Friday, 30 September 2016

Local Film : Vir Die Voëls

There are fabulous Afrikaans movies to watch in the cinema right now (Noem My Skollie; Dis Koue Kos, Skat) and more are coming before the end of the year (Eintlik Nogal Baie, Sy Klink Soos Lente, Jou Romeo). One of the movies that I am definitely going to watch with my daughter is Vir Die Voëls. Actually we hope to get to watch them all! As I said before, when I wrote about Noem My Skollie – it is so important to support and watch our local movies and they are amazing. So make a note in your diary or on your phone (like I do) to watch the movie when it comes on circuit. You are sure to recognise some very familiar faces.





Huisgenoot, in association with kykNET Films, produced the romantic drama, Vir Die Voëls, as part of their centenary celebrations in 2016. The official trailer was launched on Thursday, 22 September 2016.

Click here to watch the trailer:



Vir Die Voëls was inspired by the true story of Irma Humpel (Simoné Nortmann), a surly tomboy who ends up in a wedding dress, in front of the altar, with the boy who relentlessly teased her as a child. She has always believed that independence was the only form of freedom, until Sampie de Klerk (Francois Jacobs) came along and challenged her convictions on all levels.

"This is my first movie and it still feels surreal. Working with Quentin Krog and other experienced actors has definitely been one of the highlights of my career. This heartfelt story addresses universal themes and I know that the public will fall in love with Irma and Sampie," says Simoné.

"It has been a great privilege to be part of such a huge project," Francois says. "You seldom get the opportunity to 'star' in the era in which your parents grew up! I think Huisgenoot got a great team together to tell this story. It was an absolute pleasure working with such talented people. This must-see film will appeal to a broad audience - young and old. People, who grew up in that era, will be able to revisit the past . . . and youngsters will be able to experience how things were done back in the 'old days'. The movie will take you on a rollercoaster ride of love, hurt, happiness, disappointment and humour."

Vir Die Voëls is set in the late 1970s and will make you feel nostalgic. It's a film about a strong, mature woman and an equally strong man who respects that woman enough to fight for her love. It's a story about inner conflict and preventing external circumstances and emotional baggage from getting in the way of future happiness.

"I'm excited about the audience that will be watching this movie," says Quentin Krog, director of the film. "I'm also excited about the idea of taking them back to another era; to make them laugh, cry and fall in love. To entertain them."

Vir Die Voëls was produced, in associations with kykNET Films, by The Film Factory and the cast includes the likes of Elize Cawood, Nicola Hanekom, Neels van Jaarsveld, Drikus Volschenk, Leandry Smith, Liam Bosman, Lara Kinnear, Candice Kruger and Bennie Fourie. The movie will be released on 25 November 2016 and is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Adventuring to Antbear Lodge

When the lovely Carmen Barends (who I hadn’t met in person) asked me whether I would like to be one of the bloggers on a special trip to Antbear Lodge in the Drakensberg, you can guess what my response was – YES! Antbear wanted to host some Durban bloggers who could see and experience their lodge, activities and food.

Anytime that I am able to go see and experience the majestic Berg is a definite plus for me. The clear fresh air, bird life, flowing streams and rivers and of course the views of the Drakensberg mountains themselves are some of the many reasons why I love the Berg.

I have been following Antbear Lodge on Facebook for some time and always thought that it looked like a fabulous and fun place to visit. It is confirmed, it is a fabulous and fun place to visit!

Inge Loker (Snap, Sizzle and Cook) and I travelled up together and we left my house at about 11am on Friday 16 September. We decided to go up early because number 1 : we could and number 2 : we wanted to have lunch at the Bistro at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa. If you are in the area doing the Midlands Meander I really recommend a stop for lunch at the Bistro as the food is a taste sensation.

We had a VERY leisurely lunch at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa and left for Antbear Lodge later than we expected to. It took us about 1 hour and 20 minutes to drive from Granny Mouse to Antbear Lodge and we took the roundabout route by going through the Mooi River toll and exiting just past Wagensdrift Dam.

After checking in we were given a tour of the main lodge by Dom and she showed us the large dining area, lounge and the honesty bar. Yes you did read that right – an honesty bar! Feel like having a soft drink, beer or a glass of wine? Well just go to the back of the bar and take what you want, then write in the book the item and your room number. When you check out at the end of your stay you can settle what you consumed.

