Zakynthos

Just got back from a lovely long weekend on the greek island, Zakynthos.  I joined my Mum and sister who’d been there a week before me…. the minute I stepped off the plane & saw their grinning, tanned faces at the arrivals lounge my shoulders relaxed.  The next few days were spent reading endless magazines, catching up, drinking rose, swimming in the sea and scoffing delicious greek food.  

I also devoured a new book, The Fault in Our Stars.  The movie has just been released in the UK & I’m so undecided as to whether I want to see it.  I absolutely loved the book but can’t face another ‘One Day’ adaption let down. 

Anyway, here are a few more snaps from the gorgeous greek island…..

Father’s Day

I headed back to my family home last weekend for Father’s Day.  We really lucked out with the weather and had a Brazilian feast outside.  My Mum is an incredible cook & didn’t disappoint… cervice was even on the menu!

I had a great time wandering around the garden snipping flowers which I arranged for the table.

Home is definitely where the heart is in my case.

I think a lot of the recipes were from this book, if you’re interested.

Had the most gorgeous day at the lido last week.. there’s something about some time in the sun and a swim that just makes my whole body relax.  Bliss

Had the most gorgeous day at the lido last week.. there’s something about some time in the sun and a swim that just makes my whole body relax.  Bliss

Pizza East, Kentish Town

The other weekend I went exploring to a new part of London.  We had a pub lunch with friends in Hampstead and then my boyfriend wanted to show me the area he spent his placement year in London, Kentish Town.

It’s a part of northwest London that I have been dying to check out as there are loads of cool places to eat… we settled on Pizza East

Pizza East was a slightly odd choice as we’re both fans of the ‘Low Carb, High Fat’ way of eating (more on that in another post) but this menu is incredible even if you don’t fancy pizza.  As you can see we worked our way through a lot of the salads and antipastis….

Their menu changes seasonally, so there are different options to try each time you visit, but, I’d struggle to leave the Pink Grapefruit Martini out. It’s perfect

Cheers!!

Watch out

This little baby from Larsson & Jennings hasn’t had a day off since I was given it for my last Birthday.  I absolutely love it paired with a thin gold bangle, like I’ve done here, such a simple way to accessorise. 

Wonki Ware

I’m a big believer that table accessories like crockery can make an ordinary mid week supper feel like a special occasion.  The South African pottery brand Wonki Ware is my absolute favourite.  As the name would suggest it’s the imperfections that make it unique.  

Here’s a snapshot of my collection. image

image

http://www.wonkiware.co.za/

You can buy it in the UK too, just have a little look online

I was lucky enough to visit the Knysna Elephant park just outside of Plettenberg Bay on our last day.  That saying about the best for last? So true.  

When we arrived they bundled us into open air safari trucks and drove a little way to where the elephants hang out. At this point I was so excited to be out in the African landscape and had a huge grin plastered on my face but there was one small niggle, something felt a bit contrived about the whole set up. Not for long though as I was quickly converted by one, warm wet trunk hoovering on my hand for the fruit we were given to feed them. Any excuse to get up close to these amazing creatures, who are being looked after so they don’t become extinct, is fine by me.

Roadtripping!  Nothing like the feeling of heading off somewhere new.  When we left Cape Town for Plett we got up super early, always adds to the excitement, and made the vital stop en route for brekkie.  This little gem was a rather random recommendation from my parents who’d been the year before.  It was in a tiny, tiny little town off the main road and stocked every pie filling flavour imaginable.  They knocked us up breakfast toasties too, which were out of this world good.  Can’t remember the name, sorry!

We spent our days relaxing by the pool, checking out local arts and crafts (more of that in a post soon) and eating, a lot.  As there was a huge group of us we mixed it up between big BBQs (Braai’s as the locals would call them) at the villa and trying out great local restaurants.  See my Top picks for eating out below.  

