Monday, 27 October 2014

Zomato // Walnut Grove // Da Vinci Hotel

Hello Journeyers,
Thanks to Irina I was contacted by Zomato, the place where you can find restaurants near you, see detailed restaurant info, follow foodies for trusted reviews and discover restaurants according to your mood. It's the all in one go to foodie website and the must have app to download...

Zomato has also recently unveiled their rebranding and new logo. How amazing does the logo look?

I was extremely excited, and couldn't wait to attend their foodie meetup. It was held at Walnut Grove in Sandton City. It was an evening filled with mingling, laughter, loads of eating and fun. They introduced their new menu to us and my very first time at a micro-tasting evening.

Walnut Grove was founded in 1975 and is a family owned and run business. They are based in the buzz of Sandton City and you can take a breather after a busy day of shopping and sip on glass of wine under one of Africa's largest chandeliers, a towering walnut tree flowing with over 10,000 reclaimed and antique crystals. The chandelier is almost as spectacular as the food and service!

The tables were elegantly and organically decorated. We were welcomed with Mojitos which was just what the doctor ordered. Starters was already waiting for us as we sat down, platters full of cheeses, fruit, breads, dips and healthy micro-wraps. I really had to stop myself from eating all that delicious breads.

I was already starting to feel my pants tighten around my waist, so we ordered a glass of red wine and then they put mains in front of us. I had to stop myself from drooling all over the table. It consisted of a Paneer Cashew Saffron Curry rice, the spiciness of the dish caught me off guard but I enjoyed it. Next up was Rustic African Nachos served with cheese, guacamole, salsa and chilli. I'm a sucker for good nachos and these climbed fairly high up on my list. I was intrigued by the Red Velvet Burger. I cannot wait to go back and have a full sized one of these babies! Last on the tray was Black Pepper and Lemon Zest Calamari Basket. Not sure how I felt about this one.
After mains we were served spoons of Mascarpone and Coffee Caviar. I picked at each individually, not so good, but together. It's a burst of flavor in your mouth! Very interesting!

Now don't get me wrong, this part of the meal is usually the one I look forward to the most. At this stage I had to already loosen my belt. As they put down the tray filled with a trio of gourmet milkshake shots, summer macaroons and a red velvet cupcake. I was so full I had to take the macaroons as take away for Cedric to indulge at home. He loved it. My favourite was the oreo milkshake and red velvet cupcake.

They invited us to help decorate this beautiful rainbow cake. This man decorates 10 a day! How insane is that? I was rather impressed with my icing skills.

And if that isn't enough, with your coffee or tea you get a mini red velvet cupcake. How cute is that! They just seize to amaze and surprise us. The food was great, service was filled with smiles and the restaurant filled with laughter. All signs of a great success if you ask me!

If you are dropping by Johannesburg and planning to stay somewhere in the busiest and most popular areas, why not go to Da Vinci Hotel. You will be greeted with a smile and receive the 5 star service you deserve while on your lay over / business trip or mini breakaway. Within walking distance from Sandton City, wireless internet connectivity and a wellness spa, it's a perfect all in one!

I would like to say a big thank you to Zomato for hosting such a great foodie meetup and for the photos and to Walnut Grove for the amazing experience and for opening your doors to us. Also thank you to Da Vinci Hotel for allowing me to write about them.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Zomato for this micr-tasting experience. As always all comments and opinions are my own. All of the content and images posted are my own unless otherwise specified / linked to the original source. Please feel free to share photographs and material from this site but please link back to the original image or post.

Friday, 24 October 2014


Hello Journeyers,

Seems like I am back in full swing...almost!
When I started my new work almost 4 months agao I was introduced to Moemas by Claudine. For those who don't know Moemas, they are a deli that sell the most delicious food that make you feel hungry after already having a big meal. You cannot help yourself. And I blame them 100%. It should be illegal to have all those beautiful treats on display in the window for everyone to see.

The sticker on the window isn't just there for show "Please do not drool on the window!"! That alone says enough!

Their macaroons transported me back to Paris and I have bought desert there for Cedric and myself a few times for after dinner. They have also kept my early morning hunger pangs at bay a few times, with those delicious almond croissants and yogurt, fruit and granola.

So imagine my surprise when I received an email from them a week before my birthday to tell me that I get a free breakfast for two with them as a birthday gift. Yes they are THAT awesome! They hand out free breakfasts for your birthday.

I dragged Claudine along with me as I didn't want to go alone and Cedric hardly ever comes to that area. WOW my tummy was happy after that beautiful breakfast!