Communal table, driftwood Antbear and the honesty bar


Stunning stained glass that the owner Andrew made


After seeing the incredible woodwork inside the lodge I was very curious as to what the room we were staying in looked like. There are 15 units consisting of luxury suites, en-suite double rooms, family units and one amazing luxury cave. We stayed in an en-suite double room. The first item in our room that amazed me was the door and its clever opening and closing mechanism. The next items inside the room that were ingenious were the fridge cupboard, the wardrobe and the small bathroom cupboard. Please don’t be worried when you see the brown water in the toilet – the toilet has been cleaned it is just the colour of the borehole water. We had a big open shower and a Jacuzzi in our bathroom and the all important fireplace inside the main room to chase away the morning and evening chill.

Incredible door to the room


Lots of beautiful woodwork and amazing furniture

Shower, jacuzzi bath and yes ladies that is a hair dryer


After unpacking we headed back to the main lodge to see the rest of the ladies and to relax in the lounge before supper. On the menu that evening was salad, braised chicken & veg and lime mousse cake. Dinner is at 7pm and is eaten at a communal table so you are able to chat to your fellow guests. On the Friday night there were quite a few German tourists that were staying at the lodge.  The owners of Antbear Lodge, Andrew and Connie, speak German. It was a delicious meal and I enjoyed chatting to my fellow blogging ladies and also listening to the chatting happening further up the table. After the meal we clustered around the fire to relax and chat (again) until we were too tired to stay up anymore.



The next day dawned with some very loud birds squawking and then loudly tapping on the front and side windows. They are very efficient nature’s alarm clock birds (still trying to find out what they are called). We were meeting all the ladies for breakfast at 8:30am so before we made our way to the lodge we had a bit of a walk around the rooms and even had a quick look inside the luxury cave (it is manmade). So much attention to detail inside the luxury cave and they have even added a rock art painting.

Breakfast consists of fresh fruit, yoghurt and cereals on the side table and there were freshly made scones with various fruit purees on the table. You can also order a hot breakfast and I had a cheese, mushroom and bacon omelette served to me by Rika (volunteer from Finland).

After breakfast I took a quick trip back to the room to change into my horse riding gear so that I could join Inge and Cee on an outride. We just went on a short ride as Cee had not ridden before and Inge had not ridden since high school. It was lovely to take a look at the scenery and we were even joined by the resident Mule, Rain. I did get a chance to do some trotting and cantering by holding my horse back while letting the others get ahead of me.  It started to rain (actual water not the mule) just before we reached the horse enclosure but not long after we dismounted it stopped. That was the scenario for the rest of the day – rain, no rain, rain, no rain etc.




While we were on our horse ride the rest of the ladies had taken a walk to see the wedding and conference venue and then gone to the woodwork workshop where we then met up. Andrew (owner of Antbear Lodge) showed us how the food boards were created that we had eaten off on the Friday night. Carmen was brave and used the sander to sand down a few of the boards and then we were all given a piece of sanding paper to properly finish off the edges of the boards we had chosen. I love my little board and I might do something crafty with it instead of using it for serving food. There are lots of lovely ideas on Pinterest.

Andrew, Carmen sanding and one of the table numbers


We had a light lunch of a delicious butternut soup served with freshly homemade rolls. The temperature had dropped a lot so sitting around the fire in the lounge was a must. We were very entertained by watching the rugby on the TV – the Sharks were really swimming in the pouring rain in Durban. Lots of laughter and chatting while drinking hot chocolate. We were joined later by a German couple who had just returned from driving the Midlands Meander and they had also gone to the Nelson Mandela capture site. They were loving their stay in South Africa and had planned to drive down the coast the following day. At supper time we sat at a different table and were joined by the German couple and a couple from Hillcrest. Supper on Saturday evening was tomato soup, beef casserole and rice and orange cake for dessert. I haven’t had orange cake in a very long time and enjoyed it immensely.  We were all very tired after our busy day so we didn’t go back to the lounge for more chatting but straight to our rooms to get an early night.




We awoke to overcast skies and intermittent rain and of course the nature’s alarm clock birds tapping at the glass again. It was much, much colder Sunday morning so I made sure that I was very warmly dressed. I even put on my scarf and gloves for the walk to the main lodge for breakfast. Enjoyed having the same breakfast that I had eaten on Saturday morning – cheese, mushroom and bacon omelette but this time I also asked for one sausage. Definitely needed to be fuelled up for the trip home on wet and muddy roads. Then it was the sad time – saying goodbye to the fabulous staff and to my fellow bloggers.

