celebrate life!

Reality TV – Take two!

Our broadcast date for “Kom ons Braai” on Dstv has moved! The broadcast date is not yet determined.

But in the interim you can view our dear friend, Desmond Solomon, from Tuesday 19 October 2017, when he participates in the TV reality series, “The Great South African Bake Off”. This third series is airing at 20h00 on Tuesdays BBC Lifestyle (Dstv channel 174).

Desmond Solomon

We will keep you posted on our “Kom ons Braai” TV episode’s date. Hopefully it will still be this eighth series on VIA – Dstv channel 147.


Unwrap new drinks at the annual HmC Fair

Unwrap well-made in Africa.

This was the 2017 theme of the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair (HmC) – which is all about speciality foods, crafted drinks and artisan products.

If this resonates with you, make a note of this annual boutique outdoor event.

The opening night had Hyde Park Corner adorned with stylish, independent dressers – sampling the designer fare whilst soulful African music sounded.

Distinct drinks brands, that became synonym with the HmC Fair, were pouring their finest.

This year’s HmC event had some exciting newcomers in the drinks category:




This mall-batch craft distillery in Salt River, Cape Town, has produced a new, limited edition gin. Only three hundred bottles have been crafted of this aromatic spirit – which has been aged in Hungarian oak for five years. Full blooded orange gin.


Bloedlemoen gin   Bloedlemoen boxes

Father Coffee


The mother of all coffees brought their own cold brew.  As per the label: Enjoy cold, drink at once and then come back for more!


Father Cold Brew



Not a drink, but a nifty caddy crafted in Cape Town to pack drinks for a picnic, dinner at friends or BYO event.


Houtkapper drinks caddy  Houtkappers

Frost Popsicles


Love ice lollies? Try these gin & tonic ice cold popsicles crafted from gin from the Cape Town distillery, Hope on Hopkins. Available in classic G&T popsicles as well as berry infused G&T popsicles.


Frost popsicle  Frost popsicle


Fehmz Mocktails


Ideal for the designated driver, these mocktails are available in a range of festive flavours – Fireball; Litchi Fizz; Peach Lemonade; Watermelon Fizz; Lemongrass Ginger, etc. Come on summer!




Qualito gin


Qualito have been crafting infused vodkas at their distillery in Phalaborwa since 2005. A single grain craft whiskey and a hand-bottled batch of gin have since been added. The whiskey slumbered in red wine barrels and is exceptionally smooth. The gin is made in a classical style. What a find!

Qualito Heimer Whiskey  Qualito Grey Hawk Gin


The HmC Fair has indeed unwrapped well-made in Africa, including crafted drinks.

Link to event website

Fun at HmC

Kom Ons Braai!

Ludolf & Carla Smit neem op Vrydag 20 Oktober 2017 om 18h00 deel aan die TV-werklikheidsreeks,“Kom Ons Braai”, VIA (DStv-kanaal 147).

En as jy nié saamstem met dié episode se uitkoms nie, stem gerus na afloop van die program op die VIA TV Facebook-bladsy vir die span wie jý dink moes gewen het –

Braai is sinoniem met kuier, lekker braaivleis en deesdae … wel televisie. Die gewilde TV-reeks “Kom Ons Braai”, is letterlik op talle Suid-Afrikaners se lippe. Kykers sit weekliks vasgenael voor die kassie en verkyk hul hoe braaibroodjies en aartappelslaai met ‘n “twist”, oftewel kinkel, opgedis word.

Wat ons nasie aan die gons het, is nié die vindingryke braaidisse nie, maar die venynige kommentaar wat deur mededeelnemers gelug word. Op die lug nogal…

Kom kyk gerus watter span word oor die kole gehaal en wie se punte word gerook …

Dit alles onder die dekmantel van werklikheidsTV.

Eikendal = Elegance

What do the late billionaire, Dr Anton Rupert, and the rugby legend, Jan Boland Coetzee, have in common?

They both played a role in the Saager family’s acquisition of the Stellenbosch wine farm Eikendal.

This interesting bit is shared, amongst other facts, by the passionate cellar master of Eikendal wine farm, Nico Grobler. His philosophy is that a wine’s profile is built in the vineyard. It is all about viticulture. And Nico has walked a journey with all the wines in Eikendal’s vineyards for the past eleven years.

Carla, Nico & Peter (NGF)

The Eikendal wines were complemented by the divine degustation menu, recently tasted at The Codfather, Sandton – in collaboration with Norman Goodfellows distinct liquor merchants.

Crusted beef fillet  IMG_1834

My personal favourite wine is the Eikendal Pinotage – which perfume, heady with red fruit, shows where it was grown: a non-irrigated vineyard. The Chardonnay is Nico’s favourite – masculine elegance from bush vines with a low yield. The Cabernet Sauvignon is also noteworthy for its Helderberg terroir – noticeable in the seaweed, long structure and fine tannins. It should last 10 – 15 years!

Seared kingklip & crayfish samoosa  Black pepper short bread and lemon posset

Freshness, elegance and finesse describe Eikendal’s wines best. These quality wines created by Nico Grobler are refreshingly affordable.

And that is a bonus for South African wine lovers.

Panda – A crafty Asian eatery indeed

The graduating class at the Swiss Hotel School, South Africa, hosts a yearly pop-up restaurant. The theme for 2017 was Panda – a craft Asian eatery.

IMG_1918 IMG_1917

With a little bit of trepidation we stepped over the threshold – where we have had tasted some mediocre dishes in the past. We were welcomed with much more warmth one would expect from the Far East, and were seated in the Asian inspired restaurant. We were impressed with the Asian influence on the menu: Peking duck; Dim Sum; Gao Bao; Udon noodles; Matcha ice cream and Asian beer and cocktails too.