SeaFood at The Plettenberg

Yep, you guessed it, seafood platters are THE thing to order here.  I’m not a huge fan generally, well slightly allergic to shellfish if I’m honest, so I opted for steak which (considering the likes of Hawksmoor that I’ve tried to In London) was incredible.  It came with triple cooked chips and a little greek salad with lots of feta.  Delicious

http://www.collectionmcgrath.com/plett/seafood-at-the-plettenberg/

Emily’s Restaurant at Emily Moon River Lodge

Honestly one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been.  Set high up on a hill the views are incredible but when darkness falls the venue comes to life.  Balineese doors swing open to lead you from the car park to the pool area which is surrounded by tables next to open log fires, fairy lights twinkle in the trees above.  The restaurant itself is long and glass fronted to make the most of the view, with exposed beams and a wall of animal head from a gone by era (wouldn’t want the beautiful creatures hunted now but they do at to the ambience). Magical and I can’t wait to come back one day

http://www.emilymoon.co.za/gallery/emilys.html

Oh & we stayed here, the photos don’t do it justice really, I felt like I was on an episode of Cribs…

http://plettvillas.co.za/property-details/?p=details&id=PV%20121

It wouldn’t be right not to mention this place, Creation Wines, in the Hemel-en-Aarde area.  We went the day after the wedding so it was a little wasted on me (I couldn’t even smell the wine as the rest of my party did a full tasting session) due to a rather heavy hangover.  
This cheese and meat platter brought me back to life though!
http://www.creationwines.com/

It wouldn’t be right not to mention this place, Creation Wines, in the Hemel-en-Aarde area.  We went the day after the wedding so it was a little wasted on me (I couldn’t even smell the wine as the rest of my party did a full tasting session) due to a rather heavy hangover.  

This cheese and meat platter brought me back to life though!

http://www.creationwines.com/

Thought I should give you a peek at the wedding in question.  My very clever cousin’s (now wife) fiance planned the whole thing and actually did a lot of it herself too.  From threading ribbons on to the name tags for months in the lead up to the big day to the flower arranging, she was the most hands on bride ever.  Boy did it pay off, her attention to detail was faultless.  The perfect backdrop for lots of love, food and dancing into the early hours….

… Oh and you see that rustic picture frame?  That was the wedding favour on each place setting, one for every single guest, complete with a ‘thank you for coming’ tag - a gorgeous keepsake to remember the special day.

http://www.lavierge.co.za/

The picture frame can be bought in the UK actually, via my cousin’s business, Dassie.  More on that another day but here’s the link to shop if you can’t wait 

http://www.dassie.co.uk/

The main reason for my trip to Cape Town in Feb was for a family wedding.  What a wedding it turned out to be!  Family & friends made the 2 hour drive to a coastal resort called Hermanus and then a little further inland to the breathtakingly beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde valley.  The wedding venue La Vierge is a vineyard sitting on the valley’s ridge - needless to say the views were spectacular. 

The top two photos are of the farm we stayed on.  Lovely (huge!) self catering cottages 

http://www.highseasonfarm.co.za/

http://www.lavierge.co.za/

Duchess Of Wisbeach

A new venue that I’d been dying to try since hearing great things from lots of friends, it’s a stylish little restaurant in the Seapoint area of Cape Town. Cosy, romantic, lovely food; definitely worth a visit!

http://www.duchessofwisbeach.co.za/

Constantia Glen is one of those wine estates I was talking about… This beauty is actually in the city (well in a rather lovely leafy suburb called Constantia), so it’s unlikely to be more than a 20 minute drive from wherever you’re staying.
This was my first visit, needless to stay we spent a very long afternoon here tasting some amazing wines. The cheese & meats boards were some of the best I’ve had too… One had a South African theme & featured local treats like biltong and droewors (dried sausage that tastes way, way better than it sounds, I promise)
http://www.constantiaglen.com/

Constantia Glen is one of those wine estates I was talking about… This beauty is actually in the city (well in a rather lovely leafy suburb called Constantia), so it’s unlikely to be more than a 20 minute drive from wherever you’re staying.

This was my first visit, needless to stay we spent a very long afternoon here tasting some amazing wines. The cheese & meats boards were some of the best I’ve had too… One had a South African theme & featured local treats like biltong and droewors (dried sausage that tastes way, way better than it sounds, I promise)

http://www.constantiaglen.com/

Cape Town 2014

I’m lucky enough to have a lot of extended family who live in Cape Town, so I get to visit often.  Describing a holiday there is tricky to someone who hasn’t been… but I’ll try. It’s the most beautiful city, everywhere you go Table Mountain dominates the backdrop. The skies are the most gorgeous bright blue and the light is incredible, one of the reasons so many photographers choose Cape Town for shoots.

I think it’s the mix that really sells it though; you can spend a morning on a white sandy beach, have lunch at a cute little cafe in the city centre, visit wine farms a measly 40 minute drive away and then have supper at one of the breathtakingly stylish markets popping up all over the city.

Over the next couple of posts I’m going to share a few of the things I got up to when I went out in Feb this year….image

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