of oxtail, venson pie and chicken curry with veg and chips on the side; and Husband’s glass of red. Read all the words in my review on Bizcommunity!
Husband looking pleased with the lay of the land at our Eat @ Perdeberg table.
We passed such pretty scenery on our way home from Eat at Perdeberg – field of sunny yellow canola, cows grazing and more.
Later that afternoon we visited the beach. We called these pics ‘calm before the storm’ – see the waves crashing on the rocks in the background! Husband also had his customary weekend dip in the sea.
By Saturday evening we were a little peckish again so see the Otomi (chilli con carne, coriander, spiced yoghurt) pizza we shared at Col’cacchio, Seaside Village. Also see the sunset over the sea.
Sunday, 18 August 2019: Bica brekkie, Burger King lupper and sleepy dogs
Breakfast is served! This is what we ordered from Cafe Bica in Bayside Mall on Sunday morning. See Hubcap’s chorizo-egg croissant, as well as my banana pancakes and one of our flat whites.
Hubcap and baby dogs napping in various spots around the house.
Mum was a little under-the-weather on Sunday, so we opted for Burger King takeaways for lupper. See our extra-long chilli cheese burgers and cans of ‘coffee Coke’.
Tuesday, 20 August 2019: Tribe coffee break, family dinner at Rocomama’s
I met Husband for a quick coffee at Tribe, across the road from my offices on Tuesday. See our nice strong flat whites.
Gords was in town for the night on Tuesday, so we dined at Rocomama’s. Spec also drove through for the ‘family dins’.
Hubcap and Dad enjoying themselves at Rocomama’s.
That’s all, folks! Watch for my ‘Loeries pics’ update this coming Friday and click
here to recap my full Eat at Perdeberg review on Bizcommunity. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Our meals at Eat at Perdeberg were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
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
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.
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!
The colours at the beachfront were just gorgeous that afternoon. If you look closely, you’ll spot Husband waving from the waves.
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
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
View of our private pool from the main living area of the suite. It was heavenly!
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.
I’ll drink to that! Husband enjoying a taste of La Petite Ferme’s oak-barreled Chardonnay.
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!
Mr and Mrs Andrews making their way from their suite to the restaurant – we couldn’t stop gazing at that beautiful view!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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…
Look! A little chick on the peahen’s back! Two eggs had just hatched during our stay.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
Merry Christmas Eve! The full family enjoying our festive feast.
Tuesday, 25 December 2018: Christmas lunch in Big Bay
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.
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.
See some of the Christmas day laughs captured here.
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.
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.
No wonder some of us were very sleepy that evening, dreaming Christmassy dreams.
Wednesday, 26 December 2018: Day of Reconciliation (AKA: Christmas leftovers)
We filled our bellies (again) with the early bird English breakfast special at News Cafe on Marine Circle.
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. 🙂
*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.
Boy do we have an action-packed blog update for you! This past week has been a super busy one, so you’re in for a bumper edition of pics below…
Friday, 31 November 2018: Staff end-of-year lunch at Strandkombuis in Yzerfontein
I got to work before 7am last Friday, but the sun was already up. I had lots to do and it was also the day of our staff end-of-year lunch at the Strandkombuis in Yzerfontein – see my ‘Hawaiian-themed’ outfit, and the huge loaves of farm-fresh bread we ate as starters. See my jammed-up bread slice next to my large bowl of spicy butternut soup, for size.
It was quite a windy day but that didn’t stop us from exploring the venue and deserted beach. Also see the fish-filled menu for the day and a kitty more interested in his nap than in the food around him (though he did proudly parade through later, with a mouse in his mouth).
My goodness, but the food was good. See a plate of the seafood option bottom-left; my braaied chicken and chops and pumpkin fritters top-right; and the plate of fresh koeksisters and pot of ‘moer koffie’ for dessert – we shared, that’s not all mine.
One of the few team shots taken of the afternoon – thanks to my deskmate Angie for letting me use her snap!
I got back home that evening just in time for a braai with Husband’s parents, who’d not been to our house since June, despite living just 2km away. See the pretty sunset, my food, and our pre- and post-loadshedding faces.
Saturday, 1 December 2018: A ‘staycation’ at Once in Cape Town
We breakfasted at Village Place in West Coast Village with Spec on Saturday morning. He was staying at our house all weekend, to keep the doggies company while we explored the Cape. He had the eggy mince on toast, Husband had an eggs benedict and for me, the low-carb flapjacks.