Panda Etery  Panda Eatery

In short, all our mediocre expectations were exceeded.

Panda Eatery


The dishes were on par in both taste and presentation with winning dishes sampled in top restaurants. Our only regret is that we both have eaten starters and a main course, and hence could only share a dessert – which was the highlight of the evening!

Have you ever heard of ‘Edible water served with bowtie crumb and rose petals’ ? More divine than water from heaven…


Thank you for five star service; an authentic atmosphere and the professional execution of the Asian inspired menu.

Iron Maidens

A group of ‘iron’ women meets three times a week to exercise together – bootcamp style.

Tea is served at times too… But with a healthy twist.

Kamp Staalwol

Michelle Staal (her surname if translated into English, means “Steel”), is the co-founder of Kamp Staalwol, which translates in “camp steel wool” in English. And indeed one needs to be an irone maiden to keep up with Michelle. As a medical doctor and extreme sport enthusiast, she encourages women of all ages to join in and exercise in her terraced garden with ready available props: milk bottles filled with cement or water; used car tyres; boxing gloves; medicine balls; yoga mats and one’s own body weight.

Kamp Staalwol  Kamp Staalwol

And on a regular occasion, the adjoining gate to Melville Hills is opened and the iron maidens are set free to traverse the heights of Melville – running trail runs with a view over Johannesburg. Every semester, following a rigorous exercise session, life and birthdays are celebrated with tea and cake and a good chat.

But there is much more to camp steel wool, than what meets the eye.

This sisterhood forms a tight network of support amidst the fast paced city life.

They share failures and disappointments, love and celebrations. On a practical note they show their support like families used to do: If a member is ill – cooked dinners are organised to be dropped off; if cancer is diagnosed – the trees lining her street are wrapped in pink; if someone needs a lift/ entry to an event/ like on a social media page, it happens.

Michelle Staal’s sisterhood has developed into an exercise regime with a resourceful soul. These iron maidens are all women with real hearts.

Kamp Staalwol  Kamp Staalwol



Vonni Romano

My friend Vonni Romano’s passion for travelling and cooking led her to Cyprus many moons ago.

There she knocked on the Tourism office’s door to enquire about a good local cook that could teach her some authentic local recipes. This she brought back with her to South Africa to teach at her (then) newly found Mediterranean Villa in Cape Town.

And so her love affair with cooking and travelling took off. Many countries, recipes and cookery classes later, she was also involved with the development of the Greek menu at Maria’s Greek Café & Restaurant in Cape Town.

Published Foodie

Vonni has recently been invited to participate in two recipe books:

Yvonne Romano     Yvonne Romano

This latter book features approximately 115 recipes from the best chefs, cooks and food heroes in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Great Britain.The books aims to raise significant funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s food security initiative.

So now Vonni’s cooking heritage is featured alongside the likes of Jamie Oliver, Lorraine Pascale, Michel Roux and Nigel Slater!

Well done Vonni!

vonni5    Yvonne Romano




Why blend French champagne with designer interiors?

Mixing French champagne with designer interiors led to the creation of a luxury lifestyle event.

Recently French champagne house, or rather maison, G.H. Mumm, collaborated with fine wine and spirits merchants Norman Goodfellows at Block & Chisel Interiors in Illovo, Johannesburg for an evening with a good dosage of style.

Joburg’s darlings crossed the red carpet to enter a world of charm where Norman Goodfellows introduced its luxurious range of gift packs for the festive season.

#GHMumm   Nougat 1701

The Block & Chisel store’s beautiful settings were maximised to display various premium brands with matching décor:

  • The star of the show was French champagne G.H.Mumm, served alongside plush red velvet sofas to match the famous red ribbon adorned champagne bottles
  • In befitting style, regal Martell cognac was displayed in a symphony of royal blue, with scented navy candles offset by linen sofas
  • The pistachio green florals of Perrier-Jouët Champagne were repeated in a green Savoy sofa – on par with the current foliage décor trend
  • Reclaimed wood, copper and a beautiful black hand crafted desk set the scene for The Glenlivet single malt
  • The 25-year-old iconic Chivas Regal whisky was served with distinction on a distressed oak table with a double shot of heritage and artisanal craftsmanship from Block & Chisel

Perrier Jouët champagne   Absolut Elyx

Guests were further treated to hand crafted 1701 Nougat as well as a prestige Pernod Ricard cocktail menu – which included the spirits Absolute Elyx, Martell cognac and Beefeater gin. Sushi, macarons and other de luxe eats were skilfully added to the luxurious blend.

1701 Nougat   Perrier Jouët

The evening was indeed the coming together of bespoke gifting, French champagne and magnificent interiors.

Lux Gifts   Andrew McKenzie

Besides the surname Snyman, these ‘sisters’ share a passion for women with passion

Women of Passion is created by women for women and represents all women who are unapologetically bold, on fire and passionate about everything they do.

This initiative of sisters-in-law Clerissa Snyman and Stephanie Snyman, hopes to: “Inspire, empower and promote women with great minds and even greater ideas”.

At their recent launch event at Standard Bank Incubator, Rosebank, Johannesburg, like minded women were treated to knowledgeable speakers on skincare, beauty, wine and fitness. A host of stalls offered an opportunity to shop from female entrepreneurs for vitamins, crafty kaftans, biltong, bright accessories and treatments. After the practical talks, everyone networked whilst tasting healthy eats and sipping on unusual wine based drinks, including shiraz slushy and merlot ice cream!

With the water for #WomenofPassion tested, we can only watch and wait for these soul sisters’ next event!

Missy Make Up Demo on Bold Lips    Bright shopping items Sonette Donker from SkinId   Chairs awaiting Wone of Passion to be inspired...   Sharon from Odd Wine Out   Delicious Eats#SBIncubator   #SBIncubator

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