Outside view of room and the view through the front window


Thank you to Antbear Lodge owner Andrew Attwood and the rest of the staff for inviting us to spend time at your beautiful and unique lodge.

Now you need to go and experience Antbear Lodge. If you are coming to Kwa-Zulu-Natal on holiday or are already a local - why not stay at a place you have not been to before?

Take a look at Antbear Lodge’s website over here

Follow them on the following social media channels :



It was lovely to spend time with my fellow bloggers : Carmen (Meanderings), Inge (Snap, Sizzle and Cook), Verushka (Spicegoddess), Megan (Stuffed Feeling), Cee (Ceece’s Travel) and Kirsten (Kirsten Hughes Photography).

#TraveltheBerg
#AntbearLodge


Beautiful scenery



Monday, 26 September 2016

Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort

It is always a treat to be able to attend an event at the beautiful Fairmont Zimbali Resort and this time was no exception. I was invited to join the hotel for a rejuvenating Spa experience and a complimentary 60 minute Zimbali Gold treatment as they launched the Black Pearl range of skin products.

Each Willow Stream Spa is designed to reflect the beauty and ambiance of its location.   At the Fairmont Zimbali Resort, for example, the beauty of South Africa is brought inside with palettes of rich dark wood, soft gold, and energizing shades of orange. Soft aromatherapy fills the air and senses.  Not all Fairmont Hotels house a Willow Stream Spa so for the Fairmont Zimbali to have one is an important feather in their cap.




The spa offers a haven to re-energize, relax and rejuvenate and has a self-contained nail salon to provide manicures and pedicures.  For treatments, guests are directed to roomy change rooms where they can unwind, enjoy a Vichy shower or steam, and relax in a private lounge.  The men’s area is similar to a den with masculine colours and reading material, whilst the women’s lounge, sunny and serene, has cosy chairs and magazines.   Always available in the lounges are muffins or sweet breads, fresh fruit, and antioxidant “cocktails” that are full of vitamins and nutrients.  Drinks like garden mint, grated ginger and freshly squeezed lemon juice, or fresh carrot juice with lime help keep guests hydrated. I had a taste of their spa drinks and they are very refreshing. The guests for the Willow Stream Spa event were a bit more indulged though with delicious cake pops and other chocolate delights.

Red velvet cake pops covered in white
chocolate and decorated in silver and gold

The nine spacious treatment rooms feature a soothing décor of sandstone, soft cream, and copper.  Crisp white linens with fluffy duvets (soft and light) wrap the beds, while essential oils soothe the senses. The beds are extremely comfortable and the therapist can raise or lower the bed and get it to “mould” to the body. Three of the treatment areas are oversized suites, completely self-contained with a marble steam shower for two, jetted bath to share, and private washroom.  Another treatment area provides a wet room for solo spa goers with a large private shower and spacious jetted soaker for mineral baths, and there is also a specialty suite where bridal or pampering parties can have their makeup, hair and manicures done together. 

After a treatment, guests can extend their spa experience and relax in the Great Room.  An airy oasis, it has a double-vaulted ceiling with sheer drapes that cascade and circle each chair to provide a dreamy cocoon of privacy. Warm breezes waft through a double set of French doors that open to a secluded terrace with chaise lounges.

Willow Stream Spa Products & Philosophy
With luxury in mind, there are many aspects which need to be considered when choosing spa products for a Fairmont hotel - even environmental sustainability is considered, reflecting social responsibility.  Relationships with the product houses are important to ensure premium spa products and training is available for every encounter with the guest.  At the Fairmont Zimbali Resort, the Willow Stream Spa uses a selection of different beauty products with the following recent additions:

·         Black Pearl
This line is innovative with a revolutionary and unique complex with ingredients sourced from the Dead Sea that helps retain the healthy function of the skin, preventing aging. A unique facial mask combines 24K Gold from Germany with black mud and is enriched with vitamins, plant oils and extracts to deeply nourish the skin.  Zimbali Gold is the spa’s signature treatment.

·         Guinot
Founded in France over 40 years ago by well-known chemist Rene Guinot, the collection of Guinot skin care products has a complete line for a wide range of beauty care.  Most important is the fact that the products are not tested on animals and contain no parabens. Added to which the ingredients in the formulas have all been chosen to respect the environment by sourcing them from renewable plants.

