Gear up for Autumn with NESCAFÉ GOLD Plant-Based Mixes

Some exciting news for vegans and lactose-intolerant latte lovers;  NESCAFÉ GOLD’s  plant-based mixes range are now available to the conscious who prefer plant-based diets and for the sensitive lactose-intolerant.

Curated using a blend of the highest quality Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, the lattes are said to be delectably smooth and creamy soluble drinks. They come in three variants, each with its own discerning flavour, Coconut Latte, Almond Latte and Oat Latte. The one – cup sachets are easy to prepare by simply adding hot water, stirring & enjoying.

Nescafe Gold Plant Mixes

Look out for influencers who are gearing up for the season with NESCAFÉ GOLD Plant-Based Mixes to serve you with a slice of their life, including Rati Lekalakala, Cara Frew, Zuraida Jardine and the Zulu Vegan to name a few.

The NESCAFÉ GOLD Vegan Lattes are available at all leading retailers’ country wide. Follow the conversation @nescafesa on Instagram using the hashtag #NESCAFEVEGANLATTESZA.

 

Press release issued by Zebra Square on behalf of Nestlé East and Southern Africa.

A Nutricosmetic Experience at Cape Town’s ERTH Restaurant

First nutricosmetic restaurant of its kind, ERTH, opened its doors to the public late last year. I was one of the lucky few invited to the media launch.

Situated on 35 Main Road, Green Point Cape Town, ERTH falls under the Skin Co. brand. The restaurant combines health and skincare with a menu designed with ingredients that promote healthy radiance from within.

Incorporated in the foods are four ingestible cosmetic ingredients. They are;  Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen (using fish-based peptides), Resveratrol and potent Phyto Ceramides – all of which have countless benefits for the human body. These skin-loving actives although tasteless have some nutritional goodness designed to give your skin the nutrients it needs.

My 2020 Resolution| Health Is Wealth

I’m all about healthy living in 2020.  Exercise and a balanced diet is a must. And, as a self-proclaimed skincare enthusiast, I was deeply fascinated by the nutricosmetic element of ERTH. How can one combine skincare and food?

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a complimentary lunch at the restaurant and it was nothing short of an experience.

Finding parking was problematic as can be expected in most places in Cape Town.  Because I was wearing heels, I was not prepared to walk miles from my car to the restaurant and back. But after driving around the same spot twice, I luckily found parking across the road from the restaurant.

My Experience at ERTH

The ambience at ERTH is clean, minimalist but also warm and cosy. Well lit with clusters of hanging pendant lights from the ceiling and natural light coming in through the windows casting some beautiful glow on the space. Perfect spot for taking selfies or if you just want to hotdesk from a comfortable and relaxed space.

The menu is pretty plain looking and it consists of an A4 paper with the different food options typed on it.  However, the food offerings are anything but plain.

The restaurant caters to vegetarians, vegans and pescetarians. I’m none of the three so I opted for the safer pescatarian option.

I had the Salmon Benedict with local salmon trout, poached eggs, hollandaise, rocket served on gluten-free toast and marine collagen infusion. To drink, I had the Hyaluronic Acai smoothie. Slightly thicker than most smoothies I’ve had but great tasting.

The Salmon Benedict was for me a bit of an acquired taste, one I have yet to acquire.  I have never had gluten-free bread before and I didn’t enjoy the texture. I’ve always considered going vegan or at least vegetarian but I love my meat too much.

But in spite of my carnivore preference, I was glad for the experience and enjoyed trying something different. I may just stick to my veggies and chicken or salad and chicken but the skincare products which are all-natural and cruelty-free were by far my favourite. I bought the Kale Moringa & Broccoli Squalane using a gift voucher and will definitely go back for more skincare and some of their delicious smoothies and health sodas.

If you’re looking to try something different,  or maybe you’re a vegan/ vegetarian looking for a fun new place to eat then ERTH is your go-to.

The ambience is great, pricing of food and skincare products are friendly.

ERTH is open on Tuesdays – Sundays from 08:00 – 17:00.

Follow @erth_ct for more information or to find out more about their innovative dishes.

Photography by Jojola_the_grapher

Edited by me

What are you doing to celebrate World Gin Day?

