Thanks to the lovely Natasha Clark, I got the invite to the Kodak Blogger Meet-Up in Cape Town tomorrow evening! Promised to be an incredible events with some of Cape Town’s top blogger, even We Love Pictures are setting up a PHOTO BOOTH!
Now we all know how much I love Photobooths…. especially after the notorious Balkanology parties!!!
Welcome drinks, bottles of wine and some really yummy tapas from our lovely hosts at French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar!! Need I say more?
And of course, the bloggers shall unite to unlock Foursquare SWAM BADGE for >50ppl checking in at the same time…. !!
Can’t wait to meet the bloggers I’ve been following (practically stalking) in cyberspace!
20th Hermanus Whale Festival
Over the weekend, we went to Hermanus for the annual Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival! Celebrating the 20th anniversary this year, the festival was promised to be bigger & better!
Boasting over 10 venues, 30+ FREE Eco-talks, Checker’s Living Table with celebrities, and Saturday night performances by PRIME CIRCLE/D-Seven, there were so much entertainment beyond watching the Whales!
Given that it’s my first time at Hermanus during Whale season, needless to say, I was SUPER EXCITED to finally admire these beautiful mammals up close. During the festival, I learned that Hermanus is known to be the world’s BEST land-based, whale watching location!
And yes, I saw ONE whale breaching!! It was the most magnificent moment, not captured on film but surely fulfilled my dream!! We stood on the shoreline at the Old Harbour, freezing our hands off trying to keep the camera still, hoping that we will see another breach…! The whales simply teased us for the next 30min, dancing in the waters & showing off fins & tails… but no body =(
Alas, the crew on Free Willy must have felt the tingles in their belly as they saw Willy breach for the first time!
The whales will be at Hermanus, resting, mating, and nurturing the new calves! So get yourself a weekend trip plan, and head out to Hermanus before November!
What an incredible show!!! Here are some photo “spoilers” - will post more about Saxy Sthe & the Untouchable dudes tomorrow!
Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus-sized - and then some.
And that sets the stage for the sparkling new show On Broadway in Cape Town, FAT PIG! Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play in 2005 penned by American playwrite Neil LaBute, the play explores issues that we can easily identify with in our own lives: Self image, friendship, and love! No spoilers but this is not your typical girl-meets-boy story: what happens when you fall in love with someone who is far from your “ideal”?
Attending a play on it’s preview night is always a gamble. Will the actors’ nerves will set off the show in a disasterous direction? Are the audience going to respond with the right energy? Will the set fall apart….!? There are so many factors that could go WRONG! However, FAT PIG’s premier night truly wowed me! Colin Moss, Chanelle De Jager, Clayton Boyd, Lee-Anne Summers engaged the audience with incredible energy from the get-go: the first scene when Tom & Helen met, Carter’s larger than life narcissistic comments, Jeannie’s confrontation, I was living the lives of all 4 characters as the play unfolded in front of my eyes! LaBute’s rhythmic and colloquial writing draws the audience in, and memories of the Carter, Jeannie, Tom & Helen in my life came naturally to me.
After the show, we were treated to a Q&A session with the actors. It was incredible to hear their reactions to their first audience of the season: unexpected laughters, tears, anger and frustration at different stages… With a group of ACT Cape Town students present, the audience threw out technical questions such as
“How do you laugh so naturally, even after hearing the jokes a thousand times during rehersal?”
“Are lines re-interpretated constantly? Or do you stick to the script every night?”
Colin, Chanelle, Clayton & Lee-Anne answered each of the questions with light humour, giving acting tips to the students while conveying how their unique roles evolved over the past few months! The one thing that truly stuck with me was Clayton’s comment:
“There is no such thing as a one-man monologue: it is simply a conversation where one gives and one takes.”
Whether it be with a friend, a lover, or with your family, relationships can only formed when someone is willing to give!
Buy your tickets to the FAT PIG through OnBroadway’s website, call them at 021 424 1194, or grab the GrouponDeal today for discounted tickets at R59/person here! http://www.groupon.co.za/deals/cape-town/pay-r59-for-a-ticket-to-see-the-play-fat-pig-at-on-broadway-theatre-valued-at-r125—save-53-/803471/.OJbHET
Enjoy the show!
Remember when gold leggings, cropped denim shorts, sneakers & legwarmers were the fad? How about over straight-iron pigtails & over-the-top shades?
Born in the late 80s, I totally miss the boat on classics by the likes of Kool and the Gang, Soft Cell, The Police, Queen and more!! But I was surprised by how many songs I recognized and could sing along to:
Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles
Dancing on the Ceiling - Lionel Ritchie
I Wanna Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston
Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
Just to name a few.
