Dear Me

Dear Me is a quaint yet quirky little cafe in Longmarket Street in Cape Town. The space is very simply done with gorgeous hanging ferns from the ceiling. Unfortunately we only had coffee (which was delightful) but I have heard that the food is wonderful as it is homemade, fresh and offers a variety of specialized foods for all preferences. Contact Dear Me if you would like to book out their space for seminars or events.

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Tashas Canal Walk

I haven’t spent time at Canal Walk in Cape Town but the other day we need to hire a tuxedo for a black tie wedding and popped. I have to admit it is a very overwhelming experience as this shopping centre must be one of the biggest I have ever been in! For lunch we decided to dine at Tashas.

I have always enjoyed the Tashas menu as it is so simple but ‘oh so delicious’! The atmosphere is always electric with brilliant service and a somewhat colonial, old fashioned look about their decor.

I had an incredible granita with apple, cucumber and mint and to eat I had an aubergine, beef and tahini yoghurt. See their menu here. Delicious!

I do know that all the Tashas cafes I have been to, they have all been worth their while and have never disappointed. Pay a visit to you nearest Tashas to see what I mean.

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The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room is a beautiful space situated in Station Road, Observatory Cape Town. A wonderful building with high ceilings has been transformed into a creative space where artists can enjoy a cup of coffee whilst sketching or friends can gather to enjoy a delicious cappuccino.

There are some gorgeous vintage looking pieces like old cabinets and fire places that make the space so unique and some pretty pastel bunting that frames the entrance making it so welcoming. The art exhibited at the moment is the story of “Farrah was not a Dalmatian” by Adrie le Roux which is a very cute children’s story of an English Pointer mistaken for a Dalmatian.

Our afternoon was spent enjoying Catherine’s baby shower which was such a special occasion since she is G’s sister! Her very good friend Dominique decorated the venue with such style and finesse. G’s mum and her friends baked the most delicious almond balls, lemon cakes and apricot tarts which was a perfect sweet ending to the cheese and biscuits snacks.

 

If you are in the area, visit The Drawing Room to get the creativity flowing and see who is next exhibiting on the walls.

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Macaroni Cheese

I am not the avid baker like most women. The other day I shocked G (who usually does dinners in our home) by making macaroni cheese for dinner. I was rather impressed with myself because it tasted delicious!

 

Here is the recipe for you to try it yourself:

Ingredients:

Gluten free macaroni

Bacon or ham

Broccoli

Baby Marrow

Cream Cheese

Milk

Cheese

 

For the topping:

Rye bread

Garlic

Paprika

Cheese

 

Method:

Put your macaroni on for the boil until ready

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Gluten free pasta

Chop  up some baby marrow,  broccoli and bacon or ham and stir fry

Greens, ham stirfry

Stir fry the baby marrow, broccoli and ham

Whilst your pasta boils, mix your cream cheese (2 tubs) with a little milk, garlic, salt and pepper with a whisk so that it becomes smooth

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Whisk the milk, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper together until smooth

Once this is the sauce is ready, mix the cream sauce mixture with your greens and bacon & ham and start layering with the macaroni. Sprinkle cheese throughout (optional)

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Add in the mixed sauce with the pasta

For the topping, blend some rye bread to make crumbs, mix with garlic and paprika for flavour and sprinkle with a little cheese over the top

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Blend the rye bread until crumbs are formed

Put this into a preheated oven (180° C) for about 30 – 40 minutes – keep checking dependent on your oven, the top should become nice and crispy with a golden brown colour

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Sprinkle the topping over the pasta and sauce

Serve with a salad or eat by itself, enjoy!

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Yum!!

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Vivino

If any of you know me, you will know that I love my wine. Red in Winter, Rosé on the odd occasion and White…whenever! I love the history of wine making and the way wines are made from all sorts of different ingredients. I don’t think I will ever know enough about wine and all its details but one thing I do know for sure, I do enjoy it! With friends at a lunch, romantic dinners with G, laughing with family or relaxing with a good book or writing this blog.

I spoke about discovering apps the other day here, and this is another that I think every wine lover should have…Vivino!

What is so great about this app is that you have a profile that will save all your favourite wines and the wines you have reviewed. Similar to the Zomato app where you can review the wine and comment to all the people that are on your profile. Like Facebook you will have friends on your newsfeed that pop up with their reviews about the wine they have tasted. On the various wine reviews, you will see others that have commented whether they are on your profile or not.