Did you know that there is a day dedicated to gin lovers? Neither did I, but there is, the day is called World Gin Day and it is taking place this year on 10 June 2017.

World Gin Day has been running for 9 years globally and is a celebration of all things gin. This year, Musgrave Gin is taking a leading role in South Africa, encouraging gin-lovers to raise a glass to the occasion. What’s more, Musgrave Gin is launching a new range of miniature gin collection in time for the day commemorated by gin aficionados.

The 50ml bottles from their miniature collection were specially selected for its slim shape and elegant bottle height, one could even mistake them for perfume or cologne bottles. They are so petite and can easily slip into a travel bag, purse or beach bag.

According to Simone Musgrave founder of Musgrave Gin,

“This release is my gift to gin lovers, a luxurious new bijoux bottle for the times you want to treat yourself or somebody else. The miniatures continue my story about travel, the African Spice Route and the creation of an African luxury brand.”

On 10 June, Musgrave will be serving a speciality tipple featuring Musgrave12 Pink Gin or Musgrave11 Original nationwide. If you are in Cape Town, pop into The Stack, The Silo, The Gin Bar or Sundoo by Seelan. If you are in Durban, swing by Chef’s Table, Delish Sisters or 1904 Bistro Americaine. For Johannesburg, visit Glenda’s in Hyde Park.

On the menu is:
The Roadhouse Gin Shake

Blackberry jam, cream, Musgrave12 Pink Gin and a bit of fizz, guaranteed to get you on your rollerskates!

The Hey Hunny

Musgrave11 shaken with a honey&nut syrup teased elegantly with lemon juice and bitters. Finished with a soft foam.

Musgrave12 Signature Pink Gin & Tonic 

A double rosewater infused gin, topped up with Barker & Quin Tonic, garnished with pink peppercorns and a sprig of thyme.

Stand a chance to win 6 of the new release 50ml Musgrave Miniatures

While enjoying Musgrave gin at home or at any of the Musgrave partner venues, upload a photo and tag #MusgraveWorldGinday #WorldGinDaySA #MusgraveMinis to stand a chance to win 6 of the new release 50ml Musgrave Miniatures.

Hashtags for World Gin Day: #MusgraveWorldGinday #WorldGinDaySA #MusgraveMinis

Visit www.musgravegin.co.za for more or follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Images: Supplied.

About Littlegig Festival 2017

Last weekend, I had the absolute greatest pleasure of working at the Littlegig 2017 festival, fashion concept store. Littlegig is an all-inclusive 24-hour festival with everything most humans love; music, food tastings, fine art, fashion and design. This year’s festival was held at Wiesenhorf farm in Stellenbosch, 28  – 29 January 2017.


I most probably wouldn’t have had the pleasure of attending the festival if not for the fact that the company I’m employed by does PR for Littlegig. During a phone conversation with Georgia Black, former fashion magazine writer/editor and founder of Littlegig, my boss casually asks me “TJ, would you like to volunteer at the Littlegig fashion concept store?” All I heard was fashion and to that, my immediate response was “absofreakinglutely!”  Eager to be a part of anything involving fashion, I was both excited and anxious not knowing what to expect especially never having worked in retail.

I’m not one for large crowds, I am an introvert and get my energy from being on my own so going to a festival is something I don’t do, at least not until Littlegig.

Let me just say, I have been converted, I will go to Littlegig every year of my life and this is why:

Littlegig broke my festival cherry and boy am I glad it did. Had my first experience been anywhere else, I think I would have been put off festivals for life. Despite the fact that I was under the weather on the day,  with a two-day old migraine and a runny nose, I put on my fro wig, a leopard-print jumpsuit, some red lipstick, flats and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

I arrived at the fashion concept store and was given a sexy uniform of a spandex onesie with cutouts on the side. The onesie was a little too large for my petite frame and I felt a little self-conscious with my crutch area on display for the world to see but c’est la vie, I was not about to complain. I felt alive and excited upon seeing the exquisite array of gorgeous, one-of-a-kind fashion items that were on sale. Fringing, feathers, sequins, onesies, tribal, bohemian and vintage items were just a few. Nothing simple, plain or boring at the Littlegig fashion concept store. Georgia’s love and keen eye for fashion are expressed through the unique displays of clothing and accessories at the store. I could not get enough and felt like a kid in a candy store. I was not alone in feeling this way as I noted from the ‘oohing and ahhing’ by some of the Littlegig patrons who came by the store to shop.