All I can suggest is go drop by and try their food. BUT don't blame me if you get hooked and don't fit into your pants anymore! *Just Saying*

Thank you Moemas for the perfect birthday breakfast and the great service! You guys rock!
Disclaimer: I received a free birthday breakfast for 2 from Moemas. As always all comments and opinions are my own. All of the content and images posted are my own unless otherwise specified / linked to the original source. Please feel free to share photographs and material from this site but please link back to the original image or post.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

De Oude Meul Country Lodge

Hello Journeyers,

While on our trip to Oudtshoorn, my aunt booked us into a beautiful Country Lodge. It's called De Oude Meul Country Lodge and it is absolutely breathtaking. Our views were endless mountains surrounding us with gardens filled with roses.

There's a restaurant on the property which we ate at the one night, the food was really very good and they were jam packed.

I almost think the restaurant is open to the public so do yourself a favor and if you ever pass there stop and have a bite to eat. Everyone that had the Eland raved about how great it was, I'm sorry I'm not a big fan of game meat and I was more than happy with my stuffed chicken. Like my uncle told me "Johlet I'm happy to see you are moving out of your comfort zone with that chicken"

The rates are extremely reasonable and includes breakfast which is just as good. Prepare to eat till you roll that's all I can say.

They also do weddings and are fully booked most of the time with all the sports groups passing through. Plus in the 2 days that we spent there I think there was about 3 couples planning their weddings. I can see why they want to tie the knot there. With those lush green lawns, beautiful gardens and even some sheep I can't blame them.

The service is great and the staff is friendly, we had them running around! Sorry! But I will also be that friendly if I work with views like that.

As far as I know we have already booked ourselves in again for next years Meiringspoort. This time I can't wait to share it with Cedric who will be joining us!

Let me not forget about the variety of things there are to do in the area, from the ostrich farm to the Cango Caves, you will have more than enough to keep you entertained when for some reason you get tired of the view...

Disclaimer: All expenses were paid for by us for our trip to De Oude Meul Country Lodge. As always all comments and opinions are my own. All of the content and images posted are my own unless otherwise specified / linked to the original source. Please feel free to share photographs and material from this site but please link back to the original image or post.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Life isn't easy...

Hello Journeyers,
Let's just get straight to the point. This is going to be a long soppy post. I'm not a very happy person lately, I've had the worst year of my life so far and things just don't seem to be getting better. I'm going to be honest, I'm not a very positive person to be around lately so if you are looking for laughs and sympathy, it would be best to not stop by me. I might not be able to give you that. I actually told Cedric last night that I'm more and more convinced that my father was my lucky charm and now that he's taken away my luck just went right with him.

Then I have people in my life that some days make me realize that life isn't always that bad. Like Claudine. I actually feel very sorry for her. You see we work together. So she's like my easy access vent system. The best part is she's also someone that doesn't deal with people looking for sympathy very well, and on days when I need the "Stop your crap and get your act together" speech, I go to her. She's honest like that, and at the same time nice about it. She doesn't wait for something to happen, she makes it happen. Like today, I'm having a off last few days, then she pops me this email...

"This morning, nearly five years after my husband’s passing, a beautiful couple and their three kids knocked on my front door.  The man smiled and said, “Your husband was my heart donor.  He saved my life.  Not a single day has gone by that I don’t pray for him and think of you.  Thank you!"

This is the opening paragraph right out of an email I received today from a reader named, Colleen.  She goes on to admit that she couldn’t see any positive sides of her husband’s death, until she was staring at them on her door step.  “It doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it certainly changed the way I think.  I feel like a small piece of my broken heart has healed.”

And the truth is, it happens just like that.  Although Colleen’s experience is unique, and somewhat extreme, at some point life slaps all of us with a good reminder that shifts our perspective.  Personally, I have been slapped with several of these reminders over the years.   And today, I want to pass a few of them along to you...

1.  Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now. – Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time.  Sometimes these circumstances knock you down, hard.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.  So hold on to hope.  The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord.  Let hope anchor you in the possibility that this is not the end of your story – that the change in the tides will eventually bring you to new shores.  (
from the “Adversity” chapter of our book)

2.  The way you feel about people and situations will change, and that’s OK. – Things will seem totally different to you at some point in the future, just as you feel different now than you did in the past.  So remember, just because you liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean you’ll always like it, or that you have to go on liking it at all points in the future as an unthinking act of loyalty to who you are as a person, based solely on who you once were as a person.  To be loyal to yourself is to allow yourself to grow and change, and challenge who you once were and what you once thought. The only thing you ever have to be for sure is unsure, and this means you’re growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.

3.  Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. – It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.  It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it.  If you believe in something, keep trying.  Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future.  Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter.  Take action instead.  And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.  (
from the “Goals and Success” chapter of our book)

4.  You are not alone in feeling weird and alone. – I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I thought about how there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels weird and flawed in the same ways I do.  I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too.  Well, I hope that if you are out there reading this, you now know that, yes, it is true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.  I often feel and think and struggle much like you do.  I care about many of the things you care about, just in my own way.  And although some people do not understand us, we understand each other.  YOU are not weird and alone!