Waves were crashing loudly at Husband’s favourite swimming hole in the sea that morning. He braved a quick dunk but didn’t stay in for long.
Our venue for the weekend – the four-star Once in Cape Town backpackers’ lodge on Upper Kloof Street. It’s a wonderful setting with lots to do, and was buzzing with guests catching up at Yours Truly’s ‘Up Yours’ upper bar area and at the downstairs pool table throughout the weekend.
See Husband testing out our en suite shower with mountain views beyond; the charming cactus decor in our private room; and ‘bedside tipple’ wine with tin mug.
Bright, floral sights from the balcony at Once in Cape Town.
We walked a few blocks up Kloof Neck Street to Van Hunks for an afternoon cocktail. See my espresso martini. Husband’s Bloody Mary, complete with celery stick, not pictured.
We’d booked for an early dinner at Hudson’s Burger Bar, just a short walk from Once in Cape Town, so that was our next stop. See Husband trying out the top-deck shooter; my Strawberry Candyfloss ‘Insta’ shake; the interesting avo fries; and my delicious ‘bacon jam’ burger topped with thin, crispy ‘dusted onions’. A win!
Ahh. The stunning sunset from that side of the Cape on the left, and our complimentary breakfasts downstairs in Yours Truly first thing on Sunday. Once in Cape Town’s guests have a choice of coffees, as well as a juice, fruit and either a croissant board or muesli bowl to start the day.
Sunday, 2 December 2018: Lucky & Lost Cape Peninsula tour
Breakfast down and check-out sorted, it was time for the full-day Lucky & Lost Cape Peninsula tour! We were the first guests to be collected, just after 8am, and the last to be dropped off back at Once in Cape Town after 5pm. See some of the sights and our Cape Malay curry ‘picnic lunch’ top-right.
The beautiful Bo-Kaap, our first stop of the tour. We learned that back in the day, different house colours could denote different professions.
Seeing some of the sights in the Bo-Kaap. We got to try some of those fresh ‘koesusters’ (not the koeksisters I ate on Friday) when we stopped on Chapman’s Peak Drive, later in the day.
Next stop? The high cliffs above Muizenberg. I love the trees down below, beside the train track.
Some of the sights we saw in Kalk Bay, Cape Point – see the ostrich family crossing the road, and lines and lines of penguins sunning themselves at Boulders Beach.
If you peer closely, you’ll see Husband standing just in front of this crashing wave at the edge of Cape Point.
Our next stop was one of my favourites – the Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek. It was a lovely afternoon to sit and sample white wines, while gazing at the gorgeous scenery.
Taking in the sights on our last stop of the tour, along Chapman’s Peak Drive. Such a wonderful setting.
You can see why Chapman’s Peak is such a popular tourist spot.
The doglets were happy to finally see us again that evening. They just couldn’t contain their excitement. 😉
Mum had made a delicious cinnamon-baby apple cake, just the thing on a Sunday evening with cream and a fresh coffee.
Tuesday, 4 December 2018: Heavy Chef’s YouTube masterclass at Workshop 17
My Tuesday was all about the Heavy Chef masterclass on ‘winning at YouTube’, held at the always-inspirational Workshop 17 venue. Coverage on Bizcommunity soon!
Wednesday, 5 December 2018: A loadshedding sundae at Milky Lane
We discovered that Table Bay Mall’s load-shedding schedule is different to ours at home, so that’s where we spent much of Wednesday evening’s ‘electricity-free hours. Husband decided we should share the ‘Churro-full of Smiles’ sundae at Milky Lane, so we did.
Pretty pastel sunset on our way back home from the Mall.
That’s all, folks! Don’t forget to tune in next week, for my next update…
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Once in Cape Town, Hudson’s, Yours Truly and Lucky & Lost were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Last weekend saw us in Stellenbosch, where we had the most wonderful time. I’ll let the pictures do the talking so you can see for yourself…
Saturday, 4 August 2018: Lunch at Majeka House’s M Bar, chocolate pairing at Waterford Estate
We had some weekend admin to sort out first thing, so Saturday’s breakfast was enjoyed at W Cafe in Woolworths, Table Bay Mall. See Husband’s eggs benedict and flat white, with my poached pear-topped French toast and vanilla-cinnamon cappuccino. Yum.
What’s a road trip without caffeine? We ended up with a cafe mocha for me and a Coke Zero for Husband, and enjoyed watching the scenery become all woodsy the closer we got to Stellenbosch.
