My New Favourite Place, Nice!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Little French restaurants, white fabric cloths on road side tables, hand scribbled menus on blackboards, detailed pottery plates, freshly picked short stemmed roses in tinted glasses with gold lace detail; these are a few of my favourite things.

Nice on 4th in Parkhurst is the epitome of these things.

They specialise in heavenly, fresh food with superior ingredients and French accents on ambiance and décor. The Nice owner is a lovely flower herself, floating through the tables and checking on clientele. The simple fact that she is there supervising is even more reason to make my visit to Nice a regular occurrence.

We arrived, were greeted by the owner and luckily there was a table leaving so we grabbed it as I had been informed that the cue’s are a common thing at Nice. Breakfast was on the menu. Can you say ‘fresh watermelon juice!’ without seeing pink and thinking YUM!? They serve it at Nice. It too good to talk about, you just have to go try it.

The waiter told us the specials (like I said before; hand scribbled menus on blackboards!) and we ordered the two most interesting sounding things on the menu. We sat back comfortably and sipped on watermelon juice while watching the passers by. The order did take a while more than I am used to and I was worried that all the anticipation was going to make the meal seem ordinary.

But oh no, it was better than I could have ever imagined! I ordered flapjacks. My mouth is watering just imagining it! It was 4 little flapjacks layered with mascarpone, crispy bacon, strawberries and heavenly warm syrup. *sigh. It was sweet, warm, melt in the mouth, syrupy seduction! I really could only take one photo simply because I could not stop eating it. Wow, that’s scary to admit… but once you have it you’ll understand.

The other order was the Nice specialty- Egg Baskets. A simple yet original way to serve a basic breakfast. Bread ‘baskets’ filled with poached eggie, crispy bacon, little cherry tomatoes and seasoned to magnificent precision, divine!
Both delectable breakfast treats were polished in record time and when we both were finished we were rather glum and considered starting it all from the beginning. Yes it was that good!

I have heard that they’re lunches are also the best in town and might bring my flapjack heaven some hearty competition. I plan to let battle take place. Hopefully some time this week!

Oh it was sublime!

P.S. I would be a happy girl if I could have a slice of Nice everyday.


Love of Pink

Poppies are Beautiful Flowers

Thursday, 26 March 2009
Genre: Comedy
Directors: Mike Leigh
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Alexis Zegerman, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Samuel Roukin

Happy-go-lucky is rather bizarre to be realistic. Typically, I liked it.

When I heard about this new ‘Happy-go-lucky’ film sweeping up all the awards I determined that I had to see it. I, unlike a lot of people, enjoy British films. I find a strange toasty comfort in their ‘tea and crumpets’ pompous accents.
It’s delightful. As such was the film.

Although a difficult film to get into, once I was interested in trying to discover what was going to happen I enjoyed it. Ridiculously adorable, positive, primary school teacher Poppy (Sally Hawkins) will engulf you in smiles, sparkles and rainbows. There are little aspects of this movie which I loved and laughed out loud to. She’s curious and bright. Sometimes I felt exhausted by her constant happiness. But after that glum side of me was banished, I got back into it.
She really stole the show. It is such a whimsical movie that I do not think anyone would ever be able to play a part like that. No wonder she won numerous best actress awards for her portrayal of beloved Poppy.
The movie circles around this particular chapter of Poppy’s life and we are privileged to share it with her friends.
The movie is not just about a happy existence on the surface. It is about how positive Poppy influences and touches peoples’ lives. How someone who seems so frivolous can in actual fact make someone’s day, bring a little light into the dark, sprinkle a little love into todays more illustrious grey being.

I cannot honestly comment on any of the other aspects of the movie and they were purely drowned out by Sally Hawkins walking on sunshine acting. I look back on this film with great fondness!

P.S. it takes a while to get into so give it time and Poppy will give back to you!


An Excuse to be a Royal Madam Crumpet

Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Yes it’s true. I love tea.
And when I heard about Contessa Tea Shop I jumped at the chance to go there with my girlfriends.

They do a real tea tasting and when I say real I mean tea leaves, brewing and timing.

When I arrived I had to walk from the brightness of the South African sun into a darker room. As I made my way round the bustling, and very tightly packed tables I might add, I stepped into the restaurant…

As my eyes adjusted I think they popped and glowed with adoration as I saw the stunning surroundings I was about to embark on. The walls are decorated with collages of stylish arbitrary art, red candy striped wallpaper, shelves covered with tea jars with homemade labels, little gift boxes with chiffon ribbon, faux lavender pot plants and gold candelabras stand proud next to framed pictures of black and white Hollywood starlets. Gorgeous! I think I went to Contessa tea heaven.

