The Gardens Collectors Club

I was recently invited to go and experience the newly renovated Gardens Collectors Club, previously known as Chalk and Cork, located on Kloof Street in Cape Town.  I had heard great things about Chalk and Cork for a while and had been meaning to go and try it out when one of their incredible chefs contacted me and asked if I would like to come and review their menu!  I was so excited to discover that they had also just undergone a massive change to not only their menu but had renamed themselves as the new and improved Gardens Collectors Club.

Located in between NY Slice and Tiger’s Milk on Kloof Street, this cute little restaurant boasts stunning minimalist interiors and a new outside patio area with a bar that is sure to be the perfect spot for sun-downers on hazy summer nights.  The staff greeted us enthusiastically and we were instantly made to feel at home.  The service was truly impeccable, and I was impressed with our waiter’s intimate knowledge of the menu as he gave us informed recommendations of what items were sure to tickle our taste buds.  I took my best friend Gaby with as my plus one and they were completely accommodating to her diet as she is gluten intolerant.

I ordered their absolutely mouth-watering deep fried chicken wings (not so gluten friendly) and Gaby ordered a gluten free based pizza.  The chicken wings came with pickled cucumber and a yogurt herb dip that provided the perfect respite to the spicy tang of the wings.  Gaby ordered the Salsiccia Pizza with the cauliflower base.  With a topping of bacon, spicy Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella, basil and tomato it truly satisfied the taste buds.

The wine was exquisite and to top it all off they provided us with complimentary desserts, the Bloedlemoen gin and grapefruit sorbet cone for Gaby and a chocolate brownie sundae for myself.  I’m very particular with my brownies, I love them still gooey and fudgy in the middle so I was a bit nervous that I would be disappointed my worry was for nothing as I was blown away by an absolute flavor sensation!

I would highly recommend that you pay them a visit if you’re ever in the beautiful city of Cape Town.

A xx

DSCN2245DSCN2246DSCN2250DSCN2253DSCN2257DSCN2259DSCN2262DSCN2268DSCN2276DSCN2287DSCN2271DSCN2283DSCN2274DSCN2290DSCN2294

 


Who’s at the door? FindWine!

You know that feeling.  Friday is finally here and all you want to do after the long week of deadlines and sitting behind your desk all day is to go straight home, take your bra off, get into your comfy clothes and pour yourself a glass of your favourite wine.  The LAST thing you want to do is have to stop at the shops and stand in endless queues to purchase said wine.  God forbid that your favourite wine is out of stock!  What are you going to do now? There is no plan B.

But what if I told you there is?  What if I told you that there is a company that has felt your pain, they’ve seen the endless struggle and that they are here to make everything better?

FindWine South Africa is here to solve all your problems and to guarantee that you will never find yourself at home having to resort to that box wine you bought for that party you had 6 months ago.  It is the answer to all our prayers and will change your life.  Forever.

Listing only the best award-winning wines, all you need to do is select what type of wine you’re in the mood for and the desired price (greatly dependent on how far into the month it is and if you couldn’t resist treating yourself to the pair of designer shoes you’ve had your eye on) and their smart ratings will sort the results.  Once you’ve found your wine of choice the website gives you price comparisons from a variety of respected online merchants where you can then place your order.  Voila!  It could not be easier.  The wine gets delivered straight to your door by the wine merchant you order through.  I chose to treat myself to a bottle of Paul Cluver semi-sweet white and I was not disappointed.  The quality of the wine was perfectly intact and it was just what I needed to unwind after a long day.  I think I’ll try a bottle of Chardonnay next!

So what are you waiting for?  Don’t resort to the box wine. You’re so much better than that.

Say yes to lazy evenings at home here: https://www.findwine.com/about/

A xx

DSCN2150DSCN2154DSCN2156


Burger & Lobster

I’ve walked past this spot many times when walking along Bree street in Cape Town, and for some reason, even with people flowing out onto the sidewalk its been so full and the sound of laughter and conversation trickling out from inside, I never thought about venturing in and seeing what all the fuss was about.