·         Mio and Mama Mio
Mio is the first skin care brand to target the fitness and wellness market, speaking a new language with focused body solutions for ‘fit skin’.  Mama Mio is totally focused on giving women fit skin during pregnancy as they are jam-packed with omegas 3, 6 and 9.  With a “No Nasties” policy, the formulas are free from parabens, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances and colourants.

Willow Stream Spa Signature Treatments at Fairmont Zimbali Resort
The signature treatment at the spa is the Zimbali Gold Anti-Ageing Facial Experience.  The treatment is completely exclusive to Fairmont Zimbali Resort, and can therefore only be experienced at Willow Stream Spa. Black Pearl 24k Gold involves an application of a unique and exclusive 24k Cleopatra mask to the skin, giving the skin a flawless appearance. It also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, blemishes and rebuilds collagen. The active products promote cell rejuvenation and improve skin flexibility while nourishing it in the best way possible. This treatment is complete with a stress relieving hot-oil back massage, calming hand treatment and a heavenly signature facial massage. The treatment takes 90 minutes.

I experienced a 60 minute Zimbali Gold Anti-Ageing Facial and the hand treatment and I am sure I fell asleep at least once. The soothing music and hands of my therapist made me very relaxed and I felt disorientated when I got up at the end of the treatment. I could have easily gone and had a long sleep in one of their chaise lounges.

A hazy picture and I felt a little hazy as well


Other facials are :
·         Hydradermie Deep Cleansing Deluxe - a deep cleansing facial
·         The Gentlemen’s Rehydrating Marine Facial - a hydrating facial
·         Gorgeous Glow Pregnancy Facial - to help with hormonal breakouts

Being a resort destination, Body Treatments and Massages continue to be the most popular request at the Willow Stream Spa. Treatments such as :
·         The Energising Body Contouring Treatment - body treatment resulting in intense body tightening and toning
·         The Repairing African Potato Wrap - deluxe healing body wrap is ideal for stressed and sensitive skin
·         The Willow Stream Zimbali Signature Massage - deeply relaxing full body massage
·         Mama Mio Pregnancy Massage - relaxing full body massage which helps soothe soreness and ease discomfort during pregnancy
·         The Happy Feet with Intonga - foot treatment to relieve stress


Willow Stream Spa offers luxury treatments to soothe body and mind and their staff is dedicated, knowledgeable and very friendly.


The spa can be contacted on 032 – 5385000 or via email zim.willowstreamspa@fairmont.com

Link to the spa guide here and the spa price list here

Black Pearl



Monday, 19 September 2016

Bigger Better Bakers

Bakers biscuits have been the favourite of South African families for many, many years. Every family also has their favourite biscuit and ours loves Romany Creams Original and the Mint Choc variant. We also love the delicious Bakers Choc-kits. I am especially thrilled to have tasted the new Romany Cream – Cappuccino! It is so divine dipped into coffee.

A delicious "cappuccino"


There is also good news for biscuit lovers. Romany Creams are now available in bigger-sized value-bags. That means you no longer have to buy 2 or 3 boxes for your tea coffee party but just a 500g or 1kg bag.


Bakers had this to say about their new bag sizes :

“We wanted to tap into both purchasing and consumption needs for a variety of occasions, providing the right size of pack for the right treat time,” explains brand manager Janine Ho-Lin of Bakers® sweet biscuits. 1 kilo and 500 gram-sized bags on both the Romany Creams® and Choc-kits® brands (the packs now sport a vibrant refreshed look and feel) are currently on-shelf and they’re incredibly user-friendly. “They come in a block bottom bag that stands upright,” says Ho-Lin, and that means “packaging that’s easy to store in kitchen cupboards”, she explains. The new Romany Creams® and Choc-kits® value-bags also boast a re-sealable sticker on every bag to lock in the biscuit freshness for longer.

Apart from larger sized packs, Romany Creams® is adding a new member to their anytime-treat family. “The essence of Romany Creams® is that it’s an indulgent treat,” says Ho-Lin, explaining that market research highlighted a need for a Cappuccino flavoured biscuit. “Because consumers love enjoying coffee in different treat forms – from a drink to a dessert – introducing Cappuccino in biscuit format made perfect sense,” she says. “The heart of the brand is still the same coconut-based biscuit, but now it’s available in an indulgent Cappuccino flavour.”