The place was bubbly and bright. Every table was full and every person in there looked beyond content. The smells were heavenly and I was temped to go up to every single person with food in front of them and offer to test the deliciousness, mmm. But my wits (luckily!) kicked in and being there for tea I felt it was rather important to keep the lady side of me out in full force! Any excuse to be a royal madam crumpet and I’m in, white gloves and all!

It was everything I thought it would be. We tried 6 different types of tea. It is all about tasting, smelling and seeing tea. Not just drinking it. Drinking it is a minuscule part of the doily mission. And what an experience it was! We spent most of the 3 hours timing, writing, spilling, laughing, checking, sniffing, adding, laughing again, and

basking in the glory of the teahouse ambiance.

Go in groups, its more fun with more ladies and its an experience every lassie should experience!

P.S. take cash, even tea tasting in Jozi is getting expensive!


Slumdog Millionaire

Sunday, 15 March 2009
  • Genre: Drama
  • Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
  • Cast: Amil Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Azharudin Mohammed Ismail, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Irrfan Khan, Madhur Mittal, Rubina Ali

  • I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to see Slumdog Millionaire. I assumed it would be good after it won 8 Academy Awards but in the past I have been a little disappointed after watching movies rich with award that were a little less than awesome. Not that I’m a renowned movie critic or anything, I just want to come out of the movie thinking “wow that was brilliant!” and its normally because the movie is so unique that I cant compare it to anything and wouldn’t want to.

    .Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is a street kid (or "slumdog") who appears on the popular game show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ Jamal surpasses his potential on the show, and the producer becomes suspicious of his knowledge of the questions. Jamal is consequently arrested and is interrogated. As the grilling proceeds, Jamal educates both his capturer and the viewers by telling his story through reminiscent flashbacks that both show the renowned poverty of Mumbai and help mould together his story and how he made his way to ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’.
    Slumdog Millionaire is a snugly woven story that has been expertly edited. The contrast between Jamal's upbringing and his chance of escaping it on the show are adeptly juxtaposed.

    Slumdog Millionaire is the kind of movie that leaves you feeling hopeful and inspired. It is beautifully shot, a peephole into India’s side by side brutality and beauty.

    I think the genre could also be ‘Romantic Drama’. A common thread in the movie is his constant search for the woman who owns his heart. Its every woman’s dream to have the love of her life go to the ends of the earth to find her. I secretly found myself constantly think “OH Jamal, please don’t give up, not yet!” and he doesn’t. I adore his determination and how he leads with his heart and not his head, something very rare and beautiful in today’s society.
    It is incredibly uplifting and inspiring and I truly felt high spirited at the end.

    I have nothing bad to say about this movie. I loved it. And I think it should have taken home more that 8 Academy Awards. It is so refreshing to have a high spirited movie steal all the awards for once. It’s said to be the feel-good movie of the decade and I strongly agree with this!

    It’s a MUST see!

    P.S. pay attention to detail and you’ll be pleasantly surprised and how the movie introduces itself to you with flickers of hidden detail.


    Monstruos de plastilina

    Friday, 13 March 2009
    too sweet not to put up!

    Go look, cute overload!

    Monstruos de plastilina


    Thursday, 12 March 2009
    A ladies day with my girlfriends is always something to look forward to. A group of ten of us take on the town and find fun things to do. Apart from a good catch up session it is really fun to go out and enjoy something girly or trying out something new.
    This time we went to Indulge. It’s a cute little patisserie type, boutique confectionery um, place! Its gorgeous and pink and black and chocolate and candy heaven!

    We sat inside. Surrounded by striking cake boxes piled up around us. Above us were sky scraping wedding cakes, decorated with chocolate spikes, pink candy roses and black butterflies. Indulge is the perfect word to describe this whimsical escape. Even the little rose decoration on the table was blanked in glitter! Attention to detail is what makes this scintillating experience so enticing.

    The breakfast menu is amazing! After two glasses of the best strawberry juice in town the lot of us decided on what we were to have. My sweet tooth took over and I ordered what I saw float passed our table on many a hungry persons plate- a heavenly, Strawberry Delight!
    On the menu it reads as;

    Flapjacks with cinnamon-infused strawberries and served with sweetened mascarpone cream and drizzled with vanilla syrup

    But really, this does it no justice! Although it is a beauteous little array of sweet goodness it was too much and I passed it on after only indulging in half.