The show is set to a TV show storyline, and I truly felt as if I was part of the live audience on set! Surprisingly, front-row audience were invited on stage to sing & dance along, and the show truly becomes a party after the intermission!
Whether you babysat Tina, followed the Rolling Stones around the country on tour, awoken from nightmares after watching MJ’s Thriller video, or only came close to neon leggings at a varsity party, That 80’s Show guarantees 90minutes of FUN!
Laugh at the humorous dialogues between the emcees Riyaan Cornelius & Keenan Arrison, sing along to the buttery voice of Lucy Holgate & Leani Ekermans, or just bobble your head from left to right as the band entertain you! Warren Lomberg on guitar, keyboardist Kyle Peterson, bass guitarist Neil Payton, drummer Darren Peterson, Morgan King on Saxophone performs flawlessly!!
Yes, you are allowed to light your lighter and sway~
PITSTOP 9: Arabella Wines!
With the HUGE TVs set up for SHARKS vs. CHEETAHS rugby game in the afternoon, cover band Fishbowl, Wedding DJ’s, and GOLDFISH LIVE, Arabella Wines is definitely the headliner for Saturday night! We arrived at 5pm (I know, 7 wineries before 5pm…!) and got in for free – our friends who arrived at 5:10pm weren’t so lucky! But at R50 / entry, I will pay it any day to see GOLDFISH LIVE!
Arabella was really the beginning of the end…! Needless to say, the troops had sampled amazing wines throughout the day and weren’t driving anywhere that night! Thankfully, Arabella had tent spaces available in their gigantic farm! As the night grew darker, the crowd only grew rowdier! I could have sworn I was at a Greek wedding – with the amount of glass clinkering and crashing on the ground! Only about 20% of the tasting glass survived the evening… and Arabella must have sold over 8000 bottles of wine on Saturday night alone!
The crowd went wild when GOLDFISH came on promptly at 8pm – what a SOLID SHOW! My first time seeing GOLDFISH LIVE in concert and I will NEVER MISS their concert, ever again!! Fantastic musicians and performers, Sakhile amped up the crowd and showcased amazing freestyle rap after favourites like Cruising Through and We Come Together!
PITSTOP 10: Spaces!
After a night of mayhem in Arabella, we needed to recover (& battle the hangover) with a hearty breakfast. Driving through Robertson, we flew to Spaces like moths to fire! BUFFET BREAKFAST!
Spaces looked like a converted warehouse from the outside, amazing spacious with Garden seating behind the main dining area, and a vintage boutique in the back! Surprisingly classy venue for breakfast, where we were served scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, pap, bread with butter & farm-made fruit preserve jams! Served with live acoustic music on the side, the musician played acoustic guitar and harmonica to favourites like Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews & more!
PITSTOP 11: Graham Beck Wines 1983!
What better way to end the wacky weekend than Graham Beck! We saved the best for last, and also dodged the craze crowd from Saturday. Sunday was very much a day of bliss, much more relaxed pace and only the true wine loving connoisseurs emerged from the weekend! Graham Beck has four estates throughout Western Cape in Robertson, Stellenbosch (2farms), and Franschhoek. GB take their viticulture seriously – with viticulturist Marco Ventrella adopting the most advance technology such as GIS, infrared satellite imagery and more to maintain the health of the vines.
Graham Beck had fantastic selection of Red, White, Rosé wines and Méthode Cap Classique! I enjoyed their Ridge Syrah, The William, great Sauvignon Blanc and of course, Brut NV. GB wines are definitely in a higher price range compared to other wineries, but the quality is outstanding. The tasting room housed Graham Beck’s private art collection as well.
GB had classy, streamlined main tent hosting live bands featuring contemporary, gypsy jazz bands! We arrived just in time to catch Manouche - a 6 piece band based in Stellenbosch!! We felt refreshed and truly relaxed, enjoying great conversations over glasses of Brut NV. It was fantastic to reconnect with friends in such a beautiful setting!
Time to plan your next trip to Robertson Valley!
Pictures speak a thousand words – I hope the 20+ photos showcased the beauty of Robertson Valley, the heart of Wine Route 62 and its people! The people were warm and welcoming, and the festival was well-organized with signage along all wineries! HUGE SHOUTOUT to the organizers for hosting over 20,000 attendees from all corners of South Africa and beyond this past weekend!
If you haven’t had a chance to venture out to Robertson Valley, what are you waiting for?