Then it happened.  I was meeting a friend for drinks and we had no idea where to go.  After some research on her part she suggested that we go and enjoy a 2 for 1 drinks special at Burger & Lobster!  Who passes up a deal like that?  And so, for the first time I stepped into this beautifully grungy, perfectly dimly lit restaurant that had me enchanted and intrigued as soon as I had one foot through the door.  There was a tank of live lobsters back lit by an eerie blue light along one wall, a long bar along the opposite wall and tables placed perfectly all around.  The music set the perfect ambiance, vibey and at a level where you didn’t need to shout to be heard (one of my pet peeves at any restaurant).  So far so good!

I had such a great time there I just had to go back to try out what the place was really all about – burger and lobster.

And so on my return I was filled with excitement as I knew that this experience could only be better than the one I’d had before.  And wow was I blown away.  This restaurant knows how to treat their guests well and from beginning to end we were entertained and waited on by one of their fabulous managers who made us feel like we were the only ones there.  The evening started off with the most delicious cocktail I’ve had to date – perfectly mixed and with just the right amount of sweetness that I didn’t feel as though I’d drank a glass of pure sugar.  All of their cocktails come presented as a work of art, so beautiful you don’t want to take a sip!  But once you do they’re so delicious you just can’t stop.  For mains I decided to try the best of both worlds and ordered their famous Wolf Burger.  I can honestly say that I have never had an experience like it before.  The brioche bun was light, sweet and buttery.  The 100% pure beef patty was cooked to perfection and smothered in truffle infused mayo.  The lobster was soft and tender and drizzled in lemon butter.  And to make it even better there was gooey brie cheese stuffed in there too.  I’m salivating just writing this it was that good.

When I thought I could eat no more, our waiter arrived with a dessert tray that looked so delicious I was agonizing over what to choose.  Luckily I have a separate stomach for pudding! I went with a slice of “cake” consisting of a brownie base followed by a layer of Reese’s peanut butter cup deliciousness followed by a layer of lighter than air chocolate mousse.  Could there be anything better?

The evening continued late into the night with more cocktails, more laughter and more great conversation.  It was a night I definitely won’t forget!

Things to know:

  1. There is a 2 for 1 happy hour EVERY DAY from 4-7pm
  2. The last Thursday of every month is ladies night with bottomless bubbles and a burger/lobster roll for just R349 so ladies get involved!!

If you’re in Cape Town make sure to pay them a visit, I promise you it’ll be worth it.

A xx

DSCN2138DSCN2127DSCN2128DSCN2096DSCN2100DSCN2107DSCN2093DSCN2112DSCN2124DSCN2080DSCN2087DSCN2068DSCN2113DSCN2117DSCN2120

 


Berets and Baguettes

No I’m not talking about France (although I wish I was), I’m actually talking about the festivities that take place every 14th of July in the quaint little town of Franschhoek in the Western Cape of South Africa.  Franschhoek, which is Afrikaans for “French Corner”, is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and was first established in 1688 when the French Huguenot refugees began to populate the valley.  The town celebrates its French heritage in every way as can be seen by the Huguenot Monument which stands at the end of the town.  It also embraces French traditions, one of which is celebrating the national day of France aka Bastille Day!

It’s one of the best times to visit Franschhoek as the whole town gets decorated with French flags and banners creating the most enchanting atmosphere.  Looking around all you see is red, white and blue as well as the stereotypical French Beret being worn by all the locals and visitors alike.  As you drive down the main road you have a sense of being transported to a different continent and leaving South Africa behind.

The festival takes place over the whole weekend and you can purchase yourself a Saturday pass, a Sunday pass, or if you’re feeling really enthusiastic you can even purchase both!  I would recommend buying a Saturday pass and then spending Sunday exploring the town and enjoying the many amazing wine farms in the area.