From working with a select few local designers like Malcolm Kluk, Crystal Birch, Atang Tshikare and Shirley Fintz to create one-off, hand-made pieces to sourcing several imported vintage pieces from various international costume and festival fashion designers like Sophie Cochevelou (France), each item of clothing was carefully hand-picked to appeal to the flamboyant, creative, confident individual who isn’t shy to stand out.

Marshmallow with marijuana

Although 95% of my time was spent at the concept store, there were other festival highlights like the hair and make-up salon, a forest banquet, live bands, wine tastings, chef-and-farmer tasting experiences and a lake for swimming.

Littlegig has everything you could possibly need, you don’t have to worry about much as you do at most festivals. The ambience can best be described as electrifying yet relaxed, fun and engaging. You also don’t have to pay for anything at the festival except when shopping at the concept store which I would absolutely recommend to anyone who plans to go next year. Some people thought the clothing were too expensive but others who know and appreciate style, quality and individuality did not bat an eye at the prices, one-off pieces don’t come cheap dahling!

Fisher Stevens
With actor and director, Fisher Stevens
Malcolm Kluk and partner Christiaan du Toit at Littlegig concept store

If you love to meet new people, enjoy delicious food, fashion, music, and outdoor activities then you don’t want to miss next year’s festival – I know I won’t. It was without a doubt, the best festival experience of my life and I was working!

For information on Littlegig, visit www.littlegig.co.za.

Chefs eatery in Cape Town is now open for dinner

Chefs, an eatery in Cape Town, located on the corner of St John’s Street has recently added an option of dinner to its former, lunch only menu.

This canteen style spot launched in October 2016 with a fresh concept of three meals which are loaded onto the Chefs website so you can decide on what you want to eat before you get there and place your order. No booking, no waiters, no menus and most fun of all, no tipping! You simply choose your order and your meal is brought to you on a tray, in a matter of minutes.

My house is currently being renovated and the kitchen is one of the sections in the house that is undergoing a facelift. This has been quite an inconvenience for me, because, for the past four months, I’ve had to dine out or spend money on takeaway which is not only bad for my pocket but for my hips too. So for me, Chefs is a dream. A meal which includes dessert costs no more than R160 – I’ve eaten there twice, and could never manage to have dessert because the meal is so filling. The cherry on the cake for me is the fact that the meals are not only mouth-wateringly delicious but it’s very healthy too. Anyone who knows me well would know I’m not a fan of salad nor do I eat veggies much but when it comes to the veggies served at Chefs, I gobble it all up, they are simply yummy!

Many of us are guilty of turning to junk food when we want fast food and then end up feeling gross and bloated for days, I know I do. You no longer have to feel guilty or bloated, you can now enjoy delectable, healthy fast food at Chefs.

Chefs has also been recently granted a liquor license which means you can now relax and savour your meal with a glass of wine. The Wine List for Chefs was steered by Head Chef, Jenny Ward, who is formerly of Bizerca Bistrot. “We like to explore and support unusual varieties because it’s exciting for our patrons to try new things,” she explains.

Chefs takes a directional approach to “fast” food by making fresh, chef-led meals available quickly in an accessible, affordable and non-fuss way. The concept is perfect for discerning diners in search of an outstanding meal that won’t take hours to prepare. Chefs in Cape Town was launched as the prototype for a global chain of outlets that will give hungry patrons what they want, when they want it. Each of the pending international Chefs will follow the same formula as the South African flagship, serving just three incredible meals per day, prepared by a Chef of note.

For more information, visit www.chefscapetown.co.za and follow Chefs on Instagram (chefs.ct) or Facebook (@ChefsCapeTown), and engage via the hashtags #chefs and #chefscapetown.

Images by Justin Patrick

Bay Harbour Market Outing

A month ago, I received a media invite to the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay  to “experience the vibrancy and creative spirit of Cape Town’s most vibrant market”, the invite said. Having never been to the market, my curiosity was piqued and I decided to RSVP to the event to see what it was all about.

