Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Home sweet home.

I'm taking a wee break from my South Africa posts to announce that on Friday afternoon, Lee will be picking up the keys to our very first house!

We've been living with his parents for just over a year in order to save up for a deposit and at the end of last year, we found the perfect house for us. It was the first house we went to look at and we both fell in love with it. Of course, we went and saw many, many more houses after that, but none of them were right. Or even slightly acceptable. So finally, everything is completed and we can start moving in!!

We're so excited and also a little overwhelmed as everything, and I mean everything is all happening at once now. We're having fun looking at furniture and trying to decide how we'll decorate...these are exciting times!

Dinner in the tree tops - Moyo Spier

We ate dinner at Noleens favourite place ever - Moyo at Spier. We got there early to make sure we got a table up in the trees, then sat for a while with some iced tea until the buffet started. This was our third Moyo experience, but so far, our favourite was Moyo at Zoo Lake. We did like the table in the trees though!
Our waitress came around and explained that at Moyo, you must wash your hands before you eat. She poured warm scented water over our hands and gave us a towel to dry them. Then told us we could go get our food. The food was only so so, but then it was a buffet...

She also brought us blankets. It wasn't really cold, but we wrapped up in them anyway.

It was a good night out. We enjoyed the Moyo singers who came round to our tree top table and sang the national anthem for us (Lee's request) and he sang along proudly. Still, for R250 each, I really didn't eat very much at all. I should have taken more koeksisters.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Some vineyards and tastings - Rustenberg, Waterford and Stellekaya

Wine tasting was the reason we'd Lee'd come to the Cape. I wanted to go because it's beautiful and it's where my family are from. Also, I rather enjoy a glass or two of wine myself. Ja, so we visited some vineyards and wineries. The first on this particular day was Rustenberg. We were super impressed with Rustenberg and it's Five Soldiers, Peter Barlow and I was even more impressed with the dessert wine. We bought a bottle :)

Our next stop was Waterford. We sat down to taste 8 wines, the last 3 paired with chocolate. I especially enjoyed those and we went away with a bottle of the Rose-Mary and two slabs of chocolate :) What a beautiful setting.

The last of the tastings that Wednesday we drove over to Stellekaya. It was recommended to us by a friend and we weren't disappointed! We were given a tasting by wine maker Ntsiki Biyela, somewhat of a wine celebrity in South Africa. She was so friendly and chatty and we spoke about wines (obviously) and a book she'd just finished reading which Noleen had been going on about since we'd arrived in S.A - The Racists Guide to the People of South Africa. Afterwards she gave us a tour of where the wine was made and gave us Pinot Noir grapes to taste.
By that stage of the day we were both feeling a wee bit tipsy, so we headed back to the Devon Valley to ready ourselves for dinner...and that post will follow...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Two nights in Stellenbosch (Part 1)

After meeting the family at Fairview, we continued our drive on to Stellenbosch and the Devon Valley Hotel. Oh my. We loved the Devon Valley. I loved our room, our bath and our wee balcony amongst the vineyards. Everything there is just so beautiful. 
(Above) Our first outing was to Kanonkop for some tastings. We're big fans of Kanonkop wines. (Below) That night we ate at Rust en Vrede (61 out of top 100 restaurants). We were welcomed there with an aperitif on the terrace over looking their vineyard and the mountains. We went inside for our

Lee had the duck ballentine and I had white asparagus to start, we both had some sage gnocchi. I ate lamb and Lee ate seabass. Lee finished his meal with the cheese board...and I had toffee apple cheese with tonka bean ice cream. We all agreed Rust en Vrede was our favourite restaurant. Ever.
Driving back to our hotel after our meal and Lee put on some Tom Petty. We sang along to Free Falling and I think we were all feeling the same way - pretty darn happy.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Dinner at la Colombe and meeting the family at Fairview

After our day at Cape Point and around Cape Town, we went back to our hotel and changed for dinner at la Colombe in Constantia. Lee'd done his research and it'd paid off! 

Below: what I ate, beetroot cannelloni, chalmar beef and a pink fluffy dessert I can't recall but know was delicious! 

And Kaz, Noleen and me before our meal. My dress got tighter and tighter as I progressed through my meal.

The next morning we checked out from the Protea Breakwater Hotel and left Cape Town for the wine lands. Our first stop was Fairview where we'd arranged to meet my aunty Del and second cousin Malcolm. I've not seem them for many years, so it was lovely to catch up again.

More of Cape Town - Camps Bay

After our lovely lunch at the Chapmans Peak hotel, we drove on down to Camps Bay for a walk along the beach. It was our only beach time of the whole holiday. I love the seaside so a brief walk along the waters edge was a must.

It was such a good day and it was finished off just perfectly with a dinner at la Colombe in Constantia. Post on that to follow.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A drive over Chapmans Peak and a stop for lunch at the hotel

We did the drive over Chapmans Peak on the way back from Cape Point. It's so pretty, but I'm scared of heights and had to force myself to look out at the views instead of staring straight ahead, terrified.

At the end of the scary bit we pulled in to the Chapmans Peak hotel for some lunch. It was turning out to be a really good day, and just as well as we had such limited time Cape Town. Aaah, I could have stayed there forever.

Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point

On the only full day we had in Cape Town we took a drive to Cape Point, the most south western point of Africa (that's what the sign board says) The four of us did the walk up to the lighthouse in the sun and it was hot and we did moan a little bit about it. Once down again, we drove down the Cape Point 'cos we were also running out of time and we still had so much to do/see in Cape Town.

A stop off in Simonstown on the way to Cape Point

Pictures from our brief stop at the beach in Simonstown:

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Cape Town - V&A, Table Mountain and breakfast in Kalk Bay

We got to Cape Town on Sunday afternoon. We were staying at the Breakwater hotel just down the road from the waterfront, so we checked in, dropped our bags and wandered over to the V&A in the hot afternoon sun for refreshment. Our party parted ways for a couple of hours, Nola and Kaz went shopping while Lee and I drank champagne at the Grand Beach Cafe down the road.
Later that evening we all met up again at the Grand Beach Cafe again and met another friend who's been studying and living in Cape Town.
On Monday morning we drove over to Kalk Bay to find some breakfast on the way to Cape Point. We found The Olympia Café and fed on french toasted croissants. Oh my. We loved the Olympia Café and Kalk Bay.
And then we were off towards Cape Point, stopping in Simonstown along the way...