    The menu prices are a little steep for it to become your local breakfast hangout however it is definitely worth it for occasions or just to take someone out to show off and eat something truly magical!

    P.S. they also do takeaways!


    Vegetarian Aubergines Boats

    Wednesday, 11 March 2009
    Using the tomato sauce in the previous recipe this is also a simple recipe that is super healthy and can last up to a couple of days if kept refrigerated. It is also a vegetarian meal, you can add meat if you desire or simply use it as an addition to a meat dish.

    4 Aubergines
    6 tablespoons of olive oil
    4 tablespoons of rice (Tastic is preferred)
    Tomato sauce (previous recipe)
    4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
    40g butter
    4 tablespoons of feta cheese (if desired)
    Salt & pepper
    Serves 4 (sides) serves 2 (main)

    Preheat oven to 180˙ degrees. Cut the aubergines in half, lengthways, checker-cut the flesh, as in photo. Salt and rub with olive oil, try get it as even as you can. Spray and Cook an ovenproof dish and put in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until the flesh is soft and cooked through.
    Meanwhile follow the instructions on the bag of rice and cook. Drain the rice when it is ready and rinse well under cold running water.

    Once the Aubergines are cooked through remove then from the oven but leave the oven on. Leave the aubergines to cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon making sure not to break the skin. remove the seeds if you desire. Chop the flesh, add rice and tomato sauce in a bowl and divide the mixture amongst the aubergine skins. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and feta (if you use it) and dot with butter. Place back in the oven and leave to cook for 25 minutes.

    Serve immediately.

    P.S. This is a great leftover meal to eat at lunch, even at work.


    Tomato Sauce

    I work a full day and when I get home and decide to cook, it better be a quick, simple yet sustainable meal. I’m not one to skimp on dinner, as I find if I have a delicious healthy meal ill sleep better and in turn have a better day at work tomorrow. And this recipe can be made with real tomatoes but I like canned tomatoes, its just simpler and less effort but still just as good. This recipe is simple, easy, healthy, versatile and quick, quick, quick! It can be used in any numerous meals or just with a pasta.


    2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
    1 onion, chopped finely
    500g of canned tomatoes
    1 teaspoon sugar

    Salt & pepper

    Serves 4

    Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally till the onions are soft, and translucent. Add the canned tomatoes and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. Pour the mixture to a blender and blitz till the mixture is silky. Add the sugar to taste (depending on the acidity of the mixture you might need more than one teaspoon). Season to taste with salt and pepper and process again. The best part of this recipe, apart for being super delicious, is the gorgeous, robust colour it comes out as!

    P.S. Serve the sauce in a gravy boat or directly over a dish! Ooooh yum!


    Pedi Princess, Candy Toes

    Sunday, 8 March 2009
    Going for a pedicure is one of those luxuries that I don’t get to do whenever I need to update my toenail colour. Actually… I never get pedicures. I don’t have the patience, time or money to go whenever I want. So when my friend got me a pedi voucher for my birthday I was pleasantly surprised. It’s such a great gift and to make it even better she agreed to go with me and also get a pedi so we could chat and catch up and enjoy it together.

    The voucher was for Skin Sense Day Spa. We arrived, got a bottle of wine, picked our colours and had a whole hour of girly heaven.
    It was such fun and I felt truly renewed and proud of my new candy toes. It was great not having to pay but it’s a great gift to give and also a great way to chill out and come away with cute, colourful tootsies!

    I loved it so much I’m going to go again for Mothers Day with my sister. It’ll be the perfect gift!

    P.S. Don’t be afraid to get a really exciting, fun colour to show off! xoxo

    Mushy Puffs

    Tuesday, 3 March 2009

    These are super easy, cheap and quick!

    Just throw them in the oven and they’re ready to serve!


    Ready made Puff pastry
    Mini mushrooms (cut in half)
    Onion Sprinkles
    Egg (lightly beaten to egg wash the pastry)

    Pre-heat oven to the required temperature on the pastry packaging. Spray a oven tray with Spray & Cook.
    Make little balls from the puff pastry. And place on the baking sheet a good distance away from each other. Place the mushrooms in the middle of the pastry. Put a little butter on each mushroom. Sprinkle a little Thyme and Onion Sprinkle on each one.
    Lightly brush the sides of the pastry with the egg wash.

    Place in oven until pastry is golden and crisp.

    Yum yum yum!

    P.S. these are the perfect snack for Ladies cocktail parties and pre-dinner yummies.

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