What a welcome! When you see that tree in the middle of the road, you know you’re in whisper distance of Majeka House. Also see one of the quirky pig ornaments (they’re everywhere at Majeka House), and the herbal infusion from Majeka’s own herb garden, served in the prettiest floral cups.
The M Bar at Majeka House is beautiful, with gold touches and pops of royal blue everywhere. There was a toasty fire blazing inside, but we opted to eat out in the elements, amongst the unusual cacti.
Our lunch choices from the Majeka Menu. We opted for just a main each – the line fish for Husband and the pasta for me, with the vanilla creme brulee for dessert.
There were no burgers in stock and the menu was quite seafood-heavy, so I the coriander-chilli-broccoli-bocconcini pasta was my best bet, especially when paired with a gingery rose martini. Also see husband’s asparagus and the linefish – Cape breem on the day, cooked to perfection, as well as the vanilla creme brulee topped with a cookie and paired with a cappuccino.
Strong, rich coffee, a crisp breeze, bird song and blues and greens everywhere you look. That’s Majeka House!
Bellies full, it was time to explore our room! We were in one of two with access to a private (very cold) pool. Also see the pretty pink and grey birdy theme, even on the glass doors on the bathroom.
I won’t tell you how many takes we took at getting it to look like I was wrapped up in the flamingo birdy. 🙂
See the beautiful but chilly pool. The base is striped and would be good for a few laps! I didn’t brave it much more than this, alas. The coffee was much needed, and even that didn’t do the trick so we decided it was time for a quick explore of the local wine farms. What a good idea!
Waterford Estate is like something an artist imagined and brought to life with a magic paintbrush.
You just can’t go wrong with visiting a wine farm in the Western Cape, but Waterford Estate has a special touch. From the game viewing vehicle to the pretty trees…
To the classy country setting with lights and log fires everywhere you look…
To the chocolate-wine pairing, which is complementary if you’re staying at Majeka House. Waterford Estate was actually the first local wine farm to offer a chocolate-wine pairing, and we can see why it’s been such a success. The chocolates are specially crafted and can only be bought at the Estate. We highly recommend this activity if you’re visiting Stellenbosch!
But the best part, for us? The tiny fruit dotted on trees in rows and rows across the estate. They were sweet and seedless, and left our fingers orange-scented.
Dornier is on the same road as Waterford Estate, so we stopped in for a quick visit – see why I say you can’t go wrong with visiting a wine farm in the Western Cape?
Some of the things we saw while travelling those semi-rural roads of Stellenbosch.
Juice and dessert! We’d just returned to our room when there was a knock on our door in the early evening, and we were presented with fresh, spicy juice and a yummy berry-chocolate panna cotta.
Later that evening we made use of the fitness centre and the steam room, sauna, indoor pool and jacuzzi. This is bliss!
This was the best option from our standard gown photo shoot. I promise. Not seen: Just how fluffy and soft and warm they were.
Night time! See the sky at sunset and how the Majeka House archways light up once the moon rises.
Sunday, 5 August 2018: Breakfast buffet at Makaron
The moment Husband’s eyes were open on Sunday morning, it was time for breakfast in Makaron. See the hot breakfast menu, some of the treats to choose from the continental buffet, and tea equipment.
This little piggy guarded the breakfast buffet.
The seating arrangements at Makaron restaurant in Majeka House are quite something. Look at these fancy chairs!
We had bowl after bowl of beautiful assortment of food. See our strong coffees served with hot milk, clusters of honeyed muesli with nuts and yoghurt, the American pancakes with hot, jammy blueberries and Husband’s full breakfast including tomato, mushrooms and sausages.
Suspicious Bassie, once we were safely home again that afternoon.
Bertie having a snuggle with his dad.
Monday, 6 August 2018: Sunrise in Woodstock
The most beautiful citrus-streaky sunrise when I got off the MyCiti bus at Woodstock Station on Monday morning.
That’s all, folks! We hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Majeka House and Waterford Estate were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Last week was really busy and quite chilly but filled with happy, delicious moments, too…
Wednesday, 4 April 2018: Autumn Risotto Pop-Up Experience at 95 Keerom and Gords’ visit
I’d been invited to review the Autumn Risotto Pop-Up Experience at 95 Keerom on Wednesday afternoon, so of course I accepted the offer. Each bowl was delicious, especially accompanied by Steenberg Wines’ finest.
The food and the drink. Yes, I ate all this. Click through for details and full descriptions in my official review on Bizcommunity.
