• Spier Wine Farm – of Segways and art surprises

    Spier Wine Farm was the third farm on Ryan‘s and my itinerary during our recent visit to the Cape winelands.  Situated along Baden Powell Drive off the N2 highway – a main arterial road into historic Stellenbosch, Spier is the definitive go to wine estate. It has every facility to tantalise the simplest to the most discerning of …

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  • Val du Charron – bringing history to life

    Val du Charron Wine and Olive Estate, situated high on a hill overlooking the breathtaking Bovlei Valley, outside the town of Wellington in the Western Cape, is truly the grand dame of wine estates in the area.  She commands attention in terms of the expansive views she affords of the historic valley, the vision and generosity …

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  • Wildekrans Wine Estate – A toast to the fruit of the impossibly straight vines

    Cape wines have been given a bad rap recently. A 58-minute documentary entitled Bitter Grapes – Slavery in the Vineyards made by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann, and which aired in Denmark and Sweden in October, threatening exports with boycotts of South African wines, has left the local industry smarting.  As I write, workers at Robertson Wineries …

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  • Gerhard makes a Miele of it!

    Every now and then life gives one a little fillip – an unexpected gift of serendipity that lifts your day.  My friend Ryan and I were invited to lunch my Miele South Africa’s resident chef Gerhard Koekemoer the other day.  Our “simple” lunch was rustled up on a couple of Miele cooking platforms including the …

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  • A taste of van Gogh en Provence

    “I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.” Vincent van Gogh For those prone to taking in traveling in tiny distant sips – there’s the arm chair, while cruising offers day trips and a bus ride. A sample it may be, with one’s senses straining to take it all in – but you can also take in …

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  • I was born a wandering Nguni!

    The wandering Nguni is a wonderful thing! Descended from livestock brought into southern Africa by cattle farmers of several centuries back, the animals were essentially itinerant in nature, knowing no bounds, and certainly not subject, until the 1940’s, when the first efforts were made to legitimate the breed,  to the feeding and breeding pressures of conventional livestock. …

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  • Among the ruins of Pompeii

    Ozymandias I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone, Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet …

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  • Giving my Great Grandmother’s linen an airing!

    Introducing Great Grandmother Joan. Enter her chemises. When she emigrated to the dusty town of Bloemfontein from Glasgow, Scotland in 1905, her concern was that there would be no shops to speak of, let alone those specialising in ladies undergarments!  Her second fear was that there would be no dentists. Her response to the former …

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  • Searching for the 600 in Balaclava

     “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;”                                                   …

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  • Chivas Regal Limited Edition 18YO

    Xhosa beadwork inspired knitwear lights up Europe’s catwalks

    I first met Laduma Ngxokolo five years ago on Women’s Day at his stand at Decorex, a decor, design and lifestyle exhibition in Johannesburg.  I remember being struck by his openness, humility and his extraordinary talent.  I described him at the time as one of South Africa’s up-and-coming-close-to-arriving fashion industry talents.  This year 2016, he …

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