The Bay Harbour Market is located on the water’s edge in the old authentic part of the Hout Bay Harbour, in a refurbished fish factory. The market is an eclectic mix of fashion, art, food, décor and music. There are various traders that offer an array of services from arts and crafts, delicious food and drinks to unique décor items. The vibe at the market is down to earth, fresh and exciting.

Speaking at this particular event I attended, was Enver Duminy CEO of Cape Town Tourism, who I actually had the honour of chatting to prior. I got to learn a bit about Cape Town tourism and what his role in promoting the city entails. I often say there is ALWAYS something to do in this windy, beautiful city and we owe it all to people like Enver whose job it is to promote Cape Town and make it a tourist attraction. He is clearly doing a good job because, since 2012, Cape Town has seen an annual increase in tourism revenue, earning billions yearly.

Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism in South Africa was also scheduled to speak at the event but he, unfortunately, could not make it. So, the event was concluded with a spirited hip-hop dance performance by a local  youth group.

At the event, we were treated to complimentary tasting plates from the food traders, with drinks by KWV Wines and live music from Ocean’s Riff .

I wandered around the market to see what each vendor offered, I walked from stand to stand and started with food and then moved on to clothing, accessories and décor. I even ended up buying a beautiful scatter cushion with a print of a portrait of The Chinese Girl – one of Tretchikoff’s best-known painting – and coasters with a portrait of the Balinese Girl. I concluded my day with sugar-free ice-cream from Banting Chocolate Gelato at the market and left a happy camper!

While the Western Cape has a number of markets with delightful offerings, the Bay Harbour Market is definitely not one to miss with my favourite spots being Tretchikoff,  Simply India, Naked drinks and Chapman’s Peak Antiques.

If you haven’t been, why not give it a visit one of these weekends, they are open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Market entry is free and you can enjoy by yourself, with a partner or your whole family – even with the little ones.

Bay Harbour Market

 Bay Harbour Market

 Bay Harbour Market

 Bay Harbour Market

 Bay Harbour Market

dscn6920_lr

 Bay Harbour Market

 Bay Harbour Market

 Bay Harbour Market

Winelands Chocolate Festival

I always say that there is no shortage of fun things to do in the winelands. I had the pleasure of attending the Winelands Chocolate Festival at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate in Stellenbosch on 20 August 2016. The show consisted of delectable chocolate, wine tastings and a fashion show.

Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love chocolate, wine and fashion, duh!  So, this festival was something I had to witness with my own two eyes and taste with my very own tongue. I knew I had to get my senses up in there and so I did!

It was my first time at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, even though I had driven past many times. I was impressed by the massive grounds which seemed to go on forever. There were over 40 leading artisanal chocolatiers, patisseries and confectioners at the show. My eyes were confused and overwhelmed from staring at so many of the beautifully handcrafted chocolates which I happily tasted and had to stop myself from buying every bit of chocolate I tasted, they were all so delicious!

Even though there was some wine tasting involved, the show was really about the chocolate.  Here are some images of the mouth-watering, one-of-a-kind chocolates from the show.

DSCN6374_LR

Hugenot ChocolatesDSCN6378_LR

Hugenot ChocolatesDSCN6363_LR

Fashion and Accessories showcase by ZVD, Stephano, Minella (all accessories and clothing were made with chocolate)DSCN6359_LR

ZVD, Stephano, MinellaDSCN6356_LR

ZVD, Stephano, MinellaDSCN6364_LR

ZVD, Stephano, MinellaDSCN6380_LR

PacariDSCN6389_LR

Von GeusauDSCN6394_LR                                                                              TonyH Artisan Chocolates

DSCN6401_LRAlexander Avery Fine Chocolates

DSCN6408_LR

Alexander Avery Fine ChocolatesDSCN6425_LR

DSCN6431_LR

DSCN6437_LR

DSCN6440_LR

DSCN6441_LR

DSCN6448_LR

DSCN6449_LR

DSCN6455_LR

I went home with quite a few chocolate pieces and had a weekend of pure gluttony. My favourite of all the pieces I tasted was the Truka Bean from Von Geusau.