A little something extra for consumers comes in the form of Bakers® much-loved recipes printed on packs. Recipes for delicious sweet dishes appear on both the Romany Creams® and Choc-kits® brands and are carried throughout the ranges, appearing on all weights of packs. To make baking with the biscuits really simple and enjoyable, the recipes are also found on the Bakers® biscuits website (www.bakers.co.za). Written recipes can be shared on social media platforms and there are even step-by-step tutorials for aspiring cooks.


So the next time you need biscuits for a special occasion or just a craving, look out for the new larger bags in store. Try not to eat them all in one sitting!




Lots of biscuits and pretty Le Creuset cups for the perfect coffee party

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Local is Lekker Will Continue

I wrote a post over here in August about visiting and discovering new shops and restaurants in my area of Kloof and Hillcrest. This is just a short update post of the places I have been to and I also have a change to make on the name of one of the stores. I also recently found an advert in our local newspaper about a new coffee shop.

Since the post was written Inge (Snap, Sizzle & Cook) and I have been to La Verdure and to The Tearoom at Two Acres Garden Market. La Verdure has become a firm favourite with Inge and she has returned at least 3 times since then.  Please see the original post about La Verdure.

Well – let me see what I can say about The Tearoom at Two Acres Garden Market. I will start with the positives. Fabulous garden, lovely decor and they sell yummy looking bottles of jam and other products. The food on the menu looked really good from the plates we saw going by. I did not order anything to eat but Inge decided to have the Apple & Caramel pudding which she found to be very sweet but still enjoyable. Now for the negative (only 1) – don’t order a cappuccino! I’m sorry to say it was awful. It was boiling hot, tasted burnt and there was a lot of coffee grinds on the bottom of the cup. I love to sit at a coffee shop and relax and I usually end up having two cappuccinos. Unfortunately the cappuccino from The Tearoom at Two Acres Garden Market did not encourage us to sit, relax and chat. I am hoping that they have a coffee intervention to save us all from bad cappuccinos!



That’s it! All the places I have been able to get to since I wrote the post. Yes, yes I do have excuses. I had to plan and pack for my Gauteng Adventures trip and I currently have my daughter home sick with glandular fever. Here’s hoping that next week will be the week I get to see a new place. I’m thinking that place will probably be Boa Vida Cafe.

Now for a bit of housekeeping. I thought the name of the store next to Bellevue Cafe in Kloof was called The Salt Store, but I have since found out that it is called Shop Adele Catherine.



The coffee shop getting added to the must visit list is called Springside Cafe and it is situated in Hillcrest.




I will do another update once I have been to at least another 2 or more places.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Change the Way You Floss Your Teeth

Does flossing hurt your gums or your fingers when you wrap the floss around them? Hate using those wooden tooth picks after enjoying a steak at your favourite restaurant?

Then the new Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks Advanced will give you a reason to smile.




New Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks Advanced, the latest addition to Sunstar GUM’s comprehensive interdental range, is the first and only curved interdental brush, mimicking the natural shape of the jaw.

GUM Soft-Picks Advanced’s innovative shape makes them super easy to use and helps reach every tooth – even those at the far back - leaving your mouth spotlessly clean. The tapered, rubber bristles gently dislodge food particles and plaque in small and large gaps between the teeth, whilst giving the gums a gentle micro-massage.

With a handy travel case included in each pack, GUM Soft-Picks Advanced is convenient to use on the go, as well as part of your daily oral care routine. Designed to provide complete comfort, control and effective cleaning in-between, GUM Soft-Picks Advanced are ideal for anyone who finds flossing a fuss but understands a healthy mouth equals a healthy body.

The soft, rubber bristles are gentle and safe, even for people with sensitive gums. They are also ideal for cleaning orthodontics, bridges and implants.

Product Benefits
·         Cutting edge curved design for complete comfort and control
·         Soft, tapered bristles to clean small and large spaces
·         No splintering – made without metal, wood or latex
·         Easily reaches all areas of the mouth
·         Recommended by dental professionals
·         Proven food and plaque removal
·         Easy to use with orthodontics, bridges and implants
·         Free travel case included


Available from Dis-Chem and leading pharmacies at a recommended retail price of R89.95 (for a 30 pick pack with travel case included).


I found the GUM Soft-Picks Advanced easy to hold and use and it did not hurt my gums as floss tended to do. It is also great to be able to put 1 or 2 into the travel case and pop it into my bag.


