I am ecstatic! We are going to the Ballet! Mum is coming up from the Drakensberg to join us at Monte Casino for the St Petersburg Ballet performance of Swan Lake tomorrow. They are also performing the beautiful Giselle and Don Quixote.
What a great day this was out and about at Fairview Wine farm and the Spice Route. Fairview offer wine and cheese tasting and just down the road from them is the Spice Route for beer and chocolate tasting!
Being welcomed by the goats with massive spiral horns in the goat tower at Fairview Wine Farm, captivated our group from our arrival. Meandering through the grape vines into the wine and cheese tasting hall was the epitome of the experience one should have in the Cape Winelands.
Starting off with an array of wines to taste– dry or sweet, red or white, our morning started off on a rather happy note (if you know what I mean). In between tasting all these delicious wines, we were escorted to the cheeseery where we tasted all the different cheeses the Fairview farm produces. To finish off our visit we had a wonderful cappuccino at The Goatshed Restaurant.
The neighbouring farm to Fairview is The Spice Route Winery. Filled with different restaurants and tastings such as Biltong tasting, CBC Brewery, and restaurants and cafes, one needs a full day to tour around this venue.
Our first stop was the CBC brewery where we tasted the most delicious craft beer. The tasting takes place in the actual brewery so it is a little loud but is very interesting watching the beer being bottled on the production line. Boxes of beer can be purchased from here too.
For lunch we went to Bertus Basson where we sat under an acorn tree and watched the squirrels scurry around the lawn and veranda. Our meal was incredible!
For dessert, we went chocolate tasting at De Villiers Chocolate Artisan factory, tasting and shop. What a difference it makes when told how to eat your chocolate – amazing flavours from foreign cocoa beans encompassed the mouthfuls of delight. Chocolate made from cocoa beans from Venezuela, Uganda and Madagascar to name a few, were all so different and just accentuated my love for chocolate!
After stuffing our bellies with deliciousness, we finished off our visit to the Spice Route with a magnificent coffee and homemade ice-cream.
The Spice Route is definitely a full day out and make sure that you are hungry because you cannot miss anything as it is all so delicious!
One area in Cape Town I am unfamiliar with and have been completely blown away by the culture and hidden gems found in Woodstock. Driving down the streets to get to our destination for breakfast, Superette at the Woodstock Exchange, we passed the most exquisite stores for antique furniture, frames and fabrics. Coffee shops and cafes are scattered around the Woodstock area that are done up beautifully with modern yet shabby chic interior décor and design.
The Woodstock Exchange is a modern industrial office block with shoe artisans, film agencies and vintage styled shops. Walking around the Exchange, modern art is placed in the nooks and crannies of the building and courtyards.
Breakfast at Superette was delicious! Cappuccino’s and poached eggs with twist satisfied the hunger with fresh ingredients and a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy breakfast in. I really enjoyed the warehouse feel of the Superette with light bursting through all the windows, the raw brick popping through one of the walls and the unique freshen up corner.
Kingdom, is a beautifully styled shop with gorgeous vintage clothes, genuine leather bags and antique tea sets. This shop is filled with gorgeous pieces like sunglasses and jewellery that you will want to take your time browsing through it.
Tea has become a really popular trend. Whether it is green tea, chai or rooibos, Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour has it all. Walking through this little shop with its gorgeous tea sets and beautifully packaged packets of tea, I felt as if I was walking through a tea haven. The different blends of teas were interesting and none that I had seen anywhere before as well as a little corner scattered with pillows, cushions and quilts to relax in if you wanted to. In the April issue of Elle magazine SA, the Elle Report covers the “pleasures of the past” about the wonderful Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour.
If you are in the area, do yourself a favour and enjoy the little treasures the Woodstock Exchange holds.
Painting is one of the most relaxing ways of freeing the tension and stress. We visited the little town of Cullinan, just east of Pretoria. A quaint little town that I had never heard of until that day! Named after Sir Thomas Cullinan who found the largest diamond in the world (in 1905), this little town became one of my motivations to start painting again. We happened to come across a wonderful painter, Norbert Schling at Studio 14 Gallery who convinced me that I need to step out of my comfort zone (acrylic painting) and start oil painting – “It’ll change your life”, he said. So with great enthusiasm, two rather large canvases were hand picked and ended coming back to Johannesburg with us.
I absolutely love painting but like most of us working class, the realistic world gets in the way and distracts us from our small passions in life. These canvases were shoved to one corner until a day that I “had more time” yet they screamed my name every time I walk passed them “I’m still blank Chanel…Paint!!
After a few months of this ‘screaming’ and ‘name calling’, they got the better of me and I decided I needed to start painting again. Herbert Evans in Fourways Crossing helped me in the stocking up of the new materials which was a rather daunting experience for a ‘first time oil painter’!
After plucking up enough courage I started prepping my mini canvases…I bought these to practice on in case oils was just not for me. I had heard that oils take a while to dry but WOW, is this a test on ones patience! From the ‘comfort zone’ of acrylics that dry within minutes, these two canvases took a week! Might have been the amateur prevailing? After continually walking passed and inspecting the still VERY wet canvases, they eventually dried to a point that I could start with the oil painting process.
I have to be honest, this process, as long as it took was so rewarding. The painting turned out exactly how I wanted it to, with paint bulging off the canvas and colours mixing just the way I like it with pallet knife or paint brush.
I am a fan!