Thursday, June 30, 2011

The kalahari and the khoi san

I recently went away to the amazing rural town of Askham (5km from the Bots border) in the Kalahari Desert and met authentic Khoi San people.

It was the most amazing experience being in such a rural village, among the dunes and salt pans.

I did have the most delicious biltong I have ever had – made by the amazing farmer, Kruger and his wife Johanna, who will take you in as one of her own and look after you with the greatest hospitality.

I stayed in the Post Office guest house, which really functioned as a post office 100 years ago.

The town of Askham is filled with incredible history and rustic beauty.

I ate Kalahari truffles ('N abbas), ashbread and gemsbok steak. I was also showed where to find kalahari watermelons, which will keep you hydrated.

I drank sweet muscadel from the orange river 200km away and stared up at the billions while feeling the warmth of a fire on my back.

I met one of the last people in the world who can speak the language N/u ­– an old, old lady, with the sweetest disposition.

Below are the pictures, which I’ve been told tell more of a story than my own words.

Wine tasting in Durbanville

So one of my besties (the super-subbing partner in crime) and I decided to go wine tasting in the near by valley of Durbanville. We took one wrong turn but all in all it’s really not far out of town and they have some amazing farms on offer.

First stop was De Grendal (

Highlights for me: the pinot noir (2009); the MCC Brut (2009); and the Sauvignon Blanc (2010). Wine tasting is for free.

Next stop was one of my most favourite boutique farms – de Vallei (

I’m so sad they have no shiraz… but I believe they have some resting. I liked every wine they had on offer. The sauvignon blanc was amazing! They also make excellent cab sauvs and both the Jacobus and the Donum rocked my world. Although the wine tasting here costs R15pp, if you buy any wine, you get the tasting money back.

Then we went off to D’Aria ( – our third and last stop. It really is difficult to do more than three wine farms in one day … and stay soberish.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the spitting kind.

The Saprano Shiraz is still my best – it was so delicious asked if I could taste it twice J. They charge R10 a tasting (If I’m not mistaken – things were starting to look a little hazy at this point).

But it was awesome!

I did learn one thing – don’t go wine tasting if you haven’t eaten, and biltong does not count as a meal! This is what can happen to you... (last pic)

Authentic Mexican dining

We had dinner at EL BURRO the other night – fab little Mexican spot in Green Point (above old Doppio Zero – which I am sad to see has recently closed down).

I love El Burro for it’s cool vibe and beautiful d├ęcor.

I felt really comfortable and chilled (although that could have been the tequila’s mischievous workings).

They do have over 50 tequilas there. I tried the corello anejo, which came with a little spicy tomato drink on the side.

My best were the grilled chilli poppers – to die for! You can either get 3 or 5, so we decided to share 5.

But note – they are quite spicy!!

We then shared a chicken make-it-yourself flour taco dinner, which comes with two large tacos and loads of toppings and chicken. It doesn’t sound like much, but we couldn’t finish it all.

I also tried the traditional Mexican winter melon drink on the menu – which was fabulous, light and refreshing.

I found the food affordable and the menu in general quite affordable. The service was also quick, although I have heard people comment that it can be slow sometimes.

They also have a LUNCH SPECIAL at the moment, where main meals are half price – so worth it!!

The view of the stadium and ocean from the balcony tables is great – so if the weather is good, sit there.

81 Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town, 021-433-2364.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More reasons why I love Kloof Str

The Lot

Indie Fashion and cool leather jackets…

5 Beckham House, cnr Kloof and Backham Street, 021-424-8812

Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection

They show works by emerging and established artists... It’s small, but one trip inside will fill your head with new ideas… Current exhibition: ‘Paper is You’ – collaboration.

91 Kloof Street, 021-424-6930

Mozzarella Bar

I’m a cheese nut! So this doesn’t really need too much explanation….

They also do great sandwhiches and coffee

51 Kloof Street, 021-422-5822


Toitoy is Cape Town's first ever vinyl toy store – They stock super cool designer toys, clothes, skateboards, headphones and more…

49 Kloof street (and at the V&A waterfront), 021-422-5891


Every girl loves a real good burger – every now and then…

69A Kloof Street, 021-426-5974

Plan B

For more fashion inspiration… Imported goods.

45C Kloof Street, 021-422-4017

love wardrobe

Ash Battle had always wanted to create a store that resembled that sort after step-in wardrobe – and so, after putting together her favourite collection of vintage items, local designers, photographs, books, shoes, bags, belts and a few jars of sweets – her shop, Wardrobe, with the help of her partner Gren Forte, was complete.
‘We wanted to create a unique display space to sell the beautiful and quirky fashion items we were coming across both locally and internationally. We opened Wardrobe in 2009 when the concept of vintage fashion was starting to get a lot of attention in South Africa, and a large part of our range was made up of thoughtfully sourced vintage garments, re-worked vintage garments and garments made from vintage fabrics including beautifully printed upholstery fabrics and linens.’