** Photos from this blog are courtesy of:
PITSTOP 5: Goedverwacht Estate 1960s
Imagine our surprise when a decked out, festive Tractor showed up next to our picnic table! As it turned out, Goedverwacht Estate offered fun Tractor Rides between the two wineries! Who said WWW is only for 18+ adults? Kids can have fun too! “Yipppee!” we exclaimed! Even though the guys “protested” about the idea of riding on a tractor carriage, I am 100% sure they secretly enjoyed the ride! As we cruise down the dirt track toward the 180ha farm, the grapevines formed seas of orange & red colours – autumn is definitely here in Robertson valley!
Besides a fantastic array of wine available for tasting, Goedverwacht had cheese & olive tasting, along with jumping castles and surprise goodies for the kids! Not to mention the amazing pancakes for R5…. Definitely satisfied my sweet tooth!
PITSTOP 6: Viljdensdrift 1998
Viljdensdrift was going to be a highlight for the day! They winery offered river cruises for only R40, with optional picnic basket available~ But of course, it was completed booked ON Saturday and the next available cruise was Sunday 3pm – next year! I also found a GREAT Shiraz here, the first red wine I’ve truly enjoyed all day! Note that we’ve already gone through 6 wineries at this point…! The weather was looking grey, getting more humid by the minute… seeing that there’s no chance to hop on the cruise, the troops happily marched to our next stop!
PITSTOP 7: Bon Courage 1921
There must have been thousands of people in Bon Courage… okay, more than 600 at least! Parking lot was COMPLETELY full, and cars were parked as far as 15min walk away! It was all a little overwhelming, then I tried their Blush MCC…. This all make sense now!
Great set up, separating the tasting room (indoor) and wine sale for immediate consumption (red outdoor tent), the Oysters & sushi were served under a large tent as well! This turned out to be the saving grace, as it started pouring around 3pm! Despite the rain, the crowd loved the wine and almost every other group had bottles of Blush to share! Definitely a great MCC bubbly!
PITSTOP 8: Robertson Farmers’ Market & Wine Dive!
We’ve all seen the spa advert – red wine rejuvenates your skin, as much as a-glass-of-wine-every-day does wonder for your heart! But imagine my amazement when I see large, tall men diving down “wine slides” into a complete pool of red wine! To be perfectly honest, if I had brought my bathing suit, I would have probably braved the weather! Mmmmmm!
I SURVIVED MY FIRST WACKY WINE WEEKEND! WOOOHOO!!
With all the buzz building up to the big WWW, I have been looking forward to this weekend since the Easter break! Wacky Wine has grown astronomically since its humble beginning in 2003; now encompass more than 60 wineries all across the valley. From Robertson -> Ashton -> Montagu -> Bonnievale -> McGregor, the wine festival was guaranteed to be EPIC with the 12page long program! How did I know WW was going to be huge? Over 5500 attendees on their FB event page!
Our group of 12 embarked on the quest for supreme wine, picturesque landscape and GOLDFISH pre-world tour concert in four cars, determined to make it to Robertson before midnight! A fellow Couchsurfer, Derek Serra kindly offered to host us at his humble abode for the weekend! After curves and turns, we finally made to his beautiful home and shared a home cooked meal – curry potijie! Wish I had photos to show, but the hungry crew cleared out all the food in a matter of seconds…!
Having attended WWW for the past 4 years, Derek was a true veteran! The troops were summoned to the smell of fresh coffee & promise of sunshine, despite the rain from the night before! We woke up promptly at 8am, to the crisp fresh air of the wine valley!
Saturday was the BIG day – we had to get our game face on! Armed with fleece, scarves and fall jackets, we drove out to our first stop of the day!
PITSTOP 1: Bonnievale Kelder 1964
We grabbed our WWW goodie bags here! Vouchers for more wine after WWW, event guide, our pass to heavenly wines and of course, the tasting glass! The glass this year was much larger than last year, but it didn’t bear the WWW emblem =( Nevertheless, we filled up on delicious breakfast – variety of Roosterkoeke! Traditional Afrikaans bun filled with jam/chilli sauce, boerewors, or the Breakfast Special with eggs/bacon/onion chutney & more!
At 9:30am in the morning, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for wine… tried some light Whites at Bonnievale Cellar and wasn’t blown away by the selection. Great tasting room setup nevertheless.
