I have a number of trips to Europe planned this year and one of them was to the magical city of Budapest, which I fell in love with.
Day 1 – Arrival in Cape Town
The flight from London to Johannesburg is actually a nice flight taking around 12 hours depending on the carrier you choose. I usually select a night flight which means I can sleep at least a bit on the flight.
We stayed in the wonderful area of Table View right next to Bloubergstrand, a neighbourhood overlooking the iconic Table Mountain.
|View over Table Mountain and Cape Town|
Day 2 – Wineland and lunch at La Petite Ferme
This was a wonderful day of driving around the Wine regions of around Cape Town. The areas we visited was Stellenbosch and Franchoek. If you are planning to visit my suggestion would be to stay in or around this area, Franchoek is a quaint little town that will bring you all the best of South Africa, with wine, great food and hospitality.
My number two overall suggestion for visiting Cape Town would be to have lunch at La Petite Ferme. The setting of the restaurant and the food is just exquisite. Its well worth spending a day going out to this little gem.
|Entrance to the vineyard|
|Views from the restaurant down the Franchoek Valley|
Day 3 – Hout Bay
We started the day off going for a really nice breakfast in Camps Bay. What a wonderful area of Cape Town this is. It feels like you are more on the French Riviera rather than Africa when you drive along the houses built up against the mountain. Here you are spoilt for choice to have breakfast and feel the morning sun starting to warm up.
|Camps Bay beach overlooking Lions Head|
The idea was to drive around the mountain through Kloofnek past Constantia via Noordhoek and Chapman peak however we were very quickly stopped and had to make our way back to Camps Bay due to the road being closed for one of the worst mountain fires Cape Town has seen in recent years.
Hout Bay is a stunning town a stone through away from Cape Town with a prime example of one of the many natural harbours that South Africa boast of.
|A little friend welcoming you to the harbour in Hout Bay|
Lunch was planned at Mariners Wharf which is my number 3 suggestion of places to visit when in Cape Town. My suggestion is to have the Calamari Rings here, they are the best I have ever had. Each time I return I am reminded of the great seafood this restaurant has to offer.
|Yellow tail with garlic butter and calamari rings|
Day 4,5 and 6 – West Coast
More often than not visiting Cape Town results in staying in and around the mother city rather than venturing a bit further afield especially not up the west coast, however what a little gem. This is a stunning area with great attractions.
One of those little gems is the west coast national park. Especially make your way Kraalbaai to find untouched and unspoiled beaches with stretches and stretches of white sand. Well worth packing a picnic basket for.
|Kraalbaai lagoon beach|
On the opposite side of the peninsula is the Atlantic ocean at Tsaarsbank with stunning rolling waves. Well worth the stop.
|Tsaarsbank white dunes and rolling waves|
My NUMBER ONE suggestion for visiting Cape Town is going to Die Strandloper restaurant.
|Entrance to the restaurant|
|10 Course Menu|
|Freshly baked bread for the first course|
Day 7 – Calitzdorp
This was a great day driving from the west coast on the infamous route 62 or the “artist route” as its more commonly know. Ths drive is a great drive past all the wine lands, mountain passes and small towns in the Boland like Montagu. The days driving ended in Calitzdorp, where we stayed in the welcoming 365 on St Helena.
|Welcome South African style|
|Wine making in the Boland|
|Great arty farty wine and port bottles|
|Ostrage Farm in Outshorn|
|Grapes skins after being pressed|
This is a quick overview of the wonderful places that I visited. I hope you enjoy and give you an apatite for visiting Cape Town.
|Cream of mushroom soup with smoked duck breast|
The main course was really the star of the show with a wonderful lamb, succulent cooked.
|Lamb main course|
Before dessert we were offered a cheese platter, this is an additional charge or alternatively the cheese platter can be taken instead of the dessert.
Dessert was Strawberries served three ways, fresh strawberries, strawberry mouse and a strawberry sorbet. This was served with burned meringue.
For the last bit of theatre was the lovely biscuits with our coffee. Just perfect to finish the dinner off.
|Biscuits for coffee|
I am fortunate enough to have friends visiting from Antwerp this weekend, and one of the things I love about friends visiting London is that there is always something incredible to share with them, and last night was no exception.
The request through a whatsapp group conversations was to reserve a theatre show, and with most tourists visiting London, the obvious choice would be to see a musical! – easy to listen to, a simple story line to follow etc. however we collectively decided to opt in for a play this time with an resounding vote towards War Horse. I’ve seen War Horse around 6 years ago, and was extremely impressed with the play so it was a easy “Yes” from me towards the play. I’m was happy to see it again!
Once again! I was not disappointed with the show. It was as captivating as the first time and the craftsmanship of handling those horses just transport you to reality. The acting was first class, with my Belgium friends feeling right at home with the French, and German dialogue! At the end of the show you are left full of emotion and again remembrance for what happened. A new found respect for the soldiers that fought for our freedom today.
A very powerful display!
This come as a very high recommendation – and a almost MUST SEE in London with ticket prices at an average – we paid £62.50 each for stall seats. Pre-booking is a recommendation as the theatre was filled to the brim.