We drove up on Saturday, dropped our bags off at our AirBnB and walked to the festival (luckily it was close enough!).  The setup is incredible, the floor gets covered with wood chips and all the wine and food stalls as well as the main stage and dance floor are underneath a huge white marquee.  A live band plays on the stage as everyone walks from stall to stall tasting the various wines on offer.  There is also lots of mouth-watering French themed food you can purchase to keep you fueled up for the day!  A day pass gets you a free wine glass which you get as you enter, as well as five free wine-tastings and R20 off a bottle of wine.  The best thing about the experience is that the festivities continue late into the night at various restaurants and bars.  We wondered off and headed to Station, a restaurant/pub that had transformed itself for the occasion, with a stage and dance floor setup we knew it was the place to be.  We danced into the night and collapsed into our beds exhausted but content.

The next day, after popping a few pain killers to nurse our aching heads, we decided to stroll into town and enjoy breakfast at one of the many beautifully quaint cafes dotted along the main street.  With food in our bellies and feeling far better for it we ambled along the main road exploring the numerous art galleries and boutique stores that one can only find in Franschhoek.  We decided to make the most of our time in the area and stopped and the spectacular Vrede en Lust wine estate on our way back to Cape Town.  I am a complete wine enthusiast and as I had never been before I was really looking forward to experiencing something new!  Walking through the estate I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the place.  The tasting room looks out onto one of the estates glorious vineyards with the snow-capped mountains creating a picture perfect back drop.  With the fire roaring, we settled down and enjoyed the tasting which was really incredible.  Having never tasted their wines before I was blown away by the depth of their flavour and I loved every one!  We also decided to order a cheese and charcuterie platter from their restaurant which was not only easy on the eyes but was probably one of the best I’ve had in my wine tasting adventures.

What a perfect weekend!

A xx


Jordan Wine Estate

On Saturday I had the amazing experience of visiting Jordan Wine Estate for the very first time!  I have tasted their wine before at restaurants and have even bought bottles from the shops to enjoy at home but I had never actually been to the estate.  With it only being an hours drive from Cape Town, I thought I would go and have the full experience at their tasting room!

The wine estate is located in Stellenbosch at the end of a long winding road, lined with trees and stunning natural beauty.  It was a chilly, rainy day and the drizzle and mist made everything have a mystical, almost enchanted aura.  I knew I was in for a treat.

I was treated to two different tastings, the first was a tasting of 6 wines all from their Chameleon range.  All the proceeds of the range go towards the Jordan Chameleon Research Bursary which is an initiative started by the Jordans, whereby the tuition and research costs of a PhD student is funded by the proceeds.  What an incredible way to give back to the community, and on top of that the wines form the Chameleon range are just gorgeous!

The second tasting consisted of 3 of their best wines, each being served in its own uniquely shaped glass to enhance the flavour of the wine.  My favourite was the Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2016 .  The tastes of lime, citrus and fragrant oak spice come through with a full, rich, slightly buttery taste left in the mouth.  Absolute heaven!!!

We decided to get a cheese and charcuterie board to accompany the last tasting which was absolutely delicious and hit the spot perfectly.  Yet another reason to visit this incredible estate!  Make sure to pay Jordan Wine Estate a visit the next time you’re in the area, you won’t be disappointed.

A xx

DSCN1833-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-37-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-38 (2)-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-46 (2)-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-46-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-46 (3)-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-45 (4)-2DSCN1841photo_2018-06-11_10-08-40-2photo_2018-06-11_10-08-36-2


The Farmers Table Media Launch

On May 22nd I was lucky enough to be invited to the media launch of an incredible company called The Farmers Table.  This company is one of the only in South Africa to see the gap in the market for selling locally produced, organic farm produce that’s accessible from your couch at home!  The website is an online market where you can purchase fresh farm milk, cheeses, charcuterie, jams, nut butters, vegetables, wines, beers and so much more.  How fantastic is that!