PITSTOP 2: Jonkheer Winery 1912
We decided to stop at various wineries as we work our way towards Robertson! Jonkheer had a fantastic craft market in the past, however this year was lacking… with its large garage transformed with live RUGBY Screens & makeshift furniture stalls! The winery also charged R20 cover for their Es La Vida Dance show… The wine selection was better but again, not particularly impressive… I am not the biggest wine connoisseur, but had the company of Derek & my mate, Charlie Miller, who helps to develop products at Wooly’s! I learned a great deal about tasting notes, how to aerate a red correctly & various tips from them!
PITSTOP 3: Van Loveren 1937
Moving on! Arrived at the famous Van Loveren, with 5 wine brands and over 40 wine selections! Wine tasting was available at a large warehouse or outdoor tent in the garden area. We arrived around 10:30am, before the live music performances began! But the winery was already hopping with activities, with a FULL parking lot & vibey mid-20s patrons. We bumped into a couple more friends here, and enjoyed the festive atmosphere!
PITSTOP 4: Wolvendrift Private Cellar 1980
We were welcomed by LOUD SOKIE SOKIE MUSIC the moment we stepped out of our cars! Wolvendrift was rather empty in the morning, but the picnic tables were GORGEOUS with the grapevines lining the background, and an outdoor tent! For some strange reason, only 5 wines were available for tasting? I absolutely loved their sweet wine!
Oh Mzoli’s, how I love you so!
I first heard of Mzoli’s during my very first weekend in Cape Town, casually brought up amongst my co-workers.“Yebo, what’s happening this Sunday?”
“Chilling out at Mzoli’s bru! It’s guaranteed to be hectic with the long weekend! We have to get there early; otherwise it will be a 3hr wait before we get any food…”
Some say that curiosity killed the cat, but I think curiosity gave the cat options! If the cat didn’t follow the sweet vanilla scent and venture into her neighbour’s yard, she would have never found the plot of valerian! In case you didn’t know - Valerian’s roots work as a semi-psychotic stimulant for kitties!
Off topic. Anyhow, I invited myself along for Sunday’s festivities! And boy, I never imagined butcheries could be so sexy…! Mzoli’s certainly draws in a young, vibrant crowd! We arrived at 10:30am and the music was blasting – my first encounter with Kwaito music! Long queue of patrons lined-up outside the butchery, as we finally arrived at the counter, our friendly butcher pointed to the crisp, glass-shelved selection of meats. We chose our all-in-one appetizer/entrée, and gladly accepted our prize in a large enamel bowl! I was clued in to always ask for “the secret sauce from ma Ugogo.”
We turned the corner and handed our meats to the braai stand with the shortest queue! It’s truly an amazing business model, as local entrepreneurs setup braai stands outside Mzoli’s operates independently. Now that is the true form to creating jobs for the local community! Sweetening the deal, we crossed the road into a seemingly ordinary house – to buy beers from the Mama in the kitchen! Having started as a small butchery selling meat out of the garage, Mzoli’s have surely come a long way!
Another interesting thing about Mzoli’s is the diverse clientele: for the locals, Mzoli’s is a regular Sunday hangout, where friends come together to enjoy the braai meats, House & Kwaito music, and the overall good vibe. On the other hand, you have tourists coming from all over South Africa and beyond, looking to experience a unique township culture.
I believe it is the conversations sparked from this mix of background, culture, desires and energy that makes Mzoli’s a great experience!
CPT Love, *Follow me on Twitter!! @bestCapeTownSA!
*Follow me on Twitter!! @bestCapeTownSA!
What never cease to amaze me about Cape Town is the fact that weekend never ends! Every Monday, I think to myself “Alright, it’s time to recover from that crazy weekend!” and the next thing I know, I am exploring sweet venues around town every night!!
This was how we found ourselves in Asoka Bar’s live Jazz night on Tuesday!
Asoka Bar is one of the classiest venue in Cape Town, no questions asked! Dimmed candle lights, cozy cushioned seats, smell of calming incense dining by the Dharm Tree, an ancient Olive Tree balancing out the fengsui of the bar! The waiters are incredibly attentative, ensuring your glass is filled throughout the evening with delicious cocktails! Ladies, you must try their Instant Karma cocktail!
We love chilling out on Tuesday nights, Asoka can be quite overwhelming during the weekend with its beautiful crowd & huge bouncers, but Tuesday is laid-back and you can exchange conversations without screaming across the floor! The live jazz truly add to the experience, as the crowd warms up to Deep House DJ set at 23h00! You will hear the latest beats mixed with old favorites, and we eventually got our groove on the dance floor in front of the DJ booth!
Another fantastic night out in Cape Town!
*Follow me on Twitter!! @bestCapeTownSA!