Friday, 27 February 2015

Cheers: Honey Rooibos Cocktail

I cannot imagine starting my weekend better than with a refreshing cocktail, that is not too sweet, just the right amount of liquor and beautiful to look at. I always like to incorporate some form of tea when playing inside the liquor cabinet, perhaps it's because I drink tea, like some people breathe oxygen or because it softens and blends in quite harmoniously with most hard liquors without the over powering sweetness of fruit juice or soda, either way it hasn't let me down yet.

Ingredients: Serves 6

1 L strong rooibos tea, cooled
60 ml honey
the juice of 6 oranges or 2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup brandy
6 lemon slices
1 cup fresh mint, extra to garnish

1. In a large jug, mix tea, orange juice, honey and brandy.
2. Crush mint and add to jug, chill in fridge for 1 hour.
3. Divide between 6 tumblers, add ice lemon and mint to garnish.

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fashion Update: The Stratement Tee

Or statement strapless tee or camisole, your choice, a rose by any other name...

The camisole was originally designed as an undergarment, worn as an extra cover-up with a low dipped neckline or short waistline, but for summer it was taking front stage. Worn instead of a shirt or bra, the camisole was paired with high waisted jeans or a simple skirt and the trend will continue into the next season, with a boxy blazer added to keep away the chill.

This fashion piece keeps with the more is less trend and works well when worn in neutral or soft colours. It has even transitioned into playsuits, taking them from festival to high street wear.

'But the pinkness and the whiteness of underskirts and camisoles, the frilliness of foundation garments, the rustle about the bustle and the fuss about the bust' - Gregory Maguire

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Blanc et Noir: Mode

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Monday, 9 February 2015

Fashion Update : Lady In Red

It's the only colour to be seen in this week and as Bill Blass said it's the ultimate cure for sadness.

Be it postbox red or ox blood, a full outfit or simply shoes, soft and demure or short and fiery, show it off, be it for the one you love or simply yourself.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Load Up: Low-Sugar, High-Protein Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Back to work, back to reality.

As the summer holidays draw to a close, work starts and with it, the inevitable snack attack at teatime. Instead of heading for the vending machine for chips or chocolate, try these delicious muffins that will keep you satisfied, way past your lunch hour.


Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 cup raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Coat 12 large muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor, pulse until the zest is finely chopped into the sugar.
3. Add yoghurt, oil and egg, pulse until combined.
4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, add the yoghurt mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in the raspberries.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.
6. Bake the muffins until the edges are golden, 20-25 min.
7. Let it cool and store in a airtight container.

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Winecation : Top 10 Best Wine Farms

There is no better way to show off our country, than a good old wine tour, seeing as South Africa has some of the best vino in the world. These are my top ten wine farms based on atmosphere, service, view and surroundings, food on offer, price and off course the actual taste of the wine. In no particular order and without further ado.

1. D'aria

There are a couple of reasons why I love D'aria. Firstly, it is literally five minutes from where I am staying at the moment, they have an amazing wine called Blush, consisting of crisp Sauvignon Blanc flavours and Meerlot's red berry fruits and the tasting area, stretches out onto a wooden deck, under the trees, overlooking a dam. The wine, the view and the staff there, just deliver on every level.

Perfect for: Enjoying a bottle of wine with a friend after work on a Friday.
Tasting: R 20 pp
Food: Burgers and cheese platters
Location: Durbanville region

D'aria tasting area

2. Warwick

The wide open lawns and shimmering lake make it a tough place to beat in Summer. The picnic pods dotted around the garden are  a stunning feature and ensures some privacy. The gourmet picnic for two is absolutely amazing and will leave you struggling to finish the delectable fare. They have a wide range of award-winning wines to choose from, plus you can go on a big 5 vineyard safari, where they show you the different vines across the estate. Keep a whole day open to experience all that Warwick has to offer.

Perfect for: A special date/anniversary
Picnic: R 375 per basket(gourmet or vegetarian)
Location: Stellenbosch region

Warwick Estate picnic set-up

3. Beyerskloof

Also known as the champions of South Africa's signature red wine. This top notch estate is a must-try for pinotage lovers. If do stop there to try their magnificent collection of robust red's, do not leave without grabbing lunch at the Red Leaf Restaurant, where they have items on the menu such as the very popular pinotage burger and pinotage ice cream. They also have a tasting room where you can try up to ten different pinotages.

Perfect for: Taking family/friends out to a gourmet lunch and wine experience.
Food: Ranges from R 100 - R 120 pp
Location: Stellenbosch region

Entrance to Beyerskloof Wine Estate

4. Arra

Perfectly positioned in the shelter of the Klapmuts Mountain where water and sunshine are in abundance. This smaller wine estate, has the most beautiful view, which you can admire from comfy couches on the veranda. The wine tasting experience at Arra is made unforgettable with friendly staff, a wide selection of wines all accompanied by a cheese, cracker and preserve platter. Try their Viognier  a favourite of mine,which I can only describe as tasting of Summer.