Their company ethos is all about empowering and giving back to the local community while at the same time making sure that all of their produce is sourced from the best local producers.  They want to serve the community with their business in any way possible – whether this be through supporting local social justice initiatives or helping small-batch producers become more sustainable.  The below quotes sum up The Farmers Table beautifully.

WE DON’T WANT PERFECT, WE WANT HONEST.

WE WANT TO LIVE LESS OUT OF HABIT, AND MORE OUT OF INTENT.

WE WANT TO BE FEARLESSLY AUTHENTIC. 

I can’t wait to be supporting such an inspiring company whose main mission is to give everyone an experience of real, wholesome food.

Their products already look mouth watering on the website, but getting to experience and enjoy them truly was incredible.

The event was held in a small local restaurant consisting of just the one dining room, with an abundant harvest table of deliciousness waiting for us.  There was wine flowing all evening, all the food you could eat and a room filled with laughter and conversation.  What could be more perfect?

A xx

DSCN1706DSCN1747DSCN1732DSCN1737DSCN1727DSCN1703DSCN1765DSCN1784


Klein Constantia

A few weekends ago my incredible friend Jamie took me with her to go experience the wine tasting at Klein Constantia wine estate.  I had never been before so I was excited to try out a different wine farm and to have a new experience.  The estate is absolutely beautiful and the drive to the restaurant and tasting room makes you feel as though you are somewhere deep in the country side.  The long driveway is lined with beautiful big trees on both sides and right by the main building is a field with horses.

The building is a beautiful red brick establishment that makes you excited for what’s awaiting inside.  On the one end of the building is the tasting room which has the most spectacular center serving table showing all of their delicious wines.  Through a corridor, visible from the tasting room, lies The Bistro.  I haven’t had the experience of going just yet but I am absolutely dying to as the restaurant is run by Cordon Bleau chef Graham Davies who has traveled throughout Europe exploring his passion for food.  He aims to showcase the rich culinary history of South African cuisine through his “farm to table” theme, popular in most modern restaurants today.

The tasting comprises of 7 wines of your choice including a taste of their incredible MCC.  Klein Constantia produce two ranges of wines: the Estate range, an accessible and easy-drinking KC range and their iconic natural sweet dessert wine, Vin de Constance.  You can choose any 7 wines of your choice.

I’ll start with the positives:

Their wines truly are delicious and since I’m such a fan of dessert wines, I had to include it in my tasting too.  I have to say it is absolutely gorgeous and I will definitely treat myself to a bottle soon!  I am a lover of chardonnay and their’s truly is delicious, it isn’t as buttery and rich as I normally like but it’s very easy drinking while still getting that after taste of oak and vanilla.

Now onto the negatives:

The tastings are tiny!!!  I’m talking maybe 3-4 ml which is literally one sip.  I was pretty disappointed because you hardly get to enjoy the taste or really experience the wines fully.  I also felt that the tasting was extremely rushed.  We had hardly sipped back our meager portion when our waitress was back with the next one!  Hardly enough time to let your brain register what you’re drinking, and certainly not enough time to enjoy any conversation with my dear friend.  Another unfortunate thing is that they don’t have a liquor license permitting them to offer tasting outside on their exquisite lawns which is such a waste of their gorgeous property.  So even on the most sunny and brilliant days you are forced to sit inside a dark, chilly building missing out on spectacular weather.  This is something I really feel they need to do something about because it really isn’t a place that I would want to go to again based purely on the venue of the tasting.

With that being said, Klein Constantia do produce beautiful wines so I would suggest buying a bottle and enjoying it on your lawn instead!

A xx

DSCN1492DSCN1493DSCN1495DSCN1497_MG_5794DSCN1527DSCN1502_MG_5801DSCN1511DSCN1512_MG_5818DSCN1535_MG_5844DSCN1547DSCN1553