For more information contact distributor Ivohealth on 021 448 2677 / info@ivohealth.co.za or visit their new website www.ivohealth.co.za.

#GUMSoftPicks
#DentalHelp


Friday, 9 September 2016

Gauteng Adventures

My sister has been living in Johannesburg for quite a few years and I occasionally get the chance to go up and spend some time with her. I usually (actually always) plan my stay around the time that Hobby-X is on, as we love our crafts. I flew up on Kulula to Lanseria airport on Thursday 1 September and Carryn and family were waiting to welcome me. We all hopped in the car (little did I know we were going to do a lot of that) and went to have our first coffee of the weekend.


Cappuccino's at Second Cup 
On Friday morning Carryn took me to the well known 4th Avenue in Parkhurst. We had cappuccino's (delicious) at 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters and then went to choose some stationery at Liberty Bespoke. Carryn and I have been following Liberty Bespoke on social media with lots of oohing and aahing over their beautiful cards, journals and tags. It was fabulous to be able to look through all their stock and i'm hoping that they will stock a shop here in Kloof / Hillcrest sometime.


After Liberty Bespoke we met with Danielle Franco of Bush Telegraph Publicity at Espresso Cafe and Bistro and I had another cappuccino (actually 2). She also had a meeting with Claire Allen so we got to meet her too! So looking forward to the Durban Good Food and Wine Show where Claire Allen will be appearing in October.


Claire Allen, Me, Danielle Franco and my sister Carryn
Next up on our adventures was visiting Bean There Coffee Company at 44 Stanley Avenue in Milpark. I didn't have a cappuccino as I had already had 3! I did however buy 2 bags of beans - DR Congo and Olga's Reserve. We were feeling very hungry and decided to have lunch at Vovo Telo.


I have never been to Montecasino and i'm so glad we could go and see it. I am very, very impressed at the work that went into the buildings. Montecasino is filled with fabulous restaurants and shops.

Cioccoccino at Fego Cafe, Montecasino
After Montecasino we drove straight to St Mingo's Church to attend a fundraising auction raising funds to build a school in Diepsloot.

Carryn & I enjoying ice cream and Bar One Sauce - yummy!

On Saturday morning we drove through to the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria to attend Hobby-X. It was a smaller Hobby-X show than the ones we have been to before in Johannesburg but we saw great crafts on display. We were thrilled with all our purchases - especially all the craft magazines!


On the way to the arena we saw how close the Voortrekker Monument was and since none of us had been before we decided on the spur of the moment to go and see it. If you have never been to see the Voortrekker Monument then I really encourage you to take a trip there. It is simply awe inspiring.

Museum of costumes from the Pretoria State Theatre


Entrance to the Voortrekker Monument

Some of the marble panels and feautures inside the building

Viewing areas on top of the building and the very scary view down

Huge statues are on all 4 corners of the building

We were exhausted after our busy walking day (swollen feet as well) so it was decided that we would stop off at Spur at Cradlestone Mall for supper. Fabulous steak and very friendly service.



On Sunday I woke up sad to know that I only had a few hours left to spend with my sister, but I also knew that we still had lots to see and do. First on the agenda was a trip to Sandton City as I had a voucher to spend at Steve Madden. Carryn helped me choose beautiful boots and a floral clutch bag. We also went to look at the Nelson Mandela statue. Then I got to ride on the Gautrain! It was a short but very fun ride from Sandton to Rosebank.

Gautrain trip
Our first stop after the train ride was Starbucks in Rosebank. Carryn warned me not to order a cappuccino and I heeded her advice by ordering a White Chocolate Mocha which I really enjoyed. Then it was time to spend the voucher that I had for Rosebank Mall. I bought a lovely denim skirt from Edgars, fabulous leather sandals from Tsonga and some rings from Colette by Colette Hayman.


After all the shopping we were desperate for coffee and we decided to go to Father Coffee for cappuccino's. Then Carryn got me to try a Krispy Kreme doughnut - yummy!

Father Coffee, Krispy Kreme and
Flora Blend Bar

We had seen about the Flora Blend Bar on Facebook and knew it was somewhere inside The Zone @ Rosebank. It was supposed to be a quick stop in to look at it but we ended up staying and having lunch there. There are a lot of options on the menu and all are made with Flora margarine. You can choose 3 items for R45 and then a drink option is extra. We all decided to have cappuccinos from Motherland coffee. It was fascinating watching the margarine making demonstration.