Gords, one of Husband’s oldest friends from our Joburg days, was in Cape Town on business on Wednesday so we jumped at the chance to see him at Husband’s parents’ house. See various happy moments below – yes, the doggies were there, too.
Husband’s Mum cooked up haggis, chilli con carne, potatoes and various veg in honour of Gords’ visit. See how thrilled Bertie was to greet Gords, also see my Mum with Bassie (my parents popped in for a quick visit, too).
Friday, 6 April 2018: Doggies warming themselves at the fire
The doggies warming themselves at the fire last Friday evening.
Precious little Bassie peeping out from under her blankie.
Saturday, 7 April 2018: Coffee-filled breakfast at The Daily
The Daily at Seaside Village in Big Bay had revamped its menu so we went for a quick taste. As it was first thing in the morning, we started with coffee! See various shots of Husband’s ‘con panna’ (espresso topped with cream) and my latte.
To eat we went with old favourites – toasted chicken mayo in white for me, eggs florentine for Husband. See shots of how they were served on the left and after we’d doctored them with sauces on the right.
After a fair deal of weekend admin we decided on an early dinner at The Orient in Eden on the Bay that evening. See various hand rolls, sashimi and maki consumed by Husband, and my cashew chicken dish bottom left.
Sunday, 8 April 2018: Coffee at Reload, breakfast at Tables at Nitida, liquid treats at Pakalolo
We were up earlier than necessary on Sunday so stopped for a fancy coffee treat first thing. The outside seating area at Reload in Parklands is inviting.
See my peppermint-chocolate latte and various weekend newspapers. Sunday morning bliss.
As we’d not seen them the day before, we met Husband’s parents at Tables at Nitida for breakfast. It’s such a pretty spot!
Love the mosaic tables at Tables (lol) – also see my Milo shake;, the general ‘bacon-eggs-mushrooms-tomato’ brekkie ordered by Husband’s parents; my brioche French toast with jar of scrumptious caramelised bananas and nuts; and Husband’s Italian-style chorizo-pepper-feta-spring onion open-faced omelette. No wonder their tagline is ‘For the love of food!’
Tables at Nitida always makes us feel welcome. “May all who enter as guests leave as friends.”
After we’d ‘left as friends’, we stopped in at Klein Rosboom for a look around. The entry table is just so pretty. Insert heart-eyes emoji.
Some of the lovely sights at Klein Roosboom. We found ‘die hang gat’, where you can sit in a swing chair while tasting wine. Such fun!
You can see us peeking into another of the tasting room ‘caves’ at Klein Roosboom in the mirror here.
Much later that afternoon, after lots of manual labour in the garden, we stopped in at Pakalolo on the beachfront for a liquid treat. It was a frosty Castle Light draught for Husband and raspberry virgin daquiri for me. Delicious!
You can just make out Husband behind my virgin raspberry daquiri here. Lol.
Ahh. That’s how you spend a Sunday afternoon. Sipping daquiris and staring at sea views.
Mum outdid herself with homemade gnocchi and a crunchy salad for lupper that eve.
Wednesday, 11 April 2018: Overcast fiery skies at night
Overcast sunset sky at night…
Thursday, 12 April 2018: ‘Feel better’ pastries from Trescatelli Bakery
Cloud-flecked sunrise sky in the morning.
There was a bus strike on Thursday and I wasn’t feeling 100% so worked from home that day. Day made when my parents popped in with delicious pastries! See huge mug of coffee with chocolate and vanilla-cream cannoli from Trescatelli Bakery here. Mmm.
That’s all, folks! Have a delicious weekend 🙂
This past weekend we had the opportunity to do a little pre-10th anniversary celebrating at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. I narrowed down the hundreds of photos we took to the following few, and hope they give you the sense that this was one of our most relaxing, fun and luxurious weekends yet…
Saturday, 12 August 2017: Wine-tasting at Mullineux and Leeu, Tex-Mex dinner at Tuk-Tuk, Leeu House Madiba selfies
Destination: Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, just 80km from Cape Town. Temperature: Cool, drizzly and wintery. Expectation levels: All-time high.
It’s all warm smiles at Leeu Estates, and nothing is too big an ask for the staff. Every single member of the ‘Leeu pride’ was as pleasant and helpful as can be. So much so that I was presented with a cappuccino and we were taken on a quick refresher tour of the property before even reaching our room. We were almost tempted to spend all weekend in the cosy reading room with fully stocked bookshelf, board games, cheerfully blazing fire and inviting chess board.