If you love chocolate and wine then I highly recommend that you attend the next festival. Visit www. winelandschocolatefestival.co.za for more information.

 

Awaken Grace

Jackie Burger’s Salon 58

I had the privilege of attending my first ever Jackie Burger soiree, an event that took place last week Saturday, 13 August 2016 at the P.J Olivier Art Centre. The theme for the show was Awaken Grace in celebration of Women’s Month.

Jackie Burger is a South African style icon, she was an editor at Elle magazine and holds a lot of clout in the South African fashion industry – she is sort of like the Anna Wintour of South Africa except she is much more experimental in her style.

Skipping the ‘what to wear’ phase which I will discuss at length in my next post, I arrive at PJ Olivier Art Centre 45 minutes late and slightly harried from having gotten lost trying to find the venue. No idea how long the event was on for, (only thing I knew was the start time) I said a silent prayer hoping I hadn’t paid R650 for a ticket to a show that was only one hour long. Thankfully, this was not the case and the show ran till after 4pm, as I later discovered.

While we were all sipping Graham Beck champers, guests were introduced to the various aspects around the theme for the day which was focused on the five senses – sound, sight, sense, touch and taste.

Jacquie drew on her own journey that sprung from a growing desire to find balance and perspective in her own life. “We live in a progressively desensitised world where we are observers rather than participants. I, too, fell into a rut of chasing the next big thing instead of living in the now and allowing myself to give and receive with grace.

“The word ‘surrender’ comes to mind: to surrender to and embrace a more conscious way of living; to allow ourselves to fuel our senses with the beauty of our surroundings and find solace and inspiration in our unique sense of self”, she explains.  She then opens the event by inviting the guests to a consultation by the Mac cosmetics team who helped us find the shade of red lipstick to suit our skin and style. That day, I found that I could use a mix of Night Moth lip liner and Ruby Woo lipstick to get a shade of red that matched beautifully with my skin tone and outfit.

We enjoyed a five-course ‘taste sensation’ designed and presented by Johnny Hamman and Marius Uys of Slippery Spoon Kitchen in collaboration with Woolworths Food and Beaumont Wines. Then there was a hair show by Dawid Kriel of Institute Aesthetic, a conversation with Dr Yvette de Villiers on the importance of living with grace, a library production of the iconic white shirt in collaboration with Habits and many more.

Jackie is an inspiration, I found myself drawn to her easy grace and charming personality. I love seeing women in power and particularly love seeing women uplift one another which is really what the event was about. I will gladly pay R650 to attend the next event and would definitely recommend it to others looking to be inspired and to enrich their lives.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Awaken-Grace_Salon58_2Guests at the eventAwaken-Grace_Salon58_3

Awaken-Grace_Salon58_8The right shade of red administered by the Mac cosmetics teamAwaken-Grace_Salon58_9Me getting my lips done with Mac Night Moth lip liner and Ruby Woo lipstickAwaken-Grace_Salon58_4The headphone had an audio recording of someone chewing something crunchy. We were asked to listen to the recording while eating our first course. It was a rather bizarre experience.Awaken-Grace_Salon58_11Our first course Awaken-Grace_Salon58_5Display by Wild Olive African Artisan Apothecary Awaken-Grace_Salon58_7Display by Wild Olive African Artisan ApothecaryAwaken-Grace_Salon58_6Display by Wild Olive African Artisan Apothecary Awaken-Grace_Salon58_13Hair ‘show and tell’ by Dawid Kriel of Institute AestheticAwaken-Grace_Salon58_14Hair ‘show and tell’ by Dawid Kriel of Institute AestheticAwaken-Grace_Salon58_15Hair ‘show and tell’ by Dawid Kriel of Institute AestheticAwaken-Grace_Salon58_12Second Course

Awaken-Grace_Salon58_16Third CourseAwaken-Grace_Salon58_17Fourth and most delicious courseAwaken-Grace_Salon58_20Fifth Course – DessertAwaken-Grace_Salon58_19Fashion showcase by Habits on the quintessential white shirt

For more information on Salon 58 and more on this event visit www.salon58.co.za or follow @Salon58 on Facebook.