The shop is filled with recycled Victorian floorboards, wooden shelves and closets, which tie in with Ash’s desire to keep their carbon footprint low. The walls are adorned with classic literature and books about fashion, a poster from a 1941 issue of Vogue and a sewing machine from the 20’s.

‘We tried to create a cute, intimate homely feel as opposed to a slick interior, and a lot of the stuff found lying around the store are the kinds of things you may find at home.’

The jars of various sweets from The Treat Company in Cape Town are a more recent edition to the mix.

‘People used to say the store was like a candy shop for grown up girls, so we started stocking and selling these little sweets as well, to keep with the theme.’

The clothing is a mix of beautiful silk dresses, rehashed fabrics and trendy tops and skirts. ‘Over time more and more local designers have approached us to stock their designs. We now have several South African designers from around SA that we work with including Moth, Spilt Milk and Mieks amongst others. We also have leather handbags from South America, dresses from Austraila and knitwear from Hong Kong. ’

There is also the in-house label ‘wardrobe’, which Ash and Gren do all the designs for.

‘The majority of wardrobe in-house label is manufactured here, either using locally made fabrics, or imported fabrics. We obviously try use local fabrics as a first, unless it’s something we can’t get hold of.’

When asked what Ash has in store for winter, she said ‘High waisted shorts over opaque tights and cropped jerseys. Our favourite colours for winter are cream, beige, brown, burnt orange and mustard.’

Ash and Gren also own the popular and established men’s shop, Poppa Trunks, just two shops down. Wardrobe receives new stock every week – just another reason to keep visiting.

*unedited version of my article published in the khuluma June magazine

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

JA-MOCHAn me crazy

I went on a sunset cruise the other day, from the V&A waterfront to Clifton, where we sampled the new Simonsvlei wines (
The South Atlantic Sauvignon Blanc (grassy and green R75) and Cabernet Sauvignon/ shiraz blend (plums and cherries – great with meaty dishes R80) were two of my favorites and truly delicious in their own right.

it was also the launch of their new generation wines, the JA-MOCHA PINOTAGE (R75) and the TOFFEE CHUNK SYRAH (85). I would have both again any day, particularly the shiraz.

Advice from the site:
Toffee Chunk originated from the toffee characters associated with the unique maturation of this wine. Very distinct Toffee aromas dominate followed by a smokiness and an extended berry finish that follows thru onto the palate. Enjoy with asiago cheese, cured or smoked meats, nice peppery or spicy steak or how about your favourite cheese dish.
Ja-Mocha originated from the coffee and chocolate connection associated with this wine. It’s a well balanced fruity wine with expressing overtones of dark chocolate and toasted coffee beans. Serve with Game, Fillet/Steak, Barbeques, hearty Vegeterian dishes, Thai/Indian food or enjoy on its own.
Open on Saturdays from 08:30 - 16:30 and on Sundays from 11:00 - 15:00. R20pp for six wines. [Old Paarl Road]

Monday, June 13, 2011


There are some days when I have a deep-seated craving for cheese cake… whether baked or fridge… but I need it!
And there’s nothing more wonderful then when someone surprises you with a Charly’s cheesecake - TO DIE FOR!!!
Spoil yourself with a mucking afazing cake. Just do it. They will love you forever.

Here are their prices:
CAKES (all 14 slices)
Lemon Meringue 165.00
Hummingbird Cake - The royalty of carrot cake 195.00
Raised Cinnamon Apple Tart 225.00
Baked Cheesecake- With a lemon touch 195.00
Russian Cheesecake- Russicher zupfkuchen 215.00
Double Chocolate Baked Cheesecake- It’s Inside & On Top 225.00
Blueberry Baked Cheesecake 235.00
Caramel Cheesecake 225.00
Tarts (14 slices
Almond tart- Caramelised almonds in a biscuit base 185.00
Milk Tart- Puff pastry base- Traditional 125.00
Decadent Chocolate Cakes (all 14 slices)
Wicked Chocolate Cake- Our number 1 seller 195.00
Death by Chocolate- Dense, moist, rich chocolate cake 190.00
Chocolate Truffle- Chocolate mousse cake 235.00
Baileys Ultimate Chocolate cake- Gold caramel chocolate 215.00
FRESH CREAM CAKES (all 14 slices)
Mississippi Mud Pie- This one’s to die for! 245.00
Peppermint Crisp Cake 225.00

Black Forest Cake -Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte 250.00

Strawberry Vanilla sponge Cream cake- seasonal 235.00

Old mutual trophy tastings…

There was just so much on offer, I didn’t get to taste all of the wines :-(

And believe me… I tried!

But below are a few goodies worth a try.

Please note that the bubbly from Pongracz is only available at the estate… [JC Le Roux].