This pool, perfectly reflecting the cloudy sky, must be just the thing in Summer. Imagine taking a quick dip then relaxing on a lounger while the sun licks away those water droplets.
We also stopped in at the technogym and rivalled the gym bunny sculptures in our activity. Well, not quite…
We barely had time to get acquainted with our amazing suite before it was time to be golf-carted up to the Mullineux and Leeu wine studio on the property for a wine tasting. It’s a warm, bright space with crackling fireplace and wall of glass that make a winter wine tasting all the more pleasurable, with excellent storytellers to explain the origins of each varietal, and when we examined our room a little more closely we noticed two dinky bottles of wine waiting to welcome us – cheers!
The art-loving Leeu Collection’s Mr Singh’s presence is strong in the wine studio too, with this impressive giraffe at the entry as recently added as a week before our visit. I dare you not to take a height-comparison photo next to it, like we did.
Husband in his wine-tasting element.
Winter is a wonderful year to visit the Cape winelands. Just look at the way the grey sky brings out the rich greens of those very well trimmed hedges on the walk back to Leeu Estates through the Bokkie Garden.
Sentried rows of lovely greenery in the bokkie garden between the main Manor House and the Mullineux and Leeu Wine Studio.
This sculpture is titled ‘Reflective Resonance’. Husband couldn’t resist kicking off his shoes and mimicking the pose.
Clouds. Mountains. Lavender. Breath-taking.
We made the most of our stay by changing into swim gear and then braving the icy temperature to leap into the steam room, and once suitably heated up made a swift dash into the very slightly heated pool with view out towards the Franschhoek Mountains. Refreshing, to say the least!
It’s only when I took the plunge (literally) and fully immersed myself in the pool that I noticed the rainbow right outside.
I love a room with a view, but a bath with a view? That’s the ultimate. We’ll have to return once the water restrictions have lifted to actually have a soak in that tub and sigh over the view.
Husband did try out the shower though, and had a wonderful gown-whisky-balcony moment in the break between swimming and dins.
One of the best balconies we’ve had the pleasure of relaxing from. Just look at that view!
We enjoyed that outside view so much that we barely snapped any pics of the inside of our suite, alas. See the bed and lounge on top, and the main lounge below where we spent a few minutes before dinner time.
Before we knew it, the complimentary Leeu Collection shuttle was ready to take us 2km into Franschhoek town for dinner at Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. It was well-lit, warm and completely buzzing when we got there at 7pm, so we were pleasantly surprised that service was super speedy.
Instead of the standard wine tasting you can do a beer tasting at the Microbrewery, either of CBC’s brews (my bru) or of Tuk Tuk’s own brand of ales. Food-wise, everything is tasty Tex-Mex – note my impressively plated cheesy nachos with side of pulled beef, Husband’s manageable burger and fries and see how the photo of all the liquid on our table was photographed.
For dessert, the churros with rich, warmly dripping dipping sauce are a must.
We had time for a quick after-dark stroll down the street to pose at the Madiba statue at Leeu House and greet the scary rabbit we remembered from our previous stay at Le Quartier Francais before the shuttle arrived to ferry us back to Leeu Estates for the night
Back in our room, Husband took full advantage of the underfloor heating, was impressed by the remote-controlled fireplace, and took in the pretty lights from the balcony before I noticed the cleaning fairies had left us a pre-anniversary surprise of tasty bedtime treats that we savoured right away and a bottle of MCC (which we brought home to crack open on our real anniversary).
Sunday, 13 August 2017: Breakfast at Leeu Estates
We were dressed and down in the restaurant for breakfast by 8am, in time to watch the sun rise through the adjacent glassed-in Conservatory.
Breakfast the next morning was another delicious experience. Just look at the buffet spread, Husband’s masala omelette and my blueberry flapjacks, all lit by the morning sun once it popped its sleepy head over the mountains.
Other sculptures to look out for if you visit Leeu Estates. They add a delightfully quirky touch to the stay.
That’s all, folks! It was over in a flash, but the memories are something we will savour for a very long time. Keep your eyes peeled for my official review on Biz.
*Disclaimer: Our meals and accommodation at Leeu Estates and Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery were part of our review package. Click through for a reminder of our previous stays at Leeu Collection’s Le Quartier Francais and Leeu House.
Husband had to work last weekend so we don’t have many snaps of him to share this time around, but we still had a fair deal of fun…
Saturday, 18 February 2017: Muratie Harvest Festival
Husband sent me this snap of the cloudy sky when he left home around 6:30am on Saturday morning. Beautifully flocked against the duvet of blue sky.