Vegetarian mini quiche, Carrot & apple muffin with cream
 cheese icing, Red pepper pate and homemade bread

After the Flora Blend Bar we raced back to Carryn's house to finalise my packing and then had to hop back in the car with my bulging suitcase and race to Lanseria. Shew! Very surprised that I wasn't overweight. Great flight back home to Durban with Kulula again.

So sad that the Gauteng Adventures were over

Thank you Carryn, Brett and Joshua for an amazing time!! I felt like a tourist in Gauteng and loved all the adventures that we went on - even the swollen and sore feet ;)

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

BlackOwl UrbanCoffee

If you follow me on Twitter (I hope you are) then you will see what coffee we are currently drinking and enjoying. There is nothing better than a cup of coffee made from freshly ground beans and South African roasters make incredible coffee.

The usual way we get to try out new beans is from The Coffee Magazine’s Discover Great Coffee Club. There are always 6 x 250g packets of beans from different roasters throughout South Africa. There are four deliveries a year (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) and you can choose to subscribe for the year or take a once off subscription. We have finished all the beans from the last batch which was Winter and the Spring batch should be arriving next week. One of the packet of beans in the Spring batch is from BlackOwl UrbanCoffee in Johannesburg, specifically their Americano Arabica blend.




We were very fortunate to be able to try all their coffee already as they sent me samples to try (and 2 bags of beans).

Here is a bit about each type of coffee :

Americano – Medium Roasted Arabica Blend with a consistent balanced flavour profile. This blend has multifaceted flavour notes, hints of lemon, subtle spiciness, delicate chocolate with a floral acidity. This medium bodied blend has real character and is perfectly balanced.

We really enjoyed this blend and found it to be an enjoy all day coffee which was especially nice with its aroma of subtle spice. We used our coffee plunger to make the coffee. Looking forward to receiving the bag of beans with Discover Great Coffee Club.



Socialite – Medium Roasted Single Origin Tanzanian bean which is bright and vibrant, with a deep rich character. Full of body that is intense and creamy, sweet berry-like, fruity flavour with notes of cedar.

A Socialite is “a person well known in fashionable society and is fond of social activities and entertainment”. This is a perfect name for this wonderful coffee as I can see myself serving it at a function. We enjoyed its subtle fruity flavour and it was made in our coffee plunger and I also had a cup made in our AeroPress. Very glad that BlackOwl UrbanCoffee added in a 250g bag of beans.



Dr Who – Medium Roasted Arabica Blend which is rich in flavour, with layered liquorice undertones and a hint of cocoa. Muted acidity with a strong body.

We could actually smell the light liquorice scent and this coffee goes really well with a slice of chocolate cake. The coffee was made in our coffee plunger.



Urbanite – Medium/Dark Roasted Single Origin Ugandan bean which is full of body and has a somewhat lower acidity than other East African coffees. The rustic fruit tones, deep huskiness and mild earthiness create a unique flavour profile combined with hints of plum, deep red wine tones and bakers chocolate.

This was a nice coffee but we didn’t enjoy it as much as we did the Americano, Socialite and Dr Who. Of course that is our taste opinion, but everyone is different in how they like their coffee. The coffee was made in our coffee plunger.



Erudite – Medium Roasted Single Origin Ethiopian bean, jam-packed with pleasant citrus notes and a hint of milk chocolate. It’s smooth and has a soft body with a very delicate clean finish.

We enjoyed this more than the Urbanite coffee but our definite favourites were Americano, Socialite and Dr Who. It was a lovely smooth drinking coffee and is perfect for that last cup at night. We made it in our coffee plunger.




If you are JHB based you can visit BlackOwl UrbanCoffee at 63 5th Avenue, Northmead in Benoni. Please visit their Facebook page to see the shops that stock their coffee. If you are not JHB based you can email them sales@blackowlcoffee.co.za to order.

1kg beans R200
250g beans R70
250g ground R70
75g filter R18 (only available with Dr Who and Americano)

Free delivery to your door on orders over R200.




I love their packaging and especially the sample tins! Such perfect size tins to store my buttons or beads or other crafty stuff in.




BlackOwl UrbanCoffee



If you want to discover great South African coffee for yourself then I really, really encourage you to join the Discover Great Coffee Club



Thanks BlackOwl UrbanCoffee!! #lovecoffee