Next time you are in London or if this is your first visit, forget the cheap theatre show ticket office in Leicester Square and make your way to War Horse, its well worth seeing.
As you enter the restaurant, you are transported to the centre of Marrakesh/Fez/Rabat or one of the many other towns in Morocco. The decor set a ambience that is distinctly fit for the name. Low lighting with lanterns. This set the scene for what’s to follow.
|Mezze for starter|
For starters they offer a Mix Mizze to share. I love the sharing platter idea, similar to the meals you would get if you go to a Greek restaurant. They have reasonably priced menu’s with an array of food.
For main course I had the spicy sausage Merguez which was really wonderful and well worth it.
Their feast menus are also worth exploring with a fewer amount of starters but then a few options for the main course.
|Mint tea after the meal|
Dessert is always ended with a nice mint tea. If you wish for something sweet – Baklava is a must.
|Map to Souk Medina|
I found myself at one of my favourite haunts where I was taken back to my very early days in London when I explored almost any Market on the map. Once again drawn to the east end of London when a friend suggested to meet up and as a result the always challenging question came up – Where should we meet?. Three options was quickly outlined, East End, Central London or Hampstead. Even though I have only been to Hampstead once I suggested Colombia Road flower market.
|Brick Lane on the way to Colombia Road Market|
This market is a wonderful array of sounds and colours and a total reaper for the senses. As you enter its like any other market in the UK with people shouting at the crowd about the deal of a lifetime. And like so many you get sucked into the array, price and wonders of the market and YES I did end up buying a large bunch of Protea’s (which by the way is the national flower of South Africa) – wonderful and the price £5 for 7 stems, well worth the one hour 30 mins commute over to the other side.
So apart from the vast array of flowers on sale, the streets diverting off Colombia Road are filled with second hand shops, art dealers, food stalls and like most of the UK pubs that’s scattered along the way.
|Start of the market|
This is a wonderful idea for a day out. Maybe to meet with a fried, like I did. Or to spend the afternoon with someone special or even by yourself, I’m sure you will find one of the many coffee shops a perfect people watching spot.
As you can notice from the few photos – this market have a distinct feel of France! a market on a Sunday, and that a flower market what more do you want to make you feel like you are visiting our neighbours.
|Small Gifts if that’s what you looking for 😉|
Here I add a map for you if you wish to visit this market.
|Directions to the Flower Market|
What a wonderful Sunday! go and see the market for yourself.
wine route for South African style port.
might be a good place to stay over, or Oudtshorn which is a much larger town.
Peak Drive – this will be a great drive to Cape Town when you are driving from
Hermanus. It’s a beautiful costal ride on a ridge with the ocean on the one
side and cliffs on the other! Well worth doing.
stunning restaurant called Die Strandloper – this is very authentic on the
beach with a very nice menu (if you like fish) but I suggest you pre-book. The
drive is about 2hrs from Cape Town and en-route you can go via the Swartland Wine
District which has some really great wines and is a bit less know from the
standard Stellenbosch and Franchoek wine areas.
Once I found myself at on the Grub Club’s site, I quickly scanned the site for popup restaurants in west London. There are loads of choices to choose from however I found a local chef hosting her regular evening. Identifying the popup I wish to join, promoted me to sent a email over to my friend which live local to us, asking if they want to join too and we both made our booking through the Grub Club site.We received our confirmation from the Grub Club as soon as we made our booking.
For those who hasn’t done a supper club like this before. Typically its a event hosted in someone house with strangers joining in. The general feel is almost like you are going to a house party, but you are cooked a wonderful meal.
A few days before the event we received a email from Rosie, the host, with directions to the event. To my delight the dinner will be hosted a 20 minute walk from where we live – a great little brisk walk to build a nice appetite.
Arriving at the house the hosts were really welcoming offering us a very nice cocktail. After introducing ourselves to a few people, and off course meeting our friends there and with our cocktails in hand the conversation started flowing.
We sat down for the meal which was a really nice thought out menu which included a lovely starter of salmon, and quail eggs, a main course of roasted guinea fowl, dessert was a passion fruit posset, but my favourite by far was the Montgomery cheeseboard – mmmmm mmmmmm
I never thought that I would socialise with food bloggers and writers but here I found myself amongst foodies. The host, I learned was a blogger herself – and by her cooking it wasn’t difficult to understand why. Her little business cards, strategically placed directed me to her blog, and I am so pleased I found it – a little lusciousness.
This event was also sponsored by #Peroni which ensured that no one are left with a dry throat.
The overall experience was great! the food was very good! and meeting new people was even better. I would suggest anyone to join a supper club and enjoy all the above – especially if you go to a little lusciousness.
Well worth a visit – if you can handle the crowds.
|Christmas Tree Bar at the SouthBank Centre|
|London eye and the River Thames|
|Hungerford Foot Bridge|
|Santa flying by|
|Hamleys, dare to enter?|
|Want to take a ride with Santa?|
|Bond Street sponsored by Night at the Museum|
|Sorry Liberty of London, too many people for me!|
|Lancashire Court, Jimmy Hendrix house|
|New Bond Street. Lights to match the stores|
|Look at the stars in the sky|
|St. Molton Street|
|St. James Place|
|St. Christopher’s Place|