With Husband office-bound until 6pm, I was off to the Muratie Harvest Festival in Stellenbosch with my parents. These are some of the outside sights. See the vroue orkes top left, the Kitchen Jammin Blues Band top right, packed seating area bottom left and youthful, friendly staff bottom right.
Old bicycle and wooden barrels in the main wine cellar on our way to the tasting.
Looky looky in the cellar. Muratie is known for its 40-year old cobwebs and stained-glass windows.
I present to you my first ever attempt at grape stomping. It’s cold, squenchy, and surprisingly satisfying!
Mum and me having a time while suitably hatted. It was quite windy so I kept my jacket on.
Dad was also hatted and the sky was still patterned with cloud.
A number of these bread baskets were dotted along our table, filled with crusty bread, dark grapes, soft figs and cheeses, dips, koeksisters and brownies as the surprise in the white paper package.
Full to the brim, everyone headed off towards the tractors for a tour of the grounds. We decided to head home instead for a nap.
On our way through the parking lot we spotted a sleek, stealthy BWM i8. Of course we did our subtle not-quite-leaning poses (dad wasn’t quite as subtle when we spotted a ‘flaming’ car parked in front of a ‘no parking’ zone a few years ago, click here for a reminder…)
Sunday, 19 February 2017: Hot cross buns for breakfast, waffles for lunch and boerewors rolls for dins
Yip, Husband had to work on Sunday, too. If I’m eating Sunday morning breakfast alone, it’s going to be chocolate hot cross buns, milk tart-filled pancakes and fudgey tea. Bertie was Very Interested.
All was not lost though, as a lazy morning of napping and reading was followed by a visit to the Big Bay Waffle Company. I had a caramel latte and the old-fashioned waffle topped with lemon curd. Husband had sushi next door.
Boerewors rolls and potato salad were on the menu for lupper at mum’s that eve. T’was just perfect for the weather.
And for afters? A rich coffee-chocolate-coconut cake (homemade, of course) and coffee. Mmm!
Wednesday 22 and Thursday, 23 February 2017: Crucial conversations training at the Cullinan Hotel
Having thoroughly enjoyed their #influencerchange training late last year, I was booked onto the crucial conversations training by Human Edge mid-week. On the first day, lunch was served poolside. Yes, really.
I dithered over the menu as everything looked so good! Remembering a colleague’s recent review of the Stella Cafe’s food I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the pork belly starter. Oh my GOODNESS it was delicious. See here, with a fellow attendee’s angry duck curry on the right. Loved the copper pot presentation.
Then we had mains. I went for the cheese burger, could barely finish, but it was so good, especially when smeared with these tiny condiments – whole-grain mustard, tomato sauce and mayonnaise.
Lunch on day two was a buffet in the Peach Tree restaurant. So much to choose from, the big round bowl top right was actually cheese for the pasta. Not a bowl of cheese, the entire thing was cheese. Gobsmacking. And look at the gorgeous purple and yellow dessert plate I ended up with! 🙂
Teatime treats across the two days included waffle segments, florentines, mini chicken kebabs, crunchies and lots of coffee. Trust me, we did learn lots, too – it was intensive with only 8 of us on the course and filled with role-playing, so we hardly had time to check in on emails back in the real world. A refreshing change!
That’s all, folks!
Click here for my official review of the Muratie Harvest Festival on Bizcommunity.
*Disclaimer: Obviously our entry and eats at the Muratie Harvest Festival were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
We’ve had a wonderfully sunny week, with lots of time spent outdoors…
Saturday, 10 December 2016: Summer lunch review at Glenelly Estate
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, our lunch spot for the day on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, has some of the prettiest vineyards and views.
Nestled at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains, this is a truly lovely spot.
The vine-covered pathway.
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 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.
Tummies purring contentedly, we walked around the rest of the grounds. This is the view of the vineyards from the upstairs tasting room.
More of the upstairs tasting room’s view. Such a picture-perfect spot.
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.
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
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.
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!
Next on the agenda was a beach walk to Woodbridge Island and back. We love these palm trees outside Woodbridge.
We stopped a few times along the way to admire the view. Can just see the Woodbridge lighthouse in this shot.
We stopped to examine the ‘wreck’ at Lagoon Beach – Husband says it’s actually from a movie set.
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-streaked clouds like these are my favourite.
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
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.
Last weekend was all about savouring extremely slow-cooked deliciousness at Franschhoek’s Grande Provence.