If there are other events like this one that uplifts and encourages women, please share in the comment section because sharing is caring. Xo.

La Petite Ferme

DSCN5280_1

One of the things I love about living in the Western Cape is the plethora of wine farms and restaurants. I love food and enjoy eating out, I grew up with my parents celebrating every single thing with dinner at a restaurant so now, I celebrate being alive at a restaurant.

Every weekend, I try to make a point of eating at a restaurant I’ve never been to in parts of the winelands like Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. On this particular day, I felt like a drive to the beautiful town of Franschhoek and of all the many restaurants, I chose to dine at La Petite Ferme. So, I called the restaurant and made an early dinner reservation for 6pm.

La Petite Ferme is situated high upon the mountain overlooking the Franschhoek Valley. It is known as one of the more ‘intimate’wineries in the Cape Winelands and is listed by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the top 15 ‘Best Value’ establishments in the world. I expected great things from what I read and was excited to experience dinner at this seemingly marvellous place.

On arrival, I was slightly disappointed to see the parking area looking shabby as opposed to chic. This made me a little anxious walking into the restaurant, not knowing what to expect, but when I entered the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see it looked much better than the parking.  The interior can best be described as rustic, quaint with a country charm. I took a tour of the restaurant and found that the restaurant is not the only part of La Petite Ferme. Within the restaurant, is a shop, wine bar and small wine cellar where the wines are bottled. It was then that I appreciated the name La Petite Ferme which is French for The Small Farm.

Fast forward to dinner, I ordered a three course meal which cost R390. My first course was a starter – Tian of Slow-roasted Lamb wrapped in prosciutto with rocket pesto, yoghurt sauce and poached dried prunes, it was very well presented, salty but tasty.

DSCN5291_1

DSCN5292_1

My second course was a main – Teriyaki Braised Pork Belly with butternut purée, roasted cherry tomato and a teriyaki broth. I love pork but can’t say I particularly enjoyed this meal. I had eaten the most delicious pork belly at Lanzerac in Stellenbosch a few weeks prior so I had high hopes which were unfortunately not met on this day. The pork was a little on the burnt side and fatty. Pork belly is usually fatty but the fat I bit into wasn’t the delicious, melt in your mouth type, it tasted fatty and gross and I had to spit it out. This was unfortunately my least favourite meal at the restaurant.

DSCN5294_1

Dessert which was my third and final course was my favourite – Malva Pudding! It was delicious and I ate every bit of  it.

DSCN5296_1

Overall, I’d say my meal experience at La Petite Ferme was fine, although a bit disappointed by the main. Everything else was good, the meals were beautifully presented, the staff were friendly and professional, the view and setting was lovely, I just wasn’t blown away with the food.

The farm will be going through renovations from this month, July to September and I plan to revisit in September to see the ‘after’ look and dine at the restaurant a second time with hopefully a better review .

For more information on La Petite Ferme, visit http://www.lapetiteferme.co.za/

My date at Clos Malverne

Last week Friday, I was one of  four  lucky KFM listeners to be treated to a free wash and blow wave at Salon Sanz, courtesy of the Sechaba G show. I had taken the day off  work and almost didn’t make it to the salon because I was feeling ill but being the tough cookie that I am, I summoned the energy and drove to the salon – which was just about 50kms away – and I’m glad I did.

The salon itself wasn’t anything particularly glamorous but the staff were lovely and the lady who did my hair was friendly and did a great job. I also made new acquaintances, shared some laughs and took some selfies.

Having just had my hair done, I was hesitant to do the boring thing and drive home so I decided to further enjoy the day and take myself out to lunch.  I whipped out my mobile phone and searched the internet for the best restaurants in Stellenbosch and so the experience begins…

DSCN4555

According to Tripadvisor, Clos Malverne is one of the best if not THE best restaurant in Stellenbosch.  I wasted no time and immediately called the restaurant to make a lunch reservation for one.

Clos Malverne restaurant is a delightful culinary hotspot with an incredible view – as is to be expected in the winelands. It is located on a family-run wine farm in Devon Valley and when I arrived, I was seated and welcomed with a glass of Clos Malverne’s Sauvignon Blanc Brut Reserve which was delicious and refreshing, the ideal welcoming drink if you ask me. I looked over the menu and went for the four course meal from the a la carte menu – a marvelous choice, especially since it only cost R348.

