Friday, 13 April 2012

My ♥ stopped at De Oude Bank in Stellenbosch.

The Easter weekend brought with it buckets of rain. And so, we decided to meet a friend at a very cosy spot in Stellenbosch for lunch. De Oude Bank Bakkerij is one of those gems you stumble upon and the type of place that you can spend hours in. The decor is old-school and rustic and true to the history of the place. 

I discovered that the owner, Fritz Schoon, worked under Markus Farbinger at Ile de Pain, which makes complete sense! I adore Ile de Pain (Knysna) and De Oude Bank is equally as wonderful. 

Eat Out had this to say:

"Markus is considered by many as the best baker in the country, and his disciples are easy to spot, owing mostly to their dedication and passion for bread. Fritz is no exception, and he churns out faultless ciabatta, sourdough, dark rye, baguettes, breadsticks and more. Guests are encouraged to grab some bread and use it as the hero for their meal. From there you choose a few of the excellent condiments to smear on top. The award-winning Jamon ham from Jason Lucas is a must, as is the soft and creamy buffalo mozzarella. Other options include blue gum honey, Black Forest ham, various cheese varieties, beef salami, Namibian biltong, mustard glaze, olive tapenade, and shitake mushroom pesto. It’s a refreshingly simple, utterly delicious way to eat."

We ordered a range of goodies, sourdough, ciabatta, olive tapenade, slow roasted tomatoes, Bree, cream cheese, salami, jam, olive sticks and more. The food is served on wooden boards and even the teaspoons are unique and delightful. There is something so amazing about ordering loads of little things and combining them to create a feast. And feast we did. I ate like it was the first time I'd seen food and so I could barely move afterwards.

The wines are all local, and from boutique estates. They rest on beautiful thick wooden shelves, and are surrounded by hanging meats and stacked breads. 

The total bill (for 3 of us) including drinks and red cappuccinos came to R200! R200! INSANE. And really, we kept ordering more and more and more. 

The great part is that everything is also for sale in the restaurant, so we took extra home.

De Oude Bank is the type of place you visit again and again. It's South African food at its finest and the cosy atmosphere (including the small amount of tables) just adds to this Stellenbosch MUST. 

Find De Oude Bank at 7 Church Street, Stellenbosch, 021 883 2187. 

(top pic from

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

My ♥ stopped at Woolworths.






We've all noticed the recent weather change. Colder in the mornings and the evenings, the urge to turn on the electric blanket at night. Winter is coming to Cape Town (even if most of Cape Town is still in denial). We're also in for some beautiful Winter days, the days when it's just chilly enough to wear boots and a cardigan, but not cold enough to turn your lips blue (that's still coming). I'm on the boot hunt again, and I always seem to migrate back to Woolworths for this. I've got my eye on the top pair of boots, I just need to convince myself that R1000 is worth it, like telling myself "I'll spend less on dinners out" or "I won't buy that face product", sigh, the lies we tell ourselves. They really do make great boots though. Woolworths used to be the store that made the basics, the kind of store you'd go to to buy that "white tee" or "those pajama pants". Times have definitely changed, and the game has definitely been upped with the help of Country Road and Trenery. I adore Country Road bags and shoes.

Get all of these and more, when you wander over here.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My ♥ stopped when I realised it's almost Easter.

What's everyone up to this Easter weekend? I hope you will all be spoilt rotten with Lindt Easter bunnies with bells around their necks (secret hope of mine). 

A few things I'll be getting up to this weekend:
  • Making a decision about whether to read "Freedom - Jonathan Franzen" or "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Jonathan Foer. I recently finished "Epilogue" by Mary Roiphe, it was everything and a slice of chocolate cake. Loved it in other words.
  • Reclining on the sofa to watch "The Beginners". Not 100% sure what it's about but the word is it's good.
  • Making potato salad with a feta, Bulgarian yoghurt and mustard dressing. A touch of salt and pepper. Wish me luck.
  • Meeting friends for a pizza. It's predicted to rain quite a bit this weekend so this will be the PERFECT evening. Snug and cosy and extra cheese.
  • Hanging pictures in the study. This is my Everest at the moment. I have some mental block towards doing it, so I will persevere and hopefully be able to show you the results.
  • Wake up ridiculously late on Monday morning, because I can! YIPPEEE!
Have a wonderful Easter all. May it be filled with friends, family and food. 3 ingredients for a happy life.


(image from Pinterest).

Monday, 2 April 2012

♥ stopper.

What else is there?

(Found here)

My ♥ stopped at Dieu Donne.

You may have noticed that I've been missing for the last week and a bit. I was lucky enough to take a week off to spend time with my family before my brother's wedding. It's not often that everyone can be in the same place at the same time, because we all live busy lives and live far away from each other. 

My sister-in-law is super creative and I just knew this wedding was going to be filled with details and beautiful touches throughout. And of course I was right. The (now) married couple met at Dieu Donne in Franschhoek, where he was the chef and she the pastry chef. If you haven't been to Dieu Donne, I suggest you choose a Saturday morning and head out into the beautiful mountains. The wine estate is situated at the top of Franschhoek, and overlooks the valley. The view is breathtaking from up there and the PERFECT backdrop for a wedding. I don't have photos to share with you yet, because the wedding was on Saturday, but as soon as I do, I will post about it. 

There is something so special about the area, almost lost in time. The streets are clean and everywhere you look creative people have set themselves up and are trading. It really does remind you of Europe. 

We stayed at Le Franschhoek Hotel, which is just passed the monument at the end of the main road. It was superb! Leafy and green and tucked away, the Hotel is surrounded by birds and squirrels and makes a nice change from the city. The villas are spacious and have a slight old-world feel about them. The type of place you could hide away for some time off. And of course, the food in Franschhoek is top-notch. It seems all great chefs culminate here and there is no such thing as a bad dish. I also discovered that you won't find a take-away franchise in Franschhoek, they don't allow it, interesting and a sign of how seriously they protect their culinary magic. 

I've been to Franschhoek many times before, but this time was the most special and it was difficult to come home yesterday. We live in a beautiful country, get out and go and experience it. Years from now, you will feel lucky that you got to see the open spaces, because chances are many new buildings and homes will replace them.