Click here to click through the galleries of their official owned pics that I added in my official review, or scroll through the ones we took below…
Saturday, 11 June 2016: Sampling Grande Provence’s slow-cooked Winter delights
The day dawned cold and grey but that didn’t dampen our spirits as we were excited about the lunch we’d be filling our bellies with soon. Bertie also shared some morning kisses to broaden our smiles.
Our wonderful lunch venue for the day – Grande Provence in Franschhoek. Highly recommended!
The vineyard, Franschhoek mountains and wintery grey sky.
Just look at that fire – we were seated at the closest table to it. Those cheese straws were the stuff of legends.
My ‘Millionaire’s bacon and eggs’ starter. Full description here in my official review.
Husband went for the BBQ lobster starter.
My 12-hour beef cheek mains.
Husband’s 18-hour Karoo lamb mains.
Husband’s ‘chocolate forest’ dessert, complete with sweet mini mushrooms.
Lovely kisses of hazelnut pot au crème, hidden by the disc of tonka bean semi-freddo.
My hot fondant dessert, complete with salted cocoa twig and a pipette of Amarula. Yes.
My cappuccino with chess board sugar cubes and mini chocolate fondant truffle.
Tree-lined streets just begging to be explored as we slowly rolled out of town, so explore them we did…
We ended up having a wander around Boschendal, another gorgeous afternoon setting.
These chairs are just asking to be lazed in! You can order a picnic on the grounds and do just that. We were obviously too full to do so on this visit, but watch this space!
With such woodsy scenery, little wonder the grounds are riddled with little squirrels, running here and there.
A little Boschendal squirrel trotting up a tree trunk with acorn in his mouth. So sweet.
Sunday, 12 June 2016: Breakfast at The Daily Cafe, Eden on the Bay
Surprisingly we were hungry when we woke on Sunday, so we followed our noses towards the sea and ended up at The Daily Cafe in Eden on the Bay. I had to try the ‘tin cup’ – espresso sweetened with condensed milk. No sugar required!
To eat, t’was a very tough choice but I settled on these ‘lemon poppy seed berry cheesecake’ pancakes. Such a good choice, definitely going back for these again!
Husband opted for the breakfast wrap. He made appreciative noises after every mouthful.
The weather had brightened a bit after the previous day’s gloom, so we decided to go coal picking. Here is Husband trotting along and picking bits of coal out from among the mussel shells strewn along the coastline.
Gorgeous streaks of cloud over Table Mountain.
After the Springboks were thrashed in the rugby on Saturday, it seemed only fitting to eat this ‘Springbok milktart’ at Mum’s on Sunday eve. Teehee we’re a vengeful bunch.
Thursday, 16 June 2016: Youth Day eggs benedict
I was rather snuffly on this week’s public holiday so unfortunately neglected to take lots of pics, but you’re not missing much as we slept in very late and t’was a day of relaxing and retail therapy… and we went back to The Daily. Here is Husband’s salmon eggs benedict post-peppering but pre-Tabasco saucing.
That’s all, folks! I’ll likely not budge far from the laptop for the next few weeks as Cannes Lions 2016 has just kicked off, so we’re in for a
recap of this post from last year, but Husband will hopefully drag me away for the odd treat, which I’ll try remember to photograph for you.
*Disclaimer: Obviously our meal at Grande Provence was part of their review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.
Click here for a reminder of other things to do in Franschhoek.
Yay, weekend! If you’re based in Cape Town, have a full talk of petrol and an empty few days ahead of you, why not follow in our footsteps and explore the wonderful town Franschhoek tucked in the wine-growing valleys of the Western Cape, as we did last weekend. Just 80km or so from the city, you’ll be there in just over an hour if you leave now… tell them I sent you! Start your engines, get set, go!
Of course these pics taken on our cameras didn’t even do the landscape and history-steeped buildings justice.
Click here to click through the galleries I added in my official review, which includes eye-wateringly beautiful pics of Le Quartier Français, its Tasting Room and the surrounds, all owned by the Leeu Collection.
Stop to sightsee on the way in
Before you know it that city bustle falls away and you’re surrounded by tall greenery and satisfyingly flat roads. You can capture stunning shots like this even with your phone camera, through the car windscreen, while moving. Yes.
Take note of moving vehicles, as they’re likely not what you’d expect. This is the wine tram at Rickety Bridge Winery – we stopped and watched in awe as the passengers stood up and changed the direction of the seat backs before the tram set off in the other direction. Very clever as it’s a single track.