Perfect for: A family outing over the weekend.
Tasting: R 30 pp
Location: Stellenbosch region

Tasting area at Arra

5. Blaauwklippen

This wine farm has so much to offer any wine and food lover. Foreigners can have a formal wine tasting conducted in their mother tongue and the tasting room can fit up to eighty people. The informal tasting can be enjoyed indoors or outside in the idyllic gardens, complete with a duck pond. Historic wine cellar tours are also available, as well as a chocolate and wine pairing and won't you know it, if you are in the mood for something stronger, you can try their potstill brandies. They also have The Bistro, which will provide excellent food and service, or if you want to stay outside in the nice weather, they also have picnic baskets on offer.

Perfect for: Showing off our beautiful country to foreigners.
Tasting: R 20 pp
Food & wine pairing: R 150 pp
Wine & chocolate tasting: R 80 pp
Location: Stellenbosch region

Dining area at Blaauwklippen

6. Eaglevlei

A picturesque view of the Stellenbosch mountains will enchant visitors, while they enjoy a wide range of wines in the tasting facilities or whilst enjoying a culinary experience in their restaurant. I really enjoyed their Berghaan Blanc de Noir that accompanied my mushroom risotto and for the meat lovers the pork belly, is a firm favourite. They also have a jungle gym outside that will keep the young ones busy, while you enjoy your vino.

Perfect for: Keeping everyone in the family happy on a day outing
Food: Weekly specials range from R 70-R 80
Location: Stellenbosch/Klapmuts region

Eaglevlei patio

7. Delheim

There is no better place to unwind, than at Delheim's tranquil gardens, where traditional German and South African inspired cuisine is sure to revive you. Delheim has been producing internationally acclaimed wines for over sixty years, so you know it is pure quality that will be poured into every glass. Take a guided cellar tour, do a wine tasting in the quaint downstairs cellar, dine al fresco in the garden or cosy up inside next to the fire in the winter.

Perfect for: If you want to be transported back in time to an old world traditional wine farm.
Picnic: R 200 pp
Food: Ranges from R 65 - R 110
Location: Stellenbosch region

Delheim's downstairs cellar

8. Doolhof

Doolhof lies comfortably nestled in the lap of the Bovlei valley. Personally, one of my favourite picnic spots, because you can choose to enjoy your picnic on the the beautiful manicured lawns or find a quiet spot in the trees next to Kromme river. There is also a river walk, which will take you several kilometres along the river to choose your picnic spot or you can do a ten kilometre walk through the vineyards. On your walk, you may also come across small mammals in the form of buck, baboon and the odd porcupine.

Perfect for: If you enjoy some exercise with your wine & dine.
Tasting: R 20 pp
Food: picnic or light lunches
Location: Wellington region

The Bovlei valley surrounding Doolhof

9. Laborie

Laborie has been producing fine wines since 1698, making it one of the oldest operational farms in the country. This supreme estate will satisfy the senses, with breath taking views, delectable meals prepared by internationally acclaimed chef Matthew Gordon, award winning wines and the sound of nature residing in your ears. My favourite part of this estate, is definitely the different taste pairings. The chocolate from the chocolate and wine pairing is specifically made to compliment each wine.

Perfect for: Tempting the palate and gaining knowledge into the world of wine & food pairing.
Tasting: R 30 pp
Olive & wine tasting: R 35 pp
Charcuterie & wine tasting: R 50 pp
Chocolate & wine tasting: R 45 pp
Macaron & Method Cap Classique tasting: R 50 pp
Location: Paarl region

The Laborie Estate

10. Fairview

Known for their cheese, as well as, their wine. Fairview never ceases to amaze me, from the tasting pods in their wine tasting area, where a host will guide you through tasting six of their wines, to the cheese tasting area, which will leave you lusting for more, in which case you can simply purchase some of their delicious cow- and goats milk cheese or you can enjoy lunch at the Goatshed restaurant. The actual goats that are roaming around, creates a rustic atmosphere and you can watch over their antics while dining al fresco on the terrace outside the Goatshed.

Perfect for: Those who have teetotallers in the group(they serve an amazing non-alcoholic EGA drink at the Goatshed made from rooibos)
Tasting: R 25 pp
Beryl Back tasting: R 60 pp inc. 8 wines, cheeses and olive oil
Cheese tasting: R 12 pp
Location: Paarl region

If you feel I missed a particularly special wine farm, holla at me with a mail, otherwise enjoy.

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