To use this app, take a photo of the wine bottle label. Once the app has analysed the image it will confirm with a “Voila!”. All the details about the wine will be displayed with ratings, the farm it comes from , the grapes used and what food you should pair it with.  How clever?

How many of you have this app and does it meet your expectations?

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Zomato App

I am quite useless when it comes to apps and what the latest trends are regarding new apps for Android or iOS (…or in human terms for example, Samsung or Apple). I generally use my phone for phoning, texting or social media catch-ups but since I moved over to the Apple world, I have been exposed to apps! What a wonderful discovery! One app I would like to share, is the free app called Zomato . Have any of you downloaded it?

I have found living in the city very different compared to living in Durban where I could go to the beach to get out. Here in the city, we go to restaurants, cafes and pubs / bars. I absolutely love this alternative because there is just so much to choose from. Some expensive, some affordable. Some Thai cuisine, some Italian – which do you choose from?

Zomato has been the greatest site for me when choosing a restaurant. When first moving to Johannesburg, I wasn’t sure of where we were going when a friend would suggest a restaurant. I am always intimidated by menus, I am always the last one at the table to choose what I want – there is just too much choice!! I learnt to go online and check out the restaurant menu before heading out so that I knew the variety of food offered and familiarized myself with the menu so it wasn’t so difficult to choose. Zomato was always the first site to pick from when looking on Google.

Now that I have become accustom to Zomato, I downloaded their app and have been so fulfilled. It will ask for your location so that it can choose the various restaurants or bars in your area, it will give you the option of breakfast, lunch, supper or drinks and then defines the cuisine to which your growling tummy desires. Even better, it gives you the latest on trending places at that time. Hipster hangouts, hidden gems or tea times, you can choose. A list of places to see will be featured and many visitors to these places have reviewed what the restaurant / cafe is like regarding service or cleanliness. Very appealing! Recently Zomato have updated their software and when logging in to the app to greet you, “Hello Chanel.” to which you can then choose what your heart desires.

If you keep your locations services on, the app will pick out all the places that are closest to you for food or drink when moving around or travelling to different towns, cities or countries. Clever!

Let me know your favourite aspects of Zomato!

 

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Let’s Deli

At last we have our own Deli in town! I wrote about the wonderful Giovanni’s Deli here and am so thrilled to have our very own in close proximity. Let’s Deli opened up a few weeks ago and seems to be buzzing! Situated in the Lonehill Shopping Centre, Let’s Deli offer an array of wonderful fresh produce from different cheeses and meats to pickles and breads. The steak and boerewors we tried out the other day was delicious and the butcher, friendly and helpful! For the gluten free crowd, there is a full stand of pastas and produce for you too! What a pleasure it is to shop here and so look forward to this becoming a regular pit-stop for my dinners and weekend tapas styled picnics!

Brewtown Coffee Company

Who enjoys coffee? I certainly do! I love how the aroma grips you and drags you in where ever it is brewing. Walking through the Lonehill Shopping Centre the other day, a colleague and I passed Brewtown Coffee Company, a new coffee shop!

Being the coffee lovers we are, we had to stop and get a take-away coffee for the way back to the office. The shop has an industrial feel when looking up at the raw ceiling but with all the wood accents the shop elucidates warmth especially with the smell of coffee as you walk in. I had a Latte and Tracy had a Cappuccino, which were delicious. I will definitely be back and apparently they open up early for the Virgin Active gym members in the morning.

Catch them on Facebook and Twitter

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Parklife Music and Gourmet Food Festival

California has just had their Coachella festival where the fashion was published everywhere, so trendy, hippy style or rocker and all so different from one another. Have a look at The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni or Alessandra Ambrosio’s Instagram for the fashion that made statements!

Take a look at the fashion spotted at Johannesburg’s Parklife festival. High waisted shorts, big hats, retro glasses and the hippy style were all fashion trends that were most popular at the festival! What an amazing day it was to watch some of the greatest South African Bands like Jeremy Loops, Prime Circle, Monark Band, Gangs of Ballet as well as the international visitors American Authors and Modest Mouse!

Fairview and the Spice Route

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!

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