So awed were we that we stopped in for a wine-tasting. Here’s proof that I was there. Sadly there’s no longer a ‘rickety bridge’ at the winery.
Husband with some of the lovely bottles he got to sample. R20 gets you six assorted samples.
A little later we simply had to stop the car again when we saw the relaxed setting at Good Food& Co as our tummies were rumbling. Isn’t this just the prettiest plate of pancakes you’ve ever seen? They were even more ‘lekker’ (manageress’ description, not mine) than they look, filled with sliced banana and caramel cream.
Even more delightful? Our drinks were served with a dinky little ‘amuse bouche’ cupcake. Husband is suitably impressed.
Of course you’ll play hide-and-seek while wandering through the shopping district a little further up the road. Yes, that is Husband just peeking out from behind the tree, teehee.
After a little stroll down the street you’ll want to stop and stretch those legs. Leeu Collection’s Tuk Tuk microbrewery is perfectly placed (and priced) to attract those weary strollers, on your way toward the Huguenot Monument side of the street.
Of course you’ll try out the R55 beer sampler of various CBC craft beers at the Tuk Tuk microbrewery. Husband’s favourite was the lager.
Who were we to refuse the friendly waiter who insisted on snapping a shot of the two of us inside the microbrewery? He took great care angling the camera, the lighting and us to get this shot. We had to move three times, I think, for this perfection. 😉
Beers sampled, we soldiered on down the road to take in the beauty of the Huguenot Monument. Undaunted by the locked gate, I simply hopped up onto the boundary wall for this shot, just before sunset.
Sleep over at Le Quartier Français and don’t miss the Tasting Room’s eight course, African-inspired menu
And then it was time to explore our location for the night – LQF or ‘Le Quaf’. Just look at that solar-heated pool. Those mountains in the background. All that dappled sunshine. T’was pure weekend bliss.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I’m partial to purple, so top marks for the plants fitting in with the colour scheme!
The playful garden decorations at the LQF pool.
Our blue door. Bright umbrellas too, just in case. We didn’t need to use them but it was a comforting thought knowing they were there.
The sweet patio set outside our windows.
The bed was deceptively large and the lighting cosy, especially when warmed by the crackling log fire in the room.
In case you thought those pancakes earlier didn’t quite fill me up, Husband was kind enough to brew a cuppa Lavazza coffee (the purple pod, if you must know) in the yellow Le Creuset cups we found waiting for us in our room.
Orange sightseeing cap replaced with red lippy, we were handed complimentary flutes of rose MCC on being seated at the Tasting Room. The bowl of white fluff is actually a black pepper-dish that melts onto the tongue. It was the first of many surprises.
Keen to get started on his eight-course pairing (yes, EIGHT courses, plus many tasty extras), Husband posed with the wire glass poised on our table. Much, much later – three hours later – we toddled back to our rooms for a peaceful, fire-crackly sleep.
Factor in a long, leisurely breakfast in the Living Room
Having already savoured a coffee in our room, I was ready to try the Living Room’s hot chocolate the next morning. It was a wonderful thing, which stayed pipingly hot throughout my meal – and I ate plate after plate of delicious food!
The ‘egg benedict’ on the breakfast menu is just that, a single egg poached, Hollandaised and served on porky heaven. That’s because you’re expected to also fill up on the breakfast buffet. Here’s why…
See the delightful continental breakfast buffet? Each item is carefully curated to add to your overall breakfast feast.
Take the long road home
We recommend taking a slow trip back home after your stay in Franschhoek. The ‘scenic route’ only takes a little longer and will have you stopping to sigh at the lovely photo-worthy bench at the very edge of the Haute Cabriere Wine Estate.
We took a picture from both sides of this frame as couldn’t decide which was the better shot. This ended up as the winner.
The long, windy mountain road almost guarantees you’ll take a handful of shots like this – cheesy grin above postcard-perfect shots of the Franschhoek valley.
There’s a helpful sign at the base of Franschhoek Pass that shows you’re only 740m above sea level. Pilot-minded Husband commented that’s only half the height of Lanseria.
That’s all, folks. I can’t recommend it enough. Thanks for stopping by, check in again next week for my next update. If you missed my overview of what to do in Stellenbosch last month,
click here. 🙂
*Disclaimer: Obviously our accommodation at Le Quartier Français and meals at the Tasting Room and the Dining Room were part of our review package. All else came from our own pockets. All enjoyed equally.