DSCN4557

DSCN4561

Each course was accompanied with a glass of wine and for my first course I chose the Seafood Arancini which consists of mussels, calamari, prawn, lemon-white anchovy veloute and hot sweet chilli sauce served with Clos Malverne Sauvigon Blanc. I am no food critic but I do love and appreciate good food and my first course was absolutely delicious! The sauce was creamy with a sweetness to it that complemented the seafood which came in a round, grilled/fried ball. The texture when I bit into it was a combination of crisp, sticky and moist. I felt a sense of euphoria and in that moment, I wished to spend the rest of my life visiting restaurants and eating such delectable foods. The wine was light and crisp, perfect with the meal.

DSCN4573

DSCN4579

My second course was Morrocon Style Smoked Duck Breast Salad with butternut, feta and cashew bulgur wheat salad, topped with a coriander and lemon youghurt dressing. It was beautifully presented and the duck was cooked medium rare (I think). This particular meal was served with red wine – Clos Malverne Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. I know I’ve had duck before but can’t remember what it tasted like. This felt like my first time eating duck as it had a taste I didn’t recognise to be duck, it tasted more like biltong – soft and moist biltong. I enjoyed my second course although not as much as I enjoyed my first which will turn out to be my favourite of the four courses. The Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot was more on the sweet side and I didn’t enjoy it so much (my friends would be shocked) but it was a perfect pairing with the meal which was salty, although not overly so.

DSCN4589

DSCN4586

After my second course, I am feeling full and slightly tipsy since the Cab would be my third glass of wine. I am at this point, ready for my third course which I was hoping would arrive soon so that I can at least get a few bites in. You see, most of us are guilty of overeating. We hardly ever eat for nutrition purposes but for pleasure. If you eat a meal and still feel “hungry” after you’ve finished or while you’re still eating the meal, then my friend, you are eating out of pure greed. Drink water and wait 10 minutes after a meal and you’ll find that you are in fact, NOT hungry. I digress, but I was trying to make a point which is that I was afraid that I would not be able to eat my third course if I had too long to wait before it arrived. Luckily or unluckily, I didn’t have to wait long for my third course.

My third meal was the Line Fish of the Day which if I recall correctly was a special type of salmon, a non-pink kind. This particular salmon is white, like Kingklip. The fish came with fennel and lemon mash, a tomato and prawn broth, confit of leek topped with parsley-lemon butter and crispy vermicelli served with a second glass of Clos Malverne’s Sauvigon Blanc. This too was delicious but I was so full, I only ate half the meal.

DSCN4592

DSCN4590

Now on to the fourth and final course, the dessert. I had the Decadent Nutella Chocolate Brownies with Cherry Ice-cream, Salted Fudge Crumbs and a Cherry Coulis served with Clos Malverne Pinotage le Café. Dessert is almost always my favourite part of any meal and it takes a lot for me to hate my dessert or not finish my dessert and in this case, I was tipsy and full by the time the dessert arrived. However, despite my challenge, I enjoyed the dessert and was impressed with the creamy texture of the ice-cream which I was told was made at the restaurant. The chocolate brownie was rich and moist but I couldn’t finish it. Mustering some self-control I stopped eating and asked my waiter for the bill.

I had a very pleasant experience at Clos Malverne. The staff were polite and friendly and the food was scrumptious. It was also my first time taking myself out on a lunch date and I plan to do it more often. If you ever find yourself in Stellenbosch and famished, be sure to visit Clos Malverne and do try the 4 course menu. Even though I didn’t polish off all my meals because that’s asking a lot of someone like me, I am glad I got to taste each dish and I can’t say I regret spending so much because I didn’t. I would spend R348 on a one course meal at other restaurants and I wouldn’t have had five glasses of wine either,  so definitely worth it me thinks ;).

Clos Malverne is open from Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 – 17:00 . For more information, visit www.closmalverne.co.za .

Keep your eyes peeled for Wednesday’s post which is a second part of today’s post featuring my outfit of the day.