5.  The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. – The mind is your battleground.  It's the place where the greatest conflict resides.  It’s where half of the things you thought were going to happen, never did happen.  But if you allow these thoughts to dwell in your mind, they will succeed in robbing you of peace, joy, and ultimately your life.  You will think yourself into a nervous breakdown, into depression, and into defeat.  You are what you think. You can’t change anything if you can’t change your thinking.  A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.  When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy.  Breathe onto the bathroom mirror, just to see how amazing your breath looks.  The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start to feel like one.  (
from the “Happiness” chapter of our book)

And again, if you're struggling with any of these points, remember that you are not alone.  We are all in this together.  Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track. 

By: Marc and Angel Hack Life
Practical Tips for Productive Living

She knows when I need what, and this made me realise that there's much worse things going on the world than my problems. But I'm dealing and coping with it day by day. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I need that push and help sometimes I don't. But for now, I will take it day by day and try and at least concentrate on the positive because let's face it, life isn't easy, but it's what you make of it and on the plus side...I'm alive and healthy....

Thank you to everyone that's been taking my crap and for not kicking me to the curb yet. I appreciate you guys more than you know!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Meiringspoort 21km Halfmarathon and 10km

Hello Journeyers,
Last year this time I was complaining with my dad how sad I was that I missed the family get together at Meiringspoort to do the Half Marathon & 10km. He told me that this year it would be my birthday gift from him and that we will go run it together. Obviously things didn't work out as planned...

When my aunt told me in April that the entries are open for the 2014 run I was first to say “Count me in”, and so it turned into a big family get together in memory of my dad.

It is one of the most beautiful runs you will ever do! Trust me! My dad has been doing it for the last 10 years I think and he always went on and on about how beautiful it is. He wasn't wrong.

We left De Oude Meul at 4:30am to catch the busses to take us to the starting point. It was chilly! We got onto the truck and about 15min later we were dropped off at the starting point where coffee and rusks were waiting for us to defrost our frozen hands and tummies.
I had all sorts of emotions going through me, mostly sad, and when my uncle pulled us together in a circle to pray I just cracked, and I’m sure it’s thanks to all those emotions that I managed to finish my 10km run in time to get my medal!
There’s a cut off. To qualify for a medal you have to finish within 2 hours and the 21km must finish within 3 hours.

The crazier part of the family did the 21km run. They finished and half of them didn't train. I have a naturally fit family it seems. My dad was exactly the same!
The best part is that we all finished with time to spare AND we honored my daddy, that was our main reason! You can see this town is typical Afrikaans. After the run there's food stalls everywhere so while you stuff your face with pancakes, jaffles and roosterkoek you can sit back and relax while cooling down with a beer while listening to some live music!
My aunt had T-shirts printed for all of us.

We did it all for you daddy!

Now we started a little tradition I think and I cannot wait to go and beat my time next year!
Have you ever done the Meiringspoort run?
Disclaimer: All expenses were paid for by us for our trip to Meiringspoort. As always all comments and opinions are my own. All of the content and images posted are my own unless otherwise specified / linked to the original source. Please feel free to share photographs and material from this site but please link back to the original image or post.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Marataba Safari Lodge Birthday Weekend

Hello Journeyers!
I turned 26 yesterday, and then I realised that I'm 4 years away from turning 30. It's not that bad as they say life starts at 30, right?!

Cedric took me to Marataba Safari Lodge for the weekend, and we made a long weekend of it. I absolutely LOVE this place.

The scenery is something that doesn't get old no matter what the weather is doing. Those mountains are hypnotic and the animals. Well waking up to lions roaring is enough to excite anyone. Then you meet the staff, and they make you feel like you are the most important person in the whole world. The small attention to detail is enough to make anyone not want to leave.

Then the food...oh the food. To put it into proper terms for you, I picked up just over 1kg in 2 days. Kiss your diet goodbye, because you have most delicious snacks on your morning game drive, get back and then it's time for breakfast, lunch, high tea, afternoon game drive snacks and then you end it off with dinner while listening to all the beautiful sounds of the bush.

The staff almost had me in tears when they came to sing happy birthday to me with a cake after dinner around the fire. It was a emotional birthday, but the first is always the hardest they say.

As Sunday came rolling by (much faster than expected) I was even more sad as I didn't want to leave. As everything else all good things must come to an end eventually.

We want to say thank you very much to the excellent staff of Marataba Safari Lodge, we cannot wait to come back!

Do you prefer gifts or birthday getaways?

My year hasn't been the greatest, but things have to get better. It just has no choice, and I have been extremely blessed with my amazing family and friends. May the next year only bring happiness and lots of travels.

Disclaimer: All expenses were paid for by us for our stay at Marataba Safari Lodge. As always all comments and opinions are my own. All of the content and images posted are my own unless otherwise specified / linked to the original source. Please feel free to share photographs and material from this site but please link back to the original image or post.